Jealousy is necessary in your love life.
Ninety-five percent of us experience jealousy at some stage in our lives. We all know it’s a common motion, but did you know it is also a crucial emotion?
Many scientists believe that love is an emotion that evolved to bind two people together for a long time, and jealousy is an emotion that evolved to protect the integrity of that pair bond. So it seems that although jealousy is a very destructive emotion, it is also a very functional one.
David Buss, professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Texas, has an explanation.
‘Basically without jealousy, without some defence mechanism, love could not have evolved. Why? Because when you mate with someone that someone is still desirable. That person does not lose their desirability to other rivals.’
‘And so other people, for example, are trying to intrude on the relationship, trying to lure your mate away from you. And your mate sometimes is attracted to those other people. Jealousy evolved to protect that relationship, to fend off rivals and to guard the mate and protect the mate from intrusion’
But in it’ worst form, jealousy can be deadly. It drove a man names Mark Erts to stab his girlfriend repeatedly, nearly killing her. It was clear he was in the grip of something, suffering from emotional fall out far more extreme than the jealousy most of us experience.
When shown footage of the attack he was horrified at what he had done. He was enraged that she had slept with someone else.
When you are really in love with somebody, you are incredibly possessive, and you have a very difficult time sharing. Jealousy is one of those emotions that can be tethered both to love on the one hand, and to extreme violence on the other hand. That is why Professor Buss calls jealousy ‘the dangerous passion.’ It can so enrage some people that they commit a ‘crime of passion’