We see our partner across the room, having fun with someone else doing the things we would otherwise want them to do and instead of being happy for them, we get bitter and ruin the mood by our jealousy. Especially so if the person whose company our partner seems to be enjoying that much is female.
Is it because we don’t trust our partner? Is it because we don’t trust that woman?
While the answer to either or both of those questions might sometimes be a yes, more often than not it is a no. Why would we be with someone whom we don’t trust anyway, and why would we suspect the motives of a woman who might genuinely have no questionable motives and who we, under different circumstances might actually like?
Which brings me to another question that I will leave for you to answer; is jealousy the product of a false sense of entitlement?
More often than not, jealousy doesn’t have quite as much to do with your partner as much as it has to do with you. If you have tendencies to be not just jealous, but also defensive, take a deep breath and hear me out before you close this tab proclaiming this to be utter nonsense.
I’m no psychologist or behavioral analyst, but from personal experience and from observing other people in relationships, I have concluded that the main reason for jealousy is a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy, or even the consequence of putting your partner up on a pedestal.
You see your partner as a ‘God-like’ being who is the epitome of perfection; either because they were there for you through something that bonded you very closely to them (now making you the one with more to lose if they don’t feel as attached to you as you to them) or because they possess qualities that you respect but have never been able to cultivate. Or you might even believe that their physical appearance wouldn’t normally land them with ‘a person like you’.
If you notice, even this tendency stems out of a feeling of inferiority, which is never a healthy base for any relationship. Seeing yourself as lesser and placing your partners needs above yours can never make for a fully functional, satisfying relationship, as jealousy is inevitable when you believe that your partner can
a) Do so much better than you
b) Get anyone he wants
because you see him as perfect and don’t understand why someone else wouldn’t. In a situation where your issues aren’t being manifested through a tendency of putting your partner on a pedestal, insecurity directly manifests itself in a show of ‘over-attachment’, which is colloquial for clinginess or neediness.
You get clingy or needy because you believe that another person has a chance with your partner, because you see the other person as being better than yourself. In this case your jealousy finds socially acceptable reasons to be publicly (or even privately) manifested and more often than not, we believe those reasons to soothe our pride, which would otherwise be battered.
Unlike most issues couples have, jealousy, which if goes unchecked or becomes a chronic tendency, has the ability to wreck a relationship which otherwise would have had the potential to grow stronger and be successful.
Now that you know this, you might want to make certain changes to your method of coping with a sudden surge of emotions that you usually feel when you know you’re getting jealous; and like most issues the ‘green eyed monster’ can be overcome if you try hard enough.
1. For starters, you’ve got to understand your style of attachment with your parents or primary caregiver. Was it secure? Anxious? Avoidant? Once you’ve got that figured out you’ll know which areas you can work on and make a conscious effort to avoid falling into past patterns. It might be hard initially because it is after all an attempt to change your lifestyle, but it isn’t impossible.
2. The second thing you can do is figure out if the reason you’re getting jealous is because this situation reminds you of a situation from past experience which didn’t turn out well. If yes, then is the person you’re with reminiscent of the person you were in that situation with? If not, there’s nothing to worry about and you’re on your guard only because of a whiff of ghosts from your past. If this person is reminiscent of that person, though, rethink why you are together if they possess the same undesirable tendencies of your previous partner.
3. Once you’re certain that the reason for your jealousy has no concrete root in the outside world, look within and work on yourself. Do you think lesser of yourself? Do you underestimate your abilities? Do you mask your sense of inferiority under thundering claims of superiority over the rest of the population? If any of this is true, work on the area you believe you need to develop. Whether it’s your physical appearance, the way you speak, the amount you read, general awareness, sociability, whatever it might be. If you try to get better at something, you can, and nobody should be allowed to tell you otherwise.
4. If you believe that you need to meet people to feel more confident about yourself, go out and find something you love doing. Don’t just pretend to be doing something you love to prove a point to someone or show someone down, do what genuinely makes you happy. When you’re busy with your own life, you will have less time to overthink and hence even lesser time to burn in jealousy everytime someone likes his or her profile picture.
5. Trust your partner. They aren’t always seeking someone else or looking for an opportunity to cheat. If they’re with you, its because they appreciate you and when you understand that, you won’t find the need to be jealous even if he interacts with pretty, accomplished women all day long. Stop comparing, because you aren’t competing with anyone else for his affections.
