We usually think that envy is a feeling of sadness or anger when we do not have what another person possesses or we lack qualities that we value in others. However, the truth is that the ramifications of this universal feeling go beyond desiring the possessions or qualities of the neighbor. And in the sphere of the couple, envy can play a trick on us.
Envy is not all we have been told
The word envy comes from the Latin invidere, which means “to look above”, “to look inside” or “to look badly”. However, it also means “to look through” or “not to look directly”, but with the eyes of another person.
When we feel envy, we do not look at things as they are, but we see them through the eyes of others. We do not try to figure out for ourselves what we are seeing, but we wonder how others will see it.
Envy is not simply wanting what the other has, but it goes much further. It pushes us to forget about ourselves, our struggles and victories, to focus solely on the successes of others. In a certain way, it makes us forget our true needs and desires to desire what the others have.
Deep down, envy also implies not trusting our judgment and intuition. It means that we don’t pay enough attention to our feelings or needs. On the contrary, we rely on the others – on what they have, what they do or what they are – to form an opinion or even structure our needs and desires.
However, when we are unable to see with our own eyes and use the perspective of the others, we fall into the trap of conformism and submit to expectations.
It is no coincidence that Cicero said that “Nobody who trusts himself, envy the virtue of another”. Instead of being independent people and deciding freely, we decide to look at the world through the lens of the others, assuming that what is good for them – what has worked for them, satisfies or makes them happy – will also be good for us. Obviously, that’s not true.
The trap that envy sets for us when choosing a partner
In the field of love, the conformist element that comes from envy can play very tricks on us. In fact, it becomes a death trap that leads us to make bad decisions that we may later regret – although often too late.
In this case, the person, instead of paying attention to his feelings when choosing a partner, first considers what others think. Instead of looking inside to try to figure out what he feels, he looks outside to decide based on the opinions of the others.
If the relationship continues, it is likely that this person will spend a large part of his life with someone who has not chosen completely free, but based on the opinions of the others. In these cases, the person ignores his intuition and desires to prioritize what his circle of trust wants. He does not choose for himself, but opts for the partner that others like.
In those cases, when you choose seeking the approval of others, there is a high probability that the relationship will be a failure or will not be satisfactory. When envy – understood as those decisions that are made taking into account what others think and want, looking through their eyes – kicks in, individuality disappears.
You don’t need more approval than yours
Choosing a partner is probably one of the most important decisions in our lives. This is – at least in theory – the person with whom we will spend the rest of our lives, so we must make sure that it is the right person.
Of course, it would be ideal if there was a good emotional connection between that person and our family and friends, but we must remember that we do not need more approval than our own and, that it is not necessary to scrutinize beyond our feelings when deciding.
Opting for the person that others like – sometimes even seeking to generate envy in others – is usually the perfect recipe for failure. Make sure that you make that vital decision with an eye on only the two of you. Do not look through the eyes of the others because you will run the risk of choosing what is best for them, not for you.