BaeWatch: “I Feel Jealous Of My Bf’s Female Friends Sometimes And I Don’t Know What To Do.”
We’ve grown up to watch Bollywood movies in which possessiveness is promoted to be the highest form of love. What’s with people getting all “aww” if their partner gets all jealous if they get friendly with someone of the sex they are into? Is it funny that Alia Bhatt’s character smashed a bottle on another woman’s head in Gully Boy? It is cute that your partner can control your social life simply because they have insecurities? And it is never a one-way street. It may be very tempting to refuse to come out of your comfort zone and expect your partner to alter their ways. But sometimes, it is uncalled for and often has repercussions that you won’t be comfortable with, especially when you are expected to do what you ask for.
Jealousy in relationships is so natural especially in a monogamous relationship because we want exclusivity. We want love that is ours to claim and we want to protect what we love. I used to be a very jealous girlfriend, grunting at the tiniest sign of my boyfriend’s affiliation to another woman. It would not go down well with me. But things changed over the past few years as I began to see insecurities for what they really are.
Was there something wrong with my boyfriend spending time with his female friend? Nope. Was there something wrong with our relationship? Yes. Turns out when I am sure of someone’s love for me, I feel more secure and don’t see these things as a threat to our relationship. Of course, it was my toxic trait that I had to overcome and I did. But having said that, every now and then, it’s natural to feel possessive. How you handle it as a couple though is what can make or break your relationship.
So when a woman wrote to us opening up about her jealousy, we at team Hauterfly decided to help her out.
“My boyfriend is quite social and sometimes, his behavior with other women has me feeling all possessive. I mean, especially with one or two of his “close” friends. We are quite different that way. I like to keep my attention and affection limited to my boyfriend and he likes to spread love, which well, doesn’t always make me feel secure. I know he isn’t cheating on me but I’d really like him to draw boundaries. Like if you are going to give other women the same treatment as me, how will I feel any special? Apart from the love yous, where is the exclusivity? And then he gets mad if I get jealous. I don’t want to feel or sound like a jealous, clingy gf but I would really like him to help me feel more secure. What do I do?”
Team Hauterfly thinks…
Mansi Shah, Managing Editor: “Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. So this is an interesting situation because we women are taught to not be clingy and give our boyfriends plenty of space. I mean, that’s what I would want as well. But when he’s spreading around love quite generously, obviously, the green-eyed monster can make an appearance. Ideally, he’s not supposed to make you feel secure, you will have to do that yourself, for yourself. Develop interests and friendships outside of the relationship. I would not recommend getting close to a guy friend just to spite him because it’s not organic. While in this situation, your boyfriend’s love sharing seems to stem from years of knowing these women. So, while you might not be able to quash the jealously instantly if you could do a little introspection about what it is that you’re really struggling with, you might be able to see that the jealousy is unwarranted or perhaps, a past experience that is causing you to react this way. Either way, I see this as your battle to fight.”
Jinal Bhatt, Associate Editor: “Speaking as the once-upon-a-time ‘female close friend’ of a bunch of such guys, let me say, your boy is not going to change his gregarious behaviour towards his friends. And trust me on this, you do not want him to either. It’s what makes him, him. Think about it, if he were your best friend, would you want him to alter your friendship because his girl didn’t like it? Besides, on the rare off chance that he does it, he’s going to be miserable and resentful and that’s poison to a relationship. I was once told by my mother that if a guy wants to be with you, he’ll do everything in his power to be with you. If not, he won’t move a muscle. The fact that YOU are his girlfriend is already a stamp of ‘special’ across your name. I mean, are you guys not doing date nights? Spot things that he does just for you, that are exclusive to your relationship, and focus on those.
Furthermore, security comes from within. So even if he signed his love in blood (DON’T), if you aren’t secure on the inside, you won’t believe him.”
Sadhika Sehgal, Trending Head: “A piece of advice that has worked very well for me is to remember that it is never a partner’s job to make you feel secure. It’s his job to be loyal, and security is something that you need to develop in yourself and in your relationship, yourself. Two people might be of a different nature and a personality, you may want to reserve your hugs and kisses and adoration for that one man in your life, while he may be of the opinion to be loving, in general. It is nothing to be insecure or jealous of because it ideally isn’t about you, it is about him.
