facts about jealousy

Jealousy: top five facts

Jealousy - that gnawing feeling deep inside when you see the person you love flirting with someone else. Or you overhear a late-night phone call from an ex. Or maybe you’re just the jealous type.

What is jealousy?

Jealousy can be plain envy – a feeling deep down inside of you that you badly want something that someone else has. You might be jealous of someone's clothes, car or house. It can also be the fear of losing somebody you care about – an angry, possessive feeling. A feeling of rejection. Like a child feels jealous if their parent gets a new partner. In love, jealousy is the fear of losing your partner.

Or the anger you feel about your ex having a new partner. Pretty much anybody will feel jealous at some point, and a bit of jealousy is perfectly normal. There may always be some insecurity when it comes to your partner's feeling towards you or other people. It gets difficult though when your jealousy starts interfering with your relationship and you don't trust your partner anymore.

Seven causes for jealousy

There are seven very common causes for jealousy, research found.

One: top of the list, a partner’s ex – more on this tricky topic in fact three.

Two – also a no-brainer: you are afraid your partner will leave you for someone else.

Three also makes sense: your partner has a history of infidelity and you are afraid he or she will cheat again, this time on you.

Four: your partner has family or friends you reckon may have a bad influence on your partner or encourage cheating. That’s bound to create bad feelings between you!

Five is a bit more complicated: you feel insecure when you don't know where your partner is or what he or she is up to. But snooping around will eventually drive both of you up the wall, so it’s better to be honest about your feelings!

Six: your partner lies about small things. So you might reason, who’s to say they won’t lie about bigger things?

Seven goes hand in hand with number six: he or she does thing that make you question your trust. Trust is the key to a healthy and happy relationship – read more in fact five.

Excruciating exes

More on a very common cause for jealousy: your partner's ex. It’s pretty natural, don't you think? The other person knows your partner just as intimately as you do. They share a history, years or months of relationships, inside jokes... It's easy to feel intimidated by an ex, especially if your partner is still friends with the ex.

Hard as it may be, there is only one thing you can do: swallow your emotions and put a smile on your face. Because getting upset with your partner every time the ex is mentioned is bound to create hard feelings from both sides. But you may want to let your partner know how you are feeling – without turning it into a row. And just remember: they broke up for a reason, so your partner is unlikely to be with you if there are still strong feelings left for the ex!

Jealousy and lunch

We’re still not quite done with exes. Because there is more to the whole issue, and it’s about food. It seems that sharing lunch or dinner with your ex will cause more severe feelings of jealousy than a telephone chat. Meeting up to chow with your ex is likely to make your current partner wild with rage, scientists found. Exchanging emails with an ex seems to cause the least jealousy.

Chatting on the phone or meeting for a quick coffee makes new partners somewhat more jealous. But it's the shared meals that really get feelings to boiling.By the way, are girls or guys more likely to get jealous? It seems there’s no difference – among US college students anyway. A study found no differences between men and women when it came to feelings of jealousy.

Honesty and trust

Being overly jealous could ruin your relationship in the end. That's probably the exact opposite of what you wanted. But there are some things you can do to avoid a nasty break-up. First, as always, talk to your partner. Be honest and describe your feelings as objectively as possible and try to find a solution together. Try to find a way that both of you feel comfortable with.

Secondly, look into why you are jealous. Has your partner (or a former partner) given you reason to be jealous? Try to get to the bottom of your feelings – it might make it easier to cope with them.Finally, once again, you need to realize that the basis of all relationships is trust.

You need to trust that your partner wants to be with you and you only. If you can't trust him or her, even if you rationally think about your jealous feelings, you may want to reconsider your relationship.

To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model. 

Have you ever been jealous of your partner? Tell us on our Facebook page! If you have a query, please ask Love Matters (LM) experts on our discussion forum.

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