It is interesting to look at the path people took to end up here...many different paths to versions of the same location I would think.
For me, I am an open minded person. In my twenties I was comfortable dating several people openly at the same time. I didn't really think much about it back then, and I guess it was assumed that one would become serious and the others would fizzle out. Which is what happened - I would think the assumption of one or more fizzling out was pretty much due to there being only one expectation to how a relationship develops.
10 year marriage ended, and I suddenly became acutely aware it was just me in the drivers seat now. And I started to ask the question "what do you want?"
Oh, there's only one income in this house now. I want to earn more money.
Oh, my child stays with his father 6 nights out of 14. I have 6 nights away free. I want to go out and see more music.
I want to learn to play music.
I want to see more theatre.
I want lovely people in my life.
During this time, I had many strong love relationships with several people. None of them were sexual, for a variety of reasons (mine and theirs)...I'd never felt more loved and supported. And really, for the first time in my life I became very, very good at asking myself what I want. I listened a lot to myself, and worked out what I felt ok with. I decided I didn't need ONE life partner, as I was healthy, loved and enjoying a very full life.
I looked at the relationships with the people around me and started to believe that fulfilling relationships could look very different from the one model. This was a big step for me, just believing that value can be placed on relationships of all different types...that there isn't a need (for me)...to cram a relationship into a particular box
My friends kept saying - you're going to meet someONE at some point. And I kept feeling I didn't have an urge to meet someONE.
But I did meet someone, a poly guy - And I suddenly realised there was a framework I could put around the ideas in my head that were in infancy.
With him, it started with me realising I felt completely ok that he had a girlfriend....I was, in part so shocked that I felt ok, that I suspected I was in denial - lol ! I didn't feel ok immediately, it took some thought
I looked pretty hard for evidence I was struggling and I just didn't find it
So, by this point it was a only a small step...as all the "what do I want?" stuff had given me the training to take it from there..
I'm only little though, it's all very new and the philosophy is like shifting sand under my feet. I tend to have good balance
So, I'm only answering his question. I don't really know about yours..