Jealousy, Selfishness and Polyamory

“Anybody who actually loves you, who actually is concerned with you, if they really want to demonstrate that concern, they have to show you that they trust that you know what you’re doing. If somebody cannot show you that they trust that you know what you’re doing, then they’re not really worthy of that role that they say they’re in.”

Thom Knoles

Episode Summary

Our first Ask Thom Anything episode was such a hit that we’re making it a regular feature. 

In this episode, Thom talks about how to respond to the jealousy of others when we’re following our own evolutionary path, including a delightful background story to how Guru Deva stubbornly followed his own evolutionary path at a very young age.

He also discusses the self-love trend and how to recognize the distinction between self-ish-ness and Self-ness. 

Polyamory and monogamy are also addressed, with Thom taking the opportunity to outline the role of a ‘love alliance’ and shared mission in intimate relationships.

If you’d like to have Thom answer a question on the podcast, you can submit your questions here.

Subscribe to Vedic Worldview

Apple Podcast logo
Stitcher Podcast logo
Spotify Podcast logo
Google Podcast logo

Episode Highlights


Q – How Do We Balance Following Our Own Charm With Jealousy That Might Arise In Others



We Can’t Control the Experience of Others



Jealousy Is…



Envy Gone Horribly Wrong



A Pathetic Consciousness State



 I Have to Go to the Himalayas



Running Away From Home (At the Age of Six!)



The Shankaracharya



They Have to Trust That You Know What You Are Doing



Occasional Frank Conversations



What Are You Doing For Your Own Evolution?



Growing Out of Social Relationships



Q – How Can We Know the Difference Between Self-love and Selfishness?



Upper-Case S Self



 Lower-Case s self



 Self-ish-ness and Selfness



Expanded Consciousness is the First Priority



Giving Beyond Conscious Receptivity



The Apparent Need for Reciprocity






I Am the Fulfillment State Seeking the Need of the Time



How Love Evolves



Q – What’s the Vedic Worldview on Polyamory and Monogamy?



A Love Alliance



Shared Mission



Differing Standards






A Field Full of Potential Confusion



A Mere Relation-Ship



Be Honest About It


Jai Guru Deva


Jealousy, Selfishness, Polygamy

Welcome to my podcast, the Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles. Today we’re going to have another session of Ask Thom Anything. I hope you enjoy the questions and answers. Jai Guru Deva.

Q – How Do We Balance Following Our Own Charm With Jealousy That Might Arise In Others

[00:00:57] Hi, Thom. Jai Guru Deva my name’s Daniel.

[00:01:01] I just had a question on jealousy and relationships. How do we best navigate the space of following our own charm, following our own desires and noticing that sometimes that may trigger jealousy within a close partner, whether it be the relationship that we have with others, or the time spent from the relationship, engaging following charm or even the success that may come from following charm, how do we best hold space for that within them?

[00:01:36] And also not completely capitulate to the fear and still follow our desires, because it can cause quite a vast amount of tension in the individual to deny the desire in order to concede to the jealousy, and it can also cause a lot of tension in the relationship to pursue the desire and dismiss the jealousy. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

[00:02:02] And also generally how following charm may cause fear in somebody who’s not following their own deepest sense of feeling, and so how do we navigate the relationship where we’re moving from a place of charm and it doesn’t look logical or rational to people that are in fear?

[00:02:21] Jai Guru Deva.

We Can’t Control the Experience of Others

[00:02:22] Jai Guru Deva, and a very good question, and also a very compassionate question. Very compassionate on your part to be so concerned about the experiences of others as you’re growing naturally in your own progress into higher-consciousness states.

[00:02:40] One of the interesting things that we have to say is that we cannot control anyone else’s experience, nor can anyone else control our experience. Our desire for someone else to have a better experience than the one they’re having is a natural desire, but we can’t make somebody stop feeling jealous or make somebody stop experiencing some kind of discomfort by us manipulating words or manipulating our behavior, or even demonstrating to them that they have nothing to fear.

