There’s a reason we call jealousy the green-eyed monster. It can be an ugly emotion, one that can drag you down. And, if it’s a partner who inspires the monster to bubble to the surface, jealousy can drag your relationship down, too. Yet, some forms of jealousy feel more valid than others: Catching your partner checking someone out or talking to an ex (and keeping it a secret) can feel like “real” reasons to be jealous.
But what if your partner has a celebrity crush? You know they’ll never meet this person and even if they did, there’s about a 0.0001% chance that anything would happen between them. But still, you feel that tiny twinge of jealousy when your partner’s celeb crush graces your television screen or comes up in conversation. That might not feel like a “real” reason to be jealous. But feeling jealous about a celebrity crush is 100% valid, because your emotions are real, says Holly Richmond, PhD, a somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist (CST).
Although there’s nothing wrong with feeling jealous about your partner’s celeb crush, you might want to examine why you’re feeling that way, and remember that there’s a difference between fantasy and reality. “Celebrity crushes are about living in a fantasy world for most people,” Dr. Richmond says. The easiest way to get over your jealousy is to recognize that this crush lives in your partner’s head. “They might love looking at this other person and love fantasizing about them, but you’re the one they want to be with,” she says.
From Dr. Richmond’s perspective, it’s a good thing. Your partner crushing on a celeb who’s your complete opposite in the looks department can make it easier to recognize that this is fantasy. “So [their crush is] something that lives in their fantasy world, and they may not even want that in real life,” she says. But, some people might take a polar-opposite celeb crush as a sign that their partner is lusting after a different type of person. If that’s your worry, Dr. Richmond suggests talking to your partner about what makes that celebrity attractive to them and being honest about how you’re feeling. You can even say that you’re concerned because the celebrity looks nothing like you, and that makes you feel insecure.
That honesty could spark a conversation about how your partner likes looking at the celebrity, sure, but they love looking at and being with you, too. People typically don’t have one consistent type, Dr. Richmond says. Recognizing that can help you get over your jealousy, too. Because even if your partner’s celebrity crush looks nothing like you, that doesn’t mean that they don’t find you attractive, too.
But if you’ve tried and you really can’t get over your jealousy, that’s okay. Again, your emotions are your emotions and you’re allowed to feel them. In fact, your partner could even see jealousy as a compliment, Dr. Richmond says. Your feelings about their celeb crush can make your partner realize that you really care about and desire them. She’d much rather see a couple end up in her office because they care deeply about each other than because they don’t care at all. “Trust me,” Dr. Richmond says. “Apathy is way worse.”