Welcome to the community!
I also took care of siblings when I was younger. My brother is 7 years younger than me, my other brother is 8 years younger than me, and my little sister is over 10 years younger than me. My mom left us just after my little sister was born, and my dad worked super long hours. I understand very much with finding comfort in caregiving; however, I have absolutely no regressive feelings or experiences. I’m definitely not a little, only a Mommy. So, don’t feel “locked in” just because of your past. Maybe it’s just who you naturally always were!
So, about your question, the only right answer is that you should not be in so many relationships that you treat yourself, a partner, or a partnership unfairly. Some people only need one relationship. Some people need multiple. Fairness is something specific to each individual relationship, and does not necessarily look like “equality” since it’s based on personal needs (like someone might need more time together than another while another may need more personal/private time).
So, yes, there is a line that could be crossed, but it isn’t something defined by others. I think you get what I’m saying.
While there’s nothing wrong with carrying on consensual polyamorous or nonmonogamous relationships, it’s very disheartening to see a caregiver collect as many Littles as they can in hopes of fixing their feelings of loneliness or lowered self-esteem. Collectors become heartless only-roleplayers, never truly developing a bond with their growing harem, and may lean toward ghosting partners simply from becoming overwhelmed by giving of themselves too much or disinterested due to the lack on bond. It definitely can be isolating. Many feel empty because they’ve lost touch with knowing what a deep, fulfilling connection feels like. It’s so sad to see people who feel broken in our own community. I hope that older trend of collecting and only-role playing phases out so our community individuals can be in healthy spaces for good!
Personally, I don’t believe anyone needs 50+ relationships ongoing at once to feel romantically fulfilled. Nobody should be perpetually looking for yet another partner, and yet another partner, and yet another, and another, and... ! Trying to manage too many relationships at once can become overwhelming and unsatisfying, leading further to the potential of burnout
. It’s unfair to you and your mental health if you were to do that. So, there’s definitely a line that can be crossed, but that line is person and relationship(s) dependent. Maybe 1 is enough. Maybe 2 is the sweet spot. Maybe 3. It’s really very personal, and nobody but yourself can know.
As a community, we should really be trying to support one another much more so that we have a strong support network to help us identify and better manage our needs. We don’t always need, or even truly want, another partner to be able to feel happy or fulfilled. We can find support in likeminded friends, who can help us better value our current relationship(s), determine if we’re truly needing an additional partnership to gain the fulfillment we individually need, and seek more professional help if we can’t seem to ever feel right. For example, perhaps current relationships lack more involvement that could make them more fulfilling and a friend network could help you brainstorm potentials. This is why CaregiverWay.com
was created. You might want to check that out too.
Treat yourself, your partners, and your partnerships fairly. Be good to yourself. Be honest. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to be caregiver to everyone. It might sound like a good idea for a minute but you have your limits so have patience so you don’t accidentally hit those limits and feel unhappy. Gain a good, supportive network that understands you outside of your romantic connections, and let yourself also build very valuable, less demanding friendships too. Seek out more professional help if it never feels like enough. Love yourself!
Best of luck on your path!