What Causes Jealousy In A Relationship? How To Stop It?

Reviewed by Joseph Moore, Certified Relationship And Life Coach
Written by Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening” – Maya Angelou

Yes, a little jealousy in relationships can improve the taste, but too much can spoil the pleasure and threaten the relationship (1). It is a natural emotion in any relationship, especially when you start feeling insecure. However, there is a limit to everything. Do you feel your jealousy is getting toxic? Keep reading this article to know more.

Is Jealousy Good In A Relationship?


Jealousy is indeed a poor medium to secure love, but it is a secure medium to destroy one – Emma Goldman

If you have watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S, remember why Ross and Rachel “take a break?” Ross was consumed with jealousy about Rachel and Mark’s friendship, which soured the bond between the beloved couple.

Jealousy is never good in a relationship. You have to trust your partner. Without trust, the relationship becomes toxic and eventually dies out. While jealousy may initially look all cute, it can quickly morph into the Lernaean hydra (the mythical Greek monster).

What stirs up jealousy in a relationship? Read on to know!

What Causes Jealousy In A Relationship?

1. Inferiority

“Jealousy is an inner consciousness of one’s own inferiority. It is a mental cancer.” – B.C. Forbes

Jealousy often arises from an inferiority complex, which leads to insecurities (2). For instance, you may feel like you are not good enough to sustain your relationship. Similarly, your partner may feel inferior and think you are dissatisfied and end the relationship.

2. Comparison


“Comparison is a very foolish attitude, because each person is unique and incomparable. Once this understanding settles in you, jealousy disappears.” – Osho

Once you open the door to insecurities, you start comparing yourself with others, especially your partner’s friends. This makes you believe that you are up against all of them. In such scenarios, you may end up asking your partner not to meet their friends. Your partner (unaware of what’s brewing inside your head) may not give in to such demands, which may fuel the fire.

3. Self-Doubt

“Jealousy is bred in doubts. When those doubts change into certainties, then the passion either ceases or turns absolute madness.” – Francois Rauchefaucold

Jealousy feeds off your self-doubt. The more you put yourself down, the more you believe your partner will leave you. This increases envy and anger, especially if your partner is hanging out with someone you constantly compare yourself with.

4. Envy


“Jealousy is information. It tells you what you desire, what you admire, what you despise in yourself. You could learn from the person you envy if you weren’t blinded by resentment. Learning feels better than loathing.” – The Stoic Emperor

People tend to envy others for traits they lack. This is aggravated if you already have self-doubt.

5. Obsession

“Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive.” – Havelock Ellis

Jealousy is like a wildfire that spreads quickly due to obsessive thinking. You want to keep a watch on your partner’s whereabouts. You try checking their phone or calendar when they aren’t around. If they meet someone you don’t like, it worsens the situation. This obsessive thinking eventually slays the love you and your partner have for each other.

6. Lack Of Trust

“Jealousy is the lifelong noose hanging about the neck of love.” – Caitlin Thomas

If you don’t trust your partner, you will try to force them into a tighter rein, meaning, you will want to control their freedom in the relationship. You will want to know where they are and whom they are with all the time. Your partner will feel trapped and suffocated in a relationship like this.

7. Past Experiences

“Jealousy is a strong emotion that can break any strong relationship.” – Anonymous

Jealousy is a strong emotion, but it affects you more if you have been cheated on in your past relationship. Your mind begins to think the worst about your current partner because of past experiences. But it is important to remember that you cannot allow someone else’s recklessness to affect your relationship.

Now you know why jealousy grows in a relationship, but how can you stop it from becoming a Thanos-like hindrance?

How Do I Stop Feeling Jealous?


  1. Learn to trust your partner. Once you trust your partner wholeheartedly, any question of infidelity is thrown out the window. Try some trust exercises to build your relationship.
  2. Be open with your partner. Let them know how you feel.
  3. If you cannot trust your partner and let go of the jealousy, talk to a therapist. You can do this alone; however, it is better to deal with it as a couple.
  4. Focus on the positives in your relationship. As a relationship grows, the focus often shifts on the negative aspects. Every day reaffirm to yourself why you fell in love with your partner.
  5. Work on building self-confidence and come out of the inferiority complex to conquer jealousy.
  6. Instead of acting on your jealousy, divert your mind. Try going for a walk to clear your mind. You can also try stretches or dancing to de-stress yourself.
  7. If you have been hurt in a past relationship, learn to let that pain go. You cannot hold your current partner accountable for your ex’s mistake.
  8. Make it a point to spend time together, and learn to give them their own space.

Some degree of jealousy is a part of every relationship, especially during the initial years. It stems from your insecurity due to a lack of commitment or simply your possessiveness towards your partner. However, jealousy can harm your relationship if it extends beyond a certain point. So, you should be careful about the feelings of inferiority, obsession, lack of trust, and self-doubt to keep jealousy in check. It would help to communicate with your partner and openly share your concerns to forge a deeper and more secure bond.

Key Takeaways

  • Jealousy is a one-eyed monster that has destroyed relationships. It breeds possessiveness and the tendency to keep your partner suffocated in the name of love.
  •  Many people are afraid to give their partners freedom and believe in them to do what is right. The reality is that you truly know someone’s character when they don’t betray you even if they have the opportunity.
  •  Trusting your partner is key to overcoming jealousy.


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  1. The Positive and Negative Effects of Jealousy on Relationship Quality: A Meta-Analysis
  2. Relationship Nature and Intensity: Their Association with Jealousy in Dating Relationships
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Joseph Moore

(Certified Relationship And Life Coach)
Joseph Moore is an ace relationship coach and public speaker who started coaching in 2015. Although Joseph is a trained... more