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How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship

A woman exhibiting behavior of jealousy in a relationship.
Secure your connection by knowing how to overcome feelings of jealousy in a relationship.

“You’re mine.”

Oftentimes, when you say this to your lover, it’s meant to relay your affection for them. And it’s sweet, really.

But when you are overcome with jealousy, this once sweet phrase can turn into something toxic in your relationship.

Instead of letting your partner be their own person and vice-versa, you start to claim ownership over them. Like your own pet, you make it so that they can’t live without you.

You think you have everything under control. But in reality, the more you tighten the grip around your partner’s neck, the more they’ll try to pull away and resist. In the end, you’ll be holding on to something that’s broken.

Learn to recognize jealousy in a relationship and how to overcome it. This way, you’ll be able to protect yourself and your partner from hurting one another.

Is Jealousy a Red Flag?

When someone threatens to take away your home, naturally, you would want to protect it by any means necessary.

Similarly, that’s what jealousy is like.

If you think that one person is coming between you and your partner, your initial response would be to try and save your relationship by trying to separate your partner from the “threat.”

For example, you and your partner are at a friend’s party. Some know that both of you are in a relationship, but those who are strangers to both of you don’t.

As you are enjoying the night, someone comes up to your partner and starts flirting with them. On the other hand, your partner is oblivious and is sending back the wrong signs.

It’s natural to feel jealous at this moment. It’s a natural response as well for you to pipe in the conversation and make it known that your partner is taken.

Based on this example, you can see that jealousy is innate in each person. So it isn’t necessarily a red flag, especially if you have reasonable grounds for your feelings.

It’s what you would call rational jealousy. This is what pushes you to openly communicate to your partner about your boundaries, desires, or expectations.

However, jealousy turns into a red flag when it becomes excessive. And if left unchecked, it will ruin your relationship.

A woman sees her partner’s messages and is overcome by rational jealousy.
Rational jealousy is normal, but keep it in check before it turns into possessiveness.

Possessiveness vs Jealousy

As mentioned, jealousy in a relationship is fine if it’s moderate and reasonable. It can even be considered “healthy,” as it allows you and your partner to grow and be more aware of each other’s boundaries.

However, intense jealousy or possessiveness is what poisons your relationship.

Recall that time as a kid wherein you hid your most prized possession so your siblings wouldn’t find it.

That’s what possessiveness looks like in a relationship. You try to hide your partner and keep them in check the whole time by constantly asking about their interactions, looking through their phone, and questioning the time they spend with their friends.

Doing these things can be suffocating for your partner and your relationship. Moreover, your possessiveness doesn’t give them room to grow, as your tight grip isolates your partner from making valuable connections.

The same thing happens when you’re on the receiving end.

That’s why it’s important to identify possessiveness vs jealousy in the early stages of your relationship. This way, you can take the appropriate measures.

A woman holding on to a man.
There’s not much difference between possessiveness vs jealousy, except that the first is dangerous and the latter is normal as long as it’s in moderation.

Signs of Jealousy in a Relationship

A little jealousy is fine.

But it’s important not to overlook it and delude yourself into thinking that when continuously done, little moments of jealousy won’t turn into a bigger problem.

Learn about the following signs of jealousy in a relationship so you can openly address them with your partner, as well as keep yourself in check.

1. Tracking their whereabouts and activities.

“Where are you?”

“What are you doing?”

“Who are you with?”

Usually, it feels nice to receive these kinds of messages from your partner. It communicates that they’re concerned about your well-being and just want to know that you’re safe.

However, if you’re continuously receiving these messages or the one sending them every minute of every day, then it’s a sign of unhealthy jealousy.

It’s worse if you or your partner freaks out whenever the replies are late. Or if either of you only shows “worry” whenever you’re not in each other’s presence.

2. Can’t bear the separation.

It’s good for you and your partner to spend quality time. You might even miss each other when you part ways after a date.

However, wanting to spend time with them and taking their time away from them are two different things.

