Is it unethical if a single person feels jealous of other people who are in a relationship?

Is it wrong if a single person feel jealous whenever he sees people who are in a relationship due to his desire to be in a relationship too?


Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

Emotions and ethics shouldn’t even be in the same sentence, IMHO 🙂 Emotions are the doings of our mind over which we (normal humans) have little or no control over. I am an extremely normal person and my mind is all over the place all the time. And I must say that my thoughts, feelings and emotions aren’t exactly ‘ethical’ or ‘honorable’ all the time. If someone were to tell me that they think ethically and properly ‘all the time’, I would say then that I’m the Queen of Atlantis!

See, I have always felt that humans have this innate need to conform. There are standards set down by society and it is an automatic need for almost everyone to automatically conform to the standards. When you see photographs of your friend’s latest trip to the Maldives, you think wistfully of when your next trip would happen. When you hear of someone who got an admission to a prestigious university, you wish you had got one too…this is even if you have absolutely no interest in studying that course. It’s just human nature.

So when you spot someone with a mate, your inner animal instincts are woken up. You feel the need to have a partner too. You think of all the good parts of actually having a boyfriend/girlfriend. And let me tell you that this discontent will last you all your life at every imaginable stage – both conspicuously and inconspicuously. Your colleague gets a promotion, you secretly wonder why it couldn’t have been you. Your cousin buys an apartment, you start looking casually at real estate ads. Your neighbor just had a baby, you wonder when you’ll go baby shopping. *sigh* There is just no end to this.

Somewhere deep within me, I feel this is what keeps the world going. That’s why people move forward from their current situations. This is not jealousy, as I see it. It is just a desire to auto-correct yourself according to societal norms. That’s all. When a girl reaches the age of (say) 25, it is expected that she should have received a couple of marriage proposals. If she doesn’t, she feels dejected…even if she would have turned down every proposal that came her way citing various reasons. She ends up feeling sorry about herself, she feels that she isn’t pretty enough, and she feels guilty for feeling ‘jealous’ about her friends who have been getting regular marriage proposals. The truth is, it is just a desire to conform that is wearing a mask of ‘jealousy’. It is not jealousy at all!

I would associate jealousy with covetousness…a burning desire to possess another person’s possessions – material or otherwise. If you look at your buddy with his girl and think that you want her for yourself, then that is jealousy. If you think that you are more deserving of her affections than your friend, then you are being jealous. Jealousy makes people see the other person in a constantly negative light and can even lead to breakage of friendships.

If you have no such feelings, then you are just being what you are…a simple human being who wishes to conform. There is nothing more to it.


P.S.: You know what I do when I undergo such phases? I think of all the negatives that come with it. It’s like a magical trick. For instance, having a baby is super cute when you think of all those adorable gurgle sounds and cute smiles and stuff.

But when you think of the smell of puke and of smelly diapers and incessant bawling giving you sleepless nights, somehow, having a baby seems to be a plan best kept for later 😛

Once you manage to think of all the negatives, the dream clouds just float away to reveal the thunderclouds behind. And then we are suddenly super glad that we are where we are in our life right now 😀

Is it unethical if a single person feels jealous of other people who are in a relationship?

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