Thanks, everyone, for your comments on this.
(Except for the cheating thread, which doesn't belong here).
Very glad to hear from some kindred spirits about these issues. Thanks, Nycindie, Feelyunicorn, Cleo, and others.
Regarding labels: I don't think I'm hung up on labels. In fact, I find it a little frustrating when people say (about various things), "Oh, that's just labels."
I don't think the distinction between a boyfriend and a lover is just a label. There are reasons that I want one or more lovers rather than one or more boyfriends. But I am struggling to define and articulate exactly what those reasons are and exactly what I should call what I'm looking for.
Sure, labels are only the terms you use to explain your thoughts/situation to other people, but I do need those labels in order to communicate with others!
I did notice something interesting on this thread: most of the responders who are in stable, permanent relationships seem to be less concerned with labels than the responders who are still looking, still unsure what will make them most happy dating-wise, and still on OKCupid.
(Which doesn't mean that people are happier when they give up preoccupation with labels, only that labels become less important when you've found what you're looking for and can define it for yourself).
I'm definitely in the latter category! Still looking! Still confused about labels!
One of the reasons I started this thread was to figure out how to explain what I'm looking for on my OKCupid profile.
And then how to explain it further on dates, in relationships, etc.
There are other cool thoughts in this thread that I will respond to when I have more free time. Thanks!