We all remember those teenage romances that we thought would last forever. More often than not, these relationships were accompanied by snide comments from other people about how it probably wouldn’t last forever. Blasphemy, right? Well, the reason there may be some truth to that statement is because studies show that jealousy is most likely to have an impact on relationships between younger individuals.
Studies conducted by a talented team of psychologists at the University of Denver determined that jealousy typically decreases with age, but can actually increase with the length of the relationship. This could be because the more time that two people spend committing to and nurturing a relationship, the more hurt a perceived threat could bring to the table.
Jealousy is a complex emotion that can be hard to navigate no matter your age, but with age comes experience and the ability to better navigate feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and uncertainty.
Take a deep breath
Being able to stop and take a deep breath is crucial to handling these kind of emotions. As a teenager, it’s a lot more difficult to scale down feelings of anger and rage. The concept of taking it down a notch is foreign until you have the experience and understanding to embrace calmness and rationality. Still, if you want to get the workings of a healthy relationship down pat, it’s crucial to navigate the rough waters of jealousy sooner rather than later in life.
A little bit of jealousy in a relationship is normal to an extent, but it’s important to narrow down where it stems from. Is it because of a miscommunication between you and your partner, or is it something you may need to re-evaluate within yourself?
Take a long look in the mirror
Jealousy can reflect deeper feelings, such as feelings of love and monogamy. It is important to clarify what you’re really feeling deep down so that you can discuss it with your partner thoroughly and in the right context. Saying, “I’m jealous of your new coworker” can be accusatory and potentially start a rift, but saying “I haven’t gotten to spend as much quality time with you since you’ve started your new job and I miss you” can make a big difference in making or breaking a conversation.
When feelings of jealousy crop up, it’s vital to remember that acting on impulse is far more likely to result in something detrimental happening to your relationship than if you react rationally. It’s far easier to put your emotions into words when you give yourself time to calm down from a fleeting emotion.
Re-evaluate your expectations
Expectations in relationships are a little bit different for everybody. We all have different examples of relationships, unhealthy or not, and sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between what we think is a healthy relationship and what actually defines healthy for each of us.
When you’re younger, it’s easier to get wrapped up in a relationship and be consumed with your partner.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being smitten with your partner, but healthy boundaries are important. Assuming that your partner will never notice a member of the opposite sex ever again is silly, and will definitely lead to jealousy issues if unaddressed.
Appreciate your commitment
If your partner is committed and hasn’t presented and red flags, then feelings of jealousy are typically just that: feelings. Not all feelings must be acted upon. Talking in-depth with your partner should always help solidify a relationship, or iron out any potential problems that may need to be addressed. An open line of communication will keep a relationship healthy, happy, and thriving.