Date: 2016-04-06 08:59 pm (UTC)
"Partner" is descriptive rather than valuative for me. I have a long-term partner, and we are very connected, but the areas in which I rely on him or can be confident that he will be what I hope for are limited (significant, but limited).

"Family" for me is more about what I will do for someone than about what they will do for me. Everyone is different about how and what they can give, want to give, are prepared to give. I know someone is family when I reflexively or automatically go out of my way for them, when that moment of "is this right or is it misusing myself" is missing, and I jump right into what is needed. The way that "family" is commutative is much less about what my family will do for me than how important we are to each other, how the connection matters to both of us and missing each other or being delighted to be with each other feels equal.
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