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How People In The Best Long-Distance Relationships Keep Jealousy From Eating Them Alive

Photo: Unsplash: Tyler Nix
How To Deal With Jealousy In Long-Distance Relationships
Love, Self

Don't let it get between you.

Feelings of jealousy can come between any type of couple, but when you're in a long-distance relationship, they can be even more intense and difficult to handle. So if you want to know how to make a long-distance relationship work, learning how to deal with your jealousy is important.

Have you ever had questions like these rumble through your mind incessantly?

"What did he really mean when he said that?"

"Where was she last night?"

"Why hasn't he texted me back yet?"

"What does she want from our relationship?"

"Can I truly trust my partner?"

When you're trying to get to sleep, attempting to focus on a project at work, or even while you're having a conversation with your partner, a cruel parade of questions that come from jealousy, worries, and anxiety can ruin your peace ... and your relationship, too.

When you don't get to see your partner face-to-face for long periods of time — or ever — you might start to fill in the blanks when you are apart. This can happen to couples who live in the same house, too, but it can happen more easily in a long-distance relationship, which is why learning how to deal with jealousy can put your worries to rest.

RELATED: 5 Little-Known Benefits Of Long-Distance Love

When you're in a long-distance relationship, there's very little you can verify with your own eyes and more to imagine and guess about. If you have a jealous habit — perhaps from a past relationship betrayal or even from an incident in this relationship — it can be tough to keep yourself in a fact-focused and responsive (rather than reactive) mode.

You have to work extra hard to stay connected and, in different ways, soothe the worrisome thoughts you have that fuel your jealousy. It is vital that you learn how to calm yourself down and start really questioning the assumptions you are making.

Your interactions across the miles with your partner are precious. But, if you're all stirred up and feeling jealous, it will show. Your tone of voice, body language, word choice, and more will betray that you are grappling with jealousy.

This will not bring you and your partner emotionally closer together!

You might not be able to contain your worries and start asking accusatory questions of your partner — even if you hadn't intended to. This will lead to tension, conflict, and emotional distance between the two of you.

If you have a tendency to get jealous and you're in a long-distance relationship, you need to figure out how to stop being jealous and develop strategies that help you return to connecting with and loving your partner.

Here are 3 ways to keep your jealousy in check when you're in a long-distance relationship.

1. Understand what triggers your jealousy.

Do you become jealous when your partner talks about a particular activity or when they mention a certain person? Pinpoint what the specific trigger is, and try to do so without blame. Do this first with your thoughts. Return to a question like, "Do I actually know if this is true?" Or "What are the facts here?"

Next, ask your partner questions that will help you gather information. The trick here is to ask questions in non-accusatory ways. Remember, the goal is not to catch your partner in a lie, but to dispel the stories that you might be creating in your mind about your partner or a particular situation

One way to ask for more information is: "Can you please tell me more about ..." or "Can you please help me understand ..."

Use words that bring you closer together, instead of putting your partner on the defensive.

RELATED: 7 Extra-Important Tips For Surviving A Long-Distance Relationship

2. Interrupt your usual pattern.

When you look for what triggers your jealousy, it might become clear that painful past experiences are leading you to read more into current situations than is really there.

If this is the case for you, practice bringing yourself back to the present moment. Catch yourself when you begin to think thoughts like, "He will cheat on me just like my ex did," or "She is just like all of the rest of the women I've ever dated. I can't trust her."

Deliberately bring yourself back to right here and right now, and ask yourself if the statement you just told yourself is accurate and if you really know this to be true.

3. Intentionally interrupt your usual ways of reacting.

Again, this is most effective if you start with your thinking. When a stressful thought comes up that's sending you into a jealous state, do what you can to interrupt your own thinking.

You can use a particular word or phrase or make an actual movement. Get up and get a drink of water. Listen to a song you find calming and clearing. Use a breathing exercise.

There are many ways to put a stop to jealousy. The quicker you notice what's going on, the easier it usually is to halt the momentum.

Taking care of your jealous thoughts is not just something you're doing for the benefit of your long-distance relationship, it's a gift you give yourself, too!

RELATED: 25 Quotes That Capture What It Feels Like To Be In A Long Distance Relationship

Susie and Otto Collins are Certified Transformative Coaches who help awaken love and possibilities in your life.