Tip No. 12: Get a little jealous now and again, even if you’re not strictly a jealous guy.
“Too much, and it’s frightening, but a possessive hand on her back at a party when your girlfriend looks super hot is awesome.”
Jealousy is something I’ve worked hard to temper over the years, mostly due to dating a variety of women who don’t tolerate it in any form. And they shouldn’t, after all, because I don’t own any of the women I date. I’ve never been an overly possessive guy, either. If you’re experiencing jealousy, it may speak more to trust issues than to an effort to be awesome. Truthfully, whenever I see a guy put his hand on his girlfriend’s back at a party, it reeks to me of insecurity.
My last girlfriend and I were often told that we didn’t act “couple-y” in social situations, and we were kind of proud of it. No kisses, embraces, or other physical displays of affection shared while hanging out with groups of people in living rooms or restaurants. We’d often never even sit together on the same sofa. It wasn’t that we weren’t romantic, just that we were comfortable enough to be apart until romance was called for. If I ever became jealous, it would typically come out in snide little comments later on. But she was a good assuager. I knew I could trust her.
The hand-on-the-back move isn’t one I typically make in relationships anymore. It’s important to find that balance between showing appreciation for your girlfriend’s hotness and respecting your girlfriend enough to know that she can take care of herself. Because if she’s any girlfriend of mine, she knows how to take care of herself. That said, if she needs me, I try to let her know I’m there. I never hesitate to step up when I know that the girl I’m with needs a hand. But usually it has nothing to do with her back. Usually it has more to do with getting between her and the mongrel who’s trying to crowd her at the bar.
I get what Kaling’s talking about. We like to know that the people we care about will get their feathers ruffled over the thought of losing us somehow. And sometimes jealousy can seem like the only alternative to taking the other person for granted. Showing appreciation is a must, but there’s a lot to be said for keeping it positive and frequent, rather than waiting until you’re feeling threatened. A bit more on that in an upcoming tip.