A Spoonful Of Jealous Makes The Poly Go 'Round

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

If you’re dating me, you’re most likely polyamorous, so let me give you some wise advice:
Be a little jealous once in a while.
I don’t desire a constant jealousy – a fuming “Oh, I saw you talking with HER” isn’t going to help much.  I’m apparently a flirty person, even if I don’t always see that, and if I have to spend most of my time smoothing your feathers, well, I can’t see this working out in the long run.
But a dash of jealousy lets me know you care.
The occasional revelation that sometimes you’re envious of the attention I lavish upon others tells me you value the time we spend together.  A periodic insecurity that I might leave lets me know that I occupy a space in your life that no one else can fill.
If you’re too cool, I start to think that I’m interchangeable in your life, a nice option that you’d get by without.  If your attitude towards the orgy I just had with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders is a constant, “Oh, that’s great, I’m sure they’re wonderful in bed,” then I start to wonder whether you love me or just don’t mind having me around when I happen to be there.
And in return, I might admit the guy you were exchanging silly puns with on Twitter last night made me twinge.  Just a teeny bit.  Nothing I can’t live with, because the name of this game is open relationships, but hey.  Sometimes we’re irrational that way, no matter how we front.  And I won’t act upon that emotion, but I’ll let you know it’s there.
Admit you’re a little nuts.  Because I know I’m a little nuts about you, love.


  1. Terriaminute
    Feb 13, 2012

    I get what you’re saying here, although “jealous” to me includes an attitude of exclusion, so I don’t use it. I think of this as communicating insecurities, because for me that’s what they actually are. We all have insecurities, they are intensified by emotional investment, so of course those closest to us can cause the most intense reactions.
    They used to scare me. But now, like you, I welcome them. Yay! I affect you! You affect me! How COOL is THAT??!

  2. Page
    Feb 13, 2012

    I know what you’re getting at here, and I agree to an extent.
    It goes hand in hand with not getting too comfortable, not taking someone for granted. Essentially, a little insecurity seems like a good thing, signals vulnerability.
    What is it that Mike Rowe always says? “Safety third.” 🙂
    Regardless of the number of significant others, it seems important that they remain just that, significant.
    However, I know some people in particular will feel insecurity and/or jealousy and don’t necessarily want to share that with their partner – for any number of reasons.
    Sometimes I feel twinges and know with my rational side that I am being ridiculous and silly and that I’ll soon feel better but feeling a reflexive gut pain in the moment, so I might need time to process it and examine it and see if it’s something I can deal with on my own, work through with a friend or therapist, or need to bring to my partner’s or partners’ attention. I do it far less these days because my current partner is much more amenable to difficult emotional discussions and more willing to provide emotional reassurance than partners of Christmas Past.
    I guess what I’m saying is just because you don’t hear the insecurity, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    • TheFerrett
      Feb 13, 2012

      I realize that not hearing the insecurity doesn’t mean that it’s not there – but on the other hand, you could say the same about love. It’s not necessarily about what you feel inside, but how well you communicate it to your partners. They may not want to share it, but for certain brands of people that creates negative responses. And then that’s something you need to think about. I certainly do with my partners.

      • Page
        Feb 13, 2012

        Ahh, I see what you mean. It’s rather analogous to what Justin and I were going through in the recent past since he’s (mostly) a man of few words and is more likely to be demonstrative with actions than with words as far as love and the like. It was terrifying for me to say to him, “It would help tremendously if you put it into words on a more regular basis,” as I’ve had past partners take such requests as a sign of weakness/neurosis and had been conditioned by experience to be cautious about things, but he was very receptive, and it’s helped very much.
        So kudos to you for communicating your needs!

  3. Sarah Rain
    Feb 15, 2012

    I disagree entirely. There are thousands of ways to let people know you care without jealousy or insecurity.

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