I was out on a date recently.
As is often the case when I meet a girl for the first time, the conversation moved in the direction of relationships and romantic love.
I’m a relationship consultant and help people determine the best way to configure their love lives.
It is somewhat inevitable that this will enter the conversation and make for curiousity.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I’m pretty unconventional how I see all this.
My main focus is how to have romantic love in your life that lasts and is truly fulfilling to you. I know that’s what you really want because whether you recognize it or not, deep down it is your purpose.
But you are your own worst enemy in pursuit of this purpose.
You tend to get into relationships for all the wrong reasons.
Put as many obstacles in the way of having romantic love in your life as you can.
Of course you don’t recognize this.
You come by these tendencies to shoot yourself in the foot quite naturally.
Nature has different plans than you do for your love life.
But by far the biggest obstacle standing in your way of enjoying a rich, full love life is encapsulated in one word…jealousy.
The reason jealousy is such a challenge?
Because you do not see it as a problem.
You actually hold it as your primary romantic ideal.
You think you should be jealous of your lover.
Feel threatened anytime they experience desire or love for anyone else.
You want to POSSESS your lover.
“If my lover loves anyone else, how can I be special to him?”
“How can my lover truly love me. if she feels the same way about some other guy too?”
This feeling that romantic love means jealously possessing your lover has a long history. So long in fact that until very recently there was no word in the English language to represent the opposite of jealousy.
No opposite word?
It took the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the ensuing development of polyamory as an explicit movement,.
Finally someone created a term for the feeling of joy.
The one that is had when your lover experiences romantic love with someone else.
Really just finding happiness in the happiness and joy of your partner, however they find that happiness.
The term is known as compersion.
You can read the Wikipedia entry for it here.
As this wiki article indicates, jealousy in a romantic relationship occurs when you experience “thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and/or anxiety over anticipated loss of a…partner’s attention, affection, or time.”
Sounds pretty ME focused doesn’t it?
If a child is jealous that his parents love his siblings and wants his parents all to himself, you seek to teach him this is an unhealthy attitude.
If a person wants a friend all to herself, you see this as clingy and inappropriate behavior.
In any other relationship context, you know and recognize that what makes you special is not any affection you receive.
Dependency on anyone else makes your worth conditional on external factors, rather than recognizing your inherent worth and value as an individual.
You are unique and special. That is why your lover loves you. Nothing can change that. Not even if your lover leaves you or loves a thousand other lovers too.
But the reason your lover can love other people too?
Those other people are also unique and special.
You and your siblings are unique and special and your parents can love each of you.
Their love for any one of you is not diminished in any way by this.
Your lover is also capable of loving other lovers for what makes them unique and special too.
This doesn’t diminish his or her love for you.
Your friends love you because you are unique and one of a kind.
Their loving you does not make them incapable of loving other friends too, who are also unique and one of a kind.
It is no different with lovers.
As I said when I wrote about how your attachment style impacts your choice of relationship options, I have been unable to identify a clear, secure motivation for insisting on monogamy.
I’ve spoke to many of you about this.
All you do is simply reiterate your own feelings of insecurity and fear of loss.
Your feelings of jealousy.
Jealousy is NOT the ideal for romantic love.
Loving with an open hand is the only way to TRULY have love and keep it.
Monogamous commitment won’t change this.
What do you think? Is it time to move from jealousy to compersion instead as your relationship ideal?