Tips For Taming The Jealousy Monster

Tips for Taming the Jealousy Monster

The Jelly Green Giant…

My notoriously high threshold for the tauntings of the Jelly Green Giant we call jealousy has always been a source of nonchalant pride, allowing me to casually coast through hot women hitting on my girlfriends, several open relationships, and social media saturated breakups.

If jealously even tried to get me, I’d simply check my flawless manicure, send a Tweet, and sashay away.

This has all suddenly changed. Blame it on my rapidly approaching thirtieth birthday or perhaps some repressed bullshit, but I have found myself stricken by jealousy with my current partner. My partner is a dream and gives me no reason to doubt his love and devotion, yet I’ve caught myself a few times now running the jealousy triathlon of comparing myself to others, paranoid projection, and the dreaded stomach dropping sick.

Friends tease me as I confess that I’m ready to practice what I’ve been preaching from my non jealous ivory tower all along: jealousy can be mastered (or at least tempered), mind over matter.

First, no shame in your game! Jealousy happens, often for reasons we don’t immediately understand. Rather than trying to stuff the Jelly Green Giant into a closet or throw a sheet over it, like the elephant in the room, jealousy is best when addressed.

Whether open or monogamous, I find that my jealousy is usually 80% about my own shit and 20% about my partner’s actions. Tristan Taormino, author of my favorite non monogamy book Opening Up, lists four specific emotional components of jealousy:

1. Envy (I want that person/attribute/attention!)

2. Insecurity (might you be feeling some low self esteem in other areas of your life as well?)

3. Possessiveness (She’s MIIIINNNE!) and

4. Exclusion (But what about me?!?).


All four of these are more about you than they are about your partner and all four connect to the biggest jealously feeder: Fear. Fear of abandonment, fear that you’re not good enough or won’t get enough of all of these socially reinforced fears that tell us to pop that question and slap a ring on it cuz if you don’t, YOU’LL DIE ALONE. (You really won’t).


Fear is a tough cookie to crumble, especially if these fears have been confirmed in your past by an ex dipping her cookie in everyone else’s milk, someone telling you that your cookie isn’t good enough, or being left cookieless while everyone else is enjoying delicious cookies all around you. At the risk of running this analogy ragged, you must remember that you, like everyone else, have the power to bake your own delicious cookies!


After punching some pillows and choking down too much ice cream in a jealous rage, dig a little deeper (sure, dig deeper into that Ben & Jerry’s carton, but also into your feelings).


What’s feeding your jealousy? Are you feeling insecure in your relationship with your partner?


What is it about someone else in your partner’s life that’s got you green? Do you wish your partner would joke with you like she jokes with Cute Funny Femme Coworker? Is this actually about an unsavory ex or is your current partner giving you true reasons to doubt them?


Once you identify some jealousy roots, address them with your partner using “I” statements that express your feelings instead of blaming her for them (“I felt scared when I saw you cracking up with Cute Funny Femme Coworker because it made me feel like you have a better connection with her than you do with me”). Ask for what you need from your partner to help you process your jealous feelings ask her to slather you in reassurance, take you on a hot date, or sit down and rehash your commitments to each other.


Though jealousy crops up in all relationships (yes, even the healthy ones), persistent and nagging jealousy can be a real indicator that something just isn’t right. Trust your instincts if you feel like your jealousy is a warning light for misinformation, misleading, or mistreatment. But, if you decide you trust your partner, dive into selfwork and unlearning what past experiences or self doubt have taught you about the Jelly Green Giant. Above all, practice selfcare and selflove, reminding yourself that you’re the same amount of unique, loveable awesomeness whether partnered, single, or as hilarious as Cute Funny Femme Coworker over there.