[00:03:15] If they are in that fear consciousness state, then those negative, very consumptive consciousness states will be their nature anyway. And so then, all we can do really, for all of those around us who are concerned with our daily life is do our best to be exemplary.

Jealousy Is…

[00:03:35] First of all, let’s just look at jealousy and contrast it from the Vedic perspective with another related word, that in the Vedic view is quite a different concept. In Vedic psychology jealousy is a state that one is in where one feels as though someone else with whom you’d love to continue having shared experience is now having experiences that are out of your reach and that they’re not relying upon you to trigger those experiences for them anymore.

[00:04:07] And so then jealousy comes in where they actually may begin to wish that you were not having those experiences that you’re having. This is basically what jealousy is. “I don’t want you to be experiencing what you’re experiencing because it’s leaving me out. I want you to come back to the level of experience that we have shared before, where you were dependent on me as the stimulus for the fine experiences that you’re having.” And so this is jealousy.

Envy Gone Horribly Wrong

[00:04:38] Another related experience, which is non-destructive from the Vedic perspective, and Vedic psychology, is envy. Envy in Western English language typically is used as virtually synonymous with the word jealousy, but from the Vedic perspective, it’s not.

[00:04:55] “I see someone rise into a more happy state. I see someone rise into a higher-consciousness state, for example, and I’m envious of it.” Envious of it means, “I’m going to do something to get myself up to that level. It’s my motivation and inspiration to rise to what it is I see that I, myself, am yet lacking.”

[00:05:18] And so from the Vedic perspective, envy can be a motivator to help somebody rise into a higher-consciousness state. Jealousy, on the other hand, is envy gone horribly wrong.

[00:05:30] “I don’t want you to be in that higher-consciousness state. I want you to come back to this consciousness state. And for me to be central to, pivotal to, your experience where this may have been a joyful thing I’ve had in the past, that I am the pivotal cause of all of your happiness, and now I do not any longer appear to be the pivotal cause of your happiness.

[00:05:54] “I don’t want to be in the consciousness state you’re in. I want you to come back here and lose whatever that is that’s making you think that I’m not pivotal.” That’s jealousy.

A Pathetic Consciousness State

[00:06:04] So again, the jealousy is futile because it doesn’t make anything like a charming experience out of the people who are jealous. Somebody who is jealous is very ironically creating a rather repulsive consciousness state, one that nobody really wants to have anything to do with. And it is self-destructive and it’s defeatist.

[00:06:31] Jealousy is based on a conviction that I can never have the breadth of experience that someone else is having, and so I want everything to come back to a state that it might’ve been before, even it was only like that for 10 seconds, where I’m pivotal to the happiness of others. That’s just not a possibility.

[00:06:53] And so we can see that jealousy is, in effect, an expression of a very defeatist consciousness state. It’s a consciousness state that is, not in pejorative terms, but in literal terms, it’s pathetic.

[00:07:11] It’s a pathetic consciousness state. It’s a pathos. It’s a disease state. It’s a state of mental disease and we want to learn how to transcend that ourselves, and we hope that others also can transcend it, but without direct knowledge, enough information about how everything is moving in an evolutionary fashion, we can’t really control someone into that experience.

I Have to Go to the Himalayas

[00:07:38] You talked also about fear. Fear is related to jealousy obviously, but it’s a substratum of it, a sub-state. So when we think about fear, let’s just look at some examples, some famous examples of where this kind of thing came in.

[00:07:54] My master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, also had a master Swami Brahmananda Saraswati whom we refer to as Guru Dev. Guru Dev, at the age of six… Can you imagine it, an only child of an illustrious family. A family who were relatively well off in India, had this six-year-old son. He was the only child of the family, they were not able to have any other children, even though they desired that.

[00:08:24] And so he was the light of their life, and yet he began coming to them, to his parents and saying, “I have to get out of here because my mission is to go to the Himalayas.” That’s the Indian way of saying Himalayas. 

[00:08:37] “I have to go to the Himalayas and find the truth.” And his family said, “You need to find the truth of school. You need to find the truth of kindergarten. You need to find the truth of finishing your education. You need to find the truth of getting married and giving us grandchildren and getting into a profession where you can assist us in our old age.”

