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Long Distance Relationships, Love

9 Ways to Cure Jealousy

by Melissa Chapman

It’s been two weeks since you’ve seen your long distance love. While you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that, for now, you’ll need to endure these longer-than-you’d-like periods apart, over the past several days that green-eyed monster has been rearing its ugly head.

woman angry jealousMaybe it’s his recent mention of a new female co-worker (who he’s taken out to lunch one too many times) and then how he only called you twice instead of three times the other night. Regardless of the specific circumstances, you’re feeling incredibly jealous of this  woman, who, unlike you, gets to see him each and every day. Even though he’s assured you their relationship is strictly professional, you can feel your jealousy rising up inside.

Feeling vs. action

According to clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Malkin, Director of YM Psychotherapy & Consultation, Inc. and writing a book about how people control attraction, when you’re separated from your partner, it’s natural to feel jealous. However, it isn’t natural to act jealous.

“Jealous behaviors, like hacking into e-mail, interrogation  and compulsive texting or calling, are futile attempts to reduce feelings of insecurity,” says Dr. Malkin who notes that when you indulge the jealous impulse, you’re trying overcome helplessness through control instead of asking for reassurance.”It’s important to avoid grilling your partner about who he’s with and how he spends his time. If he feels grilled he might get angry and become distant – which will only leave you feeling more insecure.”

Build your connection

Dr. Malkin notes you won’t find security in getting a blow-by-blow of his life. You’ll find it by feeling more connected. If you spend all your time fact-finding, you’re missing out on the one way you can feel more secure: asking for actions and plans that increase your sense of connection. Worries about other relationships often fade when you’re feeling closer. Read jealousy as a sign you’re not feeling connected enough and then think of what activities might make you feel closer.

Dr. Malkin recommends these nine ways to help stave off jealousy in long-distance relationships, especially when all you have are the conversations, texts, e-mails and Skype to communicate with your loved one.

1. Confirm your commitment

If you haven’t talked about how you’re approaching the distance – can you date others, is this a break? – do it now. If you have to guess, you’re bound to get jealous. If you want to feel secure, you need to know you’re both on the same page.

2. Discuss attraction

It’s normal to feel attracted to other people. That doesn’t mean you have to act on it. Talk about what you’ll do if you start feeling attracted to someone, and the steps you’ll take to manage it. If you both do this at the beginning of a separation, it can help prevent jealousy from overwhelming the relationship; you’ll both know your partner has thought seriously about how to avoid cheating.

3. Schedule contact

If you used to live in the same room or just the same town, you probably relied on the structure of your day to keep you feeling connected (returning home from work, going to bed together, weekends). Now you’ll have to plan those moments. Schedule regular phone calls, IM, or text check-ins that both of you can look forward to and expect and stick to it-or you may not talk at all. Distance is your enemy when it comes to fighting jealousy.

4. Spice it up

When you’re living apart exciting, new people and experiences may be a dime a dozen. You’ll need to preserve some excitement with your partner if you want your relationship to compete with all that novelty. If you’ve never considered sexy notes or creative video chat, now’s the time to try. The novelty and excitement could even strengthen your attraction.

5. Fess up-to jealousy

You need to talk directly about jealousy to prevent and manage it. If you don’t say it, you’ll show it-which can mean all kinds of accusations and snooping. Share your feelings without hurling accusations. Make clear requests: “I’m feeling a little insecure. I think I’d feel better if we firm up our plans for our next visit so I can look forward to seeing you. Request specific actions he can take to help you feel more secure like planning another call or sharing more about his experiences during the day. The more connected you are, the less jealous you’ll feel.

6. Manage stress

Jealousy is a stress response-which means if you’re already anxious and overwhelmed, you’re likely to feel it even more intensely. Before you look to your partner for reassurance, make sure you’re doing your part to manage anxiety with exercise, good nutrition, meditation or yoga, and plenty of supports. Sometimes the green-eyed monster settles down when you plan a little self-care.

7. Ask for reassurance

If you feel suspicious, use I statements: “I feel a little jealous about your time with her. Can we talk a little about your relationship?” If that sounds too risky, remember, you’re already feeling insecure. Better to say it than show it with accusations and angry distance. If there’s nothing going on, it shouldn’t be a big deal to talk about it-anymore than it would be to discuss time with his other friends. If you do this, be sure you model the same transparency about your own relationships. . Avoid making demands or hurling accusations-these are just more attempts at control. Instead, say something like, “I get a little insecure when you talk about having a great time with these other guys (or girls). I think it’d help me if we touched base after you go to the party- maybe in the morning if it’s too late when you get back?”

8. But ask in moderation

If you always have to ask about time with friends to get any information at all, it might be a red-flag. If things are innocent, you partner should routinely volunteer information. You shouldn’t have to keep asking. The more open you are about your relationships (and the more open he is about his) the less jealous you’ll both feel.

