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Auntie SparkNotes: I'm Jealous and I Hate It

Auntie SparkNotes: I'm Jealous and I Hate It

Kat Rosenfield

Dear Auntie,

I'm sort of seeing a guy and things are good, we're sort of between FWB and relationship on the whole scale (we haven't labelled it but I got him a card and chocolate for Valentine's and he bought me lunch in return. Side note: trying to buy a generic valentines card that doesn't use the word lover/bf/partner is hard). We live pretty far from one another so don't see each other as often as I'd like (everyday) but when we do it's lovely. Apart from when he started imitating Pennywise the clown. Anyway, onto the problem.

Sometimes when he's on Facebook and sees it says someone is online he will message them. He sent a message to a girl he used to work with. Which is fine but she started messaging him more. And it became apparent to me (I saw some of the messages) that she is interested. Now he is completely oblivious and isn't interested. When I last visited he saw a post she'd made and made an annoyed sigh and comment that made it clear he isn't into her. But to me I can see she's sorta into him. I could be wrong and I could be assuming that just because I find him attractive then everyone else must do too. But it's a gut instinct. He has a lot of female friends so I can rule out being jealous of every girl that comes near him.

But it IS is making me jealous and insecure and I really wish I could stop feeling this way. I tend to feel more jealous when I haven't seen him in a while and tend to be missing him a bit more. I think the lack of label on our relationship is also a factor. I'm aware that 1) he's not interested in her and 2) if he was and did hurt me then he wouldn't be worth me spending any time on. My heart is a lot less logical though.

Is there anyway I can stop upsetting myself and letting myself become jealous or insecure? Before I become a viral meme for telling a girl to stop messaging him.

Fortunately, Sparkler, the bar for becoming a viral meme is set a bit higher than that these days. Basically, unless you're the CASH ME OUTSIDE HOWBOW DAH girl, even your most ill-thought-out emotional outbursts won't be enough to make you internet famous.

They will, however, cause potentially serious damage to your relationships (not to mention earning you a reputation as a lunatic within the immediate confines of your social circle), which is plenty bad on its own—but that's why it's a good thing that you're not only looking for a more productive way to channel your feelings of jealousy, but that you've already done all the hard work of understanding where they're coming from. Honestly, dude, you hardly even need me! I don't have to tell you that you've caught feelings for this guy, and that your annoyance at this girl's flirtatious overtures toward him is just an expression of your greater relationship insecurity. Yes, you know intellectually that he doesn't like her that way, and that you wouldn't want to waste your time with him if he did, but you also don't know for sure how he feels about your or your future together, or even how he feels about your growing dissatisfaction with the unlabeled state of your romance. That's a lot of uncertainty, darling. It's no surprise that you're struggling to achieve the kind of confidence that allows a person to, say, watch another girl make a play for your boyfriend without getting a little bit stabby about it.

And the thing is, that's okay. Jealousy is not wrong in and of itself; it's just an emotion, like any other. What matters is how you choose to deal with it, and in your case, that means expressing it in the right way, to the right person. Going after the flirty Facebook girl is a no-no, obviously, but conveying to your not-quite-boyfriend that you're feeling not-entirely-secure? That's the kind of communication that healthy relationships are made of, and thanks to the effort you've made in this letter, you even have the perfect words with which to express yourself. No ultimatums, no accusations; just a responsible and honest acknowledgment that you're struggling. In short: "I know you're not interested in this girl, but I can see that she's interested in you, and I hate how jealous it makes me."

Unless your not-quite-boyfriend is a total clod, he'll appreciate that you opened up—and he may well respond in a way that makes you feel a lot more secure about your place in his life. But even if he doesn't, you will find that the simple act of owning your feelings goes a long way toward taking their edge off. Jealousy, particularly, does its greatest damage when people won't admit that they're in its grips, and instead try to blame their partners for not doing enough to salve their insecurities. But a person who can say, "I feel completely irrationally jealous and it sucks," is a person who has taken away the vast majority of jealousy's power over them, and who can then put those feelings aside and get back to the business of being human.

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Topics: Life
Tags: auntie sparknotes, advice, jealousy, fwb, hey jealousy

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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