“Am I Wrong to be Jealous?”

Kirchner 1930 {{PD-Art}}

I am a 25 year-old male and I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a month. She asked me to be official on our second date and I said yes. She shows me lots of attention and meets me often but she loves talking to new people. She is always chatting with the pizza clerk or server, whether it’s a guy or girl. If it’s a guy she’s still smiling at him and talking to him in front of me. One time she gave the IHOP server a big tip and joked with him. She tells me we are allowed to have friends of the opposite sex. I told her that is fine as long as we had those friends already and we are platonic with them. She agreed but then she goes around talking to other guys.
She mentioned how when she goes by her friend Jenny’s house, her friend’s brother walks around in a tight speedo. She said he is a security guard. She was laughing and smiling.
We went to a gas station and the attendant was talking to both of us. I wasn’t getting a good vibe but my girlfriend loved to chat with him and kept smiling and talking to him. Then he told us “just drinks? buy more stuff! give me some business!” I just stood there but my girlfriend kept looking for other stuff. He said “take anything you want, honey” and she kept looking. She said, “you don’t have the gum I like”. I finally told the guy I was her boyfriend and she was with me. Later on I brought it up and she said I overreacted, that he was very nice, very friendly. She said he wasn’t flirting with her at all and she didn’t think anything of it. She said she doesn’t get flirted with often (and she sounded disappointed saying it).
She is so opposed to open relationships yet it seems like that is what she wants. Am I wrong to be jealous? Can you please explain her behavior?
Thanks in advance.

J

Hello J,

First, I want to commend you on the exceptionally mature approach you’re taking to the significance of your girlfriend’s behavior; not many guys, especially young guys, would lay out the situation in such an unbiased and thoughtful way.

I think the best way to address your question is to simply make a series of statements, my conclusions based on what you say. I’m immediately struck by how quickly your girlfriend wanted to be exclusive; sometimes this is a not-so-positive thing, as moving too fast can indicate someone who wants to pin you down, treating you more as a possession than an individual. But, you could just be a super-charming guy :)

Your assumption that people may only retain opposite sex friends that they knew before the relationship, however, is an unreasonable one. I’m sure that part of what attracted you to your girlfriend is her outgoing and open personality, and I understand that you may naturally worry that others will find this attractive, too–but to ask her to stop being who she is is to ask her to be other than the person you fell for–and that’s not right.

Now, to be fair, part of what she may like about you is the sense that all this bothers you; why else tell you about the friend’s brother and the tight Speedo? This suggests that there may be an element of sexual teasing in her nature that does not belong in a relationship; manipulating the feelings of one’s partner is not a kind or loving thing to do–that implies immaturity in the way she regards others, again treating you more like a plaything (to get a reaction from) than a person about whom she truly cares.

You seem like you are ready for a more committed relationship than this girl is capable of offering; you come across as a man who is looking to do the right thing by the person you’re involved with. And maybe that’s it: she sounds like a girl, playing with others’ emotions and creating sexual tension for a power-thrill, and what you need is a woman, who is ready to respect and care for you, a facet of which would be her willingness (within reason) to refrain from engaging in behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying this relationship while it lasts, but I would not take it seriously; I would not let her see that any of her behavior bothers you, and I’m betting that, sooner rather than later, she will behave in such a way (outrageous flirting, letting you catch her with someone else, deliberately baiting you) that makes it obvious that what she wants from you is a jealous reaction, not a real relationship. At that point I hope you’ll see that she’s just too immature for you, and that you’ll move on to someone who treats you with more kindness. The world’s a big place with a lot going on in it; you’ll soon see that putting your energy into this type of interaction is a waste of your time.

Much good luck, J–

Julie

3 comments

  1. Dear Julie,
    I wouldn’t be so fast in judging someone is using emotional manipulation only because of the Speedo situation. I would say that the writer of your letter most probably missed the point in that situation – she was talking with a laugh because maybe the Speedo guy has funny nose hairs.
    Neither I am to say that the writer of the letter is really mature, jealousy and posessiveness are traits of a low self-esteem.
    Talking with people on the street and in the bar shows a healthy ego that doesn’t fear interacting with different people. I fully agree with you that wanting her to change would turn her into a different person than the one he fel in love with. Actually this is the only thing that is plain to see – he wants a different personality as a girlfriend. Either that, or a compromise.

    Dear Sunflower,
    I do state more than the Speedo situation as reasons she is manipulative; the simple fact that she continues to blatantly behave in a way that makes her boyfriend uncomfortable shows that she is, in some form, being gratified by his reaction–and that’s manipulation.
    Thank you for your input, Sunflower!
    jd

    1. I think that she is trying to see how far she can push the relationship.And is looking for a reaction…maybe “trying it out”.Testing him.
      The writer is clearly having a reaction to her behavior and it not comfortable with the breadth and scope of it.But can handle,cope with part of it and understands it to a degree.
      But,he needs to negotiate the terms of what he can live with.
      She,possibly, is willing to meet him halfway.

      I think it can be worked out between them

      It might be work-out-able, but what he really needs to ask himself is, Do I want to work it out? He’ll have to ask her to be quite different than she is at present–and that might not be fair to either of them.

  2. I agree with the original reply, as well as the reply “sunflower” posted. I was in a relationship with a very immature and emotionally testing girl not too long ago, and I can certainly understand your frustration in the scenario. I will say though that you certainly have a much more reasonable sounding girl than I encountered. It does seem early to make a decision one way or another given the information you provided, but as I said earlier, both responses are correct. For myself at least, I feel like I took it on as a personal challenge. I knew the girl I had encountered had the potential to be a great person and I took it upon myself to get through the immature and ridiculous actions she would take to test the waters or get a response from me. I figured this stemmed from her previous unhealthy relationships so it was something that could be overcome with time and patience. Ultimately, one of her “tests” went too far to recover a relationship from and I did end up leaving. In my scenario I certainly should have just left sooner than I did, but it was eye opening either way. I met a GREAT girl not too long after, and that made me realize that it was a choice either way. I did at one point really love the first girl in question, but it was too much strain on even my very calm reasoning to deal with daily, and although it might have one day gotten better, I was certainly wasting my time staying focused on something like that and there are definitely plenty of other people out there in the world :)

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