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The Jealousy Stakes
June 5, 2003 4:31 PM   Subscribe

Are Women More Jealous Than Men? No, apparently not. Human beings are. Tragically so. Period. Male or female? Oh, never mind. Just how jealous are you? [Warning: It's a long test - over 60 questions - but seems reliable and produces interesting results.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (73 comments total)

 
If you are bi, pick one of the above. Freak.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:34 PM on June 5, 2003


4,2,5,4,0,0,1.

What do I win?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:42 PM on June 5, 2003


Women may not be more jealous, but they are more manipulative. It's in the genes: men are violent, women manipulate.
posted by zekinskia at 4:47 PM on June 5, 2003


Way to make me feel more single. Boo fucking hoo.
posted by squealy at 4:53 PM on June 5, 2003


Yeah, squealy, it's really a test to make a single person feel invisible (as one of the questions repeatedly asked). I answered the questions on the basis of how I'd in previous relationships. However, since they DID all leave me for someone else that may have slanted the test results SLIGHTLY.

However, I didn't do too badly, though higher than Crash, who is evidently some kind of share the love type:

16, 20, 11, 13, 20, 18, 0.

One thing I don't understand - why make this all about sexual jealousy? The jealous people I know are green-eyed on many kinds of occasions.
posted by orange swan at 5:15 PM on June 5, 2003


6,7,3,5,5,4,0
good to know i'm not the only non-jealous one around.
now, do they have a similar type of test for jealousy-in-career-progress?
posted by bokononito at 5:26 PM on June 5, 2003


Jesus. 27, 32, 18, 23, 34, 25, 1.

And I there I thought I was pretty stable in that area. What are you people, robots? Maybe all those "barely" answers add up.
posted by majcher at 5:40 PM on June 5, 2003


This test is telling me more about my opinion of my current girlfriend than it is about my general tendency for jealousy... bad thoughts bad thoughts.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:43 PM on June 5, 2003


A pretty good internet quiz, if there is such a thing. Of course, it also pretty much backs up what I thought in the first place. I imagine if the results conflicted heavily with what I (or anyone taking the test) believed, I would not think so highly of it. And a REALLY jealous person probably wouldn't even take the test.

Thanks for the post
posted by jeff-o-matic at 5:58 PM on June 5, 2003


I call bullshit on mr_crash_davis. You're supposed to answer those questions truthfully.
posted by mckayc at 6:21 PM on June 5, 2003


"I call bullshit on mr_crash_davis. You're supposed to answer those questions truthfully."

Jealous?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:24 PM on June 5, 2003


24, 35, 9, 21, 26, 32, 1

Plus, the woman I have been seeing for nine years just left me yesterday for another man.

Dammit.

At least the "What does your score mean?" section was reassuring.
posted by moonbiter at 6:30 PM on June 5, 2003


No wonder my right hand and left hand never seem to get along
posted by TedW at 6:35 PM on June 5, 2003


Badda-boom!
posted by moonbiter at 6:39 PM on June 5, 2003


Some of these question/answer options totally blow my mind:

Accidentally, you find out that your girlfriend/wife confided in her friend that she had a sexual dream about her favorite actor.
How would you react?
I would have to break up with her.
I would probably end up hitting or insulting her.

Where is "I would bring home a movie staring that actor. And some good wine."?
posted by duckstab at 6:49 PM on June 5, 2003


Quizzes are hard.
posted by catfood at 6:50 PM on June 5, 2003


And stop fantasizing about my boyfriend.
posted by catfood at 6:50 PM on June 5, 2003


Your boyfriend?

I think we need to get together over coffee. Or vodka, depending on our notes.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:11 PM on June 5, 2003


23,24,20,19,22,19,1

Within 5 points of vairance. I think I just found out I'm a good test-taker.

Pretty well-phrased questions. The choices captured a lot of nuance in very few words. Well made.

