Dear Dr. Darcy, my boyfriend of more than 2 years just gave me an ultimatum. He says I either stop being jealous or he’s done.
I wasn’t going through his phone or anything like that. I stopped doing that a long time ago. But he was more than an hour late coming over and I asked him too many questions about why.
I feel like I was getting so much better but lately I feel triggered all the time. Is it fair for him to give me an ultimatum? I’m not always jealous.
Saying “I’m not always jealous” is like saying “But I’m not always mean.”
No one’s always a dick. You’d have no one in your life if you were.
It’s all about the ratio of dick to kindness that matters. And in your case, it’s all about how often you impose your jealousy on your boyfriend that determines whether it’s reasonable for him to draw a line in the sand. But before we dive into that, let’s talk about why you’re suddenly feeling more triggered by jealousy…. It’s about the pandemic.
COVID did some crazy shit to us.
It disrupted industries, it created a paradigm shift in how (and where) many people work.
But what it did to people who are prone to jealousy is crazy.
The pandemic gave jealous people some peace.
If you think back over the last year, I’m betting you were able to breathe in a way that you haven’t historically.
There’s nothing to question when you’re in lockdown with your partner. When the whole world is shut down. When time is basically standing still for a year and a half (and counting).
You probably felt calm and like the incessant chatter in your head finally quieted. If not completely, then significantly.
Now that we’re all coming out of our COVID caves and figuring out a new normal, you’re having thoughts and feelings you haven’t had in a very long time.
All of which is to say, try and be compassionate towards yourself. You may have thought you’d gotten over jealousy, when really you just weren’t being triggered. And now you are.
The good news is that I’ve got a video training series coming soon called The Psychology and Science of Jealousy, which will be packed full of hacks and tools you can use to start managing your jealousy right away.
Meanwhile, tell the boyfriend to slow his roll. Help is on the way. A few more weeks of tolerating your jealousy won’t kill him. If he’s unwilling to give you that, then you have your answer.