Jealousy and Polyamory


Jealousy and polyamory- some believe the two go hand in hand. Is this true? Does it have to be true. In a society that believes that there is only one person for everyone, then it is easy to see why some think this. When a person has a different mindset, a poly mindset, does jealousy still occur?

Jealousy and Polyamory

Jealousy and Polyamory

Jealousy is an intense emotion based upon negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity. Anxiety or fear about losing someone one can cause this insecurity.  Sometimes it’s based on fears of what others have done to us in the past.
Everyone feels jealous from time to time. Oddly enough, jealousy is a natural emotion.  If allowed to fester too long it can destroy relationships.

Though jealousy occurs in monogamous relationships, it’s known to occur even more in poly relationships because more than two people are always part of the equation. If you experience jealousy, here are some ideas on how to cope and handle your jealous feelings:

• Understand your feelings, your emotions. Jealousy consists of a combination of fear and anger. One may fear losing something or someone, or one may be angry that someone else is trying to take or move in on that which you feel belongs to you. It is important that you know the difference between envy and jealousy. Envy involves wanting or desiring something that you do not have; jealousy involves wanting to keep that which you already have.

• You have control over envy. So if envy is your issue, do not envy. Stop looking at whatEnvy does not belong to you! However, if it is jealousy, allow yourself to actually feel jealous in a healthy way.  We cannot discover how we feel unless we allow ourselves to feel- but in a  healthy manner. When you start to feel jealous, ask yourself, “Is this anger or fear based?” How can one tell?  That can be kind of hard.  We have to be honest with ourselves and really know ourselves.  How our body responds can help. You might even feel a combination of feelings.

• COMMUNICATE your feelings.  It’s important you communicate your feelings to yourself. Write in a journal or diary. Write a poem about them, or write yourself a letter. Writing helps you to logically think about your emotion. When one engages their emotion in logic, this can help alleviate the emotion.  Communicate your feelings with the person you fear losing  but don’t blame them for the feelings.  Feeling and sharing your true feelings with someone without accusing them can a bond between the two of you. It opens up dialogue, the lines of communication. A common practice is to use “I feel” statements rather than blaming statements:

“I feel” + the emotion you are feeling (threatened, hurt, angry, fear, sad, bothered, etc) + the reason for the emotion.
For example, “I feel threatened by the thought of another woman coming into our home because I fear you may like her better than me.”

• Figure out what your jealousy teaches you. Jealousy can indicate what you want and Self Evaluationwhat is important to you. If you are jealous that your husband/boyfriend can talk easily with his other lover, then you may also being want to have good communication. If your jealous that his other partner has more money or nicer things, you may have a need for financial security or more independence. Ask yourself: “Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What or who am I trying to keep? What do I fear losing? Why do I feel threatened?” When you begin to understand and identify what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive action.  This can help your relationships without negative emotion influencing your actions.

• Change any false beliefs that causes you to be jealous. Many times, we have false fears which cause us to be jealous. For instance, “Every female is out to get my boyfriend/husband.” or “If he/she leaves me, I won’t be able to survive.” False beliefs fuel our jealousy, but we can change our beliefs. Use positive affirmations that support and nurture your well being. When you begin to feed yourself with happy, supporting, and nurturing thoughts, your jealous feelings of fear or anger can disappear or at least lessen.


Jealousy and love are not the same thing. Many times, people confuse the two.  They think that if someone is jealous, then it means they really love them. Jealousy is the fear and anger of losing love. It is not the proof of love. Jealousy can disappear when you replace the fear and anger.   Truly loving yourself and others is the place to start.  Illogical and irrational jealousy usually stems from our own feelings.  Deal with insecurity and self-esteem issues.  Try talking about your feelings with someone who loves and supports you and your poly life. Talking helps, especially talking to your partners.

If jealous feelings are leading to power or control issues, then other issues can exist.  When we feel emotionally threatened in some way, we can try to control our environment.  We try to force people to do what we want.  The hope is that we can make our feelings go away by changing things around us.  Force is not the answer.  It can lead to anger and resentment.  You could end up feeling worse.

