“Do you ever get jealous?” This is usually the first question I’m asked when I come out as poly, and the last thing I care to elaborate on.
I might say something like, “Sure, but it doesn’t define my relationships” when really, I’d like to say, “That’s none of your business!” as I slink off and ruminate over all the times that jealousy has turned me into a miserable wreck.
YES, POLY PEOPLE GET JEALOUS. It’s a normal part of being human, but it’s also something that can be dealt with and overcome. Here are four common triggers and causes of jealousy in poly relationships and how to handle them.
4 Common Jealousy Triggers
1. New Relationship Energy (NRE)
New relationship energy is that all consuming excitement that accompanies fresh love. Some refer to it as the honeymoon period because it’s all sex and all fun 24/7. Sounds amazing, right?
Not if your partner is experiencing it with someone new, and you’re feeling left out. If your partner’s NRE is a jealousy trigger and making you miserable, speak up! Request an additional date night or a weekend away together.
Don’t be afraid to express your needs, and remember that one day, you could be the one making everyone jealous with your hot new love.
Ever notice that you feel most jealous when you don’t have enough going on in your life? I think that’s because many of us grew up marinated in monogamous culture and were conditioned to look to our partners for fulfilment.
In poly life, you’re not always going to be the focus of your partner’s attention. They won’t always be there to keep you entertained, so you’ll need to learn how to do that for yourself.
Dive into your favorite hobbies or discover new ones. Go on a solo date or take that trip you’ve always dreamed of. See how jealous you feel once you’ve taken responsibility for your own happiness.
3. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Fear of missing out is a social anxiety characterized by intense discomfort at the thought that others might be having fun without you. The terminology came about with the rise of social media, though as poly people can attest, the emotion behind it as a jealousy trigger has been around for much longer.
How do you feel when your partner is out on a super exciting date and you’re home alone? If you’re prone to FOMO, you probably feel anxious and perhaps a little jealous. Practice some anxiety management techniques and learn more about compersion, you might just feel better all round.
4. Hidden Resentments
Scratch beneath the surface of jealousy and you’ll likely find some carefully hidden resentment.
Maybe you’re feeling ignored, or still irritated at your partner about that big fight you had, and the apparent ease of with which they court your metamour makes you feel even more pissed off and envious of their relationship.
Speak your truth. Get to the bottom of why you’re feeling unhappy and insecure in your poly life. Be honest about the things that upset you and give your partner(s) a chance to atone.
Jealousy is common in the polyverse, but it doesn’t have to grow roots.
What triggers jealousy in your polycule and how do you cope? Leave your thoughts in a comment!