Close relationships are of paramount importance in our lives. Any healthy person needs a feeling of connection with others. This connection can occur in different contexts and can be based on various emotions, but it is necessary for our optimal functioning. Whether we like it or not, we need other people and often, getting close to someone, we also become more vulnerable. In any significant relationship, we sometimes experience fears, which are often associated with their end or a possible change.

And when the fear arises, we can start showing signs of unhealthy jealousy or notice them in our beloved ones. Such relationships can quickly become toxic and mentally degrade people. To help you avoid the worst scenario, today we will talk about, “Is jealousy a sign of love?” and provide you with ways to deal with this destructive feeling.

signs of jealousy

Why Healthy Jealousy Is Natural for Relationships

One of the most fundamental human needs is the “need to belong” (to be part of something). We are strongly motivated to form and maintain close relationships with other people. To satisfy this need, we need constant, positive contact with others. We seek ladies online, make new friends, communicate in bars, at work, in the university, and via the Internet.

Moreover, this kind of relationship should be relatively stable and include mutual interest in each other's well-being. Situations that raise doubts in us about belonging to a certain group and, subsequently, a feeling of jealousy, pose a threat to this very need. The feeling that we are accepted, loved and are part of a relationship causes us many positive feelings.

Is jealousy healthy in a relationship? It is a natural response to the perceived threat to relationships. Most studies confirm that the feeling of jealousy is universal: it is common to all people and, sooner or later, each person experiences it. In some cultures, the exchange of sexual and romantic partners is considered the norm and different nationalities differ in how they express their jealousy, but a sense of sexual jealousy is common to people all over the world, regardless of existing traditions and ideas about relations in this country.

But when the man starts suspecting his beloved in everything, although she doesn’t give any signs she is cheating, or when the woman takes on the role of the mother and wants to obtain total control over her partner - this is unhealthy. Let’s proceed to more toxic signs of jealousy in a relationship.

Signs of Unhealthy Jealousy From Your Partner

Living in the illusion that “he is so jealous because he loves so madly and cannot live without me” is stupid and unsafe for your face, teeth, and bones, and over time, as a rule, a woman can suffer from the fists of a pathologically jealous person. Everything that you say in your defense will be turned against you, this is how the mechanism of obsessive jealousy works. For someone who has been living with a pathologically jealous partner for a long time, one can easily detect the symptoms of the victim’s behavior. So, as you can see, this situation should not be tolerated. Here are the red flags that mean you are being controlled.

Constant manipulations

A person with an "Othello" syndrome (a pathological jealous) can turn into:
a) a detective looking for evidence of infidelity;
b) an aggressor trying to gain recognition;
c) a manipulator skillfully playing on the feeling of pity for their partner. A pathological jealous person may become a source of not only trouble but also a danger, both for their partner and those around them (including children). Not least, jealous people become dangerous for themselves ─ guilt and remorse for unjustified aggression can lead to thoughts of suicide.

Jealousy is associated with addiction

Jealous one does not feel safe at a deep level. What is jealousy in a relationship? This is about constant tension, distrusting everything, seeing potential threats everywhere, and when a person tries to react to them in advance. A man does not give himself time to verify the validity of his fears, he immediately begins to experience pain and suffering associated with the fear of being cheated on or losing a significant other. He is experiencing right now, at this very moment, with his whole being all-consuming anxiety. The jealous are in constant suffering and do not want to let another into this inner “blackness.”

They take no apologies

The object of affection of the pathological jealous may try to convince them, to prove their love, but the person is focused on the idea they have invented in their head. It is impossible to convince a jealous man since his anxiety does not allow him to objectively analyze the situation, changes his perception and his ability to analyze. And in this case, the victim of jealousy is completely helpless. Society condemns the jealous. However, this leads to the fact that pathological jealous people deny that they have this problem and, accordingly, deprive themselves of the opportunity to deal with it. One of the unhealthy signs of jealousy is when a person accuses their partner of provoking it. And the endless spiral of hell continues to spin further and further, harming relationships, drifting them away from reality.

