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How Being Polyamorous Made Me Less Jealous

How being Polyamorous Alleviated my Jealousy

How being Polyamorous Alleviated my Jealousy

I used to feel like Nick Jonas’ hit "Jealous" was my anthem. It spoke to me on a personal level. I used to get jealous. Very jealous. I never got mad or yelled at my partners; I was never rash, but I would feel that all-consuming, toxic emotion that made me feel insecure and immature. I’d think to myself, I’m a grown-ass man who is generally pretty confident in himself. Why do I get so jealous? What am I so afraid of?

I recently stumbled into the polyamorous community, and trust me, I know it’s not for everyone. My goal isn’t to push any poly agenda, but I can say confidently, at this point in my life, I am better equipped to handle the problems that come from polyamory than from monogamy. That may change, but it’s where I am right now. And for the first time in a long time, I’m not jealous in my relationships.

The irony is painfully obvious. Somehow, in dating people who are polyamorous (and also dating/married) to others, I have grown more secure in myself. My jealousy has decreased exponentially. Yes, of course, sometimes it’s there, but in a much healthier and logical fashion. Something I can work out either on my own or by communicating with my partner.

For me, jealousy was never caused by the physical act itself, or even the emotional component that accompanies a physical act. It was the idea of trust being broken. It was the fear that my partner would do something with someone else, and even if they told me immediately after their indiscretion, I wouldn’t be able to look them in the eyes again. I would never be able to trust them fully or love them again fully. It’s the act of betrayal. It’s the fact that you promised me something, and you broke that promise. That’s where my jealousy came from. I didn’t realize this. At the time, I would think about my partner with another person and would get annoyed. I would see my partner flirt with someone and think, Why is s/he laughing harder at his jokes instead of mine? Is there something that I can’t give him/her? But that wasn’t the root. The root was (lack of) trust.

When I started dating men/women with multiple partners, I was ready to confront my jealousy head on. I figured that would be the biggest component that stood in the way of me being happily polyamorous. But my jealousy never came, and I realize now why.

Simply put, I trust my partners because we communicate everything. I trust them because I know every detail of their lives. Similarly, they know everything about me. So that work crush, that I previously “forgot to mention” to my exes, I can tell my current partners about. And they tell me the same. Instead of having work crushes, and then assuming my partner, like myself, is leaving out details of the other crushes in their lives, we're on the same page.

I also am not afraid of betrayal, because we’ve decided to have a type of relationship which allows for additional connections. I no longer fear infidelity...At least not in the classic sense of the meaning.

Additionally, I know that if my partner wants to hang out with me, it’s because s/he wants to. When someone has other people in their life, and still makes the effort to see you, you feel even more special. You feel even more desired than when you were dating one person. And it feels really nice to be desired by someone you care for.

Now I’m still a poly newbie, and I know that if I’m poly long-term, new issues will arise. I’m sure I’ll get jealous in the future because hey, I’m not perfect, and life happens. But what I can say, is that trust is not innate to polyamory. Neither is openness. Regardless of the relationship you have, trust is a critical component necessary to make things work. Being brutally honest about your feelings may seem unnecessary, but the little things we hide start to arouse suspicion – little seeds of mistrust, which can grow into a forest.

So be open. You will get crushes on other people. You will find other people attractive. You are a normal and healthy human being. Tell your partner, so they're aware of what you're feeling. A perceptive partner will figure out that something is going on, and if you wait to tell them, they'll assume something far worse is happening than a little crush. 

A lack of trust leads to jealousy. A fear of hurting someone else leads to jealousy. Assume your partner can handle the truth. Be honest and watch your jealousy slowly disappear.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Zachary Zane is a writer, YouTube influencer, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, dating, relationships, and identity politics. Check out his YouTube channel here.