The green eyed monster

Jealousy is a dangerous thing, yet I’ve heard some people call it a healthy thing in a relationship. I’m not too sure how I feel about that. I can and have seen jealousy as more of a detrimental quality than a healthy one in both relationships I’ve been in and relationships my friends have been in. But, I like to give everything the benefit of the doubt, so first let’s talk about the excuses OH…forgive me, I mean reasons why jealousy is a good thing in a relationship.

I’ve been told that “jealousy is a sign that the other person cares about you”. I’ve also heard that it’s healthy because it keeps your partner in check. I guess I can see how these things are true. If your partner is jealous when you decide to go out for a drink with friends of the opposite gender, I could see the jealousy being part of worrying about you, and usually when you worry, it’s because you care about someone. As for keeping your partner in check, I feel like that term of phrase is a little intense. If you’re going out for drinks with friends and your partner is jealous to the point where he/she tells you not to go, that’s a little more like controlling. And that, my friends, is a whole different story.

Honestly, I have never failed to see or be in a relationship where jealousy caused unnecessary arguments or even break-ups. To me, jealousy is a sign of insecurity. I have been on both sides of jealousy, being the jealous one and being the one dealing with a jealous boyfriend. I will admit, the times I have been jealous are times I have seen other girls approach a guy I was with. When I first start dating a guy, I know that it’s a new thing not only for us, but for people around us. The trust may not be entirely built, and the relationship obviously isn’t as strong as it becomes over time. In those early stages is when I have seen and felt the jealousy kick in.

Here’s a nifty little example of what I mean. In my last relationship (which was also long distance, previous post plug-ins for the win), my boyfriend would often become jealous when I went out with friends on the weekend. He would ask a dozen questions like, “Who are you with?”, “Where are you going?”, “How long will you be out for?”, and my personal favorite, “Will any guys be there?”. Not only would this piss me off more and more over time. it made me feel as if my boyfriend didn’t trust me and made me think, “Whoa, maybe I’m not a trustworthy person..”. Essentially, he was projecting his insecurities onto me and it was affecting the way I felt about myself and our relationship. As time went on and the trust was built and the relationship became stronger, the jealousy faded away and the questions became a thing of the past.

 
If you know you’re a jealous person, it’s okay. It’s normal and natural. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. However, when it starts to affect your relationship, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you make your partner feel, that is when you need to take a step back and bring yourself back down to earth. Remind yourself that your partner loves you and is with you for who you are, and that you’re with them for the same reason. Jealousy is natural, but an excess can be detrimental to yourself, your partner, and your relationship.

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There’s ‘space’, and then there’s ‘distance’

Here is an example of space:

“I think we need to spend a little bit apart from each other and just do our own thing, because frankly, you’re getting on my nerves.”

Here is an example of distance:

“I live in New York, and my boyfriend goes to school in Chicago.”

Sometimes, space is essential in a relationship. You can’t always be all up in your boyfriend/girlfriend’s business (unless you have the patience of a saint and are okay with it). From my experience, space can be a great thing. I was dating a guy who I went to high school with for a little over a year. In the beginning, we would spend every day at school together, then go home and hang out after school till dinner time, and then see each other first thing the next morning. Weekends were always spent together doing some sort of thing, and then the routine would start again on Monday when we went back to school. I was all about my boyfriend at the time, but I had to admit…he was getting annoying. We would fight over petty, stupid stuff and make up and do it all over again. After one ridiculous fight in particular (he was mad because I was late to school, I was mad because he didn’t call to say good morning. Sad, I know), we realized we were getting sick of each other and needed some time apart and to generally stop suffocating each other. In other words, the honeymoon phase was over. We eventually cut back on the weekend activities, the after school dates became more special, and we still walked hand in hand to every class, except this time we didn’t feel like ripping each other’s heads off. Space made our relationship more bearable and made our time together seem more special.

Anyways, we proceeded to break up after that because he cheated on me. Guess I gave him a little too much space.

Now there’s distance. Long distance relationships are hard. They require a lot of hard work, extra communication without feeling suffocated/suffocating, and patience. Honestly, patience is the key. Having been in two serious long distance relationships, I’ve come to realize a few things about them. I’ve grown to find them much more special in certain ways. Being apart from the person you love teaches you how to be a better communicator. It’s important to tell your significant other about your day, how you’re feeling, and most importantly, how you feel about them. ImageSince the physical contact isn’t there as often, the importance of emotional and mental attraction becomes greater. It’s not always about having sex at any given moment because you can. It’s more about letting the other person know that despite the distance, the love and attraction are always there. You don’t end up taking time you have together for granted; instead, you learn to cherish and make the most of it. Sex isn’t just a thing to do because you can, it’s something that becomes much more powerful and exciting and even more loving because you don’t get to have it all the time. You look forward to hearing their voice on the phone or seeing them on Skype or FaceTime when you can. I’ve given more of myself and put more of myself into long distance relationships because it’s not about the petty stuff when you only get to see the person you love for a couple days for weeks at a time. You grow as a person and as a couple in ways that are so much different than in a relationship where you’re together all the time. Don’t get me wrong, being together all the time is great and has its advantages and disadvantages as well. But personally, as trying and as difficult as distance can be, I’ve experienced that they create a bond so much more different and even so much more special than any other relationship I’ve been in before.