A question from Gafil that I thought I’d throw out to you guys–what do you think?

Why is it that, in our case at least, the stronger the love between us, the more intense the jealousy can be?

Why is that so often the case? Why do we associate deep love with increased jealousy?


Commenting area

  1. Because the more we care for someone, the more we’re afraid of losing the object of our affections? Or at least, the worse losing them seems like it would be?

  2. This is not my experience. I think any jealousy I have had is related to being ignored, not nurtured in the relationship. If I am getting what I need, I am totally compersonate about other connections.

  3. Since jealousy is based in insecurity, it makes sense. Strong love means a greater potential to be hurt, which heightens feelings of insecurity.

  4. I agree, with a deeper love there is more at risk.. thus there is potential for a more jealous reaction if there is a feeling of the relationship being threatened.

    Deeper love within a relationship with a strong foundation (good communication, needs getting met, etc.) however, can also alleviate a jealous reaction. I think it’s when there’s a very deep love and some insecurity present where the jealousy is more likely to rear its head in more intense ways. Same is also true with newer relationships where a foundation and trust has not yet been able to be established.

  5. Thanks folks for your thoughts.

    I am the guy who posted the question to Minx to begin with. This is what I wrote to her about my relationship with my girlfriend Sunset.

    (BTW we are nearing 50, have been mostly together for a couple of years, and are not actually seeing others, only working through the theoreticals of being poly at this point. In the past we did date others a bit, even went speed dating together!)

    Why is it that, in our case at least, the stronger the love between us, the more intense the jealousy can be? While the potential for our loss is greater should we split up, if we are not forced to “choose” between loves, our relationship is actually at less risk than ever before.

    Is it because the loss of exclusivity, the loss of specialness and uniqueness, is more deeply felt?

    I’d like to use the word “sacredness”, with Webster’s meaning of “dedicated or set apart … devoted exclusively … entitled to reverence and respect”.

    The fear we have is of loosing this feeling of meaningfulness about sex between us is one more thing that is holding us back.

    In that sense, it’s like inflation. We love money, but if we printed as much as we want, in so doing we’d only devalue what there already is.

  6. No. Jealousy is selfishness and insecurity not love. Love is wanting the Beloved to have wonderful experiences and delicious times. In a good poly relationship with communication and honesty we find compersion rather than jealousy.

    The poly relationships I see where jealousy is a factor are those where the self-knowledge of a partner is lacking. They want to know (or don’t want to know) and then get freaked out over whatever it was. And that leads to a spiral of dishonesty and shading the truth to what they want to hear by their partners who don’t want to be the reccipient of a freak-out and subsequent processing. Which makes the whole relationship web less stable.

    Jealousy is destablizing and hurtful and the very opposite of love IMHO.

  7. I think that jealousy tends to be a composite emotion, comprised of several things. In my personal experience, it has mostly consisted of insecurity and fear (mostly of abandonment, but also of being insignificant, etc). So of course, the more I value someone, the more I fear their disappearance from my life.

    So while it looks like the stronger the value of the person is, the stronger the fear of losing that connection may be, also the stronger the other emotions that comprise the feeling of jealousy is, the stronger the response. So even as one may feel more secure in one’s relationship, something in an unrelated relationship (for example, a close family member dying) might challenge one’s abandonment issues, and in turn affect jealousy where it is seemingly unrelated.

    Dunno if that makes any sense (and I realize this is a year late) but thought I’d throw it out there anyway ^___^

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