LR, I understand everything you're saying and, of course, agree that having children is a major responsibility (which I never wanted and have always successfully avoided) that requires much more careful consideration about whom you bring into your home and into your world. I would feel the same way if I were a parent. However, I also get the sense from you that, even if you were not a parent, you would probably lean toward creating a close-knit family dynamic (with or without children in the mix) and it would be of tantamount importance to you. It just seems like that's what nourishes you.
Me, I'm a loner and been that way since pretty young. I enjoy close friendships, but don't ascribe special meaning to the word or concept of family. My own family (blood relatives) is pretty fucked up and dealing with them is usually a pain in the ass to me, but I never felt a need to create my own new and improved version of chosen family. I'd often rather be alone! And I like keeping things separate, and my sets of friends somewhat compartmentalized, so I can get away or express a different side of me with different people. As I keep learning about all the possible poly configurations, I could never see myself in a tribe or cohabiting with a group.
Now regarding friendships and lovers, one does not preclude the other in my life, but the usual route I have taken is lovers first, then friends. The few times it started as friends first, and then lovers, it backfired and the friendship fizzled and/or disappeared. So, for me, relationships that start as friendships usually don't move past that into physical intimacy.
A lot of this is how people view certain words and the meanings we attach to them. Now, I am seeing someone whom I view as a lover. We started out hot and heavy, had sex on the first date, and are getting to know each other little by little. I admire him, we have great chemistry, and the more I learn about him, the more I like him. He's very respectful and considerate, and I am crazy about him. I guess I could say that, for me, we are moving into friendship and getting to know each other while we are also physically involved. He views us as friends now, keeps calling what we have a friendship with sex. It seems very important to him to label us friends and not lovers or boyfriend and girlfriend. He seemed to get nervous when I called him my lover. I think he's afraid that any other label beside "friend" will demand more commitment or investment than he can give. However, he operates as if he is as invested as someone can be at this early stage, so who am I to argue with him about what he wants to call us? I am not worried about making it last forever, so I am staying focused on enjoying the here and now, and it feels really good. He can call me whatever he wants, and it could stay like this indefinitely, and I'd be happy. If it ended tomorrow, I'd be really sad and upset, but I'd be able to move on knowing he has already enriched my life, no matter what we call the relationship or each other.
Last edited by nycindie; 01-15-2011 at 12:14 AM.