Emotional dependence

Thoughts about the betrayal of a partner do not just torment an “Othello,” they literally devour him, not allowing to switch to something else. Obsessive ideas arise involuntarily and cannot be eliminated by volitional effort. Often they are depressing and can lead to self-harm or suicide. And although sometimes a person is quite critical of obsessive thoughts, over time, fixed ideas start to interfere with critical thinking. This is all for the reason that this person cannot imagine their life without a partner, and losing them is considered the end of the world.

Overvalues

According to the theory of the German psychiatrist Karl Wernicke, overvalued ideas are experienced as something deeply personal, and at the same time, a person can completely explain the idea to others. Pathological jealous people often behave aggressively when trying to explain why they act in the way they do. In their head the situation is clear, they think soberly and consider it normal to control the movement of their partner, surf through their web history, require a report about where they were and in whose company. At some point, an overvalued idea begins to influence actions and even lifestyle since most of the actions are somehow related to this obsessive idea that another person is fully their property. This, of crouse, isn’t healthy jealousy.

what is jealousy a sign of

Coming up with more restrictions

Usually, claims of the jealous are unfounded and illogical. There are no worthy arguments, and at certain moments an “Othello” understands this very well. Nevertheless, with enviable persistence and quite deliberately, the jealous seek “evidence” in social networks, in the partner’s smartphone, in the slip of the tongue and excuses. The slightest changes in the appearance and image of the second half become an occasion for accusations ("I know you have changed your lipstick because you want to impress another man!") Is jealousy healthy in a relationship in this case? It is obvious that not.

Signs You Are the Source of Unhealthy Jealousy

We have discussed that in some cases, jealousy can be healthy, and it even keeps the relationships in order. But toxic behavior, manipulations, constant suspecting and control will not end up well. You may feel safe telling that you do not experience them with your partner. But think twice, maybe you are the root of all evil in your relationships?

Jealousy without a reason

What is jealousy a sign of in such a situation? This is a sign of some inner insecurities and psychological problems. If you know that you have self-esteem, most probably you can notice signs of jealousy in your behavior. Maybe you have created earlier or felt an urge to cheat, and for this reason, project your thoughts onto the partner accusing them first. Or maybe you constantly compare yourself with others, and this ends up upsetting you because you always put yourself lower than others. One thing common for all this is that the reason is in you, not in the person you date. Your jealousy has no practical ground and starts with yourself. So, if you feel spontaneous aggression towards your partner and realize that they did not do anything wrong, you have faced the unhealthy jealousy.

Jealousy is an emotional reaction and jealousy as a feeling

To answer yourself, “Is jealousy healthy in my case?” you should understand a specific reason for it. For example, a man was hurt when his wife, as it seemed to him, was flirting too obtrusively with their mutual friend.

Is jealousy normal is this case? The reason is somewhat overrated, but it is real. But jealousy as a feeling can arise absolutely from scratch when a person begins to invent, fantasize, suspect, track down, interpret completely neutral things as dangerous for the stability of the relationships. This is painful both for the jealous one and for the one who falls under their accusations: it poisons life for everyone and often leads to sad consequences.

Thinking that the partner may leave any moment

It is difficult for you to accept the idea, to admit that you can be loved just for who you are, without any reason, with all our shortcomings and imperfections. That is, you begin to project your inferiority complexes onto the beloved person, "I don’t love myself, which means you don’t love me either." And of course, you are afraid that at some point the person will get fed up with these constant suspicions. You choose the position of real aggression and grow the fear inside the person near you so that they do not even dare to violate your commands.

Lack of understanding of true love

As a rule, jealous people have distorted ideas about love. Because everything related to comparisons, evaluation, setting conditions or “possessiveness” is not love, no matter what jealous relationship quotes tell. After all, if we love each other, if we choose each other, then where does the distrust come from? It seems to many jealous that they love their partner for something and just are afraid to let them go, but this love is not unconditional. And we must keep in mind that the culture of education pushes us to such a perception of love: you will be loved when looking good, staying beautiful, becoming intelligent or rich. “Who needs me when I am fat, who will love me unless I lose weight?” “Until I earn a certain amount and when I have a different car, people will fall after me, but who will love me now?” This idea of conditional love often leads to jealousy.

