Q: Dear Jenny. I’ve been dating a woman for six months. She is divorced and so am I. For the first four months everything seemed perfect. Great sex. Fun times. We even went to Mexico for a vacation together. It’s just the past couple of months that I’m detecting signs of jealousy. She calls more frequently, just to know where I am. She doesn’t like the friendship I have with my ex-wife (but I have children, so I like it to be friendly), and she doesn’t seem to see her friends as much. She wants to spend all her time with me. Do you think these are signs to get out before it gets worse? -Grant
A: Hi Grant. First off, some level of romantic jealousy is normal. It’s how we express it or deal with it that matters. If your girlfriend has been cheated on in a past relationship, this may be a legitimate insecurity for her. Also, remember, the beginning of a relationship is usually all fun and games (the honeymoon phase) but as things settle, fears and insecurities often arise. This can be a great time to go deeper with your connection through communication.
You both obviously enjoy spending time together, but it is important that you have your own identities and cultivate outside relationships. Insular relationships just don’t thrive. Encourage her to see her friends and continue to see yours. Of course, you want to maintain a good connection with your ex, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend time with her that makes your current girlfriend uncomfortable. Reverse the situation to see how it might make you feel.
I’ve always thought of the six-month mark as the classic pause in a new relationship, where partners decide if it’s better to keep going or disembark because most people can suffer the blow without too much hurt at this stage. BUT… I also think people give up on relationships way too early these days. Mr. or Mrs. Perfect just doesn’t exist.
I suggest having a heartfelt, honest conversation with your gal about your feelings and hers, without making assumptions or blame. Give things a chance. Every bump you get past in a relationship makes it stronger. Of course, if she hacks your Facebook account or your text messages, then you’ll know it’s time to get out.
What do you think? When does jealousy cross the line for you?
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