Jealous of other people's relationships

Recently I have found myself getting uncomfortably jealous of other people’s relationships. Having been in a dating rut for a number of years, I feel like other people are moving forward with their lives while I’m stuck. I hear stories of friends getting engaged and having babies, and here I am still alone. I’ve tried to improve myself on dating apps with limited success, deleting them and reinstalling them weeks later. Not really looking for advice here. Just would like to hear experiences, thoughts and any other insights people want to share. 

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June 3, 2022 5:55 pm

Hey bro. I’m sorry to hear you’re going through a hard time. As you said you aren’t looking for advice. Let me share a similar experience I’ve had. Hopefully there’s a lesson in it somewhere and it will help me get things off my chest too. So back in 2018 I visited South America for 3 weeks. I spent 1 week in Brazil and I met this cute girl through Tinder. I obviously found her attractive and I was looking forward to our first date. I remember being so angry at her because she was 1 hour late for our dinner date. But when she arrived that anger quickly dissipated and we got along great. Her messages on Tinder gave me the impression she was fluent in English. Her spoken English was actually quite broken but we got along well and had a great conversation over dinner. That night she was kind enough to drive me back to my hotel.

On the car ride home Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud played on the radio and we both commented that we liked the song. It unofficially became ‘our’ song. When I got back to my room, all I could think about was hugging her and holding her in my arms. A couple days later I asked for another date and she agreed. The second date didn’t go as well as the first. She was once again 1 hour late and this time the conversation didn’t flow well. It was like she was disinterested in being there. I still really liked her and made an effort to fire up the conversation but to no avail.

When the date ended and I got back to my hotel, I was deflated. I had hoped it would have been another fun night of getting to know someone I connected well with. I should have seen the signs but it’s hard to control your emotions sometimes. She was 1 hour late again. I also saw she had deleted me on Tinder (but we still messaged on WhatsApp). Looking back, if she was interested in me she wouldn’t have been 1 hour late. Also I now realize she deleted me on Tinder so she could update her profile or whatever and match with other guys.

Even so when I reached back home I still messaged her on WhatsApp. Occasionally she would initiate the conversation, one time sending me a video of her listening to our song. But otherwise it was one way traffic. I’d message to see how she was. I’d remember her birthday. She always forgot my birthday and rarely messaged me first. During the pandemic we also messaged intermittently to see how both our countries were dealing with it. So I know I shouldn’t feel hurt. Anyone could tell that she wasn’t into me like I was into her.

But it hurts that she found a boyfriend and recently got engaged. Her IG stories are usually photos of how happy she is with her guy and captions of how much she loves him. Sometimes I have to catch myself before I start thinking badly of her. She isn’t a bad person at all. She just wasn’t into me. But regardless it hurts to see someone I had feelings for be so happy with another guy. I get jealous when I see her photos and quite a few times I’ve blocked her number just so I can look after my mental health. I always unblock her because I want to convince myself I can be happy for her and still be friends.

I’m not sure if my post has helped. I don’t know your particular situation. Whether it’s one girl or just jealousy of relationships in general. I think we need to be kinder to ourselves. Jealousy is a natural emotion. It is just a fact of life. Understand that things can’t always go how we want and look after yourself more. Of course I accept my situation but I can’t change how I feel. That will take time. When I’m feeling particularly low about it, I remind myself of the Dalai Lama’s words: “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

Take care of yourself bro and I hope things turn out better, for both of us.

Alban Duro
June 5, 2022 10:46 am

With you on the dating apps. I have a love-hate relationship with them 😫

I had a major crush on a friend who I met through a board game social social group. When I first saw her I was instantly attracted to her. It was her personality that converted my attraction into a crush. It was a strange situation to be in. I liked her but I didn’t want to ruffle the group dynamic: a group of friends coming together through their shared love of board games. Although I tried to hide it and play it off cool, everyone kinda knew it. When the group had arranged a social night out, the guys would poke fun at me: Michelle is going to be there *wink* *wink*. The girls knew it too.

There was definitely a spark between us. Some friends told me we’d make a cute couple. When we had a conversation I felt like I could talk to her forever. The conversation flowed so smoothly. That’s why I was devastated when she told me she had met someone and she was really into him. I thought that when we spoke, there was such a strong connection that she must have felt something for me too.

What’s even stranger is the guy she liked was a total douche. She is such a sweet, kind, lovely person. So it didn’t compute that the boyfriend was a real jerk. The worst part was at a party when she invited her boyfriend to meet the group. Quite literally in front of me, she was all over him. She’s free to do that but I thought it was an insensitive move knowing that I had feelings for her. I thought what would I do if I knew someone liked me. I definitely wouldn’t slobber over someone in front of them. It was a pretty sad drive home that night.

