Primary/Secondary/Tertiary terminology doesn't bother me as long as it is used in a descriptive rather than proscriptive manner (shorthand for where the relationship IS, not a restriction on what it CAN BE). I use the terminology when it fits the conversation/audience.
The term "Tertiary" could be applied to my LDR FWB relationships. These are women that I am friends with (although not the closest friends), that I have sex with, that I care about and have for a long time. I see them a few times a year with maybe a few phone calls in between. There is no "rule" about these relationships not becoming something more/closer but there is no particular expectation/desire that they will ever evolve to some sort of "next" level - limitations of geography, other relationships (they each have male primary-type relationships with men that they live with full-time), and a lack of desire on each of our parts to work to try to develop anything further (we are happy with where things are).
Some polyfolk don't seem to feel that these more casual types of relationships - FWBs or fuckbuddies (which, to me, are two different things) - really "count" as poly as the level of "romantic love" is generally low (although not necessarily non-existent) and the "love" involved may be more of the "friend" variety. Because of this I don't think you see the term "tertiary" used nearly as often as primary/secondary. I don't form emotional attachments easily so for me these relationships are very significant to me in their own fashion. And "casual" doesn't necessarily mean "temporary" - my relationship with VV is almost as long-standing as my relationship with my husband.
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (24+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (5+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic girlfriend and BFF
Lotus: "it's complicated"
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.
My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 07-29-2012 at 01:04 AM.