Originally Posted by WhatHappened
But I'd be curious to know how many here go into a secondary relationship thinking, hoping, expecting, or planning that it might last a lifetime, that you might grow old with this person.
I would further point out that in the typical primary or mono relationship, actions are taken that require commitment, that show that expectation of building a life together, that entwine lives: buying a house together, getting bank accounts together, having children together.
This is much less likely with a secondary relationship.
I've gone into dating with no expectations, and so far (starting as a newly non-monogamous married person) out of the maybe fifteen or so in a decade first meetings/coffee dates with people, found 1 husband and two long term partners. One of the two long term partnerships, from early on, gave the impression it could last a lifetime, I did not go in expecting it, but I really think I would like it to last until I'm old and wrinkly. The other one, we are very different, and I thought it would be my first short term relationship in the last two decades, but it surprised me and is going on three years.
I'm guessing if I didn't meet compatible people as easily as I seem to (thank you OKCupid - for all three of my current relationships, actually) I might have a different take. I am open to short term relationships and actual friends with benefits, just like I am open to living with another partner, though that's probably not workable in my current situation for a number of reasons. Most first dates, it just becomes apparent we aren't compatible right away, so I don't end up with short term relationships.
On a side note, I do sometimes wonder why people in large metropolitan areas have trouble with OKC, but I guess my profile was very specific about who I was and what I could offer, and what I was open to, so although I've gotten creepy stuff in the past, its probably in equal parts to messages from decent guys, most of them non-monogamous. I think a lot of it is careful wording.