Know what you feel. Know why you feel it. Communicate with your partners. Jealousy and polyamory do not have to exist together.  You can be happy.Jealousy Free Polyamory

I’ve Been Monogamous My Whole Life…I Need A Poly Mindset Now


poly minset

Active Poly Minset

A poly mindset remains necessary for anyone who lives any form of poly relationship. Without a poly mindset, many issues will arise within our poly relationships due to a monogamous mindset or thinking. When a person in a poly relationship maintains a mono mindset, many emotional and other issues arise and may even cause the downfall or degeneration to all or some of the relationships.
When a person holds a mono mindset within a poly relationship, this person thinks and cares only about their own individual relationship with their partner. Many times, this mono mindset works to benefit one’s self at the expense of others within the relationship. Some would call this mono mindset selfish, but it is better to view it as a habit that we have cultured in a monogamous world. At times, a person with a mono mindset tries to guilt manipulate their partner to only focus on them rather than their other partners.

When we practice a poly mindset, we constantly remember that our partners have other partners, who they also love. We do not try to force our lovers to only and fully focus on us. Instead, we free them to love others. When practicing a poly mindset, we think and care about our paramour (partner) and all of their partners. We do NOT work to only benefit ourselves. We love our partners, so we care about all of their relationships. Wanting them to be happy, we do not work against them in their other relationships. Instead, we try to encourage and help them to have healthy loving relationships with each of their paramours, but not to the exclusion of ourselves.
Also, a poly mindset means that we work on our relationship with our partner’s partner, which is our metamour. This assumes we don’t have an intimate relationship with their partner. Regardless, we need to maintain healthy relationships, whether we are friends or lovers, with our partner’s partners. Our partner(s) needs to encourage and help us to maintain these relationships with them.

For example:
In a “V” type of relationship (with the male at the v and the two women at the arms) each woman needs to encourage their shared male to keep a healthy, loving relationship with the other female partner. Each female partner needs to maintain a healthy relationship with each other which the male at the pivot point of the “V” encourages and should even insists upon. Meanwhile, all three of them also need to continue growing a relationship of the three.

In a triad type of poly with a male and two bi-sexual females who also love one another, the male encourages each female to maintain a healthy, loving relationship with one another. Each female partner, in turn, urges the male to keep a healthy, loving relationship with the other female. Concurrently, the three of them continue building, maintaining and developing their triad.

Here is a breakdown of the relationships (Jack, Rachel and Sarah) that must be maintained in a poly relationship that practices a poly mindset:

• Jack and Sarah
• Rachel and Sarah
• Jack and Rachel
• Jack nurturing Rachel and Sarah’s relationship
• Rachel nurturing Jack and Sarah’s relationship
• Sarah nurturing Jack and Rachel’s relationship
• All three nurturing the group relationship as a whole.

Notice how no one tries to elevate their relationship above the others. Everyone is looking out for the other. This not only helps the individual relationships but helps to form stronger bonds and alleviate jealousy.

In any poly form, if any one relationship dyad struggles, falters or fails, it WILL affect the other dyads within that whole relationship dynamic. For instance, in the “V” above with the male at the pivot point of the “V”, if Jack has a bad or failing relationship with one of his female partners (Rachel), his relationship with the other female partner (Sarah) will be affected. Why? Jack may be hurting, angry or emotional. This can overflow into other parts of his life, such as his relationship with Sarah. She may hurt for him because of the pain he is going through because she loves him.

We must be aware of our partners, their relationships and what they are going through.  If you and your partners have a poly mindset, you will be having an “all for one and one for all attitude.”  Consider seeing how others experienced the poly mindset at the Poly Living Forum.

Polyamory Combinations


Polyamory combinations can vary.  They can be as simple as three people to as complex as a group marriage with secondary partners that exist outside the marriage.  Knowing what kind of polyamory you are open to can be very important.