Running Away From Home (At the Age of Six)

[00:08:59] And Guru Dev just listened to all of that quietly and would go back into his room and then have a look at the window to see how solid it was, to see if he could somehow get it open and squeeze out. And so he began running away from home at around the age of six.

[00:09:15] His parents were very well-connected people, and when he would vanish from his room, they would hire ex-military people, almost like they were mercenaries, people who had been in the army and were good with investigation and all of that. And they would send troops of people out looking for him.

[00:09:32] And eventually they’d find him, typically at some far distant train station where he’d hitchhiked to get on a train going north, north to the Himalayas. And they’d capture him and bring him back, and the window would be fixed in his bedroom so he couldn’t leave anymore.

[00:09:48] And this went on and went on. Now he was seven and it was continuing to go on, and he was eight and it was continuing to go on. He was a very sweet and loving boy, but absolutely bound and determined. “I’m not destined to be here or any of those things that you’ve mentioned, I’m destined to be in the Himalayas.”

The Shankaracharya

[00:10:07] And so the task lay eventually on this nine-year-old boy, who at the age of nine, was able to work with those people whom he loved the most and who loved him the most, his two dear parents, and finally got them to agree and actually allow him to walk out the door and head off to the Himalayas.

[00:10:31] Now, how long did that take? Three years, for a nine-year-old. Can you imagine what it would take for a child to convince their parents to willingly let the child go with no guarantee of anything great that was going to happen?

[00:10:50] As it turned out Guru Dev’s parents, many, many years later, they lived to be a ripe old age, heard that he had become a great, an amazing master, whose wise and trusted counsel was being sought by hundreds of thousands and who was being sought out to be that master of all the masters of India, the King of the yogis known as the Shankaracharya.

[00:11:16] And so, ultimately, they had that satisfaction. “Our son ended up doing very well and ended up gaining the highest-consciousness state of bliss and happiness,” which is all, really any parent wants.

They Have to Trust That You Know What You Are Doing

[00:11:30] Ultimately, anybody who actually loves you, who actually is concerned with you, if they really want to demonstrate that concern, they have to show you that they trust that you know what you’re doing. If somebody cannot show you that they trust that you know what you’re doing, then they’re not really worthy of that role that they say they’re in.

[00:11:53] This could be a parent, it could be a boyfriend or a girlfriend. It could be somebody who is a teacher to us, who has in the past taught us, but now our learning and knowledge is going beyond what they were able to teach us. If people cannot grant us that we appear to know what we’re doing, then they have to question the role that they are asserting over our life.

[00:12:20] And we do need, in the most sweet and gentle way, to regularly have talks with them and invite them to make themselves relevant to what we’re becoming, rather than to behave in ways that are no longer relevant to what we’re becoming.

[00:12:36] After all, if somebody doesn’t trust you to follow your own path, what you consider to be your personal role in evolution, then that person really needs to consider what it is they’re doing.

Occasional Frank Conversations

[00:12:49] Could it possibly be true that they know better than you what your evolutionary path may be? If so, if that’s what they feel, and if they’re really set on that and their experience of jealousy, and/or their experience of fear, is so great, then we have to make our own way anyway and let them make their own way.

[00:13:10] And with time, as things are always growing, they’ll be able to see for themselves that our way of managing our own life with self-sufficiency, gaining the highest possible consciousness state was the very best thing for them, if they wish to continue relating with us, but certainly was the best for us.

[00:13:33] And so then having these occasional frank conversations, and let’s remember the timeline, the six-year-old boy, who later on became Guru Dev, it took three years for him to eventually convince his parents to let him go. And they did.

[00:13:47] Were they instantly free of fear? And can you imagine two parents wondering what happened to their child who just took off, and this wasn’t the days of Instagram or the days of telegrams even, and it wasn’t like he could write home and say, “Everything’s great up here in the Himalayas. I’m on my own, living in a forest but don’t worry about me, I’ll be just fine.”

What Are You Doing For Your Own Evolution?

