Jealousy: Face the fear of losing love with confidence

Reading time 12 minutes
Jealousy: Face the fear of losing love with confidence

Jealousy is an emotion we all know. However, since this emotion has a very bad reputation, very few people admit to being jealous on a regular basis. However, you could learn a lot by looking into the possible causes.

In the following article, we will therefore look at this topic in detail. You will find out why jealousy arises in the first place and where the boundary between healthy and pathological manifestations lies. We also want to give you valuable tips to combat your jealousy.

What is jealousy?

The term jealousy is derived from the following two old German words:

  • suht: Disease
  • eiver: the bitter

This derivation does not come by chance: jealousy leads in the long run to inner bitterness and sometimes even takes on pathological features.

What else is jealousy? Jealousy can arise in any interpersonal relationship. At a young age, for example, we are jealous of siblings who get more attention from their parents. Jealousy within a friendship is also not uncommon. However, when we talk about jealousy in general, we are usually referring to conflict within a couple's relationship.

Someone who is jealous feels set back by someone close to them because they have paid more attention to another person than they have to themselves. This is usually experienced as very painful. We begin to fight against this third person, who has become Relationship urged to hold a grudge. Jealousy goes hand in hand with missing Affection and love.

How does jealousy arise?

Jealousy is basically a perfectly natural emotion that arises when you fear for the loss of a trusted person. With this person you associate a Love Claim. This is very important: Without this inner claim attitude no jealousy develops! If the love claim is disappointed supposedly or actually, this causes a mental insecurity or injury.

The threshold for jealousy is different for each person. While some
already feel an unpleasant rumbling of the stomach when the partner talks too long with an attractive man / woman, others will only after an actually occurred Side jump jealous.

The following Risk factors contribute to the rapid development of jealousy:

  • lack of Self-esteem
  • traumatic (loss) experiences in the Past
  • Imprints from childhood
  • emotional (and possibly also material) dependence on the partner

Why are people jealous? The cause usually lies in childhood

Why are people jealous? Many highly jealous people experienced relationships as insecure in their childhood. Even as adults, they are constantly afraid of being abandoned. This Fear is so dominant that it manifests itself in delusions of control and jealousy. Unfortunately, those affected achieve the exact opposite of what they want through their behavior: Nobody likes to be controlled and constricted.

As a result of his pathologically jealous behavior, the affected person is actually abandoned by his partner at some point, which closes a vicious circle. What remains is the inner conviction of not being lovable and having to permanently fear for the partner's love and affection in a new relationship as well.

fight jealousy

Has jealousy always existed?

The so-called instinctive jealousy, which can be observed in small children and even in some animal species, has its raison d'être from an evolutionary point of view: If there were too many competitors in the vicinity with whom one had to share food and affection (e.g., if there were numerous siblings), one's own survival was threatened in earlier times.

Thus, jealousy acted as a warning signal to protect one's Needs with vigor. But romantic jealousy is not a modern phenomenon either. Our ancestors in the Stone Age were already jealous of each other. The greatest goal of early humans was to spread their own genes as widely as possible. To achieve this, they had to drive away potential rivals.

By the way, this applied equally to both sexes: No Stone Age man wanted to risk feeding someone else's children for years. Women at that time were still dependent on their husbands to provide for them. An unfaithful companion meant, in the worst case, starving to death together with the offspring.

Even though the circumstances have fortunately changed in the meantime, jealousy is still deeply rooted in us humans. However, in addition to the primeval influences, other factors such as the environment, personal experiences and culture play a role today.

Are men or women jealous faster?

Which gender becomes jealous more quickly cannot be clearly proven. However, scientists have been able to determine that both men and women are jealous of different way and off various reasons feel.

For example, in the case of emotional infidelity offended more quickly, while for men physical infidelity represents the worse breach of trust. Women are also more inclined to Digital jealousy than men. In our modern age, social media in particular are a frequent trigger. A case of digital jealousy would be, for example, if the man constantly "likes" bikini pictures of other women and the partner dislikes this.

Is jealousy a sign of love?

We already mentioned it at the beginning: jealousy does not arise without an inner claim to love. But this, conversely, as a sign of Dear is difficult to evaluate. Love is based on trust. Strongly jealous people have lost the latter: they trust neither themselves nor their partners. Pathological jealousy is much more about possessiveness and the protection of self-esteem.

However, the complete absence of jealousy within a relationship is just as critical as excessive jealousy: If you are completely indifferent to what your partner is doing, you should reconsider the meaning of the relationship.

The question of whether jealousy is a sign of love can therefore only be answered with an admittedly rather unsatisfactory statement: It depends on whether it is of normal or pathological proportions. In order to shed a little more light on this, let us now take up the differences.

