Originally Posted by AnnabelMore
.... but how likely is it that, say, a relationship of six months will be equal in depth and connection to a relationship of 12 years? ....
Your questions are good ones, Annabel. Let me address just this one, for now.
There are many things about which relationships can be equal and unequal. Among these are levels/kinds of commitment to one another. I'm at the "dating" level/kind with FarawaySweetie (FS), so it is not yet time for us to commit to one another on precisely same level as Kevin & I are committed to one another. But I could certainly imagine a not-so-distant future day when FS and I have such a complete commitment to one another as Kevin & I do, despite the fact that Kevin & I have already been together for fifteen years.
[Actually, FS and I have already mutually and explicitly expressed a desire and intent to be committed as life-partners of a particular kind, which is as lifelong intimate & loving friends. This is the very solid footing we are on as we explore the potential of romantic/sexual love as well -- down the road, when our "dating" becomes f2f (rather than digital and telephone). I know that she is with and for me as I am with and for her & him, and in this way she is a partner with me the same as Kevin is my partner
(I have only two such life-partners at this time, in explicit terms). So the last paragraph is modified by this one. For there are two kinds of potential commitment at stake here: one sexual/romantic type and the other loving friend type. I happen to be in love with FS in both of these ways, but neither of us can be sure how things may unfold as we continue to "date". What we both do trust is that we are there with and for one another until death do us part.]
I do not love FS less than I love Kevin. In this way we are already dealing with equal love. Indeed, whenever we really open up to love we find that it is always equal, never ranked in status. Love is simply love. Still, explicit -- stated -- commitments are special and extraordinary. The nearest I have to a third life-partner is my straight friend who loves me with cuddles and an occasional kiss, but mainly with his friendship. I love him too, though we have never explicitly bound our lives together as Kevin and FS have done with me.
It is a great comfort to have multiple loves, however they manifest or express.