JealousySome simple but effective tips you can use if a current or prospective relationship partner suddenly succumbs to an attack of "The Green-Eyed Monster."
1. Be honest. If there is good reason for your partner to be jealous, it may be time for a heart-to-heart conversation about the future of the relationship.
2. Build self-confidence. It is important to recognize that expressions of jealousy may have nothing to do with you or your behavior. In situations where there is no factual basis for your partner to be jealous, the existence of jealous feelings suggests that your partner may be suffering from a lack of confidence. They may be insecure about some aspect of their own situation. Encourage your partner to spend time with friends and family who think they are great, or to master something new.
3. Gain independence. Jealousy also can occur when partners are too dependent on the relationship to determine how they feel about themselves and their self-worth. Persuade them to try to gain some independence from you and the relationship. The more their definition of self is tied to their own accomplishments and experiences apart from the relationship, the less jealousy. This may have been the case with Jake and Vienna, (from the reality TV series The Bachelor) whose relationship appears to have been further complicated by a fairly strong dose of another emotion: professional envy. Envy, as Jake and Vienna discovered, can be equally as destructive to relationships as the two forms of jealousy.
4. Listen carefully. Don't dismiss your partner's feelings and fears. It probably wasn't easy for your partner to fess up and express his or her concerns or worries. It often makes a person feel vulnerable and not in control. We all have those moments. If you can, try to understand, empathize and listen. If jealousy emerges during the early stages of a relationship that you care to preserve, it is okay to be there to support your partner as he or she gets to the bottom of what is behind these feelings of jealousy. At the same time, the changes that need to occur must be from within that person.
5. Seek assistance. Insecurity may be easily cured when it is largely "cosmetic" in nature. (If, for example, your female partner says she would feel more attractive if she lost a few pounds.) However, some expressions of jealousy, such as those that result in inappropriate behaviors, may be a sign of deeper-seated insecurities that are best resolved with the help of a professional.
Jealousy tends to destroy the foundation on which healthy relationships are formed. It is important to remember that strong foundations are not built overnight - or even during the course of a television season! That's one important reality Jake and Vienna may have missed.