DEAR HARRIETTE: I thought I was lucky when I met my girlfriend. We both work in the same field and are super-dedicated to our jobs. We are at the beginning of our careers, and we are both all-in on the hustle of making things work. This was great at first. Then I got a couple of gigs where I got some shine and some dollars. When I called to tell my girlfriend about it, she got her back up. She said she was proud of me, but I could tell she was jealous. Instead of asking me about what happened and how I got the gig, she started talking about something that she was working on. It was weird.
I’m a little older than my girlfriend, so I have a couple of years more time working. It’s probably just me working longer than got me a gig first. Who knows? What I don’t understand is why she wouldn’t be happy for me. This has happened more than once, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. When I ask her to be happy for me, she says I’m overreacting. How can I get her to lay off the jealous behavior? -- Jealous Girlfriend
DEAR JEALOUS GIRLFRIEND: Jealousy is extremely difficult to manage, mainly because it requires the one who is jealous to neutralize their feelings. There’s little that you can do to make things better. What you can try to do is to encourage your girlfriend by consistently celebrating the small steps that help to get her to her goals. She will probably like that.
This may not change how she feels about you and your successes. You deserve a girlfriend who wants you to fulfill your dreams as she works to fulfill hers. Pay attention to how things evolve. If she continues to exhibit jealous behavior, she is not the woman for you.