*A note on pronouns: If I’m unclear of anyone’s gender in the conversation, I’ll default to they/them pronouns.*
Dear Love Psychic: What is the most effective way to deal with jealousy in a polyamorous relationship?
Dear Questioning: Jealousy is a tricky thing. It’s an umbrella emotion covering one or several other emotions—so you need to get to the bottom of what the jealousy represents. Once you get to the root feeling(s), you can start to address each one and figure out what you need in order to feel secure in your relationship.
In my poly travels, I’ve noticed that jealousy pops up the most when dynamics change. When someone starts dating someone new or when a relationship between two existing people becomes more significant—that’s when partners tend to get anxious and uncomfortable. The uncomfortable feelings usually boil down to: how will this affect my relationship with my person, and how will my feelings be affected because of that possible change.
The key to figuring out what emotions the jealousy is covering up is to ask yourself what you are the most afraid of happening. Once you know your root fears or anxieties, you can meditate on what you need to feel more secure. Knowing where you’re being triggered will give you clarity in terms of what you need in order to feel ok.
I suggest making a list of actions that your partner can do that make you feel secure and go over the list together. This is a sweet exercise to do before dynamics change. I recently gave my husband such a list even though he wasn’t seeing anyone. When he met a new person, he knew to schedule a special date with me, which made me feel loved and cared for.
For your particular situation, your 4th chakra is where you’re being challenged the most by this question. It looks like you’re in a phase of deciding if polyamory is right for you or not. Do you see yourself as a polyamorous person? Do you want your partner to have other partners? Can your heart handle the natural ebb and flow of multiple relationships in your life—as well as your partner’s life?
I see that you like the idea intellectually but have seen or experienced poly relationships go totally f-ing south. Poly isn’t new, but it’s just starting to make its way onto the radar of the mainstream collective mindset—so people are still kind of making this up as they go. (Which means it’s easy for poly relationships to implode because of lack of social modeling of what success looks like).
Right now, you’re focused on figuring out how you want to structure your relationships in the future, which I applaud! It looks like you’re gathering information and deciding what’s best for you and what tools you’ll need in order to build the relationships you want.
With that said, I would be wary of being too rigid in terms of creating or abiding by too many poly rules. Non-traditional relationships are very nuanced and fluctuate frequently. One dynamic can be cool with one person but totally uncool with another. To be successful in poly is to know when you can be flexible and when you can’t. Spoiler alert: being flexible makes poly more possible. More people = more moving parts.
Remember, rules are good-ish. But if they’re creating too much rigidity, drama will be a natural byproduct—cuz people are messy, and relationships are messy. If uncertainty is too uncomfortable for all parties involved, nonmonogamy is probably not a good idea.
1. Ask yourself how flexible you’re willing to be, and don’t be afraid to own it.
2. Make a list of what you need to feel secure when things change in your relationship dynamic and share them with your partner.
3. If you get jealous—dig to the bottom of what the jealousy is trying to tell you.
Also, have fun. That’s important. 😉
Blog written by Three Brodsky,
Three has a unique perspective as a psychic and as someone who’s married with two kids, a member of the Queer community, and polyamorous. Finding new ways to create space for more love, community, and connection is her passion. Submit your love and relationship question to: firstname.lastname@example.org