Dr. Darcy Sterling Explains How Men And Women Show Jealousy Differently - Exclusive

Dr. Darcy Sterling may not have started her career focusing on love and relationships, but it is the realm in which she's since specialized. Sterling's a licensed therapist who runs a private practice with her wife, Stephanie, in New York City, and her expertise was first shown to the world on E! Network's "Famously Single." The series saw Sterling helping reality television stars with their love lives and relationships, even if they didn't initially want it.

To help reach more people than just her clients in NYC, Sterling began creating online courses that couples and individuals could take from anywhere in the world, the latest of which focuses on jealousy in relationships. Interestingly, Sterling told The List that jealousy actually manifests differently in women than it does in men. Still, no matter who is experiencing it, jealousy is a leading cause of breakups and divorces.

"It's the third most common reason that people seek out couples counseling," Sterling explained. "And so, what we did was we started doing some research to see what else is out there because we didn't want to duplicate other people's courses. There's nothing out there for jealousy."

Sterling knew from both her studies and personal experiences that jealousy can often be tied to gender. 

Women are 'less likely' than men to act harshly because of jealousy

Dr. Darcy Sterling wanted her Jealousy Boot Camp course to help anyone who needed it, which meant ensuring that it covered women's and men's needs equally. She told The List that about a quarter of her clients are men while the rest are women, and their experiences helped her form her course.

"I knew that the way jealousy manifests in women is different from the way it manifests in men," Sterling explained. While she has seen exceptions to the rule, Sterling said women "are less likely to blow up, are less likely to physically go to locations, stalking somebody, and are less likely to overtly try to control their partner the way men are more likely to."

Neither of these situations is good. Women are more likely to hold things in, which causes them a lot of internal turmoil that others never see or know is happening. Meanwhile, men are more likely to outwardly harm the relationship or one or both of the individuals involved. Interestingly, Sterling told us she's more "hardwired" like a man, though she's never gone to extreme lengths.

"I've never felt severe levels of jealousy, the way some people do. So, I was at a disadvantage because A, I haven't struggled with this issue, and B, if I had, it would've manifested more closely to the way it does in a man than it does in women," Sterling explained.

Dr. Darcy says women hold things in because they're 'better disciplined'

According to Dr. Darcy Sterling, there's a reason for the differences in the ways men and women handle jealousy in relationships. She told The List that women tend to hold in their jealous feelings "because nobody likes that insecure girl." As Dr. Sterling explained, that results in "shame on top of jealousy."

"Women tend to be better disciplined because the way we socialize boys and girls is very different in the Western world," she explained. "If you are a well-behaved woman, which I never was, you are more able, better able to control those urges and just die on the inside."

Harboring these feelings isn't good for the soul or the body, but women's ability to hold them in comes from societal pressure. However, not talking about it can lead to worse situations later. "So, now you're completely isolated and alone in this terrible state." Sterling said. "And the way you tend to manage it is to go right to your own research. And what better way to research than by grabbing our phones, which [are] with us 24/7, and social media stalking? Which even non-jealous people have done, right?"

Because of social media's role in creating and worsening jealousy in relationships, Sterling created a separate course module specifically about social media jealousy.

Dr. Darcy's Jealousy Boot Camp Course is available now in its full length or a shorter course for beginners at jealousychallenge.com.