"Hi Everyone! So I'm in a kinda awkward situation... I've been dating this lady for 7-ish months and spend a lot of time at her place. I recently found a few old mementos from her past lovers - love notes, journals, cards, gifts, etc. I'm finding it hard to not feel jealous (especially cuz I'm not as experienced as her when it comes to relationships, and I trash everything after the relationship is over)... What do you suggest we do? Do I have the right to feel upset and jealous about this?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Happy 7-months-ish relationship, Anonymous! I would like to begin by telling you that my first-ever girlfriend kept a journal for me during the summer that we fell in love. She wrote in it nearly every day, detailing so many of the moments we spent together, and at the end of the summer she gave it to me to keep. It was one of the most incredible gifts of all time… and it was given to me twenty years ago. I use those italics because holy shit how did I do *anything* twenty years ago, but also to underline this point: I am now married to an entirely different person and I still keep that journal in my house. It is a memento – exactly the word you used to describe the items in your question! – and a very powerful memento of a very important time in my life that I spent with another person who I loved dearly.
Keeping mementos of past loves, in my opinion, is a very normal (and vital!!) part of our lives. We are people, after all, so we don’t remember much of life’s detail as weeks, months, and years pass us by. When we share something important with another person, we grow. The people that we love and have loved are very big parts of who we are. So, your girlfriend holding on to milestones in her life does not mean that she is still in that place today – it simply means that the place she was once in was very important, and she wants to be able to remember certain pieces of it.
Do you have a right to feel upset and jealous?? Of course you do! We all have rights to feel our damn feelings, and finding those mementos stirred up a lot of feelings inside of you – you are jealous and upset, and you also explained that some of these feelings might come from the fact that this is one of your very first relationships. So, you are probably thinking things like, “If she has these things it must mean she wants to be with those other people still!!” (to which I would say no it most certainly does not and please reference my memento-discussion above), or “I am probably not going to be as good of a girlfriend as those other people were!!” (to which I would say: you most certainly *are* going to be a wonderful girlfriend, but you will not be the same as they were, nor should you wish to be – she is with you because you are different!).
My words probably won’t make all of those feelings go away, and I would encourage you to talk to your girlfriend about those feelings – but not in a way that makes her feel she has done something wrong. She hasn’t! You aren’t doing anything wrong by feeling these things either, but you should look to her to help you through those feelings. She might be able to explain to you why she keeps the things she keeps, or she might be able to just say to you, “Hey. I care about you right now, and that is what I want to focus on. I can remember things from my past fondly and not want them back – and I would love it if you could work to trust my feelings for you.”
Whatever you do, don’t ask her to get rid of those memories. Often, in love, the tighter we try to hold someone, the more they wriggle away. The most powerful way to love a person is to let them be who they are right now while also loving the person that they once were (and all that that entails) and the person they are becoming as each and every day goes by.
“So my girlfriend is awesome, but I keep comparing myself to her in every way. She’s funnier than me, she’s more outgoing than me, she has so much drive, and I feel like a blob in comparison. How do I cut out this way of thinking?”
Question Submitted by prayerstoyeezus
I think this is dope because you have the chance to be inspired by someone who you love so deeply. You have a person that you admire right in front of you all the time. Learn from her, ask for her help, tell her how impressed you are, and be so grateful that you have someone who can help you become the best version of yourself.
I feel pretty strongly that we should all constantly be working on becoming the best person we can possibly be, it’s like… Who knows why the fuck we’re here, I certainly don’t, but I do know if we all work to leave the world a little better than how we found it, this would such a cool place to live.
I don’t think a relationship can be all that great if you aren’t inspired by the person you’re dating. If you don’t admire that person, if that person doesn’t challenge you to be better, if that person isn’t one of the coolest, most amazing people you’ve ever met, then what are you even doing?
This is all to say you are lucky and yea it’s hard, but totally possible. The things you told us are just v intense compliments. It’s so easy to be like, “YOU ARE SO MOTIVATED, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, YOUR DRIVE IS SO HOT AND I WANT TO KISS YOU” and then later to be like, “also, how do you do it? can you help me try to organize some shit, I want to have that kind of drive.” The person who loves you loves to see you succeed and wants to help you succeed and wants for you to feel so good about everything you’re doing.
It’s also cool to be like, “hey, you’ve been working yourself so hard, we should take a chill night,” or “you’ve been making everyone at this party laugh for 3 hours, and I thought it was so hot the whole time and now let’s take you home and give you some well-deserved intercourse.” Sometimes that balance is so unbelievably necessary and it can be so fun and wonderful. It’s all about perspective, balance, honesty, and everyone feeling cool as fuck.
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"How do you react to ‘Why? Are you jealous?’ …when you’re not really jealous?"
- Question submitted by thecoolcucumber
I’ve always wondered the SAME THING because pretty much nothing makes me jealous, but if I say I’m not jealous people automatically assume I am and I’m being defensive… it’s so weird.
I have now defaulted to say YES I AM JEALOUS KISS ME – if it’s in a luv situation- or just laughing – if it is not a luv situation.
Also, you guys. I have this problem with a lot of feelings. People always think I’m feeling something that I’m completely not feeling at all. And for some reason, simply saying “I’m not mad” or “I’m not upset” or “No, I promise, I don’t care” infuriates the general public… It’s like because I don’t feel something the same way another person feels it, I am THE WORST.
I’ve found, through years of making people angry, you just have to keep being honest. I don’t know if this is just your boo trying to get you to say you’re jealous so you can have a jealous-fake-mad-make-out-sesh or if it’s ACTUALLY about feeling like your feels are invalid. BUT I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THEY ARE NOT. The fact that you don’t feel jealousy/anger/frustration or whatever as often and as hard as other people does not mean your feels are invalid. They are real and they are you. As long as you’re being honest when you DO feel something, you’re doing all the right things.
