Shades of Love: Thinking about how you love
By Rosie Biwords
It is no surprise that our idea of love is mostly based on our life experiences. Each heartbreak or lusty desire etches its mark in the form of beliefs that become unconscious love systems.
Some of these systems of love we create in reaction to the good, the bad and the ugly episodes, making connections with others more difficult.
Have you met that green monster in your lover’s likeness? The one that questions why you’d prefer to see an old friend of many years than spend more time with her – rolls eyes all the way back! Now before you judge me for being inconsiderate of my lover’s feelings, I need to stress that I am a romantic – the genuine article. But as a polyamorist, loving is freedom, whining is something else entirely.
Jealousy can hurt a relationship if it is not checked. It is a valid emotion because it is feedback that something is up. Jealousy can be triggered by current events but is often rooted in the past. Knowing the root rather than delving into arguments after arguments, is a healthier and more loving approach.
After years of self-introspection and self-awareness, I have learned that the feedback from lovers can serve to build a sexually, spiritually and an emotionally fulfilling relationship. But it takes two (or more) to tango.
In my case, with my lover, my desire to go visit an old friend who I have not seen in years is not a reason to be jealous. But my lover’s shade of love states that her expression of jealousy is proof that she loves me. My interpretation of this version of love is that it is not love at all because the request, fueled by the jealousy, is that I choose not to see a friend and instead stay with her. There is no freedom in that. Her trusting me with my friend is my Shade of Love. Her trusting that I will inform her of any romantic feelings may build up between my friend and I is my Shade of Love.
So, what’s a lesbian to do?
First of all, it isn’t about you.
These jealous feelings are hers.
You did not create them.
They are not your fault.
This is her shit, her shade of love that needs healing.
Each love experience, dramatic or subtle, shapes our views, and by not discounting any version, one can accept each idea of love, each shade of love. From a space of acceptance, a couple (monogamous or poly) can loving allow the one going through the motions to flow through it with the support of their partner.
So, now what to do? You could:
- Love her from the place she is in. Have her know that her feelings count, and that they are valid. If you need to take a walk so you do not blow your top, do this too!
- Ask her how she you can support her as she works through the emotion. They are her feelings, so it is her work, not yours. However, hearing from you on the phone or an sms saying you are thinking about her may heal her heart as she works the emotions out of her system. This makes the feelings she is having about her past, not her present.
- Give it time. Reiterating that she can move past the emotion and realize there is nothing wrong.
- Do you. Go out and be you. Cause that is what she loves about you. If you are polyamorous, connect with others who can give you what she is unable to at this time. If you are monogamous, hang out with a friend and process the situation with them.
- If you are poly and this is your primary partner, and the upset is contentious, consider creating a break from others for a short time to give her the room to realize you are not the problem so that she can work through the upset without the drama.
- If the emotions get contentious to the point you need a break. Take it. Self-love is not selfish. Even though she may not understand your decision to look out for self, she will one day. Toxic relationships hurt everybody involved… even your future connection.
Every situation is unique. The above is just a list of suggestions that can help, but they are not the holy grail. You hold your solution, and thus your truth. Trust it. Especially if it comes from a place of love and compassion for your partner. Knowing that we all have “shit” to work through.
Being polyamorous isn’t about sex with many partners. For me, being polyamorous means I commit to loving each person, friend or foe, in a loving way that enables them to be themselves and love freely. If you are catching feelings, I’ll give you the space to do so until I can’t. Well-being goes both ways.
Jealousy is not a sign of love, folks. It is a sign of a broken heart needing healing. So be part of the solution, not the problem!
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