Jealousy and Anger!
Q: I am an average-looking 21-year-old single male who's never had a girlfriend. Whenever I see a couple holding hands, kissing, hugging, or even talking about sex, I get very jealous. It feels like they are mocking me deliberately for not being able to find even a single date. My jealousy turns to anger very quickly, and I don't want to feel this way anymore. I've been trying to find a date for some time, but have been rejected six times now. What can I do to stop this feeling of jealousy and anger? -- Mike
Dr. Susan: Uh-oh. You're scaring me, Mike. You get angry when other people have what you want, though their dating success has nothing whatsoever to do with you personally. They're not mocking you! Their happiness isn't about you. It's certainly normal to feel envy, to want the same good fortune those happy couples have. But what you need to do is seriously reflect on what you can do to achieve the same positive results. Anger is very unattractive, to say the least!
Being rejected six times is upsetting, of course. Are you asking out women who have shown a tiny bit of interest or availability, or are you perhaps, like some men, asking randomly without a hint that your overtures might be welcome? I know it's dull advice, but your best bet is to get involved in activities where you can spend time around women casually, so you can begin to gauge when they might welcome your advances.
And Mike, if this anger thing erupts at other times, too, I'd suggest you consider getting some help for that, more than I can give you here. People who expect the world to go easy on them, who feel entitled to speedy romantic success, sometimes allow their disappointment to turn to nastiness. That's the fastest way to doom yourself to being left alone. A positive, optimistic, and generous attitude -- along with persistence -- will be so much more helpful to you.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.