I agree with Dannielle, and I think that this is a situation where your consistency and honesty will win the race. If you are asking your boo or your friend about a person or a thing and they decide to lay over the feelings they think you have, then all you can do is remain calm and explain the reason for your queries.
If they persist and continue to insist that you aren’t being honest, explain that a relationship (ANY kind of relationship) is built on many foundational elements… trust being one of the BIGGEST. Tell your boo/friend that their insistence that you are lying hurts your feelings, because it makes you feel like they do not trust you, or think that you are being honest. Say again how you actually feel, ensure them that if you are feeling jealous you will share that with them fully, and ask them to please trust in what you are telling them.
It is hard for most of us to understand feelings that don’t align with our own — and Dannielle is right, this is probably where your boo/friend is coming from. They likely understand jealousy in a particular way, and they know how they would behave if they felt jealous. Since this is the only thing they have to go on, they are making assumptions about your behavior.
State again how you truly feel. Ask for respect and trust.
You deserve that, and you cannot have a relationship without it.
Also, I now want to call someone my boo-friend.
DANNIELLE CAN I CALL YOU MY BOOFRIEND?
"How do you deal with/accept peers who are more successful than yourself?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I usually scream ‘YOU ARE LIVING MY DREAM LIFE’ at them and walk away??
Jealousy is a weird thing. Drake says that basically jealousy is love and hate at the same time, which makes perfect sense. HOWEVER, my dad says that successful people surround themselves with successful people. THEREFORE, if you have people in your crew who are mad successful, it is a wonderful sign.
I think we are all attracted to people and things we want slash we seek out people who have the qualities we want, you know? So, FIRST OF ALL, you brought these fools into your life for a reason and it’s great that they’re more successful than you bc it will inspire and challenge you. SECOND OF ALL, one persons success does not negatively affect another person’s success. There is enough to go around. Think about it this way: Rihanna having a completely sold out tour DOES NOT MEAN that Katy Perry does not have a completely sold out tour. YOU KNOW? They’re both pop stars, they’re both successful, they BOTH have sold out tours.
There is enough success for everyone, there are no limits to what you and the folks around you can achieve, etc. Use them as a resource! Ask advice, start projects together, set goals, try to impress them, whatever. Don’t NOT do awesome shit just because other people are doing awesome shit. Let their awesome shit make your shit awesomer.
Success is relative.
For some of us, success is equated with money, for others it has to do with family, for some it has to do with seeking inner peace and balance, and for some it is something else entirely or a mix of elements. What is at the end of any and all of those imagined successes, though, is happiness. We want to “succeed,” whatever that means to us, because we want to feel content, calm, and like we have accomplished something in this life. We do only get one chance at this, after all… so it only makes sense that we put pressure on ourselves to do the best we can.
Success, however, is never related to the comparisons that we make with our friends. Of course, our human brains loooooooove to compare, so it’s a tricky f*cking path to walk.
In the moments when I find myself looking at the things that others have achieved, I reflect in three ways:
1. I allow myself the feeling. You’re a person. It’s hard to see the things you want reflected in another person’s reality.
2. I think about the things that I have accomplished, or that I have, and why I am thankful for them.
3. I reflect on how I used to wish for these very things that I now have, and on the fact that, now that I have them, there is still space left for wanting. This is because success is never measured in things. It’s measured in our peace with ourselves and our patience with the process of getting to that place of peace.
Does that help?
I have so many feelings.
"Ok, so. My girlfriend is totally hot. She has the perfect body and the perfect boobs and i’m just like, blehhhhh. Is it weird that im kind of jealous of her?! And how do i stop this feeling and just enjoy her body instead of envy it?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
What an AWESOME PROBLEM TO HAVE.
“Hi i’m anonymous and my girlfriend is super hot and i love her body, HEEEELLLLP”
K, I’m done making fun of you.
I think you should talk more out loud about all the things you love about your girlf. AAAANNND talk to her about the parts of your body she loves. BECAUSE HERE IS THE THING, you’re jealous that her body is perfect for you, but your body is probably also perfect for her. Does that make sense? She loves your thighs, your back dimples, your stomach, your clavicle, etc. and you’re not even thinking about how awesome those parts of you are, because you’re too busy loving every part of her.
Look at yourself, appreciate yourself, love yourself. We are all so perfect in our own little ways. BTW if you do have this conversation with her, and the two of you talk about all the things you love about one another’s bodies… YOU WILL FEEL SO GREAT ABOUT YOU… aaaaaand you’ll probably end up making out AND STUFF.
I think that you should absolutely have those above conversations, and I think that your girlfriend’s image of you is crucial to understanding how beautiful you truly are —- but I also think that you should think more about why you are unhappy with your own body.
If you just love the way her waist bends and the way her boobs boob, then you are viewing specific parts of her body’s form which you can’t necessarily achieve for yourself (because you have your own waist bends and your boobs boob in their own unique way), but if you are like, “Man, her waist is a little flatter than mine and I like that,” or “I wish my thighs were a little more firm,” then this might also be about you wanting to start exercising or eating better or becoming more active so that you can feel healthier instead of aiming to look “as good as” your boo.
Does that make sense?
If this is about how your curves and bends make you appealing to her – then all you need to do is express those feelings you have and use conversation (and making out) to help you build on that confidence for yourself. If you think that part of that jealousy is coming from you wanting to be more motivated in the path toward being healthy – then this is a combination approach: talk to her about your feelings, and also make positive changes in your own life (and perhaps you can make them together!) so that you begin to also feel more centered for yourself.