A healthy and successful relationship is built on trust and effective communication. When you have trust issues or poor communication, jealousy is almost inevitable. To maintain emotional connection with your partner, you should know how to handle jealousy in your long-distance relationship.
- Understand what jealousy means
- Recognise jealousy
- Identify the source of your jealousy
- Reflect on how jealousy affects your relationship
- Address the root cause of your jealousy
Let’s explore each of these steps in more detail.
1. Understand What Jealousy Means
Jealousy is a negative feeling, an unpleasant feeling or state of unhappiness, resentment, bitterness and hostility. These feelings come from two beliefs column number
- The belief that something or someone belongs to you, it is yours.
- The belief that someone else is taking or may take something or someone away from you.
We could also consider jealousy as an unfavourable behaviour that you should not put up with.
Here are some definitions of jealousy from online dictionary
‘Feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has’
‘A feeling or a state of resentment, bitterness or hostility towards someone because they have something that you do not’. In this definition, jealousy is described as envy.
‘An unpleasant emotion you feel when you think that someone is trying to take what is yours’
Jealousy is wanting something that someone else has. In a long-distance relationship, you might be jealous of your partner’s friends who get to spend more time with them than you.
These people get to spend more time with your partner than you, so naturally, this is something that you would want for yourself. If you feel disadvantaged because you can’t spend enough time with your partner, you may feel jealous of people who can.
Jealousy is the envy of other people. Suppose you find yourself being jealous in a long-distance relationship. In that case, you might be tempted to restrict your partner’s ability to enjoy themselves. Doing so, can lead to many issues and a controlling behaviour.
Here is an article that dives deeper into jealousy in a long-distance relationship.
2. Recognise Jealousy
Knowing what jealousy is and how it feels can help you recognise it in yourself or your partner.
Since jealousy involves a belief of ownership and control, you may look for this type of behaviour.
Apart from controlling behaviour another sign of jealousy can be distrust. While there are occasions where distrust is warranted, there are times where a lack of trust comes from not knowing how to handle the distance in a romantic relationship.
If the distance gets too much for you, consider this guide that will help you and your partner handle the distance in your relationship step by step.
For example, a lack of communication can be a sign that your partner is no longer interested in you or this relationship. However, it may be the case where your partner is busy with their life.
In this case, if you are feeling lonely, frustrated or jealous, it can be a sign that you expect too much communication and really should consider getting busy doing something with your life outside of this relationship.
The reality of a long distance relationship is that you do spend a lot of time without your partner. While there are many ways to deal with it, your long distance relationship can only work once you accept the fact that you will be spending a lot of time apart, until you find a way to be together.
Another fact of a long distance relationship is that you will be missing each other. Being busy by yourself or spending time with your friends can make it easier.
If you and your partner are serious about making your long-distance relationship work, this complete step by step guide is a must.
However, when you have nothing to do, the idea of being away from someone you love can very quickly become overwhelming. It is easy to allow the frustration to penetrate your mind leaving you feeling powerless to do anything about your situation.
When you feel powerless, the next step is to start blaming your partner for your loneliness.
When you’re feeling powerless to change your situation, you may unintentionally start controlling your partner to regain any little of power you can get. Such controlling behaviour can feel restricting.
Unfortunately, many people who feel jealous, try to control their partners. If you find yourself doing so, consider that this behaviour reinforces the idea that your partner belongs to you, suggesting that you want to control their life.
As a result, you unintentionally restrict your partner’s freedom causing them to want to break away from this constraint by getting away from you. This common response causes more problems and over time couples either drift apart or find themselves in a toxic relationship.
Start by recognising if you are upset because your partner is doing something that you do not approve of. Because, if you are, you need to ask yourself why don’t you like what they are doing? Is it because they do it without you? Are you feeling alone or neglected?
A successful long-distance relationship requires a balance of maintaining emotional connection when you’re a part, making the most of your time together and being busy living your life to its fullest between your visit.
