Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jealousy

While discussing my less desirable qualities with a friend recently (yeah, I might need a hobby) I had a bit of a disagreement.

Jealousy, is my friend said, is a curse. But I think I disagree.

Maybe this is just because I am a jealous wench (Seriously: I’m jealous when my close friends have other close friends, I’m jealous when my partners fancy other people and I’m jealous when anyone I fancy fancies someone else… all very mature I know) but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

Jealousy can turn us into terrible, shrivelled raisin-like horrors, perhaps, but I don’t think it has to. For instance the fact that I’m jealous of my friends’ other friendships is a sign that I care about them and don’t take their friendship for granted. And yeah I know that sort of sounds like an abusive spouse who only hits his/her partner “because I love you so much, baby” but I think the point is slightly valid. Yes, jealousy can drive us to anger and despair and depression but it also shows us what’s important to us and remind us what matters..

I have had relationships where I felt a complete lack of jealousy about the other person’s flirtations with the opposite sex. At the time I thought it was great in a ‘oh we’re so close and so trusting I don’t even feel jealous’ but in hindsight I think I had the wrong idea. The truth was I actually didn’t care enough to be jealous. I have also had relationships where the other person has refused to get jealous no matter what I say or do and that has made me quietly despair for the same reason: I secretly suspect they either don’t give that much of a shit or they believe I’m so undesirable to everyone else that they have nothing to worry about.

In short? Embrace your inner green demon, flirt with that hottie in front of your partner and embrace the (possibly slightly unhealthy notion) that jealousy can give any relationship a welcome little shake up. And, you know, if your partner is so crazily jealous that he or she refuses to let you leave the house or hang out with other people now you know it’s just because he or she really loves you. Same reason they put out their cigarettes on your arm. Now shut up and make their dinner.

3 comments:

CB One said...

Kate, I've got this friend who's pretty cool, but she gets insanely jealous whenever I mention I may have recently spoken to her friends - ones that she introduced me to!
I'm a bit worried she might take up smoking just to stub cigarettes out on my arm? Any suggestions as to what I should do??

my name is kate said...

Get in first, cb and put out your cigarette... on her eyes. Both of them. That'll learn her.

Dave said...

I think you're right to an extent - a bit of jealousy isn't necessarily all bad. However when that bit of jealousy begins to manifest itself and turn into something ugly - when you make bad life/relationship decisions based on something that may or may not have occurred - that's when it becomes a bad thing.