You’re with your guy in a public place. A restaurant or the mall. A woman walks by. Before you even glance at his reaction, you’re seething. She’s gorgeous. A part of you is immediately jealous.
Then you see your guy’s face. His eyes are locked on her. Now you feel even worse.
That seed of jealousy sprouts to a full-grown emotion in a heartbeat.
Jealousy doesn’t usually work this way. It’s usually a suspicion or slight uneasiness that takes weeks or months before it gets labeled as a problem situation.
But “instant jealousy” is a gut feeling. It’s something that springs up out of nowhere when you don’t expect it.
Feeling instant jealousy doesn’t mean you’re a jealous person. It just means you’re normal. Anyone can empathize.
The problem with instant jealousy isn’t that it happens. It’s that it catches you off guard. So, you might react before you think.
For some women, that means calling their guy out. “I saw you looking at her!” Others might turn passive aggressive, refusing to say why they’re upset but making it clear they aren’t happy. Still others will pout, feeling defeated by the fear that their man will chase after some random eye candy.
But here’s the thing about instant jealousy. Studies tell us it rarely leads to accurate conclusions.[i]
When you get a spontaneous gut feeling that your guy might be into someone else, the last thing you should do is trust that gut feeling. It’s almost never right.
But because those feelings are strong, you need a strong strategy to fight back. Here are three things you can do to stop instant jealousy in its tracks.