We all get the occasional twinge of jealousy in relationships, but it can sometimes get completely out of hand. So how can you tell if it has gone too far?

Man looks at his phone while woman sits behind him and looks over his shoulder to see the screen.

Jealousy can have a dangerous effect on your relationships.

What is jealousy?

Jealousy in your love life is one of the strongest and most unpleasant emotions. You suspect there is a rival for the attention or affections of your lover. It could be another person, or even your partner’s work or hobbies.

If you are jealous about your partner:

Think about why you might be feeling this way. Are you being unfair?

  • If you live with them or nearby, but they’re never at home or out with you, it’s fair enough to have an honest talk with them and say that you really want to spend more time together.
  • If they do spend lots of time with you already, ask yourself how reasonable you’re being here. There’s a fine line between wanting to be with someone, and trying to control them. If this is the case, don’t sit around brooding when you’re apart. Go out and get some interests of your own to take your mind off your jealous thoughts. You do not ‘own’ your boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Have they ever given you a good reason to believe that they would be unfaithful? If not, your own feelings of paranoia could be to blame, so don’t take it out on them.
  • Lots of men and women are a bit flirtatious, but they don’t mean any harm. If flirting upsets you, explain it gently to your boyfriend or girlfriend, without making a big fuss or any threats.
  • People who suffer from jealousy are often very insecure, and their worst fear is that their partner will leave them. If there is no real reason for your jealousy, then your shouting, pestering or nagging could really drive them away.
  • If your partner has been unfaithful before and doesn’t seem to have changed, or flirts outrageously to make you unhappy, it may be time to find someone new.

If your partner is jealous over you:

  • If you have been behaving yourself perfectly well, but he or she is being a bit jealous, they might just need a bit of affection and reassurance.
  • Signs that their jealousy is starting to get out of hand include the following; calling to your mobile phone while you are apart to check up on you, listening in on your phone conversations, banning you from wearing clothes you look good in, and going through your bags looking for evidence of an affair.
  • Someone who flies into possessive rages for no good reason needs professional help, especially if they are violent. If they refuse to get help, get out of the relationship – it is unlikely that they will change (however much they promise they will) and you could be putting your personal safety in danger.

Next Steps

  • Relate is an affordable relationship and sex counselling service. 0300 100 1234
  • Do you want to understand your relationship better? Love Smart helps you work it all out.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.


jealousy| trust


Updated on 29-Sep-2015