Everyone feels jealousy, it is a very normal feeling. Sometimes in Poly relationships jealousy can go hand in hand with compersion. You’re so happy for your partner and their new relationship, but that jealous/insecure feeling is still present. In established polycules this can be a very stressful feeling to have and to experience. So what happens when two people within the polycule become interested in each other? In some circumstances it works smoothly and everyone is comfortable. However, sometimes it doesn’t go that well, and even still some kind of have a mixed experience.
So say an established couple (MA and FA) start dating a married woman(FB). FA is very sure that she could not expand her dating pool more than one male and one female. She wanted to have two partners, a male and a female and that was it. Due to feeling like she doesn’t know how to split her time and heart between two people of the same gender, while still giving everyone the attention they deserve. MA is straight so the relationship between MA and MB is completely platonic.
FB’s husband (MB) is a meta to MA and FA, but it didn’t seem like this was a relationship FA or MB wants to pursue any further than friendship. As time goes on and the two couples start spending more time together FA and MB start to connect. This is great news, right? Sometimes, our thoughts tend to control our relationships and how we view other people’s feelings though. So how does everyone feel in that situation, the key is communication, as always! Issues need to be addressed right away so feelings don’t fester. Perception can be completely opposite of what is happening, but a person’s perception of something is their reality.
The Dynamic Change
If MB and FA do decide to pursue a relationship, they then start to worry about how the rest of the polycule will feel about it. Will MA feel replaced, will FB feel ignored? Making sure communication is open all the time is really important when these relationships start to form. Does everyone in the polycule feel they can voice how they feel? If you feel someone in your polycule is feeling jealous, or if you are, it is best to bring it up right away. Letting things pile up will only make things worse. Especially because sometimes the other person doesn’t feel that way at all, you only think that they do.
Communicating your feelings about how you’re perceiving the other person’s actions can be very difficult. You don’t want to put words in their mouths or feelings in their head, but you do want to speak up so no feelings are hurt. Finding the balance between these two options can be really difficult.
So say FA thinks MA may be feeling uncomfortable with the newly forming relationship. Bringing it up in a non-confrontational way is the best option. Saying things like “I really am enjoying MB’s company and I’m excited to see where this goes, how do you feel about it?” leaves him open to say how he feels about it while not really pushing an expectation for them to be on board.
Every relationship is different and everyone’s boundaries are different. Making sure to communicate what yours are is the best way to avoid jealousy and bad feelings. Boundaries should have already been set within your polycule, so making sure to adhere to them is really important for everyone within the polycules well being and mental health.
Love is what this is all about, so falling in love with someone within your polycule should be a beautiful thing. Make sure you celebrate it! Don’t internalize it all and make a situation out of something that isn’t there. Talk out those feelings of insecurity and jealousy. The only way to solve something is by facing it head on.