The Jealousy Paradox

On this blog, I have randomly put up ideas about relationships and applying my economic knowledge to it. In economics, there are many paradoxes. These paradoxes describe something that happens but when using economic calculation they should be doing the opposite. One of those is the “voting paradox.” This states that people do not have an individual incentive to actually go in vote as there is a better chance of you dying on the way to the polls then actually changing the election. Regardless of this, people still vote. So what is the jealousy paradox?

The Jelousy Paradox happens to most people at one time in their life. The story usually goes that Joey loves Susie and Susie loves Joey. This causes them to get into a relationship. Next thing you know, Susie goes off to college in a different town than Joey. Susie makes a new friend named Bob and Bob flirts with Susie. Susie tells Joey because she thinks it is funny. Joey deep down goes nuts and begins to worry. He begins to think about Bob and Susie running off together.

The paradox here is that she wouldn’t tell Joey if she truly thought that she would leave Joey for Bob. In fact, she is being completely honest and trustworthy by telling Joey, but at the same time Joey is losing trust in her. So this begs the question why do we assume that our significant other will run off with someone else when they are telling us about it? The real worry is the person that you never hear about until the day arrives when they run away with them.

I know this is quite a different theme than normal for this blog but its something to think about.



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