Is jealousy good or bad for relationships?
One of the best ever quotes on jealousy is from Maya Angelou and it goes thus:
“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.”
It is a simple summation of the whole concept of jealousy as it relates to romantic relationships.
What jealousy means in a relationship
Many times when you love someone or have an interest in them, one of the things you find yourself unconsciously doing is feeling some type of way when someone else of the opposite sex gets too close, when they spend too much time with them or when it seems like they are becoming too comfortable with that other person.
That response to a real or imagined threat to your relationship is jealousy.
Jealousy can actually be cute
The truth is, no one minds a little jealousy from their partner. As a matter of fact, it feels good when someone you like exhibits such behavior towards you. This is because a partner’s jealousy can be seen as a sign of love or affirmation of commitment.
According to 1997 study, about 75% of people have once tried to make their partner jealous at one time or another. Even though it’s been over 20 years since that study, human behaviour remains the same in this regard. A little jealousy, a little discomfort from a partner to show where their affection lies… it doesn’t hurt nobody.
But can also be unhealthy
Obviously, going by the very nature of life, too much jealousy can actually be a bad, bad thing. While it is cute and nice to have your partner showing that occasional bout of healthy jealousy, it gets to a stage where it is excessive, absurd and toxic.
Dating, relationships and being with someone does not mean you cannot have and nourish other professional, platonic and familial relationships. A partner who always tries to block off the channels to these friendships may not be the best for you. That is one of the ways unhealthy jealousy manifests – an unfounded distrust and denial of freedom to seek fulfilment in other relationships and networks outside of the relationship.