Originally Posted by MichiganMusic
My initial line of thought, and perhaps you could shed some light that would alter my perspective, is that it is simply not practical to have too many long term relationships intertwined. How would a family or household be established?
Why would all relationships be intertwined? And why would multiple relationships preclude lasting long-term? You are forgetting about two major factors: personal preferences and each person's autonomy.
Here is an imaginary scenario: You are in two relationships with women who also have other relationships. One of the women you're involved with loves you, wants to live with you, and is really into all the typical homemaker stuff that married couples share. She also has another boyfriend and a girlfriend, one whom she sees once or twice a week and another who is also married and she sees less frequently, like two or three times a month. If she moves in with or marries you, you've got a live-in partner who is able to build a life with you but also has a fairly frequent other partner takes her out twice a week, and sometimes hangs out with you and her. Her other partner is an occasional night out and you don't have much, if any, interaction with that person. This is not unlike having a live-in partner who has a social life with friends and several hobbies that take her out of the home regularly. That in itself wouldn't get in the way of managing and building a life together.
So, let's say your other girlfriend is more of an introvert and very independent. She loves you, too, but doesn't want to live with anybody. She has another boyfriend she sees about the same frequency as she sees you, let's say two to three times a week. And she has a married long-distance lover she Skypes with and goes to spend a short vacation with about two to three times a year.
So, basically, you've got one independent girlfriend you go out with fairly frequently but you go home to the other one who lives with you. The independent girlfriend likes keeping her relationships separate. When you see her, it's usually at her place unless your live-in partner isn't home, because the independent girlfriend likes her privacy. Your live-in girlfriend likes hanging with you and her other lovers together sometimes, but those lovers each have their own lives and preferences, so it doesn't happen too often unless well-planned. She enjoys going out with her other loves, but she loves being the one you come home to. Both your girlfriends know each other but might not hang out together very often except for holidays, events, or some such thing.
It's totally doable to have this sort of scenario long-term and in a very committed and nurturing way. Forbidding your partners to have other partners is nothing short of a dictatorship.
Each person is responsible for managing their own relationships and if someone ever feels like they need or want something more from a particular lover, they speak up and then that lover either meets their needs, negotiates, or says they cannot. But you don't go managing your partners' other relationships in order to feel better about what you have with them. You just manage your own frelationships. You ask for what you need, express your feelings, work out logistics, and develop intimacy with each partner at its own pace and according to the dynamic between you. That is your responsibility.
To expect the women you get involved with to accept that you can have multiple partners while decreeing that they cannot is beyond the scope of your responsibility. Everyone is an individual and free to live their lives as they see fit, and you don't get a say in how someone else chooses to live. If what you want is a harem at your beck and call, that is not really polyamory, in my opinion. If your partners also choose to have other relationships, then they are responsible for managing those relationships and making sure that they all get taken care of in ways that are appropriate to the dynamics they share. They don't have to have anything to do with you if they don't want and that's okay. You run your life, they run theirs. So, whether lives intertwine or relationships develop into serious commitments has nothing to do with how many partners anyone has. It's all about each person manages their time and the relationships they have.