Jealousy In Your Long Distance Relationship And How To Stop It
Ah, jealousy... No matter how strong you think your long distance relationship may be, at some point or another, jealousy WILL rear its ugly head. And while a certain amount of it may actually benefit your relationship, too much will eventually spell disaster. Read on to discover what causes jealousy and what you can do about it.
What causes jealousy in long distance relationships?
If you're in a long distance relationships, you suffer the huge disadvantage of not being able to spend a lot of time with your partner. Depending on the situation, you may see each other every weekend if you're lucky... or maybe only a few times a year or less if you're not. During the long spans of time when you don't see one another, an extraordinary amount of trust is required that your partner is staying faithful, committed and even still interested in the relationship. Jealousy begins to occur when trust levels start to go down.
Jealousy also starts happening at the time your relationship is becoming more serious, at the point when you realize just how much he or she means to you and that you'd be devastated if the relationship ended. You fear that your partner may find someone closer to him or her to replace you. Jealousy is your way of trying to control what your partner does socially to prevent this from happening.
What does jealousy look like?
You know you're being jealous if your long distance boyfriend tells you he's going out with co-workers to celebrate someone's birthday and you ask if there will be women there. Well, unless he works in an all male field, of course there's going to be women there! So when he tells you that yes, indeed a few women will be there, you get all puffy and pouty, your throat starts to tighten and you can't help it but... you're JEALOUS! What if one of them flirts with him? What if he flirts back? What if he dances with her and even worse, takes her home!
Hold it! Your imagination is probably running away with you here but this is exactly how jealousy happens in a long distance relationship. Because you're not physically together, both of you have to use your imagination a lot more than you'd have to if you were together in order to form an image of how your partner is living his/her life. And as I said, when trust levels begin to go down for one reason or another, jealousy pokes through.
Why does jealousy in a long distance relationship hurt?
In the long distance relationship I'm in, my boyfriend and I both go through bouts of jealousy. I hate, hate, hate it when he starts over questioning me on where I'm going, who's going to be there, do I really have to go, etc. He'll ask me if there's anyone else I like, if I'm sure I only love him, if I've ever cheated on him, etc. It makes me feel sad, mad and frustrated during these times because it feels like he doesn't trust me and doesn't trust my love for him.
This is a terrible feeling and really brings me down! How can he be so unsure of me and my love for him when I feel it so clearly and strongly? It makes me feel like whatever I'm doing is not good enough, that my love is not good enough or strong enough for him to feel it. It makes me feel hopeless, defeated, frustrated that I can't get him to understand me. It's easy to see how this is draining on our relationship, or yours, too, if you're experiences are similar!
The benefits of long distance relationship jealous
In very small doses, a little bit of jealousy can be a good thing. It lets you know that your partner is not willing to share you and doesn't want to lose you. In very small doses, it can be sexy. There is a very fine line though and it's easy to cross. Most of the time, jealousy goes way too far.
What's the best way to stop long distance relationship jealousy?
It may not be possible to get rid of jealousy completely (and perhaps you shouldn't anyway, as it does have its benefits, see right) but you certainly don't want it to get out of hand.
There are no real genuine long distance relationship statistics available that I'm aware of but my feeling is that jealousy is one of the top reasons why distance relationships do not work out - it's probably in the top three. So how can you at least greatly diminish the jealousy in your relationship then?
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- If you're feeling that your partner is way too jealous to the point
that it is affecting your relationship, you need to have an immediate
talk with him or her. It may be best to not approach it in a
confrontational way at first like "why are you so jealous and
controlling of me? I can't stand it, you are driving me crazy!" You will
be better off starting out with telling your partner how much he or she
means to you, how much you love him/her, how you can't see yourself
being with anyone else. THIS starts your approach off on a positive note
and diffuses the situation from the beginning. THEN gently tell your
partner that because you love her and don't want anyone else, that you
would NEVER do anything to jeopardize your relationship and that she
needs to TRUST you on this because it is ruining your relationship. If
she is reasonable, she will hopefully see your side.
- On the other hand, if you know that you're the one who's being overly jealous, still discuss it with your partner because it is causing both of you too much stress. If you can still start out by establishing that both of you love each other to pieces and don't want anyone else, then perhaps you can lay your fears to rest once and for all. Tell your partner that you know you've been jealous lately and you know it's hurting your relationship. Tell him sincerely that you don't want to lose him and are just scared that he'll find someone else or at least do some unnecessary flirting in the meantime. Again, if he's reasonable, if he really loves you, he should help you put your fears to rest. The key here is to believe him if he tells you he loves you and only you and wants you and only you (no, don't be totally naïve, but if you feel he's telling you the truth, then believe him). Then let it go and don't keep bringing it up! It's hard but you can do it and trust me, you'll notice the difference and you'll both feel better and your relationship will be the better and stronger for it.
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