How do I avoid being overly jealous in my relationship?

Hi, i am 1 year into my relationship with my girlfriend. Some context: we are both avid gamers that met through a dating app and got into our relationship really fast (around 1 month after meeting). The games she plays are usually shooter games which have an overwhelming male population and regularly plays with guys in her online friend groups.

Recently she has found a new group of guys to play games with and spends some nights playing the game until 4am. I play the game with her sometimes but I am not very good at it and I have work on weekdays so I usually go to sleep at 12am.

I feel jealous as I am not capable of “carrying” her in the game, while this new group of guys are much better and can give her a better gaming experience than I can. I am also jealous that she is spending so much time with guys she doesn’t know anything about.

A few weeks ago I confronted her about the 4am thing as i know she was playing with them, but she lied about it and said it wasn’t her, only to admit it was her after a while which made me really sad about it.

I know my jealousy is a problem, and i admit i have done some spying on her texts with them and found out that it can be more or less in the territory of being “overly friendly” with these guys. I am worried because in my view, a guy who approach girls and prolong the conversation are not looking for a friendship but rather something more.

I do have some worry from the past as we had a long distance relationship for 5 months last year as I went to study in America. During that time, I felt like I wasn’t a boyfriend as she spent more time with one of her male friends playing games, while i was made to wait for my turn to call her. This was often around 3am singapore time, and rather than having a conversation it was usually just listening to her sleep because she is too exhausted to talk. However we have talked about this topic and it is now behind us.

Point is, i need help with controlling my emotions, jealousy, and tendency to spy on her texts (which i admit is a big big problem that i shouldn’t be doing). I recognize it is going to harm my relationship with her but what should I do about it?

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Hi @Aqua1

Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and I think it is very brave of you to admit that you have such feelings and reaching out for support. It sounds like you feel strongly against your actions but it seems difficult to not spy on her texts as you really want to hold on to this relationship. I want to tell you that you are not a bad person for doing this; I see that this relationship is very important to you, thus leading to these actions. Of course, I agree with you that you probably should not be doing it as it could lead to bigger problems. Let’s explore different ways to work around this.

Firstly, it was helpful that you talked to her about your feelings in the past when you were overseas. It sounds like you talked to her this time as well, about her spending too much time gaming. I wonder how did the conversation go and how was your approach with her.

You may consider an open communication approach when talking about the issue:

  1. Express yourself honestly. Share your feelings and opinions with her so she knows how you are feeling. Try not to assume people know what you are feeling as everyone can experience the same situation but feels differently due to their different values and beliefs. Let her know of your concern and how important this relationship is to you, how you feel about not being able to support her in the gaming experience.
  2. Use “I’ statements. Start with saying “I feel (feelings) when (something) happens”. Instead of saying "You make me feel (feelings) …”. This gives more ownership of your feelings without blaming the other party.
  3. Manage your expectations. Know that she might disagree with some things your shared and avoid imposing your thoughts on her. See if you both can explore a middle ground regarding this issue.
  4. Focus on solution. Think about your intentions of doing this. You want to improve your relationship, not to drift further apart. Use this as a common goal to work together with her.
    You are her partner, so remember that you both are doing this together. Raising arguments about this will make you see each other as opposing parties, that would not be helpful during the conversations.

It can be difficult when there are opposing views in a relationship. It takes effort, time and commitment to make a relationship last. I think you are really trying to make things work by thinking about it and reaching out for support. That is a good start already! Do affirm yourself for the effort!

I hope this has been helpful. Wishing you all the best and take care!

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Hi Raindrop,

Thanks for your advice.

I have spoken to her about spending too much time with other guys in the past and she told me she holds no romantic feelings for them and only views them as friends.

I guess i am just jealous that (from what i have seen while spying) she is putting in an effort to seem cute to this new bunch of guys when texting. I know that spying is not right but if possible i just want to bury it all behind in the past, stop myself from spying, and never speak of it as if it has never happened in the first place. Does this make me a bad person?

I am also worried that i may come across as controlling if i talk to her about it now as this thing has been a constant issue for a long time. I know its unhealthy to want her to stop talking to other guys but i cant help but feel this way. Do you have any tips on how i can help myself to stop feeling this way?

Thank you!

1 Like

Hi @Aqua1

Firstly, you have to stop thinking about yourself as a bad person. People make mistakes and what is important is not repeating those mistakes. I think you understand yourself good enough to know what you need to do to make yourself feel better.

Also, it seemed like you are worried about coming across as controlling as you really want her to hear thoughts but do not want the conversation to end badly. You may want to calm yourself first before having that conversation, so you do not get emotional. Use the open communication ways to express your feelings. Offer replacement activities if you want her to decrease her gaming time. You can think of activities you both enjoy so it brings the relationship closer.

It is also important for you to trust yourself, trust her and trust the relationship. When you are able to trust her and yourself more, you might find yourself thinking less about her interactions with others.

Hope this helps!