| || || | So your girlfriend called you on it when you blatantly flirted with the cute blonde at the cash register. No biggie, right? A little jealousy is healthy, even cute. It shows she cares enough about you to feel a little threatened by an attractive woman.
Now, if she instead proceeded to open the egg carton, fire each one at you, scream accusations and tug at said blonde cashier's hair for good measure, she might be a touch psychotic.
Driven to lunacy by her insecurity, the psychotically jealous woman will go to any length to force unreasonable faithfulness on you, so afraid is she of losing you. Never listening to reason, not even constant assurances that you only care about her, she overreacts to any suggestion of adulterous behavior you may show, real or imagined.
No man should put up with this kind of grief. If your woman exhibits the following traits, it's time for a change.
No.1 - She keeps tabs on you
If your relationship is eerily evocative of a private detective novel, you might be in the hands of a jealous nut. Telltale behaviors include the following: she calls you many times a day to see where you are, who you're with and what you're doing, possibly on the cell phone she bought you for that very purpose.
She checks your cell phone bill and call history for any suspicious numbers. She also periodically scans your internet search history and cached files for potential porn.
She checks traffic reports to see if you were actually stuck in traffic when you come home late. She rummages through your stuff when you're not around, doing a lousy job of covering her tracks. This may also include your dirty laundry, which she combs for women's perfume and/or lipstick, and telephone numbers.
Finally, she confronts you about the things she finds, or if there's nothing incriminating, she'll just keep looking.
No.2 - She accuses you of cheating on her every week
You're guilty until proven innocent in her eyes. Even if you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you're totally faithful, and she apologizes for her suspicions, it will start all over again next week.
No.3 - She doesn't want you to have single friends
A jealous woman is a control freak. For her, everyone you know is a potential threat to her sphere of influence -- they can entice you away from her snares and corrupt your weak, innocent mind. And your single friends only exist to corrupt you.
She might even just play if safe and not want you to have any friends at all.
No.4 - She makes a scene in public
No place, time or company is inappropriate for professing her jealousy. Be it in front of your family, friends or in public, the accusations will fly, loud and clear.
And since she has no leg of decorum to stand on, as a result or her complete lack of logic, she'll resort to violence, slapping you, kicking you under the table, or pinching you every time you do something she doesn't approve of.
No.5 - She suspects you're cheating with a colleague
Every time you work late, you're cheating on her with a colleague; she's pretty much convinced herself of that. So, she'll occasionally surprise you at work to make sure you're at your cubicle, or that your office door isn't closed. She may be jealous of your colleagues and can't stand the fact that attractive women work in the same building as you. If you have a new secretary or young pretty new recruit, expect an inquisition -- every single night.
No.6 - She shows up at the bar/club you're at with your friends
She may play it off as a coincidence, but she planned it all along. And now that she's there, you two might as well spend the evening together. Better yet, why don't you two just go home right now?
She'll have no problem being a third wheel when you go out with your buddies -- a really squeaky, flat third wheel with a tire boot clamped on. And if she finds out you went to a strip club, expect a scene and heavy reprimanding when you get home.
No.7 - She interrogates your friends
She undoubtedly has her network of spies, but she may not draw the line at subtlety and will start to ask your friends to "rat" on you. She has no problem breaching the sacred circle of male confidentiality to find out everything you're not telling her. Basically, she's convinced you're lying to her and is desperately trying to expose you.
No.8 - She gets upset over rational actions
Every minute you're with her is a minute you're not possibly cavorting with other women, even if the time you're not with her is spent on entirely innocent things, like visiting your mother or other relatives.
So, she'll take your actions and words, and warp them into something unrecognizable and unduly incriminating. You'll be in the hot seat for doing nothing in particular.
No.9 - She doesn't want you to go out with your buddies
Of course, she'll assume you're out womanizing with your pack of consummate lechers, or you're being bombarded with sexual opportunities that you're too weak or too unscrupulous to resist.
And when you do go out with the boys, you come home to war, dodging verbal bullets and landmines, as you're forced to recount every second of your night, who you talked to, and how you could have even imagined going out with the guys.
No.10 - She gets angry when you look at other women
Here's a little-known fact: Women get more jealous of the women they look at than the ones you do. So, even if your eyes don't follow some stunner passing by, she'll assume otherwise -- and bitch about it.
She'll likely assume, in fact, that you're attracted to every living thing with two breasts and try to limit your exposure to them. This does not exclude attractive women on TV and movies, even if they're out of reach or entirely fictional.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA