Ask Dr. Brilliant Cliché and The Granny Doctor: Jealousy and Love

greenDear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

I am not sure if this is a problem, but it does worry me a lot. My boyfriend never gets jealous over me, not even the tiniest bit. I have never cheated on him but I’ve purposely flirted with other men to try get a reaction from him, and nada. I finally asked him about it and he said he believes in free will. He said he would be sad if I left him or if I cheated, but that it is my choice and I am free to go if that is what I want. I don’t know why but this drives me a bit nuts. Maybe because it is so damn unromantic? How can he possibly love me if he feels this way?


Dear Perplexed,

You aren’t asking him to love you. You are looking for him to reassure you. Isn’t a man who is stable enough to be content with themselves, and yet still chooses to be with you, exactly the kind of partner you would want? There is no agenda or ulterior motive here. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t feel whole unless they are with you and professing undying love to you? That is more like an antidepressant than a relationship.

Robin Williams in the movie Patch Adams said it best: “If you truly love someone you have to be able to let them go.” What you want is just about you. You want him to soothe your insecurities. That is a recipe for a dysfunctional roller coaster of a relationship. In my opinion, it is your boyfriend who should rethink his relationship with you; you are not at the same level of having an equal and healthy relationship. You are going to cheat on him someday when someone starts telling you what you want to hear and you will mistakenly think that is real love.

I’ve heard people say you can’t choose love. It just hits you. There are many kinds of and many levels of love. This chemistry stuff is the most superficial and temporary level. Territorial and possessive love are both similar, as these are more about you than they are the other person. Trust, endurance, communication, admiration and respect are all parts of the longer-lasting, deeper kind of love. What differentiates them is that they are about the other person more than they are about yourself. Perplexed, you have a rocky road ahead of you. I hope this helps shorten your journey.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: Wow, do I have a different take on this. I think that Perplexed has a rocky road ahead of her if she listens to Dr. Brilliant’s advice. The negative assumptions he’s making about this poor girl are waaaay off the charts. How the hell did the blasé boyfriend end up as the superior partner in this equation?

I have had many boyfriends over my lifetime and nearly all have been jealous, to varying degrees. It’s not a sign of neediness or dysfunction; in most cases, it’s the same way they’d feel about anything that matters to them. They know that men are predatory jackasses and their hackles go up if another male starts moving in on someone they care about. Married men feel this way about their daughters’ suitors too.

However, the guy in my past who really stands out is not the jealous one, but rather the one who had an attitude EXACTLY like Perplexed’s boyfriend. I thought that he was so bloody evolved. I really thought his open-mindedness was a sign of emotional maturity. Ha! This guy turned out to be more neurotic and messed up than all of the other men combined. He actually liked the idea that other guys were turned on by me and saw it as elevating his status. Of course, he didn’t let me know that. He developed his little “I want you to be free” rap so he could appear enlightened. Turns out he was a closet gay and wasn’t possessive because I had no value to him other than as a means of keeping up a front.

Listen, any red-blooded male worth his salt is not going to like another man ogling the woman he loves or coming on to her. It’s not because he “doesn’t feel whole unless he’s with her.” It’s because he knows exactly how conniving and devious other guys are. Rampant, needy jealousy is a sign of trouble. But some jealousy is a healthy sign that a man values his partner and wants to protect her. Any man who pukes up the bland garbage that Perplexed’s boyfriend is spewing at her isn’t enlightened or mature. He just doesn’t give a crap.