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"Don't You Ever Feel Jealousy?" | Debunking The Most Common Polyamory Myth

Sunday, 31 January 2021




 "Don't you ever feel jealous?"

"I can't believe you never feel jealous"

"Imagine being okay with this"

...these are just a few of the things we hear from monogamous people about the concept of jealousy in polyamory. Today, I want to talk about it, debunk the myths surrounding jealousy in polyamory and try to reframe jealousy in a different way. And I would say the most common myth is this, and this can apply to monogamy and polyamory alike - and perhaps other ENM styles which I don't know enough about as I just haven't experienced them.

"Jealousy is a negative emotion, and I should never feel it.

If I do, I should bottle it up, not talk about it and get over it."

I'm here to tell you first and foremost: this is a lie.

Firstly: jealousy is not a negative emotion.

Secondly: it is normal and natural to feel jealousy.

Thirdly: you absolutely have got to talk about it.

Let's get into this a bit more.

The first thing to do when you start getting that ol' jealousy type feeling, or at least what I do when I start feeling that way is to simply feel it. Don't say "I need to stop feeling this way right now" or "I can't feel like this" just...sit there. Feel it. Let it overwhelm you for a second and just get used to feeling what jealousy feels like. Acknowledge it. Even say it out loud to yourself - "I am feeling jealous". After all - one of the main things in polyamory is communication and if you can't communicate with yourself and acknowledge these feelings to yourself - how are you going to do that with your partner? 

The thing with jealousy is that it always comes from somewhere. There's always a reason you're feeling it and identifying why you feel that way is vital to learning how to deal with it. I feel like this is the easy bit though. For me, jealousy usually is from three reasons - envy, neglect or insecurity.

Envy

This is simple. I want what my partner has. If he's talking to someone new - I want it too. I remember back in the November lockdown he texted his other partner (my meta) "I miss you" and I got sad because I wanted that too - I wanted someone to tell me they missed me. I wanted my partner to tell me he missed me which was ridiculous because he lives with me right now. It isn't that I don't want him to have what he has, I just want it to.

Neglect

I generally feel neglect when I feel like I'm not receiving the same, or a greater level of attention than someone my partner is seeing, or maybe we haven't gone on a date night in a while, or maybe your own partner has given their other partner flowers and they haven't given you flowers in a while. I think this comes more into play for me in non-Covid times because obviously right now we live together and we aren't physically dating other people. There's only one thing that solves this really - communication. Tell your partner how you're feeling, say it out loud and then rectify from there.

Insecurity

This is my tough one and something I get hung up on way too much. In my last blog post about polyamory I wrote about how polyamory or ENM in general will force you to face your insecurities and simply not have them. I personally don't think this is possible though - the thing with insecurity is that we all have it. We're all in this mindset of comparing ourselves to everyone else constantly and this (pardon me going on a tangent) is directly linked to capitalism and how ingrained we are with it. Capitalism cannot thrive if people don't compare themselves and are constantly trying to achieve more than everyone else around them, and thus we get caught in cycles of comparison and striving to be better than other people. And it's a bloody hard thing to unlearn. 

I think what's helped me most with my insecurities is figuring out what makes me feel good about myself - when I'm looking after myself and actually doing uni work and exercise and reading I'm significantly more secure in myself - but also learning that different does not mean better or worse, or more or less. It's just different. We are all just different people - no one is better than anyone else, and your partner does not like someone else more than you or find someone else more interesting - they're just different. In the same way that your relationship with one friend is different to another and the relationship you might have with your dad is different to your mum, the relationship you have to different partners are just different - and different is always, always a good thing.

Poly vs Mono

There's this notion I think, that polyamorous people feel jealousy more, or get more jealous than monogamous people do, and I'm here to tell you that it just isn't true. In monogamous relationships I've felt jealous, inadequacy and fear the same way I do now, because jealousy does not come from the situation - it comes from you and how you are reacting to something. When I was in a mono relationship I was constantly in the mindset that "the grass is greener on the other side" for both of us, but now I actually get to see whether it is. And what do you know - it isn't greener and it isn't less green, it's just a different shade.

Jealousy is not a bad emotion to feel. It is just an emotion, and the thing with emotions is that they must be felt. If I've learned anything in time spent in therapy, or years battling depression it's that emotions are better when acknowledged, felt and talked about. 

