Do you feel jealous when your girlfriend hangs out with her male friends? Do you feel insecure when she interacts with her hot boss at work? Or are you paranoid about her relationship with her so-called best male friend? As much as you want to be the chilled out boyfriend, chances are you’ve felt a pang of jealousy related to your girlfriend at least once.
Now, if you want to stop being a jealous boyfriend and maintain a healthy relationship with your girlfriend, read these 12 tips to help you curb it.
1. Establish boundaries ahead of time.
If you’re not fine with your girlfriend hanging out with her male friends, but she’s used to hanging out with them, she should be aware that it is an issue for you. So, both of you need to establish what’s acceptable and what’s unacceptable within your relationship. And it will be easier to sort through your feelings later on when you feel jealous.
2. Drop your insecurity.
Jealousy is usually a result of some form of insecurity. It’s completely possible that someone is better than you. However, there is something in you that your girlfriend loves about you, so stop doubting it before you ruin your relationship. Just be more confident about her feelings towards you. Stop confusing imagination with reality, stop seeing things in black and white, and stop feeling paranoid over nothing.
3. Don’t be a pessimist.
Are you worried that your girlfriend might cheat on you? Or do you get paranoid because you keep thinking about all the guys she talks to whenever you’re not around? If you are thinking along these lines, address the situation immediately. Don’t get sucked into the whirlpool of negative thoughts.
Suspicion can pull you down and lock you in the chains of jealousy forever. Hence, just be optimistic and think of all the happy thoughts in your relationship rather than worrying about things that are simply a figment of your imagination.
4. Stop trusting your imagination.
Your imagination is great if you use it for your own benefit, not if it messes with your mind. Use it to think positive thoughts, just calm yourself and focus on relaxing different parts of your body. Picture out your partner doing all the things that made you feel jealous and see yourself not responding with jealousy. If you stop getting jealous just because you’ve imagined something, you’ll take a step towards regaining control of that feeling.
5. Understand your feelings.
Observe your own feelings and keep an objective distance once you already know what you feel. Look objectively if your girlfriend is doing something wrong. Don’t try to own a person, just give your girlfriend freedom and don’t manipulate her because this act comes from insecurity, not love. Fear is usually the source of our negative emotions but if you truly love her, you don’t have to quickly judge her.
6. Ask when you’re in doubt.
If you’re uncertain about the relationship your girlfriend has with her male friends, don’t hesitate to talk it out with her. Getting a direct and honest answer could kill your jealous fears. While you do so, ask for a solution and tell your girlfriend that you want to get rid of the annoying feeling but you simply don’t know how. If she really understands you, a warm and loving discussion will likely make headway and help you overcome jealousy.
7. Forget about your past.
Don’t let your past ruin what you have right now. Your current girlfriend has no ties to anything that came before, so putting them in the same league as people who hurt you in the past isn’t fair. You can’t change anything that’s already happened, so learn to let go of the past hurt and focus on the relationship you’re in right now.
8. Trust your girlfriend and yourself.
Trust is a key element in developing a strong and long lasting relationship with your girlfriend. So, as much as possible, don’t easily jump into conclusions without knowing the whole situation, believe that you deserve trusting relationships, and always be kind to yourself — because the more you have faith in yourself, the more you’re able to trust your partner.
9. Keep yourself busy.
Keeping yourself busy is the best way to keep your mind from thinking all the negative things about your relationship. It could be something as simple as reading books, watching movies, playing basketball or video games. If you think you have nothing to do, just think of the things you’ve been procrastinating. Make a task list and start organizing your life.
10. Decide to act like an adult.
It is important to catch yourself in the moment of acting jealous and get some control of yourself before you reach the “emotional black out” stage. Be mature enough to handle situations like this instead of acting childish. The more you practice doing it, the easier it becomes.
ALSO READ: 10 Ways to be More Mature in a Relationship
11. Focus on how great your relationship is.
Think of all the good times you had with your girlfriend, all the fun and happy moments you shared together. Now, do you think it is worth ruining for? Instead of thinking all of your “what if’s” why not embrace “what is”?
12. Remind yourself that jealousy can ruin a relationship.
Every time you’re jealous, remind yourself that you are about to trigger arguments, fights and in worst cases, a break up with your girlfriend. Playing with the feeling of jealousy is like playing with fire, so you should learn how to avoid it.
These tips are a great way to start if you want to stop feeling jealous and insecure. After all, excessive jealousy is a complete waste of time for everyone involved.