Does your boyfriend or girlfriend still have a relationship of a platonic nature with his or her ex? Does this relationship with the ex keep popping up in your relationship to the point where you feel threatened by the relationship? Do you worry about their past, and their history together? Do you feel inadequate or insecure about their conversations and interactions?
I want to turn your attention to a concept known as Starvation Economics. This concept was introduced to me by a book on open relationships, Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. The basic concept is that love is endless, and there is no allotment of love. Love is not to be rationed.
But the basic premise when dealing with, for example jealousy, the kind that pops up when we worry about our partner cheating on us, or still being in love with their ex boyfriend or girlfriend, is that there is no cap on the amount of love we can give or recieve.
We believe that just because he is in love with me, he mustn’t fall in love with another, for if he did he would fall out of love with me.
When in fact most people are capable of loving many, and most people who do fall in love with another, at the other person’s expense, probably fell out of love long before falling in love again.
The basic point I am trying to make is that the capacity for love is infinite and ownership and possessiveness are prescribed by society. For some reason we have been taught that we can only be in love with one person, fall in love with one person and that one person will fulfill all of those needs.
And this may be true for many, however this does not diminish the fact that the ability to love is endless. It’s not as if we only have a 100% of love to give and then it will run out. That simply is not the case.
It is unrealistic to think that an ex boyfriend or ex spouse does not hold a spot in our hearts and in our history. It’s part of where we were and lends to where we have come in life, and where we are now. We should not feel threatened by small innocent interactions.
When we are full of loving we will tend to realize and understand that our partners love for us is most likely quite different than the love they have with their ex. True, with not as much history, perhaps, but nonetheless, special in it's own way. Not better. Not worse.
Don’t be jealous of all the dirty water under the bridge of their old relationship.
Learn to accept it as a part of your partner’s package and move on. Nit-picking over the relationship your partner has with his or her ex has more to do with you than it does with them. Not everyone believes that they have to cut off all ties with their exes. That is okay.
Focus on your relationship, not on the other relationships your partner has. If he is not breaking your trust by doing something dishonest, then his relationships are his business, and part of his package when coming into a relationship with you. We do not own our partners.
However, if you are truly worried that your partner may leave you for his ex, or concerned about the bond they have, ask yourself is this a realistic reason to be upset or are you just jealous?
Jealousy always has more to do with you and your unrealistic fears, such as your fear of loss, abandonment, being alone and being rejected/left behind for someone else.
Jealousy stems from feelings of internal inferiority, from a lack of love for yourself first, which leaves you incapable of wanting only the best for others, and in the end loving others. When you have the love for yourself, you can recognize that jealousy does not have to do with being realistic about the stability of your relationship, the bond, and trust you have with your partner.
It does not lend to wanting the best for your partner. If however, there is something else going on, and your fears are actually based in reality (be honest with yourself, and remember you can get professional help too, it always helps to talk about these things) then before you make any sudden moves make sure you recognize the true nature of your emotions.
Mou is a sex therapist based in Los Angeles. Visit her website at www.LASexTherapist.com. This is an excerpt from her book, Marriage, Money and Porn, available on Amazon.