Let’s talk about jealousy

Non-monogamous folk get jealous just as often as monogamous folk do - and it's one of the biggest myths that we don't. We all experience feelings of jealousy - we’re jealous of our friends, our peers at work, other people’s successes - but when you experience jealousy, the feeling is usually fed by something else. An insecurity, a feeling that you’re not succeeding or a lack of confidence, for example. Jealousy in relationships is no different.


With non-monogamy, it may seem like the feelings of jealousy must be overwhelming. Knowing that your partner has other partners and relationships, be them emotional, romantic or sexual is a difficult concept to get your head around. Many non-monogamous folk talk about compersion, the idea of watching your partner experiencing happiness in other relationships and feeling happy yourself. However, not every non-monogamous person feels this way, and even those who experience compersion can experience jealousy too.


We are taught about jealousy as if it is this great, insurmountable emotion that we cannot process or think critically about. Unlike other emotions such as anger or sadness, where we are encouraged to look inside ourselves and figure out what has triggered the response, in jealousy we are taught to look outside of ourselves, at the person ‘making’ us feel jealous. We must try and decipher what they have done to make us feel like this!


But jealousy is a perfectly healthy, normal emotion to experience regardless of the relationship you’re in. Talking about it in an open and honest way can help to relieve feelings of jealousy, and find out where they’re coming from - whether you’re in a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship. If you’re jealous that your partner has a close friend, or another partner, practicing good communication is absolutely vital. Rather than letting jealousy fester, figure out what it is telling you.

This seems like way too much effort - is it even worth it?