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Posts Tagged ‘jealousy’

solo poly: compersion for my lovers nesting relationships.

March 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Compersion is a bit of polyamorous jargon that refers to how we can often feel a delicious happiness about the lovers of our lovers (“metamors”, for yet more non-monogamous vernacular). When I care about someone, that normal human empathy is ramped up, and my emotional state is even more linked to theirs. So if I can be happy that someone I love has done well in other aspects of their life, how much more so when its about something as delicious and rewarding as a sexual connection?

As a solo poly person, I sometimes feel bad that I can’t, or won’t, provide my sweethearts with a “partner” where that means someone they can build a life together with. A very new sweetie already comes with a very solid, beautiful relationship of this type. They live together, move cities to stay together when careers require that.

Do I feel threatened by this? Jealous of a connection I will never share with this new sweetie who I am experiencing all the delicious NRE*/honeymoon excitement with? No. I feel absolutely delighted that they have this nesting relationship. I feel a bit of relief, its true, that they won’t look to me for those wants/needs. But also I feel a real happiness that they have this connection. I feel genuine joy just thinking about how they both must feel to have this longlasting, loving foundation. Those empathy neuropathways are having a party, even though its not for anything I’d ever want for myself.

I don’t think that compersion is too alien even for monogamous people. Just think about how happy you feel when your lover has something good in their lives. That is how I feel when I think about my metamors.

I do get jealousy sometimes, but it is always, for me, connected to my mental health, insecurity and fears that I’m going to lose my sweetie. It always is a symptom of something else going on for me. Do I need to work on my self esteem? Is my life feeling too overwhelming? Are my needs/wants within my relationship being met? Does my sweetie help me feel valued, cared for, loved, desired? Do they even know what I need in order to feel those things? Am I slipping into a overbusy burnout pattern that means my emotional state is fried? Does my relationship feel unstable?

I try to look at jealousy as a miner’s canary – an indicator of how safe/nourishing the surrounding context is. And as a measure of how well I am doing at fixing underlying issues. As I work on whatever is actually meaning I feel jealous, I feel those horrible feelings fade away and the compersion that was always present, just eclipsed, gains ascendency and brightness.

With this new sweetie, I had fears that my new metamor, their longterm partner, would be unhappy about our new thing. They’re very new to opening up their relationship and I like and respect them both. We’ve all been friends for years. However my fears were assuaged when I saw the metamor in person and they were friendly and welcoming to me. Later my new sweetie checked in with me how I’d felt that the two of them had been affectionate in my presence and I could honestly say that it had made me both happy and relieved. The last thing I want is for my new relationship to destroy someone else’s. But seeing their connection reassured me that it was all good. And my increased closeness to them because of this new romantic/sexual aspect meant that what would have been lovely to observe anyway, I felt even more keenly. It was just pure yummy.

When I connect with someone, I become more aware of their vulnerabilities, and so seeing them held gives me comfort. I can’t give them this longterm committed home making. I travel through life mostly alone. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel happy when those who do want a nesting partner have one. I don’t want kids either, but I can appreciate and feel glad when those who do want this become parents.

The poly aspect compliments my soloness. It means I do not require any lover to also need the space and distance that I need. They are free to nest, to deeply entangle themselves in another partner’s life, to “settle down”, to become parents. And in return I gain the enjoyment of seeing my loved ones in beautiful partnerships. And nobody needs to squeeze anyone out in order to have their needs and wants met.

 

 

* New Relationship Energy – google is your friend this time I’m afraid.

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Poly – mini lows and highs

August 1, 2015 2 comments

This is again just a diary entry as much as anything else, so don’t be expecting some great thought out theoretical perspective!

I just really want to document for future me what happened last night. That I had my biggest poly fears brought up with an existing lover getting together with someone new, whilst I simultaneously had lovely connections and snuggles with poly friends.

There can be an assumption that being poly means I don’t feel jealous – I wish that were true! But just like I can be scared of travelling on my own, or feel challenged by writing a masters dissertation, or feel achey and exhausted and cold and tired on a long Scottish hike, being poly is not all blue sky and effortless but I still choose to embark on it.

