Darwin believed it was our body's attempt to ward off competition for mates and protect our offspring. Psychologists often describe it as a close cousin to madness. Whatever its origins, romantic jealousy is often has no basis in reality and makes us feel like we've totally lost it. Not fun. Good thing we're capable of higher reasoning! How to put that thinking brain (and a few shallow quick-fixes) to use to get the jealous beast inside of you under control.
Power of Positive Thinking
You may not be able to control a jealous attack, but you can—with some concentrated effort—redirect the thoughts to a happier place. Psychologist Ayala Pines, author of Romantic Jealousy, recommends concentrating on recent happy times—"like, some loving thing your partner has done recently or of something wonderful that has happened that made you feel great about yourself." It's not a permanent fix, but may keep you from dumping your glass of pinot in that other woman's face.
Get a Second Opinion
Before dissing my partner a jealous-fueled rant, I always call my best friend for a reality check. She does the same. Recently, her boyfriend took a female friend out to dinner on the friend's birthday, just the two of them on a Friday night! I told her that I didn't think he was interested in the woman, otherwise he wouldn't be so flagrant about taking her out, but that it's normal to feel jealous. Then, I told her that I was jealous my boyfriend wanted to hang out with his friends two nights in a row. We decided I'd boarded the crazy train and should keep this one to myself.