Ever find yourself overly cynical about the romantic relationships of your closest friends to the point where you are annoyed with your friend and their significant other? Then you might want to check for the green-eyed monster, known as relationship envy, hiding in the depths of your subconscious. Relationship envy is defined as a person, who is single, undergoing emotions of jealousy and targeting their friends in relationships with passive aggressive behaviors. An article from Refinery29 emphasised that the envy we feel is over something that we perceive to be true rather than it being true; people envy supposedly happy relationships. Some of the signs that you have relationship envy are; passive aggressive behaviors, the distaste of seeing PDA, actively excluding your friend and their significant other from activities and harboring negative emotions about your friend. To a slight degree, the envy you might feel when your friend is reveling in their new relationship is part of a cycle. As described in a Bustle article, there is a certain amount of envy that is healthy and often occurs during the new phases of a relationship. But there is a thin line between normal, healthy envy and envy that becomes consuming. Envy makes people bitter and causes strain in relationships.
There is no doubt that every person experiences this type of envy in their lifetime. Although embarrassing, I can recount moments where I felt the sting of being single while others in my circle of friends were in somewhat happy relationships. Envy can grip you and it can be hard to shake off. Here are some tips to dealing with relationship envy:
-Realize that romance only makes up a small portion of life. Careers, family, and friendships are other aspects of life that deserve your attention. Instead of focusing on what you are ‘missing’ and your unhappiness, it would help to focus on what you do have.
-Cultivate your happiness through things you can control. Pursue your passions and dreams to focus on a positive aspect of life.
-Figure out why the relationship is making you envious. Jealousy is a reflection of what we secretly desire, so figuring out why can be the key to relieving the envy you feel. Absolving that envy and getting what you want will return things to normalcy.
-If you are emotionally and physically ready to date, put yourself out there on the market! A significant other unfortunately will not fall out of the sky and into your waiting arms. There is a bit of work involved, but there could be a relationship in the cards for you at the end.
At the end of the day, envy is a emotion that rears its ugly head and we always fall because we are only human. The best thing you can do is healthily deal with the negative effects before it poisons your relationships with those coupled friends.
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