This word, this word. Such a powerful emotion that can overtake your goals and desires if you don’t catch it. Jealously can motivate people to do things they regret, it can keep you up at night with worrying and wondering. Jealously effects everyone differently, and can be triggered in a thousand different ways.
About a year and a half ago I was talking to a guy who really taught me what jealousy was. It wasn’t that he was ever jealous, but that his actions forced me to become jealous. We were never anything exclusive but we “hung out” every weekend….and for awhile I believed that it was normal, I assumed we mutually agreed that we had a relationship without a title. After a few months I realized what was up: I was a pawn in his game, a card he could shuffle through. I had to wait my turn in a rotation of girls he would choose between to spend time with each day. I would see the pictures he posted online with them and wonder how he was able to do that to not only me, but all of us. I had thought that what we had was unique but looking at how he acted with these other girls, I began to doubt myself. I began to experience jealousy.
And from there it soared. Even though so much time has passed since then, I still notice it. And do you know what? It’s not my fault. I can’t help worrying about the other girls in someone’s snapchat best friends list. As much as I try I still can’t let go of the fact that I’m not in someone’s profile picture. You liked someone else’s status and still haven’t liked mine? What’s going on? You don’t feel the need to update the world saying that we’re hanging out? Why not? Who don’t you want to know? Are you embarrassed by me? Are you worried that another girl in the rotation will see and become as jealous of me as I am of her? How awful is that. That’s not the way my thought process should go as I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed. It’s awful that I feel the need to compare myself to people I don’t even know. It’s horrible that, as much as I want to trust someone, what they say and do online really affects my thoughts on how they view me. Uploading a picture you took with me on a date shouldn’t be the official proof that you liked spending time with me, but for some reason that’s the way I now view it.
Past relationships and influences really have changed me as a person. I can’t help that I’m a worrier or get jealous over the littlest things. But after being dragged along as much as I have been, can you really blame me?
There are so many things in our world that you can be afraid of. Some of them make sense to everyone, but only a few people understand less common fears. One of my biggest fears, besides getting raped and then murdered (duh), is falling in love. I don’t know if it’s the self sacrifice that comes with loving someone or the emotional trauma that comes when you decide that you shouldn’t be with that person anymore, but I fear the entire process. I’ve had a boyfriend tell me he loved me before, but deep down I don’t think he meant it. I know that in the past I would have claimed to love some people, but I think I continuously confuse falling in love with falling in love with the idea of love.
Being in love sounds scary. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future and can’t prepare your heart for it. You can never tell if you’re giving too much of yourself or not enough at all. Falling in love is just like it sounds….you fall. With the leap you take declaring your love, someone can either reject it and let you shatter on the ground or they can catch you and love you in return.
On a more personal level, I worry so much. About the future, about the past, about things I can’t even change. I worry about it all. One of the things I’ve always worried about is falling in love with the wrong person. What if I take that leap and end up on the ground broken because I’m not caught. What if I am, and the guy I love ends up dropping me in the future? What if I’m the one who drops him?
I worry so much about my future marriage. Almost every married couple I’m close with has been through a divorce, and I don’t want to go through that too. I worry that I’ll bring too much baggage to my husband and feel guilty about it years after we say I do. I fear that loving someone I don’t end up marrying will effect me so much emotionally and that’s why the idea of falling in love scares me. I worry that I secretly won’t approve of my husband if he comes into our marriage after declaring his love for numerous women before me. I know it’s good to have expectations for your future, but sometimes I wonder if mine are too far out there. So welcome to my mind, just a little insight about what keeps me up at night.
“But I just don’t want to leave yet….” I felt the words escape my mouth before I could really think about meaning them. No, I didn’t want to leave yet…but at the same time, I had high hopes of what would come right before we parted ways. We got out of the back of my car and gathered the empty Ben & Jerry’s Half and Half ice cream containers that had been full three hours earlier. I turned to him and smiled as he wrapped me in one of his famous, giant bear hugs. “I don’t want to leave either, but I have an exam in six hours and you have to get home to your sister,” he told me. I knew he was right, but tonight was so perfect. Again. I never knew sitting in an empty parking lot for three hours could be such a fun date, but with him it somehow was. Rico continued to hug me as we slowly started to sway back and forth. “Look at that, now we’re dancing…” he whispered in my ear.
I giggled, “But you hate dancing!”
“I do. But right now I’m dancing with you.” He was so charming, this moment was so perfect.
Knowing that I had to go, I pulled away and looked at him. “Thanks again for just sitting here with me, I had fun. I’m going to miss you.”
He smiled back at me, “I’m going to miss you more, you know.”
Blushing, I looked down. He kissed the top of my head and I looked back up into his gorgeous blue eyes. “I think you just missed?” I half asked and half told him before he interrupted me with a kiss. Not a full on movie scene, but not just a peck. Somewhere in between with just a pinch of perfection. Aka, the best first kiss I’ve ever had. When he pulled away, I smiled at him.
“So. Remind me again, how ticklish are you?” He asked seconds before attacking me. I screamed and giggled and not so sternly scolded him before running to my car. I smiled at him through the window as I watched him get into his own and we both pulled out of the parking lot before turning our separate ways. I couldn’t stop smiling for my entire ride home, just marveling at the perfection that made up my night.
Five days before I was standing in Rico’s driveway when he asked me out in, again, the most perfect way. “So, I was thinking….I really want to be able to take my girlfriend to this Toby Keith concert coming up . . . what do you say?” He asked.
“Is this you asking me to be your girlfriend? Well finally! Of course!” I replied before receiving one of the longest hugs I’ve ever had. When he pulled away that night, I looked at him and told him he wasn’t allowed to kiss me yet. When we had had date after date since then (all ending without a kiss) I started to regret saying that. But laying in bed right now, I can say God made it all work out flawlessly. As they say, the best kiss is exchanged a thousand times between the eyes before it ever even reaches the lips……