This paper presents a qualitative analysis of 423 open-ended survey responses from 141 individuals involved in polyamorous intimate partnerships. Grounded in literature on jealousy and polyamory, this analysis offers a reinforcement and extension of romantic jealousy. Participants described how jealousy is conceptualized and discussed within polyamorous relationships. Conceptualizations of jealousy primarily involved jealousy as an umbrella term for insecurity, possessiveness, or needs not being met. Participants discuss jealousy within the context of partner agreements to add or remove another partner, to explicitly seek validation and acknowledgment, and less frequently meeting negative reactions. Importantly, results indicate that within polyamorous relationships, feelings of jealousy are usually communicated, and for the purpose of seeing affirmation and validation, not with the goal of behavior change.


Romantic Jealousy, Polyamory, Relationship Communication, Non-Monogamy

Author Bio(s)

Valerie Rubinsky is a doctoral candidate at Ohio University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: vr225514@ohio.edu.


Thank you to Dr. Angela Hosek for advice and support in preparing this manuscript.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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