Everything starts from within and starts with an initiative; If you must cut off toxicity from your life in the form of people, social media, apps, et al, do it without thinking twice.
When you’re less burdened by jealousy, not just your relationship, but even your life will begin to make you truly happy because you then will not be limiting either your partner or yourself from reaching your true potential.
1. On the eve of the announcement, everyone involved in Tidal suggested that the common folk change their social profiles to the bright, unbearably teal color. Beyoncé took a while to change hers but that’s okay. She’s probably been onboard since day one and a little tired of hearing about it.
2. The Tidal “trailer” was the most intense few moments since Leonardo DiCaprio spun a top in Inception.
3. Jack White, Madonna, Usher, Beyoncé, Jason Aldean, Jay Z, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Kanye, Arcade Fire people, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, and J.Cole sat in the one room and shared the same air molecules.
4. Everyone you wish you knew was at the release party and none of us were invited. Beyoncé was having fun and when Beyoncé has fun we all have fun.
5. Vania Schlogel is a badass.
6. Rihanna and Nicki Minaj portrayed the like perfect stepsisters that will always be fresher than you. Look at those pastel jackets.
7. Jay Z chose a well-rounded group of musicians. He even included Jason Aldean.
8. Alicia Keys gave a commencement speech and inspired us all. Look at those braids, she’s glorious. Remember the first time you heard, “Falling?”
9. The word of the night was, “wow.”
10. Now we can finally give our money to these select artists. Everyone is already blasting Tidal and saying it’s “doomed” but whatever. They ran a phenomenal campaign. Jay Z for President.
1. He says you look hot—and means it—even when you definitely don’t.
2. He thanks you at surprising times—when you haven’t necessarily done anything worthy of thanks—because he’s truly grateful that you exist.
3. He offers to carry your purse whenever it looks especially cumbersome or heavy, even though he looks ridiculous holding it.
4. He keeps tabs on your favorite bands and suggests seeing them in concert even if he’s not really into the type of music they play.
5. He’s eager to try all the things you love, whether it’s a restaurant you rave about, an athletic activity you favor, or a travel destination you praise.
6. Similarly, he’s eager to introduce you to everything he loves, so he’ll plan an afternoon of rock climbing or eating oysters no matter how much you fear heights or shellfish, charming in his determination to convert you.
7. When you visit a place that’s dear to him, like his hometown, or the campus of his alma mater, he’s visibly excited to point out all the spots that mean something to him—as if he wishes you could have been there with him all along.
8. He talks of traveling with you to exotic places and it doesn’t matter if you guys actually go anywhere because there’s so much joy in discussing these trips as hypotheticals.
9. He suggests going on long walks without any agenda whatsoever.
10. He leaves his phone behind when you go out to dinner sometimes so he can give you his full attention.
11. He sends you calendar listings for things he considers important future events in his life (a doctor’s appointment, an exam, or an interview) because he wants to keep you in the loop.
12. When you arrive at his place after a long day, he rushes to help you take off your coat and shoes.
13. When he senses that you’re down, he asks what he can do for you. If you answer “nothing,” he’ll make thoughtful suggestions.
14. If you get into a fight, he goes beyond what etiquette requires in apologizing—not with an “I’m sorry” present, but by offering to massage you, suggesting your favorite takeout for dinner, or being especially kind in some other small way that matters tremendously.
15. He tells you about his nightmares because he isn’t afraid of looking like a wimp around you.
16. He also sincerely wants your insight into what his dreams, good and bad, might mean, trusting that you know him better than anyone else.
17. He clearly takes pride in introducing you to his friends, and, eventually, family members.
18. He proactively masters each of your arousal triggers, and he regularly asks for input as to how he might pleasure you even better.
19. He secretly scopes out your place, taking mental notes about the types of toiletries you prefer. Then he surprises you by purchasing the right shampoo, deodorant, mouthwash, and toothpaste for his home.
20. He anticipates the need to designate an area of his closet and/or dresser for you so you never even have to consider leaving things behind “accidentally” to mark your territory.
21. He clearly adores it when you choose to lounge around wearing his button downs and t-shirts instead of your own clothing.
22. He makes a clear effort to remember your preferences—what you like to drink and eat, exactly how you take your coffee, how you arrange your pillows in bed, and what time of day you’re most likely to be tired or grumpy and thus in need of a text message reminding you that you’re awesome.
