Dr. Hupka and many others believe that romantic jealousy is probably the most frequently experienced type of normal jealousy. In fact, according to PBS Nightly Business Reporter, the first fight romantic couples have usually involves jealousy, although couples usually move onto fighting about financial issues later on. Interestingly, a 2004 study published in Evolutionary Psychology found that, when asked about sexual versus emotional infidelity, respondents of both sexes reported more jealousy about their partner’s emotional infidelity.
As emotions go, jealousy is neither subtle nor kind. But it is definitely complex, encompassing feelings that range from fear of abandonment to rage to humiliation. Jealousy strikes both men and women when they perceive a third-party threat to a valued relationship, distinguishes it from envy, which involves a desire something someone else has. Conventional wisdom holds that jealousy is a necessary emotion because it preserves social bonds—but it more often destroys them, and can give rise to relationship violence.
Taken literally, jealousy refers to a strong desire for someone else’s stature or possessions. However, in a social setting, it causes someone to be doubtful of their partner and feel threatened by their interaction with certain people, the clothes they wear or the places they go.
But, like we mentioned before, there are varying degrees of jealousy.
Jealousy does not necessarily merit its negative connotation; after all, it’s normal for men to be suspicious of their women (and vice versa). Having reservations about her going to a strip bar with friends or not enjoying the sight of her drooling over some guy in a magazine are innocent examples of how some jealousy can be harmless, and a perfectly normal reaction.
Likewise, a man who voices his concern over having his girlfriend go out with a bunch of guys or seeing another man flirting with her is also part of a healthy relationship. Often, a man is just looking out for his girlfriend’s well-being and women usually respect that. They may even be insulted if you don’t say anything.
The problem arises when aggression and/or violence accompanies the jealousy. Once you’ve reached this stage, you obsessively begin questioning her loyalty to you, and that sends you into a rage, maybe even causing you to use physical force.
You inherit an extremely low tolerance level and, before long, she is unable to even look at another guy or leave your side when you’re both out. You demand to know where she is at all times and the mere mention of another guy’s name sends you off the deep end.
Jealousy causes you to react to a fantasy scenario that’s all in your mind. In reality, the bad things that you’re imagining may never happen at all. And if they do, you’re strong enough to get through them. You have other people that you can count on in your life, and you’ll move on to become a better person. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may call an ex to express condolences something awful happens, like the person’s mother dies. Don’t go crazy about it. First of all, the person that you love isn’t necessarily hung up on an ex. Second of all, your boyfriend or girlfriend is being nice and considerate, and that’s 1 of the reasons that you love him or her so much.
Your child may form nurturing relationships with other adults. You may think that your child loves someone more than you, but that suspicion is probably untrue. It takes a village to raise a child, and your child deserves love from as many good people as possible.