comparison in relationships

ASK ME ANYTHING: Comparing Myself to Others

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This Weeks Relationship Advice Question:

Let's see, I'm in a monogamous relationship (and super happy about it. It's the right person).  I feel super embarrassed about being jealous sometimes. I do healing work with people -so shouldn't I have this one figured out by now?  My jealousy seems to stem from comparing myself to other women something I've been doing since I was a little girl. This is the biggest problem: I compare myself. It sets the stage for jealousy and deep shame. 

Oh my gosh, I am so glad you wrote about this. Comparison (and related shame) is a HUGE part of the work I do with so many people.  So many of us get caught up in comparison traps and end up feeling small, or reacting with jealousy.  

[side note: I often daydream about what a wonderful world this might be if more of us were set free from limiting beliefs and diminishing emotional experiences... I digress...]

I wonder what might happen for you if you sat with your comparison a little bit.  I think it might have something to tell you.  Try asking it a few questions in meditation and journaling whatever responses come up.

Ask your comparison:

How is it serving you?  Is comparison protecting you in some way?  Does it think it's being helpful?

What does your comparison really need?  What is it looking for?  What does it want?

Is your comparison traveling with other emotions?  Often envy, admiration, bitterness, desire, curiosity, aspiration, jealousy, insecurity, or fear might be traveling alongside comparison- who is there for you now?  

I imagine your comparison has a message for you about what you really need, want and are feeling.  Comparison might be the thought pattern on the surface, but by giving it a little space we can really see what's underneath- and take more meaningful action.  

I know there are times my comparison is all about my admiration for another.  Sometimes it's a reminder of an aspect of myself I want to grow.  Other times it tells me where I want to nourish a relationship.

Ultimately a dedicated self-compassion practice is one of the most solid antidotes to comparison I've seen (I talk a lot about this in my Daring Way workshops and retreats if you ever want to join me).  

Until you're able to join me at a workshop I highly recommend taking a look at the following resources and tools to fortify your self-compassion practice:

Self-Compassion, by Dr Kristin Neff

The Gifts of Imperfection, by Dr Brene Brown

relationship advice | marriage advice | polyamory advice

relationship advice | comparison in relationships | marriage advice

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependent patterns
  • open your relationship or practice polyamory with care
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns in your relationship

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).