“I want to love you wildly. I don’t want words, but inarticulate cries, meaningless, from the bottom of my most primitive being, that flow from my belly like honey. A piercing joy, that leaves me empty, conquered, silenced.” ~ Anais Nin
The Urban Dictionary defines “compersion” as a feeling of joy when a loved one invests in and takes pleasure from another romantic or sexual relationship.
Compersion can be thought of as the opposite of jealousy, a positive emotional reaction to a loved one’s other relationship.
In a non-sexual situation, it would be the type of joy that one would feel for a sibling or child or friend who embarked on a satisfying relationship with a new partner.
I’ve read that compersion is a new concept, although I cannot agree: the word itself might be new to our modern lexicon, but the concept and execution of it is hardly a discovery.
For most, compersion is a wacky concept—“I couldn’t do it…why would you do it anyway?” is a normal emotional reaction.
Normally, if one’s partner were to find another, we would feel jealousy. It’s natural—or should I say, we are conditioned—to feel set aside, hurt, cheated on or not enough. Therefore, most of the time a secondary relationship to our main one is normally conducted in secret.
But I’d like to explore the concept of compersion as it applies to couples who knowingly and joyfully engage in secondary relationships. Although it probably seems far fetched, I encourage you to think about what it would be like to feel joy for your partner were they to engage in an authentic relationship with another person?
Are we as a society that is ready to embrace non-traditional relationships? Can we set aside our egos and insecurities to fully find joy in our lover’s emotional and sexual journeys?