Magazine article USA TODAY

Jealousy-Harmful or Helpful?

Magazine article USA TODAY

Jealousy-Harmful or Helpful?

Article excerpt

Jealousy not only can destroy a partnership, it can renew one as well--and may even be the key to a happy relationship, argues psychologist David Buss, University of Texas at Austin, and the author of The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex. "Jealousy is as important as trust in keeping couples together. To counteract the desire to stray--and to strengthen the bond between partners--jealousy evolved as an early detection system of infidelity."

Although a number of theories propose that jealousy is an immature emotion, a sign of insecurity, neurosis, or flawed character, Buss believes that it is an adaptation. "Non-jealous men and women are not our ancestors, having beer left in the evolutionary dust by rivals with different passionate sensibilities. We all come from a long lineage of ancestors who possessed this dangerous passion."

It is unlikely that love, with the huge psychological investment it entails, would have been able to evolve without a defense that shielded it J from the constant threat from rivals and the possibility of betrayal from a partner, he maintains. …

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