Know-It-All: I am jealous

Hey Maha,

Long time reader and really digging you’re [sic] Know It All advice column. Hope you know you have male fans! My girlfriend and I have been dating for almost 8 mths and she is a real flirt which is part of the reason I was attracted to her. It drove me crazy and I loved it. She flirts with men all of the time and I can’t bring myself to say anything to her. I sit and watch and become quiet. Her flirting is heavy to [sic]. There’s always sexual references and I’M RIGHT THERE. She’s gone out for coffee with a couple and I’m trying to be a good boyfriend and not be jea;ous [sic]. Any advice?

Dear Jealousy,

Thank you for your compliments and your shared story. I am aware of, and very grateful for the men who read this site. Obviously, the women too.

Let’s start with the flirtation situation. I have seen it turn the most secure individuals into everything but. I think the best way to talk about this is to use examples, rather than theory.

Example 1: You are with your girlfriend at a party, and she spends all evening talking to a finger-painter-surfer with blond curls (yours is straight black) while ignoring you. At the end of the night, she tells you she wishes you were a finger-painter-surfer and really loved that man’s lush hair.

Result: Cuntpunt paper-cut, and while a paper-cut won’t make you bleed out, trust me when I tell you that this is merely the first of many and with enough paper-cuts you will most definitely bleed the fuck out.

While it is critical that we remain sovereigns in a relationship and look after our own sense of security and self, when we invite an other to be a part of our intimate lives, and to carry our heart, one of their responsibilities is not to uncover this little heart. It is not to lay it bare and then ask: Why is it naked and shivering?

A lover knows this and a lover acts this at all times. God has said that there is to be mercy between lovers and behaviour as above — to me — is not indicative of mercy, as its intention is malicious, and where there is malice there can be no mercy.

Example 2: You are with your girlfriend who is very engaging and gregarious and treats everyone she meets and communicates with in the same warm and courteous and arms-wide-open manner. All manner of people like her because she is charming. Also, she is a brown-haired Libra and her name may be Maha with over-active and delusional imagination.

Should you become involved with her on the level ten above ‘friend,’ then when she has you alone, the caliber and heat of these things is turned up in a way you never see her do with anyone else. Essentially, communicating secrets both spoken and not are secrets that are yours alone, and she has chosen you to receive them. Not anyone else. Just you. And this is obvious unless you are lame.

Result: Lucky you. Full stop.

Jealousy, you have not provided me with enough information about you and your partner and so I can not in good faith tell you in which of the above two categories she may fit, or if she is straddling a little bit of both. If this, her behaviour, is one of the reasons you were drawn to her, then don’t expect her to change. We don’t go into relationships to change people, but rather because we are in like with who they are today and maybe, if lucky, we can be in love with who they are tomorrow.

Regardless of the root of her behaviour, you need to talk to her about it because as her partner, you have the right to discuss anything which is upsetting and/or hurting and/or placing you ill at ease. As does she.

For all you know, Jealousy, she might say “I am flirting with other men because you are not making me feel like you want me enough, and I am the kind of woman who needs to know that her man can’t get enough of her. Ever. Never ever,” at which point you must decide if you can rally and step up your game to meet her requirements and needs.

I can’t stress enough that the core of a healthy relationship is the ability to communicate freely and openly without fear of judgment. If you are not comfortable saying “I am offended” “I am hurt” “I am upset” “I feel judged” then you have bigger fish to fry. And if your partner doesn’t know how to say “I hear you. Please don’t be. Because…” “I hear you. You are correct. Because…” then you also have bigger fish to fry.

Whatever you do, remember that while all lines of communication should be open between lovers, this doesn’t mean you get to just run’round being blunt and gruff. Always start your conversation from a place of warmth, compassion, and love.

Last point. A little bit of jealousy is healthy, fun, and can be used to generate some seriously hot friction. This sort of thing is always intentional, and it is definitely a shared secret when the third person is present. But, this can only happen when the couple are very connected, hold one another to an extreme level of trust, and can laugh at the exterior flirtations together. Then take it out on each other in the bedroom.

I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet: “Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.” Yeah, not really sure what it means either, but I love it still.

Good luck!
Photo courtesy of Glamquotes(dot)com.