[00:14:09] They had to have faith in their own sense of evolution. This is another thing we can do. Daniel. We may need to look at helping others ask the question, “What are you doing for yourself? What are you doing for your own evolution?

[00:14:27] “I can see that you’re suffering. It cannot be possible that I’m actually the source and the cause of this suffering you’re putting yourself through. I want you to take responsibility for your own experience. And I can suggest several methods that you could do to help with that, including getting into the meditation practice that I’m into, but I cannot stop you from making yourself suffer like this.

[00:14:52] “And so if you can’t stop, I’m going to have to move on. And I strongly recommend that you learn how to relate to people who are happy for you to be controlling their experience, because that cannot be a possibility for you and I beyond this point.”

[00:15:11] Like that a frank conversation where you just draw a line in the sand, lovingly, but sweetly. A very compassionate question you ask, but let’s get beyond the thought that we’re going to be able to bring everybody’s consciousness state with us as we evolve.

Growing Out of Social Relationships

[00:15:27] There are people who are going to lose the ability to respond to our invitation to make themselves relevant to what we’re becoming and we can’t control that.

[00:15:37] And then there will be many who celebrate what it is that we’re doing and celebrate what we’re becoming, because they can see very clearly that we are gaining greater and greater access to more and more potential, more creativity, more intelligence, we’re becoming more and more relevant socially.

[00:15:54] If they can’t catch up with that, that’s their lookout. If they can, we’re more than happy to continue relating at every level with them.

[00:16:04] This is the reality of our having to grow out of social relationships which may once upon a time have been relevant to us, but may have lost their relevance if people can’t come along. Jai Guru Deva.

Q How Can We Know the Difference Between Self-love and Selfishness?

[00:16:19] Hi, this is Mary from Sydney.

[00:16:21] My question is around the balance between self-love and selfishness. So in this self-love movement, we’re taught to honor ourselves by prioritizing our own needs first, to set up healthy boundaries and to say yes, only when we’re truly happy to offer something. However, what I’ve noticed seems to be a big shift in society towards less generosity.

[00:16:50] In fact, when I’m generous with other people, they often say, “No one does this anymore.” I’ve noticed a big trend towards people only giving when it requires little-to-no sacrifice on their behalf and giving only when it really satisfies their own needs.

[00:17:09] So I’m wondering how we can know the difference between when we’re truly practicing self-love or when we’re actually being selfish and to find a way to be generous that is both beautiful, but also healthy for the giver?

Upper-Case S Self

[00:17:26] Thank you for your lovely question, Mary. I’m very happy to answer it because it gives me an opportunity to make an important distinction between two uses of one word. And in order to make that distinction, we have to begin using upper case letters versus lowercase letters.

[00:17:45] Capital S Self is a concept in the Vedic worldview that is the one indivisible, whole consciousness field, the baseline of Unified Field consciousness that is in every human being, experienceable through regular practice of Vedic Meditation. Letting the mind settle down, through an effortless technique, to go beyond thought, beyond individuality, to experience that Cosmic baseline, which all of us have inside of us but, without meditation, it’s not been awakened.

Lower-Case s self

[00:18:21] And the awakening of that deep, inner reality that, “I am the fountainhead of creativity.” The I, who’s speaking here is not the little I of, “I got born in a place and I grew up in a little tiny body somewhere and my body was here and my body was there, and my consciousness rode along with wherever the body went and that’s what I am.

[00:18:42] “And I have to really take care because my little body and my little consciousness are kind of needy and I have this needy self thing.”

[00:18:49] That is all lowercase s self. “And if that’s all I have. If that’s myself, I’d better be very sure that I don’t let anybody use up anything that I have in order, because if, I don’t look after myself, then I’m extinguished. People say, ‘I heard it in the airplane. They said, ‘Before you put on your own oxygen mask, before you put on an oxygen mask on anyone else who’s disabled or a child or anything, be sure you get your own one on.'”

Self-ish-ness and Selfness

[00:19:18] And that’s the mentality of the small-self consciousness. “I have to be sure that I’m surviving here before I can be giving in any way, because I’m a limited entity. I have limited resources, limited time , limited capability.