It’s a sign of jealousy if either of you can’t bear to have time apart or see the other enjoying other people’s company or doing their hobbies. As a result, you or your partner will stick to the other like glue and eventually create an issue out of them wanting to do their own thing.

3. Baseless assumptions.

As mentioned, rational jealousy is when you feel that someone is threatening to come between you and your partner. When this happens, it’s best that you openly discuss the issue with them.

However, the worst kind of jealousy stems from baseless assumptions.

For example, you post a photo with your friend on social media. In the photo, your friend has your arm around your shoulders, expressing your closeness.

However, you and your partner know that this friend is someone you grew up with. You’ve also expressed many times that they’re basically family to you.

Yet, a jealous girlfriend or boyfriend will suspect you of cheating on them with your friend.

They will start asking questions. And instead of showing genuine interest, their questions feel accusing.

If you’re the one making baseless assumptions, take it as a sign of your unhealthy jealousy.

4. Making selfish demands.

It’s normal to set boundaries and expectations in a relationship.

But it turns into a sign of jealousy when either you or your partner try to make selfish behavioral demands. This means expecting your partner to put your needs and wants first over their own.

For example, it’s been three months since your partner has been planning on going on a weekend trip with their friends. But you feel jealous that they’re pursuing something without you.

So, you make a selfish demand that they cancel their plans and instead go out with you to the movies. If your partner refuses, you will then resort to guilt-tripping so you can get your way.

If this is the case, your unhealthy jealousy is putting a strain on your relationship.

A jealous girlfriend arguing with her partner who’s using his phone.
Third-party affairs ruin a relationship. But so does a jealous girlfriend or boyfriend who expects the worst of their partner even when they’ve done nothing wrong.

Dealing with Jealousy

“Don’t be jealous.”

You tell yourself or your partner that and it seems easy. However, the truth is that those words are difficult to act on.

But now that you know the face of jealousy in a relationship, it’s time to know how to deal with it before it becomes too much to handle.

1. Address the question: Why do we feel jealous?

Dealing with jealousy requires you to look at its root cause. This means that you need to sit down and have an honest conversation with your partner.

Tell them how their actions made you feel. If they confront you about your behaviors, don’t be defensive. Acknowledge what you’ve done wrong wherein you were prompted to act on your jealousy. Then work with them to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, if they’re the one showing signs of jealousy, make sure to listen to their reasons.

You might find some of them unreasonable. But don’t try to belittle their fears or threaten them by saying that you’ll leave them the next time they show any signs of jealousy.

2. Try to move past it and strive to be better.

Once you’ve discussed your jealous feelings and made up with your partner, try to move past your negative emotions.

Try not to bring up the issue every time you and your partner get into an argument.

Moreover, because you’re aware of the harm jealousy can bring, try to be better and avoid acting on your feelings. Give yourself time and space to think about the situation, then gauge the consequences of your actions.

In addition, try to develop healthy coping skills. Practice self-care or seek support from other people to regulate your emotions.

3. Don’t be afraid to revisit the issues.

Although you should try not to keep bringing the issue up again and again, don’t be afraid to revisit it when the need arises.

Acknowledge that it won’t be fixed overnight and that the jealous feelings won’t go away with just one conversation.

In this case, ask your partner to be patient with you and to help reassure you. Meanwhile, if they’re also trying to overcome their feelings of jealousy, give them support as well.

Continue working things out together.

A boyfriend giving his girlfriend a kiss on the forehead.
Don’t let poison flow freely in your relationship. Figure out the steps to dealing with jealousy.

Real Love Is about Mutual Admiration and Respect

Jealousy is an innate feeling that can be healthy when approached correctly.

However, jealousy in a relationship can easily turn into possessiveness towards your partner.

Understandably, it’s not easy to deal with such a negative feeling regardless of whether you’re the one experiencing it or on the receiving end.

But once you see the signs of it manifesting in your relationship, don’t hesitate and address it as soon as possible.

This lowers the chances of jealousy turning into a bigger problem. In turn, it will help you and your partner grow stronger as you try to overcome it.

Remember, real love is based on your mutual admiration and respect, not control over the other person.

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