The Dark Side of Attraction: When Jealousy Takes Over


Being attracted to someone and being reciprocated with the same attraction is beautiful. It makes a person feel complete and is a step towards a meaningful and lasting bond between them. However, not all attraction promises a healthy relationship. Some give rise to two common and powerful emotions  obsession and jealousy. 

One may think, “What’s wrong with these emotions?” On the surface, they seem completely harmless and show that a person is in love with someone and cares enough about them to be jealous and obsessed with them. However, past a certain level, obsession and jealousy can be two destructive emotions that can significantly impact a relationship. 

This article will explore the detrimental effects of obsession and jealousy on an individual and the relationship. Also, this article will provide effective strategies and coping techniques to overcome jealousy and achieve healthy relationships. 

Understanding jealousy in relationships

Relationship jealousy is an emotional reaction that often results when one partner feels a real or imagined threat to the relationship and fears losing their partner. It is characterized by insecurity, mistrust, fear, suspicion, and, in severe cases, aggression. 

Common triggers of jealousy

There is no one root cause of jealousy, and it can be triggered by several environmental, psychological, and personal factors, including the following: 

Low self-esteem

Jealousy is a common indicator of low self-esteem and confidence. Studies have shown that lower self-esteem is linked with high jealousy in adults. Low self-esteem can lead to feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt in a person. Because of this unfavorable self-perception, they may fear losing their partner, resulting in jealousy.

Lack of communication

Here’s a fact: Good communication is the foundation of a strong relationship. Sharing your feelings and thoughts with someone, being vulnerable, and informing them about your whereabouts constitutes a healthy relationship.

However, a relationship lacking good communication breeds jealousy and trust issues. Keeping your partner in the loop of everything in your life is important, as secretive behavior can only lead to suspicion and distrust.

Past unresolved issues

Sometimes, unresolved issues from the past can haunt the present and cause problems in the relationship. Previous experiences with infidelity in relationships or witnessing them growing up can cause trust issues, eventually leading to jealousy in relationships. 

Consequences of jealousy

Jealousy can cause a lot of problems not only for the relationships but also for the individual experiencing it. If left unresolved, it can hamper the bond between two partners and cause significant distress to the individuals involved. 

Relationship dissatisfaction 

According to research, jealousy is linked to damaging effects on a relationship, increasing relationship dissatisfaction. This is because jealousy can breed a toxic and unsatisfactory relationship dynamic. Both partners can feel suffocated, and frequent arguments can increase unhappiness and dissatisfaction. 

Fear of conflict

Jealousy can lead to constant arguments, hindering open and honest communication between couples and deteriorating relationships. The jealous partner may struggle to express themselves calmly, and the other partner may feel like they must always be on guard. 

This relationship dynamic can make the couple avoid openly discussing their problems for fear of conflict. This fear can only aggravate the problem as the fewer conversations the partners have, the more issues arise. 

Emotional distress

Jealousy can cause extreme anxiety, distress, fear, and anger. The constant worry about losing a partner can cause significant emotional distress, leading to several psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety. 

Coping with jealousy in relationships

Acceptance is the first step to coping with and managing jealousy in a relationship. Understanding that jealousy harms the relationship can make an individual identify the triggers and work towards forming a harmonious bond. Below are some ways you can overcome jealousy:

Building trust and open communication 

It is important to be transparent to make a partner understand jealousy and what’s causing it. Opening up can allow the partner to know where they’re coming from and adjust their behaviors to help them feel more secure and trusting. 

Remember, your partner can only help if you allow them to peek into what’s going on in your mind.

Managing insecurities and self-esteem issues

Since jealousy commonly occurs due to self-esteem issues and insecurities, managing these problems can lead to a healthier relationship. This can be done by reflecting on the root cause of the insecurities, being aware of the triggers, discussing these problems with a partner, and seeking appropriate counseling. 

Since this is an ongoing process and requires a lot of effort, patience is the key. By being patient in resolving past traumas one at a time and focusing on personal growth, one can address these issues and cultivate a healthy relationship again. 

Seeking couple’s therapy

Engaging in couples therapy can be an effective way to manage jealousy in a relationship. Dealing with it on your own can be a frustrating process. Therefore, professional help is required. Couples can seek assistance from a professional to identify the root cause of jealousy and work on any insecurities and communication issues. 

Through therapy, both partners can learn effective coping mechanisms and build trust to strengthen their emotional connection. By talking to a therapist and identifying problems in their relationships, couples can work towards cultivating a stronger and more fulfilling bond. 

In conclusion 

Jealousy can be detrimental to a romantic relationship if left unchecked. While it may be difficult to acknowledge this as a problem, the journey toward finding a solution is worthwhile. Building trust, promoting open communication, resolving past traumas, and seeking couples’ therapy can help alleviate the problems of jealousy. 

Moreover, by nurturing a supportive and healthy environment for relationships, couples can move towards forming a strong and fulfilling connection. Remember that with patience, empathy, and commitment, couples can overcome challenges and grow together, creating a bright future built on love and support.

If you would like to see more resources on attraction and jealousy, check out the Relationships Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other tools. Visit the Relationships Science Labs today.

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