envious eyes

Jealousy Does Not Become You

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“Love shouldn’t be about jealousy or anything like that. It should be about commitment and being able to trust that person. If you can’t have that from the get-go, there’s a problem. ” ~ Aaron Carter, showing an unexpected level of wisdom for a Backstreet Boy…*

I’ve spent a good part of this evening talking about the fact some of my long-standing male friends have recently gotten into relationships and how some of their girlfriends have felt moved to voice concerns about those guy’s friendships with me. They apparently perceive me to be some kind of a threat.

Needless to say these women have no reason to be at all suspicious of me. Their boyfriends are in relationships with them and not me because there’s nothing going on between the boyfriends and me. It just so happens that they’re the kinds of women who are inclined to see any other woman who isn’t a part of their particular clique as a potential foe.

Now, personally, I find it impossible to relate to this world view.  Treating the simple business of being female as though it were a competitive sport strikes me as being completely exhausting, not to mention unnecessary. However, it’s something I had to get used to when I was younger and at least eighty percent of my friends were male.

Back then I used to take all of my friend’s new flames out for coffee, and to say, ‘Hey, why don’t you and I bond so you can stop giving Bob a hard time about me, and I can avoid ending up a bitter loner.’

But I never dreamed when I instigated the arrangement that I could be pushing thirty and there’d still be girls who felt they had the right to expect the same deal.

An altogether separate male friend has suggested that he doesn’t think it’s unreasonable for people of any age to feel insecure about the thought of losing their relationships, and that I should just carry on trying to make these grown women feel better. But I disagree.

When you’re young you’re entitled to be insecure, and to do stupid things because of being insecure. It’s a part and parcel of your youth.

But once over the age of twenty-five I don’t believe that it should be acceptable for anyone to go around acting the Othello, and treating people who’ve never shown the slightest inclination to hurt them as potential rivals.

No-one has to justify themselves to you if they aren’t doing anything wrong.

Most people are not Machiavelli.

If you think that your partner is likely to leave you for someone else then, granted, you do have issues.

However, none of those issues have anything to do with anyone who isn’t a part of your relationship. And you have no business taking your insecurities out on an unrelated third-party just because they happen to be going about the normal course of their own social life. A social life in which they probably had no say about your becoming involved.

You should instead be discussing your fears with your significant other and looking to them for reassurance.

If they’re unable to offer this then your time would really be better spent questioning your own choice of paramour than their choice of friends.

If they do, and you can’t seem to accept it, then you should be considering how long you can reasonably expect anyone to want to stick around to play the Desdemona in your relationship. And then dial it back a bit.

In neither scenario is anyone else in any way to blame.

For as long as you plan to treat someone outside of your relationship as the enemy instead of a potential friend they owe you nothing. Which is something else you might want to consider while you’re rethinking your relationship strategy.

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*Correction: With thanks to Alex for pointing out that Aaron Carter wasn’t actually in the Backstreet Boys, but is in fact the younger brother of Nick Carter, who was.

 

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29 Comments on “Jealousy Does Not Become You”

  1. Joe Owens February 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM #

    Really, this is so true. There has to be a point of responsibility to the nature of your relationship. Ask why you feel threatened and work on it. Unless you see a real threat you are not going to last

    Like

  2. alexxrae February 10, 2013 at 12:31 AM #

    Absolutely couldn’t agree more.
    Except that Aaron Carter wasn’t a backstreet boy. But who’s counting.

    Haha!

    Great post – thank you!
    keep fighting the good fight. Xoxo

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine February 11, 2013 at 3:33 AM #

      Oops, so he wasn’t. In my defence, I haven’t heard mention of either him or his brother in about fifteen years. And I haven’t spent the best part of the last hour reacquainting myself with all of their greatest hits after getting side tracked from checking who was in the Backstreet Boys. Oh no. Not at all. :)

      And I’m glad you liked the post :D

      Xx

      Like

  3. dilipnaidu November 17, 2012 at 4:46 PM #

    Certain amount of Jealousy may be natural. But if it affects our heart and mind then we need to ‘let-go’ as it can erode our health.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine November 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM #

      You’re welcome, glad you liked it.

      I agree that some degree of jealousy is normal, but when you start trying to make that anyone else’s problem but your own then that’s just not okay.

      Like

  4. cheap north face November 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM #

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  5. eemusings November 7, 2012 at 10:06 PM #

    Also, most of my best friends are guys, but few are in serious relationships yet, so I haven’t yet had to navigate this too much. The one that is I probably won’t ask to be in my bridal party, because of that.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine November 7, 2012 at 10:26 PM #

      After all I’ve said in the post, I have a friend who’s getting married soon. And she has her two previous boyfriends, who both have new girlfriends, as ‘bridesmaids’. They’ll be wearing kilts. I find that level of security, from all parties, a little hard to relate to also.

      Like

  6. eemusings November 7, 2012 at 10:00 PM #

    I actually think I’m pretty chillaxed on the jealousy issue, though if women are going blatantly hit on my fiance, then that’s not cool. Before this (my one prior serious relationship) I had A LOT of self esteem and jealousy niggles, which was not fun.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine November 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

      I think it’s natural to be insecure in relationships when you’re new to the serious relationship thing, then most people tend to become more confident over time. But some of these women are nearing their mid-thirties.

      Like

  7. Kristin November 6, 2012 at 2:00 AM #

    “No-one has to justify themselves to you if they aren’t doing anything wrong.” Best line ever.