Just now I am dealing with a relatively new sweetie (18 months) beginning his first new affair. I seemed to have seen it coming before he did, and felt those familiar, unwelcome pangs. I forced myself to ask him, and he seemed surprised but then over the next few days confirmed that yes, as I’d predicted, they were getting close in that way. And last night they kissed for the first time.

Jealousy for me is almost pure insecurity. Its fear of loss, of my lover connecting with someone else in a way that squeezes me out, or eclipses our relationship.

This latter is not entirely unfounded – a seven year relationship was ended as my lover and his new partner gradually found themselves moving towards a more exclusive, married with kids setup. Looking back on it, our relationship was not what either of us needed – he wanted that livetogether full entanglement whereas I’m very solo poly. However the breakup was super painful, and was further complicated by PTSD because we’d got together in a warzone and somehow a lot of the trauma from that was dug back up as the relationship that had grown from it was wrenched up from its roots. To deal with this, I’m kinda getting back on the bicycle. As much as it scares me, I simultaneously really want my lovers to get together with new people. I want the experiential learning of different outcomes, so that my brain can start to disconnect “lover getting new lover” from “and this inevitably leads to loss and pain and grief”.

Other contributing factors to my jealousy is common old insecurity and low self esteem. Why would anyone be with me at all? How could I possibly stand up to comparison with their new love? And then I start putting so much pressure onto having amazing good times with them, that actually messes with the spontaneity and being in the moment that we really need. And then I become aware of that and get more stressed and flustered and feel how terrible how pressure cooker relationship is and become convinced that they’re only having great times with their new person, and the spiral gets out of control.

I really need to address a lot of this at a much earlier level than the jealousy. One way I could deal with these horrible and painful feelings is to try to control the relationships that my sweeties have with others. I could turn to monogamy, although that seems almost more doomed – surely if the only way your partner can make new connections with someone else is by leaving you, or having an illicit affair, that is worse not better? I totally understand that folks are monogamous for all sorts of reasons and I have as much right to judge them as they have to judge me in my consensual adult relationships – different strokes for different folks and all that. I’m just saying why I dismiss that option for myself, as it isn’t even going to nullify the jealousy for me.

So instead I’m trying to deal with my insecurities head on. I’m trying to live my life as fully and “me”ly as possible. And that way not only am I entirely unique (as we all are) and therefore incomparable to someone else, but even if the “worst” happens and a lover leaves me, at least my life has so much else going for it. And I get to have an awesome, meaningful, fulfilling and fun life on the way. How many wins is that? :D

But anyway, this post was titled poly lows and *highs* for a reason. Because randomly I was visiting some friends who are poly last night, and as the new person kissing thing was unfolding (my lover was keeping me informed as that is our agreement) not only was I able to share my feelings with folks who wouldn’t just say “well what do you expect being poly, of course your relationship is doomed if he’s getting together with someone else” but I got maybe my favourite part of polyness – cuddles. :) I don’t know if its because with monogamy comes a need to have explicit boundaries – this person I am in an exclusive relationship with, so that means that we don’t cross certain physical/emotional boundaries with anyone else – whereas non monogamy those set rules are not there and so they’re all up for negotiation and communication, but I have a lot of relationships which are pretty blurry and hard to define. I just don’t know if they would be allowed to develop at all within a monogamous framework, but maybe folks who are monogamous can comment on that.

I really really enjoy physical affection. Its almost like a hunger, that I’m not necessarily aware of building up until the relief and release of a good cuddle. And so when i got a message this morning saying that my lover had kissed this new girl, I was being held at the time by someone I could, with full awareness of the patheticness, ask “he’s not gonna leave me for this new girl is he?”and he held me and said “no he won’t because you’re awesome” and we just lay there. And then another poly person joined us for more snuggles and I just felt the warmth and affection and openness and caring and everything felt much more ok.

There’s no way I’d give up the connections, not necessarily sexual, that I have because I’m poly, because of the pain and self growth that non monogamy challenges me with. I might as well give up climbing mountains because my legs ache the next day. What would my life be like without the wild high places and wind in my hair? My legs will grow more muscular from the ascent and likewise my heart will strengthen. And if it doesn’t, why I’ll do what I do any time I feel raw and overwhelmed – I’ll endeavour to do gentle nourishing activities, and spend time with dear people and take some time off to recover.

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