A healthy way to deal with having so much time to yourself is by using this time to work on your personal development, your career, studies and have fun doing the things you like with people whose company you enjoy.
That said, you also should consider making a little effort to keep the spark alive, which is particularly challenging when you are apart. To help you get started, we have created this workbook that will give you some ideas on how you can spice up you long-distance relationship.
3. Identify the Source of Your Jealousy
When it comes to romantic relationships, jealousy can stem from the belief that your partner is cheating, which causes you to feel unhappiness and anger.
From the above, we could say that for you to feel jealous you must see your partner as someone who belongs to you, as if they are your property.
Take a moment to reflect if this statement rings true at all for how you see your partner. It is not so much that you might be treating your partner as your property, but rather if you have an underlying belief that they belong to you.
Another important point to keep in mind is, where does your jealousy come from?
Does it originate from doubts that stem from your insecurities? or Are you feeling jealous because your partner behaves in a way that leaves you questioning their trustworthiness?
Identifying which one of the above holds true sets the tone of how you should deal with jealousy in your relationship.
Once you reflect on yourself, you may find that your jealousy comes from you being generally insecure about yourself. This insecurity can lead to constant doubts that create different stories which may be very far from reality. In this case, you should take complete responsibility for handling your doubts and insecurities. Check out this article if you would like to learn more about insecurities in a long-distance relationship.
Of course, you can ask your partner for help. It is also a great idea to share all your doubts and concerns with them. Doing so, will involve your partner in addressing the issues, be they personal, and improve your relationship as a whole.
This alone can bring you closer together, strengthen your bond, and build intimacy. And, if this is something you need help with, here is a step by step guide just for you.
While it is perfectly fine to ask your partner for help, remember to take complete responsibility for dealing with your insecurities.
On the other hand, you may reflect on your relationship and discover that certain behaviour from your partner raises questions in your mind. At this point, it is important that you do not jump to conclusions and start accusing your partner of cheating and what not.
4. Reflect on How Jealousy Affects Your Relationship
In a long-distance relationship, jealousy can lead to emotional distance between you and your partner. When that happens, it becomes challenging to repair your relationship.
See manifests as a controlling behaviour the partner who is jealous feels confused and desperate, while their partner feels overwhelmed and constricted. This dynamic creates extra pressure on the relationship that already has many uncertainties because of the distance.
A person who is jealous becomes increasingly needy and clingy. At the same time, their partner tries to push them away to create more space and freedom from this intrusion. And, unless you identify jealousy and recognise these behaviours, your long distance relationship has very little chance of working out.
Here is an article that covers every major aspect of a long-distance relationship along with some tips on how you can make it work. Definitely worth checking out!
5.Address the Root Cause of Your Jealousy
Instead of trying to take something away from your partner, bring what they have into your life. For example, if your partner spends a lot of time with their friends, instead of complaining, you can try to spend more time with your friends or generally doing things you love.
Bringing more joy into your life will make you a more exciting partner and draw your partner towards you. Whereas, if all you do is complain about your long-distance partner and tell them what to do and what not to do, they will be put off by it.
If you don’t deal with jealousy in the right way, it can manifest as controlling behaviour. Then, you will start telling your long-distance partner to spend less time with their friends or family and more time with you.
Your partner will feel such behaviour as neediness and clinginess, which is off-putting. The more you do it, the less your partner will want to spend time with you. So unless you deal with jealousy in a long-distance relationship, it can quickly become a problem and ultimately ruin your relationship.
How you cope with jealousy has a direct impact on the health of your long-distance relationship. Your first impulse might be to restrict your partner from seeing their friends. Such controlling behaviour will make your partner want to avoid sharing things with you.
If this continues, there will be an emotional distance in your relationship as well as the physical one. After some time, you may drift apart. To learn more about how you can stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship, take a look at this article.
A better way to cope with jealousy in your long-distance relationship is to be happy for your long-distance partner instead of being controlling. Another thing you can do is to spend some time with your friends, so you don’t feel alone.