I found myself thinking especially hard about: "If your wife of 50 years began prostituting herself, offering too many years of tolerating your tiny penis as her motivation, how would it make you feel?"
posted by scarabic at 7:17 PM on June 5, 2003


I wonder what catfood's boyfriend's breath smells like?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:22 PM on June 5, 2003


hmmmm
posted by clavdivs at 7:29 PM on June 5, 2003


WolfcatDaddyfood, apparently.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:30 PM on June 5, 2003


I agree with duckstab. At the very least they need to add a "none of the above" option on all of those "what would you do" questions. I would have used it on more than half of them.
posted by Nothing at 7:37 PM on June 5, 2003


dude, this is confusing. I got a 21 out of 100 in "dependency issues" and the quiz says "You have some dependence issues..." but I get a 22 out of 100 in the self-esteem area and it tells me "It appears that you do not have any serious self-esteem problems, at least not when your love life is concerned...." WTF?

17, 24, 9, 12, 22, 21, 0

Apparently a 9 out of 100 in "jealous behavior" indicates not jealous enough?! I think sometimes the comments don't go with the scores.

um ... are there any other girls in here?
posted by jessamyn at 8:40 PM on June 5, 2003


31, 44, 12, 30, 56, 54, *sings* "... I'm just a jealous guy"
posted by dg at 8:44 PM on June 5, 2003


7, 9, 4, 7, 2, 5, 1

Another girl here....
posted by Lynsey at 9:25 PM on June 5, 2003


I'm with with Duckstab - my girlfriend is in lurv with Ewan McGregor and Jude Law - the only impact that has on our relationship is that I know I can rent films featuring either actor, even if they're sci-fi or action movies. That's a good thing, I'd say.
posted by GriffX at 9:27 PM on June 5, 2003


9, 9, 7 ,8, 7, 6, 1.

Me and crash are the best spouses ever. Not to each other, of course. But just generally speaking.

I'd really be curious to see how jealousy and the lack thereof correspond to marital status--I know crash and I are both married.
posted by padraigin at 9:39 PM on June 5, 2003


oh all right:

4, 3, 4, 2, 1, 0

I'm good for anybody. And everybody. Let's fuck.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:53 PM on June 5, 2003


10, 15, 5, 7, 5, 8, 0

Another lady here. Ah, the joys of advancing age... There was time that test would've painted a dramatically different picture. But, hey, you never know when the old right cross may come in handy again.

Good test, thanks.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 10:12 PM on June 5, 2003


Padraigin, you are absolutely right. I trust my wife implicitly.

She, however, is a little less trusting of me, and scored 17,21,11,16,16,13,2. Still not bad at all.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:16 PM on June 5, 2003


9 overall - breakdown 6, 9, 6, 4, 5, 1.

I'd really be curious to see how jealousy and the lack thereof correspond to marital status--I know crash and I are both married.

we're not legally married but zoran and i have been together for 9 years, 10 years this october.

Women may not be more jealous, but they are more manipulative. It's in the genes: men are violent, women manipulate.

there's at least one woman here who'd rather punch you in the face than talk you into admitting the ignorance of your comment :-D
posted by t r a c y at 11:03 PM on June 5, 2003


Ah, the joys of advancing age... There was time that test would've painted a dramatically different picture.

Tiger_Lily: Teehee. Quite right! One of my sisters recently sent me these words by Andy Rooney:

"As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

An older woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask,"What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If an older woman doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And it's usually something more interesting.

An older woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a
damn what you might think about her or what she's doing.

Older women are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

An older woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. An older woman couldn't care less if you're attracted to her friends because she
knows her friends won't betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to an older woman. They always know.

An older woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, an older woman is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off you are acting like a jerk. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her. "

As for you low-scorers: bah! Jealousy is to love as salt is to the sea, as scent to flowers, as sugar to an Old-Fashioned.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:17 PM on June 5, 2003 [2 favorites]


8. 8th & lastly. They are so grateful!!!