[00:19:33] The “I” is a tiny little sense of self, and usually it’s in orbit around whatever my body is reflecting back to me. If my body’s reflecting back to me sensations of neediness, want not enough, no fulfillment, things like that, then I’m always going to be pretty stingy.”

[00:19:53] And so that’s self-ish-ness, self-ish. Like, we have a fish there somewhere, so we want to get rid of the fish and get to Self-ness, big Self, capital S, Selfness. And for that, we have to change our inner experience of what we actually are.

[00:20:14] We’re not just a little body limited by whatever experiences were had when the mind hitchhiked along with wherever the body was required to go. If that’s the only reality of ourself, then it’s a pretty desperate state, and nobody can afford to be generous because it’s kind of a dog-eat-dog world out there.

Expanded Consciousness is the First Priority

[00:20:34] And so then people try to make the best of that by the self-love kind of mentality, which I scoff at a little bit, because it doesn’t say anything about expanding the nature of the Self. The self-love thing, look after your body, make sure you have a manicure, make sure you have this, make sure you have that, when you are really topped up with everything, then you can go out and whatever little bit you have left over, you can start giving to people. But be sure that you’re okay.

[00:21:03] And this kind of selfishness, which we see is a very difficult undesirable condition of a less developed consciousness state.

[00:21:15] So we want our consciousness state to expand into unboundedness. This is the first priority. And so in this, we need to quickly learn how to practice Vedic Meditation, and my team will be happy to assist in that if it hasn’t already been done, and then practicing the technique regularly, and expanding our baseline of capability, we’re naturally going to want to give at the appropriate level of giving.

Giving Beyond Conscious Receptivity

[00:21:43] What do I mean by that? Generosity very often appears to people to be the answer to everything. “Just be super generous.” But the fact is there’s another phenomenon that needs to be taken into account.

[00:21:57] If you give somebody something, some experience that you have capability to deliver, more time, more energy, more money, more love, more attention than what that person thinks they deserve, and let’s set aside for the moment that everyone actually deserves the best, but if people don’t think they do and you give beyond what their conscious receptivity is, it triggers a very interesting phenomenon in people.

[00:22:30] And that is, they begin to feel as though perhaps they’re becoming beholden to you. If you are overgenerous, then someone who is not capable properly of receiving what you’re giving, and the quality of it, may begin to think, “Well, if the shoe were on the other foot, if it were me in the giving position, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

The Apparent Need for Reciprocity

[00:22:53] And so then we have this peculiar phenomenon that gets triggered, may get triggered, where we’ve been overgenerous and someone begins, in order to get out of that uncomfortable feeling of becoming beholden to us, or in our debt, because embedded in all of us, is that Cosmic sense of the need for reciprocity.

[00:23:14] “If I feel I can’t reciprocate, then I’m being made uncomfortable here and something has to happen to stop this over generosity.” And that can trigger in a person, a tendency for them to sabotage their relationship with you.

[00:23:31] And we see this time and again. The instance that you cited of someone saying to you, “No one does this anymore,” is a lovely experience. That you’re able to be generous and trusting, and someone says, “No one does this anymore,” you’ve reached somebody who actually can receive your generosity of spirit, love, attention, money, whatever it is, all of those things combined perhaps.

[00:23:55] Where if you’re overgenerous, more than what they have the conscious receptivity for, it may trigger the opposite and you may come away, shaking your head, thinking, “Maybe I need to be one of these self-ish people, one of these fish people, self-ish, and really look out for myself because it appears that no good deed goes unpunished. I tried to do good deeds and all it does is make people turn a bit strange and they end up, could even turn me into their enemy for some strange reason.”


[00:24:28] So we do have to take care as we grow and grow and grow in our capability through regular meditation. We do have to take care that we’re also not only more capable of giving, but we have to become more capable of identifying the conscious receptivity for our giving and then give to that.

[00:24:48] If analogously someone has thimble-size, thimble, little thing you put on your finger, thimble-sized capacity for receiving, but you dump a swimming-pool size of generosity on them, they’re only going to receive the thimble.

