How to Deal with Jealousy In an Open Relationship

January 11, 2024 3 Comments

How to Deal with Jealousy In an Open Relationship

Written by Benjamin Goldman, LMHC

It doesn’t matter who you’re having sex with or what kind of relationship you’re in: jealousy is a familiar emotion to most people. In this era of ethical non-monogamy and sexual freedom, do people in open relationships somehow not get jealous? If jealousy is basically inevitable, is there a way to actually use it to fuel the sex you share with your primary partner?

As a therapist based in New York City who focuses on sex, intimacy, kink, and relationship collaboration, let me assure you: having an open relationship (or being a big slut) doesn’t exempt you from jealousy. In fact, my experience has suggested that people in open relationships are often navigating, confronting, and reexamining their jealousy most of all.

Let’s talk about how to spot jealousy, address it, and use it to make your open relationship hotter.

JEALOUSY ISN’T ALWAYS BAD

Some negative feelings get intense faster than others. In open relationships, jealousy specifically can heat up very quickly. Knowing or not knowing who your partner is fucking can contribute to this. It’s easy to catastrophize or judge ourselves for things not going the way we want them to, and those bad feelings only make jealousy worse. 

Since there are more sexual partners on the table in open relationships, there’s a greater risk of being triggered. When you or your partner(s) feels that hot, bubbling jealousy you’ve got two options: try to ignore it, feel terrible, and grow to resent your partner, or unpack and evaluate what makes you feel that intense jealousy and use those moments of vulnerable connection to actually get closer to your partner. 

CURIOSITY IS A GOOD THING

A non-monogamous relationship is all about staying open to sexual variety, and exploring your sexual identity. Being open means you can have incredible sexual experiences and also introduces more risk. That risk is part of what makes your hookups hot, but it can feel like a threat to the intimacy you share with your partner. That’s why it’s so important to establish clear boundaries around intimacy.

It helps to see sex on a spectrum from playful and transactional, to deep and intimate. Kinky sex can be very intimate, and getting a blowjob in the car can be very transactional. Going to a sex party can start off playful and become very intimate. 

Setting boundaries around how intimate you’re both allowed to be with other people you’re fucking can help you live in the exciting risk, and focus on exploring while avoiding jealousy in the first place.

JEALOUSY IS FUCKING HOT

An open conversation about jealousy with your partner could actually turn you on. There’s nothing hotter than talking about the piggy fantasies you’re craving while also feeling safe and connected to your partner. You might even find you enjoy thinking of them getting that intense pleasure you once felt jealous about.

Conversations like that are a two-for-one: you can make plans to integrate things you were jealous of into your sex life, and you create a deeper emotional connection with your partner. Who knows? Maybe your deep, intimate talk about jealousy leads to your cuck fantasy finally coming true.

Jealousy can become a catalyst for self-discovery. It can allow you to start a hard conversations about insecurities, navigate the boundaries in your relationship, and, yes, help you discover the intricacies of your newest kinks and desires.

 

 


3 Responses

Jordon
Jordon

January 25, 2024

This article really made me reflect on my past relationships with much older men and their feelings about non-monogamy. They all shared a common feeling that these relationships are less meaningful and my current partner, with whom i see myself being with long term, would not financially invest in a relationship where we are not monogamous presumably because they could leave and find someone new at any time. He used to hang out with rent boys at the eagle and share sexual experiences with all kinds of guys and this seemed to make him happy but now he refuses to even be around his old friends only because he thinks i would go out and do the same and he can’t take that for some reason. I’m of the personal opinion that i would not want my partner to stop having sexual experiences just because i love them but i always considered myself too damaged and insecure to let him. Now i wonder if would be happier if i confronted and dealt with those complex feelings instead of ignoring them. They certainly don’t just not exist in a traditional relationship. I care for him and know that our experiences are not the same because he is scared i would leave him. Now i want to talk to him about his feelings really just to elaborate not necessarily to change his mind. He tells me i am the most important person in his life and i truly believe him and want to show him how much i cherish him but I can’t even hang around gay men of any kind or else he will get visibly shaken and anxious. Ugh idk.

Nicholas Vargas
Nicholas Vargas

January 11, 2024

🍑

Nate Love
Nate Love

January 11, 2024

Thank you foremost for taken the time and energy to writing this very useful and informative piece. I am grateful especially being in a newly open relationship with a beautiful man inside and out. Our common goal is figuring out how to protect our love for one another. I know I must put myself first above all, so that I can be a better man for myself and for him. Being of different culture backgrounds, him French born and raised and me American born/ raised. The odds are stacked against us and many would believe what do we have to offer one another. Well the beautiful thing is, that we are on that journey together and we both are offering the chance to love one another freely and honestly. The only way we will do that is by taken it day by day and understanding that we are human and both have the desire/want to grow together. With that all being said, I never want to make him feel jealous or unwanted by me and vice versa. My reason for wanting to be in a committed open relationship is that, I can’t expect him to be everything for me and vice versa. I’m setting him up for failure and I’m setting myself up for failure. I understand that we have different needs and wants. That is what truly makes a human-being a human. Communication and also comprehension plays a huge part in being in an open relationship. The latter of the two, I learned today from a co-worker. I love my beautiful man, and I’m grateful to the God of my understanding for allowing him to be in my life and honored he chose me. There’s someone for everyone. I truly believe that. So give yourself and your partner a chance.

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