How Do I Stop Myself From Becoming a Jealous Boyfriend?

QUESTION: I’m in my mid-50s and I’ve been dat­ing my girlfriend—she’s in her early 30s—for about eight months now. Our rela­tion­ship is going really well, except for one thing. She always says I need to stop act­ing like a jeal­ous boyfriend. I didn’t even real­ize I was doing it at first, but I’ve started to notice more and more that I really do get jeal­ous over the lit­tlest things. I don’t want to be that guy, but some­times I can’t help it—she’s young and beau­ti­ful, and I’m scared I’ll lose her to some younger guy. I’m wor­ried that if I don’t get my jeal­ousy in check, I’ll lose her. Help!

CHELSEA SAYS: I’m afraid to have to be the one to tell you that if you’re dat­ing a much younger woman, you’re prob­a­bly going to have to deal with younger guys check­ing her out. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to leave you for one of them, and I think that’s where the prob­lem lies for you. Even though your May-December rela­tion­ship is going well, there’s obvi­ously a bit of inse­cu­rity on your part.

I under­stand how the jeal­ousy can creep in, but no rela­tion­ship will work with­out trust. You need to be able to trust the woman you’re dat­ing, regard­less of how old she is. You might be think­ing to your­self, “I trust her. It’s the guys out there I don’t trust.” I per­son­ally think that’s a cover-up. If you trust her and believe that she’s loyal, then it shouldn’t mat­ter how per­sis­tent these other guys are because you should know that she’ll turn them down.

Remem­ber, she’s with you because she wants to be with you. If she was inter­ested in a younger man, she would be dat­ing one. But she obvi­ously sees some­thing in you. I know it’s eas­ier said than done, but like you said your­self, your jeal­ousy will only drive her away, not keep her close. No woman wants to deal with a guy who doesn’t trust her, isn’t secure in the rela­tion­ship, and is always on her case about things that aren’t even relevant.

Now, if there are cer­tain things she does that encour­age this jeal­ousy, like flirt with other guys (even though there’s no inten­tion to cheat), then that’s another issue. In this case, you should talk to her about it and let her know how it makes you feel. But if your jeal­ousy in this rela­tion­ship is more often than not illog­i­cal and unsub­stan­ti­ated, then you really should try and work on those trust issues.

TRENT SAYS: I have yet to come across a cou­ple that has never dealt with issues of jeal­ousy. Regard­less of the age dif­fer­ence, jeal­ousy always seems to rear its head on some level.

My first ques­tion is: what makes you jeal­ous? Or who makes you jeal­ous? Is she flirty with the waiter when you’re out for din­ner? Does she flirt with your friends when you get together? Do you get jeal­ous because she’s more of a free spirit than you are? Or is it that she just attracts more atten­tion because she’s younger and beautiful?

Inter­est­ingly, it’s quite pos­si­ble that some of the things you are now jeal­ous of are some of the things that attracted you to her in the first place.

It might be dif­fi­cult, but you need to sit down and have a seri­ous con­ver­sa­tion with her—open up and be vul­ner­a­ble. Explain to her what makes you feel jeal­ous, and why it makes you feel that way. Talk about what she does that height­ens your own inse­cu­ri­ties about the relationship.

If the issues have to do with her being flirty, then hope­fully her inse­cu­ri­ties about need­ing atten­tion from oth­ers can take a back­seat and she won’t want to con­tinue to hurt you in that way. On the other hand, if the issues are more along the lines of other peo­ple find­ing her inter­est­ing to talk to, then that issue rests solely on your shoul­ders and you need to work on those insecurities.

  • Cezar

    Stop doing things that make him jealous.