Polyamory and Jealousy: Strategies for Managing and Overcoming

Violet Beau
3 min readJul 11, 2023


“Jealousy is the cousin of love.” — Francoise Sagan

What is jealousy?

Jealousy is a common human emotion that can arise due to various factors, such as fear of loss, comparison, or feelings of insecurity. Experiencing jealousy doesn’t make anyone flawed or inadequate. Jealousy is a natural response and it’s how we manage and work through it that matters.

Open and honest communication

Communication plays a crucial role in managing jealousy. Expressing your feelings openly, sharing your insecurities, and discussing your needs and boundaries with your partners is key. We cannot know what is happening in our loved ones by guessing and they cannot read our minds. Practice regular communication about how jealousy feels within you.

Communication is important but it is not a passive activity. Some change must follow for it to be useful. If your partner expresses that they sometimes feel unsafe are you also taking the time to make sure you understand their position even if there is nothing you can or will do about it?

“I hear that you feel unsafe when you are not sure where I am. I am sorry that that is upsetting for you. I feel that you care about me and want to know that I am okay.”

Practical tip: Set time and space together specifically for this communication. Setting recurring dates can make this easy and predictable.

Build self-awareness

Working on our own self-awareness and examining our own insecurities, triggers, and underlying beliefs is ongoing work! Self-reflection exercises or journaling prompts can help us gain insight into our own emotional landscape.

Here are some prompts to consider:

  • What is my first memory of feeling jealous?
  • What do people that know me well say about me and my expression of jealousy?
  • What feelings come up when I am jealous?

Explore the underlying causes of jealousy in polyamory, such as fear of abandonment, feeling inadequate or unlovable, or concerns about fairness and comparison. Reflect on their triggers and consider the root causes behind your jealousy.

Practical tip: Take some time to reflect on how jealousy has affected you in your past. You can journal, speak outloud or talk to friends and loved ones that you trust.

Setting boundaries

Discuss the significance of establishing clear and healthy boundaries to manage jealousy with your partners. Spend time together on how to communicate boundaries effectively and encourage each other to regularly reassess and adjust boundaries as needed. Start from scratch and be explicit about what kind of commitments you want to make with other people.

It can be hard to receive a boundary from someone we love. When hearing boundaries we can often feel rejected or other unpleasant emotions. Recognize and reflect on these alone and with partners. Try to remember that someone feeling safe enough to express a boundary with you is a gift!

Practical tip: Create some safety with your partner(s) by setting small boundaries as they come up for you.

“I don’t like it when you take a drink of my coffee because one cup is my perfect serving. Please don’t do that in the future or it will annoy me”

Patience and self-care

Patience and self-care are essential in managing and overcoming jealousy. Managing jealousy takes time and patience. Prioritize self-care activities that nurture your well-being as an individual but also encourage others in your life to do the same. Recognize that this is a process and that we all need different things to help us through.

Be patient with yourselves and your partners, and approach your relationships with empathy and understanding.

I will be hosting Poly Speed Dating through the Venice Project this summer in Berlin. I would love to see you there!

Friday 21 July 1900–2200 Eventbrite