23. He’s not afraid to enhance any text with emoji, even if he’s not really the silly miniature graphic type.
24. He takes photos of you constantly, not to post to social media, but to keep for himself.
25. He takes great pleasure in making you smile, and he’s not afraid to work at it.
There are some things about the deployment experience that will cause a veteran to look off into the distance as he quietly remembers those days in vivid detail. There other are things that he will totally forget until something random sparks his memory and causes him to shake his head at the silliness of it all. This is a list dedicated to those little nuances about being deployed that you can’t experience in the real world.
1. The Smell of Iraq
One of the most significant moments a soldier has is when he gets his first nose full of the thick Iraqi air. It’s a smell that’s nearly impossible to find anywhere else in the world. A combination of burned garbage, desert heat spoiling everything, spilled sewage, and the Cradle of Civilization getting old and senile.
An off-brand energy drink that came to be the go-to caffeine infusion for many a troop before a mission. Got the call to go hit an objective? As you head toward the ready room, you’ll always make to sure to take a quick stop at the MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) facility in order to grab one or four 6-ounce cans and put them in your cargo pockets. You never know if this is going to be a simple three-hour mission or an all-nighter. Best to carry a full battle load.
3. Pirated Movies From the Bazaar
Through the generations, boredom has always been a major enemy for the man on the ground to fight off. With the nonexistent copyright laws of the Middle East, American troops have found themselves able to procure full series of their favorite TV shows for only a few bucks thanks to enterprising locals eager to make a semi-honest buck. Whole squads and sections will partake in marathon viewings of The OC, Scrubs, Lost, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They’ll form educated and fully developed opinions and theories on the show’s characters. It becomes a huge annoyance to get called up for a mission in the middle of a particularly juicy episode.
4. Piss Bottles
You’re en route to a mission in a helicopter or a Stryker. Those Rip-Its you drank are going right through you, and you’re not even close to getting to your objective. Since you ain’t no cherry, you came prepared for this event. You take out the Gatorade bottle that also doubles as your spitter. You unbutton the front of your pants, slightly hunch over, shove your dick in the bottle, and take a piss that fills it to the top. You seal the top. As you get on target, you toss it into pile of garbage on the side of the road. There’s an off chance that a local kid will think it’s just yellow Gatorade and drink it.
5. Care Packages Filled With Useless Shit No One Wants
Teaching a rather insightful lesson of good intentions does not always equal good execution, the MWR facilities will at times be packed with care packages from well-intentioned people eager to get rid of their useless shit. The occasional care package will have goodies such as fun-sized Snickers, Hot Cheetos, Gatorade powder packs, and other shit you actually want. Others will contain generic Halloween candy, pocket Bibles, crappy disposable Bic razor blades, some cheap electronic mini-game that breaks five minutes after you start playing it, and a coupon book that expired six months ago.
6. Unintentionally Grim Cards From Kids
A good way for a kindergarten teacher to fulfill her patriotic duty and kill an hour of class time while she nurses her hangover is to have her students draw and write up cards in crayon to send to GIs overseas. The GIs will receive a crude drawing of stick figure soldiers shooting at shit and tanks that also have wings while shooting out flames and random stars plastered throughout with captions such as “Tank U for my Fredum Solgier, pleeze don’t lose yor legs,” or “Kill people with towels on their heads. USA!”
7. Rushing To The Chow Hall After A Mission
“Fuck, I’m starving. If this mission isn’t over soon, there is no way we are going to make it back in time for mid-rats. Fuck, today is Mexican Monday. My favorite!” many a Joe has thought to himself while on target. Chow is always on a soldier’s mind. In fact, having hot chow is one of life’s pleasures he’d never willingly miss. Since this is the Global War on Terrorism, there is a surprising amount of food variety cooked by cheap Filipino and Ethiopian labor.
“Holy shit, we have five minutes before chow closes,” Joe will announce to his buddies as they get back to the compound. Covered in sweat, dirt, and mud, the whole platoon will rush to the chow hall to ensure they don’t have to wait until breakfast to get their next meal.
