At the risk of sounding like your grandmother, I don’t know when it became socially acceptable —cute, even– to act like a crazy girlfriend. These days, paranoid and suspicious girlfriends spend every waking moment checking their boyfriends’ phones, creeping on Snapchat to see who he’s with, and automatically assuming that anyone who has tits and is located within a thirty foot radius of their boyfriend is an automatic threat. People seem to have forgotten that there is a line between territorial and jealous, and girls today have no idea how unreasonable they are being by treating their boyfriends like children who need to be under constant surveillance.
Think about it this way. What do you do when your friend comes home crying, telling you that her crazy, possessive boyfriend got mad at her for innocently talking to a platonic male friend. You tell her to dump him, because that’s a douche move. So why is it acceptable for you to then yell at your boyfriend for doing the same and acknowledging the existence of other women? Is it fair for you to throw a bitch fit every time he favorites tweet or likes an Instagram that belongs to girl? Is it fair to throw major shade at a girl who lent him a pencil in class? No, that’s not fair. It’s batshit crazy, for three reasons.
1. You cannot expect the world to stop spinning just because you and your boyfriend have made the decision to be exclusive.
Don’t be so entitled that you expect your boyfriend’s biological needs to disappear. Other women do not cease to exist, and occasionally, one of them might even speak words to him. That doesn’t necessarily mean she wants to jump his bones, and it also doesn’t mean that he wants to jump hers. And even if, deep down, he secretly wonders what she looks like naked, that doesn’t mean he’s going to act on it. He still has a penis, and that’s not his fault.
2. He is an adult, and you have to allow him free reign to make his own decisions.
Trust should be earned, and you shouldn’t enter a relationship with a person who hasn’t earned it prior to the awkward “what are we?” talk. The same way women don’t need to be babysat, guys don’t need you breathing instructions down their back every ten seconds. You should obviously expect him to be faithful, but this doesn’t give you permission to dictate who he sees and what he does.
3. He is who he is, and you cannot expect to change him as a person.
You’re not his mother. Minor changes like updating his wardrobe and correcting his manners aren’t a big deal. But you have to remember that you aren’t charged with taking care of him or molding him into the person you wish he was. You shouldn’t be with a guy who you’re dying to change. Take him for who he is, or find another guy. There are tons of them.
I won’t pretend that loyalty comes automatically from every guy, the same way it doesn’t come from every girl. This doesn’t mean you should drive yourself crazy trying to prevent your boyfriend from hooking up with someone else. If your boyfriend is going to cheat, let him. And then dump him. You cannot train a guy to be loyal to you, because contrary to popular belief, men are not dogs. If he is going to make the conscious decision to raise a virtual middle finger to you and your relationship by flirting or hooking up with another girl, he is either a genuinely shitty person, or not ready for a committed relationship.
But what if he does cheat? What if the conversation wasn’t harmless? What if he does hook up with that girl who made eyes at him from across the bar? Then he’s an asshole, and it might sound cliche, but you are way too good for that. Remember, dating is a risk. Putting yourself in a vulnerable place and entrusting another person with your heart is scary, and yeah, sometimes it ends in heartbreak. It’s discouraging, it’s exhausting, and above all, it really fucking hurts.
The best thing you can do is give yourself a fresh dose of reality and remind yourself that just because some people cheat, that doesn’t mean that he will. Your relationship will suffer if you spend all of your time worrying about what might happen. Let everything pan itself out, and enjoy the time you get to spend with the guy who makes you happy. Give him the trust he deserves and don’t waste your time trying to train him to stay loyal to you. You can’t force loyalty; the best you can do is do your part to prove that you deserve it by giving it in the first place..