Jealousy is an example of an evolved psychological mechanism that humans today now have.
But because of how both males and females evolved, we don’t necessarily experience jealousy in the same way.
Look at males for example. Because pregnancy in humans occurs inside the female’s body, males can never be certain that they’re the father of their mates child, while females are always certain that they’re the mother.
This means that the possibility of raising children who are not genetically their own exists only for men.
In fact, anywhere from 1 out of 10 to 1 out of 3 children are raised by men who are unrelated to them genetically.
For this reason, men have a strong evolutionary reason to be sexually jealous, while women, who always know that they’re the mother, do not.
This psychological mechanism will lead men to guard their mates in order to minimize the possibility of their mates having sexual contact with other men.
This helps men ensure that they will raise children who are genetically their own and therefore be certain that they have successfully passed on their genes.
For this reason, men have adapted to feel sexually jealous, which means that it’s natural to feel jealous. It’s okay to feel jealous. The problem with jealousy however is when you take it to an extreme, which can sometimes lead to violence and vigilance.
And although most research on jealousy has really been focused on male sexual jealousy, women however also get jealous, but for an entirely different reason than men do.
Men become jealous of their mate’s sexual infidelity with other men, while women become jealous of their mates emotional involvement with other women.
This is because our female ancestors who could find a mate were more likely to survive than those who couldn’t.
Mates when found meant that they had to be kept.
If you lost a mate to someone else, it was harder to survive so females adapted to feel emotionally jealous in order to prevent that.
In the book “The Evolution of Desire,” Dr. David M. Buss says,
“In a study of sex differences in jealousy, my colleagues and I asked 511 college men and women to compare two distressing events – if their partner had sexual intercourse with someone else and if their partner formed a deep emotional attachment to someone else. Fully 83 percent of the women found their partner’s emotional infidelity more upsetting, whereas only 40 percent of the men did. In contrast, 60 percent of the men experienced their partner’s sexual infidelity as more upsetting, whereas only 17 percent of the women did.”
Studies have shown that given specific circumstances, both men and women will experience feeling jealous.
Feeling jealous is okay because it’s natural to feel jealous, but in the same way that we don’t consciously decide to like sweets or not, we also don’t consciously choose to feel jealous.
The best we can do is not let jealousy get the better of us.
If you’re not careful with this, then jealousy could stop you from feeling as happy as you could be in your romantic relationship. Or even worse, it could ruin your romantic relationship.