Tips For Managing Inevitable Jealousy In Long-Distance Relationships

Whether you meet someone on a vacation in Mallorca or your partner takes a job in a city five states away, there may come a point where you find yourself in a long-distance relationship (LDR). LDRs are not very fun. Well, they can be if you have someplace lovely to jet off to every other weekend, but for the most part, they can really take their toll on a relationship if the partners involved don't take preventative measures.


While long-distance relationships require a lot of maintenance and communication, they're far more successful than outsiders might think. According to a 2021 survey, 58% of LDRs last, while a 2016 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that when long-distance relationships became no longer long-distance, one-third of them broke up within three months. In other words, LDRs really work for some people.

But just because they work doesn't mean they don't have their issues. One of the problems that can arise when you're not part of your partner's everyday life is jealousy. Even the most secure and happy partner can be hit with feelings of jealousy which, of course, is normal. However, as much as it may be normal it never feels good, so learning to manage it is necessary.


Ask yourself why you feel jealous

Unless you're naturally a jealous person (which perhaps calls for therapy), jealousy needs to come from somewhere. That's why it's so important to ask yourself why you're jealous so you can get to the root of the issue. Is it because your partner is spending time with people you don't know? Are you scared that one of those people might catch your partner's eye? Or is it more about what they're doing with their life and you're scared you'll be left behind? If none of these external forces are resonating, then it's time to look inward. 


A lot of times, jealousy comes from our own insecurities and fears, and with a partner far away, we have plenty of time to let those insecurities boil over and create a frenzy that's unnecessary. Jealousy, like any negative emotion, feeds off itself getting bigger and bigger. Eventually, it can become all-consuming and you'll feel as if the jealousy has swallowed you whole. But if you can figure out from where this feeling is coming, you can have a better chance of stopping it before it turns into a monster.

Don't let your imagination get the best of you

With jealousy comes a very wild imagination. All it takes is one bad thought or suspicion and suddenly you're down a rabbit hole of assumptions, wading through the pit of despair. Do you know what's in the pit of despair? Nothing good; just a lot of sadness and anger. 


Instead of coming up with a whole boatload of possible scenarios that are going to twist your stomach into knots and give you grey hair decades before your time, redirect what's fueling your jealousy. It may seem easier said than done, but if you take all that energy and time and invest it in other endeavors — maybe writing a novella or training for a marathon — you'll be far better off. You'll actually be amazed by what you can accomplish when you take all of the efforts you put into being jealous and use it in a more positive and healthy way. A wild imagination is great and all, but not when it's giving you little fits of jealous rage.

Refrain from online stalking

When it comes to feelings of jealousy, you can always count on social media to light the spark, throw the gasoline on the flames, then burn it all down. The inventors of social media maybe didn't realize they were wielding such a power that could be used to induce panic attacks and send people on long online stalking missions, but then again Peter Parker didn't know he was Spider-Man until halfway into the first movie. 


If you're in a long-distance relationship and feel a bit insecure about it, all you need to see is that your partner has started following someone on Instagram who looks like a possible threat to your relationship, and within an hour you will have learned everything there is to know about that person and, well, it's not good. It's really, really not good. Online investigative skills are great when you're trying to check out someone you just started dating or someone who ghosted a friend, but when it involves your current partner and who they're innocently following on social media, you're just wasting your time. In fact, this is when you should get to work on that novella instead. 

Talk to your partner about your concerns

Although your partner can't stop you from being 100% jealous, they can at least put some of your fears to bed a bit. Tell them you're feeling jealous and why. Let them know that when they do XYZ it heightens your jealousy. While there are those people who thrive by making others jealous, if your partner is not one of those people then there's a good chance they have no idea that you're having these feelings. 


Being honest about your own insecurities will also give your partner an opportunity to admit to their own insecurities about your long-distance relationship. Keep in mind that an LDR takes more than one person, so your partner may be dealing with their own jealousy issues too. Talking about it together will help you come to terms with your jealousy and even have a proper giggle over how silly you're all being. There's a safety that comes with feeling like you're not alone in something, and being able to commiserate with your partner about your jealousy will give you that safe haven. 

Remind yourself that jealousy can be good — in small doses

As much as jealousy can feel awful, a bit of it can be a good thing. When we find ourselves jealous, at least in romantic relationships, it makes us realize, or rather re-realize, how much of a catch our partner is, and it forces us to step up our game to make sure we keep them around as long as possible. Small doses of jealousy are a reminder that you shouldn't take your partner for granted because they're pretty darn fabulous.


Long-distance relationships aren't easy. Unlike people who are fortunate enough to live in the same town or city, those in an LDR rely so much on technology to keep in touch, that communication is paramount. If you're feeling jealous, for whatever reason, don't try to hide it from your partner. Jealousy is part of the human condition and is nothing of which to be ashamed. As long as you can recognize it and work toward understanding it and managing it, then that's what counts. Healthy relationships can survive a little jealousy no matter how far apart you and your partner might be.