[00:25:04] All the rest of it’s going to be wasted and probably they’re going to react badly to that kind of generosity. Very often in our feelings of guilt, we will become overgenerous because we’re overcompensating.

[00:25:19] We feel bad about having a better experience than someone else and so we might try to compensate by delivering all kinds of experiences to someone who may in fact, not be able consciously to even receive it. And we may end up triggering bad behavior in them.

I Am the Fulfillment State Seeking the Need of the Time

[00:25:39] So this also needs to be taken into account, but the first and most important priority is to grow the small”s” self into big “S” Self.

[00:25:50] The large capital S Self, the unbounded Self, never is concerned about, “Do I have enough?” One goes into a consciousness state, we call it Cosmic Consciousness, as a result of regular practice of meditation the state gets stabilized, where, “I have no need whatsoever. I am not the needy one. I’m the capable one, who’s able to give to whatever level of need presents itself.

[00:26:18] “I am the fulfillment state seeking the need of the time. Where is the need of the time? I’m on a search for that because I’m taking my fulfillment, my complete Self-referral, capital S, Self-referral consciousness state, on an excursion daily, on a search for where the need of the time is. And I’ll be able to put my attention there.”

[00:26:42] So this is the solution to that.

How Love Evolves

[00:26:45] Now, in case you’re interested, I covered this and many, many other new points in a course that I created entitled, How Love Evolves. How Love Evolves is a course that live streamed sometime ago, but there are still opportunities for people to join that stream, listen to the recorded versions of it, and the questions and answers that go with that and participate in that stream.

[00:27:15] And I think there’ll be more question and answer periods to come. I strongly recommend if you haven’t had a chance to avail yourself of that body of knowledge, which I laid out a couple of weeks ago, that you do so as soon as you can, so that you can participate in this whole greater understanding of what the Self is and what it means to be a giver.

[00:27:38] Jai Guru Deva.

Q – What’s the Vedic Worldview on Polyamory and Monogamy?

[00:27:39] Hi Thom. This is another Tom calling from Sydney, Australia.

My question is around polyamory and non-monogamy. The last sort of decade or so, many in the alternative spiritual communities, if you like, have been exploring non-monogamy and open relationships and such, with varying degrees of success, from some seeming to succeed, some seeming to crash and burn.

I’m just curious as to your point of view, or the Vedic worldview point of view, on monogamy or specifically non-monogamous relationships and any insights you might have. Thank you.

A Love Alliance

[00:28:10] Thank you, Tom. Yes, I have quite a lot I can say about this and, just as a heads up, I visit this subject in quite a bit of depth in my most recent offering, my livestream course called, How Love Evolves.

We went into this in quite a bit of detail, but I’ll give you a little snapshot, or it may be for you a preview if you decide to join that course, which you can still listen to, those already live streamed are still available in recorded format. And you can take part in that, and also the question and answer periods that are going to be part of that.

Monogamy versus polyamory and so on and so forth.

I think that it’s important to realize that what we are doing when we’re having a relationship with somebody is wanting to build a love alliance. A love alliance is something greater than a relationship.

Shared Mission

[00:29:04] I think of relationships as a word being somewhat inferior to an alliance. An alliance is something where you have shared mission.

You could have a relationship without any shared mission. I mean, after all, it could be stated that there is relationship between, let’s say, Iran and Israel, but that relationship is one of enmity. A relationship, as a word, can embrace any radical differences and still there’s a relationship.

But an alliance, we can’t say that Iran and Israel have an alliance, they certainly don’t because they don’t have shared mission.

I’m much in favor of relationships being graduated from, and we graduate our whole standard into that of alliances, a love alliance. And in a love alliance, we have shared mission. When we have shared mission, we have agreement upon what it is both parties agree to allow into their experience.

Differing Standards

[00:30:10] And if both parties wish to do any number of things, and that is the agreement of those two parties, then there should be no problem with any level of doing research into what it is that fits into that.