8. Hard Drive Full of Porn
Unless you’re in a unit with females, you’re not going to be getting any pussy whatsoever if you’re deployed. Yet you’re a young, testosterone-filled freedom machine with a sack full of semen that needs to be released at regular intervals. Advances in technology have not only made quality porn cheap and accessible for the masses, it’s quite common for a soldier to have a whole external hard drive full of porn geared toward his own deviant desires. With his laptop and jack-shack you make out of your bunk bed with some extra sheets, you’re ready to give your privates some hands-on action. Or if times are truly desperate, you can always go jerk in the Port-A-Potty.
9. The Deployment-Eight
Just because you aren’t getting any pussy doesn’t mean you won’t see females. If fact, you’ll see them throughout the installation doing various jobs. You’ll see the occasional prize specimen of femininity, but more often you’ll see chicks you wouldn’t fuck with your buddy’s dick. A couple of months of not having any sexual contact with females will have you creating elaborate fantasies about that one Air Force E-6 you always see at the chow hall with the buck teeth, horrible acne, and a totally flat chest. Yet she does have a big ass that even a military uniform can’t hide. Oh, what you wouldn’t give to have those cellulite-covered ass cheeks bouncing off your dick.
10. Overhearing Your Buddy Argue With Their Significant Other On The Phone
“You’re a fucking stupid cunt. I’m going to fucking kill you and that motherfucker when I get back home,” you’ll casually overhear one of your buddies say to his significant other as you use an Army computer to Facebook-stalk chicks you used to like in high school. Since you’re doing some rather important stuff for national security, all forms of communication you have with the rest of the world are being monitored. This means that there is very little privacy when it comes to telephone conversations that everyone in the room can hear.
11. The Smell of the Locals
The locals have a uniquely foul body odor to them. Whether it’s because they live in a shit hole and can’t shower regularly, their diet, or other social/economical factors that we don’t understand, there is no denying it. You can smell a local from ten to fifteen feet away. Wearing leather gloves is mandatory on missions, so it helps out when you have to handle and move a PUC (Person Under Control) from point A to B. Their smell will funk up your gloves for a day or two.
12. Scraggly, Feral Dogs of Various Breeds
There are many feral dogs of nearly any kind of breed you can think of roaming the streets of Iraq. They’ll travel in packs digging through rubble and garbage looking for something to eat. You’ll see little Yorkshire Terriers who answered the call of the wild running alongside German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers. Most of the dogs are not pure breeds and are so deeply intermixed that you can’t even begin to guess what type of breed they are. The dogs will usually avoid American troops, making them smarter than your average terrorist.
I don’t entirely trust people who don’t know how to cook. That may sound judgmental and well, it is. Thing is: I like to cook. In fact, I love it and I have loved it ever since I was 13 and my single mom was working all the time and if I wanted to eat something I either had to microwave another pizza pocket or teach my ass how to make my own food.
I chose to cook. And I’m damn glad I did because learning to cook out of necessity is what led me to understanding just how artful and wonderful cooking can be in a whole slew of other ways. So I really get it when I run into to a fellow adult who can look me straight in the eye and tell me, quite matter-of-factly, “Oh, I don’t cook.”
How can that be? How can someone in this modern day and age navigate life without ever learning one of the most fundamental, useful, and creative skills known to man?
Think about this for a second. If you have reached the age of 25 and you don’t know how to make a pasta dish or cook a steak or steam some veggies for yourself, what do you think that says about you as a person, much less a potential relationship partner? Does it indicate that you’ve just been so busy with your education and your work life that you haven’t had the time to learn to create a basic dish for yourself to eat? I don’t think so. I think that what it clearly says about you is that you:
a) lack a certain type of basic ambition
b) have been coddled and fed and now rely on take-out as your new mommy/daddy figure
c) were never taught to cook and therefore just figured that teaching yourself something so necessary and worthwhile was just not … well … worthwhile.
In a lot of cases, I suspect that it’s a combination of all three that leads to the type of people who actually boast that they simply do not cook. And that is a frightening and sad notion, if you ask me. Not a day goes by when I don’t have time to cook something for my kids or better yet, for myself. I dig preparing my own food and when I can’t do it it pisses me off. Why? Well, for one thing I’ve long known that cooking isn’t just a job you have to do, like mopping the floor or getting the oil changed on the car. Cooking is something entirely different; it’s a whole separate other galaxy away from ‘chores’ and that kind of crap.