The differences between healthy and pathological jealousy

Psychologists differentiate between three different types of jealousy:

  1. Reactive jealousy: Jealousy due to a specific real cause.
  2. Distrustful-anxious jealousy: Jealousy coupled with fears and feelings of inferiority without actively influencing events.
  3. Possessive jealousy: Jealousy coupled with fears and feelings of inferiority, with influencing the partner (control, outbursts of anger, prohibition of contact with people of the opposite sex).

As you can probably already imagine, only reactive jealousy is a healthy form. In this case, you are reacting to a real situation that you consider threatening to your relationship. Whether there is actually a danger is secondary here.

Example of reactive jealousy:

You notice that your partner has recently started wearing a fine perfume, more Sports and is constantly working overtime at work. If he also behaves more reservedly towards you than usual, it's not surprising that alarm bells are ringing. One Change of character of the partner can certainly give rise to healthy jealousy. After all, you are not indifferent when he / she changes.

In addition to the change in the partner's nature, impressions or concrete observations can of course also make you jealous, e.g. if the partner flirts shamelessly with others or you even catch him / her kissing. However, jealousy by no means has to be associated with fear of the physical Infidelity go hand in hand. It can already be very hurtful when the partner confides his worries to someone else.

The pathological forms of jealousy

A clear indication that it is a case of pathological jealousy is the mental suffering of the jealous partner. Most of the time, the partner is aware that his or her reactions are exaggerated. Nevertheless, the person feels unable to change his or her behavior on his or her own. The jealousy develops a dangerous momentum of its own, which massively endangers the partnership.

The following signs or behaviors indicate possessive jealousy:

  • open Mistrust
  • Constant accusations
  • emotional overreaction at the slightest occasion
  • permanent control (reading mails and SMS, control calls etc.)
  • Spying on the partner (e.g. by hiring a third party)
  • Constriction within the partnership
  • Prohibition of social contacts by the partner
  • constant demand for proofs of trust and love

The following signs or behaviors indicate distrustful-anxious jealousy:

  • Fear of loss
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disorders and other psychosomatic complaints
  • constant reassurance with the partner (Do you still love me?)
  • brackets
  • Mistrust
  • emotional blackmail of the partner
  • Pleading for expressions of love
pathological jealousy

What does jealousy say about you?

If you are often jealous, this may indicate a lack of self-esteem. You may have experienced in your life unsafe bonds. However, the good news is that you always have the chance to work on yourself and gain positive bonding experiences.

Important: Being jealous does not mean that you are a bad or unlovable person. There are reasons for your jealousy that you should get to know in order to change something.

Why is he jealous even though we're not together?

Jealousy, even if not in a committed relationship, is a strong emotion that can be motivated by insecurity, possessiveness or even deep affection. If someone is jealous even though you are not together, this can have various causes:

  • fear of rejectionThe person might be afraid of losing you to someone else, even if you're not officially a couple.
  • Hidden feelingsThere may be unspoken feelings or a deep connection that is not openly acknowledged.
  • Possessive behaviorSome people feel a sense of ownership over people they are emotionally attached to, even without a romantic relationship.
  • Insecurity and self-esteem problemsJealousy is often a reflection of your own insecurities and low self-esteem.
  • Previous experiencePast injuries or fear of loss can be the cause of jealousy, even if there is no real basis for a relationship.

When dealing with such jealousy, it is important to set boundaries and talk openly about feelings and expectations. An honest dialog can clear up misunderstandings and help both parties understand what this jealousy really means. In some cases, counseling or coaching can also be helpful to work through the underlying issues.

What to do about jealousy?

Would you like to know what you can do about jealousy? There are various strategies to combat jealousy that can help you deal with this intense feeling:

  1. Self-reflectionTry to understand where your jealousy is coming from. Is it past experiences, insecurities or fear of loss? Examining your own psyche can often provide clarity.
  2. CommunicationTalk to your partner about your feelings. Open and honest conversations can clear up misunderstandings and strengthen trust.
  3. Strengthen self-worthJealousy is often a sign of low self-esteem. Work on improving your self-image and recognizing your own worth regardless of the relationship.
  4. build trustTrust is the foundation of every relationship. Make a conscious effort to build and maintain trust with your partner.
  5. Set boundariesIt is important to have personal boundaries and to communicate them. Boundaries help you not to lose yourself in the relationship and prevent jealousy.
  6. Maintaining independenceSpend time with friends and cultivate your hobbies. Having your own life alongside your relationship can reduce jealousy, as it doesn't make your happiness solely dependent on one person.
  7. Professional helpSometimes it makes sense to get professional help. A therapist or coach can help you to recognize and deal with the causes of your jealousy.
  8. Mindfulness and relaxationTechniques such as meditation can help you to relax and organize your thoughts, which in turn can help to control jealous impulses.
  9. Positive thinkingTry to focus your thoughts on the positive things in your relationship. Remember the good times and what you have built together.
  10. Check realityCheck whether your jealous thoughts really correspond to reality or whether they are fed by your fears.

