I am incapable of being jealous. But my friend wants me to try.

I am incapable of being jealous.  But my friend wants me to try.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. I have a question? Send it to Jessica and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear how to do it,

I’m autistic and my friend is not, which I think might color this question. I basically don’t feel a lot of jealousy.

I love my friend, and I trust that if he loves me, he will be faithful. If not, I’ll leave. I’ve been betrayed by an ex in the past so it’s not like I trusted him blindly, but even though I loved my ex, the betrayal was like flipping a switch – it was painful but it also made me see him as childish and a coward by choice And I moved on the same day.

My boyfriend and I have a lot of friends of the opposite sex and we maintain friendships with some of our ex-girlfriends. Overall I think this is good. I don’t understand what the point of a relationship is if you feel anxious or unsure all the time, and life outside of the relationship is important to me. I thought we were on the same page, but recently my friend has been complaining that his partner’s jealousy makes him feel wanted and wanted, and that without it he feels insecure. I don’t know what to do about it, and suggest playing with it in bed, even if not in real life. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

-he claims

Rich Jozwick: I absolutely love the straightforward shooting tone of this message. “I don’t understand what the point of a relationship is if you feel anxious or unsure all the time, and life outside of a relationship is important to me.” Amen. That’s great. I feel like this person really has it all figured out. We should ask them questions.

I think the friend is wrong, in general, in asking for jealousy – a feeling that this person does not have. Accept your partner’s feelings as they are, and you’ll have a much easier time, even if they don’t align with your worldview as well as they should. It is what it is. You have a partner who is not jealous.

Jessica Stoya: I would ask a friend what they get out of jealousy. The friend will say, “Well, this makes me feel wanted, wanted, and safe.” And then I would say, “Okay, what’s underneath that?” What are the ways to make you feel wanted? What makes you feel desirable? Where do you get security from? You may be able to lead him to understand and thus explain what he really wants. And then the letter writer can address the health needs that are underneath this jealousy thing, which I think is probably harmful and not the best.

rich: Yes, because there are other ways to get this confirmation. Maybe it’s the special flavor of jealousy that he likes, but besides that, there are other ways to get all those things that jealousy is supposed to give you.

Jessica: I imagine: “Where were you tonight? What did you do? Who were you with?” You may feel suspicious and jealous, but it can also be done in a way that is a direct expression of curiosity about your partner’s day, both of which can lead to feeling wanted.

rich: Yes Yes. What do you think of the idea of ​​role-playing? I think it actually seems like a positive way to get these things out and play with this desire that he has for this kind of expression in a form that everyone knows is not real. So you don’t have to actually feel jealous and then your friend gets to experience this thing that he appreciates vicariously.

Jessica: I think this is not a clear top-down position, but it is worth noting that the active party’s consent and willingness to participate is also important. The friend wants to inflict jealousy on him, but our letter writer must also stop to consider whether he wants to pretend to express jealousy at all. If so, television is full of examples of jealousy in relationships being expressed.

rich: In other words, you can design a scene from something you see.

Jessica: Yes.

rich: This type of scene setting may require a great deal of planning, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. It should basically be – again with the letter writer’s approval – for the friend to say: “This is what I would like to see. Can you work with that?”

Jessica: Which means sitting down and talking about what jealousy is and what it does for him. So I really think that my initial suggestion of getting to the root of the matter and expressing it is the healthiest way. But if your friend isn’t okay with it, have the conversation and role-play it. I have a bad feeling about role-playing, and I don’t know why. It’s one of those times when I get frustrated about not having a dialogue with letter writers, because I think: Is the letter writer going to be okay? Will this extend? How good are they at separating role-playing from real life? How good is the friend at separating role-playing from real life? Do they know anything about acting? Can they do an unroll exercise where they exit the turn they just played? So this is something worth looking into: ways to return to the present. But just asking your partner what they want to say to them to express jealousy and then acting it out, I feel like that’s going to blow up in their faces somehow.

rich: Yes, and I think if they were not already engaged in role-playing, it would be difficult to bring this very loaded issue into a new form of relationship expression as well.

Jessica: It’s a combustible feeling.

rich: Well, good luck to them.

Jessica: good luck. Have a conversation. arrive to root.

More tips from Slate

I’m a single father in my late 30s who’s interested in getting back into the dating game after a two-year hiatus. As someone who spent most of his twenties involved in porn production, I spent my thirties normalizing sex and relationships. As a very gifted man, I had come to accept that I would never serve more than one purpose for a woman, and that a serious, committed relationship was not within my reach.

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