Jealousy as a symptom of monogamy

I’m afraid it’s become a bit of a thing now, bashing monogamy. But I just can’t shake the opinion that it’s doing nothing good for society right now. Maybe it was a good change once upon a time when we lived in an alpha-male-rules kind of structure. Monogamy is clearly a more equal opportunities kind of arrangement when you compare it to the apes (though maybe not the bonobos! They’re a whole other thing). The other males have a chance to mate and eventually the women even have control. But I think it’s about time things changed again, it’s kind of surprising that they haven’t already. You can probably blame religion for playing it’s role in that.

But now, this is what I came here to talk about:


I was thinking last night in bed how, although I know it still happens to the best of us, jealousy is kind of a monogamous way of thinking about things. When I say this I’m talking about the kind of jealousy that is defined simply like this: Fear of losing someone to someone else. Rather than the kind of jealousy, that’s not really jealousy, just insecurity presenting itself in a possessive or controlling way … you know, when you’re feeling wobbly but you don’t know how to express it so you punish your partner. Not the best really… but that’s not what I’m talking about here (it gets all confusing if you don’t narrow it down). This jealousy is simple and logical and thinks of relationships in a very business like manner.

Serial monogamy teaches us that our partners represent what we are worth, and what we deserve. You look for that one person who is good enough and then stick with them until something better comes along. Partners fill a need and a purpose. Whereas, the way I see it, relationships should be based on love and mutual respect – not what we can “get” from/out of them.

Jealousy comes from an insecurity based on feeling like you are a commodity that is objectively worth more or less than another. So if you’re afraid that your partner has found a “better version” then you get jealous, because you could lose your partner right? In monogamy this can occasionally be accurate, but it’s not the case for polyamory – so why do we still struggle with it. Relationships more often than not end for a reason from within the relationship, not because someone else came along – and certainly not if you’re poly.

Would jealousy even exist if we all saw ourselves as individual and not comparable in this way? How is it even relevant if your partner lusts for someone else if you already believe or worry that you are losing them otherwise?

Sorry if that was a bit incoherent, I guess I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Feel free to debate this with me.


6 thoughts on “Jealousy as a symptom of monogamy

      • So why is sexual monogamy so rigid? You can debate that for the rest of your life and never satisfy everyone. Or, you can acknowledge the fact that monogamy is fine for some, but not for me/us.

      • Again, not really what I was talking about in this post… but anyway – I have acknowledged that a lot of people are satisfied with monogamy (I’d be fairly ignorant to see that I think… seeing the way people seem to defend it), but whether it ever really 100% works out without hurting someone in some way is another issue. That’s the problem I have with monogamy… mostly… and also I guess because it saddens me to see how the majority has unhappy/unhealthy/uncommunicative relationships – I don’t expect everyone to abandon monogamy (not everyone is a relationship enthusiast!), but to have society be more open to non-monogamy is a step in the right direction. And a step I think we are beginning to see taking place! I guess I could say that it’s not monogamy or any kind of relationship structure that is to blame, but the way society tends to treat and experience those relationships. And that’s something I think we could apply to all relationships not just romantic ones – it’s probably our relationships with our children and our parents that have the biggest affect on our future relationships after all…

        Went on a bit there lol. Sorry

  1. i agree with tess on this… since entering a polygamous relationship i havent seen or felt that green eyed monster for a while and i hope i never see him again. theres nothing wrong with it being one man and one woman but personally? thats not good enough for me…. why limit your love and respect to one person when you can be happy in a GROUP?

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