Overcoming Envy Is Your Personal Responsibility. Stop Acting Like It’s Not!
Life isn’t fair. It never was and never will be. -John F. Kennedy
Life isn’t fair, that phrase pissed me off so much as a kid. I envy the person that never had to hear that. Even though I use that phrase from time to time, it still irritates me, but I understand it more these days. What no one tells you is, Love isn’t fair. It isn’t even equal. Think I’m wrong? Look back and remember your past relationships. One of you always loved the other or showed love to the other more. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just the way things work. There is no true 50/50 split in a relationship.
In a non-monogamous relationship, this fact is still a fact. The difference is now there’s just a bit more to have an imbalance of. I sound so cynical, I can assure you that I’m not. I think the imbalance is a beautiful thing if it’s embraced and used to grow as an individual for the benefit of the unit.
The Biggest Imbalance In Non-Monogamy
Speaking as a (insert politically correct identifiers here) male, I’ve felt the imbalance of non-monogamous relationships many times. My partner(s) tend to have more dates than I do, my partners tend to need more attention from me than I need from them, I have missed out on many potential dates because I’m polyamorous, the list could continue easily. While on the surface it doesn’t seem to be very fair, I think it’s the reason I’ve developed the sense of security in myself that I have.
It hasn’t always been easy, especially in the beginning of my ETHICAL Non-Monogamy journey. In my unethical days, I kept people’s attention simply because I acted as if I were single despite being in a monogamous relationship. If you’re reading this as a monogamous person AND you’re a serial cheater (or have been in the past), I suggest you take a good look at who you are and see if you may be non-monogamous. (SPOILER ALERT: You probably are, or you’re a narcissist that just feeds off the attention of others (not a psychiatrist, I just understand the view point from personal experience))
Since becoming an ethically non-monogamous person, I’ve found the world of dating to be much more difficult. It’s surprising how many people will or want to fuck you if you’re in a relationship and you’re partner doesn’t know about it. Throw in honesty and communication and suddenly they shy away.
The biggest obstacle I experienced when I first started embracing non-monogamy was the imbalance. If you’ve been in a non-monogamous relationship, you fully understand that there is likely a 10-to-1 ratio of potential partners (that ratio being 10 for potential partners for women for every 1 a man gets). Women are by far the fairer sex and deserve the love and attention, so I get it.
Getting it on the surface of the mind doesn’t help with getting in on a deeper level. When I first came into this lifestyle, it was hard to accept that my partner at the time was getting messages and matches multiple times a day, yet, I was getting one or two a month. I thought I was feeling jealousy at first, but I then learned it was envy.
Yes there is a difference between the two, Jealousy (adjective) is a feeling, where a person feels threatened that someone is trying to take away something that belongs to them. Envy (Noun or Verb) is the longing and resentment of something someone else possesses whether it be a quality, possession, or something even out of said person’s control.
I wasn’t jealous, I knew my partner wasn’t going anywhere, I was envious of the attention they were getting. I felt like I was entitled to the same attention, yet, I wasn’t getting it. I hate jealousy, I embrace envy. Envy is one thing that despite being seen as a negative, can be a major positive and driving factor in self-improvement. It started by learning to utilize the “And Then What” Exercise (credit: Polyamory Weekly) you can also see how I’ve explained it here.
Once you start to manage your jealousy, also known as wibbles in the polyamory world. You can then start to focus on the main person that can change all of those feelings for the better, yourself.
Take the opportunity to break the feeling of envy down within yourself. You can’t understand why you feel envy until you know why you feel envy. Read that again. The envious feeling you get when your partner gets a new date or message, when your best friend gets a new car, when your co-worker gets a raise,or when your dog is happy all the time stem from the same place. All of those things make you see that there is something that you fall short on in some aspect. Charisma/attractiveness, financial security, work ethic, and self love respectively.
Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. -Saint Augustine
So let’s create a simple yet effective exercise to get through the envy.
The Envy Within
1 – Look at the situation from the outside and generalize it
My Partner has had multiple messages and more dates than I have. I want that for myself
2 – Figure out what the central factor is in obtaining that same goal. Understand how those things were what brought you towards the subject of your envy in the first place.
My partner has amazing pictures, a well written profile, they are also super witty and have a wonderful personality. All of those were things I saw in them when I met them. So I understand how others could see it too.
3 – Look at yourself and see how you can fix those things that you lack in yourself
I could have better photos and show my personality better on my profiles. I could start taking better care of myself and dressing better. I could be funnier. I don’t take the time to find quality connections, I’ve been chasing quantity.
4 – Use logic to bring the issues to a level headed viewpoint.
Although my partner is getting more messages than I am, most of them are incompatible with them and it doesn’t go anywhere. My partner has put effort into what they have on their profiles which takes time and I’m happy they are trying to attract quality people. I make people laugh all the time, therefore I must be funny. It won’t take much for me to fix my appearance, I’m attractive enough to have my partner’s attention so I’ve been doing something right.
5 – Find solutions that only you can make happen.
My friend is a photographer, maybe we can get together and take some great photos. I need to research how to make an effective bio for my profile and make it my own. Thrift stores have some fantastic clothes for cheap, I just need to take the time to go there. I can learn how to captivate and entertain the audience in front of me. I should try a different hairstyle or facial hairstyle, try a new makeup style, get in shape. get a manicure (yes even men can get them, they are amazing), or just take multiple small steps to improve yourself physically, aesthetically, as well as internal growth and development. And the most difficult step of all:
6 – Put these plans in motion. Focus on your own improvement, but learn to also be supportive of your partner’s success.
You don’t need an example here. Just take care of the task at hand, create a plan, and continue to be loving and supportive of your partner’s needs. They aren’t leaving you or losing any love they have for you. Even if they do leave you, fuck’em it’s their loss.
That is the way I learned to deal with those feelings of my own insecurity and shortcomings. If you do the “And Then What” when you’re feeling jealousy and you do the “Envy Within” when you’re feeling envy, you’ll be a master of your own mind in no time.
Life isn’t fair and equal for anyone, neither is love. As long as you have trust, honesty, communication, and a will to improve, there is no obstacle (inside yourself or outside) that you can’t overcome.
Coming into ethical non-monogamy is a wonderful experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But as with any relationship model, there is a very high possibility of getting hurt. You are putting emotions and self-confidence on the line, and rejection hurts. Especially when it’s ongoing.
Relationships are never fully equal. Not everyone gets the same things at the same time. But they must be fair. And it’s important to ensure that all parties involved are looking out for each other.
It can be hard seeing a partner getting more attention than you, and it’s important not to resent them for it.
It can be hard seeing a partner failing to get any attention, and it’s important not to resent them for holding you back.
The only advice I can give is to communicate, do the research, find people in the community who may have been through the same things, and communicate.
(And yes, the repetition of “Communicate” is intentional.)
I’d like to leave you with a list of some good books to check out and buy to help improve yourself in all aspects. These are affiliate links. It’s a way I keep the Kinkslayer site running. These products don’t cost any more, but they do provide me with kickbacks so please use them.
If you prefer audiobooks, get audible (not a sponsored post) I’ll be adding my referral link later to get you a free audiobook
I hope this helps you get through the envious feelings you may be facing, it gets better and much more fun. It just takes some work on your part to overcome it.
Until Next Time,
Peace Out sub Scouts