Q. I have a boyfriend and he is never jealous of all my male friends. He gets along with them. I also get out with my male friends. He's just fine with it too. I wonder: "Does he love me?" But he cares a lot for me. He is very patient. However, it really triggers me to make him jealous. Is it wrong to do that?
A. Jealousy does not show love. It shows insecurity and possessiveness, and not a nice trait to have. You appear to be insecure in yourself which makes you want to see his jealousy. But he probably loves himself a lot, is confident in him and you, and so does not feel the need to be jealous. The problem does not seem to lie with him. I think it is mainly with you as you need to be demonstrated love and jealousy before you believe that love.
But jealousy is not a positive quality in a relationship. It is a very negative one that lies at the heart of control and signals a lack of respect. He is actually treating you with respect, by appreciating your friends. He knows he loves you and that you love him, and does not feel he has to 'prove' anything, but you would like him to prove it by showing how jealous he is of you. Not good at all, and you could lose him by testing that love. He might come to think that you're not worth it. Perhaps the best thing to do, if you feel he is not demonstrative enough, is to talk to him about how you feel. Tell him that you would like him to show you that love more often, especially if he does not openly show his feelings too much. Tell him that you like to feel wanted, valued and given attention, instead of trying to make him jealous.
Above all, start loving yourself, valuing yourself and appreciating who you are. When you have achieved that, you won't need to make someone jealous to prove their love. You will also be confident in that person's affection for you. You will know that even if they didn't love you, it wouldn't matter, because you had the greatest love of all - for yourself.
If you have a chat about your feelings with him and he doesn't do anything about it, then time to find someone else who matches closer to what you desire. Everyone likes themselves as they are, so we cannot change people to suit us. We can only change ourselves to get the change we desire. Don't make anyone jealous. That is negative and counter productive. Just seek someone else who matches you more instead. It will be far more fulfilling, loving and affirming.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms Cyprah) 2011
Emotional Health Adviser
"Respect and love begin with the self. If we have none, how can we give away any?"