For the first time ever someone at work introduced me as polyamorous to a new colleague, it’s a small office and this polyamory business is entertaining for them – I’m starting to feel like a circus performer but anyway, I take it in my stride.
I’m in a management position in a financial services company. Perhaps this may not mean anything to you but in this industry looks are everything. People judge you not only by how well you perform but how you look and by your behavior. The office is a big boy’s playground and very few women make it to management positions. Perhaps I’ve only made it this far because I’m confident enough to brush aside comments such as these as a poor attempt to make me look like anything less than an equal.
The new person is engaged in a monogamous relationship, he was visibly surprised and then said, I knew a poly amorous girl once, she was always single. My other colleague then intervened to say… She has 2 boyfriends!
Not sure if I should leave them to it at this point as obviously they seem to be doing this conversation well without me and so I turn facing my pc and get on with my emails but then the guy says… I need to know what I’ve got and that no one else has it. I’m too jealous to share. Without engaging into further discussion I simple closed it off by saying it’s ok polyamory is not for everyone.
I was haunted by the phrase thinking about the meaning of that sentence and how emotionally charged it was… the need to know what you’ve got, yes I agree, honesty is a big part of all relationships whatever form they take but the second part was quite perplexing for me. I need to know that no one else has it… being in a monogamous relationship the only real exclusivity you have is sexual exclusivity (no sex, no intimacy, no dating or romantic involvement with others) but what about the other aspects of a relationship? Each and every relationship is so different that surely you already have something unique that no one else has, without the need to be exclusive in any way. But then I guess the first sentence would be redundant without the second highlighting jealousy as the real concern and the often misused word “sharing”.
Every person is her or her own being, they cannot be owned, they have their own independent thoughts and relationships (friendships, acquaintances, family members, other loved ones etc.) so whether you realise it or not you are in many ways already “sharing” their time and attention with others.
If there is this understanding that you are important to the person because they choose to open up to you and have you in their lives then wouldn’t this make you feel that you are not in fact sharing but privileged and that you are doing the same for them therefore you are both on equal terms. Perhaps then you won’t choose the word sharing.
If the person you love is loved by others surely it doesn’t come as a surprise because you can see what they see in them too. It brings to light a whole new way of appreciating the person you love and the other people who love them.
Jealousy is such a complex topic and seems to be so common that it would deserve a post of it’s own.