Your Affectionate Friend,

Benj. Franklin
posted by majcher at 11:29 PM on June 5, 2003


As for you low-scorers: bah! Jealousy is to love as salt is to the sea, as scent to flowers, as sugar to an Old-Fashioned

mmm, no. while it seems the majority of folks may never experience it and it's attendant freedom and elevation, there really is such a thing as passion without madness.
posted by t r a c y at 11:54 PM on June 5, 2003


... there really is such a thing as passion without madness.
But what would be the point in that? Without at least a little madness, how can you have true passion?
posted by dg at 12:09 AM on June 6, 2003


Without at least a little madness, how can you have true passion?

Sanely, that's how. With grace, serenity, and aplomb, and fanatical devotion to the Pope.

Me: 7,11,1,5,7,7,0 ; mostly by being Captain Rational. Married (second time, first one went mildly bonkers and ran off).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:39 AM on June 6, 2003


sorry dg i can't go into details and make explanations for something that's not a tangible. i'd be forced to get all poetic and flowery and start going on about how much i love, admire, and crave zoran (more today than yesterday x 3405!) and we don't want that, do we...? so here's to you finding out for yourself ;-)
posted by t r a c y at 12:43 AM on June 6, 2003


Add me to the unjealous crowd. (Overall 8). I don't even get upset when she start drooling over David Coulthard. Yeah I know, it takes all sorts. Just because he has talent, looks and money, why should I feel threatened? :-)
posted by salmacis at 1:22 AM on June 6, 2003


Score: 2,0,0,3,4,4,0.

Overall an interesting, enjoyable and well-made Internet quiz.

Thank you for the FPP, Miguel. :)

Also, thank you for your comments about women over 40 years of age.

I've also heard it said that a beautiful woman in her 20's is a work of nature and a beautiful woman in her 40's is a work of art.
posted by cup at 1:38 AM on June 6, 2003


MiguelCardoso,
Thanks for the great Rooney insights, though I confess to being less distracted by the crowsfeet than I am by the fact that my rearend no longer defies gravity without increasingly rigorous exercise. ;)
posted by Tiger_Lily at 2:22 AM on June 6, 2003


While I hope I have nothing to look forward to but getting better with age, some of the Rooney comments rankled a bit. Is it so unusual that I refrain from making scenes, have the ability to amuse myself, and "let" the boyfriend hang out with my female friends, all at the tender age of 27? If so, then no wonder I hear men in my peer group making offensive comments about women all the time. The young woman described in the Andy Rooney essay is, frankly, an asshole.
posted by hilatron at 4:28 AM on June 6, 2003


...although I have to agree with him on the red lipstick. I can't wait till I can pull that off!
posted by hilatron at 4:29 AM on June 6, 2003


Huh. I ended up being more jealous than I suspected, with a score of 20 overall. And I thought I was almost completely unjealous (jealousless?)... of course, my answers on the "he dances with somebody else" question might have tickled the results a bit (he never dances; if he doesn't dance with me, darn tootin' I'd be pissed if he danced with somebody else!).

But the rest of you people... wow. Security Central here. Except you, dg. What was your "control issue" score, btw?
posted by taz at 5:17 AM on June 6, 2003


12,16,6,7,9,9,0

I thought I was quite laid back but some of you lot really put me to shame.

On a quick scan, I'm embarassed to have hit double fugures...
posted by monkey closet at 5:53 AM on June 6, 2003


Is it so unusual that I refrain from making scenes, have the ability to amuse myself, and "let" the boyfriend hang out with my female friends, all at the tender age of 27?

Yes. It is so unusual. Well, not so much at 27, by then most people are starting to grow up at least a little, but there are still plenty of immature people of both sexes to go around at that age. Up until I was in my 30s I was regularly dating women who were significantly older than me (5, 10, in one case 15 years older) because of this.
posted by kindall at 6:15 AM on June 6, 2003


22, 23, 19, 16, 20, 21, 2

hmmmm....
posted by da5id at 6:24 AM on June 6, 2003


Ahhh numbers..I think I'll play lotto with them !
posted by elpapacito at 6:44 AM on June 6, 2003


5, 7, 3, 4, 4, 3, 0.

