Not supposed to compare ourselves, but...
So, we are not supposed to compare ourselves to our metamours. How in the world do you people go about holding to that ideal. Honestly, that's what I view that concept as just an ideal. I know that it is helpful not to compare ourselves to our metamours, but I think that in reality we do compare ourselves.
I'm in a relationship with a married woman. I'm partner #3. Her husband I'd consider #1, and her other boyfriend #2 (for the sake of explaining, and they've been together longer). If I compare myself to her husband I realize that I fall short in a couple of areas, but there is still balance, because I have qualities that he does not.
Now, boyfriend #2 appears to be supperior to me in many ways, and I can't find balance in my reasoning. Also, I don't care if her husband is superior to me in some ways because she is married to him, and I'm totally fine with her being married to an excellent guy. It is hard for me to deal with my perspective that she has more fun with boyfriend #2 than she does with me though. That causes me to feel a great amount of anxiety on their date nights, but except for drinking one night, I have contained myself and done nothing negative.
I know that she compares us because she has told me that I may exceed her past/other lovers in one particular area. She meant it as a compliment, and I did take it as one. I also realize that her other lovers likely exceed me in other ways, with some of them being quite obvious and unquestionable.
I do feel inferior to boyfriend #2. I don't have enough good qualities for me to see some balanced benefits. I can't see balance in this comparison. Overall, this guy has many more qualities that the female population as a whole seek to find in a male partner. I only have a couple of those qualities. I only exceed him in being slightly more athletic, and I'm 6 years younger than her other lovers. I feel like the youthful trophy boyfriend to hold onto at poly functions, but without much else to offer. I'm short, he is tall. I'm a laborer, he has an office job. I have an associates. He has a masters (she has an even higher education). He owns a home, and I'm one of his tenants. He is has more of a sense of humor. He is articulate and has a big vocabulary, while I struggle with being articulate and having "enough" to say.
It is often said that your metamours are less intimidating after you get to know them. That has not been true for me. I did not feel inferior to this guy when he was just an acquaintance. Now that I live in the same home with him (she does not live here though), I've become good friends with him. Even more complex and crazy is that there is potential for him and I to become sexually involved with each other. Ok, that bit of info could make this even murkier, but I'm attracted to men that are strong where I am weak, particularly concerning height, and assertiveness.
So, since this may be something that can't be "figured out", how do you go about not comparing yourself to your metamours? I don't think that it is totally possible. I think that poly people just deal with it, and they are good at hiding some of their reactions to comparing themselves.
She is a very highly educated in the field of psychology. Nevertheless, I noticed that even she compared herself to another woman that I've been interested in. After meeting the "other woman", it slightly influenced the way she dressed on our next date. I wouldn't have noticed, but she made comments that supported my theory that she compared herself and attempted to look slightly more like the other woman (whom I'm only friends with). It made me feel good to see that she is human too, no matter how well educated she is on matters of the mind.
So, I think we all make comparisons, but we force ourselves to handle it as smoothly as possible, and to not rock the boat. What do you think?
Last edited by Vexxed; 02-19-2010 at 06:52 PM.