Graphic by Juliette Baxter
Just a monogamous gal into a polyamorous guy……
So I started seeing this guy recently. We had been friends for a while before one fateful night when things developed into something more. The next morning he told me he was polyamorous. A little taken aback, but potentially loved up, I replied that I was totally okay with that. Hey I wasn’t looking for anything ~serious~ at the time. Fast-forward and things seemed to be going pretty well. It was mainly a casual relationship, but he was open and honest about his other partners and this even allowed me to explore more deeply my own constructions of monogamy and polyamory. However, I seemed to have hit a bit of a road block and it was the green eyed monster of jealousy.
When’s he’s busy or not around I instantly think of the other people he is seeing. Thoughts of ‘Am I not good enough? He must like them better. Will this relationship progress anywhere?’ creep into my mind. I feel like I am irrationally jealous and always wondering where he is. I know it’s unhealthy. But when we are together on dates I feel special. What to do, what to do…
Hey gorgeous gal!
First of all, let me reassure you that what you are feeling is okay. Jealousy is something that we as humans feel and you will continue to feel it at different points throughout your life. It’s also a pretty uncomfortable feeling, which is why you want to fight it, push it away, or ‘fix’ it. But what is jealousy? Let’s try and think of it less as a monster and more as a word that describes a feeling.
Jealousy is when we see someone else having a perceived abundance of something and then see ourselves with a perceived lack of something.
My advice to you is to sit with your jealousy for a second. Accept that it’s there. Then (kindly!) ask yourself some questions. What am I feeling lacking in? Do I feel like others are receiving something that I’m not? What do I want to receive? Remember that this can be a perception and doesn’t necessarily have to define your reality. Sit with this emotion, accept it, try to be compassionate with yourself and aim to understand yourself.
This doesn’t require a quick fix or a sudden realisation – you are on a journey of self-acceptance and learning to be compassionate towards your insecurities.
Ultimately, I think jealousy is a feeling that comes from within, but this doesn’t mean that you need to process it alone. If you think it would help to have some reassurance that you are someone he cares about or that you are enough, ask him for it. If you feel like you need to talk about your feelings with him in order to understand them or feel accepted, ask him for it. If you need a hug – you guessed it, ask him for it.
Remind yourself that there is so much love in this world that what he gives to others doesn’t impact what he can give to you. Remind yourself that jealousy doesn’t need to define your reality and you are completely capable of acting in a way that serves you and the connection you want in your partner. You are capable and worthy of love.
I wish you all the best and I’m sending you lots of love and support! You got this!
Two side notes:
- I’m slightly concerned that he only talked about his relationship philosophy after you added a sexual component to your relationship. For some people this might be a red flag for either bad communication or patriarchal influence. Not necessarily, but it’s worth pondering.
- You mention the word “progress” with this relationship. I’d encourage you to think about what that means to you and be open to talking about whether your wants and needs align with his. If they don’t, you might be disappointed and you will probably find more fulfillment in a relationship dynamic that suits you better.