Learning how to control jealousy in a long distance relationship can be hard. However, it is necessary if you want to make your relationship work.

What’s the biggest problem that couples in a long distance relationship face? If you guessed not being able to see each other on a regular basis or pining for one another, you’d be wrong (though those are definitely hard things to handle).

No, the biggest issue that couples who are separated by many miles face is, believe it or not, jealousy. For this reason, it’s important to learn to control jealousy if you are in a long distance relationship.

The green-eyed monster tends to rear its ugly head in every relationship. Even couples who live in the same zip code or share an address can get jealous from time-to-time.

But for long-distance couples, feelings of jealousy can occur more frequently. You might feel jealous that your other half is having more fun than you are, or that – heaven forbid – someone he or she is making the moves on someone else (or that someone else is making the moves on him or her).

Making effort to control jealousy can be harder for long distance couples to contend with than couples who see each other regularly, too. Since you can’t physically see each other, it can be difficult to hash out how you are feeling.

While a little jealousy can actually be good for a relationship (it shows that you care and that you really want to be with the other person), if the feelings escalate and aren’t dealt with, they can be destructive and eventually cause the downfall of your relationship.

Fortunately, there are ways to control jealousy in your long distance relationship. Here’s how…

1. Pinpoint the Cause

In order to successfully overcome and control jealousy in your long distance relationship, the first thing you need to do is figure out why you are feeling jealous in the first place.

Are you feeling jealous because you aren’t able to be a part of activities that your partner is partaking in? Do you envy the people that he or she gets to spend more time with? Do you feel like there is a chance that he or she could be cheating on you? Is he or she not contacting you? Do you feel like you’ve lost sight of each other?

Once you figure out why you are jealous, you can speak to your partner about your feelings and get to the root of the problem. If you avoid this step, it’s very likely that you’ll end up arguing over things that don’t pertain to the real issue – jealousy – and you’ll damage the relationship even more.

2. Understand Each Other

Understanding each other is important for every relationship, but perhaps even more so for couples who are doing the long distance thing. It’s easy to lose sight of one another and eventually stop understanding where each other are coming from.

Understanding each other should be a top priority for your long distance relationship. Not only will it help you strengthen your bond, but it can also help you control any feelings of jealousy that may arise.

For example, if your other half can’t stop talking about the good time he had last night, if you have a real understanding of each other, you’ll know that he’s not doing it to make you feel jealous. He’s simply excited and wants to share his excitement with you.

3. Have Trust

Trust is the foundation of any healthy and successful relationship.

When you don’t trust your partner, it’s easy for feelings of jealousy to arise, and those feelings can become overpowering. The more you trust your partner, the more secure you will be in your relationship, and the less jealous you will feel.

For instance, when she tells you that she had dinner with a male co-worker, you’ll probably feel a lot less jealous about the situation if you completely and totally trust her.

4. Don’t Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Your partner is attractive, smart, funny, and has an award-winning personality. All the things that attracted you to him or her are the same things that you fear will attract others.

You worry that someone else is going to try to move in on your guy or gal, and your imagination runs wild with all of the possible things that could happen.

Control your imagination and remind yourself of how much he or she loves you, is committed to you, and has proven him- or herself to be trustworthy. When you let your imagination run wild, jealousy tends to abound and become destructive.

5. Be Productive

Extreme jealousy is completely unproductive. It can bring your self-confidence down and alter your mood. It can also sabotage your relationship.

If your jealousy isn’t warranted, try to engage in something positive. Not only will your thoughts be distracted, but being without your other half won’t seem like such a drag.

If you want your long distance relationship to work, you need to learn to control your jealousy.

Keep these tips in mind and you can successfully navigate through the #1 challenge long distance couples face.

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