Here’s how to cope if the green-eyed monster rears its head in your relationship
If you’re jealous of other men
Instinct may tell you it’s OK to punch someone for looking at your bird, but better judgement should tell you otherwise. Here’s a newsflash, if you find your girlfriend attractive, undoubtedly other men will too.
Relationship and psychosexual therapist Mo Kurimbokus says, “jealousy needs to be nipped in the bud, before it becomes destructive. You should talk to your partner about how you feel and they, in turn, should be able to reassure you.”
And if you’re just not one of those touchy-feely blokes who can open up easily? Kurimbokus suggests, “if you don’t talk about how you feel you’re left with two choices – the relationship will end up running into difficulties or you will have to put up with a bad relationship.”
If you’re jealous of her ex
The ghost of boyfriends past can be as scary thing. You may think her ex never forgot her birthday and had the sexual prowess of a Viagra-fed horse, but what you should remember is that they broke up for a reason. Similarly, they are with you for a reason too. That, by default, makes you better.
“Communication is key here,” says Kurimbokus, “It’s really important to tell your partner how you feel and give her the opportunity to let you know why she has chosen to be with you.”
If you’re jealous of her male friend
He probably sees your girlfriend just as much as you do and she’s always so flirty with them, does that mean she’s having clandestine affair with him, which will leave you a quivering wreck after she dumps you? No.
“Any threat to the primary relationship causes jealousy” says Kurimbokus, and the best thing to do in this situation is to talk to your partner and explain how their actions are making you feel, “she may be totally oblivious to how big you perceive the threat to be.”
If you’re jealous because she cheated
She did the dirty on you, but you love her too much to let her go, so how do you trust her again? Kurimbokus says, “the thing that upsets people most when they’ve been cheated on is the feeling that they’re not number one anymore. They feel hurt and betrayed and the trust has gone.”
Now more than ever is when you need to be reassured by your partner that you are the person they want to be with and there is no shame in asking for that.
Talk about what you both want out of the relationship, if you have a future together and decide if it’s something worth salvaging.
If she’s the jealous one
A little bit of jealousy suggests that she cares. A constant need to know where you are at all times and to check your texts every time you leave your phone unattended may suggest a penchant for boiled bunny stew.
It is easy to label someone insecure, but you might also want to take a look at your behaviour says Kurimbokus, “you should ask yourself, ‘what am I doing to reassure my partner?’”
If the answer is, “I leave the toilet seat down, what more does she want?” then you might want to rethink your attitude.
“The best way to reassure someone is to talk about your future together – it shows that you take the relationship seriously.” Says Kurimbokus.
Another way to show your girlfriend how much she means to you is to pay her compliments. If she’s wearing a new pair of shoes, or even if she’s wearing an old pair that you like, tell her, “it’s a small way to make her feel good about herself and the relationship,” Kurimbokus says.
Single And Happy
Who says single has to mean sad? If you're sick of the associations, start holding your head up high - right now it's just as great to be single.
Until relatively recently being single held a certain amount of stigma, and in some quarters it still does. Women who did not marry were dubbed spinsters, and were described as 'left-on-the-shelf' if they hadn't entered wedlock by their early twenties, implying that they were unwanted. You never hear of eligible spinsters, do you? Men fared slightly better as bachelors. This sounded like much more fun, and implied a carefree lifestyle, but even they were looked at as strange if they hadn't settled down by their mid-thirties.
Today it's becoming more and more common for both sexes to wait longer before settling down, caused partly by wanting to play the field or perhaps concentrating on a career over a relationship. This is more likely to be down to a conscious decision to be single, rather than an inability to find a partner. Your Gran may be pestering you about when you're going to settle down, but if you're happy with your life then don't go changing.
Even if you are single because you've split up with your last partner, it doesn't mean that life has to be an ordeal. It hasn't suddenly transformed you into half a person, lacking something essential. Instead think of it as the key to a wealth of new opportunities.
Making the most of singledom:
It's different for everyone. Try making a long list of all the things that make you happy, and make sure that you do at least some of them regularly.
Stay in touch with your mates, keep all your lines of communication open, and get out and about.
Don't rush into looking for someone new, most people can smell desperation a mile off, and it isn't attractive.
The Secrets Of Successful Relationships
Every relationship needs a solid foundation if it's to survive all life can throw at it. Here are seven relationship essentials that spell success.
1. Love yourself
Unless you love yourself, it's hard for you to believe that anyone else will.
Self-esteem is important for a healthy relationship. When you truly like yourself, in spite of any failings and weaknesses you may have, you'll feel confident. And when you feel confident and secure within yourself, you can enjoy being with your partner for the joy they bring to your life, not because you feel you need them to survive.
If you've had bad experiences in the past, it's worth working through these issues with a trusted friend or counsellor. It can be tempting to lean on your partner and rely on them for reassurance, but the stronger you are as an individual, the stronger and more equal your relationship will be.
2. Like your partner
Healthy relationships happen between two people who really like each other. It may be more romantic to talk about love, but it's important to remember that love is an emotion that comes and goes.
If you genuinely like each other, enjoy being together, agree with how each other thinks and behaves, and share the same dreams in life, then loving feelings will never be too far away.