A healthy way to address your partners behaviour that is concerning to you is by showing that you trust them.
Starting from trusting your partner until proven otherwise is a good rule of thumb when it comes to handling jealousy in a relationship.
At the same time, you don’t want to turn a blind eye on any specific behaviour that may suggest dishonesty.
In other words, do not comply with unhealthy and questionable behaviours.
To bring up and address your doubts and concerns regarding your partners behaviour focus on things you observe or know for a fact.
Try to avoid speculation and accusations.
Do express your feelings regarding your partner’s behaviour. But do so in a way where you share your feelings without blaming your partner for how you feel. If you find this concept confusing check out our article on communication.
Dealing with jealousy without fully understanding what it is and how it feels is near impossible.
In a long distance relationship, jealousy can be a lot harder to handle. A healthy long-distance relationship requires a lot more trust than a regular one because you don’t see each other as much. So, trust and effective communication are paramount to building a connection and addressing any issues or concerns you may have.
Recognising this requires being honest with yourself. To deal with jealousy in a healthy way requires a great degree of openness and trust. If any of these are a concern, you may want to start with developing openness by improving your communication and addressing any trust issues you may have.
Here is how you can address your doubts and insecurities that lead to your jealousy issues:
- Set a specific day and time for you to share your doubts with your partner.
- Tell your partner that you are feeling jealous because of something specific they say or do.
- Make a list of what your partner says or does that leaves you feeling worried and concerned.
- Write a separate list about your feelings and describe your partners behaviour in an objective way without accusations.
Mixing your feelings and your partner’s behaviour can lead to confusion. Your partner may start perceiving that you are accusing them of something and caused them to act defensively. Once this happens, a healthy interaction is nearly impossible and the conflict is way more likely.
After sharing your feelings and observations, ask your partner to repeat them back to you. This will give you a chance to know if your partner have heard you correctly. If they did, it will give you the reassurance that you have enough connection and understanding to deal with issue at hand.
If you would like your partner to hear you differently, thank them for sharing, and try again to describe how you feel, the facts and the behaviour you have observed.
Once you know for sure that your partner have received your message in the way you intended, you can further discuss their behaviour that is concerning to you.
As long as both of you are open and honest you can hone in on the truth and get rid of anything else that causes your jealousy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to deal with jealousy in a long-distance relationship?
Deal with jealousy in a long distance relationship you need great communication to express your feelings, build understanding and discuss the reasons for your jealousy. Once you know the source of your jealousy you can deal with it in the right way. Another Key element of dealing with jealousy is trust. In fact, jealousy is questioning the trust you have in your relationship and how you deal with it can directly affect how successful your long-distance relationship will be.
How to cope with jealousy in a long-distance relationship?
Coping with jealousy implies being patient and tolerant when you feel jealous of your partner. Do you sell isn’t a great idea because if you feel jealous you need to address this jealousy right away. Not dealing with jealousy will negatively impact your relationship, turning it into a struggle and eventually leading to a break up.
How can I handle a long-distance relationship?
You can handle a long-distance relationship by recognising that it is different from a regular relationship. When you live together with your partner, you see each other every day. You can be physically together whenever you like. In a long-distance relationship, your physical intimacy is only available when you visit each other. To compensate for the lack of physical intimacy you need to maintain an emotional connection through effective communication.
How can I handle a long-distance relationship that is falling apart?
If you feel that your long-distance relationship isn’t working, you can explore why it isn’t working and what issues you need to address. The best way to go about it is by expressing your doubts and concerns to your long-distance partner. Also, take time to listen to their point of view. Once you understand each other, you can find solutions to most problems.
How Healthy Is Your Long-Distance Relationship?
If you are having doubts about your long-distance relationship and are not sure if you should try to fix it or let it go, here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.
Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.
However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book an individual coaching session for yourself or a couples coaching session for you and your partner.