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Spring Housing Guide

Dealing with jealous girls

By Emily Rippe

She Said Columnist

Insecurity is a plague many women have difficulty admitting and accepting. So let me be the first to say it: My name is Emily Rippe and I have irrational relationship fears.

I would never have proclaimed this before. Honestly, who is willing to admit their major flaws? But recent events in my current relationship convinced me that this is for the best. I would rather identify myself as being insecure, instead of being passive-aggressive toward my boyfriend and his ex’s.

A multitude of questions are probably racing through your head right now. What are these recent events of which you speak? Did you act like a crazy woman out of jealousy? Why are you suddenly admitting you have this flaw?

I am not at liberty to address the first two questions; my column does not permit enough space for that. However, the reason I am publicly stating one of my major faults is a result of my epiphany.

Ladies and gentlemen, my past relationships failed, due to my unwillingness to accept and admit my insecurity.

Not only did I neglect my problem, but I also ran away from it.

One way I tried to escape my insecurity issues was by dating men who didn’t intimidate me, men who never had many girlfriends before me, and in fact would never date again after me either. In essence, I would look for guys who seemed less secure than me.

Looking back, I am only appalled and ashamed of myself for consciously making such dating decisions. Of course my plan backfired because I was still unsure of myself, as the men I dated proved to be even more sure of themselves. They caught on to me, but I’d just deny, deny, deny.

Things are a little different today. I stopped doing that thing where I purposely searched out “insecure” people. In fact, my situation is almost the exact opposite.

The person I am currently dating is pretty sure of himself. He is more experienced in the relationship realm. And let’s just say he is popular with the ladies.

Now, I knew all of this before the relationship even started – I’m a lady, after all. But for someone with insecurity hang-ups, this is not the ideal recipe.

To make it a functioning relationship I had to be honest about how I felt.

“I hate Sleazy,” I announced to him one day. Sleazy is the hypothetical name for a real person who used to date my boyfriend.

The statement totally caught him off guard, as it had been months since Sleazy had done anything to warrant her name. Besides, when he told me about a mistake she made, I completely disregarded it like nothing was bothering me at all. But on the inside, my hatred was building up. Releasing it felt good. Really good.

It also made us closer, as he decided to completely ignore her more-than-forward advances, which caused a rocky start to the relationship.

Coming clean about my closet insecurity was the best decision I ever made. I’m not saying that I have discovered a way to get rid of it, which would be a whole separate column on its own. However, now that I no longer feel the need to hide it, I am able to have an honest and healthy relationship, with my more than understanding significant other.

So if you’re one of the many women and men who have experience with being insecure or dealing with an insecure partner, realize that accepting the problem is the first step to understanding it.

By Josh Comer

He Said Columnist

We need to talk.

You know that ex, the one who probably gained that title in a conversation that started eerily similar to this column? While they or you meant it at the time, you need to stop talking or jealousy will ruin any hope of friendship.

You may be wondering why I’m willing to make such a blanket statement. You and your former lover have a terrific friendship. Well, aside from the stumbles back into temporary intimacy, passive-aggressive openness about current sexual relationships and uncomfortable brushes with newly erected personal boundaries.

If you’re aghast at the idea of any of these potential problems cropping up, why are you reading a relationship advice column?

For both of your sakes, it’s time to make your ex an insignificant other.

I’m not saying that the person must be dead to you, just comatose. The vegetative state is needed so you can both readapt to being yourselves.

Keeping in close contact will hurt both former partners. If you bounce back into the dating scene more readily, the still-single ex will at best feel isolated and at worst become fixated. They won’t want to hear about last night with the Redi Whip and the turntable.

I will, but they won’t.

Still, if you remain close they will feel compelled to know what is going on with your relationship. And it will go far beyond your favorite brand of whipped cream. Like your current sexual exploits, it may seem innocent enough to talk about the difficult times you’re having with your new love interest. You’re still friends, right?

But your openness is either going to permanently destroy any chance of real friendship or encourage them to do the same.

Jealousy is a powerful, but not earnest, motivator for change. Your new lover doesn’t like going the same obscure movies as you? Well, neither did your ex when you were sleeping together, but suddenly they have a newfound appreciation for German Expressionism. They even have a copy of “Metropolis” checked out.

They may justify their actions to themselves and others, but even if they were the one to initiate the breakup, the jealous instinct to compete is equally irrational and powerful.

And they may succeed in convincing you. Suddenly, things are like they were when you first started dating. You call things off with the new person, and eventually find yourselves settling back into your old routine. But the old routine was why you broke things off.

If friendships are difficult to salvage after a first breakup, they are nearly impossible after a second.

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