….Ummm, Who Is She?

Why do we get jealous? I’m talking about couples. It seems like a straightforward question with a straightforward answer, but some of the things we do out of jealously are questionably….psychotic. We do things that are unlike our personality, we come out of character, take risks, become angry, and even cause relationships to end. Luckily, I am not the first one to be asking this question.


In today’s society the ability to be suspicious of your loved one is made even easier by the rapid advances technology has been making. You have to worry about Facebook, Snapchat, phone calls, and text messages that can easily be deleted with one swipe of the finger. The process of being jealous already sounds exhausting and emotionally draining, so why do we do it? The answer lies in the function of being jealous, which takes us very far back.

still jealous

When men and women’s main concern was survival and reproduction, women had the advantage of knowing that their child was theirs. Men, however, did not. So constantly guarding their mate and the characteristics that define jealously were required if a male wanted to maintain certainty of his offspring. This is otherwise known as cuckolding. 

you are

When talking in class about correlation and causation, there could be many reasons why we get jealous. It is unrealistic to say that there is ONE reason for why we get jealous. There are many outside (confounding) variables that could affect how someone is acting! 

What’s fascinating is that a study done at the University of Michigan found that men get more jealous of the idea of sexual infidelity (i.e. picturing a woman trying different sex positions with another guy), while women get more upset thinking of their partner falling in love with someone else (emotional infidelity). But women have to be choosy too- they need resources and someone they can rely on to help them raise their offspring. Men can impregnate as many women as they want and produce millions of sperm a day while women can only produce about one egg a month, making them the more valuable resource.

In a Women’s Health article, scientists declared they think the left frontal cortex of the brain that controls emotions such as shame has to do with the feelings of jealously. The article touches on Reactive Jealousy, Suspicious Jealousy, and Delusional Jealously, claiming that the dopamine system which adjusts chemicals that affect happiness are also involved in spurring jealously. Jealously can trigger a stress response in humans as well. All of these findings point toward the idea that jealously serves as a function to help us survive…so the next time you’re feeling jealous and ashamed, don’t! You’re claiming what’s yours!

6 thoughts on “….Ummm, Who Is She?

  1. Katharine Marie Sayer

    This post is so interesting to me because I am in a criminology class and we had almost this exact discussion last week. We were talking about theories and what makes the good or bad. Attributes of a “good” theory include being general (such as genetics influences behavior), parsimonious (basically just simple and straightforward), and falsifiable. The example our teacher gave us was that on the Evolutionary Theory. We talked about the same matters, such as women being selective towards who their lover is and how protective they become to men practically just having sex with anyone ensure that their gene somehow gets carried on. This plays along with how you said that women, in general, are more emotional while men are more physical. I for one have never been in a serious relationship, but for having to play the role as their “therapist”, I know that jealous not always ruins, but definitely causes a lot of bumps down the road. Also, I just looked up the definition of jealous (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jealous), and I don’t agree with 1a. It says “unfaithfulness”. What do you think?

    1. Anna Pearl Belinda Post author

      I loved your reply- thank you for that. As for the definition of jealously…I am too emotional and I agree with you that I disagree with the first definition. The scope of jealously much larger than “unfaithfulness”.

  2. Jillian Nicole Beitter

    Good points and great blog! It’s crazy how jealous men and women get when they are in a relationship but like you said, it’s normal. One time, I was out to dinner with a few friends and I got a text from my friend sitting across from me. She was sitting next to her boyfriend and she texted me upset that he was texting one of her friends. My friend quickly got over the fact that her boyfriend was texting another girl (just a friend) and that it was nothing. My friend knew nothing was going on but just felt the need to explain her jealously to someone. This small act of jealously further explains your claim that women often get jealous of men falling in love with someone else.

  3. Monica Lynn Powell

    I also had never thought about the differences between men and women in what they get jealous over. While I’m sure it isn’t true for all people, it does make sense that men would get more jealous over sexual infidelity and women over emotional infidelity. I also find it interesting that jealousy comes from the same place where our happiness is controlled. When we’re jealous, we’re definitely not happy! I’m not sure I understand your point about women also having to be choosy. How does this fit in when talking about jealousy? I can understand why people do get jealous in relationships but I don’t agree that it’s an okay state to stay in. I think when people feel jealous it could have to do with something their partner did or it could be in their own head in which case it’s not okay that they are feeling that way. Either way jealous feelings should be dealt with immediately.

  4. Avery Elizabeth Holland

    I find the differences behind male and female jealousy really interesting. I had no idea that the two genders are more commonly jealous over different aspects of a relationship. Males are more sexually insecure while females are more emotionally insecure. I agree with the idea that social media has increased jealousy between relationships because now there are more ways to check up on your partner. Between Snapchat, texting, and Instagram, you can find out what your boyfriend/ girlfriend is doing at all times of the day. While for some couples this may be a good thing, for others it may take away their sense of privacy. It may make one partner more clingy or “over protective” which in turn can lead to jealousy. I don’t agree with the idea that jealousy is a positive or healthy aspect of a relationship because it can lead to fighting. The right amount may help keep you and your partner in check with one another but being overly jealous may lead to your partner resenting you or worse, a breakup.

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