Get your love and your friendship right and sex will follow along nicely. Start with sex, and you've got a lot of the "friendship" part to work out.
What can you tell by waking up beside a new potential partner? Do you think early impressions, early connections/disconnections have an impact on the longer relationship potential?
So we don't really have a word for what we "are." I don't like dating, so I'm not dating her. She doesn't like the idea of a long-term relationship so we're not doing that either. Do we need an easy handle on what we are forming between us? No. Is it more convenient if you are able to say, my boyfriend and my girlfriend? Maybe a tad better than my lover, or my life-mate. But please, we're splitting hairs. Do we like to be together? Yes. Are there things we like to do together besides fool around in bed? Yes. Then do that. Do all of that.