Being in love’s wonderful – but it has a flip side: jealousy. I mean, if you love someone, you’re bound to feel just a tiny bit possessive when someone starts making eyes at them, aren’t you?
And why is it that jealousy’s at its most intense over sex? Even in our modern world, where everything’s fair game, people get emotional hang-ups over making love. And that’s only the immediate players!
As Erica Jong put it: “There are never just two people in bed!” Because a lot of third parties take an interest in every sexual relationship.
Like a romantic rival who wishes they were there instead. Or an ex who resents you taking their place.
But surely, in today’s modern world, shouldn’t sex have lost it’s emotional charge? But it hasn’t. Look at how much we gossip about it and enjoy passionate soap operas ....
And in fact, a little jealousy’s normal in every relationship. But there are some worst-case scenarios. Like dating someone with histrionic personality disorder.
At first their behaviour suggests depth, excitement and passion. But it won’t be long before their intense need for attention and endless flirting starts making you so jealous you wouldn’t believe it.
Because once you get into an intimate relationship, feelings from childhood re-emerge. Fine if you grew up feeling loved, accepted and secure, but if you had a childhood where you couldn’t rely on your parents, you’re likely to be insecure, possessive – and jealous.
Or maybe your partner’s jealous of your past? That suggests other things are going wrong in the relationship.
For example, if they need to know every little detail of your previous relationships, they’re probably seeking reassurance rather than simply being curious. They want to be sure that they’re as important to you as your ex was.
Some partners make you feel that you don’t match up to their past experiences. They’re projecting their own feelings of insecurity onto you.
Not sure that you really love them, they maintain their hold by making you feel uncertain.
Or maybe your partner resents the part of your past that they didn’t share?
They probably also find it hard to cope with any time you spend apart, feel threatened by your work, and want you to see less of friends or family.
Living with a jealous partner is never easy. So first ask yourself if any of their feelings of jealousy are legitimate.
If they are, talk them through together and put things right. Getting your partner to think about the origin of their feelings can also help.
Often there’s just one issue causing all the problems, such as how a parent treated them as a child. Re-thinking that experience and letting it go works wonders.
But ultimately there’s only so much you can do. So if you’re dating someone who’s becoming possessive and jealous, you could be in for a rough ride.