Let me know if you have any other questions about polyamory, and I'll do my best to answer them and talk about it more!

Emilia xx

Feminist Books You Should Definitely Be Reading | Current Reads & TBR

Friday, 29 January 2021

 


Good morning friends, happy Friday and all that!

Today I thought I would publish just a lil list of some feminist books I think everyone needs on their shelves. I've done a post like this a few years ago, but the current climate surrounding social media feminism seems to be needing yet another feminist reading list.

I'm aware of the stigma surrounding feminist books, so the list I've put together are a few more 'academic' texts but are still easily read and accessible to all, but will leave you feeling excited and inspired by the stories within. There are also a couple on the end that I haven't read yet - damn you Amazon out of stock notice - but that are firmly on my list and I'm looking forward to reading.

The Ethical Slut by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton

Ah, of course I had to include the polyamory bible. While this book does have polyamory and ENM styles at the forefront of the focus, there are also some incredible home truths about feminism and sluthood, and I think there are even bits monogamous people could do with reading - specifically chapters on jealousy and arguments within any relationship style. Relationships, but make it feminist - that's what this book is about. 

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Oh this book - this sums up everything I feel about feminism. For a quick insight into what this book discusses, read this Guardian article that Gay wrote about how she feels like a bad feminist. "Pink is my favourite colour" she says - me too, Roxane, me too. However, as Roxane is also a Black woman, this adds yet another intersectional twist on the book, and you should be prepared to have your views torn up, chewed up and spat out upon reading this book. Her journey is unique to her, but her insights appeal to everyone and that's the best kind of feminist book.

Empowered by Sarah Banet-Weiser

This book was an absolute dream of a read. It is a little more on the academic side, just to warn you - but I immensely and thoroughly enjoyed it. I recently have been doing a lot of linguistic research into social media feminism and a friend and colleague sent me this book in the hopes that it would help me out - and help me out it really did. Banet-Weiser talks about popular feminism and how it comes hand in hand with popular misogyny, and argues that popular feminism limits its potential for collective power. It is incredibly critical of neoliberal feminism (love) and offers thoughtful insights into the direction feminism is going in the 21st Century

Now for a couple on my reading list...

Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight For Sex Workers' Rights by Molly Smith & Juno Mac

I have to be totally honest - the fight for sex workers' rights has really only come onto my feminist radar very recently, and I'm so eager to know more about the world of sex workers and how we as feminists have excluded sex workers in the past, and how we can do more in the future for sex workers' rights and I think this might be a good place to learn. I think this is a topic that needs to come to the forefront of the feminist movement so if you're also thinking along the same lines as me - add this to your lists. And it's finally back in stock on Amazon so you have no excuses.

Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power by Lola Olufemi

This is another I have on order right now and I'm very excited for it. Everyone should be all about intersectional texts and the idea behind this book is that we're reclaiming the word feminism from consumerism - very topical for the current climate. And it doesn't just touch on consumerism, but goes even further and discusses state violence, reproductive rights, transmisogyny and gendered Islamaphobia, all topics I know very little about. Once again, I'm so excited to dig my teeth into this and learn, learn, learn. After all - that's all we can do.

Are there any other feminist books you think I should be reading?

Emilia xx

Some Lessons I've Learned From Polyamory

Monday, 18 January 2021

 


Hey everyone!!! I had some thoughts that I wanted to get down and hey - where better than to get them down on my lil corner of the internet?!

So let's update you first on where our relationship is at. I wrote in February about how me and my boyfriend have been in an open relationship since we began (May 2019) and how we intend to keep it very much that way. Since then we've moved on somewhat from an open relationship to simply being polyamorous. The difference is that in an open relationship, your other relationships are mostly sexual relationships, whereas in polyamory you're freer to make romantic or otherwise connections with outside partners. Both of us would now say we're straight up poly rather than being just in an open relationship. And it's really been a quite wild ride, especially over the past few months. During Covid neither of us have dated that much, but we've both dated a little bit now and are even in a lovely little polycule situation (more on this if you want it!) and having a great time - even if the latest lockdown has put a spanner in our works a little bit. This isn't going to be the most in depth post you've ever read, but I just wanted to cover a few things I've learned about myself since being in a polyamorous relationship. This is something I want to start talking about more on this lil space so count this as dipping my toe in the water to see if y'all like it :) let's gooooooo!!!!