9. Know your limits

If you worry day and night or fire off insecure e-mails on a daily basis, then consider taking a break. If no amount of direct reassurance helps, or you just can’t talk openly about insecurities, long distance may not be for you. Likewise, if either of you feels reluctant to schedule times to connect-with or without the spice-consider taking a break. You’re going to have hard time keeping up the connection without these moments together-and that leaves a lot of room for destructive insecurity and jealousy.

Ultimately, Dr. Malkin notes, connection is the best cure for jealousy, but also cautions that couples shouldn’t count on the strength of their love, alone, to keep them connected, and if you can’t rely on seeing each other, you’ll need to work hard to keep the connection alive in other ways.

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Reader Comments:

36 Responses to “9 Ways to Cure Jealousy”

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  3. Karen says:

    good advice I was feeling a little insure in my relationship this came at the right time and I will try it

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  5. Ron says:

    Thanks doctor that helps a bit my girlfriend is 2500 miles away, and sometimes we find in boring just talking on the phone we seem to talk about the same thing all the time, we try to find other things to talk about and we talk like we are living together but we have a hard time really knowing each other with out the physical attraction or going out. So I fly out there every couple of months but its still hard expecailly when weekends come along and we are not together.

    Thanks again

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  7. Vanessa says:

    OH MY GAWD… this came at a perfect time & the information contained in this article might just save many LDR’s. I didn’t realize the pattern and why my boyfriend & I fight EVERYTIME we talk on the phone because we can’t seem to cut our phone calls short & it always leads to petty arguments. Thanks to this article, I can recognize my own behavior & help guide him with his. Thank you SOOO much!! :)

  8. Vanessa says:

    P.S. When we are together – its pure magic and we never fight in person but as soon as we are apart – WHAMMO. Never took my insecurities & jealous tendencies as an act of helplessness – just thought we were just frustrated because we couldn’t be together.

    This article taught me that trust is paramount. I took a good look inside myself and saw that I am making him pay for sins of men past. It could be that he is totally sincere and I’m just assuming that he’s like all that came before him. Maybe you should do the same. :D

    Great article & very enlightening! Keep up the great work.

  9. Ta-Shania says:

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  12. Mande Abbey says:

    Yaeh its real truth thus a plesure to be guided to avoid mistakes that can even break relationships

  13. Pete says:

    A million Thanks, what a panacea. The info is timely and very enlightening. Will heed to the advice, put it into practice and look forward to a successful long distance relationship.

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  15. Giantezz says:

    I have not problem with my long distance relationship who I trust him. He is christian and faithful. I am glad to met a right guy. Amen!

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  21. sagar says:

    oh god i reallie was in need of advice n i got….try to apply it…hope it wil clear out our relationship…..thaks a lott

  22. Lucía says:

    Thank you for your advice, definitly helps as i’ve got a long distance boyfriend who lives in France! Jealousy can pick up sometimes but it’s good to have some sort of laid-out advice on what to do and why. Thanks!

  23. Luckenzo says:

    Pretty impressing

  24. peace nwakanma says:

    am the angry type,and is affecting my relationship.recently we re veing priblem and he ask me to leave his house,but now we are still talking even made love,but when i demand for something he tell me he dnt ve,wat do i do?i need ur adiverse.please.even when i tell him am in need,all he says is i want to sleep.

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  27. mary says:

    wow!!! an eye opener cos i’ve bn battling with jealousy.

  28. LJ Maggie says:

    Thank you for this article. I am dating someone who does live in the same town but travels to a lot of the same places for work and is gone for weeks at a time. These are great ideas.

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  31. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the advice! I agree to everything it says. I am into Long Distance Relationship and this would help me and my bf a lot. I will tell my bf to read this page too.. ^^, Good Luck!

  32. mamasa says:

    this help a lot,bringing understand between couples

  33. iris says:

    Great information about the relationship issues. I gained a lot of knowledge by reading this article. Thanks

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  35. Kirk says:

    The first step to overcoming jealousy is sitting down and asking oneself what thoughts are going through the persons mind when feelings of jealousy arise.. What is it exactly that the person is fearing?
    Man men wonder what is jealousy?
    Doing this very simple exercise helps the man gain knowledge over what is causing him to feel jealous AND what to focus on to overcome his jealousy.
    Is if fear that his girlfriend will find another man more interesting than him? is it fear that he will lose the love, warmth and sex from his partner? is it fear that he will not be able to find anyone else?

  36. Mabel says:

    Grr! I’m going through this right now. My bf lives in a southwestern state and I’m in the midwest. He has been meeting new people (moved there for work) and has a lot of female friends. I feel awful about it because I’m not there to share the fun times, and I worry that one of them will make a play for him and he’ll decide he likes her better than me.

    He has given me NO reason not to trust him, so I have to. I find that I get really upset seeing posts from some of his friends on Facebook, so I have to force myself to log off rather than obsess over “Why does she want to see him? Are they talking in messaging where I can’t see?”

    It doesn’t help when he doesn’t log in to Messenger (we talk on it most days) until it’s so late for me due to time difference that I have to go to bed. I try very hard not to show it, but it makes me feel like all that time he’s not on one, he’s on the other with one of them.

    I know it’s all in my head, but it FEELS very real.

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