    And that is why I’ve nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. Check it out http://bishopandrook.blogspot.com/2012/11/cheers-to-liebster-award.html
    xo
    Kristin

    Like

  8. wittycassiehere October 25, 2012 at 1:54 AM #

    Very well-written. I can imagine how frustrating that must be, although I’ve never experienced that personally. (Not too many guy friends.) I do understand jealousy, and I do know that it can be involuntary. But you also have to have some self-insight whenever you’re experiencing it. You need to figure out the source and then decide, “Is this reasonable? Or am I just imagining all the worst possible scenarios and then assuming it’s a feasible possibility?” Usually, it’s the latter. Unfortunately, most jealous types are going to go out and make someone else unhappy instead.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine October 26, 2012 at 6:27 PM #

      Thank you. I do hope that one day these people look back at this period in their lives and cringe about how neurotic they were but it’s looking unlikely.
      Also, I just went to check out your blog and the next thing I knew forty minutes had passed. I love it :)

      Like

  9. nikkiana October 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM #

    I’ve been there. A lot actually. I finally got to the point where I started being really direct and honest with my long-standing male friends about how insecure *I* felt over the possibility that I could get dumped as a friend as their relationships with a girlfriend progressed. We talked about it. I found out how my male friends felt about insecure girlfriends who wanted to domineer their relationships with other people and whether that was okay with them or not, and how they’d handle it if they ended up in a situation where a girlfriend is trying to drive a wedge between him and his friends. We talked at great lengths about how communication and trust is essential for a healthy relationship to thrive….

    By having these sorts of conversations with my male friends, I got a lot of reassurance that our friendship would continue to be valued and important to them after they got a girlfriend AND it got them thinking about issues like communication, trust, boundaries, how new relationships affect the dynamic with other friends, etc.

    Ever since I started standing up for what I need from my friends, I haven’t lost nearly as many friends to insecure girlfriends.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine October 25, 2012 at 12:45 AM #

      I’ve been reluctant to do this because in the past it’s gone one of two ways.

      Either the friends think that it’s normal for partners to behave this way and that part of getting older is drifting away from your friends for this reason. Or they’ve assured me that our friendship is important to them and they don’t intend things to change, and then disappeared all the same.

      Maybe talking about it with them might be more fruitful now we’re all older.

      Like

  10. notokinthehead October 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM #

    Well said! Jealousy is a disease and it consumes people.

    Like

  11. The Reclining Gentleman October 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM #

    I have more female than male friends, and those friendships are closer. There may be a bit of attraction either way, but none of these friendships will ever be anything more.
    If i meet a potential significant other, she will have to deal with it. If she can’t then she isn’t someone i would want to be with anyway. Likewise i wouldn’t dictate who her friends can be.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine October 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM #

      I think that’s the healthy way to do things, unfortunately it seems to be rarer than I would have expected.

      Like

  12. Emily October 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM #

    Good point, well made! Personally I feel that a little bit of jealousy is probably normal and healthy, but if you fail to address those feelings and act badly towards others because of them, that’s a bad thing.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine October 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM #

      Thanks. I think there’s ‘good’ jealousy, which I suppose keeps you from taking your relationship too much for granted, and is rarely seen by anyone but your partner. And then irrational, Othello type jealousy, which is the one that leads to treating others badly.

      Like

  13. Kez October 24, 2012 at 7:36 AM #

    As always, you’ve expressed yourself really well :) I think you’re right. I have faded away from so many friendships with men because as soon as they got significant others in their lives, they stopped speaking to me. Then they become single again and wonder why I’ve moved on from the friendship! It’s not just the insecure women who give them a hard time, it’s the guys self imposing a rule on themselves that they can’t possibly speak to a woman who isn’t in their relationship JUST IN CASE their partners get jealous!
    Like you, I am a morally alright person! I don’t believe in being a threat to others. I don’t flirt or cause trouble (or even want to put myself in trouble). I’m married and I believe in fidelity. I am friends with all kinds of people and I know what is appropriate “friendship” behaviour and what is not!
    I don’t know why people behave that way, but my awesome male friends that I once shared punk rock tunes and stupid stories with are gone. I now only know men that my girlfriends are married to. That’s OK. Their loss. I’m too grown up to play those games or fight for friendships that aren’t worth it.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine October 24, 2012 at 7:43 AM #

      Thank you :)
      I know exactly what you mean, I have a friend whose new boyfriend keeps expecting her to get jealous in certain situations and when she isn’t he’s upset about it. This idea that some people have that it’s normal to have that level of insecurity in a relationship just seems so unhealthy.
      And you’re right it’s just not worth the effort to try to keep these people in my life any more.

      Like

  14. Humans Are Weird October 24, 2012 at 6:43 AM #

    I agree with you on this. Except for the age thing. Do you really think that you can equate age to maturity? I know that 25 is just a random number you picked out of the unsuspecting ether, but I’m not sure that these little bundles of neuroses really leave people unless they willing attempt to change. But generally, if you’re that jealous/possessive over your partner, probably a good time to look in the mirror and sort some shit out.

    Like

    • makeupandmirtazapine October 24, 2012 at 7:38 AM #

      I have a general expectation that most people will gain more knowledge, understanding, experience, or whatever as they get older, yes. I knew some people would still be immature and neurotic but not this many of them, and not to this extent.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 5 Reasons Why She Broke Up With You and What They Really Mean | A Dating Dogs Blog - November 8, 2012

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  2. After the party’s Over, Part Two | My Everyday Psychology - November 3, 2012

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