This past week was Lupercalia, or Valentine’s Day for those of us who didn’t study Roman history. So it seems obvious to me that we should take a closer look at that troublesome emotional state we all call jealousy.
I will make it very simple: the more jealous you feel = the more insecure you are.
Specifically in romantic entanglements, in dating, in whatever constellation that you go and do whatever you like to do with whomever you like-eventually getting naked and somewhat sleepy.
It’s easy to be jealous when you are young. You don’t know any better. And the emotional feelings involved in dating and courtship are oh so tender. You feel everything is intense and delirious and happening just for you. But that’s youth.
As we get older, jealousy is a hangup, and a bad one. First of all, jealousy provides no benefit to the afflicted. Not one. It doesn’t make you a better lover. It doesn’t get you more sex or more security. It doesn’t make anyone love you more—usually quite the opposite happens. Getting angry or sulking at every individual who happens to smile at your partner, or being bitchy to the chatty waitress or bartender does nothing for your social life. Jealousy of a spouse is even more absurd. How often do you want to have that same fight after all? It’s tedious. It’s shallow. It’s a shame. Remember, people actually get killed because of out of control jealousy. And it’s all your fragile ego’s fault.
The diagnostic problem here is that the insecure ego wants to be protected from whatever intense feeling is going on. That intense feeling is often just desire of our partner—which obviously is a very good thing. But the insecure ego messes up the whole experience. It gets between us and our feelings. It get’s this crazy notion that it has to protect us from these intense feelings. Being in love, being in lust, all of these states are emotionally laden, intense and somewhat spooky. The payoff is obvious. But for the insecure ego, it deflects those intense feelings and makes them the enemy, and it tries to fight them off, rather than submitting to love, to lust, to that last call at 2:30AM on a Saturday night, which is how it should go.
In some instances, insecure egos also want to control everything around them, because it doesn’t have any strength of its own. It wants to control others, to dominate them, to at least feel some semblance of power and authority. This is exactly why no one should have sex with people like Rick Santorum.
So what do you tell a jealous partner? Get thee to a counselor’s office. Next, ask them if being jealous has actually improved their lives. Then get them to talk about what they are trying to protect.
All that energy, all that mojo, because you are afraid? Because your world would end if you found out what about your partner? That is giving a lot of power over your own life to another person.
And if you keep it up, there isn’t going to be anybody left to buy you that box of chocolates. Let alone the jacuzzi suite at the Hotel Vintage Plaza.