Jealousy–A Negative Emotion or a Positive One?

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When I tell people that I am in a non-monogamous relationship, one of the first questions they ask me is “How do you keep from getting jealous?” I think most people feel jealousy is a negative emotion and want to try to avoid it. I disagree though and let me tell you why. 


Jealousy is a natural and expected emotion that can be felt both in a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship. If you are feeling jealous in your open relationship, that is ok. Lots of people get jealous in open relationships, myself included. 


Jealousy can be painful. It can open up previous wounds and hurts. I believe because it can be painful, people label it as a bad emotion and try to avoid it. 


Jealousy can, however, be a great tool in helping you learn more about yourself and your partner.  


Turning your jealousy into a tool for improvement starts with recognizing and acknowledging it without judgment, no beating yourself up for having these feelings.


Do you get agitated or have a tinge of pain when your partner is spending their time with someone else? Do you get mad or not trust them when they tell you they are going out without you? Do you feel on edge or just not like yourself? These all might be signs that you are jealous. How does this make you feel acknowledging this? If it is bringing up some anger or upset, that’s ok. Just try to remember this is an emotion, an feedback your body is giving you and lean into it. 


After acknowledging your jealousy, dig into it a bit deeper. What is causing your jealousy in this moment? When you think of your partner with someone else, is it bringing up fears of them cheating because a previous partner cheated on you and hurt you? Have there already been times of broken trust? Are you feeling like you are spending all your time and energy with the other person and you get the tired, run-down partner who doesn’t have time for you? Talking it over with an unbiased third party might help you dig deeper into this if you are struggling with this part (you can always reach out to me!).


Once you have this answer, you now have a starting place of what needs to be worked on. Do you need to have a conversation with your partner about how they are showing up in your relationship? Do you need to work on your self-confidence? Do you need to process through previous hurts? 


Self-analyzing and processing can be challenging and can take some time. Be patient with yourself and continue to communicate with your partner about your feelings along with the progress and setbacks you encounter. Sometimes there are multiple layers that you need to work through too. 


If you are really feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, start by working on your self-confidence. Loving and trusting yourself will not only help lessen the jealousy you are feeling, it can also improve so many other areas of your life and relationships. 


I know that this is a short blog for such a big topic, but this is the starting point. I will blog more in the future to give you more pointers on how to decrease your jealousy. 


If you are really feeling stuck and need help right now, please reach out to me at and let me help you process your feelings of jealousy or improve your self-confidence and make you and your relationship better.

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