Jealousy –

You don’t need to believe me, or rather I don’t need you to believe me for it still to be a fact. I don’t get jealous. Yes I covet things, yes I have thoughts I’m not proud of but they’re more to do with flat stomachs and stellar careers and thick glossy hair and degrees from world class universities…… the list goes on of things I’m jealous of, from the benign to the malicious. But being jealous in a relationship is not usually one of them. I’m not saying that I’d be happy with anyone fucking my boy, or even shifting the face off him in front of me but if he’s just being flirted with then I don’t tend to feel threatened. I don’t tend to feel threatened at all. I’m not your average beauty, I’m not particularly beautiful for one, so I don’t trade on this alone. I suppose I never think that anyone is with me solely because they think I’m beautiful. But what I do believe I have is a certain type of sex appeal that is to some people’s taste and they are usually very glad to have found it, relieved in fact and I trust that they will stay as long as it makes sense for us both. What I’m saying is, when someone is with me I just choose to believe that they really want to be.

Nothing has changed, nothing has happened, I didn’t have my eyes opened by any particular experience. Not one that I’m especially conscious of anyway.

I am aware of just how often I say this but I have to say it again; I’m going to sound like a dickhead who thinks she knows better than everyone else and has life all sussed out. But rest assured that is not the case. In fact I’m sure it’s quite obvious that that’s not the case. But we all have some weird super power that lends us to be unaffected by things that seem to cripple others.

I also want to make sure you’re very aware that I have some stunning flaws; including but not limited to being addicted to butter, wanting my own way all the time, refusing to leave the house unless my outfit is perfect, and not forgetting the everyday common or garden crankiness I see fit to dole out to everyone. I’ve decided that Spotify is shit, don’t bother convincing me otherwise. The DART is a pain in the hole I won’t use it.

But I’ve never been jealous, I’ve never thought anyone was going to be taken from me. I’ve never worried about other girls while simultaneously never thinking that I was something special. I knew I wasn’t. I’m not sure what it was that never made me worry about it. I just always held the belief that if someone was with me, then they wanted to be. And if they were going to cheat there was nothing that I could do about it. There is nothing to worry about until there’s something to worry about.

I suppose I want to be left to my own devices and I know I’m not up to no good, so I’ve always judged everyone by that standard. I’m not advocating that, just trying to explain my outlook. If I’m talking to a guy, or laughing and I touch his arm, or even outright flirting into his face – I probably don’t mean it. And I certainly don’t want to be told to stop. So if you want to flirt with a girl in front of me, I’m not about to whip out the double standards yellow card. It’s probably appropriate to mention that I’ve never been cheated on*.  I’ve had my heart broken in several ways for different reasons, the last time where he chopped it to pieces, ground it to dust and then snorted it with alacrity, but heartbreak by cheating has never been one of them. So I am willing to admit that I may still possess some innocence in that sphere. I have claimed that cheating would have been preferable to what happened last time but that’s the last refuge of the ignorant, isn’t it. Of course the unknown pain will always seem less sharp than the one piercing us at the time.

I’d like to believe that I’ve always thought this way, even if I wasn’t able to articulate it. Because if someone is going to cheat, you can’t really stop them and banning them from talking to someone you feel is a threat just seemed ridiculous to me. All I can do is make sure that the relationship seems healthy and that we seem to be having fun and moving in a direction that suits us both. And you can’t expect trust if you don’t give trust – and I need someone who has a lot of it to give because I am particularly gregarious and I have a lot of bloke friends. Not to mention the penchant for flirting with everyone and everything (this includes food and inanimate objects. I’m looking at you Kerrygold, you know you want me)

So my starting position has always been: I trust you, I assume you trust me and that’s how I’ll conduct myself until I have any reason to believe otherwise. You have to start this way I think for any healthy relationship. Which I know is an easy position for me to adopt given that I have no baggage about being cheated on. But what I do have is baggage about not being trusted. I don’t like it and I find it wholly unattractive. Jealousy is just so ugly. Besides of course being dull witted is there anything less appealing than how neediness and possessiveness manifest themselves?

And on the other hand the manifestations of being trusted are just so thrillingly sexy. To have my boy’s eyes on me as someone sidles up behind me to dance. To have him look me up and down and smirk as someone else chats me up, or at least starts to. To watch him look so utterly calm and content not to make a move as other men flirt with me; that confidence is so delicious to experience when it hits you with its 1000w glow.

I feel like I am understood.

None of this other stuff, happening here means anything, I am going home with you and you know it well. And I will happily reverse that role; I love watching someone chat up my boy or at least try. I love watching appreciative looks he gets or him telling a story, holding court. Safe in the knowledge that I know I’m going home with him, I know he only wants me, I know I’ll be the one getting that later.