But I'm still inexplicably jealous of mr_crash_davis.
posted by yhbc at 7:30 AM on June 6, 2003


I gave up on this after ten minutes, realizing that I just couldn't stop trying to rig the test. I already know (or believe?) that I'm not particularly jealous, so imagining the scenarios without fitting them to the conclusion I expected to reach was difficult.

But what would be the point in that? Without at least a little madness, how can you have true passion?

If madness is a prerequisite for passion, I'll pass on both. I've been head-over-feet in love once, and that was enough. It was miserable; I couldn't think straight. Not the kind of conditions I want to be in when determining whether a relationship with somebody I probably don't know very well yet is actually going to work.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:41 AM on June 6, 2003


Hmph. "If you are bi pick one of the above"? What the hell kind of crap is that? And furthermore, this test seems to be assuming monogamy/exclusive commitments, so I'm doubly out of the loop on this one.

Bah.
posted by eilatan at 7:41 AM on June 6, 2003


5, 6, 3, 3, 0, 1, 0

I had no idea that others felt so jealous. I'm not an unfeeling robot, I just mean if you don't trust the person you're having a relationship with, why are you in the relationship in the first place?

Regarding age, yes, I'm in my late 30's, so perhaps there is some correlation between experience and realizing that jealousy is a waste of effort.
posted by Kip at 9:35 AM on June 6, 2003


If you are bi pick one of the above

I think this is simply a matter of pronouns; my impression from their wording was that they provided separate M/F and straight/gay versions so they wouldn't have to keep saying "him/her" and the like. I suppose they could have had a bi one that had wording like "If you saw your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/other...," but surely you see the awkwardness.

5, 5, 3, 3, 4, 4, 0.
Scores would have been a lot higher a couple of decades ago. I remember standing below a (rapidly becoming ex-)girlfriend's window late at night and staring fiercely up, trying to envision who was in there and what might be going on. Not much fun. Madness may seem a necessary part of love at 17 or 24, but trust me, unless you're a perpetual adolescent you'll eventually realize it's not.
posted by languagehat at 9:39 AM on June 6, 2003


5,5,5,3,5,0.

Not one of those scenarios got me even the slightest bit concerned except for the last one when a good friend tells you there's a rumor that your partner is cheating. That would unsettle me because I consider my friends to be both truthful and respectful.
posted by widdershins at 9:47 AM on June 6, 2003


21, 31, 4, 20, 36, 44, 0.

Er... anyone got a therapist I can borrow? And a girlfriend?
posted by Freaky at 10:22 AM on June 6, 2003


9,11,5,7,11,8,0. Unmarried. Good quiz this, Miguel; thanks.

An older woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask,"What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.
Too True!
posted by plep at 10:27 AM on June 6, 2003


Not one of those scenarios got me even the slightest bit concerned except for the last one when a good friend tells you there's a rumor that your partner is cheating. That would unsettle me because I consider my friends to be both truthful and respectful.

Have to completely agree with this. I had similar numbers, the only one that affected me was the last.
posted by Plunge at 11:06 AM on June 6, 2003


Where is "I would bring home a movie staring that actor. And some good wine."?

I'm with you on that. So many of the questions seemed to assume the takee would be jealous and the point of the test was to guage how much. The phone questions I found personally hilarious in that the male voice is most likely one of her softball/slowpitch team mates and I'd be inquiring of the conversation just to know whether I'll be cooking for myself or both of us tommorrow.
posted by Mitheral at 11:28 AM on June 6, 2003


I had to use my imagination to do the "Your girlfriend/wife gets up and dances with another man after you've had a dance or two," since both of us adamantly refuse to dance. It was sort of like asking "After you've had a good time eating live bugs, your wife gets up and eats a live bug with another man."

