What to do if you're jealous of a friend's relationship, according to experts

Kelsie Sandoval
·3 min read
Jealous 2
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  • It's normal to feel jealous.

  • Jealousy can be a good thing if it helps you identify what you want, experts say.

  • If you're feeling bad about your romantic life, experts suggest going to therapy.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

When your friend tells you about their new relationship, you may be excited for them, but you may feel jealousy too.

Jealousy is a universal emotion - especially in a social media age where everyone is bombarded with images of new relationships, engagements, weddings, and baby announcements.

"I think that it's a pretty ordinary human emotion," Matt Lundquist, an NYC-based psychotherapist, told Insider.

Given that jealousy is an inevitable part of life, what matters most is how you handle the feelings that come with it.

Jealousy can inspire a moment of reflection where you identify what you want in life, or it can turn toxic if you obsess and gossip about a friend's relationship.

Why you're jealous of a friend's relationship

Rachel Sussman, an NYC-based relationship therapist, said there may be a number of reasons why you're jealous of your friend's relationship.

One reason is that you're single and you want to be in a relationship, or you're unsatisfied with your own relationship.

You may be jealous of other couples' milestones too. A friend of yours becomes pregnant, meanwhile, your partner won't commit to starting a family. Or you see a friend get engaged and you're in a dead-end relationship.

"These are reasons that people get jealous, usually when they think someone has something that they want to have," Sussman said.

Lundquist said you may also be jealous because you're worried about losing your friend or worried that your friendship will change.

Here's what you can do if you're jealous of a friend's relationship

Have a conversation with yourself

"By far the most important thing is to not lie to yourself," Lundquist said. Lundquist suggests you identify why your friend's relationship is bothering you.

Sussman said to work through the jealousy by asking yourself questions like: Am I attracted to the wrong people? Why are my relationships not working out? If I want what my friend has, what's preventing me from getting it?

Talk to your friend if you're worried about your friendship

Lundquist said if you're worried your friendship will change because of their new partner, express your concerns.

"You have to find some ways of sharing those fears with your friend and communicating to your friend," Lundquist said.

Take action if you want to be in a relationship

Sussman said if your jealousy has taught you that you want a relationship like your friend has, take action. She suggests trying online dating or hiring a dating coach.

If feasible, see a therapist

Lundquist said if you're jealous of your friend's relationship because you're feeling bad about your own romantic life, go to therapy to work through the issue. Or if you're drawn to unhealthy relationships, a therapist can help you make healthier dating choices.

Sussman agreed that a therapist could help, but above all else, "Figure out what the problem is, and create a solution."

Read the original article on Insider