No products in the cart.
In my experience of open relationships, jealousy often stems from comparison. Do you find that you compare yourself with your partners’ exes, other lovers, or even their friends? Does it bring up a feeling of competitiveness, fears of not being enough, and maybe even of being abandoned?
If so, I have something that might help.
(And this applies to monogamous folks too – jealousy is definitely not an issue that only crops up in polyamorous relationships.)
The first thing to know is that comparing is a very human thing to do. It’s how we understand who we are and make sense of the world, by being able to identify the similarities and differences between ourselves and others. It’s not necessarily a bad thing… it actually comes in kinda useful a lot of the time.
It’s what we do with comparison that matters.
There are two ways it can go:
OPTION 1: You compare, and it triggers a competitive response. You see yourself as either inferior or superior, judge accordingly, and tell yourself all the reasons why you’re not good enough, why you don’t measure up. You assume that your partner must be drawing the same conclusions and, of course, will leave you. (Sound familiar? It might be that there’s a triggered response happening here too.)
OPTION 2: You compare, and in noticing the other person’s differences, you get curious. Instead of making assumptions, you ask questions. You feel motivated to learn more about what’s going on with your partner, and the other person they want to spend time with – from a place of curiosity rather than suspicion. This opens a doorway to compassion and connection.
I’d like to talk a bit more about this, from my personal experience:
I’ve been exploring open relationships for a few years, but it’s only been more recently that the kind of insecurity that I associate with jealousy has started to creep in. I notice it most clearly when I know very little about my partner’s other connections – it’s so easy for my mind to fill in the blanks with the ‘worst case’ scenario.
In my imagination, they are having a far more enjoyable time than I ever have with him! This mystery Other Woman is more attractive, more fun. And of course, she’d love to take my partner away from me.
(Eugh, it feels weird typing that out.)
It’s at this point that I can stop myself and notice that I’m making a whole load of assumptions and telling myself all knids of stories!
This is when I can start asking questions.
What’s their connection really like? Does she have other relationships too? What gifts does their relationship give him? What gifts does their relationship give me?
(It can be helpful to explicitly ask for reassurance here if you need it, too – I still often do.)
Now, there’s a balance to be found, because on the one hand I definitely don’t want to hear about every detail of what goes on between my partner and the other people he shares intimacy with. And he has a right to privacy too. But starting to talk openly about the love shared between my partner and the other people in his life helps me feel more connected – both to him, and to the other people he shares that love with.
And this is how being curious can shift me away from feeling competitive, and towards feeling compassionate.
If your default pattern is to compare and compete, know that this is likely something you’ve learned to protect yourself from the kind of connection that can feel really vulnerable. And that’s ok.
It takes a lot of security in yourself to be able to hold the comparison, the curiosity, and the compassion. If it was easy, we’d all be there from the start.
But noticing when you start to compete, and experimenting with asking more questions instead, is a great place to start.
Want more guides like this one (and occasional other freebies) delivered to your inbox every so often? Just pop your email address in the box. I won’t pass your details on to anyone else and you can unsubscribe any time.
I offer tools, resources, and coaching for the curious and ready: folks who are longing for deeper connection, trust, and flow in their relationships.
Instead of making anxiety a problem that needs to be fixed, we can learn to work with it rather than against it, transforming vulnerable places into deeper presence and connection. I’ve put together ten simple tools you can use in your relationships to do just that.Grab your Ten Embodied Tools for Reconnection PDF
|__cfduid||1 month||The cookie is used by cdn services like CloudFare to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis. It does not correspond to any user ID in the web application and does not store any personally identifiable information.|
|AWSALBCORS||7 days||This cookie is used for load balancing services provded by Amazon inorder to optimize the user experience. Amazon has updated the ALB and CLB so that customers can continue to use the CORS request with stickness.|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|laravel_session||2 days||laravel uses laravel_session to identify a session instance for a user, this can be changed|
|wordpress_test_cookie||session||This cookie is used to check if the cookies are enabled on the users' browser.|
|XSRF-TOKEN||2 days||The cookie is set by Wix website building platform on Wix website. The cookie is used for security purposes.|
|__cf_bm||30 minutes||This cookie is set by CloudFare. The cookie is used to support Cloudfare Bot Management.|
|_ga||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.|
|_gid||1 day||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the wbsite is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages viisted in an anonymous form.|
|tk_ai||5 years||Gathers information for WordPress by themselves, first party analytics tool about how WP services are used. A collection of internal metrics for user activity, used to improve user experience.|
|tk_lr||1 year||This cookie is set by JetPack plugin on sites using WooCommerce. This is a referral cookie used for analyzing referrer behavior for Jetpack|
|tk_or||5 years||This cookie is set by JetPack plugin on sites using WooCommerce. This is a referral cookie used for analyzing referrer behavior for Jetpack|
|tk_qs||30 minutes||Gathers information for WordPress by themselves, first party analytics tool about how WP services are used. A collection of internal metrics for user activity, used to improve user experience.|
|tk_r3d||3 days||The cookie is installed by JetPack. Used for the internal metrics fo user activities to improve user experience|
|_fbp||3 months||This cookie is set by Facebook to deliver advertisement when they are on Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising after visiting this website.|
|fr||3 months||The cookie is set by Facebook to show relevant advertisments to the users and measure and improve the advertisements. The cookie also tracks the behavior of the user across the web on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.|
|NID||6 months||This cookie is used to a profile based on user's interest and display personalized ads to the users.|
|_gat_UA-137186707-1||1 minute||No description|
|AWSALB||7 days||AWSALB is a cookie generated by the Application load balancer in the Amazon Web Services. It works slightly different from AWSELB.|
|S||1 hour||No description|