If she liked dancing, I suppose my first reaction would be thankfulness that I didn't have to do it. So I substituted in ---generic activity *foo*--- for dancing and answered on that basis.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:39 AM on June 6, 2003


6, 5, 6, 5, 4, 1, 0

Pretty much where I expected to be. It will be interesting to see what my wife scores. In the past, she has been far more jealous than I...
posted by Irontom at 12:53 PM on June 6, 2003


17, 18, 11, 14, 16, 13, 2

I've been married for 4 years and while neither she nor I are particularly jealous I do think that *some* jealousy (without going overboard, obviously) shows that you care, have feelings, think and are realistic.

Why you ask? For starters, NOBODY can be 100% sure that their relationship will always be as harmonious as it is at the current moment. Life changes people and people are capable of loving more than one person (e.g.: just about any Woody Allen movie). Anybody who assumes that their relationship can never change for the worse causing your partner to become disenchanted with you (and enchanted with another) is being unrealistic and probably isn't working very hard to grow with the relationship.

Furthermore, while I agree that being jealous over a sexual fantasy that involves an actor, or any other utterly unattainable or unknowable person is silly, ANYBODY who gave a bored shrug when reading the question "You discover your wife/husband has sexual fantasies about an attractive coworker" JUST DOESN'T CARE! If this question doesn't get at least "a little bit" answer out of the insecure or anxious categories, you are one cold fish! It also begs the question, would you be even a little bit jealous if your wife/husband WAS having an extra-marital affair?

Jealousy can be a disease, but like any other emotion, sometimes it is the proper response to a given set of circumstances. In my opinion, a truly well-balanced person would feel jealousy from time to time without being consumed by it...
posted by sic at 2:30 PM on June 6, 2003


4, 1, 5, 5, 2, 1, 1

Meh. They should have had at least a generic bisexual option, though I'm sure they had the gendered versions to try to elicit relatively more visceral responses.

However, if you are in a bisexual relationship, or in a non-monogamous one, it skews the test results. In my case, I am in fact more jealous than my scores would indicatem but the nature of my primary relationship and our explicit relationship contract heavily skews my response to the various situations. In most of the hypotheticals, my response would vary from "meh" to "Excellent!"

Jealousy still exists, it's just processed differently than this test seems able to conceive of.

In response to sic, not everyone is like you; that doesn't make us cold fish. Try googling compersion. And yes, I would be "jealous" if my partner was having an affair, but only if and because I wasn't. ;P
posted by fnord23 at 3:00 PM on June 6, 2003


for starters, nobody can be 100% sure that their relationship will always be as harmonious as it is at the current moment. life changes people ...

of course it does, and if that happens, you have to deal with it. But where does that call for jealousy? If things are changing, you find ways to reform or accept the changes. RElationships needn't be continually harmonious to be healthy, but the stuff that needs to be worked out is between the two people involved - dancing with someone else at a party is totally innocuous on its own; if it seems problematic, then that's an indication of a deeper problem in the relationship.

ANYBODY who gave a bored shrug when reading the question "You discover your wife/husband has sexual fantasies about an attractive coworker" JUST DOESN'T CARE!

It doesn't have to be a "bored shrug" - you can care about someone's fantasies without feeling they have an impact on your relationship. Flirting with and fantasizing about other people is not the same as having an affair, and seems to me perfectly healthy in a relationship. Of course, having secondary lovers seems perfectly healthy to me, too, if both (all) partners are cool with it.

The main ingredient is honesty and trustworthiness. If a person were to promise to me that he or she wouldn't sleep with anyone else, I would trust that, and not take fantasies or flirtations as a sign of anything troublesome. Especially not DREAMS! That's ridiculous. Dreams are weird and often random and seem to me to have no usefulness as indicators of action.
posted by mdn at 3:21 PM on June 6, 2003


ANYBODY who gave a bored shrug when reading the question "You discover your wife/husband has sexual fantasies about an attractive coworker" JUST DOESN'T CARE!

That's one possibility. The other possibility is that some people noticed that the question asked about your partnet having a sexual *dream* about a cow-orker, not a fantasy.

