4 Ways This Pesky Emotion Makes People Super Unattractive

Plus, four things you can do to get back on track.

Last updated on May 12, 2024

Jealous woman glaring dikushin | Canva

Jealousy is one of the things that can cause major rifts in a relationship. I call it the Relationship Killer.

Are you the one in the relationship that tends to get jealous? Do you notice the signs of jealousy and think your partner is jealous of you? Do you both display jealousy at different points in your relationship? Would you like to understand it better and know how to stop being jealous?

First things first: You need to understand the causes of jealousy.


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Four unattractive things that happen when you're jealous in a relationship

1. You feel insecure, whether you realize it or not

The first cause of jealousy is insecurity, which manifests as conscious or subconscious. When it’s conscious, you are aware of feeling not good enough. You don’t think you deserve your partner or a happy relationship. When it’s subconscious, you don’t entertain thoughts of being not good enough, but you have subconscious CDs playing in your head about how you don’t deserve happiness.

Whenever your relationship starts to feel better than you think it should, you start engaging in self-sabotage, an expression of jealousy. You are waiting for your partner to find someone better and leave you. Because you are ever-vigilant watching for the least sign of straying, you can push yourself and your loved one into emotional instability with your suspicions and accusations.


You are so sure he is going to cheat on you, so you keep a very close watch on every move he makes. You accuse him of things you can’t possibly know are true. You violate his privacy at every turn — checking his cell phone, reading his email, following him around town.

What can you do?

Stop! Decide to trust your partner. Trust is a behavior, it’s something you do. Develop an internal dialogue you start to run whenever you are feeling jealous. Tell yourself you deserve happiness.

You deserve a wonderful relationship. Your spouse or partner loves you. Out of all the people in the world, he chose you. Keep telling yourself these things until you believe them.


Tension between couple, he looks away, she covers her face, there is jealousy in the relationship Petrenko Andriy via Shutterstock

2. You lurk in the past

Sometimes, jealousy stems from past experiences: someone from a past relationship cheated on you, or maybe you watched someone you care for go through this ordeal with his partner. Maybe your partner cheated on you during an earlier part of your relationship. You are afraid to let your guard down because you don’t ever want to go through that horrible pain again.

What can you do?


If the experience involved someone other than your current partner, remind yourself they haven't done anything wrong. Emphasize that you could drive them away with your jealousy and create the very experience of your fear. Remember that you lived through the last experience, so you know how to do that if you must do it again.

If the person who cheated is your spouse or current partner, remind yourself you decided or committed to forgiving your partner. Anyone can make a mistake once, and you have decided to give her another chance. When you make that commitment, you must stop trying to punish them for their past indiscretions and trust them.

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3. You become controlling, maybe without even realizing it

Another form of jealousy comes from believing your partner belongs to you. When you have this mindset, there is no room for them to even speak to another person. If they even glance another person's way, you are all over them, ostensibly keeping them in line.

@kazlet_ Please be aware of possessiveness obviously, if you are obsessed, you can have feelings of possessiveness, but being possessive is completely different#possessive ##obsessive ♬ original sound - Kazlet 📰

The problem with this is jealousy is never attractive. Whenever you accuse people of things they are not doing, you increase the chances they will do it to spite you. After all, you're punishing them as if they are guilty, so why not do the crime?

If this is you, remember you do not possess anyone. Your partner has free will to be with you as long as they want to and will leave you when they choose. You can’t control them into living a life they don’t want to live.

What can you do?


Remind yourself they will be more likely to stay connected to you if you are nice to them.

You argue when there is jealousy in a relationship StratfordProductions via Shutterstock

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4. You become stubbornly attached to status quo

Another root cause of jealousy is the belief that feelings should never change. You fell in love with your partner or spouse. You were compatible; you shared things; you may have had children together.


Even though all that is true, things change. People can grow apart. You can meet someone who knocks you off your feet. I’m not arguing this situation's morality, I’m simply saying it can happen. When you consistently believe that things should never change, particularly your feelings for each other, when they do change, jealousy ensues.

What can you do?

If this happens in your relationship, try attaching yourself to Dr. Seuss’ quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Know that what you shared with your spouse or partner was very real and special for the time you shared it. When things change, accept the change gracefully. Jealousy will not help the situation.


Even if you can guilt them into staying with you, do you want them to stay out of guilt and obligation rather than choice?

Jealousy is usually unwarranted. Let’s stop the suspicions and accusations. And even if there were a past incident that led you to jealousy now, know you will never repair your relationship unless and until you are ready to truly forgive.

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Kim Olver is the author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life.