February 1, 2017 at 12:46 AM #1647
Recently I’ve noticed that I get extremely jealous of other women my age in long-term relationships. Whether they post pictures of themselves with their boyfriends on social media or tell me how much they love their significant other, I feel a sense of horror and sadness in response.
Part of me feels so bad because I want to feel happy for other people. I want to celebrate other women who have been able to find someone who loves them for who they are. Instead, I feel extremely envious. It’s gotten to the point where I even limit contact with friends in serious relationships because I feel angry when they talk about how close they and their partner are. It also annoys me whenever people ask about my dating life (or lack thereof). I don’t like feeling this way, but it’s something I’m so used to doing.
Do others feel the same? How do you manage jealousy of other people in relationships?
Thanks for your feedback!February 1, 2017 at 10:18 PM #1650
Something that helped me when I felt like that was remembering that what they say, what they show, what I saw was not the whole picture, and that even if the relationship was glorious, it probably wasn’t the kind of relationship I wanted for myself. We tend to get caught up in the idea that other people have it easier, better. That’s rarely the case. We all have different desires, different mentalities and different journeys.
Also, remember that some people get into relationships to avoid being alone, and they rarely assess compatibility well. Whenever I remembered that, it was easier for me to feel happy for those who found someone. Reframing really helps.February 4, 2017 at 2:12 AM #1651
Oh man, Lurline93, I have BEEN there. I also used to avoid friends in serious relationships or get really defensive when they asked about my love life. Honestly, some people are just so caught up in their own thing that they forget how to be good friends so they ask the first question that comes to mind. Don’t be afraid to call them out and tell those people how you feel about their questions. If they’re truly your friends, they’ll understand. They’ve been there too. It’s amazing how quickly and conveniently some people forget the struggle.
I’ll echo a lot of what Angel88 said, especially “what I saw was not the whole picture” and “We all have different desires, different mentalities and different journeys.” A friend of mine is constantly posting pictures of her husband and her kids on facebook but on the phone she can only talk about how exhausted she feels. That part is never in the photos. I’m also not sold on marriage/children, so it’s not worth getting jealous over.
Do the things that feed your soul and make you feel good. If you like cooking, cook more. It’s Friday night, I’m home alone, and I just cooked myself dinner. It’s delicious. If you love writing, start a blog, even if only one random person in France is reading it. If you like staring at the same painting in your local museum, do it. Do the things that make your heart sing, even if no one is available to do them with you.
If by any chance social media is triggering this reaction from you, try taking a break from it. I went off Facebook for over a year. Sure, I missed some birthday party invites and such, but my closest friends knew well enough to call/email/text if there was something legit going on. I did eventually put my page back up, but I unfriended those I hadn’t talked to 5 years (it was a lot of people!).
Be true to yourself. It sounds super cheesy (trust me, I wanted to punch everyone in the face who said that, or “oh, it’s about timing”), but it’s the only way someone will appreciate you for who you really are.
I hope that helps. I’ve been in your shoes. It’s not fun, but it’s not permanent.June 19, 2017 at 4:16 AM #1784
Hi, I’m new here. I read the book over a year ago and I always go back to it when things get hard.
I’m currently dealing with this too. Partnered people don’t understand how being perpetually single changes you and things you never thought you’d do you find yourself doing.
I’ve found that avoiding too much time with the friend, being honest about how you feel, creating boundaries (both verbally and with your actions) and remembering your own separateness has not made it go away but has given me space to not flip out at the friend. I often find that being by myself is a great help.July 14, 2017 at 12:59 AM #1806
Welcome Abraz1! I can relate to those feeling of jealousy too, and I totally agree that most people don’t understand what it’s like to be perpetually single. There are times when I love my life and other times when it can be really hard.
I like what Angel88 and Reds10 both said about remembering that what we see is not the whole picture. I have a couple of friends who are currently going through divorces, and it’s really brought that message home for me. Both are friends I see regularly, and in one case we all knew they had been having problems, but in the other it came as a total surprise. They very much presented as a happy couple with a perfect life (cute kids, a nice house, lots of sweet family pics on social media, etc.), and even with close friends they never shared that there were any problems (beyond what I would say are typical disagreements in couples, like joking/complaining about someone loading the dishwasher wrong or leaving clothes on the floor, etc.). If someone had asked me about the type of relationship I wanted, I would have used theirs as an example, but it turned out I had no idea what their relationship was actually like. And while I’m sorry for what has happened with them, it’s really taught me that things aren’t always what they seem. My life is far from perfect, but it’s easy to forget sometimes that other people’s lives aren’t either. Something I’m trying hard to remember when those feelings of jealousy creep back in.
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