Is jealousy OK in moderation? I know some people who like to make their partners a little jealous to get their attention. Some partners get turned on when their significant others flirt with other people.
I don't think couples should play games with each other by purposefully flirting or trying to make their partners jealous (unless they explicitly give each other permission to), but at the same time, there's something incredibly alluring about seeing other people's attraction to your partner. It just revs you up and keeps the fires burning between the two of you. -- Vanessa Marin
Jealousy can be used to motivate or manipulate partners into getting what they want. Game-playing is not a good foundation for a relationship. -- Dr. Hartman
For me, jealousy is not an effective tool. If our goal is getting more attention from our partner, then we can do that by making our needs more clear to them or by more effectively meeting theirs so they feel more inclined to meet ours. If we are turned on by jealousy (and the anger it can generate), we have to question why danger is so arousing. People often tell me that make-up sex is the best. Psychologically that is because it involves two kinds of reward: positive (the sex itself) and negative (the end of the anxiety that the anger/argument caused). If the reward for jealousy is great sex, you will get more jealousy. That is a dangerous game to play. To me, sex based on love and affection is the best sex. If the reward for treating each other with kindness, respect, caring, and love is great sex then we will get more kindness, respect, caring, and love. Those are the things worth having in a relationship. -- Dr. Urban
What questions can we ask ourselves in order to overcome jealousy?
"Where are these feelings coming from?" Is there a reason you're feeling jealous, or is it coming seemingly out of nowhere? "What does this jealousy need from me?" Sometimes all you need to do to battle your jealousy is to acknowledge what you're feeling. Try engaging in some self-care behaviors to help yourself settle down. These are different for everyone, but examples could be journaling, going on a walk or run, taking a bath, meditating, calling a friend to vent, or going to therapy. -- Vanessa Marin
“Is your significant other really doing anything wrong?” Some people exhibit jealous behaviors and project these feelings because they are not happy in the relationship. If they really want out they can create a scenario that will inevitably make this happen... “Am I typically a jealous person?” Contrary to people who are experiencing jealousy for the first time, there are others who are chronically jealous. They have destroyed relationships in the past. These people need to recognize this about themselves and come to term with the fact that what they are feeling is their own issue having nothing to do with their partner’s behavior. -- Dr. Hartman
“Is this about me or about them?” That may seem simple but sometimes it is so much easier to make an accusation about someone else than to look into ourselves. This question asks us if the jealousy comes from our insecurities or their actions or both. -- Dr. Urban