Taming the Green Monster: When is a Girl’s Jealousy Okay?

Jealousy in a woman is usually regarded with distaste. But can it actually be useful? Here are 7 reasons why it’s okay to have a jealous girlfriend.

jealous girlfriend

You and your girlfriend hit Starbucks for your daily afternoon coffee fix, and this barista *for the nth time*, just drew a smiley face on your cup and added extra whipped cream *again*. You look at your girlfriend, who looks cool as a cucumber. However, because you know better, you can tell that she’s brimming with anger and jealousy.

Your girlfriend insists that she’s not the jealous type. In fact, she has time and again made it clear: she is not that girl. That girl is the jealous, nagging woman who is needy, paranoid, and insecure. That girl is the one who throws daggers with her eyes to anyone who gets close to her man, the one who snoops around and rummages through her partner’s stuff, looking for evidence of infidelity. Overall, that girl is perceived to be flawed and unlovable, two things your wife or girlfriend certainly doesn’t want to be.

The green monster may actually be helping you

Still, there are times when you want to feel some pang of jealousy from your girlfriend when another girl gives you attention. You don’t mind if she gets a little jealous sometimes—it even makes you more confident. Is a jealous woman a really bad thing? Is it really that awful to be the jealous girlfriend? Is being in a relationship with a jealous woman better than being with an indifferent one? We weigh in on the answers below.

7 reasons you shouldn’t get upset over your girlfriend’s jealousy

#1 It’s a reassuring reminder. Your girlfriend’s fits of jealousy can actually be a welcome reminder of how much you mean to her. She is jealous because she doesn’t want to lose you. A little jealousy can actually highlight the value of your relationship, and the value of the person *i.e. you*.

For example, imagine you’ve been so busy the whole day that you forget to text your girlfriend to let her know you’re going to come home late, as you are still on a conference call. You squeeze in a few minutes to actually call her and, as predicted, she’s jealous and wondering if you’re meeting with that colleague who has a crush on you. This scenario is a great opportunity for you to be reminded to slow down and show that you really do care about your partner. [Read: 50 really cute things to say to your girlfriend]

At times, bouts of jealousy from your girlfriend serve as a nudge for you to step up and show how much you care and appreciate her.

#2 It can boost communication. Jealousy is a natural reaction that dates back to our ancient ancestors. It is a product of evolution, so we can retain our mate. Jealousy only becomes bad when we take it too far.

One great benefit of noticing a bit of healthy jealousy from your girlfriend or wife is that it can create an opportunity to open up to each other and hone better communication skills. With better communication skills, your partner will be able to express herself in a constructive and positive manner, without putting anyone down.

Encouraging your girlfriend to speak out when something makes her feel uncomfortable improves healthy communication in a relationship, instead of letting her bottle up her emotions until everything explodes. [Read: A guide on effective communication in a relationship]

#3 Check and balance. Receiving comments about how you have behaved at a party, or how you can’t keep yourself from eyeing every woman you pass is actually a great way for you to learn about yourself. Your girlfriend’s comments can be considered constructive criticism, so you can strive to be a better person, a better partner, and to be more receptive to other people’s feelings.

Both expressed and taken constructively, jealousy can be a healthy way to be more self-aware, as well as to improve yourself and your relationship.

#4 Motivation. As with anything, we tend to slack off or ease up a little when the courtship and “honeymoon” phases have settled. We can get caught up with the daily grind, and the flame that was once your love for your girlfriend may have turned into mellow embers.

Throwing jealousy into the mix every once in a while can give you a renewed effort to work on your relationship. It can remind you to cook for her, take her out on an elegant, five-star dinner, or take a weekend off and whisk her away on a surprise getaway. Make her jealousy your motivation to continue to challenge yourself to be a better partner. [Read: 12 really sweet ways to show a girl how much you love her]

#5 It can be a warning sign. Romantic jealousy can get out of hand easily if left unchecked or if handled with the wrong reaction. Having a jealous girlfriend can pretty much give you an idea of who she is, what she wants, and if you want to take the relationship further.

How she reacts now gives you a preview of how your relationship will be in the long run. If she gets very unreasonable at the slightest things right now, or gives the waitress an earful just because she accidentally brushed against you, then you’d better think twice about keeping her with you for the long haul. [Read: 14 valid reasons to break up with someone]

Moreover, the jealousy could stem from deep-seated issues that you cannot change, no matter what you do, so it can be a welcome warning sign of a fundamental mismatch in your relationship.

#6 A reminder to start dating her again. Once you get comfortable with each other, it’s easy to relax and let your hair down, so to speak. You don’t have to excuse yourself when you want to burp in front of her—now you just do it. However, this wears off some of the magic and romance that were built in the early stages of your relationship. [Read: 10 super fun things to do with your girlfriend]

Having a jealous girlfriend tells you that you should step up your game and bring the magic and sizzle back to the table. For example, if your girlfriend gets jealous because you’re always busy with work, you may want to find more time to spend more time with her. To dissuade her jealous thoughts, you can put in some extra effort to make her feel loved. You can begin giving her flowers again, like when you first started dating. You can take her out on dates or simply pay more attention to her so that she will feel reassured and special.

#7 It’s hot. When your girlfriend gets riled up at the thought of someone else getting your attention, it’s a clear sign not only of love, but physical attraction at its most basic level. It shows that she is still very interested in you and sees you as a great catch. Or, having someone flirt with you can stir up the embers of waning interest and make her see you with new eyes. [Read: How to spice up your sex life in 30 sexy ways]

Seeing your girlfriend get jealous can also be an aphrodisiac. The idea that someone loves you so much, is afraid to lose you, and doesn’t want you to leave her makes you want to go to her and make it very clear she’s the only one you want.

To a certain extent, your woman’s jealousy is a natural reaction and is a healthy part of every relationship. However, when jealousy is overt, irrational, and chronic, it becomes a problem. Some people become overly and abnormally jealous, becoming illogical and going to a place of powerful rage. Usually, this is followed by a refusal to listen to reason, which can lead to a large, exaggerated fight. Abnormally jealous people will have a distorted view of reality, to the point that they will become paranoid. On your end, it can be very ugly and tiring.

[Read: How to deal with jealousy in a relationship]

Just remember: a real man doesn’t make his woman jealous, but instead makes others jealous of her. However, there should be a line drawn between healthy romantic jealousy that makes your relationship exciting and thriving, and a destructive kind of jealousy.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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