Jealousy is the most poisonous thing that could happen to any relationship, but the most complicated thing is when it happens in the very beginning.
Jealousy is an emotion that everyone feels from time to time. Once you recognize the signs and admit to the uncomfortable feelings that accompany this useless emotion, you will be much better at confronting the problems that come with it.
Coping with jealousy in a new relationship can be trying if you want the relationship to be a lasting one.
With numerous sandy beaches and sunsets from heaven, living on a tropical island was like a dream come true, a perfect setting for a love story.
My new romance had just begun and more than anything, I wanted this excitement to last, I was finally ready for a stable long term relationship.
As you would expect in such idyllic settings, the social life was great with lots of parties and group gatherings.
That’s fine if you like dancing but what happens if you cannot dance and you find yourself with a partner who just loves to dance.
This was my dilemma: my partner was a talented dancer with great dance moves while I was the unhappy wallflower wallowing in self- pity.
He was such a skilled dancer that as soon as he arrived at a party, he would be escorted onto the dance floor.
He didn’t have to ask the girls to dance; they were there queuing up, waiting their turn.
I found myself sitting out, trying to smile when all I wanted to do was stamp my feet in anger, and yes, I was jealous of everyone having a good time.
I tried as best as I could to hide my feelings, but deep inside I was making myself sick. I had to admit that I was not coping with jealousy in the new relationship, it was a real problem.
Finding excuses not to go to these parties worked for awhile, but my boyfriend started getting suspicious.
I realized that the only way out was to come clean, to explain how insecure I felt, to own up to my insane jealousy as I watch him have fun with other girls, and how afraid I was that I might lose him.
That honest, open discussion made a dramatic change to our relationship as thankfully he was prepared to listen and try to understand.
My boyfriend patiently explained that attracting other girls was the last thing on his mind; dancing was a natural form of expression, one that he was good at and loved.
My dancing star then suggested that we started dancing together at home; he wanted me to get over this hurdle our relationship was facing and was prepared to teach me what he could. I was ecstatic.
Admittedly it was hard work in the beginning but my sense of rhythm improved; I became motivated, keen to learn and made considerable progress.
The relationship could have ended in disaster, but thankfully I learned a valuable lesson – coping with jealousy in a new relationship starts with communication, to openly admit and express your fears.
I was lucky; my partner was willing to change the situation and to support me.
When you fall in love you want to please, it becomes stressful because you are in constant dialogue with your critical inner voices asking questions — does he like me?
Is this love affair going to work? What about the girls he meets in the office?
He only has to disappear for a few minutes for feelings of fear to appear – Who is he texting now? You ask yourself.
This anxiety is even stronger when you’ve been hurt in the past by an ex- partner. If you’re not careful, this relationship stress that you feel can bring on suspicion which results in jealousy.
It doesn’t just go away; it can get worse with time if you don’t face up to your jealous nature.
There’s no point blaming your present partner for what happened in the past.
This kind of jealousy usually comes at the beginning of the relationship: the best thing is to understand your inner feelings, ask yourself why you are feeling insecure and shift your anxiety to this new journey of love.
Coping with jealousy in a new relationship means giving each other space.
Starting off a new relationship can be intoxicating, but do you find that the more time you spend together the more you want to possess your new lover?
Although this is normal in the honeymoon stage of the relationship, you need to be careful that you don’t forget the real world.
If you find that you are becoming jealous of the time he spends with his friends, his new car or his hobbies, it’s time to step back. You need to give him space and stop being selfish.
If you want to develop this new relationship you should encourage and support each other.
You should also make sure you aren’t abandoning your girlfriends and family because of this new man.
You never know, you might need them later on if the relationship doesn’t work. On a more positive note, it’s important to find what works for you and that means finding the right balance when it comes to giving space.
No one needs to be constantly questioned; these can be wearing on any relationship old and new: an exciting trusting love affair needs emotional and physical space to survive.
Much as you’d like him to be, your prince charming is not perfect; he may be envious of you.
This could be because you earn more than him or have a huge network of friends; you are in his eyes a successful, happy, attractive lady which is why he was drawn to you in the first place.
Have you thought, though, that he might be a little jealous of your success at work and your popularity? If this is the case, coping with jealousy in this new relationship will involve a lot of comprehension on your part, it means involving him as much as possible into your world, reassuring him at social occasions that you are not out to flirt with the men who openly admire you.
If the problem gets out of hand and he gets angry with you for something as trivial as innocent flirting when dancing or dining out, then that is another matter. Displaying jealousy and anger show a lack of control which might mean that your partner is deeply insecure.
Insecurity comes from within; he lacks confidence in himself, a weakness that has nothing to do with you or anybody else. It concerns his inability to deal with his inner fears which are the real demons.
Your insecure partner feels threatened, fearing that another man might steal you away from him.
Coping with this kind of jealousy in a new relationship is not easy because it requires hard work; you need a lot of patience, understanding, and more caution.
Remember too that in general men are not as communicative as women so he’s not going to open up and express his feelings easily.
While a twinge of jealousy is healthy, too much of it can severely damage a relationship that is still in the blossoming stage.
You are not coping with jealousy in this new relationship if:
1. Your partner tells you he will be out for the evening with a friend and you feel you must speak to him at least three times – just to be sure he is telling the truth. Even then, your imagination still runs wild, and you see him in the company of a beautiful woman. Your behavior shows distrust, something your partner will not like.
2. You are not seeing your friends as often as you did before. If your partner has asked you not to see your friends, this is not good. He is making demands at the beginning of the relationship and will continue to do so.
3. You are always comparing yourself to others, wondering what he sees in you. This kind of behavior shows that you are afraid he might run away with someone else. Your fear of rejection stems from jealous traits.
4. Your health is suffering. Is jealousy causing you to lose sleep? Do you feel more tension than usual, and not good about yourself? These can lead to depression and eventually your physical health will also suffer causing you to take time off work.
Once you accept that jealousy is an emotion, you can recognize and deal with it as soon as it rears its ugly head.
One thing is sure, anxiety and anger can lead to serious problems in jealousy and if the two of you don’t work at getting rid of them, then eventually your love will be pushed out.
Coping with jealousy in a new relationship needs a strong dose of courage and only with a lot of communication can love survive.
Maya Angelou, the American poet expresses it wisely:
“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.”
Alice Alech is a writer and author based in France. She is keen to promote good healthy living and writes on nutrition, wine, food, and lifestyle. She is a coauthor of the book 7 Wonders of Olive Oil.
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