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What’s jealousy got to do with love?

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2010 in dating, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles

“So, do you come here often?”

What a cliche opener, even if it was back in the ’70s — the absolute height of that sort of talk. But what was even odder is that it came from the cute bartender; wouldn’t he know? Actually it was my first time at his bar, but based on his looks
alone, I was definitely planning to make it my
regular stomping ground. 

I was flattered, and even though he was getting lots of attention from all the other young hotties — he was that cute — he was flashing that dimply smile and flirting with me.

By the end of the night, he had my phone number. We went out a few times, and I found myself stopping in his bar more than usual. And each time
I was there, he had a throng of hotties ogling him, chatting him up, giggling about him to each other as girls tend to do. Since I was young and inexperienced, I did what probably any other gal would do — I got jealous!

“What did you expect?” my friend Janie said to me. “He’s a bartender!”

I started to explain myself but, really, what did I expect? I was dating an attractive guy who worked at a bar — the No. 1 magnet for cute gals. It only taks a few beers to turn any nice
girl into a ho.

There are some professions that seem custom-made for flirting and, one might guess, cheating. And its ugly relative, jealousy. Think: bartending, acting, modeling, musicians — most attract people with big egos, good looks and freewheeling lifestyles. So I was a little surprised that the most adulterous professions according to  AshleyMadison.com — the Web site that smooths the way for infidelity — (courtesy of Penelope Trunk)  for men are doctors, police officers, lawyers, real estate agents and engineers;  for women it’s teachers, stay-at-home moms (WTF?) nurse, administrative assistants and then real estate agents.

Who knew real estate agents were so randy?

Why? Because those jobs require long hours and are stressful; and I imagine there’s some business travel sex, too.

If you fall in love with a guy whose profession is prone to attracting hotties offering up the goods, do you have a right to be jealous? Wouldn’t that be a known occupational hazard?

Same thing if you fall in love with a hottie in general; I mean, other people are going to find him or just as gorgeous as you do. Are they going to stop lusting after them just because they’re with you? Uh, not!

So, what are you going to do about your jealousy?

I was thinking about that after reading what my blogging friend T wrote in a discussion with Momma Sunshine on Canadian Bald Guy‘s blog; the post was about whether men and women can be friends, and that’s when the big J — jealousy — came up. T’s main squeeze isn’t happy with her hanging out with men who lust after her.

It’s hard to control other people’s lust, isn’t it?

Jealousy does more harm than good in a relationship, and what it really comes down to is trust — even if some say jealousy is inextricable from passion (and I am all about the passion!)

Sean and I talk openly about our attractions to others, and tease each other about it. It’s part of our story, the way our humor plays off each other. But, I trust him, and he trusts me. If one of us broke that trust, well …

  • Is jealousy a good thing or bad thing in love?
  • How jealous are you?
  • Are you more jealous if you’re with someone who’s handsome/gorgeous?

Photo by © Fred Sweet – Fotolia.com

Bring on the comments

  1. Steve says:

    Pick someone you think is trustworthy, trust them, maintain yourself, maintain the relationship and then hope for the best knowing that it is out of your hands. The only person you can control yourself.

    Jealousy is pure poison.

  2. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog
    says:

    Jealousy is a waste of time. If you’re overly jealous, it’s a sign of insecurity on your part. If you’re not like that, but that person you’re dating does things that bring jealousy out in you, maybe they aren’t respecting you or the relationship as much as they should. Either way, it’s something to be aware of. Ask yourself why you’re jealous, figure it out, and evolve!
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog ..Church Confirmation in a Two-Home Family =-.

  3. T
    Twitter: tsquest
    says:

    Thanks for the linky love, Kat.

    This whole jealousy thing is very interesting to me because I haven’t really experienced it before. My ex-husband seemed completely trusting of me… to the point that even after admitting to an affair, he seemed unfazed. I often believe that I even had the affair to see if he really did care after all.

    I am still working on finding a balance and setting new boundaries. My bf’s boundaries stop much earlier than mine and it scares him. He doesn’t KNOW me though. We are still learning about each other. And because of my past, unfortunately, there is a fear. We also live 3 hours apart and can only assume what each others’ interactions with the opposite sex look like.

