This is not a rant on monogamy. Loveline asked the question “what advice do you wish you would have heard before you started dating?” My answer is don’t let jealousy rule your relationship.
I’m not talking about open relationships, I’m talking about all relationships. I’m not saying never get jealous or that it’s not normal, what I am saying is if it is hindering your ability to experience life in non sexual situations, it’s a problem. For example your partner making you feel guilty for going out with friends without them or criticizing you for dressing up. If your partner tells you “I don’t want you to talk to them anymore”. If your partner questions your social media interactions. If your partner is against you having friends of the sex you are attracted to just because they are the sex you are attracted to. Or you do these things to them. These are the kinds of things I mean when I say don’t let jealousy rule your relationship.
This would have been so helpful to think of before my twenties.
During one of my younger unsuccessful attempts at monogamy the guy I was dating was so jealous he would get mad if I went in a male checkers line in the grocery store and nearly have an aneurysm if a guy actually hit on me. Some how it would be my fault. The relationship was so unhealthy and insecurities fueled everything.
Jealousy comes from fear and insecurity. All those examples stem from fear of those activities changing into romantic situations and you leaving your partner or having sex with someone else. By allowing them to dictate your actions like this you are not forcing them to deal with the insecurities that cause this controlling behavior. Maybe they’ve had someone cheat on them in the past but you are not that cheating person and it’s being taken out on you. Those are their feelings to deal with.
I’m not saying shut your partner out but I don’t think your responsibility goes beyond reassurance. Gently remind your partner that you care about them and you have no intentions of hurting them. Remind them of the ways you show them you care about them, for example making time for them, helping with chores, cooking for them, last Saturday you took a bath together, etc. Give them extra affection. Go the extra step and ask them what makes them feel loved and make an effort to do those things. Sometimes your partner needs different signs of affection than what you’re giving. Jealousy is learned, it can be calmed through communication and trust.