I Exist – Meditations on Polyamory, Relationships, and Jealousy

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polyamory and jealousyI recently saw a page on Facebook titled, “There should be a relationship status that says ‘I don't even know what's going on'.” And that pretty much sums things up for the past several weeks.

Being polyamorous means being in more than one relationship. I'm married to Ark, and I have a girlfriend, Kitten. For a little while, Ark had a girlfriend, too, and their recent break-up has made him realize that while this can be a great and fun experience, it is also opening him up for more heartbreak. I last wrote about jealousy, about Ark's jealousy towards Kitten, and my jealousy conversely.

Shortly after Ark overcame his jealousy, a friend of mine confessed interest in him. It came as a surprise to all three of us, but he asked me first to see if it was alright for him to See Her, since she was actually someone I knew and loved. I was more than fine with it. After all, if she's in a relationship with him, I will get to see more of her, too!

And that was basically that. Jealousy? There was none. As he texted her throughout the day (the main mode of conversation between them) he was so ridiculously cute. I say all the time that he is my dog and he was definitely all tail-wagging and panting and wiggling with happiness. Not that I don't get this from him on a regular basis, but when I see it from the outside, it makes me happy in a different way. I'm just really happy that he is happy. I don't know how else to explain it.

I was fully prepared to feel earth-shattering jealousy. It may be that I knew her well, and felt secure in my relationship with Ark, so I didn't see a need to feel “threatened.” Well, I don't know what else to say about it, really.

I am both happy and envious that Ark's first polyamorous experience was unmarred by my jealousy. Happy, because obviously since I wasn't jealous and nosy he was able to really enjoy the euphoria of a new relationship and new love. Envious because I didn't have that, I only had the illusion of it for a day before it was shattered by his fear and insecurity. I had hoped that, when I showed the same signs (which I was so certain I would show), he would be as reassuring, patient and understanding as I was with him. So I kind of feel like I've spent all this time preparing for a bomb to go off when in the end, it was a dud. Whew!

Since the break-up, I have been reassuring Ark and reminding him that I love him. This is a bonus I had not thought about previously. When someone is monogamous, and they go through a break-up, they don't have anyone to really open up to and give them the kind of love they're seeking. Being poly doesn't eliminate the pain of the end of a relationship, but it makes it easier, I think, to move on. Easier to hold onto hope.

The three of us–Ark, Kitten and I–had Thanksgiving together. I cooked dinner, and they both helped here and there, then we settled in around the table and ate like a family. I couldn't help but imagine how complete our table would look with Ark's girl seated in the only empty chair. I am a hopeless romantic and I have grand designs, where the four of us would be living together and functioning as a big, happy family. I was sad when she called it off, but we are remaining friends, and there is always hope for me, too. I hope she changes her mind.

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mad culinary scientist. curious voyeur. aimless wanderer. geek, nerd, procrastinator. panromantic polyamorous pagan. bdsm switch. refuses to adhere to any of your silly preconceptions.

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    Better to prepare for a bomb that turns out to be a dud, than to be unprepared when a bomb really does go off!

    Something that Dawn (my significant other) has difficulty with is the concept of being hurt by a breakup in a poly relationship. If I have other people to "fall back on", doesn't that make losing someone less painful? I disagree with her, and not just because I understand that having multiple relationships doesn't mean I'm spreading my commitment or love thinly between them all.

    You put it very eloquently when you say that being poly doesn't make losing a relationship hurt less, but rather allows the person to move on with his or her life easier. Being heartbroken is painful, no matter how many people you love! Having other loved ones in your life to help assuage some of that pain is very helpful, and certainly one of the many benefits of being polyamorous. Thank you for bringing up this point!

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