There's a big difference between choosing to actively fantasize about gettin' it on with Mr. or Madam X (or both), and simply having had a dream where Mr. or Madam X (or both) was bumping uglies with you, or threw twinkies at you, or turned into an Alsatian and barked "Edelweiss" to you, or whatever.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:46 PM on June 6, 2003


The other other possibility is of course that people may have noticed that it asked about your partner, not your partnet. Which I assume is a net used to trawl for auto parts.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:48 PM on June 6, 2003


Fnord23: I understand that not everyone understands relationships in the same way. Our personal experiences, education, culture profoundly affect how we approach intimate relationships. Latin cultures tend to be more traditional in this sense. I guess if monogamy isn't important to you or your partner, sexual jealousy would be almost non-existent. But if monogamy was a central theme in your relationship some small doses of jealousy would naturally occur from time to time and be a healthy response to certain situations. Your partner may even be concerned at the lack of jealousy if s/he also understood the relationship in the traditional way. (Please try to understand that I am not talking about extreme or pathological jealousy.)

Compersion sounds interesting, in a crunchy New Age kind of way, and I do find tremendous spontaneous pleasure when I see that my wife is happy, but you must understand that in our latin culture the fact that we wanted to marry each other holds implicit and tacit promises to each other, one of which is sexual fidelity. Therefore, if my wife were unfaithful to me I would naturally feel jealous. If I didn't it would suggest a lack of feeling toward her.
posted by sic at 2:57 AM on June 7, 2003


mdn: I completely trust my wife, I wouldn't have married her if I didn't, but the quiz supposes situations that may be unreal in our specific relationships. The point I was trying to make about how life changes people was in response to a perception that I had that many other posters answered the quiz less than honestly because they were within relatively harmonious relationships where little cause for jealousy is encountered (happily, mine is that way). But for the quiz to be interesting I thought that it should be taken by being sincere on how you would feel in a hypothetical situation. Not as easy as it sounds!

I agree that flirting (if it is harmless) and fantasizing in an abstract way is definitely healthy for a relationship (especially sexually) where both partners trust one another. But if your partner is fantasizing about some immediate person, someone they see AND interact with often (I´m not talking about the girl from Ipanema), it may or may not indicate that they are disatisfied with you or your relationship, but it probably would and should affect how you feel if you were to somehow find out about their fantasies (unlikely, unless, as the quiz supposes, your partner talks openly about the fantasies to a third party, which, in my opinion, adds a very compelling dimension to the situation).

Let me explain. The quiz asks for many different responses to hypothetical "jealousy" situations: control, abandonment, anxiety, insecurity etc. Now, while you may not have the slightest feeling that your partner is going to betray you or abandon you for this other person (you trust him/her after all), you may feel anxious or insecure or hurt because he/she is attracted to another person. You may think: is something wrong with me? Are we growing apart? Is our relationship not what I thought it to be? In short, you would have some reaction to the fact that your partner is fantasizing about someone else. If this reaction consumes you with jealousy, hatred, self-loathing etc. you have a problem. But if you feel these things and as a response become more introspective or a bit more attentive to your partner as a consequence, in short, if you use it to make your relationship better, jealousy could be considered a healthy response. In that sense I agree with your comment that the proper response isn't a bored shrug or a suicide pact, but a response is called for. To score 1s and 0s in the quiz one would have had to have answered in the reactions sections "not at all" almost always. These "not at alls" were probably meant to indicate supreme confidence, but it may also indicate an unrealistic view of the situation or an unhealthy lack of a response...

.
posted by sic at 3:34 AM on June 7, 2003


By the way, "over 60 questions" is seriously misleading—it understates the number by a hundred or so. All those "How would you feel if..." questions contain ten subquestions, each of which has to be answered separately. It would have made things a lot easier if they'd had an "All" option for those questions that would have automatically checked all the boxes below it (e.g., "Not at all," which I had to click over and over and over...).
posted by languagehat at 7:51 AM on June 7, 2003


But for the quiz to be interesting I thought that it should be taken by being sincere on how you would feel in a hypothetical situation. Not as easy as it sounds!

but those hypothetical situations were often ones that would normally come up in a healthy relationship - your partner getting a phone call from someone you don't know, or flirting with someone at a party, or having a dream. None of these are difficult to imagine in a healthy relationship because they probably happen all the time. But you don't worry about them, because they're total non-issues. The only one that seemed worth worrying over was when rumors were going around about an affair.

