Compersion is a state of empathetic happiness and joy experienced when an individual’s current or former romantic partner experiences happiness and joy through an outside source, including, but not limited to, another romantic interest. In romantic relationships, jealousy refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and/or anxiety over an anticipated loss of a partner or of that partner’s attention.
Compersion is the opposite of jealousy. With compersion, a polyamorous person finds happiness and joy when their poly partners have happiness with others. Can jealousy still exit? Yes, but not for the same reason. If one is secure in their relationship, then the fear of loss shouldn’t. You can know that no matter how many people your partner loves, you will not have to fear loss. How do we reach compersion?
One thing we must learn to do is to change the way we think. As stated in Polyamory and Emotional Dissonance, we may have a certain perception about relationships. This will affect the way we think and feel. If we can change what we believe, we can change what we think. This in turn will change what we feel. Living with thoughts that polyamory is bad or that believing in the insecurities we may bring with us will affect how we feel about our partners and their metamours or paramours. We need to be able to honestly evaluate why we feel the way we do. Why do we feel jealousy instead of compersion? Then and determine whether we are justified in those feelings. If those are justified feelings, then we need to take steps to rectify the situation that caused them. Emotions that are not justified but stem from simple fear or our own internal insecurities need to be dealt with honestly by the individual. This is neither easy or quick. It can take time to reach a point where we move past those unhealthy feelings and into a more positive mindset.
A recent article in Scientific America discussed how human bonding causes the release of the hormone, oxytocin, into the blood stream. Oxytocin is part of intimate, loving relationships where physical touch is involved. Both men and women release oxytocin, though women in larger amounts. Some people want to dismiss this. Yet numerous studies have shown that bonding between individuals can be facilitated by oxytocin.
In any relationships, bonding amongst all the partners will help diminish jealousy. It could even help make it disappear. Many people believe that jealousy is a must in polyamory. Though jealousy can arise for different reasons, it doesn’t have to be the norm in a polyamory relationship.
Studies from the University of California reveal interesting information. When a female has sex, she releases twice the amount of oxytocin into her blood then a man. This is why females may bond quicker in intimate relationship then males do. Oxytocin floods the woman’s blood stream causing her to quickly bond with other she shares intimacy with.
According to the same study and others, the more intimate a woman or a female grows with another individual the more oxytocin released. Frequent oxytocin release between the same people strengthens the relationship. Touch is vital. Females usually hug and kiss more than the average man. Some females hold hands with one another even as just friends. It’s interesting to note that oxcytocin creates a positive feedback loop. Psychology professor Ruth Feldman at Bar-Ilan University in Israel states,”Oxytocin can elicit loving behaviors, but giving and receiving these behaviors also promotes the release of oxytocin and leads to more of these behaviors.” (Scientific American)
These studies are important to polyamorous relationships. Bonding among the partners can help diminish jealousy . If female metamours in a relationship become intimate with each other, they will release oxytocin which will help them to bond to one another. This can include cuddling, hugging, kissing, caressing, holding hands, and touching one another. More intimacy means more bonding. If the partners stay intimate with one another every day, the bond grows. It could reach a point where jealousy could completely disappear. A person who is in love with or bonded to another can start having a poly mindset. What does this poly mindset mean? They are looking out for their partners and their partners are looking out for them. You can take joy in the fact that your partners love each other. It won’t take away from you. This is compersion.
Oxytocin allows a person to love more than one. A person can remain bonded to multiple partners. They just needs to maintain affection and intimacy with them. They can take joy without fearing loss. Compersion can be a part of their life.
Partners should allow themselves to fully love each other. Create intimate bonds through physical touch daily. Examples of physical touch: kissing, caressing, hugging, holding, cuddling, massage even sexual intimacy. This intimacy releases the oxytocin through the body. The oxytocin helps create a strong love bond with your partners. There is one exception. Where abuse or force is present, little or no oxytocin will be released. Oxytocin is not a magic potion. It will not make everyone fall in love and live without jealousy. What it can do is help willing partners bond and connect more. “If people are not connected at all, then oxytocin is not going to force that connection,” Adam Guastella, a clinical psychologist at University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute, says.
Love your partners. Let your partners love each other and you. Take joy in their love. Diminish your fears or insecurities and you can begin to rid yourself of fear and jealousy. Allow yourself to feel compersion and you can find more happiness.