It’s natural to be jealous of other people’s situations from time to time. As this video points out, though, if you’re mentally weighing your options while you’re trying to maintain a relationship, you might end up sabotaging it.
The video above, based on a presentation from Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University Dan Ariely, explains how we can misinterpret relationships when we see them from the outside. We see all the details and flaws of our existing relationship, but we only see the best moments from someone else’s.
A little jealousy is fine — it can even be useful — but when you start actively considering leaving, you’re less likely to make investments in your relationship. Ariely uses the analogy of renting an apartment on a day-to-day lease. If you think there’s a possibility that you’ll have to move out tomorrow, would you hang paintings or paint the walls? Of course not, because those are long-term investments.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing the relationship you want. However, if you perpetually have one foot out the door, you might be sabotaging the relationship you have making it look worse than it is. Putting in effort into your current relationship or leaving will probably yield better results than shopping around while idling in a relationship you’re not invested in.
Dan Ariely: On Dating & Relationships [White Animation]