Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hey, Jealousy

Happy New Year, everyone!!

I'm a bit delayed, but I don't think it's a surprise to anyone. My resolution was to sleep less and do more but then it got really cold and I slept more and did less. Such is life. Anyways. A lot of people think that new years are for new beginnings. They strive to make themselves a better person and make this year better than the last. I'm sure most of you have some part of your personality that you wish to change. One thing a lot my girlfriends and I talk about is jealousy. Jealousy is a horrible thing. A little bit can be good, I think, and it's perfectly normal. But how we react to that jealousy is what makes it bad.

If you've ever been in a relationship, chances are high that you have dealt with an ex. Your ex or your partner's ex, doesn't matter. It is a tough subject to talk about, and most people mention their past relationships early on in dating and then never again. How many of you have looked up an ex's social media account? And how many of you have looked up your partner's exes? It happens. We all want to prove to ourselves that we're better than the last.

I gotta admit, I have had a really hard time with jealousy in my past. It's something I've worked on and something I'm still working on. When I was younger, I compared to myself to other girls a lot. I never thought I was good enough for someone, and there have been situations in my life that kind of made that feeling worse. When you're 17 and you find suggestive texts to other girls on your boyfriend's old phone he gives you when yours breaks, it doesn't exactly breed healthy thoughts and relationship patterns. When you already have anxieties about ex-girlfriends and then someone leaves you for one, it doesn't make you want to be more trusting. And these are things people experience all of the time. Unfortunately, humans are not penguins and we don't pick one person, fall madly in love, and stay with them forever. How easy that would be, right?

Here's what I've realized about exes. They're good! I'm so thankful for them! Why? Because I'm in the healthiest and happiest relationship of my life right now because of my ex. We got together in high school and I was what most people jokingly refer to as a 'crazy bitch.' We didn't communicate well at all, we didn't compromise, we fought all the time, we were jealous and emotional and mean to each other. I went through his phone. He lied to me. We said things out of spite and we didn't help each other. We weren't a team. We stayed together as long as we did because we felt we should, not because we were a good match. We lived together and I always yelled at him for a messy house and for little things he did.

After we broke up, I dated around. I thought I knew what I wanted in a relationship, but it turned out that I had no idea. After a couple of more relationships and flings and a lot of reflection on my past, I came up with a list in my head of what I wanted in a man. And to my surprise, I found it!!

My boyfriend is messy as hell. He plays video games a lot. When something is a mess, I either pick it up myself or nicely ask him to help me with it. And you know what? He does. When he wants to play a game and I want to hang out, we talk it out and compromise--play a game for a bit and then afterwards, we'll watch a movie. Any little thought or anxiety I have, I tell him. And grievance, we talk about it. Not every little thing has to be a fight. He has friends that are girls and most of my best friends are guys. Was that hard at first?  Yes, very. But I didn't keep these friends from him. I threw him into my friend group and made him know them like I do. Communication and honesty are key. Keep things open and nothing should be painful.

My ex-boyfriend came to our New Year's party. He came to our house and it wasn't weird. My boyfriend has his ex-girlfriend on Snapchat. We both talk to our exes occasionally. He knows about my ex and I know a bit about his. These people are not strangers we met and then threw away. As hard as it is to face, these people were a very significant part of our lives at one point. And if it wasn't for them, our relationship would not be what it is today. Because of our exes, we found out what did and didn't work in a relationship. We found out what we were looking for in another person. We may still have a lot of similar interests and plans as our exes, but we didn't make a good match. Sometimes people get along really well but don't work in a romantic setting.

It's also interesting to compare exes to each other because a lot of times, you find a lot of similarities. A similar look, occupation, personality, etc. That's because we find the things in a person we like and keep going until they all match up. So, next time you realize that your girlfriend's ex boyfriend had really big muscles and you don't, remember that maybe she just didn't care as much about that in a partner. My point here is that we shouldn't be comparing ourselves to people in our or our partner's past. We are who we are because of those people, and if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here where we are with who we are. If your partner didn't want to be with you, they wouldn't (at least, I hope so).

Well, enough of my rambling. This could have been much more organized and filled with interesting facts and what not but I just didn't feel like it. I basically just wrote out exactly what came to my mind after a conversation with my best friend. If you have any comments about this, let me know!! Let's discuss.

PS--Read Scott Pilgrim if you haven't. It's pretty entertaining. Or just watch the movie and drool over Jason Schwartzman.