5 Ways to Overcome Jealousy In Dating & Relationships
Expert Advice to Control Jealousy When Dating
Casual Dating: Be Honest with Yourself
In a committed relationship, you’ve established that you two are exclusive, but when you’re casually dating someone, both of you may be going on dates with other people. Even if you yourself are dating others, you may still feel a pinch of jealously if you hear that the guy you’ve been going out with is taking out other ladies too.
“Be real with yourself and ask yourself if you are the type of person that can handle dating multiple people and the issues that come with it,” explains clinical psychologist Dr. Dana Season. “Casual dating can be extremely difficult because jealousy and rejection is inevitable.”
You don’t have to pretend to be the “cool girl” who’s down for open dating relationships if you’re not. If you don’t feel comfortable in a casual dating situation, communicate that to your guy. If he’s not okay with it, someone else will be. Be true to your feelings and you can’t go wrong.
Cool It on Social Media
When you see other ladies write on your guy’s wall, or like his photos, it can be hard to bite your tongue. But know that if he’s not reciprocating the behavior toward these ladies, you need to realize that he’s not seeking the attention.
If you’re in a committed relationship, speak up and tell your partner that it makes you feel uncomfortable, if you feel that something is happening that is crossing the line (be fair about what that means though).
If you’re just casually dating or talking to a guy, and you find yourself getting jealous over their social media communications, remove yourself from the situation. Don’t stalk their social media activity. Try to understand that if he’s pictured with another girl, it’s totally cool—you can do the same.
When you identify your jealousy triggers and remove yourself from them or rationalize them, it’s a lot more likely you’ll be able to deal with, and dare we say, even understand them.
Hold Off On Sex
If you are a jealous type, it might be best to save sex for when you’re in a committed relationship with your main squeeze. “Even though sex is great, it will be easier to see things more clearly if you save the sex for a boyfriend rather than a casual encounter, especially if you tend to get jealous,” explains Dr. Season.
Even if you think you have jealousy under control, don’t underestimate your body’s reaction to sex and how it can bring on unexpected bouts of jealousy. “Our bodies release a chemical called dopamine,” says Dr. Season. “Dopamine is released during all pleasure seeking activities including eating, sex, risk taking, achieving goals and more. You may mistakenly attribute that feeling to the person rather than the chemical release in your brain which will create a false sense of connection making jealous and hurt feelings much more likely!”
If you’re worried sex might fog the line between casually dating and monogamous dating, take a step back and remember there are lots of great ways to get to know and grow closer to someone outside of the bedroom. (Just check out these 20 Date Night Ideas.)
Learn to Trust
A lack of trust is often the root cause of jealousy in relationships. For something that can take a long time to build, trust sure is easy to break. “The truth is when you let go and trust, you risk some awful heartache,” explains licensed marriage and family therapist Rachel Thomasian. “We know this, yet people around the world do it again and again even after being hurt numerous times—why? Because in the chance the opposite happens: that you’re not hurt, but instead accepted, loved and validated—you’re able to have a really fulfilling relationship.”
To sidestep jealousy and reduce your chance of getting hurt in love, Thomasian recommends making sure the guy you’re with is worthy of your trust. Does he follow up on things when he says he will, or does he tend to disappoint you? Do you catch him lying to you, or is he honest?
From there, realize that trust builds gradually—think of it as a step-by-step process: when he proves that he is trustworthy with little things, you can gradually begin to let your guard down.
Finally, Thomasian recommends leaving the past behind you. Often the main reason we struggle with jealousy and trusting our partner is because of things that happened in our past. “Don’t assume your new guy is the same and give him his fair shot,” she explains. “If you find that you’re still carrying those wounds from your previous relationship, maybe it would be helpful to talk to a professional.”
Take a Step Back
If you find yourself in a perpetual cycle of jealousy, disappointment and possessiveness, take a step back and evaluate what YOU are doing—not what your partner is doing. Many times, jealousy is the symptom of a deeper, perhaps unconscious, self-esteem issue.
Certified life coach and hypnotist Michelle Brock says, “It is important to be brutally honest with yourself and examine what your fears are.”
Brock recommends asking yourself the following questions—try journaling your answers to hash out your feelings:
Do you feel insecure and undesirable and need a man to validate you as a woman? What does a man in your life represent? (Is it material security?, etc.)
From here, perhaps you need to take some time apart from your partner or the dating scene to get to know yourself and what you need and want in a relationship. “Step off the treadmill for a while, you can’t fix this pattern without doing some real inner work yourself,” says Brock.
“If you can renegotiate this contract with yourself that ‘men can’t be trusted,’ and replace it with one that says, ‘I am deserving of a trustworthy, honest, loyal man,’ then that is what you will attract,” Brock explains. For more positive affirmations you can repeat to yourself to help attract the relationships and happiness you seek, check this out: http://www.chickrx.com/articles/best-positive-affirmations-to-attract-what-you-want
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