“Hi Dr Nikki. I have been with my boyfriend for over a year now and this is my first serious relationship. He is an amazing guy and he treats me so well. We both go to the same college but we have different majors. He’s a civil engineering major and I’m biology major. He is friends with a girl who is in his classes and he studies with her and has projects to do with her. I always thought that she had a thing for him but perhaps this is because I think most girls do and I will admit that I’m not the most secure person.
She has a boyfriend for three years, I recently found out. They’re currently in a long-distance relationship so they go to different colleges. But, how do I get rid of this uncomfortable insecure feeling whenever he mentions her or is with her. Is it just time? I’ve been more secured as time goes on and I’ve been gaining more confidence in all aspects of my life and standing up for myself as a result of my boyfriend’s doing. But I don’t want to be this controlling, possessive, crazy girlfriend nor do I want to feel this way. Do I just need to come to terms with it? What should I do?”
Insecurity is a really interesting one in a relationship because sometimes we need to dig underneath the layers to work out what’s actually really going on. Is there something about this girl as to why you think they spend a lot of time together? Maybe she has qualities that you don’t, you see some type of flirtation between them, or is it something to do with you and your relationship?
Often, insecurity is about how we feel about ourselves. If we don’t feel great about ourselves or something’s happened in our past that make us not trust people. These are elements that can pile up for us to look at anything our partner is doing and think it’s wrong or be jealous of it. I can’t say whether there is an attraction to this other woman or whether it’s something that’s going on in your life. But you need to work out where the insecurity in coming from.
I liked that you’re working at things and I liked that you seem to be addressing this issue quite in depth, but what concerns me is you still have this icky feeling that you want to get rid of and how we get rid of that sometimes is by inviting it in and saying, “Okay, I feel insecure, I feel a bit jealous. There is this other woman in my partner’s life, even if it’s in a platonic way and it makes me feel uncomfortable.”
If you can’t work out where it’s coming from, whether it’s something to do with your relationship, how you feel about yourself or an attraction to this other girl, I would suggestion to talk to him about it. You don’t have to be a controlling, possessive, crazy girlfriend, even if you do feel insecure and jealous. You can be a normal human being and you can sit down with your boyfriend and ask the questions and even flag it and say, “I know I probably sound crazy and I don’t want to be that person, but I’m really struggling with this and I want to talk to you about it.”
Also, make sure that you give him time to respond. Sometimes, as women, we’re very good at talking, but we don’t often give our partners space to respond to what we’re saying. Men always seem to say that we talk too much and women go on and on about their emotions which might be true, but are we encouraging them to talk in return?
Be really open and honest and tell him that you’re not sure why you feel like this. You might be able to say, “I’ve explored different things within myself. I’ve looked at this relationship but nothing makes sense because I’m really happy and I think you’re a wonderful person and I trust you. But I hate feeling like this. Can you help me out?”
It might even mean getting to know this girl better and actually seeing their friendship for what it is. Keep her around as well. If you get to know her and possibly even her relationship, it might put you at ease. But I would definitely suggest you need to talk to your boyfriend about this because not only might you need his help, but you also need him to be understanding. If he is having a study group with her or if they are doing an assignment together and you make one of those sly comments that might come out in an indirect manner, then at least I think you need to alert him to why that might be or what you’re struggling with.
Don’t worry, this is a very normal, natural thing and everybody goes through it and it’s just something that you need to work out as to what’s causing it in order to overcome it.