Jealousy in Polyamorous and Monogamous People: A Theoretical Approach


  • Jennifer Kubitzek Comenius University in Bratislava



Scientific research underlines the popular believe, that the feeling of jealousy is triggered when situations occur, which are perceived as a threat to the current relationship structure. [1]. However, there are multiple factors, which can influence the level of jealousy, like general tendency to interpersonal aggression, experiences with prior partners or upbringing. With increased occurrence of non-monogamous literature and the phenomenon of “Compersion” the question arises: Is jealousy as natural as we thought it is, and can we find a way to proactively navigate relationships with it? In this research we aim to combine findings regarding jealousy and monogamy/non-monogamy from multiple scientific viewpoints to create an integrated cognitive approach.


This research is aimed to find specific gaps in cognitive research on jealousy and nonmonogamy and formulate hypotheses to lay groundwork for our future practical research. Therefore, the methodical part consists of compilation of literature from evolutionary and social psychology as well as neuroscientific findings and current non-monogamous perspectives regarding compersion.


Even though early human societies were largely non-monogamous, a development towards monogamy still happened and had plenty of advantages. [2] Hence, plenty of research regarding jealousy assumes that infidelity of a partner is in direct proportion to the loss of them. Different levels of jealousy as well as the existence of non-monogamous people throughout human history and the concept of compersion proof otherwise. Proactively dealing with trauma, attachment styles and psychological needs can significantly improve jealousy levels [3], which can improve monogamous as well as non-monogamous relationships. Future practical research to fill these gaps can include effectiveness measurement of physiological regulation mechanisms of jealousy reactions. These can include reassurement-talks, conscious routines and expectability, behaviour after conflict as well ways of mutual attunement.[3]


[1] Yan Sun. et al. “Neural substrates and behavioral profiles of romantic jealousy and its temporal dynamics.” 2016.

[2] David P Barash, Judith Eve Lipton. “The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People.” Owl Books. 2002.

[3] Jessica Fern. “Polysecure. Attachement, Trauma and Non-monogamy.” Thorntree Press & LLC. 2020.