Your demands rise

It also happens that no matter how much your partner devotes time and attention to you, this will still not be enough, you will still be jealous, reproach, offend them and manipulate to get the most attention they can give. Such jealousy is a sign of infantilism when an adult person behaves like a little child: my partner is mine, and I will not give them away to anyone. The same thing occurs when people begin to be jealous of the time their partner spends at work, with friends, doing hobbies - as if they cannot have any life on their own, and they must constantly sit next to you and fulfill all your desires and whims.

is jealousy healthy in a relationship?

Dictating how another one should behave

In a family, it is very important to respect the right of everyone to privacy, personal space, boundaries, time, and interests. We are all different, and one hour of personal time per day or several hours of solitude on a weekend is enough for someone to feel comfortable, while someone needs much more time to distract from business, take a break from communication and regain strength. When you require from the person the maximum free time they have, you are acting selfish and show signs of unhealthy jealousy. You have no right to demand from others to love you, care for you, check where they go and who spend time with, you cannot limit their communication. Learn this lesson and revise it by heart.

How to Fight Jealousy

In working with jealousy, the key is to find a way to satisfy your need for intimacy. This can be done on your own or with another person. To do this, first of all, we need to understand and acknowledge that we are now jealous. Some people have difficulty accepting this feeling within themselves and actively deny its existence. Without accepting and understanding what is happening to you, you cannot be honest enough with yourself and provide complete information to another person.

Take up new activities

We can find ways to fill in the missing aspects of relationships through other sources. It is important to understand here that one person cannot and should not replace and compensate for all the missing components in our lives. If we lack something, we can find ways to create it around us. This means taking responsibility for your condition and being able to take care of your feelings without shifting it to another ("it's all because of you"). For example, we can engage other people or increase employment in areas of interest to us.

Give as much as you take

It is important not only to demand but to offer: approach yourself, initiate joint activities and give others more information. We can voice options to loved ones that we think could improve our condition. For example, "If you and I could spend one weekend together/at dinner turn off the TV and talk about how our day went/go on a joint vacation, I would feel more confident in these relationships."

Work on your reactions

Another person does something that potentially provokes a feeling of jealousy in us, but we can react differently and find a way to satisfy our need for intimacy. You can work with this feeling together with a partner, friend, colleague or close relative, inform the other about your condition (“I’m jealous, I’m currently lacking your attention/closeness”), but at the same time, you need to take a responsible position, conduct an open dialogue and be aware of your feelings.

Understand the boundaries of each other

In the early stages of a relationship, you need to negotiate and establish rules for openness or closure of the boundaries of the couple. The more young people discuss their relationship, the better they will know and understand each other. And the higher the likelihood that their choice will not be a mistake. Of course, you should not touch on the topic of jealousy and control in your conversations at the very beginning, but it will come gradually. But if you ignore it, hoping that somehow everything will be built on its own, after half a year of living together, it may turn out that the spouse lives in a completely different dimension, where there are different ideas about life, values, norms, the rules. Therefore, the more people talk, the better.

Practice thinking twice before accusing anyone

As soon as a wave of jealousy rolls over you, say “stop” to your imagination. Pass any information about the possibility of cheating through a sieve of doubt and common sense and do not finish it with scandal scenes, devote your time and energy to working on your self-esteem. If jealousy has a reason, why don’t you make yourself a better person so that no one will want to leave you? What are you afraid of? It is low self-esteem and self-doubt that become the main root causes of years and decades spent in a state of neurotic jealousy.

The decision to be with someone is always a certain risk. Starting a friendship, meeting a partner, or even being in the family circle and the work team, we are at risk of sometimes doubting or fearing for our relationship. But with our choice to open up, get closer, trust, many other delightful states come.

Close relationships give us the feeling that we are significant, loved and protected. They make it clear that someone else, important to us, is very interested in us and our well-being. Everyone has doubts and fears, but you can work with them on your own and with your loved ones.

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