Sarah Weir
December 02, 2015 8:13 am
Dear Sarah,

I am insanely jealous of my boyfriend. I mean, in every way. I am not normally a jealous gal, and our relationship has always been based on trust. And it isn’t like I don’t trust him, but I dislike that so many of his best friends are girls. And that they are girls who I think are prettier than me. I know he’d never cheat, and I wouldn’t ask him to stop spending time with them, but it makes me crazy. I do not know how to deal with this.
We are both going to school for theater. He is incredibly talented, has received leading roles his whole life, and was recently cast as a lead for a professional company. I, on the other hand, can’t even land a role in the university play. I haven’t been in a show with a good company for awhile, and am stuck in a minimum wage job. I am so happy for him, but am also stuck in my own self disappointment. What do I do?!
—Consumed by Envy in Boston

Dear Consumed,
I think you know this is all about you and not really about him. Here’s a thought that might help you: your feelings are “real” but not “true.” Indeed, you are really feeling that sucked-into-a-vortex sensation of jealousy and mistrust but that doesn’t mean there is anything actually happening in your life that deserves that reaction. Compare it to swimming in a fresh water lake and having a panicky sensation that a shark might attack (or am I the only one?). The point is your very cells are screaming “danger!” —although your rational mind knows that there is nothing to fear. Step one: recognize that your feelings are unwarranted. Step two: slow down, breathe and let them subside. Step three: talk yourself down off that green eyed monster. With conscious practice, you will be able to diffuse your feelings more quickly and move on.
It can be really challenging for couples who work in the same field—so you aren’t alone. You are at the very beginning of your career. Keep putting one step in front of the other toward your goals. Resist the urge to compare yourself to others, you are wonderfully unique. Ditto worrying about his “prettier” female friends. There are as many types of beauty as there are human beings.
Also, try to figure out what is at the heart of jealousy and deal with that. Have you been disappointed or rejected in the past? Are you anxious about your future? Focus on working on those issues instead of projecting them onto your relationship with your boyfriend. Remind yourself what’s wonderful about you guys and think about the sweet ways he treats you—really try to conjure up those warm fuzzy feelings and let them crowd out the anxiety. When all else fails, remember this equation: You think he is pretty great. If he is with you, that means you are pretty great too, right?
Love, Sarah
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