While at the EFF a couple of weeks ago I was introduced to the word “compersion“. Microsoft Word is putting a red squiggly line under it so obviously Bill Gates doesn’t know the word either but luckily Wikipedia is up to speed. In the poly community it is often considered the opposite of jealousy, the specific definition varies slightly but my favorite is “A feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship”. It’s about experiencing authentic joy and happiness when someone you love and care for has found a connection with another.
While I have felt twinges of this before I really am kind of basking in it right now. One of my partners has given me great news, she will be travelling soon to see a new interest and is very excited about it. I care for her deeply and I am really quite joyous that she has this opportunity. Many would feel jealous knowing that someone they care about has romantic feelings for another and may be having sex with them but jealousy, like all emotions, are in the realm of the mind and completely within our control. I’m not immune to knee-jerk jealous reactions but my primary response to hearing that any of my partners have a romantic connection with another is joy.