Jealousy is a powerful driver.
It can consume and destroy lives. I still remember the oldest munchkin, then age 6, sighing as she shook her head, “Jealousy.” (We were talking about her biological mother, and she brought the word up, not me.)
But her mother feels jealousy over her children. I am at a loss how to deal with her. Thankfully, this- jealousy over children or family members- isn’t something I find often. Girlfriends? Wives? Husbands? That’s another story.
Most of us don’t feel jealous when our friends make other friends. Or when our partner has a baby. Or when our friend or family member gets married. Instead, we feel joyful. We shower them with love and congratulations.
So why do we so often feel jealous over our romantic partners?
“Jealousy isn’t an emotion in itself, but a reflection of other things going wrong in the relationship.” I agree with this; I don’t feel jealousy but I do feel other negative emotions that might be perceived by others as jealousy.
…but what I do not feel is entitlement to his mind, his love, or his body solely because I am his “girlfriend” or “partner” or “kitten.”
…I believe there is something to be said of the fear of losing ownership over their sexual self.
Yes, my master owns me. We share an M/s dynamic. We reserve certain things, for now, between the two of us; we share a significant history between us; we are often just the two of us. But he doesn’t own my autonomy.
Yes, he owns my body and my orgasms. As per negotiations. He wants me to feel him with me, always. But he would never tell me not to be intimate, loving, or sexual with another person.
Moreover, he absolutely doesn’t believe he might have this right simply by virtue of a label shared between us, or because he does these things with me. Any more than my best friends would ever tell me I could not make other friends; or confide in them; or travel with them; or anything else similar.
I believe if we can lose that feeling of ownership with sexual partners, the same way we do with non sexual partners; we can lose many, if not all, of our feelings of jealousy.
If someone wishes to be with you, and only you, so be it. But that should always be their choice, rather than coercion because they agreed to be a person’s romantic Person.
If the relationship is otherwise healthy and secure (losing ownership feelings will not compensate for neglect or abuse within a relationship), there is otherwise little reason to feel “jealousy” in the sense you want to take something (or someone) away from your partner. Because why is it your call to take something (or someone) away from them? If you wouldn’t have done it before they became “yours,” why don’t do it after?
And if we can think of our partners in a similar fashion to our friends and family, we are less likely to want to interfere or otherwise involve ourselves with our partner’s other relationships. Which rarely leads to anything good.
As a final note, I really don’t care what words people use, or what they do or do not call jealousy.
What I care about is eliminating the sense of entitlement with romantic partners that leads to the above actions I described. This doesn’t mean we’ll never feel FOMO, envy, or any other negative emotion when it comes to our partners (hell, for that matter when it comes to our friends, family, etc.). But it does mean losing a poison pill in the relationship that is toxic not only for them, but for ourselves.
I do think this is possible, for us all. Not easy, not quick. Possible? Yes.
That is all, thank you for your consideration.
For what it’s worth, this does not let asexual partners off the hook. Asexuals can still feel “sexual ownership”; that is they may not engage in sex, but still feel jealous if their partner feels sexual with others; OR they can associate whatever it they share with their partner which is not sexual by society’s standards but is a special, reserved thing or feeling with their partner, and not want their partner to have that with another person.