The problem with polyamory versus monogamy is when one of the parties actually wants monogamy, but they’re afraid to state that and the other party wants to be exploratory and is very happy to state that.

And the one who wants to be exploratory and perhaps be even polyamorous, meaning many loves in one life and open relationships, whatever that means, and I say that genuinely, because I don’t really know what it means, I’ve tried to understand it but can’t.

If one party is just capitulating and saying, “Okay, I guess, well you go ahead and try that, and I hope it works because I’m so desperate about the idea of losing you that I’ll let you do the polyamory if you really want to, and I’ll tolerate it.”

[00:45:45] This is not a functional love alliance. This is somebody having one set of standards and somebody else not sharing those standards, even if they have agreed, somewhat under pressure, to tolerate it.


[00:31:30] On the other hand, if both parties wish to be fully polyamorous and there’s this open relationship, I have to question whether or not this is actually a relationship. There’s a big distinction between having a relationship, or being in one, and just “dating” as Americans love to say.

“I’m dating.” What does dating mean? “Well, I could go out with anybody any week or any day and yes it was a great experience we had the other night. See you later. Bye. Call me if you feel like it. And if you don’t feel like it, I don’t really care. I’m dating.”

What does dating mean? Well, evidently it means that I’m experimenting with having every kind of interaction from less intimate to the very intimate with anybody I feel like anytime.

Now if people are dating, that’s perfectly okay too. Being openly exploratory and not committed to anything in particular, to me, this is what having a “open relationship” seems to be.

People sometimes talk to me about, “This is my primary relationship, but then I have my secondary, my tertiary and my fourth and fifth and sixth relationship. And they’re all going on at once.”

A Field Full of Potential Confusion

[00:32:38] Well, my attitude about that is, “Oh, you mean you’re dating.” They might go, “No, I’m in a relationship.” “Oh, you mean there’s somebody who you don’t wish to lose out of all these dates that you’re having. How do they feel about the fact that you’re dating?”

It’s a field that’s full of potential confusion. But if there are two people who are dating, “I’m dating and you’re dating,” why should we say I’m in an open relationship? Why not just go ahead and keep on dating until you decide what it is you want to do?

Monogamy simply is an historic take on what it is you’ve ended up doing. It turns out that if you’ve only been dating each other for quite some period of time, and it looks as though that’s totally satisfactory then, as an historic defining of what you’ve been doing, you can say, evidently, “We’ve been in the monogamy state, evidently.”

And so we can call a thing monogamy only after it’s actually happened. I think that dedication to any kind of “gamy,” any kind of “amory,” whether it’s poly- or mono-gamy, we need to really just be sure that both people are absolutely in alliance and absolutely have shared mission.

A Mere Relation-Ship

[00:34:00] Without shared mission, we’re not actually in a love alliance, we’re in a mere relationship. Relation-ship.

It’s like some kind of a ship. You get on this ship and it leaves the shore, and it’s maybe a party ship and you better be sure you like everybody on the ship because it’s a long swim back to the shore again, if you have to jump off the ship.

Being in a relation-ship versus being in a love alliance. Love alliances are my strong recommendation, but it does require regularly reviewed, shared mission in order to strengthen the alliance.

And in a love alliance, nothing really can go wrong because you’ve both agreed to the standards of experience in a way that isn’t just one person slightly or perhaps disguisedly bullying the other, or gaslighting the other into the idea that, “Polyamory is what I’m really into.”

Be Honest About It

[00:34:55] There are a lot of people who are simply incapable of being focused on one relationship and they need to be honest about that, rather than saying, “I’m in a relationship. I am focused on you, but I want to date as many people as I like.”

Well, these two things don’t make sense. These are not two statements that can live in one relationship.

So if we can’t really be focused on one person and we can’t be committed to one person, we need to be honest about it. Be honest about it. Don’t say you’re in a relationship and being polyamorous, say you are dating. That’s what you’re actually doing .

Those are my thoughts on the subject. I hope you’re well and please do see if you can join our course of How Love Evolves. My team is ready and waiting to hear from you if you’d like to do that.

Read more