I’m going to take a very self-centered view on jealousy in this post. Specifically, I’m excluding betrayal or lies in this opinion piece and focusing instead only on jealousy with regard to multiple open relationships.
Premise: You have two relationships (I pick two here to make it multiple and at the same time keep it as simple as possible) with different partners living in different cities. They both know about the other relationship.
Condition: Neither is being sacrificed for the other. There is not a quality or time difference between the two relationships, with respect to what is wanted out of the relationships (as opposed to counting number of weekends together or other such arbitrary metrics).
Given this, I see no reason to be jealous.
For me, as long as what I need out of a relationship is fulfilled, it doesn’t matter what my partner does with their own time apart from me. I don’t care if my partner had some alone time by herself or if she went on a romantic holiday with another. Firstly what matters is that we were apart. Secondly what matters is that she enjoyed herself and can bring that positivity back in to our relationship.
For me, what else matters? It doesn’t matter if time spent with another partner is twice as much as with me – I care that enough time is spent with me to keep up a strong connection. It doesn’t matter to me if she spends millions on yacht cruises in the Caribbean and if we go camping cheap – I care that the time we spend together is something that we can enjoy together.
As long as the relationship with her has a positive influence in my life, what she does outside of that relationship is irrelevant to me.
This philosophy sounds odd and also selfish to many whom I explain it to. For me though, there is a distinct difference in caring for what I need* and controlling a partner to take from them what I need. For me, I see the latter method as far more selfish and harmful.
It is this theoretical thinking that helps me to reduce or even eliminate my jealous pangs. It also helps me to concentrate on my real needs rather than such things as comparing myself with metamours using arbitrary metrics. Actually, I’m pretty sure that by simply comparing, there will always be points one could find that are “unfair” and could be used to “justify” making demands on a partner.
By luck (or perhaps as a consequence), it also seems to have helped me to spontaneously feel compersion.
*I haven’t mentioned what my partners need from me, but just replace some of the personal pronouns in this post to express how I feel about that – in essence – as long as I give them what they need in our relationship, what does it matter to them outside of that?