When I first heard of polyamory, it sounded absolutely incredible, but it also seemed like the relationship archetype that would only exist peacefully inside of a science fiction novel. It was hard to image a relationship with multiple people being enjoyable over a long period of time.
I wouldn’t consider myself the jealous type, but I had seen the results of partner envy and the impact it can have on a relationship. When I started my journey into polyamory I rushed into relationships happy with my newfound freedom and was ready to tattoo the word compersion on my ass.
Soon, I became involved with a married couple. Over time we got more and more serious. One night the wife and I decided to go clubbing with some friends. She informed me that she would also be making it a date with a woman she had been talking to for the past few weeks. I was excited to finally meet the girl I had heard so much about. When she arrived, I was elated! I couldn’t wait to talk to her and get to know her, but as the night went on it became clear that that wasn’t going to happen.
I noticed that they had started to distance themselves from the group completely; which left me feeling a bit insecure. I later walked in on them in the restroom. This had me feeling… weird. I totally understood why they wanted to be alone. It was a first date after all. But I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way. I had hung out with her and a few of her previous partners, what made this any different?
After I had time to really think about it, I realized I felt left out which made me jealous of her new lover. I had unrealistic expectations of a date that wasn’t mine. We later talked about what happened and concluded that first dates would be separate. Once there was a stable relationship established then we would give each other the opportunity to meet new partners.
I will always be happy that I had the opportunity to be in a relationship with such a fantastic couple. With them I learned how to actually communicate effectively within a relationship. Before I would have brushed any negative feelings I had off and let those feeling devolve into passive-aggressive behaviors. Polyamory has helped me reach a level of maturity in dating that I don’t think I would have reached if I had stayed monogamous.
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