It's important to tell your partner you like them, too. Warm words of encouragement and support build trust and respect. Add the odd compliment as well and you'll be helping to boost their self-esteem.
3. Make quality time
The importance of things can be measured by the amount of time we're willing to give them. When a couple first gets together, they instinctively prioritise their relationship. But as time goes by and life gets busier with work and children, time together often slips down the list of priorities.
If you don't spend regular quality time together, chances are you'll drift apart. Making such time for each other may mean sacrificing other activities, but remember it's an investment in your future happiness.
Good communication is essential for a healthy relationship. It's the only way you can tell your partner who you are, what you want and why you behave the way you do. Talking is the way we let each other into our private worlds.
Communicating better is about learning to say openly and honestly exactly what you think and feel. It also means listening to your partner without judgement.
5. Argue well
It's important to accept that arguments are a normal part of a relationship. We're all unique and so we're bound to have our differences.
Couples who argue well don't have to worry about not always agreeing. A good argument is an opportunity to share your feelings and strengthen your bond by reaching a decision you're both happy with. It can be an experience that leaves you both feeling more confident about your relationship and brings you closer together.
6. Touch every day
Touching is a vital human need. Studies have shown that without touching, many animals - including humans - will die in childhood. Being caressed also lowers blood pressure and releases natural opiates in the brain, as well as the chemical oxytocin, which is essential for human pair-bonding.
Touch has the power to comfort and support, to protect and encourage, to relax and, of course, to arouse. Every couple knows their sex life may have dry periods, but our need for physical affection never changes.
7. Accept change
People change over the years and it's these changes that can keep a relationship alive. Life changes too - and not always in ways that we want.
Change can provide opportunities for growth and intimacy, but it can also be painful. It may mean adjusting to a new way of thinking or a new way of life. It may also mean letting go of things that have been familiar and safe.
In successful relationships, couples learn to adapt and change together. They accept that change is an inevitable part of human life and support each other, for better for worse.
Keeping all seven principles going isn't easy, but the more you can manage on a regular basis, the stronger your relationships will be.
No matter the type of relationship, be it romantic, friendly, or between parent and child, an essential ingredient is trust. Trust defines every interaction in a relationship, it builds intimacy and it strengthens bonds. Without trust no relationship can thrive. Unfortunately people don’t always cherish trust the way that they should. Because it is often given freely at first it is also easily taken for granted. When trust has been damaged it can spell doom for a relationship and it can be very hard, if not impossible, to earn back.
Whether or not trust can ever be restored depends on how badly it was damaged and how much the spurned person feels betrayed. If you’ve had your trust betrayed then you know how hard it can be to let go, move on and fix the relationship. More often than not the burned person just wants to cut their losses and end the relationship, and who could blame them? But if you do want to repair the damage, if you want to salvage the relationship and rebuild trust, there are some steps you need to follow. While the person who damaged the trust has their work cut out for them in earning it back the person who was hurt also has a job to do. So how do you move past a major burn and put things back on track? It’s hard but it can be done and these three pointers can help.
1. Let your anger out. In a quest to save a relationship people who have been hurt often bend over backwards to please their betrayer. Why? Because when we have been betrayed or burned the person who hurts us has sent a clear message that on some level we don’t matter to them as much as they matter to us. In a rebound state of fear of loss this often translates in to the hurt party trying to earn back the other person’s good opinion. It is a knee-jerk reaction and always ends in resentment. The best way to start the healing process is to acknowledge that there has been pain, betrayal and a loss of trust. Once the cards are on the table everybody will have a clearer picture of what they need to do to set things right.
2. Resolve to let it out and then let it go. Once you let your feelings out you need to let the incident go. This does not mean blind forgiveness, but there is an element of forgiveness involved in this step. If the person who hurt you apologizes and you accept then you need to never rehash the incident. Doing so will only bring back your anger and keep you in emotional limbo. Don’t bring it up as a weapon. Don’t hold it over the other person every time you feel wronged in the future. Acknowledge that it happened, make your feelings and expectations known, and then stop focusing on what damaged the trust and set your sights on rebuilding. You’re only human, you may slip up and throw the incident in the face of your betrayer and if you do don’t beat yourself up over it, apologize and move on. While this step may seem like letting the person who hurt you get off easy in reality you are making things easier on your self by allowing yourself to be hurt and moving past it.
3. Know that things can never go back to the way they once were and keep your eyes wide open to future betrayals. The sad reality is that once trust has been damaged it can’t simply go back to the way it once was, no matter how much both parties may want it to. People who do not value trust enough to respect it in the first place more often than not continue that pattern in the future. This doesn’t mean that it is a waste of time trying to rebuild trust it just means that the new trust has to be different. Call it a more mature trust. While trusting a person who has hurt you isn’t impossible it will never be the same kind of wide-eyed trust we give to people when we first let them in. This is not really a bad thing even though it may seem like a loss. Seeing people for who they really are rather than through rose-colored lenses can be a healthy thing. So when you decide to try to give trust a second chance just know that you will be more sensitive to the prospect of another betrayal and forgive yourself if doubt seeps in without real reason.