It was hard at first to accept. There will be times in your life that things don’t go your way however inexplicable they appear. Acceptance takes time and I came to accept the situation as it was. Easier said than done but it’s really best for us not to focus too much of our energy on things we can’t change. I would love to change a million things about me, but I also accept the cards I’ve been dealt with. Definitely not a great hand of cards when trying dating apps but it is what it is. I accept it. Just give it time.

Rolando Orlando
June 5, 2022 5:26 am

Take it from someone who has been in a very toxic relationship, the thought that someone could be jealous of what we had is sad and laughable at the same time. I think it’s so easy to look at other people and assume that they have everything together. If you feel like you are not moving forward, I would have loved to be in your situation. I was in a 3 year relationship with someone that’s left me with commitment issues and post-traumatic relationship stress. I’ve effectively moved backwards and need a lot of time to get back to my old self. I also try to be accountable about it. It takes 2 to tango. I played my part in making it a toxic relationship.

By the time our relationship was nearing its close, each conversation I had with my gf raised my blood pressure. We blamed each other for the tiniest things that resulted in full-blown arguments. When we went out together no one could assume the relationship was unbearable. We looked like the happy, contented couple. Behind closed doors the image painted for the world was a completely different story. She would complain about me to her friends and I would do the same. I heard from a mutual friend that she was calling me manipulative, narcissistic and selfish. Funny, because I thought those words described her very well.

Being introspective about it I think there is truth to her statement. I became someone else. I did become manipulative. I was narcissistic. I don’t blame her for it. The relationship was so toxic that I was no longer myself. I had trouble sleeping and my health deteriorated. Also understand that even if you are in a happy relationship – I was in one at the beginning – not all of your needs are met. I was still jealous about things, I still got upset, I was still insecure about stuff. Being in a happy relationship doesn’t make you invincible. In summary, jealousy happens. Sometimes we get jealous of things we wouldn’t even want to think about if we knew the full story.

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Kaitlyn Mora
June 6, 2022 9:32 am

Great to hear some personal experiences. Jealousy is nothing to be ashamed of. Do a Google search on “jealous of other people” and take a look at the auto-populated search suggestions. Jealous of other people’s success, lives, friendships, relationships, happiness, parents, accomplishments; the list goes on. That’s only what fits on Google’s drop-down menu.

Jealousy is a controversial topic. Some people posit it is part of our genetic makeup, an emotional trait developed through evolution. Jealousy in males made them dissuade their partners from seeking other partners. Jealousy also worked for women. By dissuading their partners to get involved with other women, there would be a better chance of both parents looking after their offspring, ensuring better survival.

The other side of the coin says jealousy is a social construct. It has come about because society has imposed norms and rules on us that go against our natural, genetic tendencies. Monogamy is usually on the firing line. If fidelity and monogamy is a construct that is expected of us despite our natural inclinations to have multiple sexual partners, then jealousy is also a social construct.

Whichever side you take, I believe jealousy arises because of what we think about ourselves. If you have a partner that you are sexually active with and they cheat on you, you get jealous. It isn’t because you don’t have intimacy. It’s because we take it personally. What does it say about me? Am I inadequate? Am I boring? Do I not provide excitement? The answers to these questions can hurt. The goal shouldn’t be to rid yourself of jealousy. It won’t go away. However understanding the source of your jealousy, WHY you are getting jealous, can help you manage it.

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Murray Hinton
June 7, 2022 10:09 am

For a long time I struggled with my weight. I was a chubby kid growing up and self conscious about it during my youth. Over the years I’ve yo-yo dieted, losing some weight, rebounding and ending up at a higher weight than when I started. A few years ago I made a promise to myself to get educated in nutrition and exercise. Armed with the knowledge I had, I resolved to lose weight and keep it down. I distinctly remember thinking how amazing it would be once I finally lost the excess weight and kept it off.

After some ups and downs and a lot of learning during my weight loss journey, the weight came off and stayed off. Something was missing, though. Where was that life-changing experience I had promised myself? I had fallen for the typical trap of thinking everything changes for the better when achieving a long-held goal. I know better now. You may be jealous of other people’s relationship, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the present. Life is a lot more than partnering up with someone.

In the words of Martin Berkhan, the guy who brought intermittent fasting to the mainstream, he expected elation once he achieved perfect six-pack abs. Upon achieving his goals, he recounts:

Feeling robbed and deprived of the glory and fanfare I deemed righteously mine, I thought to myself “This can’t be it. There has to be something more to it.” But there wasn’t, and if getting to this point was the goal, it was the greatest anti-climax of my life.

(Source: Chapter 7, The Leangains Method, Martin Berkhan)

Your jealousy probably tells you things will be great once you get into a relationship. Reading the experiences of other posters here, I hope it tells you that the reality of relationships isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sure, there can be great times. But as with most things in life, it’s usually a mixed bag.