The green-eyed monster is a powerful beast and can send all sense of rationality packing. Next time you sense it rearing its head, try these ten simple reality checks.
Identify the root of the problem
Before you take to his shirts with the kitchen scissors, ask yourself if it is really his behaviour that's the problem or your own insecurities. Jealousy is often a symptom of unresolved issues. If you are suffering from low self-esteem, ask yourself why. If deep-rooted insecurities from past experiences are affecting your present relationships, you need to address those issues.
Supercharge your self-esteem
If you don't rate yourself very highly he might just start to believe the hype. Confidence is the most attractive trait you can possess and while you're feeling great you're less likely to feel threatened by competition. For a crash-course in confidence, take yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new like African drumming or life drawing classes - that should distract you from all that navel gazing.
Let go of past relationships
If your last man cheated on you, it's only natural you'd be more wary and cautious with the next one. But never blame your current beau for an evil ex's bad behaviour. Your negative thoughts will affect the way you behave and eventually drive him away. Ask yourself if he has actually done anything wrong - and remember the old adage, "love like you have never loved before."
Take a reality check
You're at a party, he's chatting to a pretty girl, his body language seems a bit flirtatious. Before you know it, your imagination has spiralled out of control and in your head they're about to embark on a full-blown fling. Before you make a scene, take a step back and ask yourself how real the threat is to you. What evidence do you really have your relationship is in jeopardy?
Vent... to a friend
"Don't worry?" That's easier said than done. Once jealousy takes its vice-like grip it can be practically impossible to shake free of its shackles. When simply taking a deep breath and biting your lip is no longer an option, let it all out... to a good friend. Once you've got it off your chest you'll probably feel less hysterical. Plus, you'll get some perspective on the matter from your mate.
Reason with him
If his flirtatious behaviour goes beyond the realms of normal behaviour within a relationship and your feelings of jealousy are justified, then broach the issue with him face to face. The best time to do this is when you are both calm and sober and have the time to chat in private. Tell him in a rational manner how his behaviour is making you feel and don't back down until you come to a mutual agreement.
Put yourself in his shoes
Next time you're having a go at him in a fit of jealousy, think about how you would feel if you were in his position. How would you feel if he didn't trust you to go out without being unfaithful or if he screamed blue murder because you spoke to your ex on Facebook. If you both have jealous tendencies, it might be a good idea to lay down some ground rules to avoid explosive situations.
Lay off the booze
Alcohol has a tendency to take a hold of your insecurities and hang-ups and blow them out of all proportion. For this reason, if you know a potentially explosive situation is ahead, avoid a white wine witch moment at all costs. If his ex is going to the wedding the only bubbly you should be quaffing is sparkling water!
Nurture what you have
Your suspicions are more likely to come true if you spend the entire relationship panicking and worrying. Relationships are supposed to be fun. Focus on making what you have work and having happy times together. Go away for a weekend or organise a romantic date. Why would anyone leave a fantastic girlfriend like you?
Focus on the present
While you're busy whipping yourself up into a frenzy about how he behaved at last night's party or what might happen on his work night out tomorrow, it's easy to lose sight of what's really important: the present. Accept that there are certain things you can't control (like the past or what he might be doing when you're not around) and let them go. He will not be able to resist the new easy-breezy you.
Look at your own behaviour
It's normal for him to find other girls attractive. He's only human. That doesn't mean he loves you any less. Next time you notice a sexy guy on the bus, ask yourself whether it affects your feelings about your partner. What you have is founded on something much deeper than a nice bum or a sexy smile so it's going to take more than that to shake things up.
If you can't stop the jealous thoughts from flooding your mind, focus on changing the way you act upon those thoughts instead. If you continue to behave as though you are completely unfazed, it will eventually become second nature and you will begin to feel stronger, more empowered and in greater control of your emotions.
Know when enough's enough
If your partner is giving you cause to feel jealous, whether he is pushing the boundaries of flirtatious behaviour, deliberately trying to upset you, spending a disproportionate amount of time with another girl or has been unfaithful, it's time to reassess your relationship. If he refuses to back down, kick him to the kerb and find someone who treats you with the respect you deserve.
Do you get jealous? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts...
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