Originally Posted by MeeraReed
I'm sure I've just been overthinking things.
I think that people who tend to get really jealous are kind of fueled by our culture. By that, I mean that we see stories of jealousy everywhere -- songs, movies, books, TV, advertising -- and the majority of those images usually justify the jealousy in some way. It has become the accepted norm in Western society. People say things like, "you have every right to feel jealous."
So, when highly jealous people, or people who have just never challenged the notion of jealousy, meet people like us who do not tend to get very jealous, they don't know what to think! They don't understand how we could possibly say we are not jealous types. Especially if we are also women - aren't we supposed to be super-emotional, clingy, and hysterical at the thought of "our men" being with someone else?
You see it here when someone just considering poly comes here and asks, "How do I handle the inevitable jealousy I will feel?" Um, how about seeing what happens when you get there? You might not feel jealous very much, or at all!
No matter how much you try to explain yourself, they are still seeing things thru their own filters. It just doesn't seem possible, in their eyes, not to be jealous. When I first started telling one friend of mine about poly, I was seeing Shorty and Dreamy - both of which were very casual, non-boyfriend, FWB-type relationships. She brought up jealousy and kept insisting I was setting myself up for a world of hurt, and that if I let guys "have what they want without expecting anything back," they would take advantage of me, or even be abusive. Never mind the fact that what my lover-friends already were giving me was exactly what I wanted, nor that in my 52 years I have never tolerated an abusive relationship, but the fact that I was not jealous or possessive seemed to her like I had lost my mind! As if, in order to make a relationship work, I have to demonstrate how much I NEEEED to be the focus of a man's life and that I won't tolerate "straying." Oy!