Remind yourself that jealousy is a normal feeling, but it shouldn't control your relationship or your well-being. By working on yourself - for example with coaching and meditation - and with outside support, you can learn to master this complex feeling.

Fighting jealousy: 6 tips to overcome your emotional state

We have put together some valuable tips that can help you to combat and overcome your jealousy.

1. preserve your independence within the partnership

In the frenzy of infatuation, many people focus completely on their new partner. At the beginning of a relationship, this may be normal. In the long term, however, you should make sure to maintain your own hobbies and friendships. Having your own job also helps maintain your self-esteem.

The more you depend on your partner, the more jealousy can strike. In this case, the loss of your partner would mean the (supposed) loss of your existence and identity. You can avoid this by remaining as independent as possible.

2. do not suppress your jealousy

In the worst-case scenario, suppressed jealousy can lead to an emotional outburst of anger, which can severely damage the relationship. Instead of suppressing the unpleasant feelings of jealousy, you should accept them without judgment and listen to yourself: What is the jealousy trying to tell you? What are you missing in the relationship? Actively seek a (factual) conversation with your partner. It's no use fighting jealousy, because then you'll just suppress it and it will catch up with you again and again in other situations.

3. increase your self-esteem

We have already explained in detail the connection between jealousy and low self-esteem. Now it's time to improve your Self-esteem strengthen in a targeted manner. One good measure is to keep a diary. Write down every evening what you did particularly well today. Make yourself aware of your personal strengths. Ask friends and family what they particularly appreciate about you.

Also, dare to try something new: What have you always wanted to do? A parachute jump? A Book writing? New positive experiences and a sense of achievement make you more self-confident.

4. distraction

During an acute attack of jealousy, it is advisable to leave the tense situation. Otherwise, you run the risk of saying or doing things in the heat of the moment that you later regret. Even a short walk can help you to calm down your angry emotions to calm down. Creative or sporting activities are also well suited.

However, distraction is not only helpful in acute cases. It is also appropriate when jealousy is quietly smoldering inside you. Once you have calmed down emotionally, you can talk to your partner.

5. leap of faith

Question whether you are jealous for a specific reason. If this is not the case, you should give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Faith that he or she cares about your relationship and will act accordingly. There is no guarantee that you will never be disappointed. Loving another person always carries the risk of emotional injury. This you must accept.

6. do not be afraid to seek help

If you feel that your jealousy is causing you a great deal of distress and / or partnerships have already broken down because of your behavior, you should confide in someone. Ideally, you should seek the help of an experienced therapist. This is by no means a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of great inner strength.

If you don't want to confide in a therapist (yet), you should at least talk to a trusted person from your circle of friends or family. An open conversation can have a very liberating effect on your soul.

What can you do if your partner is jealous?

If your partner is jealous, there are various ways you can deal with it:

  • Show understandingListen without immediately judging or rejecting. Show understanding for your partner's feelings, even if you can't understand their jealousy.
  • CommunicationTalk openly and honestly about your feelings and needs, and encourage your partner to do the same. Clear communication can avoid misunderstandings and create a basis for trust.
  • Set boundariesMake it clear what you find acceptable in the relationship and what is not. Jealousy should not lead to controlling or disrespectful behavior.
  • Looking for joint solutionsWork with your partner to develop strategies to reduce jealousy. This could include regular check-ins about feelings and the relationship.
  • Maintaining independenceShow your partner that your own life and independence can enrich the relationship, not threaten it.
  • Offer supportSometimes jealous partners need professional help to deal with their insecurities. Offer to support them in seeking the help they need.
  • Strengthen trustSpend quality time together and create positive experiences that can build trust.
  • Self-careDon't forget to pay attention to your own needs. Jealousy can be emotionally stressful, even for the partner who is not jealous.

These tips are not only helpful for dealing with jealousy, but can also strengthen and deepen the relationship as a whole.

Conclusion: balance your jealousy with coaching

Jealousy is a complex emotion that can bring both pain and growth. Throughout this article, we have explored the roots of jealousy, examined its various manifestations and presented strategies we can use to deal with it constructively. The journey to overcoming jealousy is personal and individual, but it is a journey worth taking.

With the right tools and a reflective perspective, you can learn to understand your jealousy and turn it into a force that strengthens you and your relationships. Remember that the support of coaching or therapy can be helpful if you find that you are stuck on your own. Ultimately, it's about finding a balance that allows you to have relationships full of trust and without the burden of jealousy.


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