If confidence was the currency of life, I would most certainly be in debt. Actually, confidence might be the currency of life because I do have a bit of debt, and my lack of confidence certainly upends me. I like to blame this lack of confidence on the hours I spent plié-ing in front of the mirror next to tiny ballerinas in my youth, but who knows. I have definitely jumped to conclusions when someone I'm seeing happens to have really beautiful friends. It's difficult to figure out how to feel confident around your partner's friends. Especially if they are super hilarious and cool.
If you are dating someone and feel jealous of or intimidated by their female friends, you probably have nothing to worry about. Well, at least you have nothing to worry about in terms of their intentions. Your partner isn't introducing you to all of their very cool female friends because they are sleeping with those friends, or even want to. They're introducing you because they think you are wonderful and deserve to be part of their life.
While I do not know a single person who is not somewhat insecure, or somewhat unhappy with themselves, it's important not to let jealousy cloud your judgment. Jealousy often suggests insecurity or unhappiness with oneself. I spoke to licensed clinical psychotherapist Dr. LeslieBeth Wish about how to manage jealousy towards a partner's female friends.
Try To Identify Why You Feel Jealous
If you're worried about your partner cheating on you with their friends, well, some people suck, so I understand your curiosity. Most likely, nothing is happening. But Dr. Wish says that you should be honest with yourself about your partner. Do they have a history of cheating, or of lots of short-term relationships? Are these friends long-time coworkers or friends, or new people your partner just met at the gym? Whatever your gut impulse is telling you, it's probably right.
Think About Your Own Insecurities
On the other hand, if you are going down Instagram rabbit holes, wondering why your partner has liked all of a particular friend's posts — even the bikini ones — chances are, you're overthinking it. I personally have not hooked up with everyone who has liked most of my Instagram posts, nor have I hooked up with everyone whose posts I have liked. This could be stemming from an insecurity.
"Jealousy is a two-headed beast," says Dr. Wish. "You might be jealous out of insecurity." She adds that "these feelings can stem more recently from your previous love relationships and bad breakups." On the other hand, she says these feelings can also stem from your partner's behavior towards you. "Their behaviors can erode your self-confidence and honest assessments of yourself," she cautions. Get honest with yourself about where your insecurities are stemming from.
Write Down What's Bothering You
It sounds cheesy, but putting a pen to paper is a great way to keep yourself honest. "Keep a diary to expand your thoughts on these issues so you can first figure out: Is it me or my partner [causing those insecurities]? Who are these friends, and why are they important to him?" says Dr. Wish. If you find yourself writing down very legitimate reasons like "they are in the same group of friends" or "he's always had female friends," then you can assume that this jealousy has more to do with your own insecurities.
If you know you're like me — generally always at least a little bit insecure and jealous — start by writing down a list of what qualities these females have. "She's a successful business owner" or "she has really great taste in TV." Chances are that these qualities are things that you admire. Next, force yourself to write down a list of qualities you have that maybe these female friends don't have. Your partner loves you for you, so don't let your insecurity take over.
I am a broken record when it comes to this piece of advice, but I will also recommend you speak to a therapist. Therapy has helped me become aware of my own insecurities in ways I did not realize were possible. At the end of the day, be nice to yourself. Oh, and don't go stalking your partner's Venmo feed, ready to assume that a taco emoji actually stands for something else. It's very rarely what you think.
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