Last night A and E had a great evening – they got along better than ever , didn’t fight over me and didn’t interrupt one another. E even told me how much she enjoyed hanging out together. But I felt terrible about it. Is this the ugly monster of jealousy? Am I jealous that they were getting along? Would I rather they were fighting over me? I hope not, but I have to admit it might be. It might also be a product of the strange dynamic of three’s company.
Whenever I hang out in a threesome, I find it difficult because it’s hard for me to attend to two people at once. I’m very responsive with individuals, but become more superficial with more people. Four people is easy because you can naturally break into twosomes and groups of six to ten are pretty good because the ebb and flow is still manageable. More than ten and it starts to break down. That’s why I turn into a butterfly at parties – it’s hard to stay connected with one person when many other people’s energy is connecting and disconnecting all the time.
As E pointed out, I didn’t have this problem with I lived with R and J. The three of us literally called ourselves “Three’s Company” and we had a great year moving across the country and living together. I don't know what's different, but E has pointed out before how whenever we're all three together, A, E and I that is (O and U are out to lunch), someone ends up feeling left out or hurt. It's only happened twice that it's been me.
I have no conclusion - that's why it's been hard to finish this post - there's no easy solution. Except to pull out the three-person board games that I never get to play.