How much of our actions and attitudes are formed from evolution? Piggybacking off of some ideas from another thread I got to thinking about how we "mark our territory." Particularly in relationships.

Example: When a girl is with a guy and another girl comes along and is flirting with him, she will naturally want to let that other girl know "he's mine." This is when a cat fight usually comes about to which most guys are pleased to watch two girls fight over him. (sorry I use girl, it's just how I talk. Substitute woman, lady, whatever you like...)

Similarly: Men will be sometimes protective/possessive of their girls and give other men "the look" if they are checking out their chica. Or they will get mad when they see their girl looking at another guy.

Is jealousy or possessiveness part of our evolution? Or is an unhealthy character trait that stems from insecurity and immaturity alone?

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"he's mine." - I'd say it stems from an expectation of monogamy.  If it's a zero sum game, then if she wins, I lose.  (if I was a woman.) 

Since we are built to pair-bond for about 5 years, the "selfish gene" makes us want to invest in our little critturs. 

No problem.  

It is part of our nature, but our evolved brain allows us the ability to override our natural programing. Happy polyamorous relationships are possible, but only in the more evolved and open minded of our species. It does however become much more difficult when feelings progress, because we are monogamous by nature. Jealousy is not easily overcome, and in some people, both men and women, it's impossible. Who hasn't had that one (hundred) boyfriend/girlfriend that absolutely forbid you from having friends of the opposite gender? I have a friend right now, and her boyfriend absolutely refuses to believe that I'm gay. I can't help but laugh, but it's causing her some grief.

When it comes to my man, I'm willing to share, as long as I'm involved, and it's all consensual. I do become a bit vicious if anyone disrespects him, however. Nobody is above feeling jealous, especially when it comes to a significant other.

That level of open mindedness, I believe, isn't biological. Instead, it's the willingness to let go of jealous feelings, and to allow those with whom you're connected to wander, and enjoy themselves. It's wanting the happiness of others over your own.

Once a woman has a child with a man isn't it natural to get jealous if she sees him with another woman? What about for a man who has a child with a woman, is it natural for him to be jealous of her starting a relationship with someone else even if he is no longer "hers?"

Absolutely. But our brains are capable of overcoming our nature. It's just important to be honest with those around you and to be honest with yourself.

Polyamorous relationships ARE possible, but can be very difficult, unless you are willing to be one in a group, instead of the center of attention.

I'll go on to say that Polyamorous relationships are different from Polygamous. Members of a Polyamorous relationship are all considered equal to each other. It's literally just a group of people who hang out, have sex together, and go on group dates together.

Polygamous relationship are not as equally footed. They have one patriarch, or matriarch, and multiple wives or husbands. One leader who partakes of subordinates. While these can be healthy too, they are frowned upon because the leader will likely develop favorites, and the jealousy of the subordinates will abound.

I believe that these relationships, while they can be healthy, will tend to not be very deep, because we are naturally monogamous. A truly deep and meaningful relationship is between two people, though I most certainly could be proven wrong.

Once a woman has a child with a man isn't it natural to get jealous if she sees him with another woman? What about for a man who has a child with a woman, is it natural for him to be jealous of her starting a relationship with someone else even if he is no longer "hers?"

Absolutely. But our brains are capable of overcoming our nature. It's just important to be honest with those around you and to be honest with yourself.

Even assuming we are capable of overcoming our nature, why should one overcome jealousy since infidelity is a real threat in a situation where the purpose of the relationship is to support a child?

"why should one overcome jealousy since infidelity is a real threat in a situation where the purpose of the relationship is to support a child?"

Because sometimes the "threat" of infidelity is imagined or perceived where there is none. Jealously is natural and occurs whether we want it to or not, but it should be tempered with as much of an objective view as possible. Otherwise reactions to the imagined threat could become the real threat to the relationship.

But things one merely imagines can affect any emotion, not just jealousy. Should we overcome love for the same reason? I would never say to throw an objective view out the window, but jealousy is a natural response to a very primitive threat. Saying one should try to move to a more objective view (analysis and response) goes without saying.

"Should we overcome love for the same reason?"

At times, it becomes necessary, yes. For instance, when the emotion compels one to stay with a partner who has been cheating.

Even assuming we are capable of overcoming our nature, why should one overcome jealousy since infidelity is a real threat in a situation where the purpose of the relationship is to support a child?

Provided that everyone claims the child as their own, I cannot see how it would harm the child. On the contrary, where a normal child has the experience of learning from only two parents at the best of times, a child in a polyamorous family would have the benefit of learning from multiple parents. A wider pool of knowledge and experience to grow up with is nothing to sneeze at.

"On the contrary, where a normal child has the experience of learning from only two parents at the best of times, a child in a polyamorous family would have the benefit of learning from multiple parents."

Hence why extended families have been the norm for human culture from time immemorial, and why we still have the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." That two parents in the best of times is modern American cultural bias. The idea that we should move away from our family to start our own nuclear family is an idea that needs to be dismantled and I think will be in the light of current societal challenges facing out youngest generation.

Provided that everyone claims the child as their own, I cannot see how it would harm the child.

Disputes over children cause a lot of harm. If I want a regular marriage (not a so-called "open marriage"), some third party's claim on the child will be viewed as a threat.

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