1. You have to be so secure in yourself.

Honestly, this is probably the biggest lesson I've learned, and I'm still learning it really. You have to really learn how not to compare yourself constantly to someone that your partner is dating, and most of that comes from security in yourself and your abilities. Obviously none of us can be 100% secure 100% of the time, but knowing who you are is actually a pretty important step in this. Something I've found helpful is finding a couple of things that make me feel really good - I love feeling clever and I love feeling physically strong, both of those things make me feel incredibly powerful, so whenever I'm having a Bad Day I'll try and do something physical like yoga, or weights, or slacklining, or read something and do some university work. It helps to take my mind off negative feelings but also makes me feel good about myself and my abilities too.

2. Jealousy is the most normal emotion, and it does not have to be negative

This kind of relates to lesson 1 I guess. But accepting that jealousy is very natural and it's actually okay to feel jealous is a big step to take. We're told constantly that jealousy is bad and it's weird if you're jealous and jealousy is the ugliest emotion, but it's actually not. What is bad is how you choose to deal with it, but inherently feeling jealous is completely natural, and I think these days it'd actually be weirder if you didn't feel jealousy ever. The way we deal with it just talking about it - communication is another thing polyamory has forced out of me and I'm much better at talking about and pinpointing my emotions these days.

3. Comparison is the thief of joy

I think we all know this and we're all aware of this. Being aware of it doesn't stop it happening though. I still haven't really found a solution to this except lots of reassurance/validation but having read a lot of advice blogs/subreddits about this, I believe time is the cure, as well as being secure in yourself. It can be very easy to constantly think about everything that your meta (metamor = your partner's partner) has that you don't, but it's not constructive or helpful to think like that. What is though, is thinking about everything you both have and all the wonderful reasons you both love the same person and the reasons that person loves both of you.

4. Seeing your partner happy takes everything else away

There's a concept in polyamory called compersion which I guess could be seen as the opposite of jealousy, and I LOVE it. We're not conditioned to feel happy when your partner has a great time with someone else, but every now and again I've felt this warm, gooey, honey-like feeling inside me when Gus is telling me about a great date he's gone on and seeing him happy takes away every other negative emotion for me. I love that our relationship allows him to be fully himself and it's a lovely feeling to see it every day. 

5. You'll probably fall in love with everyone you meet from now on

Bit more of a lighthearted one to finish, but if you're anything like me, it'll probably start happening like this. I'm sorry, I don't make the rules.

Let me know if polyamory is something you want to see me talking more about in 2021!!

Emilia x



2021 - Who Even Needs New Year Resolutions?

Friday, 8 January 2021

 


Certainly not me, is the answer to that question.

Congrats my dudes - we made it. We made it to 2021 and I'm pretty sure we all want to cancel already because let's be real, the 7 day free trial really hasn't been that good. What with being back in lockdown, what can only be called domestic terrorism in the US and shitty, shitty weather here in the UK, there really isn't much going on that can be described as "happy" this new year. Although, once again I did take a small absolutely fucking massive hiatus from this blog which means I DO have stuff to talk about.

So, where did I leave you last time? I think I was in a massive breakdown over my life and my future and not particularly sure what I was doing with myself. Well, the good news is that I am actually doing something with myself, but the bad news is that I'm still kind of in the breakdown over my life and my future. But back to the good news. I ended up getting accepted onto the Linguistics MA I applied for and have been on it since September! And it's good but Master's life is a big step up from Bachelor's life, don't get me wrong. I'm kind of glad I can't have a social life right now rather than not being able to go out due to work - at least it's everyone, not just me I guess! But it's fun, and the course content is, dare I say it, intensely more interesting than anything I learned in my undergrad. I'm kind of wishing I had done something like this for my undergrad but it's no bother, I'm doing it now and I'm feeling cleverer and more intellectual and like I'm really using my brain for the first time in three years.

So lockdown hasn't brought about many changes for me, to be honest - I was lucky enough to be able to spend Christmas with my family, and managed to get back to Manchester before lockdown kicked in and spend New Year with some special people (very safely - we were tested and negative so all was well) and after a very intense deadline period and a few days of relaxation I'm ready to get back into uni and take lockdown in my stride yet again, just like the other two. Gus has once again moved in with me and my other two new housemates for now (I say new, I've been living with them since October and it's been so good) so I get to have him around a lot.

