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Jealousy is not love

02 December 2015, 08:20Dorothy Black

I’m not a jealous person. As long as my guy isn’t chatting up other women, looking at them, messaging them, flirting with them or sleeping with them we good. I also prefer him locked up in the room without a phone or TV.

Ha ha. I jest. Of course he can watch telly.

Jokes aside though, I reserve my petty jealousies for my career. My monogamous relationships enjoy a lot of breathing room. And if I do find my lover is sexting and sexing other women, I consider it not much of a relationship to express my jealousy in any way. So… 

That’s not to say that I don’t feel twinges of angsty suspicion at times. I’m only human. Evolutionary psychologists reckon that jealousy has always played a role in keeping mates together, presumably for as long as there are offspring to care for. Even now, some will say that a little bit of the green-eyed monster keeps the passions alive between monogamous partners. 

But what happens when that green-eyed monster is less one-eyed Mike from Monsters Inc and more like The Hulk? 

An uncontrolled jealous streak never changes lives for the better. Take my mate Christina, for instance. Christina was the 90s embodiment of a 60s hippie. Until she met Olawale. Olawale was a ‘jealous guy’. He went into a silent sulk when Christina’s guy friends hugged her hello, flew into a rage when she had too much fun, berated her when she wore miniskirts, and accused her of trying to seduce other men when she wore V-necks. And these were just the pretty parts of their relationship.

Instead of leaving him, Christina picked up 20 kg, swopped her miniskirts for potato sacking, and lost touch with herself and all her guy friends. Awesome cool.

Someone asked me once if I thought jealousy was a sign of love. I can’t think of anything it is less a sign of. Uncontrollable, all-consuming jealousy like that expressed by Olawale is the expression of deep insecurity and fear; a lack of faith in self that undermines everything you do or say.

We might all feel insecure and jealous occasionally, but we don’t have to get abusive about it.

Jealousy crosses the line when it expects someone to toe the line. When it becomes manipulative and demands that the object of its possessiveness shrink down to size and become a ‘less provocative’ person, a person that doesn’t wear, say or do anything to provoke the jealousy Hulk, there’s a very big problem.

And jealousy doesn’t need anyone in particular to provoke it. There is nothing special about being the object of someone’s jealousy. Anyone or anything that makes a jealous person feel vulnerable will do fine, whether that’s a Christina, or a Faith, or a Olawale.

If there is a jealousy issue in your life, either yours or your partner’s, it’s time to get that monster under control. And only the person who owns that beast can rein it in.

- Woman24


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