“I’m not the jealous type.” A statement that we all firmly believe until jealousy rears it’s ugly green head.
It wasn’t until my first real relationship when I realized I was the jealous type. Jealousy within a heterosexual relationship is hard enough. But being jealous in a homosexual relationship is a whole new ballgame.
Being a male, I am socially expected to be strong, stoic, and unemotional. Whereas compared to our female counterparts as being emotional, empathetic, and caring. The society we live in has set these rules and expectations for both males and females but in reality- men are allowed to be emotional. Did you hear that, fellas? We’re allowed to cry. We’re allowed to feel jealous. We’re allowed to throw fits. We’re allowed to feel. It’s in us as humans to be emotional.
So what happens when the formula has changed? Instead of having the traditional man and woman relationship, what happens when two guys date? Well right off the bat you’d get darting eyes, distasteful faces, and bible versus thrown your way (but that’s another story). What else would you expect? Now ladies, I’m sure you would agree how stubborn men can get. So you would probably expect two stubborn heads, butting together, not making any progress whatsoever. And to a degree- you’re absolutely correct.
Earlier today my dad gave me a talk about jealousy. He told me jealousy is part of being human and we all have a lion inside of us. The lion representing jealousy in our hearts. Now to my basic elementary school understanding of lions, they can be aggressive, intimidating, sneaky, and always ready to pounce. Well the same can be said about jealousy. Jealousy can make us aggressive. It can intimidate us in the worst possible ways. It ‘s sneaky. And it can pounce on us anytime, claws gripped, sinking into our hearts with poison and toxic.
Throughout my personal relationships I’ve learned that it can be difficult to avoid jealousy. On one hand you want to keep your partner happy. -Open. -Free. On the other hand you want to pounce on him for yourself, pawing off any lingering prey in his tracks. That’s the thing about relationships though. You need to learn when to retract those claws.
There has to be an understanding.
When I get jealous with my partner, I tend to keep it to myself. I shrug it off as if it doesn’t bother me, building up this tension and anger. Nodding saying, “nothing is wrong.” But sooner or later it bursts out paws swinging and claws gripping. When my partner gets touchy with another person or mentions who he’s hanging around, my mind can’t help but drift and overthink. And the person taking over is no longer Jason, but good ol’ Jealousy. Tentative, uncontrollable, and pushing all the buttons.
Jealousy has made me realize how reliant, dependent, and foolish I can be. I let it eat me up inside. Not because I want to, but because I have no choice to. Yes, jealousy is ugly. But you wouldn’t be jealous if you didn’t have feelings for the person, right? As my partner always tells me, “All that pain and emotion shows how much you care- how much love is there.” But relationships shouldn’t solely be worked around jealousy. There has to be communication and trust.
Weather you are in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, jealousy is a huge burden. Below are 5 tips I’ve learned to try and tame that persistent, ugly, green monster.
1. Acknowledge Your Jealousy.
Instead of burying your feelings and denying the emotions, recognize them. Jealousy does not control you. It may be a part of you, but it doesn’t control you. Learn to control and manage it. Know you are responsible for your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
2. Live in the Present.
Don’t think about the screw-ups that happened months ago. Don’t wonder who he’s lying next to. Don’t worry about the past. All you need to do is live in the now. Take it day by day with a grain of salt. Enjoy your time together now and stop worrying about the “what if’s.”
3. Be independent.
Your life does not only revolve around your partner. Take a breather. Instead of laying in bed wondering what he’s doing, reach out to friends. Friends are a great support system and distraction. As much of the fun you have with your partner, you can have fun with yourself and others.
Take the opportunity to talk to your partner. Discuss any boundaries and relationship-rules that need to be negotiated or created in order for you both to be comfortable. If you’re like me, you may have an issue with communicating when something is bothering you. But you should know your partner is there to listen and to make sure both of you are happy. It’s about trust and understanding.
5. Realize you’re together for a reason.
You’re together for a reason, dummy! Through the hardships and through it all, you and your partner made it. It’s up to you to realize if it’s worth it or not. Let no one else tell you or influence you otherwise. That’s your right and your right alone.
Don’t let jealousy run your life. As the GayLoveCoach (yes, that’s a real blog) says in “Squashing the Gay Relationship Killer Known as Jealousy”, “Make a commitment to aggressively minimize its influence so that there will be more energy available for your own self-care and for enriching your relationship. These are the things that really matter. So squash that bugger before it has the chance to contaminate what the two of you have worked so hard to build. Convert that jealousy into passion for yourself and for your partner and before long you’ll no longer heed Jealousy’s evil whispers. You can do it!”
I’m not saying it will be easy- it’ll take baby steps. Relationships can be hard. But in the end, you have someone that is willing to work for what you have. So put those claws away and start loving each other!
(Check out the GayLoveCoach here: http://thegaylovecoach.com/2005/06/squashing-the-gay-relationship-killer-known-as-jealousy/)