Is jealousy damaging to a relationship or is it healthy? Most people would say that a little bit of jealousy can go a long way in keeping a relationship exciting, and while that may be true, I have to argue that exciting isn’t always healthy.
Skydiving is exciting, but it can still give you a heart attack.
What is healthy, however, is being a little territorial. As people, the things we give the most importance to are the things that we claim as our own -- things we claim to be a part of us in some way.
Taking ownership of a relationship in such a way can be incredibly beneficial -- everyone wants to be wanted.
So, to a certain extent, everyone wants to be possessed by someone else. The difficult part of all of this is differentiating between jealousy and territorialism. It gets especially difficult when you are trying to dissect your own emotions.
Here’s a list that you can use as a reference:
Being jealous is not wanting your partner to hang out with his/her ex because you're afraid he/she will cheat
You’re insecure and you want to hold on to your partner for as long as you can because you know that one day you will lose him/her.
The truth is, you’re right -- but with that attitude, you're most certainly going to.
Being territorial is not wanting your partner to hang out with his/her ex because you don't trust his/her ex at all
You know your partner will remain loyal, but you still don’t like the thought of an ex trying to get back into his/her pants. Are they just friends? You can never really be sure.
Even if you trust your partner, there's no good reason you should trust his/her ex. I mean, you know what your lover can do in bed… who wouldn’t want to have that again?
Being jealous is not wanting anyone to look at your partner in fear that he/she will realize he/she can do better than you
There are only two reasons a person would have such thoughts: He/she either doesn’t think very highly of him/herself, or he/she knows that he/she could be a better partner.
Whether it’s jealousy or shame doesn’t really matter, because they're just two sides of the same coin.
Being territorial is not wanting other people looking at your partner because you find it to be rude -- you're standing right there, after all.
If you’re not around, you still don’t especially like the thought of it, but if it boosts your lover’s self-esteem, then why protest?
As long as he/she stays faithful, you aren’t too bothered.
Being jealous is hating the idea of your partner socializing without you around.
You’re worried he/she will be flirting with other people and that it might lead to other things happening.
If you find yourself in such a situation, then the matter of fact is this: You either have no reason to be jealous or you do have a reason to be jealous.
If you have no reason to be jealous, then you’re just being stupid and allowing your emotions to get the better of you.
If you do have a reason to be jealous, then ask yourself if you should be with a person who justifiably makes you jealous.
Being territorial is not liking when your partner flirts, but appreciating when he/she takes out his/her sexual energy on you.
Flirting is, more often than not, harmless. If flirting were a guaranteed lay, we’d all be humping like rabbits all the time.
If only it were so easy… So, what would make you think that your partner flirting would guarantee something more?
Flirting in your presence is definitely a no, but flirting on his/her own can really be harmless. Being flirted with makes a person feel good -- why should we refuse ourselves of such a pleasure?
We want to feel wanted and deserve to be reminded that we’re attractive. If your partner loves you, it’s really only the ego seeking the attention -- his/her more conscious self is still in love with you.
Being jealous is not liking your partner hanging out with his/her friends -- even when they're of the same sex.
You’re always worried that someone is going to have guy friends or girl friends over (depending on their sexual preference) and have them over.
Of course, this is just you being silly.
You can’t possibly expect to keep your partner away from every single person who's interested in sleeping with them.
If your partner is attractive, then I have some bad news: Every man is going to want to sleep with her. The question is whether or not you trust her.
Being territorial is not wanting your partner to hang out with his/her friends, but knowing that he/she needs space, too.
We’re human beings -- the majority of us looking for partners. There isn’t a person in the world who wouldn’t have several hundreds of suitors to sleep with him/her -- and you understand this.
You know there's nothing you can do. Your lover is one sexy beast.
You don’t enjoy the thought of others wanting to touch your partner, and will more than likely prefer he/she stay by your side, but you suck it up when it's a matter of having some space.
Being jealous is hating when your partner is anywhere but by your side.
It’s as if you’re afraid he/she is literally going to get up and run off with someone new -- or maybe just run away from you.
Jealousy is never healthy. It’s fueled by feelings of disappointment, worry and insufficiency. You’re not really even interested in keeping the one you love as you are interested in not losing him/her. It’s loss aversion. You don’t want to feel like a loser.
It’s all about you.
Being territorial is wanting your partner by your side so you can be there for him/her.
They are your special other half -- you will fight tooth and nail to keep them from harm.
You care about them just as much as you care about yourself but, at the same time, you are an egocentric being that wants to possess, at the very least, a part of the person you love.
You aren’t so much afraid of losing them as you are keen to keep hold of them.
Your mind isn’t focused on the possibility of loss, but rather on the hope of further connecting with them.