Jealousy is the poison of relationships. Being in a long distance relationship, it can be even easier to succumb to the feeling of jealousy. The #1 best way to deal with long distance jealousy is to prevent it before it ever happens. Here’s 4 tips that will show you just how to do that.

1. Set boundaries & Relationship Rules.

Talk about the kind of relationship you both expect to have. Some people are okay with their girlfriend’s having a lot of attractive male friends, others aren’t. You need to discuss the boundaries that will make you feel comfortable in a relationship. Once you’ve both agreed to follow your relationship rules, you’ll feel much more confident in your ability to trust each other, reducing the risk of jealousy.

Setting boundaries will also help you to decide if this relationship is something you can be happy in. Some people find it restraining or ridiculous that someone would want to limit their association with the opposite sex, while others feel there’s nothing wrong with a friendly hug or kiss between friends.

You may even discover that your personal boundaries are far too different from one another to be compromised. If you talk about these things when your relationship starts to get serious you can avoid the problems of jealousy that would eventually arise later on because of these differences in opinion.

Talking about your own personal boundaries and the rules you both expect to follow together is the first step to avoiding jealousy.

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2. Discuss Attraction.

Talk about what you each will do if you find that you are attracted to someone. Attraction is a normal part of life but just because you’re attracted to someone does not mean that you have to act on that attraction. Talk to each other about what you’ll do if you start feeling attracted to someone, and what you expect your partner to do in a similar situation.

Is it okay to make friends with someone that you’re attracted to? What steps will you take to manage your attraction so that it doesn’t overtake you? Do you want your partner to completely avoid that person, or is friendly conversation okay? Talk about these things. If you have rules set in place, or if you already have talked about what to expect from one another you’ll have more reason to trust and less reason to worry or become paranoid and jealous.

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3. Talk about Jealousy before you get jealous.

Yes, talk about it before you ever get to the point of being jealous! We’ve all been jealous before and we know what we are like when we get jealous. Tell each other about these things. Do you get angry or distant or clingy when you’re jealous? In the past what has triggered your jealous feelings? What about your past life or relationships might make you pre-disposed to certain kinds of jealousy?

Talking about jealousy before it ever happens will help you and your partner to recognize the first symptoms of jealousy as they start to happen. When you see those signs you can give each other reassurance before it ever spirals to the point where it’s something that needs to be fixed. You’ll know what triggers to avoid and that in turn will keep that safe feeling in your relationship.

It’s normal and natural to be jealous. Talking about it ahead of time can give you some assurance that neither of you will let it take a hold of the other.

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4. Keep Busy in your relationship.

The less active and involved you are with one another, the less secure you will feel and the more your mind will wander. Sure you’re miles away from each other but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel close and connected to each other. You’re supposed to. It’s when this closeness is lacking that the security of your relationship wears down and you’re exposed to that cold wind that is jealousy.

Do things together. REALLY do things together. If you know you are the jealous type, you both need to make an extra effort to feel extra close to one another. Plan dates, schedule frequent visits, try to make yourselves as much a part of one another’s worlds as possible under the circumstances. If you can feel that closeness and work to keep it that way, jealousy need never show it’s ugly face in your relationship.

Bonus: Being busy with each other and involved in your relationship will only help your relationship because you’re bonding throughout all the things you do together. You’re not just doing it to avoid jealousy, you won’t even think about it at that point –you’ll be having too much fun together.

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