As someone who identifies as a poly person, that is someone who practices nonmonogomy, the questions I get asked about my relationship(s) most often are about jealousy. Do I get jealous? Does my boyfriend (primary partner) get jealous? Does my long distance boyfriend (serious but not primary partner) get jealous? Do the people I date get jealous? Am I jealous of the other people the people I date go on dates with? Am I jealous of one of my partner’s wife? Is she jealous of me?
The answer to the questions about me being jealous is in the beginning, yes, but not anymore. The answer to the questions about my partners being jealous is maybe at once yes but not anymore for my partners who have been poly for a bit now. Learning to deal with jealousy is one of the first things poly people must learn to have successful relationships, and the key to coping with it is realizing this one very important fact: jealousy is not a pure emotion. It is fear of losing the relationship, which sprouts from a single or a cocktail of emotions. Feeling insecure, feeling inadequate, fear of abandonment, sadness, coveting, depression, anxiety are examples of a few.
Hence, the key to dealing with jealousy in any relationship, whether it is monogamous or polyamorous, is tracking down what emotions are at the core of your jealousy and resolving those. Or at the very least, recognizing that it’s there and you have to work on it. For example, if you realize that at the core of your jealousy is insecurity about your appearance, work on making yourself feel better about it as an individual rather than relying on your partner’s commitment to you as evidence of your own attractiveness. In the end, you’ll be a healthier person on your own making your relationship healthier overall.