My fiancé , T., recently discovered “The Real’s” YouTube channel. He and I end up having a lot of discussions about relationships, how other people handle theirs and the “rules” of them, spoken and unspoken. So as you can imagine, content from “The Real,” provides quite a bit of inspiration when it comes to these topics.
On this particular day, the question was “Do most women want a man to be a little bit jealous?” T. posed the question to me and my sister, assuming based on similar conversations and our own personal preferences, that we would say no. And he was correct. But he argued that most women actually do want someone who exhibits small signs of jealousy. He mentioned female co-workers who wanted men who took offense to other men flirting with them. And then, in what I’m sure he perceived as a mic drop moment, he hit us with this clip from “The Real.”
My sister said she couldn’t speak for most women but her circle of friends don’t.
I watched the clip and found that the loudest voices were particularly interesting. Adrienne Bailon is married to an entirely different man than the one she was referencing in 2015. And I would argue that she tried to use “jealousy” to create a spark in a relationship that she likely knew was floundering. Tamar, as I type, is in the midst of a divorce and has proven time and time again that she’s no authority on relationship advice, like most of us, really.
Tamera seemed to be the lone voice of reason saying that jealousy is a nasty emotion and the word shouldn’t be tossed around lightly. But as the discussion continued, even she admitted that she could appreciate just a little of it.
Later, I would explain that I interpret jealous as a warning sign for potential abuse. Having a grandmother who endured an abusive relationship for entirely too long and a mother who witnessed it, we were well-versed on the warning signs.
Still, I wanted to know if me and my sister’s opinion about the issue represented a majority or minority when it came to other women.
I asked a couple of friends and they echoed my sentiments.
“I don’t know if “jealous” is the right idea for it, because I don’t want my husband to be jealous of anything I do. When he used to have an issue with my boobs being out early when we were dating, I didn’t like that. But you do want them to maintain that level of desire so that the fun/passion/newness doesn’t wear off and you know they’re not watching you leave the house like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bye. Ain’t nobody feeling you but me.’”
Another one said, “I’m with Tamera. The idea of jealousy sounds cute but when it’s real it’s actually exhausting and mentally taxing…Eventually the ‘Who is he?’ questions get more and more frequent and intense and you realize he’s not playing.”
I’ve been sitting on this topic for weeks but it came back to my mind after Iman Shumpert, likely in promotion of his new reality show, wrote a letter for Essence about how a man knows when he’s in love. And for him, one of the signs was jealousy.
“How does a woman know a man is in love with her? I always lean on my emotions to tell this story. And then ask simple questions. Can she control my day? Is her telling me to “come home” an alarm? Men are wired on control, pride and sex. When we as men become vulnerable to these things for a woman…she can most likely say for certain he’s in love.
The progression of his jealousy, over protectiveness and eagerness to know what you’re doing all day can most times be perceived as weakness and as nagging and insecure. But that’s a misperception for his obsession with a woman. It’s a beautiful thing! In my reality and experiences these are signs of a man willing to be vulnerable, willing to express and nag so they don’t fill that void with some other fill in. Whatever or whoever that may be. That’s love. He fights over you because he’d rather you tell him to stop than you be hurt that he didn’t do enough.”
With such focus placed on jealousy, I quickly scrolled to the comment section (on Bossip) to see if the other readers cringed when they read this, like I did.
“When he got to the part about “the progression of jealousy…” my tires screeched. That’s not a way to tell if a man is in love with you. It tells you a whole lot of other things though.”
“In my reality, thats an insecure cheater. If thats how he knew he was in love…fine. thats him. but i know too many women in abusive relationships whose men exhibit the same behavior. jealousy, over protectiveness, and 24 hr geolocation to be like…”awwwww I want that” i mean im a straight woman and teyana taylor is one BAAADDDDDD mofo so I get his obsession…but is obsession a sign of love…or is obsession a sign of obsession….depends on the dude..and I wouldnt recommend him giving any more tips to the masses for that reason alone. Also him being in his 20s and married for 2 years….give us tips in 10 yrs b…even 6 would be better.”
I don’t know which thought process represents a majority of women’s thoughts on the subject. I’m still collecting data. Let us know what you think? Do you appreciate a man who’s a little bit jealous? Why or why not?