Texting, Triggers and Jealousy

From a reader;

 

My boyfriend, Justin, and I have been dating for about a year and a half and became poly about two months ago when I met another man and fell for him. It has been great; my boyfriend is one of those rare people who is so secure with himself that his jealousy has been minor. Now Justin has found someone he is interested in. I am having some jealousy problems but Justin is being supportive, reassuring and communicating. As I already hate it when I have to sleep alone, we agreed that Justin would only date on nights I am sleeping over with my secondary boyfriend, Michael. When they went on their first date, I knew I was scared and nervous so we agreed that he would text me regularly just to keep connected. Eventually, the whole night turned out horribly with me panicking and texting him like crazy and him having to stop during the middle of sex with his new date in order to text me back with reassurance. It kind of killed the mood and I feel so terrible. I am still doing research and trying to work out my jealousy and insecurity but my question is whether or not we should avoid texting each while on our separate dates. Before Justin texted me the first time, early in the evening, I had been having a great time with my other boyfriend. After that first text though, I was a ball of nerves because I was sucked back down into thinking about it. Is setting a “no texting unless extreme emergency” rule a good way to manage my jealousy? I want to be ok with him being on other dates, not just trying to forget about it.

 

I don’t know that I am going to be completely and utterly rational about this one, but I’ll try. You see, you had a button and a freakout that intersects with a button of mine! (Of course I have them. We all have them. We’re human).

While I agree with the “No texting except in cases of emergency” rule as a necessary rule of etiquette, I think it’s a Band-Aid over a bone-deep flesh wound in your case. It’s a desirable behavior, but it’s not ultimately going to solve your problem.

The real problem is the jealousy and anxiety. Today must be my day for recommending it, but I really want to encourage you to read Jealousy Management for Love and Profit or, how to fix a broken refrigerator. It doesn’t detail how to get over jealousy, but does analyze a great deal behind not only the emotions but the fallacy of creating external rules as workarounds to the problem. I think it would be quite useful to you. Also his How to Become a Secure Person article. That does detail specific methods to try.

So, what are some ways to get over jealousy? (I applaud the fact you’re working on it, mind.)

Depends on where it’s coming from. What are you feeling? Are you afraid you’ll be dumped for someone better in bed/prettier/younger/newer/whateverer? How does this jibe with reality and facts?

At some point, it would do you a lot of good to learn to cope with be alone, even if it isn’t your first preference. Even if you generally dislike being alone, I’d hesitate to recommend it being a “Date only when I date” thing. If your preference is as strong for company as you imply, you probably have lots of friends. Plan to hang out with friends when your partner is on a date! Plan for something good for yourself during that time.

Now, you weren’t alone, you were with Michael. He can’t have been too flattered by the freakout, I would imagine. I hope that you’ve smoothed things over there, too.

Oh, my button?

Dates interrupted for “emergencies” not involving blood or fire, or even if they do involved blood or fire if it becomes a pattern. It’s such a button I have a protocol for dealing with it that keeps me from being unfair about Life Happening.

That you’re so determined to work on this is good. I think ultimately, you’ll learn some valuable relationship skills and wind up having a great time.

3 thoughts on “Texting, Triggers and Jealousy

  1. Salvor Hardin

    Great advice as usual. Just wanted to chime in with a “yes, these are all important angles to think about”; this blog has helped me a lot on my adventures in open relationships. There are many different triggers for jealousy, but it gets easier to deal with them over time.

    Doing something fun or busying yourself socially is a great place to start – I know it has helped a lot that my partner tries to schedule her dates for evenings when I am already occupied. It’s much easier to slip into anxiety and jealousy from a quiet night alone at home, than it is when you’re out having a drink with friends.

    Reply
  2. Interested Observer

    Going to go to your site about jealousy you posted, not because I am a particularly jealous person but because I liked that you said it had a theme of becoming more secure rather than setting up rules to make one feel more secure or in control, which may serve to control behavior, if that- but doesn’t control emotions or desires. It’s only the illusion of control. Besides, controlling someone sucks. What’s the point in being poly if you aren’t doing things from choice and freedom? What is the point of even being with someone part of the time if they don’t choose to be there and you don’t choose to be with them , and why be with them at all if you are going to spend time obsessing over what they are doing and with whom and if their other partner is this or that, and pretty much live in fear and insecurity. That would suck in mono or poly. As far as comparing oneself to others-I’ve known people who have tried to become like the other partner, for fear that they were losing their b/f g/f to them, when in reality they should have just kept being themselves completely. when you think about it, who wants to be loved because one is copying someone else? How pathetic is that?

    People feel like they can’t own their own greatness, their own special qualities, like if they did, it would be considered stuck up or arrogant. Wrong. It’s called valuing and loving oneself.

    If you don’t, unfortunately people will take advantage of that, either by stepping on you by treating you badly, lying to you, and so on because they see you don’t treat yourself well and whether they admit it or not, they don’t respect you and look down on people like that- they will subconsciously devalue you if you persist in the needy, grasping, desperate for attention maneuvers. Acting like that does not feel like love to the other person. they will see the new person as having more self esteem , simply because they are basking int he glow of the new relationship, whether or not they are an actual worthy person- and see you as lesser if you act like this.

    Not saying you , the blog owner act like this, just putting out there what i have gained after almost half a century of living.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>