I feel like life is very slow and very fast all at the same time right now - I can't quite believe we're in 2021 already but the first week has just dragged so very much. But I'm still going, still plodding on and to be honest, I think that's going to be my only resolution for 2021. I achieved a lot in 2020 and it still feels like I'm recovering if I'm honest, so I think I'm going to use 2021 to be gentle on myself, at least in the first few months anyway.

I want to start taking my health seriously, and start yoga in a serious way - we've started Yoga by Adriene's Breath challenge and while we aren't doing it every day, we're doing pretty well! I also have been ~thinking~ a lot lately, and I know I say every year that I'm going to start blogging properly again but I think this year might actually be the year. I've learned a lot about various big issues recently and think it may be time to start writing my thoughts down again, as well as potentially starting to create content on YouTube again. Like I said though, I'm going to be gentle on myself, and do things I truly want to do for myself.

Most importantly though, I want to keep growing and learning and becoming the best version of myself - 2020 put us all through a lot and I feel like 2021 isn't going to let up any time soon, so the best thing any of us can do is just keep plodding on and be nice to ourselves.

What are your new year's resolutions for 2021 - if you have any?

Emilia xx

August Slipped Away... | Hello September

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Um...hey.


You know, I really don't think I realised what time of year it was until a few days ago when suddenly it was the 31st August and I went onto Animal Crossing and Isabelle told me September was...the next day. I was shocked because so far this year March and April felt like six months and June, July and August just slipped away. Like a moment in time, as Taylor Swift would say.

Believe it or not this is the first September in seventeen years that I haven't had plans for. Usually this time of year is about stressing over whether all my things will fit in the car, looking forward to being back at university, buying new stationery and whatnot, but this year I'm kind of just...at home. I'm hoping not to be - I actually applied for an MA in English Language & Linguistics a couple of weeks ago and I'm waiting for an answer from that. I'm keeping my fingers crossed so hard because I haven't really thought about what the plan is if I get rejected, but hey - we will cross that bridge if we come to it.

Other than that life is pretty slow still. I've spent most of the last few months feeling a little bit stagnant, a little bit "sit-at-home-and-watch-Netflix" vibes, and it really isn't a bad thing I don't think. It's the first summer in three years I've been able to do it so it's been quite relaxing. I made a few Tiktoks here and there - although none have gone viral again which is a bummer - and considered starting up YouTube again but unsure how I feel about that. I also started about three blogposts and never finished them, and took some Instagram photos but never uploaded them...there's a bit of a theme here. I'm trying not to feel too bad about this though, I will get out of my rut when I feel like it.

I have also seen my boyfriend which was lovely - there were a few days the other week when he was alone in his house so I took the opportunity to ~legally~ see him in Manchester. The drive was pretty horrendous but hey, I had an amazing few days with him. One of the blogposts I started was actually going to be about adjusting to a long-distance relationship so that may still be to come.

One thing I've been doing for the past month is running, actually. When my older sister moved back to London (she came home for the duration of lockdown) my dad seriously missed his running buddy so he decided to try one more time to get me into it. If you know me, you will know I detest running - I tried to get into it so many times but I always found it so boring and so hard to breathe and just generally difficult. But we started off doing gentle 500m jogs to and from the village church and a month later I can comfortably(ish) run 4km!! I want to be able to get to 5km and Dad thinks it could happen in the next week or so. I didn't do any exercise since the climbing centres closed and honestly, I forgot how good a bit of exercise makes me feel. And I'd been feeling a bit off about my body after losing a lot of my strength so it feels good to be leaning up again. My abs are coming back!!

I've been listening to folklore, having socially-distanced brunch at my grandparents every Saturday, re-watching Gilmore Girls and all the Marvel films (I started with Black Panther after Chadwick Boseman's passing hit me way hard and got into that Marvel hole of wanting to watch all of them), playing Animal Crossing and Dragon Quest Builders, thinking a lot about white corporate feminism and crying here and there. So life...really hasn't changed that much, and is beginning to feel a small semblance of normal again. We're going away for a week on Saturday to Cornwall, and a staycation is well anticipated by everyone in this household right now!

September will be good for me, and I'm looking forward to it.

How are y'all doing pals?

Em xx

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