Jealousy can destroy relationships, yet it's an inevitable reality of any intimate partnership. How you mitigate episodes of jealous feelings can be what makes or breaks you, and the best way to tackle jealousy is together.
A recent article in Psychology Today examined the phenomenon and cited celebrity couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard as emblematic of working together to keep jealous feelings at bay. At the Golden Globes, Bell joked that Shepard was her wingman so she could finally meet her celebrity crush, Riz Ahmed. Playfully acknowledging you and your partner can find other people attractive without threatening your relationship, the article explains, is a healthy approach to an uneasy subject.
“If you know in your heart that you’re always the most important person to your partner, then even if they have a flirtation and/or crush it will enable you to tolerate your partner’s attention or interest in someone else without feeling threatened,” writes Psychology Today. It presents a recipe for strengthening that bond so you're better able to “buffer your relationship from other people coming between you.” We’ve highlighted the biggest takeaways below so you and your partner can integrate them into your daily practice.
Take the time to communicate and show how much they turn you on. The author notes the importance of verbalizing communication even when your partner isn’t dressed up—when they wake up first thing in the morning, when they’re playing with the kids and dirty. These “real moments of living” are what binds you in intimacy—“you are seeing each other through the eyes of love.” Developing this solid foundation is essential to taking on obstacles that stand in the way of your relationship’s future.
Provide reassurance when the other feels insecure. If ever a situation arises, addressing it honestly and openly as soon as possible is key for both parties. As explained by the article, “when either one of you feels insecure and voices that, it is important to respond with a heavy dose of reassurance.” Even if the communication of insecurity may seem like an accusation, the other party should be understanding instead of dismissive or defensive, which will only exacerbate the insecurity. Provide extra love, comfort, and reassurance “rather than getting angry, minimizing your partner’s feelings, telling them they are being ridiculous and continuing your behavior or ignoring them.”
Remember there’s a difference between attraction and intimacy. The article draws a clear distinction between attraction and intimacy. “One is instant, and the other takes time to develop.” Keeping this in mind will allow you to better assess situations where it seems like you or your partner is drawn to someone else. The article promises that “if you trust this, and know your connection runs deep, you will be better able to cheat any jealousy that might come up and move forward as a team that nobody can divide.”
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