Here are our top 5 tips for vanquishing the green-eyed monster. Or at least making friends with it.
1. Date within your own jealousy league.
We know this is hard to control -- chemistry being what it is -- but your best bet is to date someone whose jealousy meter is about equivalent to yours. For example, let's say you're the type who thinks that exes belong in the past and that being friends with them -- or even just being connected to them on Facebook -- is a slap in the face to a current romantic partner. If you then start dating someone who wants to invite their former booty call to your wedding... well, you see how this goes. And vice versa. It's not an impossible situation -- hey, there's always couples' therapy! -- but the more compatible you are in this department, the less of an issue this will be.
2. Accept your jealousy, but don't give in to it.
Jealousy is totally normal but that doesn't mean you have to give into it. In other words, don't beat yourself up about feeling jealous -- it's completely natural, and it doesn't necessarily mean anything about the relationship or whether or not your partner is cheating on you. But just because it's natural doesn't give you the right to throw plates across the room when your partner gets a text from someone other than their relatives. Much better, if you're feeling jealous, to calmly tell your partner, "I'm having an insecure moment and need reassurance about where we stand."
3. Remind yourself not all jealousy is alike.
Remember that what makes you jealous isn't necessarily what will make your partner jealous. Maybe your blood boils when their head is turned by a scantily clad hottie at the beach. But maybe their blood boils when you mention how funny your ex was. Just because you think something isn't a big deal, doesn't mean your partner will agree -- and vice versa.
4. Turn the jealousy tables.
Try this exercise: If you're ever feeling uncontrollably jealous -- and you know it's irrational -- conjure a memory that you know would drive your partner crazy if you shared it. Don't share it. We repeat, do not share it. Just recall the memory, and realize how little it impacts your current relationship, even though knowing about it would make your partner's eyes burn green. Feel better now?
5. Express a kinder, gentler jealousy.
We happen to think that a little bit of jealousy, in moderation, is a good thing -- it reminds you how much you mean to each other. In other words, don't always feel like you have to stifle the green-eyed monster: sometimes your partner might actually get a little thrill from hearing that you're jealous. Did we mention this is in moderation only?