Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris

They say jealousy is a relationship killer. It can start arguments, cause resentment to build and destroy trust between you and your partner.

A quick google search reveals that jealousy and possessiveness in relationships are things that people seem to struggle with a lot.

Most of the advice I’ve come across focuses on how to overcome jealousy, stop controlling/possessive behaviors, manage thoughts etc. Being jealous seems to be perceived as a completely negative trait that needs to be eliminated.

It makes sense that since these kinds of feelings cause so many problems, people want to simply get rid of them.

But is completely getting rid of jealousy in your relationship actually necessary or something you would want? Let’s be honest here. I haven’t met a single person that doesn’t enjoy their partner being a little jealous or possessive from time to time, including myself.

The two most commercially successful love stories of the decade: The Twilight Saga and Fifty Shades Trilogy both feature extremely possessive and controlling male leads.

So what’s the deal with here? Why do we all claim to want to reject jealousy from our lives and then secretly enjoy it?

People attempt to stop being jealous because they see that it is hurting their relationship. However, in my personal experience, you don’t need to eliminate jealousy completely in order to limit its negative effects. It’s enough to change your attitude towards it!

Both Gabriel and I are jealous people. Yet it isn’t an issue in our relationship. It doesn’t make us fight, we don’t obsessively spy on each other, or go through each other’s phones. Jealousy doesn’t feel like such a big deal to us, it is even a bit of a turn on factor…

I’m going to break down the different types of jealousy (including the bad ones) and help you get a better understanding of what you’re feeling and when you need to do something about your jealousy.

1. Own Your Insecurities And Let Your Partner Build You Up

A lot of the relationship advice says that jealousy in relationships stems from insecurity. We feel jealous because we don’t appreciate our own value. We see other people as “better” (prettier, smarter, more fit, richer, etc), which makes us feel inadequate and we become afraid of being replaced.

No matter how confident you are, there is always some area that’s just not your forte. Everyone is a bit insecure in one way or another.

This fear of being “replaceable” is something I’ve struggled with a lot. From my personal experience, there is no better way to build yourself up than have your partner do it for you.

Don’t bottle up your insecurities and let them eat you from inside. If you feel inadequate, tell your partner about it. Be vulnerable. Let them in, show them your weaknesses, give them a chance to reassure you and build you up.

Admitting to feeling jealous because of your insecurities can actually build trust in your relationship and deepen your emotional connection.

2. Being Jealous Can Be A Sign Of Being Protective

There are people in this world to whom stealing other people’s partners is a fun pastime. I personally have known girls who never dated a guy, who was single. The thrill of being “the other woman” was too tempting for them… Now, regardless of their reasons, these kinds of people like to impose.

Sometimes you’ll find your partner unwittingly reciprocating advances coming from such a person, just because they don’t know how to fend them off.

I’m sure everyone has once been in a situation like this. Gabriel used to get hit on by older woman a lot and I had a similar problem with older men.

You don’t want to tell them to take a hike, because you don’t want to be rude, but they’re being so relentless and you’re just stuck accommodating them because you don’t know how to get out.

These kinds of situations happened to us at parties, bars, dance courses or even at work.

It’s very important that if something like this is happening, you recognize it and don’t attack your partner about it. They are just a victim here.

Take your jealousy and use it to stand your ground, to politely but firmly set some clear boundaries with the person imposing.

This kind of jealousy is actually really helpful, it can give you a momentary boost of confidence. It can be so powerful that even one heated glance can be enough to let the person flirting with your partner know that they are crossing a line and best back off…

Channeling your jealousy in this way can even boost your partner’s sense of safety and make you feel more empowered and in control.


3. There Is Nothing Wrong With Being Territorial

If you and your partner have agreed to a monogamous relationship, well then being territorial is part of the package.

There is nothing wrong with wanting your partner to yourself and making that clear to others. This is your mate after all.

This is not to be confused with being controlling and allowing no freedom for your partner. Being territorial is about establishing and protecting your turf in your relationship, not overextending.

So for example, if you’re at a party and you see your boyfriend/husband talking to another girl, go over there, put a hand around his waist and ask to be introduced. Gestures like this communicate very clearly to your “competitor” that your partner is taken and off bounds.

It is perfectly normal to feel jealous in situations like this. Sometimes you have to fight for your relationship and show your partner, that you want them all to yourself.

4. When Jealousy Gets Out Of Hand

Last but not least, it’s important to mention that jealousy can get out of hand. This, of course, is a problem.

If you find yourself secretly going through your partner’s phone, spying on them or not letting them meet their friends, this is a sign of a deeper issue.

In this case, the problem goes beyond jealousy.

Repressing those feelings and trying to control these kinds of behaviors will not last..

If you’re at this point, you and your partner definitely need to talk about this and figure it out. It’s a sign that things are getting out of hand and that your relationship is heading down a slippery slope.


Jealousy is an important indicator, do not ignore or repress it!

It can help you protect your partner and fight for your relationship.

What’s more, it can actually bring you and your partner closer together, strengthen the trust and deepen your emotional bond.

Owning your jealousy can feel vulnerable and scary but it definitely pays off in the long run.

It is best, to not direct your jealousy at your partner, but instead at the person, whom you are jealous of. Don’t be aggressive, but be assertive and let them know the boundaries.

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How do you deal with jealousy in your relationship? What parts do you struggle with the most?

Let me know in the comments below.


Karolina Bartnik