You may think: is something wrong with me? Are we growing apart? Is our relationship not what I thought it to be? In short, you would have some reaction to the fact that your partner is fantasizing about someone else.

If your partner is not responding to YOU, or seems busy or removed or somehow different when interacting with you, then you have something to worry about. If s/he has a dream or even fantasizes about someone else but things are still good between you, who cares? The point is that that third party is nothing to do with anything. If there's a problem in the relationship, you have to face it and deal with it, but interaction with other human beings shouldn't be troublesome on its own.

These "not at alls" were probably meant to indicate supreme confidence, but it may also indicate an unrealistic view of the situation or an unhealthy lack of a response...

It needn't be 'supreme confidence' - I'm a rational person, and completely aware that things change, that someone I'm with could find something else, etc. But again, talking on the phone, dancing, flirting, dreaming and even eating live bugs, are activities that I see no reason to put boundaries around when it comes to partnerships. Yes, I would feel hurt and insecure and all that if my partner lied to me about an affair and left me for someone else, but I would not feel hurt and insecure if s/he DANCED with someone else! I just don't see how that's upsetting.
posted by mdn at 8:15 AM on June 7, 2003


But if your partner is fantasizing about some immediate person, someone they see AND interact with often (I´m not talking about the girl from Ipanema), it may or may not indicate that they are disatisfied with you or your relationship

But that's not what the question asked. The question asked about your partner having a sexual dream about the person, not fantasizing about the person. Having a dream with someone in it is utterly beyond anyone's control, indicative of doodly-squat, and is about as important as taking a crap that looks like that person. It's a complete non-issue.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:14 AM on June 7, 2003


mdn: I'm not suggesting putting boundries around activities, far from it. In reality the only question that truly made me feel uncomfortable was the one about sexually fantasizing about a coworker (heh, just kidding ROU_Xenophobe: I know, I know, DREAMING!) the rest of the "activities" didn't get much more than a "barely" response from me. But while I'm not talking about controlling my partner (which I don't do) I am talking about my personal reactions to certain situations which might include feeling insecure or hurt. To me, telling a third party about a sexual dream does add a further element to deal with, because it would mean your partner wanted to talk about it but wasn't conformtable telling you about it. Not that I think the partner should necesarily share that kind of thing, but in this hypothetical situation we seemed to have stumbled upon the knowledge.

Still, I go back to the cultural and personal differences betwen us to explain why we see this differently. One thing that perhaps you don't understand is that within a the latin-med cultures, jealousy isn't always negative. In these cultures your partner may do something specifically to make you jealous, in order to provoke a passionate response that in their eyes proves a certain level of feeling that is sexually stimulating, among other things. Lack of jealousy would actually be more hurtful than any other response. And sex after a few thrown plates can be out of this world! I bet Miguel knows what I mean!
posted by sic at 1:46 PM on June 7, 2003


Well said, sic. It's all about keeping the passion up to the level of falling in love/doubting whether the loved one loves us back/making lovers feel lucky and grateful and blessed. Jealousy actually means, in our culture: "I don't deserve him/her."

It's complicated, but it works. Trust is all very well but it's a fail-safe mechanism. If someone is actually unfaithful, we're as shocked as the most trusting, non-jealous types.

But unfaithfulness is a killer of passion and a turn-off.

It just makes you sad. We're talking keeping lovers on their toes.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:36 PM on June 7, 2003


Security Central here. Except you, dg. What was your "control issue" score, btw?
I don't recall exactly, but it was not too high considering my other scores. From memory, it was less of a control issue and more related to self-image.
posted by dg at 6:39 PM on June 8, 2003


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