    If he saw me more in my everyday life, if he witnessed my daily interactions, it would ease his mind. I know this because I have some male friends that he no longer worries about because he’s seen me with them. He only knows me as a flirtatious sex kitten and expects that is how I treat everyone.

    And honestly, I did treat people that way. I’ve been doing that for years and found myself in many situations that I’d rather not be in.

    This is a learning experience for me. Jealousy or not, I definitely need to be more aware of my actions.
    .-= T´s last blog ..Plans… and babies =-.

  4. Wombat
    Twitter: kissnblog
    says:

    OMG I’m laughing my arse off at the “So, do you come here often?” line.

    And it must have the “So…” prefix. Perfect. Just perfect.

    Am I ever gonna resurrect that thing. Tonight, if poss.
    .-= Wombat´s last blog ..Dinner on the Table =-.

  5. I always say that my husband is wonderful enough to either not be attracted to anyone else or to effectively lie about the fact that he is. Before we met, I went on too many dates with pigs whose heads swiveled smoothly in the direction of the those blessed with porn star beauty. We have an agreement to keep our taboo thoughts taboo. It works for us.
    .-= Greta Koenigin´s last blog ..The Vagina Blog =-.

  6. Kat Wilder says:

    Steve – yeah, I pretty much agree. So, have you never felt jealous?

    Dads — I’ll ask you the same question I ask Steve; have you felt jealous with a partner? I think I remember you feeling tweaked when your former wife’s BF came to your house. Was that jealousy speaking?

    T — You and I need to sit down with a good bottle of red wine and talk! Interesting what you say about your affair, and I absolutely get that you and your BF are still getting to know each other. Our history can indeed creep up on us … Awareness of actions (and any motivations behind them) is always good. I just hope that your flirtatious side doesn’t get stuffed inside and, eventually, snuffed out. It’s no doubt part of what attracted him to you …

    Wombat — I’m not so sure you should be laughing your arse off; I don’t think there’s a lot there to spare ;-)

    Greta — well, it seems like you and your hubby have it sorted out, and good for you. It’s one of those things couples need to be sure they’re on the same page about, and there’s no way to know that unless there’s talking going on.

  7. I guess we have it sorted out. I think it’s just our preferred variety of dysfunction. Perhaps that the key: finding someone with compatible quirks. (hee hee)
    .-= Greta Koenigin´s last blog ..The Vagina Blog =-.

  8. Steve says:

    @Kat

    Of course. It is one of those natural things healthy people accept but make an effort to keep to a minimum.

  9. Don says:

    Jealousy is basically a lack of trust. We should all strive to trust and realize that if you cannot trust the person you are with, then they may not be ‘the one’. I was a jealous person early in my life, but am at a place now that I realize people will do what people will do…and you cannot control them or what happens. If they decide to be unfaithful, then what good is being jealous about it? It really won’t matter…

    Don’t waste time on jealousy. It is an ugly emotion that has no real benefit. People will either be faithful and trustworthy or they will not…it’s that simple.
    .-= Don´s last blog ..Life, Money, and the Largest Wound…Part IV =-.

  10. amy says:

    i think–correct me if i’m wrong–that jealousy is an emotion, and thus inherently neither right nor wrong. it just is, and it happens.

    but unchecked and put into action, or nursed and encouraged to grow inside you, it can be seriously bad, as everyone says here.

    it comes from ego–I’M more important, MY needs, you are MY boyfriend, etc…. eckhart tolle would call it part of the pain body. (i’m still working on his dissolving the pain body thing. urgh.)

    anyway, i know i would be jealous if i were involved with someone who flirted a lot or was constantly pursued by other women. i guess for me, those kinds of things would be a deal-breaker, and i wouldn’t be with that kind of person, anyway.

    i was married to a musician who did lots of tours, and occasionally i would “jokingly” suggest he had groupies (this is actually quite hilarious for a jazz musician). but he always acted like i was the most beautiful, desirable woman in the world (smart guy) and i knew he wasn’t looking for that kind of thing.

    it wasn’t until our marriage was already pretty much over that he developed an attraction for someone that he met while playing in europe, which developed into a brief email “emotional affair”–but she wasn’t just a groupie, she was the childhood friend of one of his bandmates. and that certainly wasn’t why we got divorced.
    .-= amy´s last blog ..what you need, what you want =-.

