Originally published at: YourTango.com Photo credit: Your Tango Jealousy is not a good look.
There is a lot of dating advice available on the internet, but when you find yourself constantly jealous in your relationships, author Jane Austen may be a better source for tips.
Jealousy of other women can be a barrier to finding true love.
Bachelorette circles around the world keenly feel this "truth". From 25 women competing for the "The Bachelor" to young adult groups, it feels like a race to the altar.
Unlike in Jane Austen’s time, many young women today have their own careers and support themselves, financially. But, they still feel the desire and stress to get married as soon as possible.
Bombarded by articles on dating tips and ads for anti-aging creams and plastic surgery, women as young as their early 20s 'get work done' in order to stay desirable. In addition, the booming luxury wedding industry encourages women to fantasize about every detail of their wedding so that many feel the pressure to 'fill in the groom'.
For many Bachelorettes, this translates to joining a social group (or dating website), pick someone attractive, and go!
As was the case in British regency society, the intense yearning for matrimony spawns the fiercest competition among women, equitable to the game of 'Who’s going home with Leo?'
Instead of 6-inch glitter heels and blond extensions, however, women in religious communities compete with modest makeup application and service projects. Evidently, different communities create different social pressures for women.
Traditionally, feminist scholars such as Luce Irigaray have blamed the ‘marriage market’ on men who judge women on superficial characteristics such as youth, beauty, and bra size. Men’s superficial eye has caused women to compare themselves with each other.
However, the problem runs deeper than that — women must give men permission to value them and buy into the marriage market themselves for it to exist. And this means learning how to not be jealous of other women.
Women have the power to overcome this problem! Although Bachelorettes try to fight jealousy, it seems to creep around the corner with every new young woman who has yet to procure a wedding ring.
Women know that they each possess unique internal qualities, but envy plagues human nature. Bachelorettes whom I coach frequently complain of leaving social gatherings, as innocent as young adult group night, feeling like they just went to a frat.
Austen, however, still gets us 200 years later. Through looking at the contemporary marriage market through the eyes of literature’s beloved heroine from Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, women can learn how to deal with jealousy, conquer the competition, and find the love of their lives.
Here are 8 pieces of dating advice if you're constantly jealous of other women.
1. Do you
A Bachelorette recently complained about a man who broke up with her saying, "You’re awesome, I just need to do me right now."
Although this selfish excuse deems worthy of the worst breakup lines ever, women can turn it around and apply it to their lives: do what’s best for you!
So, the first step in learning how to stop being jealous of others is by putting yourself first. Participate in groups that interest you, and volunteer at places that excite you on your journey to being a lovelier person.
Elizabeth set her schedule without worrying about what guys would be there. She took care of herself and her health first.
2. Get your feet dirty
Gutsy and adventurous, Elizabeth traveled a far distance to take care of her sister. While Miss Bingley criticized this as unladylike, Mr. Darcy appreciated the glow in Elizabeth’s cheeks.
Play flag football. Build that house for Habitat for Humanity. Enjoy your life, even if it means trading your heels for sneakers!
3. Put your sisters first
Elizabeth always put the well-being of her sisters before her own pursuits. She was also weary of potential jealousy and stayed away from Miss Bingley.
Nurture friendships with women, even if you feel a little envious of them. ABC’s "Bachelorette" would probably see the true colors of her 25 guys a lot sooner if they allowed other beautiful women in the room.
4. Do things for ‘the right reasons,’ and be yourself
Elizabeth focused on self-improvement rather than catching a man. Value your dignity over men, and they will notice.
Also, Elizabeth was artlessly herself around men. She let them see her intelligence instead of pretending to be less witty to stroke their egos.
5. Let the man pursue you
Mr. Darcy emphasizes, "There is meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable."
Men can smell when a woman is desperate for attention. Let him take the lead in pushing the relationship forward.
6. Refuse to settle for the superficial guy
If a man seems extremely into you without getting to know you first, beware. Refuse to settle for the guy who judges by market standards. You may be the prettiest woman in the group, now, and he’s ready to get married. That fake romance will die after you say, "I do."
Elizabeth declined two proposals, and the first was from Mr. Collins who simply wanted a pretty, submissive wife.
7. Stay classy
Although at times she faced a dearth of romantic prospects, Elizabeth kept her integrity as opposed to gallivanting around with players in uniform like her younger sister, Lydia.
Even if you lack men begging at your feet, refuse to relax your standards by sleeping around.
8. Be social
Elizabeth danced, talked to different people, made friends, and opened herself to new experiences. You can too!
It is natural to develop crushes on men. In the right place, these can lead you into deeper relationships with members of the community. Of course, it can feel tempting to ‘stir up love before it’s ready,’ but it will make you feel much better to just relax and enjoy.
If you approach new experiences with this attitude, you will develop life-long friendships while attracting the wonderful man who can’t help but want to get to know more about your fearless beauty.
Once you've done all 8 of these tips, you've successfully learned how to overcome jealousy, and you're a step closer to finding the true love of your life.