The things that many of you are saying I don't consider "limitations" but "circumstances".~
That was the reason I asked my question. Because so many people consider our "circumstances" to be "rules" that limit the option for a "new partner". The reality (to me) is that these are our circumstances. We are open to the option of new partners. BUT that doesn't mean that they are open to our circumstances.
I don't see emotions especially love as having any kind of "limit" or "running thin" or "running out" as if they were some kinds of commodities, so I don't believe in a "limit" to the number of people I may fall in love with.~
I personally dislike "in love" as terminology (no offense to you) because it's so vague. I also don't equate the chemical dump that happens (which is so commonly referred to as NRE in poly circles) to love. I think that is a drug induced haze. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's a nightmare. All too often it's a lead in for a bunch of drama (just like getting drunk on alcohol).
But-if we simplify to "love". Even if we keep "romantic love" but don't NECESSARILY include sex (can be sex but not necessarily). Then I would say I definitely love many. I retain love for all of my exes. Every single solitary one. They dwell somewhere inside of my heart and I think I dwell in theirs as well. We wander in and out of each others immediately current social circles and it's always a warm fuzzy experience. If any of us has a crisis-we know we will be there for each other.
I also certainly love Maca and GG.
I also love other people like my bestfriend "Mr. LR" (in real life we share hte same first name and we affectionately refer to each other as Mr. or Mrs. our first name. The kids and Maca refer to him as my "non sexual boyfriend". We've been close for 25 years. We've never consummated a sexual relationship. But we flirt and hug and cuddle and love each other to pieces.
What ever circumstances happen, happen.~ I'm not going to "frazzle" or stress myself out coming up with countless HUGE "daily planner" schedules for "quality time" as I don't like schedules I take things as they come.~
Which is great. But-understand the limits that this also places on you. In order to make this functional and healthy-this also means keeping joint responsibilities to a controlled minimum.
It's not feasible to have 5 kids varying in age by 4 years between each consecutive one; not have a calendar or planner AND meet all their needs educationally and socially. If it is possible-I have LITERALLY never met anyone who can do it. I have seem plenty of people try. But it just doesn't work. Their needs are too varied; but they all have one similar need and that is your time and attention.
NOW-if you then add romantic partners- it could be wholly disastrous even with one child who felt like they don't matter at all because you "take things as they come" and you manage to miss meaningful events because you were enjoying the moment with a lover. I have also seen that done. It's not pretty.
ALL OF THAT to say-that it IS possible to live the way you describe. But it does mean considering how THAT choice limits your ability to juggle the needs of CERTAIN people.
What I mean by "limits" are things like, "Oh I can't get involved with you because I don't have the time to be alone with you.".~ Alone time?~ If have an opportunity to be with someone and someone else at the same time, of course I'm going to involve them both:why wouldn't I?~ ^_^
Because THEY are not ok with it and your needs/wants dont trump the other person or persons needs.
I would LOVE to spend time with the two men I adore. But they don't find that comfortable very often. It's not reasonable for me to expect that they have to be open and agreeable to group time all of the time.
Furthermore; another comparison with kids. There is a certain amount of opening up that happens in a duo which doesn't *as easily* occur in a larger group. (feel free to look up studies regarding the changes in behavior of groups of 3 or more in social psychology-LOTS of great info there)
This isn't theoretical. This is evidenced-based knowledge that has been collected regarding the general behavior of people.
With one child, one on one, I learn MUCH MUCH more about them personally than if I am with 2 at one time. I enjoy my time with the kids in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, even 9 at times.
But-the deeper trust and intimacy is built when I spend time with them one on one.
So for my romantic partnerships-and my friendships-and my mom-and my dad-and each of my siblings-and my kids:
I ABSOLUTELY want to be able to spend one on one time with them SOMETIMES because we connect more deeply during those times. It is different.
I have a BLAST when I go out with all of my siblings. But when I go for a drive with ONE of them-OMG it's like we are connected as twins. It's so deep.
I want both options and because I want it-it's my job to ensure I get it. THAT means-I have to keep the option open to have time for that in my life. Which in turn means that I don't tie myself up in a relationship with someone who demands that they be at my side every minute of consciousness.