Redefine your relationships with Relationship Anarchy

Group of friends embracing their relationships

People, I don’t like to think of myself as an anarchist. Anarchy brings to mind things like ‘chaos’ and ‘disorder’. Anarchy makes me think I’ll be uncertain and it brings up feelings of stress and anxiety. And when it comes to relationships, anxiety and stress are very much things I try to avoid!

But, ironically, relationship anarchy has been the opposite of all those assumptions. RA has helped me to understand all of my relationships so much better, not just the ones with potential romantic or sexual partners, but even relationships with friends and acquaintances. 

To understand relationship anarchy though, we first have to understand the relationship escalator. 

What is the relationship escalator?

The relationship escalator is the assumption that every romantic relationship we enter into is heading in the same direction. That we all have the same goals and we all want the same outcomes. It’s like how every rom-com movie you watch kinda feels the same, even when they try and mix it up occasionally by having the main characters be gay or mixed race or disabled.  

Basically we step onto the relationship escalator on our first date, and the escalator automatically starts climbing us towards our destination of marriage, a house and 2.5 children, via the first ‘I love you’, moving in together and getting your first pet. 

Another word you might see used to describe it is the ‘social script’ because sometimes it feels like we’re expected to follow a script that was written for us before we ever arrived on set. 

The problem with the relationship escalator is that it becomes automatic. It becomes something we do without thinking about it. How often do you see that trope in TV shows where someone asks their friend, “How soon is TOO soon to say ‘I love you?’” or, “When should they meet my parents?” But they’re not actually asking the important question. Do I love this person? Do I think this person would appreciate knowing that I love them? Would I like this person to meet my parents? Do I think this person would enjoy meeting my parents? We stop thinking about what we need and what our partner needs and we’re only thinking about timelines and ticking boxes. 

So, what happens if we throw out the relationship escalator? What if we take everything off the table? And we only opt in to what we actually, truly want? No more default declarations of love, no more marriage, kids and living together. What does the world look like when we put our own needs first? 

What is relationship anarchy?

Relationship anarchy (RA) is a social movement started by Andie Nordgren in 2006 with their “Relationship Anarchy Manifesto”. RA is referenced a lot in ethical non-monogamy spaces, but it’s designed to apply to all relationship types - there’s nothing romantic or sexual about it. It’s a philosophy about how we interact with other people. 

One of the reasons RA is so popular with people in non-monogamy spaces, though, is because it places such an emphasis on communication. We’ve talked before about the role communication plays in ethical non-monogamy. Polyamory and open relationships don’t really work without it. 

At their heart, most people who successfully practice ethical non-monogamy are massive nerds who happen to nerd out about relationships. Relationship anarchy is the latest and greatest expansion pack - it lets you take all of your relationships to a wonderful new level of consent and communication. No longer do you have to assume that you’re giving and getting the best out of every relationship you have, now you can know for sure! 

RA is like the opposite of the relationship escalator. The escalator is a pre-written script where everyone follows along towards the same end goals. RA is showing up in a room with a person, finding out there is no script and starting from scratch. What do you want? What do they want? And not just the obvious stuff like marriage, kids, pets, etc. But everything in between as well - how do they like to communicate and how often? How do they feel about physical touch? How do they want to handle financial situations, everything from splitting dinner bills to investing in a business together - communicate about all of it.

At the risk of oversimplifying it a little, at its heart, RA is about intentional relationships. Not doing things by default. Not following a script. And if you’re interested and want to go deeper there are also some great underlying values around dismantling systems of oppression as well. But if you’ve ever felt like dating was leading you somewhere you weren’t sure you wanted to go, or like romance had a script that wasn’t written with you in mind, then RA might be exactly what you’re after.

If Relationship Anarchy describes your approach to relationships then you can choose to display it on your Adult Match Maker profile. Choose Edit Profile then Member Details and under Relationship Dynamic choose Non-monogamous to display the RA option.

7 comments

  • Femme71

    Femme71

    More than a month ago

    All that for really only two sentences? "RA is about intentional relationships and not doing things by default. Not following a script" Now you've told us WHAT it is.. how bout you tell us HOW to achieve this in real life..

    Reply
  • EvolvedPassion

    EvolvedPassion

    More than a month ago

    This is a great way of articulating what I’ve always thought. I’ve explained it as coming into a relationship and we both shape it the way it works for us at this point in our lives. I don’t want to be forced into someone’s life and them into mine. Love the RA concept.

    • FunandFuckwell

      FunandFuckwell

      More than a month ago

      I like your views and take on things, myself and my sensational partner absolutely love to fuck, soooo much. We believe if you treat everyone as you would be treated, and believe anybody no matter hoe they look or what they believe, if they are people who share your values and morals, you fuck them and you try anything at all your comfortable with. Just always genuine love what your doing and make people remember you by being the best, filthiest and incredible fuck they ever had in their life, and then move on to give someone else or as many others that same experience, that your doing the world and humanity a great and worthy service, and I agree. What are your thoughts

    • KinkyGirl101

      KinkyGirl101

      More than a month ago

      @FunandFuckwell I think you missed the point. Just because you meet people who share your morals and values you don't just "fuck them". With RA it's not just about sex, it's about building a relationship you mutually agree on. That could just be a casual fuck but you seem to think it's implied which is actually buying into the relationship escalator or, in your instance, a sexcalator.

    • EvolvedPassion

      EvolvedPassion

      More than a month ago

      I agree with kinkygirl101. this is about building a relationship … creating something that is not what traditional society labels as a relationship or life partnership.
      I don’t hold any judgement if you just want sex and if you have people you have great sex with and move on. Sometimes we need that.
      RA as the article states is about intentional relationship - and this goes beyond (way beyond) the bedroom:

    Reply
  • Photos in private gallery

    jenoo1

    More than a month ago

    I appreciate this, and I tend not to follow social scripts myself, but it does sound like another " script" to follow especially when worded like this : 'Relationship anarchy is the latest and greatest expansion pack '.
    It's kind of like all the alternative hippies trying to dress different and be individual, and yet many seem to be wearing the "hippie uniform" and follow the rules to be a hippie

    • FunandFuckwell

      FunandFuckwell

      More than a month ago

      Follow hour own script, that's what we do. And the script says, find the, have fun with them, respect them and give them a sexual experience like no other, fuck suck fuck suck and fuck some more..what do you think it world for us we love to fuck as many strangers as we can and if we think they were great in bed, we definitely arrange further contact... My girl is a beautiful and kind hearted respectable women outside THR bedroom, and inside it is an absolute filthy and sensational mind blowing sexual dynamo.

    Reply
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