I’m 45, involved in a long distance relationship with a 26 year old. Chicago to New York. We’ve been physically together twice, and both times there was amazing chemistry. I don’t normally date that huge of a delta in age, but he was interested in me first and looks great naked, so I figured what the hell. We see each other again this Thursday.
When I’m with him, everything is great. I am developing strong feelings for him. We met on an app called Scruff, which is basically Grindr for the “bear” community. Lately I’ve noticed that he’s on the app a lot still, even though he calls me every day and does nice things for me. I immediately wonder if he’s doing it with someone else or looking for someone closer to him. I don’t think either is the case, but I mope around the house, do nothing, neglect my own life, and watch way too much porn (yes, there is such a thing).
Jealousy has cost me so much. My last partner of 3 years left me this past October. He was going online while I was at work, having cam sex and setting up workout dates with other guys. I don’t know if he actually cheated on me, but the jealousy drove me to the point where I made his life hell. Other than being a dog, he really was a great guy.
I’d love to be that guy who can take his partner speaking to someone else more attractive and not feel like I’m going to lose something and freak out. I find it impossible to remain cool in that situation. Even if the current guy, Dan, does f**k someone else, he’s still a great guy and theoretically there would be no reason not to see him again, but I know it would be a deal breaker for me.
Ok, that’s sorta where I am with dating. I’m stuck in this jealousy pattern.
I feel jealousy is and incredibly worthless emotion. My last relationship was killed by my ex’s insane jealousy and I too have pushed women away in this drunken stupor of an emotion. However, I have overcome about 80% of my jealous reactions and I am so much happier for it.
Right now I am in an open relationship with a girl seeing multiple men. We are all aware of each other but only the girl and I are comfortable with it. One of the guys is so jealous that he constantly tries to keep her away from me, which pushes her to me and repels her from him. His jealousy isn’t serving him or anyone, and I feel bad watching him sabotage a relationship with someone he loves.
I know you are aware of how destructive jealousy is and that you are in a pattern. However I think that this is actually more than a pattern. What I believe is actually going on here is an addictive cycle. It sounds a bit like the same thing as a pattern but the key is the addictive part. A lot of negative behavior patterns people express have very little to do with reality rather it is a need to support an internal reality that is the key. Inside their heads they believe something about themselves and if they can manipulate their external world they experience a sense of security, rightness. This is the key to the issue, and nothing can be changed until we can address why you think you are not worthy of love from a partner.
Okay, with that said, you are spinning your wheels here. Everyone is polygamous pretending to be monogamous. Unless you are living with the guy and there is concern over STDs you should not expect any partner to remain faithful, not to mention yourself. Like you said before the emotion of jealousy is one of lack, it says that there is not enough love, that if he loves someone else, he will love you less. This is simply untrue and stems from a mentality of scarcity. We have a nearly limitless capacity to love and if you can embrace this you can embrace your lover loving someone else and ACTUALLY be happy for them having a good time.
This view point might freak you out a bit but if you would like to learn more I recommend the book Ethical Slut.
So the first step is to root around in your psyche and figure out why you are so afraid of loss, the second step is to change your programming, this can be done with affirmations, messages to yourself, writing on your mirror with whiteboard markers, getting books to affirm your new sense of self. The next step is to actually trigger the jealousy response purposely and allow yourself to handle it. This is kinda like having a fear of heights and standing on the edge of a building. The first time is hell but every time you repeat this the response becomes less and less strong.
The way this looks in the real world is asking your partner to do what you most fear, go to a singles bar and ask him to flirt in front of you. This can start with baby steps, and you can set some rules with him to help you through it. You must schedule this and must make it a part of your personal growth.
I wish I could give you a magic solution to this but unfortunately you are going to have to dive in to the smelly elephant guts of this issue and feel a whole pile of pain. Once you hang out here enough the pain will ebb and you will realize it simply isn’t real, just a construction of your own design to support a flawed perception.
So as difficult as this all sounds, there is a light at the end of this tunnel (something I am experiencing right now). When you can let your partner be free, and your partner allows you freedom. You are no longer under the bonds of most relationships, and the fear to love is removed. I am no longer afraid to love someone when they can let me go, and they are open to love me when they know they will only gain by having me in their life. So in essence the more you let go the more love there is to give and be had. It is a very very nice state to be in.