I wasn't going to reply on here as I wanted to leave this clean and as your space... But I figure for the purposes of this thread it keeps the flow better if I do.
I do see us as a couple, something solid, and I want that to last indefinitely. I love you to bits and couldn't picture being without you. In my mind were definitely past that "testing the water/dating stage"
I see us as so solid that I thought we were at that stage where we were ready to start dating others. This last week though has reminded me that we are both new to this and have a lot of learning to do along the way; about poly, about ourselves, about each other...
I see now that there's a lot we need to discuss before we are ready and as we've discussed privately I want to do that properly and make no assumptions about it being anything other than a long slow process.
I guess with regards to hoe we view what stage of the relationship we are at I previously hadn't ever truly understood what you meant about NRE. Mainly because it was affecting me differently. It's only on reflection (and with someone pointing it out to me) that I've realised we do all date in different ways. I posted about this on the other thread.