You need to decide what you want and share this with your partners. It’s important to be honest. If you’re looking for a long term relationship and your partner(s) are looking for something casual, conflict will arise. Everyone should be on the same page. If everyone is in agreement, you are off to a good start.  It not, you should not continue.  In polyamory everyone is aware and in agreement.  If your partner(s) doesn’t know or agree to you having another partner, it isn’t polyamory- it’s cheating.

There are slight variations of these polyamory combinations but the core type relationships are listed below.  We use poly relationships of three and four to easily demonstrate these relationships.  In reality, polyamorous relationships can be varied and complex.  They can involve multiple partners, both married and unmarried.  It is by no means limited to married couples or boyfriends and girlfriends.  (Note: Primary relationships are indicated by double arrows.  Secondary relationships are indicated by single arrows. Red arrows indicate casual partners.  Don’t be afraid to check the Glossary for words you don’t know.)

“V”- One person is the focal point of the relationship. VTwo people have a romantic relationship with a third but don’t have an romantic relationship with each other. Can be either open or closed. Ex: Jane is dating Jack. Jack also dates Jill. Jane and Jill do not date each other. Jack is the focal point of the relationship.

TriadTriad- Three people are in a relationship with each other. Can be either open or closed. Ex: Jane is dating Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill are also dating. A triangle is formed by the three partners together.


Quad- Four partners are in a romantic relationship Quadtogether.  Partners can be married or dating.  Partners may or may not be bisexual so not all will be sexually involved with each other. Can be either open or close. Ex: John and Jane are married.  They date Bill and Betty who are also married. Betty and Jane are bisexual but Bill and John are not though they may participate in group sex.

Full QuadFull Quad- Four people are in a romantic relationship together. Everyone is dating or married to everyone within the group. Can be either open or closed. Ex: John and Jane are married.  They date Bill and Betty who are also married. All four are bisexual and may pair off or participate in group sex.

Group marriage- Any polyamory combination of men and/or women Groupin a life commitment to each other. Partners are all considered primaries.  Can be either open or closed. Note: though the example shows four people, a group marriage can involve as many as the people involved want. Ex: John, Jane, Bill and Betty are married.  All four are bisexual and may pair off or participate in group sex.


Polycule- Complex inter-connected polyamory relationships involving primaries and secondaries.  The relationships may or may not link through different people. Polycules can be group marriages linked to to secondary partners who may be involved in another polyamory relationship.  It can be as large and as varied as the partners involved.  Ex: Betty is in a committed relationship with Jane and John.  Jane and John are married.  Jane also has a boyfriend named Bill while John has a boyfriend named Jack.


SwingSwinging (Key Party, Swapping)- Romantic partners who switch partners with another couple or group for casual sex. Emotional connections are avoided with sex partners though they may be friends. Ex: Bill and Betty meet with Jane and John at a motel for a swing party. JBill has sex with Jane while Betty has sex with John. At one point they engage in multiple group sex activities. Then Jane and John go home.

Primary/Secondary? Open/Closed? Some Polyamory Terms?


When talking about relationships in polyamory, you will probably hear some words you know but are used in a context your not familiar with. Let’s look at four of these terms and their meanings.

Primary Partner- the partner(s) given priority in time and energy in a relationship. Includes sex and emotional support and may include long term commitments and plans. Most time and energy is spent on this relationship.

Secondary Partner- a partner that is secondary in terms of time and energy in a person’s life in comparison to the primary relationship. Can include emotional support and sex but may or may not include long term commitments or plans. Less time and energy is spent on relationship.

Open Marriage (Relationship)- Partners allow their (primary) partners to have boyfriends or girlfriends (secondary partners). They may or may not interact with their secondary partner. Partners may allow veto power to their primary partner. Ex: Eddie allows Jill to date. She dates Phil but her primary relationship is with Eddie.

Closed Marriage (Relationship)- Partners do not allow their (primary) partner(s) to have boyfriends or girlfriends (secondary partners). They only interact their primary partner(s). New partners may only be added with the approval of everyone or not at all. Ex: Eddie, Jill, John and Sarah are in a closed relationship. They do not date anyone outside their group. Eddie grows closers to a co-worker and approaches the group about possibly dating her. The group votes no.

