I’m living in Tokyo right now, and you would think I’d be having the time of my life, right? And I am. But some days I also hate that I can’t share all these amazing moments with my boyfriend, who lives 7,000 miles away in Atlanta.
I’ve made many friends here with whom I get to share these awesome experiences. And my boyfriend hangs out with his friends, too. At the end of the day, when we sit down to talk, we tell each other about all the fun things we did that day.
But sometimes, you don’t want to hear about all of the “awesomazing” things your significant other did. You just hate that you don’t get to see them every day, and that your partner’s friends get to spend more time with your SO than you do.
So, what can you do when you find yourself insanely jealous of your partner’s friends? How do you deal with your partner being jealous of you spending time with your friends? Here are a few tricks that work for me and my boyfriend.
Trick #1: Go out at the same time
It’s hard to be jealous of your SO spending time with their friends when you’re busy having a blast with your own! The next time your partner tells you they’re going out with friends, see if you can’t make plans with your own around the same time. If you’re in different time zones, this may take some maneuvering, but you can make it work! Going out at the same time not only keeps you distracted, it also allows you to empathize with your partner by reminding you of how important friendships are.
What we do: If my boyfriend is planning a game night with his friends, I’ll make brunch plans with my girls. We’re thirteen hours apart, so I can start my day off without feeling jealous, and he can end his on the same note.
Trick #2: Keep in touch while you’re out with friends
This is a trick that works wonders to stave off the jealousy before it can sink its claws into you. Whenever you’re with friends, just step out for a quick call or shoot your SO a text to let them know you’re thinking of them. Your partner could be worried that you’ve forgotten about them or that you don’t miss them. Checking in with them every so often is a great way to help your partner feel loved and respected.
What we do: My boyfriend is wonderful about texting me whenever he’s out with his friends. Whether it’s a play-by-play of Facebook messages or a quick snapchat message so I can hear his voice, I always appreciate him letting me know how much he wishes I could be there, too.
Trick #3: Learn how to say no
Sometimes, no matter what we do, someone is going to feel neglected and left out. This is understandable; we hardly get to see our partners, and sometimes we just can’t bear the thought of them spending that precious time with anyone else. Friends are for life, but hopefully your partner is, too. There may be times when you have to say no to friends to spend time with your SO.
What we do: I’ve messed up here sometimes, and my boyfriend has felt neglected as a result. While I try not to cancel plans with friends, I do choose to go home early and make time for him.
Trick #4: Don’t give up your routines
This ties in nicely with trick #3. If you and your partner have agreed to do certain things at certain times – maybe you always talk right before going to bed, or they watch Game of Thrones with you first thing in the morning – don’t give them up just because you’re out with friends! Those routines were established to help the two of you connect and stay close to one another. When everything else about your relationship is up in the air, that consistency is something worth holding on to.
What we do: I call to wake my boyfriend up at 8:30 pm my time every day. If I’m out at a late movie, I make sure to step out and call him, even if it’s just for a minute or two. He really appreciates the consistency.
Trick #5: Introduce your partner to your friends
Lastly, don’t hide your social circle from your partner! While no one is “obligated” to share every detail of their lives with their significant other, your partner may appreciate you keeping them in the loop. If they know your friends and get a chance to interact with them, even if it’s just a quick wave over Skype, it can help them feel included and a little less jealous.
What we do: When I wake up and my boyfriend is playing games with his friends, he always tells them that I say hi. They always say hi back, and sometimes he will relay a short conversation between the two of us. It makes me feel very happy and included, and I always feel a bit more at ease afterwards.
As for us…
Neither my boyfriend nor I are perfect, and we’re still struggling to make these tricks work. Sometimes I end up calling at 8:45 instead of 8:30, because the movie ended at 8:45 and I really wanted to see the end! And sometimes my boyfriend goes out on days when I have nothing to do, and I’m sitting at home missing him.
But for the most part, using these tricks have helped us tame the friendship jealousy monster, and our relationship is much stronger for it. We know how incredibly important it is to have a support system outside of just the two of us, so I’m glad we’ve found effective ways to support each other’s friendships!
Do you get jealous when your SO hangs out with their friends?
What tips and tricks have you found to work through the jealousy?
Jaya Z. (Tokyo, Japan)
Jaya currently lives in Tokyo, 7,000 miles away from her partner, who resides in her hometown of Atlanta, GA. She has found writing a wonderful outlet for dealing with the ups and downs of long distance love. She hopes that her experiences will resonate with others like her. You can find her on her blog, Things of A Sensitive Nature, or on twitter: @ToASNature.