But I also know that’s a difficult dance to dance. That it’s hard to execute and it’s hard to find a partner. How do I know that he isn’t slipping his number into her hand? How do I know that he isn’t slipping off to the toilets for a quick fuck? How do I know that he doesn’t want anything from the flirting?

The same way he knows it of me. Which is essentially that he doesn’t know – you both just have to trust.

My last serious beau unfortunately never quite grasped this. Just to set the scene, he was markedly better looking than me, I was definitely punching above my weight in the looks department. But my god was he the jealous kind, in every sense of the word. After one party where I was skipping around chatting to everyone he felt aggrieved enough, and falsely harboured notions that he was right to point out, that the other (obvious) girlfriend present had sat quietly by her boyfriend’s side and didn’t move for the night. Naturally I burst into hysterical laughter at this notion. For one, I had actually thought this unnecessarily standoffish of that girl and for two I thought it was prudish. But the bigger issue here was….? Did he want a girl that sat quietly by his side? Because that isn’t and never was me. I never sold him that.

For most of the time he was always the best looking guy in any given room. Did I mention he had a PhD? Well he did. So he was smart, fit and good looking; none of which he seemed at all consciously aware of which made him adorably charming to girls. I would regularly come back from the toilets to find him being chatted up by girls, plural. Which mostly happened at festivals where me being gone to the toilet took 15 mins which gave him enough time to be spotted looking shy and unsure, and then honed in on. Sometimes I would arrive back to see this and then hide so I could just watch him, delighted in the sight and on occasion he would spot me and be equally delighted with himself. What a shame he could never afford me even a fraction of this trust. (I only needed a fraction, it wasn’t as if I was ever surrounded by men when he came back from the loo!)

And lastly, on his list of crimes (aw, I promise he wasn’t all bad!) He couldn’t stand the fact that I have close male friends. The continuous repetitive asking if I’d slept with any of them was beyond tiring. One day I told him to just assume I’d slept with all of them (I haven’t) because if it doesn’t matter and he just wanted to know, as he claimed then that was my answer. This stopped him for a while but then he narrowed his field of targets and focused it all on who he thought was my ‘hottest’ male friend. Christ I’m exhausted just relaying this nonsense.

I won’t say that was the undoing of us, it wasn’t. But it certainly chipped away. That was only the second time I’ve ever put up with that. I won’t do it again. I’m not good at it and it serves no one. I’m just not compatible with the jealous tendencies, even on the lower scale.

But I’m not totally immune. I have felt jealousy, I have the capacity, of course I do – I’m not a complete robot. But any time I’ve felt it, it has been justified. It has not been irrational ‘I don’t like you talking to that hotter girl I perceive as a threat’ kinda stuff. Any time I’ve disliked a girl’s interest in my boy it has been because I was right. Information I only ever got hold of after the facts. One time it was an ex of his – she acted so superior to me every time, she drove me nuts. Really and truly she was the only one who induced genuine bad behaviour from me. She had left him, I knew it, she obviously knew it and she acted like she could have him back any time she wanted. And instead of acting calm, I acted like an idiot. I let her get to me and she fed off it. She was shockingly mean to me – with admittedly clever and witty one liners. But my dislike of her blinded and of my senses and I never got the better of her. Shit, I never even got him to believe that she was being mean to me. She didn’t want him but she didn’t want anyone else to have him either.

So is it still called jealousy if you know the person is trying to make you feel it? Is it not called something else? I suppose it isn’t because jealousy is resentement of something that someone else has. I resented that she was able to make him besotted with her, that he was in love with her cleverness (she was a solicitor) and I wasn’t ever going to be able to compete with that. The only thing I knew I had over her was the fact I was more physically attractive and hands down better in bed. But that never made me feel better.

And now?

Well now I still am not great with anyone displaying any irrational jealousy. Any requests to explain myself or modify behaviour I deem reasonable are not met with positive responses. I don’t cheat, I haven’t cheated and if I don’t want to be with you I will, you know, just stop being with you.

But I think I have a way bigger flaw than sucseptibility to your Tesco Value Brand bouts of jealousy.

I always worry that we’re not on the same page – either they’re going too fast, expecting too much.. but more likely I am – or at least I’m further ahead than them. I hate thinking that I’m leading someone astray and I worry that someone could do that with me. So insecurity about that may be displayed. I generally turst that you fancy me but over and above that I worry that I’m not long term material. Yup you read that right. After the biggest love of my existence left me, ostensibly because I wasn’t ‘marriage’ material I have a very huge hang up about that. Not cripplingly so. But I do need to check in at certain points to make sure that I haven’t lost the run of myself and fallen head over heels for someone who is no where near that point.

But once again, I think I’m checking in too late.

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