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In other words, when my partner is out on a date and I am at home with the cat, rather than stomping around in a jealous rage or torturing myself with what-if-he-leaves-me-for-her thoughts, I would aim to acknowledge my jealous pang as a normal feeling, but remind myself that my partner loves me, that they aren’t leaving, and to be happy that they’re enjoying themselves tonight and to enjoy my alone time with the cat. In comparison with monogamy, in fact, it forces a kind of work on trust that monogamous relationships bypass via the terms of monogamy.
It may feel like a more natural state of being, but nevertheless, as with all interpersonal relationships, hard work is not only expected but required. Example: I dated a man who was monogamous by nature, and was so with me, but was comfortable with my having a girlfriend in addition to our relationship, even though my relationship with her did not involve him [read: no threesomes.] On the other hand, perhaps the parties involved will form a compromise that looks more like one partner converting over to the other’s way of being.
That, or you’re in serious denial about your emotions. People who practice non-monogamy are more than aware of the existence of jealousy, and more than capable of experiencing it themselves.
Rather than the absence of jealousy, non-monogamy relies on an acceptance of jealousy, with the ultimate goal of acknowledging it, unlearning it, and replacing it with compersion - a feeling of happiness in one’s self derived from the happiness of another. Jealousy, while it can be worked with and talked through, is a natural emotion that even those of us who choose to take a non-traditional path still experience. Especially when you’ve grown up in a society that equates love to possession, the work of dealing with jealousy is not easy.
No matter what your style of non-monogamy (open relationship, swinging, polyamory or just open minded friends...
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