Jealousy: Relationships & Consumerism
I spend a lot of time thinking about monogamy and why it doesn’t work for me. What I’ve been contemplating lately is its interconnection with consumerism. The jealously, the greed, the desire. We want to own our relationships like we own our stuff, but love doesn’t work that way, which is why monogamy is flawed. I am suggesting that because our society is entrenched with the desire to “have,” we often circumnavigate the point of relationships.
The career, the car, the house, the dog, the child, the partner it’s all part of the package. We are constructed by the media and our family and our peers to make this package happen. If we make this package happen than our lives will be complete, only then will we be capable of containing a glimmer of fulfillment and happiness.
Take a look at online dating. It’s all about marketing and sales. But instead of a product we’re marketing and selling ourselves. And why do we do this? Because it’s the newest way to advertise for relationships. We compete with other people on there to stand out, to look fresh, to please a potential new mate.
We have to buy things in order to compete in this social world: make-up, clothes, shoes, jewelry (and obviously computers and internet connections).
Consumerism breeds competition. Competition glorifies the individual. The individual who does everything better than the other individual wins at life. To be an individual winner means to be in a monogamous relationship because it proves that your individuality is better to the other individual than any other individual out there. The two of you are the best because you’re together and you did everything right to make that relationship happen, to become a package of love.
But the flaw is in the short-sightedness of this concept.
I met a woman last night who told me she was on online dating to meet a guy to have babies with. This woman was 24 years old and already divorced. Her husband had cheated on her and so she did what is “required” of her and she left him. Her most recent dating life had led her to sleeping with a doctor. She decided to do this on the second date because she felt this would reel him in and make him want to keep her around. She said that she had five orgasms because it was important to put her needs first. Then she said she wanted to marry the guy not because she necessarily liked him but because it would make her dad so happy if she married a Jewish guy.
What. The. Fuck.
So, she was willing to put her needs first on a physical basis but then couldn’t go further to see that making her dad happy would not actually make her happy in the long run. It was not a set-up for a connection, for a nourishing relationship, but to complete a package she feels obligated to complete.
There is nothing inherently wrong with monogamy. It works fine for some people. But what works better is trust and communication—and these are the two most important things regardless of the structure or composition of one’s relations to others.
I feel like we miss this a lot. We’re too busy thinking about the rules to actually sit down and contemplate what works best for us, to trust ourselves and figure out what our true needs and desires are.
Why do we get jealous?
If we love someone what’s wrong with them being loved by and loving others?