Compersion: The Joy that Keeps on Giving
Some call it the “antidote to jealousy.” It’s a word that has been coined via the poly/non-monogamous world to mean the joy you experience seeing your partner in joy because of another romantic relationship. I’d like to broaden this definition (while we’re already creating new terms, right?) to mean the joy that you experience when your partner experiences joy. Not because of anyone else. Just because. An interesting (and sad) thing happened in my last relationship. I noticed that when I was unbelievably happy, she was almost never happy AND when she was in splendorous moods of joy, I wasn’t very happy. It was like our cycles were off. It’s the opposite of “The Red Tent” where women in a small village all start to bleed around the same time of the month. Their moons coincided. Here I was in a relationship. We shared the same roof. But our cycles weren’t jiving. We never seemed to be truly happy at the same time. There is something really fucked up about that. How did this happen? Why? I’m guessing it’s a gradual thing. We start off in a relationship VERY HAPPY at our partner’s happiness. Then, something begins to happen. We start to not get our needs met in the relationship. Our expectations start to go unfulfilled. We start not to be able to be happy for our partner– the REAL kinda happy– because… deep down inside… we’re not very happy in our life. And we can’t give what we don’t have. Lack of compersion is probably a sign– a sign that it’s time to go. It’s time to leave the relationship. Not necessarily because the person isn’t right for us (although perhaps that’s the case), but because WE NEED TO BE ALONE for awhile. We need to re-discover the happiness that comes from within. Then, and only then, will we be able to be truly happy for our partner in a relationship.
Photo credit: Miguel Dominguez