Joy Andrews vowed to never date a jealous person again.
Andrews, a junior biology major, was in a relationship with a man who became angry whenever she merely spoke to another guy. An innocent exchange with another male would be interpreted as proof that she would cheat on him.
On one such occasion, Andrews and a female friend attended a concert. Her friend knew someone in the band and they were able to get onto the band’s tour bus.
“I had my picture taken with the singer and he had his arm around me,” Andrews said. When Andrews’ significant other saw the photo, he tore it up.
A certain amount of jealousy, however, may be extremely common in relationships.
“There are some people who seem to have virtually [no jealousy], but they’re rare,” said Dr. Noel Hedges, a psychology professor whose research involves couples and relationships at Temple.
Everyone experiences bouts of jealousy now and then, whether a flirtatious third party or a desire to hold on to someone important causes it.
“I think a certain amount [of jealousy] might be healthy,” Andrews said. “There’s a natural thing for both guys and girls to feel you have not ownership, but a bit of security.”
Sometimes younger or less experienced people fall prey to the green-eyed monster more easily.
“I think in younger relationships, [jealousy is] common. But when people mature and start respecting another person instead of their own feelings, [they] can be more secure,” junior geology major Bill Lukens said.
Logging on to a social networking site can be like stepping into a minefield for younger people who are insecure in their relationships.
“Between Facebook and MySpace, everyone sees everyone else’s posting,” junior sociology major Alexis Sellers said. “You know every person your boyfriend or girlfriend is talking to and that makes people jealous.”
Sellers’s boyfriend was a vocalist and received many flirtatious comments on his band’s MySpace site. In person, girls would throw themselves at him.
“I totally trust my boyfriend, but when there [are] whores hanging on him . . .” Sellers said.
Although jealousy might be well founded in some cases, other times it may be a reflection of the envious person’s
state of mind.
“When somebody is jealous, it’s something we call projection or defense mechanism, and they are the ones who are more likely to cheat,” Hedges said.
In other words, the person who accuses their partner of having a wandering eye may be the one who is fighting those very urges.
“The more insecure somebody is in [their] level of self-esteem, the more likely they will feel vulnerable to jealousy,”
Hedges said. “It has to do with whether they feel like they’re not good enough.”
Anyone who finds themselves tempted to keep a tight leash on a boyfriend or girlriend should proceed with extreme caution, because green is not a flattering color.
“[My ex-girlfriend] didn’t want me talking to other girls at all,” Lukens said. “It didn’t work out. It ended pretty
Dealing with constant accusations from an unreasonable partner can take its toll on the relationship.
“You have to trust, and when you start to feel someone’s doubting you and you’ve done nothing wrong, it hurts the relationship,” Andrews said.
Hedges said there are some people who attract relationships that are doomed to fail. If a person feels they are not good enough, it’s likely they will find a partner who thinks that as well. As long as there are relationships, there will be people who act possessive. But think of jealousy as an annoying houseguest. It may pop up every now and then, but it rarely stays long. And if it becomes a permanent part of the relationship, feel free to do some evicting.
Katie Ionata can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.