The basis of a CGL relationship is romantic. It is based on feelings, emotions, and acceptance of atypical displays of love. Unlike other platonic relationships, CGL partnerships are emotionally based and driven. Platonic would indicate there is no emotional exchange.
The taking-care-of by the Caregiver is an affectionate and endearing act of love. Just as parents feel a special, loving bond to their children, and would give their life for their children because they love them deeply. The Caregiver prioritizes their Little partner above all others just as much as a parent prioritizes their child.
The childlike need the Little expresses to the Caregiver not only accepts and encourages the atypical displays of live from the Caregiver but provides appreciation, interpreted as reciprocated love. The little wants to feel loved, and that’s what having a Caregiver is truly all about—having a person finally not only accept their quirky personality but also love it.
Being a Daddy or a Mommy to a Little is uniquely expressing your affection and romance toward that individual, knowing that your atypical expressions are understood as being from your heart. It’s a special connection that should be cherished, fostered to blossom into its full beauty. If those feelings of romance don’t pre-exist then you have to ask yourself what you’re actually, really doing and why you think you and the way you feel and express those feelings fall under a particular label. What “platonic CGL” or “nonromantic CGl” means is “friends with benefits”, where one side is expecting to feel good without actually investing true, honest feelings for the other.
Love comes in various forms, and isn’t a black-or-white emotion. Expressing parental-style love for a Little is romantic because both parties are adults and both gain emotional gratification from feeling cherished by the other. Caregivers want to feel needed and irreplaceable. Littles want to feel prioritized above all others. It’s still love, and it’s still special and romantic. They’re still giving a special part of themselves to each other that they don’t share with everyone else.
A Caregiver is displaying their attraction and loving feelings toward a Little when tending to their basic needs, and the Little is accepting and encouraging that by allowing it so they exchange signals that they’re romantically interested in some level. They are both being encouraged and motivated by feelings of love. They may want to believe there is nothing more than that but they are, unfortunately, fooling themselves.
Friends with benefits in the CGL realm doesn’t usually end up being fulfilling for both parties because CGL connections are based on emotions. Regular FWB is fulfilling for some people due to the ability to separate feelings from physical desire. That just isn’t what CGL is at all. It’s ALL about feelings! So, you really should reconsider what you believe is happening in your relationships, and work toward being more honest with yourself as to embrace your partners.