Many of us have experienced the feeling of jealousy at some point. It’s not unusual to feel a little jealous in your relationship at some time or another. But if you or the person you’re with gets jealous a lot or often, in a way that takes it out on the other person, that can be a problem.
Jealousy can be a very difficult emotion to feel, but also to be exposed to. Feeling jealous a lot can have a negative impact on one’s life and relationship. It can also affect the person you are with – if a partner is jealous all the time, you may feel that you need to change your behaviour or adjust yourself so as not to upset them. As a result, you might not be able to be true to yourself, wear what you want or hang out with whom you want.
Jealousy is often portrayed as romantic and as a sign of love and affection. But love is very much about trusting the person you’re with, and jealousy and controlling behaviour are no signs of love. That’s why it’s important to take jealousy seriously if you find that you are very jealous of the person you are with. If you notice that your partner is often jealous over you, this can be an important warning sign to be aware of.
Every year we have a campain called Jealousy is not romantic together with the swedish equality office (Jämställdhetsmyndigheten) and the county boards, with the aim to flag and shine light on boys abuse of girls and abuse in young adults relationships. Read more about the campaign here.
How to know when to be worried?
Everyone can feel a little jealous at one time or another. It’s not always something to worry about, but it’s important to reflect on why you feel that way. In general, jealousy becomes a bad thing when you act on it. For example, trying to stop someone you’re dating from hanging out with a friend because you feel jealous is not okay. It’s letting your own feelings of fear and insecurity control your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s life, and that’s a warning sign.
Here are some examples of when jealousy leads to controlling behaviours, and needs to be addressed:
- You want to keep track of where your partner is and who they’re with
- You usually check their social media and keep track on them, for example on Snapchat or Zenly
- You get stressed, anxious or angry when you don’t know what they are doing or who they are with
- You want to influence where the person you are dating can be and who they can hang out with
- You want to influence how the person you are with dresses and/or behaves
- You want to influence what they do
- You spy on your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s text messages or social media accounts
- You want access to their password so you can see what they do and write
- You want your boyfriend/girlfriend to unfollow people on e.g. Instagram because they make you jealous
- You threaten your boyfriend/girlfriend with, for example, hurting them, yourself or someone close to them if they don’t do what you say
Do you recognise yourself in the examples above?
If you do, it is important to take responsibility for your behaviour. You probably feel that you are doing something that is not okay, and know that you are trying to control the person you are seeing in a way that isn’t healthy or right. You may also feel bad about feeling so jealous yourself, and would like to change your behaviour. Either way, having the courage to talk to someone is a good first step. We at ungarelationer.se are here for you and you can always remain anonymous.
Do the examples above describe the person you are dating?
It’s important to know that just because you’re together, the person you’re with doesn’t get to control you and tell you what you can and can’t do. You are still in charge of yourself and your own life. If you feel that the person you are with is often jealous and restricting you, that is a red flag that is worth paying attention to. You can read about more warning signs here or take our quiz “Am I in a good relationship?” If you want to talk to someone, you can always contact us anonymously at ungarelationer.se. We listen, support and believe in you.
Do the examples above sound a lot like someone you know?
If you have a friend who is very jealous and controlling in their relationship, it might be a good idea to talk to them and tell them that you see what they are doing, that it is not a good behaviour and that there is help available to change it. If your friend is dating someone who is jealous and controlling, it is important to remind them that they have the right to make decisions about themselves and their life. You can also encourage them to talk to us at ungarelationer.se, or you can talk to us in the chat room if you have any questions or would like advice on how to help.