A short, five-second clip from an account on TikTok that goes by @intellectual.thinking has stirred up major controversy after touching on a subject that most people who have been in a relationship are likely to have felt — jealousy. It’s a completely normal, and surprisingly common emotion that comes with being a human being. Of course, the stigma surrounding it is often negative, since the feeling itself isn’t exactly fun to bear. But while the onus typically falls upon the person who is feeling the emotion, the TikToker took the opposite route of placing the blame on a partner.
He believes that women shouldn’t be 'friendly' with other men while they’re in a relationship.
The text in the short clip reads, “Reminder that men don’t like when you’re friendly with other guys [because] you’re supposed to make other guys jealous of your man, not your man jealous of other guys.”
Reminiscent of an early 2010-era Tumblr post, all the unnamed man does is set up his camera, take a few steps back in his kitchen, and pose while letting people read the text and listen to the music or sound attached to the video — in this case, it’s a woman laughing at whatever a man in the background is saying.
His TikTok page is full of these kinds of videos — there are likely hundreds of them — and they all pull a pretty substantial amount of views. This one in particular hit 1.3 million views while his other videos may average out to around 10,000 views. Over a thousand comments poured into this clip with most people simply sharing their opinion on this specific take — creating a dialogue seems to be the theme of his account. Others tuned in to share their anecdotes and personal experiences.
To the man's credit, he didn't say they "shouldn't" be friendly, but that men don't like that they're friendly for this reason. However, that still places the onus on women to stop themselves from being friendly because it might make their partner jealous — which shouldn't be the case.
“I'm getting tired of saying this every single time,” one man wrote, likely referring to his partner and how she continues to make him jealous. Someone else wrote, “put this on her [For You page] not mine,” saying that she’s the one that needs to hear it. A third claims, “she says I’m toxic and controlling for saying [that],” and that’s probably because it’s closer to the truth than anyone who agrees with this has gotten.
One person wrote, “Look there’s a threshold on how friendly you can be to other people, I don’t think it’s fair to block them from having friends unless you both agree,” and they’re pretty close to the reality of how jealousy should be handled and the barriers that exist between friendly and disrespectful.
Jealousy can be a healthy emotion, but it can also be unhealthy.
Romantic jealousy is an emotional response that occurs when there is a real or perceived threat coming from a rival or potential rival. The jealous person experiences a feeling of being threatened or anxious by the idea of losing their partner — a fear of losing them typically brings it on.
Studies have shown that jealousy is a natural reaction when a relationship is being threatened by someone who exists outside of the relationship dynamic. It’s about understanding why this feeling has been brought on that will allow couples to better handle it, in a healthy way. This same study has linked jealousy with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and most commonly as a sign of an insecure relationship, but throwing the blame entirely onto the person experiencing this feeling is ineffective.
Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship expert, spoke with Paired about how important it is to assess the partner’s behavior as well. “Much of the time it can be a sign of insecurity, but it’s also essential to look at the partner’s behavior and see if they are constantly doing things that undermine the security of the relationship,” DeGeare explained.
There are boundaries — being friendly is not one of them. If being friendly means openly flirting and crossing the existing boundaries of your relationship, then maybe the reassessment of your definition of “friendly” is a bigger problem.
Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.
This article originally appeared on YourTango