How to Not Be Jealous in an Open Relationship

Side view of Hispanic female sitting at table with textbooks while preparing for exams with phone while looking jealously at man texting on cellphone in daytime in park

Adding a new partner to your relationship is a major life change. Jealousy is usually most intense when this happens and subsides over time as you get used to the new dynamics of your relationship.

The key is to talk about jealousy openly and honestly with your partner. Then you can work together to set clear boundaries that address your concerns.

Be honest about your feelings.

Whether you’re transitioning from monogamy to open, or you’ve been in an open relationship from the beginning, it’s important to periodically evaluate your feelings of jealousy. While jealousy is normal, it can lead to insecurities and possessiveness that aren’t helpful in a polyamorous relationship. Jealousy can also make it harder to trust your partner, and you won’t be able to fully enjoy the benefits of an open relationship if you’re constantly suspicious of them.

Jealousy is usually triggered by insecurities you’re having about yourself or your life. For example, you might feel insecure about your appearance or abilities, or you may have fears about your partner’s metamour’s sexual prowess. Getting to the root of these insecurities will help you deal with them more effectively.

Often, jealousy is caused by the incongruence between your words and actions. If you tell your partner that you’re fine when you’re actually feeling insecure, they’ll pick up on the inconsistency and distrust you. Being vulnerable about your emotions increases intimacy and connection with your partner, so don’t be afraid to share how you feel. The key is to be honest without being accusatory or blaming your partner for their behavior. For instance, if they aren’t being careful about protecting your boundaries with their metamours, let them know in a respectful way why this is bothering you.

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Be realistic.

Often, jealous feelings are caused by a lack of clarity about what’s really happening in the relationship. Taking the time to write down what you’re feeling, or even better, have a conversation about it with your partner(s), can help clear things up for you and put the situation in perspective. You’ll realise that your feelings of jealousy are simply a subjective emotional reaction, and they don’t necessarily mean that your open relationship is doomed to fail.

In many cases, people feel a dose of jealousy at the beginning stages of an open relationship because it brings to light insecurities and possessiveness that may have been hidden. If these feelings are not addressed, they can escalate and eventually destroy the trust in an open relationship.

It’s also important to remember that open relationships can allow for “compersion”, which is happiness from seeing your partner happy with someone else. This can be a much more effective way to demonstrate your love for your partner than simply telling them you can’t stand the thought of them being with someone else.

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Jealousy can be a normal part of a healthy relationship, but it’s important to address it head-on so that it doesn’t turn into destructive behaviour. Use constructive communication techniques to discuss the jealousy with your partner(s) and try not to get caught up in what society tells us we’re supposed to feel, as it can lead to a toxic dynamic.

Don’t let other people set your expectations.

For many people, the idea of an open relationship or polyamorous relationship is enticing. The giddy freedom of sleeping with whomever you want paired with the warm security of having someone by your side sounds ideal for a healthy romantic experience. However, it’s important to realize that jealousy can still creep in regardless of the structure of your relationship.

It can take a lot of time to work through feelings of jealousy, especially in a new relationship. You need to be honest about what you’re feeling, and that means acknowledging when you feel it. You also need to find a way to deal with those feelings so they don’t get in the way of your happiness.

Jealousy is a natural human emotion, and it’s not necessarily bad, but how you handle it is what matters. Ultimately, jealousy is a sign of insecurity that can manifest in different ways. For example, it can manifest as a fear of being left or as a feeling that you aren’t good enough. Identifying what is making you jealous will help you find an antidote for that particular insecurity.

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If you find that you are jealous in your open relationship, it’s probably a good idea to sit down and have a discussion with your partner about it. Find a calm, stress-free time to talk and decide what you both need from your relationship in order to be happy.

Don’t blame your partner.

Jealousy is a normal part of any relationship, so it’s not necessarily a sign that your open relationship isn’t working. Instead, it’s a good time to reevaluate your needs and boundaries as a couple. Remember that a successful relationship is built on mutual respect and understanding. This means that if you’re feeling jealous, it’s important to communicate about it honestly and respectfully.

Jealous feelings often stem from insecurity, so it’s important to remind yourself of all the positive aspects of your partnership. Remind yourself of your partner’s trustworthiness and why they chose you, as well as all the things about you that make them love you (e.g., personality, looks, and humour). This will help put your feelings in perspective.

Another way to reduce jealousy is to stop blaming your partner for their actions. Jealousy is a feeling, not an actual action, and it’s irrational to assume that your partner is cheating or going out with other people just to upset you. Instead, focus on changing your own beliefs and attitudes that are contributing to your feelings.

Jealousy is a difficult emotion to deal with, but it can be healed through open and honest communication and by practicing self-soothing techniques. If you’re having trouble overcoming your feelings, it might be worth considering couples therapy or taking individual counselling.

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