We all enter new relationships with our own perspectives. We bring our own idiosyncrasies, our own habits and our own flaws that -- we hope -- easily mesh with this new person's.
Something we all bring into a relationship is our tendency to be jealous. Of course, how jealous we are in our relationship can certainly depend on the actual relationship, but our past experiences with the little green monster can also play a huge, huge role.
Perhaps you've dated a mega flirt. Perhaps you've been cheated on or have done the cheating.
Perhaps you've snooped in your ex's phone or emails and found something that could be misinterpreted as unfaithful.
No matter what, every single one of us has felt jealousy -- and has had to deal with it.
Sometimes, jealousy makes us destructive, forcing us to sabotage anything good that might come our way because we simply can't control how we feel.
Sometimes, however, it lurks quietly in our brains and remains dormant, only to possibly display itself later.
In addition to how we act in our relationship, jealousy also affects how we want other people to see our partners.
More specifically, our jealousy determines whether we like when others see our partners as hot or whether we hate it.
Some people see flirting as flattering; others see flirting as disrespectful.
We've all been in a situation in which our partners' commitment to us has been tested. And no, this doesn't have to mean we were involved in some sort of dramatic cheating scandal.
But if you've ever seen some girl flirt with your boyfriend, you certainly couldn't help but observe how he'd respond and use it as a sort of test of his affection for you. Does he flirt back or dismiss her? And what does it mean?
For some of us, watching someone flirt with our partner is flattering. Knowing that someone else finds our partner as attractive as we do is a compliment. It reaffirms that we've done a good job choosing someone attractive and desirable because other people see our partner that way, too. We feel proud.
For others, watching our partners receive that kind of attention makes us feel disrespected. We feel like everyone should know our partner is ours only, which means it's not okay to flirt with him or her, ever. We feel angry.
Some people trust their partners; others get "protective."
When someone flirts with our partners, one of two things happen: We trust our partners, or we get "protective."
If we trust our partners, we might turn the other cheek, feeling confident that they can handle the situation alone. We don't think our partners will respond to the flirting in any sort of provocative way, so we're fine with just letting the interaction occur and observing from afar.
If we feel the need to get "protective," we might go over and link our arm through our partners', as if staking our territory.
This action lets other people know our partners are ours, and nobody else is allowed to look or touch.
It's a bold yet effective move that lets everyone know what's up. In this way, we allow our jealousy to manifest into something more visible and overt.
Some people get turned on by passionate feelings; others prefer a calm relationship.
The way we allow our jealousy to manifest can actually turn us on.
Sometimes, proclaiming our territory can be a turn-on. The act of linking our arm through our significant other and staring darkly into the other person's eyes, daring him or her to f*ck off, makes us feel strong emotions that actually draw us closer to our partner.
It makes us excited to proudly say that our partner is ours. Our impassioned inner selves make us feel something intense, and we find that emotion hot.
Other people don't like this kind of tumultuous relationship, this kind of instability. We want a calm, serene relationship in which we don't have to worry about a single thing.
We want constant reassurance. The thought of having to go on protective mode doesn't turn us on -- it stresses us out. We prefer tranquility.
Regardless of how we act, we deal with those natural feelings of jealousy that arise within us. It doesn't matter if you trust your partner or if you're tempted to stake your claim -- jealousy will probably bubble up inside of you, even if only for a moment, and you'll deal with it in one way or another.