One of the weird-feeling, but nifty side effects of exploring and becoming more comfortable with non-monogamy is that every now and then there are moments of feeling like you should feel uncomfortable, but you don’t.
For example, during one of the first dates I ever went on after I officially decided polyamory was for me, I ended up cuddling and making out with an adorable poly girl who had one or two other partners at the time. I remember there was a moment where I took a mental step back to process how I felt about the fact that she had other partners, and I realized that I didn’t feel jealous. That lack of jealousy, in and of itself, was a very strange feeling, because I felt as though I should’ve felt jealous. All my life I’d been taught that that was the type of thing you ought to feel jealous about, and yet here I was feeling this vacuum were the jealousy should be. There was honestly a part of my brain that wondered if I was just missing the jealousy somehow. There was a part of my brain that thought that the jealousy must be around somewhere, and I would find it if I just looked for long enough. Happily, if it was around somewhere, I never did manage to find it.
I get a similar feeling when I interact with different partners in a short span of time. I get a sense that I should be experiencing dissonance — like I should feel as though I’m doing something wrong. I should feel like I’m cheating, or like my brain can’t handle focusing romantically on more than one person at the same time. I feel like there should be dissonance, but much of the time I’m struck by how there isn’t any, even when I look for it – even when I realize I’m in a situation where society says I ought to be feeling some sort of dissonance, I still can’t make it happen. It’s a very funny feeling.
Sometimes experiencing feelings in a similar vein can be really entertaining, as well. I have some very fond memories of hooking up with people who had boyfriends, husbands, etc., and getting this wonderfully entertaining feeling of, “Society says I’m not supposed to do this, but I’m fucking doing it anyway!” Even though, in context, I had the consent of all involved and wasn’t doing anything wrong, I was still conscious of the fact that I was doing something that The Norms say you’re not supposed to do, and I was “getting away with it.”
“I just fucked some dude’s girlfriend, and I TOTALLY GOT AWAY WITH IT! TAKE THAT, SOCIETY!”
I could comment on the weirdness of living in a society where that’s the kind of thing your brain gets excited about, but for now I’m just going to enjoy the silliness, and that lovely feeling like you’re 10 years old again and you just got away with saying “fuck.”