Polycule- Complex inter-connected polyamory relationships involving primaries and secondaries. The relationships may or may not link through different people. Ex: Jill is dating Frank and Lisa. Lisa is married to Eddie. Frank is in a “V” with Jessie and Juliet.

The type of polyamory combinations can vary from relationship to relationship.  Check out Polyamory Combinations for different types of polyamory relationships.

Open and Closed- What Kind of Polyamory is for Me?


Polyamory is not limited to just three people. There are different types of polyamory. The question you must ask is, “What kind of poly do I want to do?”  Do I want an open or closed relationship? What is motivating me?

Some people confuse polygamy and polyamory. Polygamy is when a person, male or female, has more than one husband or wife. It’s broken into two parts- polyandry and polygyny. Polyandry is when a woman has two or more husbands or mates. Polygyny is when a man has two or more wives or mates. It is traditionally interpreted as being married to the multiple spouses. Is this still polyamory? Yes, because the people are involved in multiple open partner relationships then they are polyamorous. But a person doesn’t have to be married to be polyamorous.

There are different types of poly relationships. Some involve marriage while others don’t. Some are “open” while others are “closed”. An open relationship is where the poly people involved allow their partners to have outside romantic relationships. A closed relationship is where the people can be with multiple partners but only within their poly group.

Those that choose to have a closed relationship are considered polyfidelitous or practicing poly fidelity. Poly fidelity is where individuals are allowed to be with multiple partners but only within their poly group. New partners can be added but only at the approval of all partners involved. Partners can hold “veto” power. Veto is where the primary partners can veto or approve new partners. If vetoed then no new partners are added.

You need to decide what kind of poly relationship you want and all your partners should be in agreement. If everyone comes in wanting different things, then there is a higher possibility of conflict, jealousy and heartbreak. Talking with others can help a person learn what has and hasn’t worked for others. The Poly Living Forum is a good place to meet and talk to others.

Poly Living Forum Open Closed

Polyamory in the Modern World?


Depending on who is defining it, polyamory can be different things. For the conservative Christian or religious person, polyamory (or poly for short) is a sin which leads to cheating or adultery. A secular person (non-religious) may view it as a swinging, sex oriented or kink style relationship. A polyamorous person views it as just another relationship choice, neither better or worse than monogamy.

Polyamory is defined as “the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time.” (Oxford Dictionary)  Simply put, you and your partner decide that you want to stay together.  You also agree to date or marry other people. Everybody knows and consents to this. You can be married or unmarried in this type of relationship. “University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley has estimated that about 5 percent of Americans are in one of these types of relationships at any given time.”(Live Science) How is this different from cheating?

Cheating is when a person engages in multiple romantic relationships.  The people involved do not have full knowledge or consent. For example, John is dating Jane. Jane decides to date Joe without telling John. Joe knows she is still with John but doesn’t care if John knows or not. Because everyone does not have full knowledge and consent, Jane is cheating on John.

Polyamory is about honesty. It is an alternative to monogamy. A person doesn’t have to be polyamorous.  It’s just another choice. Some people choose to be poly because of religious reasons. Others choose it because they can love multiple people.  They may want to love more than one person. Still others choose it for a sexual thrill. Sadly, some think it will fix their failing relationship.  Others try to justify cheating.  Maybe they were invited to join a pre-existing couple or poly group. Whatever the reason, it’s important you understand why you want to be poly.

Polyamory is not the norm. Where monogamy is depicted in music, movies, books and television shows, polyamory is almost never shown. The few times it is shown is usually in a negative light. There are few books, songs and movies that show how people can be polyamorous and successful at it. Many people will view those who practice polyamory as weird or perverted. This is not true. You can be happy in a polyamorous relationship. You’re not weird. You’re not perverted. You’re not going to hell. You just need to learn a few things that will help you be prepared for the different kind of relationship you are embarking Poly Living Badgeon…things you may not have picked up in the monogamous world.

Consider joining us at the Poly Living Forum. We look forward to discussing all aspects of polyamory in a modern poly world.