No one wants to be “that girl…” the jealous, insecure psycho that gets upset if her boyfriend even glances at another woman. But coping with jealousy and insecurity in a romantic relationship–especially if he’s the love of your life, isn’t easy. In this week’s Love Essentially, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I give tips for coping with jealousy and insecurity.
Two Words That Will Surely Ruin Your Amazing Romantic Relationship by Jackie Pilossoph
It’s every girl’s definition of bliss. You meet a guy and within a couple weeks you find yourself in a new romantic relationship that makes you feel like you’re sitting on a beach with the sun in your face and not a care in the world. Everything with him is picture-perfect. You’ve been waiting for this man all your life.
However, bliss has a price. Because the relationship seems so perfect, and because they feel they have a lot to lose should things end, it’s natural for people to experience fear and vulnerability in serious relationships. While these emotions are understandable – even healthy, they can unleash two things that lurk at the edges of every relationship: jealousy and insecurity. If these two things come up excessively, it can cause big problems.
Several years ago, I was on a romantic Saturday night dinner date with a guy I’d been seeing for several months. We sat down at a table in the back of the restaurant and three minutes later, an extremely attractive single mom sat down next to us with her two young children. Why this woman chose this restaurant on this night at this late time is beyond comprehension, but I won’t judge. Still, it’s kind of like, would you take your toddlers to Morton’s on a Saturday night at 9 p.m.?
Anyhow, she kept staring at my date and smiling, and I found myself seething with jealousy. The ultimate move was when she bent down to pick up a napkin her child dropped on the floor, revealing her fire engine-red thong. That was it for me. I stormed out of the place like a psychopath.
What I remember so clearly was that I felt very insecure and I let myself believe that Ms. Cougar was prettier and skinnier than me. What I realize now is, so what if she was? I should have been more self-confident, more secure in the relationship, and had faith that my boyfriend was not interested.
Everyone has insecurities. We are our own worst critics when looking in the mirror. So, when people get into a blissful relationship that they cherish so dearly, insecurities and jealous tendencies can come raging out like a lion let out of a cage.
How do you cope with jealousy and insecurity? By realizing the things you do and don’t have control over. No one can predict the future or the person they are dating. But, what you do have complete control over is you.
Here are four things you can do to minimize jealousy and insecurity in your relationship:
1. Exercise regularly and eat healthy. Staying in shape is great for both physical and mental health. Countless benefits of hitting the gym and the juice bar include improved sleep, minimizing mood swings, weight loss, improved immune system, cardiovascular health and better self-confidence.
2. Dress well and keep yourself beautiful. Looking well groomed and put together not only makes it obvious that you care, but when you feel pretty, you give off a confident and self-assured attitude that doesn’t happen when you’re wearing yoga pants and your hair is in a ponytail.
3. Do things to facilitate self-love. Volunteer work, acts of kindness, showing love to your friends and family, and staying well read and educated are all ways to precipitate liking and loving yourself. And when you love who you are, others love you too. That includes your spouse.
4. Have faith. Believe in him or her and the strength of what the two of you have. Don’t doubt it and don’t play the “what if” game – What if he loses interest? What if he gets back together with his ex-girlfriend? Have the confidence and belief that things with the two of you will work out.
Remember, every man or woman, no matter how happy, content and committed he or she is in a relationship, will look at other people. Haven’t you ever seen a gorgeous man walking down the street and stopped to check him out? Does that make you a cheater? Nope. Looking is OK, in fact it’s healthy. Only acting on it is cheating.
Also, there is nothing sexier to both men and women than self-assurance, confidence, seeing that your spouse has faith in you and the relationship, and not wavering.
Dealing with jealousy and insecurity isn’t easy…Click here to read the rest of the column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press!
If you liked this article, you’ll love the blog, “9 Ways to Get Your Divorced Boyfriend to Fall In Love With You.”