From Questions to Answer: What are my needs? What type of relationship do I want? Short-term, long-term, live-in, casual, friends-with-benefits?
A friend of mine, who identifies as polyamorous, and I are very different when it comes to this type of question. He wants multiple relationships in order to have a loving family who all support one another. He does not see his move to polyamory as a need-based decision, rather, for him, it is a desire to give more love back to the world. I respect this type of polyamorous path, but it is not mine.
I have needs, and most of the time, I am even able to define them accurately and succinctly. The trick for me is that my needs seem to be as migratory as my thought patterns often are. I need both comfort and compassion on a regular basis, but there are times when I need the security that comes from being held with firm arms.
Because my needs fluctuate, I need partners who can understand and accept my changing passions, who will understand that some nights I will want to cuddle on a couch, some nights I will need a night on the town, exploring new restaurants, some nights I will want an unforgiving hand working its way through my latest short story, marking it with red. Some nights I will want to be lifted and carried to a bed. I don’t expect one person to be able to fulfill all of these roles, just as I would not want to be expected to fulfill all of the roles someone else needed in their romantic love life.
My dream situation would likely include at least two more partners. I would like another live-in partner, down the road, who can help to share some of the domestic burden of a large home and family. She (as my preference for a live-in partner would be female, in order to have a higher chance of a connection with my domestic partner, who is straight) might be a writing partner, might be an evening out partner, might be a cuddle buddy… but I doubt she would be able to life me and carry me to a bed.
For that role in my life, I would anticipate a casual relationship, though that does not mean an emotionless one. I would expect that relationship to give me a night a month (sometimes less, sometimes more).
If, between these two perfect roles, my needs are not satisfied, or other needs develop, I would expect that all partners would accept that, and provide me with opportunities to find satisfaction elsewhere.
Yes, I know that what I want is a dream. Yes, I know that the people in my life have the right and responsibility to speak up for their own needs, too. Yes, I know that there will need to be negotiation between everyone in my life, to ensure safety and security of hearts, minds, and bodies.
But if I’ve learned anything over the years, you’re less likely to get what you don’t ask for.