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What is Relationship Anarchy – a New Version of Free Love

What is Relationship Anarchy – a New Version of Free Love

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There are, and always have been, other ways of relating romantically beyond the monogamy established in the West. There are other ways of loving alternatives that today have great visibility in our society because hypocrisy is being left behind. Relationship anarchy is one of those.  

One form of love that is currently a trend called relationship anarchy and consists of being able to love one or several people at the same time, without putting any label established by society, to that relationship. Applied to daily life, relationship anarchy allows you to have sex with a friend or have a romantic partner, but not have sex with him, among other ways of relating.

Love is abundant, and every relationship is unique

Andie Nordgren, The Relationship Anarchy Manifesto.

What is Relationship Anarchy?

At first glance, the relationship anarchy may seem too complex and people wonder what is relationship anarchy? We could simply say that it is a form of love that does not accept any rules during the development of a relationship, imposed by social customs.  

You and the people around you decide what kind of relationship to have, without any outside imposition. In the relationship anarchy, physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are based on individual desire and not on paradigms imposed by other people’s ideals.  

The RA rejects monogamy and traditional marriage because it considers that these two concepts do not respect individual freedom of choice. 

TED talk about love and open relationships

Can relationship anarchy create a world without heartbreak?   

Rules create boundaries. Even though that works for the majority when it comes to relationships, many people feel that love life should not be dependent on one romantic partner who is their everything. Rather on a multitude of profound, deep, genuine connections. Sexual, romantic, platonic, regardless on their nature. Basically, whatever works.  

In that way, we build an existence rich in emotional connections. If something happens, and one relationship stops, we don’t feel heartbroken. We’re strong and still empowered by a multitude of relationships, which makes us accept it more easily. It’s all life. and life is beautiful. 

You have capacity to love more than one person, and one relationship and the love felt for that person does not diminish love felt for another

Andie Nordgren, The RA Manifesto.

Conventional relationships rooted in an oppressive culture 

Relationship anarchists find the conventional, romantic – heartbreak love to be masqueraded as the universal meaning of life in Western culture. They further consider marriage and conventional monogamous relationships to be a heritage of times of patriarchy where the marriage was primarily an economic and reproductive institution. RA’s find conventional romantic love to be heterosexist, rooted in oppressiveness where domestic labor and emotional support disproportionately fall on women. 

Love is abundant, relationships are unique

The term ‘relationship anarchy’ comes from Sweden and dates back to 2006. when an activist Andie Nordgren wrote the relationship anarchy manifesto. The backbone of his manifesto is the premise that love is abundant, and every relationship is unique. He states that you should find your own core of relationship values and shape your relationship based on desire, trust and communication, not on fear, duties and societal pressure. 

Love and respect instead of entitlement

Andie Nordgren, The Relationship Anarchy Manifesto.

RA and RA Poly – love without labels

Another term with which you should familiarize yourself is RA poly, that is, the tendency that allows you to have an anarchy relationship (RA) with several people (poly). Within this tendency you can have any type of relationship with several people at the same time.  

In the anarchy relationship the sex is not the most important thing, but the flexibility with which the relationships are developed. Each individual decides what type of relationship to have with another person, ignoring all the labels that society places on relationships such as “partner”, “friendship”, “lovers”, etc.  

Solo Polyamory vs Relationship Anarchy 

Many consider that Solo Poly, an openness to several love relationships at the same time, is the closest relationship format to Relationship anarchy. But there is one difference. Relationship anarchists reject sex and romantic relations as the backbone of relationships, while solo poly is more focused on them. That is the difference between RA and different kinds of Poly relationships like Poly Throuple (Polyamorous triad).   

What is Relationship anarchy and can it work for you?

Could Relationship Anarchy work for you? 

Perhaps the relationship anarchy is for you if you find it difficult to have a monogamous relationship. Or if you think of another person when you are with your partner, and also if this tendency arouses your interest and curiosity.

On the other hand, the relationship anarchy is not for you if you are jealous, you demand sexual exclusivity from your partner, it would hurt you to know that the person you love frequents other people. The most important thing is that you are honest with yourself while you analyze this tendency. Keep in mind that each person is unique and what is important to you may not be important to someone else.   

Honesty, respect and consent – pillars of RA

Relationship anarchy encompasses all sexual orientations (bisexual, heterosexual, gay, lesbian), so a girl can live with her boyfriend and have sex with another girl, who is also her best friend.  

What is relationship anarchy and can  it be the choice for you

It is important to know that everything that happens in the relationship anarchy happens with the consent of all who participate. And if at any time anyone stops liking it, they have the freedom to stop practicing it whenever they want. As can be seen, this RA trend is based on the respect and consent of all its members, who are honest with themselves and with others. 

RA is far beyond the notion that romantic relationships don’t have to follow a predetermined path – dating, marriage, kids. Relationships in all forms are free from all predetermined paths.  

As a relationship anarchist, you can have romantic, platonic, or sexual relationships without predetermined rules, fixed roles, or boundaries. To put it simply – whatever works for you. It is the magic of freedom and the magic of love in all forms, according to relationship anarchists.