  11. T
    Twitter: tsquest
    says:

    Kat,

    Let me know when you feel like flying to Dallas. I have a wine bottle opener.

    ;)

    T
    .-= T´s last blog ..A Food Revolution =-.

  12. Hi Kitty Kat!

    I have never been the jealous type. And that’s because I’m not insecure, right?

    BUT, I say everyone is prone to jealousy. I do experience a measure of jealousy in my current relationship but oddly enough, it is because I believe my man is clueless to women lusting after him. So I’m afraid that he won’t even know to say NO when a woman throws herself at him! Alas, yes ~ I believe you are more jealous if you date a beautiful one.

    My bf doesn’t seem to be jealous either. But once, we went to a party where we were the only white couple. Black men really really really really like me. Why? Because they like big butts and they cannot lie! ;) So, even though my bf is very secure and big and tough, he realized early on that if we stayed there very long, he would have to take on the entire group of men there! So he asked if we could leave. Hehehehe.

    Seriously, though. Jealousy is generally destructive. But as Amy points out, it is just another emotion. And will only cause trouble if allowed to run rampant.

    And if you do take a trip to Dallas, take me!!!!!! xoxoxox

  13. Nicole says:

    Jealousy is an ugly emotion and who would disagree with that? Many also believe that if you are secure in yourself and your relationship you are immune to such an unpleasant emotion. Immune, maybe not. I think jealousy has the ability to creep into even the best of healthy relationships.

    Cathouse T’s comment reminded me of something my husband and I went through before we were married.
    We both had (and have) friends of the opposite sex, and it’s obvious when one may have more than “friendship” on their mind. Well, I guess it wasn’t as obvious to him, because instead of deferring a flirtatious interaction, as I would do, he would continue on in the same manner. Now, I didn’t think he’d forget how to say “NO”, as Cathouse T feared, but I was upset by his response. Was I insecure or jealous? It may have appeared that way, but what I was feeling was disrespected and it made me question HIM! Maybe he wasn’t as secure as I (and he) thought he was? Was it a safe way to feed his ego? Both of us were happy and secure in our relationship, so this was very puzzling.
    As for now, we still have our friends, and were both friendly and yes, sometimes even a TINY BIT flirtatious, but NOT to the “Extra Friendly Friends”! We know where the boundaries are so neither of us becomes ugly by jealousy!

  14. Kat Wilder says:

    Ms. Cat — If your guy took up a woman (dare I say hussy?) who threw herself at him, he’d be a damn fool!

    Nicole — I think you’re right; jealousy can creep in even healthy relationships at times. All that keeps us sane is our boundaries.

  15. BigLittleWolf
    Twitter: BigLittleWolf
    says:

    The whole jealousy thing is soooo interesting. I’ve been with men who were jealous by nature and it bugged me. (I’m by nature monogamous, but I do enjoy my flirting.)

    And I’ve rarely been jealous, even when involved with a babe magnet sort of man – which probably speaks to my (foolishly) trusting nature.

    But for me – lack of jealousy doesn’t mean lack of passion. I think it means an abundance of trust. Sometimes wrongly given, but trust, nonetheless.

    Great post.
    .-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..Dear ELLE Magazine in Paris =-.

  16. Amy
    Twitter: None
    says:

    The whole jealousy thing is soooo interesting. I’ve been with men who were jealous by nature and it bugged me. (I’m by nature monogamous, but I do enjoy my flirting.)

    And I’ve rarely been jealous, even when involved with a babe magnet sort of man – which probably speaks to my (foolishly) trusting nature.

    But for me – lack of jealousy doesn’t mean lack of passion. I think it means an abundance of trust. Sometimes wrongly given, but trust, nonetheless.

    Great post.
    .-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..Dear ELLE Magazine in Paris =-.

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