When poly people talk about things that they like about being poly, one of the things that is usually on the Top 3-5 items, is compersion. Some may also refer to this as "frubble". It's that lovely feeling one has when the person you love is enjoying a connection with another, you know, the feeling that is the polar opposite of jealousy. They happier they are, the happier you are. The more satisfied they feel with their outside connection, the more warmly you feel towards the metamour in question.
PG and I were having a discussion last night about compersion. He's noticed that it's something that I really crave as part of his additional relationships, and that it seems to be pretty heavily tied into how much interaction the metamour has with the rest of us, not as a lover, but as a part of life. Why does it feel different to me when I don't see the metamour?
I realized that, for me, it's a very different experience. Compersion where the metamour is removed from the rest of his life is like reading something on a page, a story with no pictures and no punctuation. It's intellectual, but not emotionally resonant, even if the words used are pretty powerful. In contrast, when a metamour is hanging out with us every so often, I have the opportunity to experience compersion as a fully sensory experience, with color, sound, tastes, smells, and touches. To directly observe the connection he shares with another in person ups my experience of compersion to a whole new level! It's something I can more easily get behind and feel positive about, rather than think positively about.
Of course, I recognize that not everyone is going to be interested in being a part of our nutty little pod. It can be a level of complexity that is daunting to some. Certainly, it's not a condition of employment for anyone interested in dating S or PG. That said, I sure do love getting that glow of satisfaction when I see them light up as their sweetie reaches for their hand, leans in for a kiss, shares something they enjoy with the kids, or brings their favorite dish to dinner, though!
Let's hear it for technicolor compersion! Show me the Honey!