Explore more with the RBDSM chat
It’s wise to create a container of safety before stepping into the unknown…
“Should I feel jealous right now or is this me being avoidant / numbing out again?” is a question that’s been on my mind this past week. I think the answer I keep coming to is, “I’m not jealous” but because that’s not how my reaction used to be, or how society says it should be, I’m questioning it, I think.
You see, my partner is away on a retreat. We’ve agreed that when either of us goes to work on ourselves we have the option to open up the container of our relationship if that’s what we both feel is right at that point in time. The idea is that, if/when the opportunity for growth comes in the form of a union with someone outside of our relationship then we are free to act on it as long as all parties are aware of the boundaries in place. I’ve been away under these circumstances and now it’s her turn. This isn’t an easy thing to do. If you’d like to be able to, it takes practise. Please do your research first. I didn’t with an ex years ago and it was a cluster f_ck to put it politely.
I had no idea how I was going to feel, to be honest, and I’m genuinely a bit shocked at the lack of jealousy I’m feeling. The question of, “Maybe, because I’m not feeling jealous, I don’t love her as much as my old partners,” has come up a few times. I sat with the statement and leaned into my feelings around it and tried to see if there was jealousy there but there isn’t/wasn’t. I’m genuinely happy and excited about her exploration and what it’ll bring to her healing and, in turn, our relationship. I can’t wait for her to be back for us to unpack it together — watch this space on that.
There are two terms in play. One I heard for the first time two years ago — Compersion. It means, “The joy we feel for someone else’s positive experience even if it doesn’t directly benefit us.” It’s, in essence, the opposite of jealousy and possessiveness. It’s a big shift from previous relationships and I think it’s come about because of all the inner work I’ve done on my traumas and triggers. Also, the fact that she and I discussed EVERYTHING using the framework below before she went. Note: If you’re going to step into the unknown, structure and boundaries are vital for safe passage to the other side. As I/we made the choice for this and stepped into it with curiosity and growth in mind, I feel safe and I now kind of see her trip away like she’s gone to a theme park. It would be weird to go to Alton Towers and not enjoy some of the rides, right?
The other term is, “non-attachment”. This one I find really disconcerting and my Ego is either doing a Houdini act and making my jealousy/fear of abandonment triggers disappear or non-attachment is actually happening. I mean, I love my partner dearly but I am also at peace with us in a situation like this. So, right now at least, I feel it’s the latter.
Time will tell I guess. There’s a saying in a book central to my life, The Tao Te Ching (listen to that here) that reads, “If you want to be reborn, you’ve got to let yourself die”. So this is me officially letting the old, fear-of-abandonment-control-trigger version of me die. Or at least taking another step towards that happening.
PRACTICE: The RBDSM chat
WHY: It creates a container of safety for exploration. It originated for use to aid safe s_xual union but it can be used in other situations too, particularly B and D.
HOW TO START: Before any journey into the unknown have a conversation with the structure:
R: Relationship — What type are you in? Monogamous, Poly, Open, etc
B: Boundaries — Where do you draw the line, what’s a no for you?
D: Desires — What would you like/do you want? What’s a yes for you?
S: Sexual Health — Self-explanatory
M: Meaning — What does this encounter mean/will it mean?
You can add on T: Traumas also if you’re versed in them and feel they could crop up, share them.
Thanks for reading,
Adam Slawson is a Personal Freedom and Relationship coach and founder of Plight Club clothing. For more tools on tips to become better at expressing your emotions download his free e-guide here and/or visit his website here.
Living consciously and by choice instead of by habit is fantastic but it’s not easy. It takes practise. It’s called “doing the work” for a reason. If you’re ready to step out of the waiting room of life, he’ll save you a lot of time on your journey to freedom by supporting you through the insecurity of change. Book a free discovery call here.