I have a lot of love to give because I am a human being with human emotions. But for those same reasons, I also have other emotions. Trying to reconcile being polyamorous and feelings of jealousy.
In the Western world, it is impressed upon us that monogamy is sacred. We are told that we are going to meet that special someone, we’re going to date, we will fall in love, we will get married, we will have children, yadda yadda yadda, and then we will live out the rest of our days with that one single person, our soul mate.
While it is true that society is starting to shift their conventional ways of thinking, the idea of monogamy as the ideal situation is still held as the standard. It is generally considered immoral or wrong if one cheats on on their partner. Well, I actually don’t disagree with that sentiment. It is wrong to betray somebody who has trusted you with their heart. An infidelity can, and most likely will be, devastating and heartbreaking to your partner. No, cheating on your partner is absolutely not okay.
But there are usually reasons, whether perceived or legitimate, that a person may stray in their relationship. This post isn’t about why people have extra-relational affairs though. This post isn’t even going to take a look at monogamy and I am definitely not going to try to decipher whether human beings were designed to be with just one partner. Instead, I want to delve into and discuss the world of polyamory and jealousy.
For most of my adult life, I was a serial monogamist. Well, that’s a half-truth. I did have the propensity to cheat on my partners, perhaps a precursor to my propensity to be poly. It wasn’t until my last relationship (he also happened to be fiancé #3), that ended almost 5 years ago that I started to look at things with a different lens. Again, that’s a half-truth. Near the end of our relationship, I started working at LGBTQ+ establishment and with that opportunity, I was introduced to a whole new world. Up until that point, I had always identified as a straight cis woman. Of course, I experimented with girls throughout the years, but if you would’ve asked me I would have said I identified as heterosexual. From the moment I started working at this bar, the people around me would tell me that I was gay. I would laugh it off and take no offence. But the more people said they thought I was a lesbian, the more it got me thinking.
And then it happened: I fell head over heels for a woman. I was sexually, emotionally, and personally attracted to her. One night, I had a slight indiscretion with her. Nothing major, just a little make-out session, but an indiscretion none the less. Unfortunately, the community is a small one and because of that, the word of my make-out session got around quite quickly and my fiancé found out.
Of course he was devastated. He had put me on such a high pedestal for so long and adored me so much and I had, in one fleeting instant, turned his world upside down. Of course, I was legitimately remorseful and apologetic. I really was sincerely and genuinely sorry for the hurt I caused him. But I couldn’t deny the feelings I had for this woman either.
He didn’t even so much as look at me for days. I deserved that. But while he was taking his time out to think, so was I. When we did come together to talk it out, I don’t think he was expecting what I was about to say: “Why can’t we be in a relationship and see other people?” I confessed to him that I had real feelings for this woman. Once he realized this wasn’t just a sex thing but it was an emotional thing as well, it devastated him further. Again he didn’t talk to me for days. And again, I feel like I deserved it. But the fact remained that I wanted to stay in my relationship with him and explore with this woman.
After those few days of non-communication, he came to me and said he was willing to give it a go. I then misguidingly quoted the lyrics from Nicki Minaj’s song “But fuck who you want and fuck who you like ...” from Starships. I was given a nasty look, that again I most definitely deserved. Yes, my joke was in very bad taste. But I was happy that he was mature enough to think about what I had said and I was very pleased that he decided that we could give it a try.
Kate story short, the woman that I wanted to be involved with decided she didn’t want to be involved with a “bi-curious” girl and my fiancé had the time of his life going from one sexual partner to the next.
Did I like it when the shoe was on the other foot? In all honesty, the whole having sexual interactions with other partners didn’t bother me in the least. He even experimented with his own sexuality by experimenting with other men. But when he started seeing a girl on a more emotional level, I most definitely felt a pinch. I am human, and not a sociopath. I have feelings and emotions. Did I get jealous? I absolutely did. When he would spend time with her, doing things that couples do and especially when he would spend time with her when I was free myself. Does that make me a hypocrite? Oh, most definitely. But I dealt with it in a mature manner. After all, I was the one who wanted this.
Just because you choose to be or are inclined to be poly doesn’t mean you are not going to have feelings of jealousy, especially if you are involved with someone on more than just a sexual level. If you don’t feel a tinge of jealousy, you might want to check your feelings for that person. It’s all in how you manage and cope with those feelings. It’s okay to have those feelings. Let yourself feel them. And then let them go. If you’re an adult, then you can manage your feelings in an adult way. You will figure out the best way for you to deal with it, whether that is it to come to terms with it or to just not think about it. But if you find yourself not coping well at all or you are acting in a passive-aggressive manner, you might want to rethink your stance on being polyamorous. If it’s a matter of wanting your cake and eating it too (of course, what’s the point of cake if you can’t eat it?) but your partner can only look at the cake, stop being a selfish asshole.
As for me and my fiancé, we broke up shortly thereafter. Not because of the poly thing but because of a plethora of aggravating factors. When we broke up, I decided I wanted to stay single for a whole entire year, no more jumping straight into another relationship. Well, that year has turned into almost 5. I’ve casually dated people but nothing serious or committed, so the matter of being poly has never been an issue. But, I have recently met someone who is exponentially more polyamorous than averand our relationship is going extremely well. It has brought my attention back to rethinking my stance on if I will be able to be in a serious relationship with someone and be okay with them having relationships with others. I guess time will tell.