When starting college, many of us are either already in a relationship or casually dating someone new. Both of these situations seem to have one thing in common: The relationship is about to withstand the test of your partner meeting an abundance of people.
Most of us are used to a simple high school relationship, where everyone knows you and your partner are dating, and one-on-one time is abundant. All of this can change very quickly considering how many more people are at college. Suddenly, it is the norm for you both to have completely separate friend groups and often hang out with these groups without your partner.
While some people are lucky enough to be unaffected by these scenarios, for others, new people around their partner is seen as a threat and can cause intense jealousy and anger.
Jealousy is a valid feeling we all experience at some point in a relationship. I would be lying if I said that I have never spent an hour yelling about a random girl who got a little too friendly with my boyfriend. Despite it being a natural emotion, there comes a time when being jealous does more harm than good.
From personal experience, I can say jealousy is an emotion that tends to upset you more than it should. I’ve wasted so many nights being more concerned with outside people than I am with my boyfriend.
What I try to take from the times I spent full of jealousy rather than enjoying time with my partner is I really can’t control what other people do. People may do more than you would like them to, whether it’s through Snapchat, an extra friendly conversation or simply someone not respecting the exclusivity of your relationship. But if your partner is still respecting you, then nothing anyone else does matters.
Continually scrutinizing every little interaction between your partner and another person only takes time away from your relationship. Of course, it’s valid to be upset if a line is crossed, but we tend to overanalyze these situations most of the time. That irrational jealousy only incites negative emotions for both people in the relationship without solving anything.
It may take time, but it’s important to recognize feelings of jealousy and whether they’re worth being upset over. In the end, your partner chose you. One conversation that you aren’t a part of, or another person attempting to talk to your partner on social media won’t change that.