Of course, the guy mustn’t cross a line in being affectionate towards his friends, but the fact that you’re his “girlfriend” is enough to maintain that exclusivity, without him having to stop hugging other friends. I believe, this is a lone battle, one where you need to talk to yourself and address your own insecurities, that might not have surfaced because of him but because of something else. Address why it’s hard for you to trust your guy and talk yourself out of feeling this way.”
Mitali Shah, Lifestyle Writer: “Okay, this is a very tricky situation. I think it’s normal for you to feel jealous of the attention your boyfriend is giving his women friends. I think, at the end of the day, it all depends on trust. If you trust him enough and know for a fact that despite him “spreading his love” he isn’t cheating on you, then this insecurity of yours is just that, insecurity. It might take a while, but I am sure you can come to terms with it. And I know that the word clingy has very negative connotations but maybe if you talk to him and tell him that you need more attention and affection and you also need him to be draw boundaries around his friends, he might understand. However, I would strongly recommend you dealing with this predicament head-on and not going behind his back, flirting with other guys, etc to make him jealous. It’s a tempting option but trust me, it’s not a viable solution.”
Anjali Agarwal, Fashion & Beauty Writer: “While I get where you are coming from and why it’s hard for you to see your guy mingle with other women, you need to understand that it’s just the way he is and it isn’t about you. It doesn’t make you any less special in his life and asking him not to act friendly with his female friends or treat them differently just because you are not okay with it would be totally unreasonable and wouldn’t put you in the best light either. Plus, he is openly friendly and isn’t doing it behind your back. Think about what is the root of this jealousy and then you could tell him why it bothers you; he might be willing to work on it for you and be more careful. But let me warn you, it’s a gamble that could ruin your relationship in future as he might detest you for changing him and his equation with his friends.”
Chingsanghoih Guite, Graphic Designer: “Feeling jealous at some point is totally normal. It’s not exactly a comfortable moment to experience in a relationship. But it’s an emotion that’s there in every relationship. If you feel that your partner is doing something that is making you jealous, you can express how you feel and talk to them in a respectful way. It’s important to do so, because jealousy can be a sign that you’re not feeling safe in your own relationship. Sit down when the jealousy isn’t in full-force. Then, tell him you want to talk and calmly explain what you’re feeling jealous about. From there, the two of you can work to establish ground rules, or behaviors, that make both of you feel safe and happy in the relationship. But at the same time you got to remember that there is a reason why they are in a relationship with you. If they wanted to date other people, they would have done so. So you need to learn to trust him and yourself.”
Sama Meerza, Social Media Executive: “I don’t mind that my guy is friendly and outgoing and has a bunch of friends. Good for him, but what’s not acceptable is that he is treating his female friends the way he treats me. Honey, he needs to understand how needs to behave around his female friends and girlfriend. Even though he is head over heels for you or has no intention of cheating that’s something that shouldn’t happen. Jealousy is inevitable in such situations. God forbid if the tables were turned. As I always say that the best thing to do in such situations is to address the elephant in the room, talk about your problems with them, and fix the relationship. I would absolutely not suggest you take your revenge by flirting with other men because will go downhill and how!”
Akanksha Narang, Features Head: “It’s raw emotion, this jealousy. But what you and your partner really need to do is figure out what kind of boundaries you’d like to set for yourself in your relationship. What makes you feel he is not treating you any better than his female friends? Is he not prioritising you? Or is it his proximity with his female friends that make you jealous? You need to work on your perception to not feel threatened by a harmless friendship. Similarly, he needs to find a way to reassure you and prioritise you. In a relationship, you both have to meet half way. Also, maybe there’s something lacking in your relationship that’s making you insecure. Communicate but if you see him as a loyal partner, don’t ask him to break his friendships.”
Baewatch is Hauterfly’s weekly service to womxn everywhere. We are giving no-holds-barred, funny, interesting answers to your relationship problems. We’re not experts so you may end up married or broken up. It could go either way. *shrugs*