The Editors Debate: Is There Such A Thing As ‘Cute’ Jealousy?

Over at The Frisky today, we read about the “important distinction [between] ‘sweet’ jealous vs ‘crazy’ jealous.” For example, sweet jealous is “…he asks who is on the phone or who texted because he is sincerely curious,” (not paranoid?) or “he jokingly tells you to have fun without him and frowns when you leave,” (not passive aggressive?) while crazy jealousy involves the usual suspects of punching dudes and Facebook stalking. But editors Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff are wondering today: can jealousy ever be cute?


Ashley: So. I don’t think all jealousy is necessarily crazy, but I don’t think it can ever be cute.

Jennifer: I think ALL jealousy is adorable like a fucking spider monkey with big eyes and a little hat on.

Ashley: Say more.

Jennifer: No. Can you say more for me?

Ashley: Okay. Monkeys are cute. In this way jealousy is like them. That took me a full five minutes to parse.

Jennifer: Yes. So, let’s talk about some ways jealousy is cute.

Ashley: “A guy feels a tinge of jealousy when he sees you enthusiastically hug your platonic guy friend.”

Jennifer: And then he kills him. Is it weird that I date Hannibal Lecter? Do you find that weird? Or do you like being invited to free concerts and delicious dinners?

Ashley: I love a man who can cook.

Jennifer: He knows wine, too!

Ashley: Especially “kee-yan-tee.” Anyway. I was reading these examples of supposedly cute jealousy and they all strike me as symptomatic of deeper problems.

Jennifer: Oh, yeah, hugely.

Ashley: I know I have never found a man’s jealousy cute or charming, and I know I have only been ashamed of my own, ultimately.

Jennifer: I mean, me too, but I freak out and run at the first sign of controlling behavior because I have to be free like a magnificent mammoth butterfly. Probably more than I should, possibly. I mean, okay, could we be wrong here?

Ashley: Impossible.

Jennifer: I once broke up with someone because he continually suggested my best male friend was trying to date me. I mean, among some other stuff, but it just bothered me that he was not fundamentally secure and cool and confident.

Ashley: Exactly. If a man is jealous of commonplace affection for your male friends, isn’t that evidence of insecurity? Lack of trust?

Jennifer: I guess the thing that bothers me is that guys who get that phased are insecure, and THAT’s going to lead to issues. Issues dealing with their non-awesomeness. Why aren’t they bitchin’ rock stars from Mars?

Ashley: Topical.

Jennifer: Kind of passe now, right? I should have made that joke two weeks ago.

Ashley: A year from now, we’ll all look back and toss our heads and revel in the absurdity of Charlie Sheen. Or we won’t, because he’ll be dead.

Jennifer: Death is for losers.

Ashley: You really turned that around on me. …Look, jealousy isn’t cute. Jealousy is unhealthy.

Jennifer: Don’t you secretly fantasize about two men engaging in a duel for your affections? A hot air balloon duel? (One took place in France, I believe in the 1860s!)

Ashley: You like empty gestures too much. They are also unhealthy. In this way, they are like jealousy and wild animals wearing hats. ‘Say more’ your face.

Jennifer: That just made me sad, Ashley. It made my face go like this :(

Ashley: So. We can all agree that there’s no such thing as cute jealousy, right? Even if it involves hot air balloons and outrageous spectacle?

Jennifer: I like it because of the balloons.

Ashley: That’s fucking adorable.

Jennifer: Okay, well, taking this all into account–and the fact that we all watched every Lifetime movie about men going insane one too many times–I think jealousy is a legitimate human emotion. And one we all eperience from time to time. It’s not even necessarily romantic. Truman Capote has a great quote in Breakfast at Tiffany‘s about being jealous of Holly Golightly, not because he wants her but “the way as a child I was jealous of other people being friends with the postman, or an entire family who lived down the street. That kind of love provokes jealousy too.” …I think that’s really cute because it’s Truman Capote and he had a funny voice.

Ashley: OMG HE DID! And I obviously agree that jealousy is a reality of being human, but I think what separates adults from non-adults when experiencing jealousy is asking themselves why they are feeling it. By which I mean jealousy doesn’t come out of nowhere and it’s not something we should all chuckle about because it’s natural and then do nothing and be savages.

Jennifer: What’s the solution if you find yourself often feeling jealous, then? Rationally discuss your insecurities with your partner?

Ashley: Balloon racing!

Share This Post:
    • Allie

      Badly-masked jealousy is cute! Not “omg why do you hang out with him” cute, but “omg that guy is like, so not as cool as me and it’s definitely NOT because I’m jealous of him because why would I be jealous? I mean he has a crush on you but he’s lame, PSH.”

    • Goldie

      yeah, i mean i guess it’s cute if the guy is trying to hide that he’s jealous — i.e. he knows that jealousy is unattractive and unhealthy but can’t help feeling that way.

      sometimes my bf ‘pretends’ to be jealous of my celebrity crushes. because he actually sort of is, but not in a serious way. so he makes jealous jokes to laugh it off. that’s sort of cute because, come on– it’s not like i’d ACTUALLY give up/hide my hard on for jeff goldblum just to spare my boyfriend’s feelings. amiright?

    • Meg

      When I’m jealous it’s cheek pinching adorable, in a drunken snippy self loathing sort of way…mabye I’m more jaded & bitter than jealous, either way my face could sell ice to Eskimo’s or at least Eskimo pies to fat kids.

    • Hannah Beth

      So we’re exclusively talking intra-relationship jealousy? Not a fan. I don’t get jealous, but I get disappointed in myself because I feel like I’m not good enough. Insecurity is never an attractive thing, from either side.

    • Eileen

      One word: Othello.

      Two more words: Strangled Desdemona.

    • j

      not cute, the author at the frisky is just trying to rationalize her new boyfriends wackness. getting jealous over a platonic-friend-hug is batty.

    • Dove

      You guys are hilarious.

      I’m in total agreement with Ashley though – jealously can be serious, or it can be kind of playful. I am way more jealous than my husband is, but I totally trust him and if he goes out without me I’ll just say stuff like “well there better not be any SLUTS there!” (in a genuinuely laughing way) or he’ll tease me and say that the waitress at lunch asked him out so he’s going to be busy tonight.