I was brought up in a conservative religious family with strong "family values" (including jealousy as an indication of real love). In my first love-relationships, I experienced jealousy
(therefore true love
). But I'm a very rational person and my head was telling me that jealousy only causes heartache and pain. Wouldn't it be better
if we could just throw it out the window?
From then on, with every new relationship, I set myself the task of dismantling another portion of jealousy, until I got to the point (in a long-distance relationship) where I could actually introduce my girlfriend to a guy that she MIGHT be interested in (no pressure or preference on my side re: whether or not they decided to take it further). And I felt happy when my gf had a happy relationship with another, because I thought: "If I can't be there for her, at least somebody else can.
When boyfriends came to take my gf out on a date (or back to their place), I'd offer them tea, play the host, ask friendly questions, whatever. They were always more uncomfortable
than I was
20 years later, I come across the word "polyamory" and decide: THIS is where I feel at home