When you stand in your own kitchen and cut vegetables and slice garlic and get a pan ready to saute a piece of fish or a pork chop or a fat mushroom, you’re not obligated to dig what you’re doing.
You might hate it. But if you DO hate it, then it’s my opinion that you lack a certain type of romance, plain and simple. Because cooking is very much like romance, like real tried and true romance, not this sh*t you think you might find if you spend another hour or two on Tinder or whatever. Cooking requires heart. It demands that you give a damn about someone else, the person or person(s) you are cooking for, whether they’re your own hungry kids or someone you’ve just met and are trying to impress in the hope that they might want to spend a little more time with you.
So in a lot of ways when you say to someone, even in passing, “Well, I don’t cook,” what you’re really saying to them (and to the world in general) is, “Well, I don’t have much heart or interest in fundamental things that show people I care about them!”
You might as well just tell people, “You know, I really don’t have much time to give a damn about you, but I’d love it if you were attracted to me anyway!”
Okay, perhaps that’s an oversimplification of my point, but still. I imagine that I’m speaking for a whole lot of people when I tell you that people who don’t cook aren’t as attractive or sexy or probably even as much of a catch as people who do. I’ve never been with a woman who didn’t know how to cook and I can honestly say to you that each and every single time any of them made a meal for me, I was intensely turned on in a really primal way. And I feel like they felt the same way about me cooking for them, too. Guys, girls, it doesn’t matter.
When you can cook and you know it, you understand that you are so way ahead of anyone who cannot.
And when you set a dish of food you just made down in front of someone you think is hot or cool or funny or charming or hopefully all of that in equal measure, I can tell you this much for sure. You are putting yourself up on a seriously badass pedestal without even knowing it. Because the human heart knows what it knows and it follows those same leads down unconsciously, year after year, century after century. And home cooked food has always been a shoo-in when it comes to falling in love.
Sure, you might meet someone else who doesn’t cook and the two of you might sail off into the Take-out sunset. But I doubt it.
Look, do us all a favor, will ya? Lean to cook. It’s easy as hell. It will ignite certain passions in you that you didn’t even know where there. And people will like you more; trust me. No more excuses.
Cook. Make love. Live a little. And stop acting like a little kid.
I catch your scent sometimes. In crowded places where the air gets thick and people rush past but their clouds hang frozen in the air. And there you were, in the most vivid of memories, from that one whiff, I could feel the soft of your skin, see the creases of your eyes, hear the heartiness of your laugh.
I used to lie awake while you slept. I used to delicately touch your face and endless wonder what cosmic alignments brought you into my broken life. I used to be devoured by my fears of not being enough for someone so charismatic, so vibrant, so endlessly charming that much of my days were spent swimming in dark waters of anxious insecurities.
I tried to hide the tenderness. The eternal flame of powerful emotions that ripped through me whenever I thought of you, but they burned ever brighter by the day. I felt sick when I exposed too much, when my mouth kept talking about how lovely and perfect you were when all I wanted to do was have the self-control to say nothing. Be cool, be aloof, the one who cares the least holds the power. But I lost all reason when I met you. I descended into a place where I couldn’t think, I could only feel, and I wanted to feel you every second.
You saddened and frustrated me. You spoke of love like it was a tangible thing you could study and know. I wanted you to get lost in your own heart, to jump into the unknown and unleash your truest, most hidden self to only me. But you remained guarded. I confused your lust and passion for my body as a connection to my mind and soul. I fell so fast and so deep that other parts of my life ceased to matter. I was convinced you had more depth than you wanted me to know about, that if I got close enough to the farthest centre of your soul, I could break you open and you would become equally overcome with love for me.
You fell away. Or maybe I pushed you with my impatience, with my intensity, with my endless need to be equally enthralled with each other. I woke up at the bottom of the rabbit hole, more broken than before. Being with you stopped filling me with excitement and anticipation and instead was replaced with only disappointments, in you and in myself. Maybe I had misjudged you, that what you presented to me was always all there would ever be. Or maybe it was, simply that, I wasn’t the one for you and you weren’t the one for me and we ran together for as long as we could until life faded us out.
And though I know that I will never be able to explain how quick and furiously I became smitten with you or why you never made the trip to that place for me, I will always wonder if you remember my perfume. If the scent of it on another reminds you just as vividly of those moments together, when everything was brilliant and full of possibility.