The Human Experience

Jealousy

He slept with someone else. He told me of his own volition, but I suspected as much. Not because I’m a cynic but more because I understand how this works. I take the information in with aplomb because I always feel it’s better in the long term to take bad news with grace. Although, after a few moments of reflection, I realize: I’m jealous. But not in the way I’m used to being jealous. Which is probably why it took me so long to realize that I was feeling jealousy. Generally in situations like this, I’m not treated with the respect that I always want. Historically, I always find out that my so-called boyfriends are cheating on me through word of mouth, which is, of course, enraging, and that always inspires some sort of fit of hysteria and self destructive revenge seeking. However, in this situation, it’s a bit different. We’re not monogamous, nor do I think either of us were aiming for that. Although, in a flash, the thought crosses my mind: did I miss my opportunity? Should I have locked it down? Do I want monogamy? Answer: nah. Sure, I’m not actively pursuing other partners right now because there’s a lot going on and I feel satisfied with the current state of my life, but I like to keep my options open. The label of monogamy is just so…burdensome. It’s very heavy, and also as someone who has been in that alternative sexual lifestyle for quite some time now, I know better than that. Which isn’t to say that I have too much guilt about my previously slutty ways to feel like I deserve monogamy – it’s more that after eschewing monogamy for so long, I know that if I wanted monogamy, I would recognize that desire overwhelmingly. And what I recognize is: I want to be asked to be in a monogamous relationship, not the other way around. I’m just not phased by it. Maybe I will be eventually, but not today. I’m also not phased by the fact that he slept with someone else, but I’m still jealous. Which is great! I’m actually pretty pleased with myself and my ability to address this bit of jealousy. It’s not unbearable. It’s not crushing me. It’s just there, and I don’t really know what to do with it. Honestly, I think my jealousy is really cute. It’s an endearing kind of jealousy. It’s sweet. Back when I used to be tough, I never would have allowed myself to be jealous. I didn’t really like being that emotionally involved with my sexual partners, so the fact that I’m jealous means that I actually care. Which is a relief – I fucked so many people that I didn’t care about over the years, and I wasn’t a better person for it. I guess it turns out I enjoy caring about the people I sleep with. I’d like to be the type of person who cares about her sexual partners. Who expresses her emotions like an adult. Who accepts that people and situations and relationships and emotions can change over time. I think that’s very cool.

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