Relationship Anarchy – Multiple Relationships with Consent
When in a relationship, it is the love between the two that binds them. But, why does it have to be only two in a relationship, why not three if not more? This question is what gives rise to the term relationship anarchy. The neologism, relationship anarchy or relational anarchy, also shortly referred to as RA, questions the very idea of real love which is limited to two people in a relationship at one point of time. In fact, RA suggests that true love can be possible with more than one person at a time. Seems like Keira Knightley is only exploring the realm of relationship anarchy then!
The Ideal Relation
If my statement doesn’t seem far fetched, an ideal relationship, or the love that blossoms between two people, runs on a certain set of rules and regulations-
- be loyal to the person with who you are into a relation with at the moment
- you are not supposed to love or enter into into a relation if you are already seeing someone else or are already married
- compromising in a relationship is inevitable, it is the price we pay for being together
The above set of rules and regulations are what define a monogamous relationship, the ideal relationship that is deemed fit by the society. Break these rules, and you are a sinner. Loyalty, faith, possessiveness, trust and to certain extent, even obsession are what define true love, and it is possible if we adhere to the above mentioned societal rules about an ideal relationship.
Humans need constant change, in everything, so why not the way in which we maintain a relationship. May be this kind of thinking is what led to polyamory, or more simply known as an open relationship.
Polyamory or an open relationship is defined as being in intimate relationships with multiple partners at the same time. So, is it not sedition? I actually missed a crucial part in the definition, which is ‘consent‘. Everyone involved in the relationship would have to express their consent about having multiple partners. If approved, it’s no sedition.
Relationship anarchy also follows the same lines, with subtle differences though.
True love does not happen just once at one time and with one person – this is take of relationship anarchs. They believe that being in love with multiple persons at the same time is possible. For anarchs, love has no barricades and no rules, and the intimate feeling can be shared with more than one person at a time.
Not necessarily do the relationships need to be physical but, one can share the same attachment and emotions with another.
Polyamory v Relationship Anarchy
As mentioned above, both the terms are more or less the same but, RA is different. How is it different?
In polyamory, you are in multiple relationships with consent but, the relationships are categorized into outside marriage, friendship, physical relationships and so on.
In RA, there is no such categorization. No partner is primary nor secondary. So, multiple affairs, friendships, sexual relationships etc can all be had at the same time.
Basically, there are no commitments in RA.
Principles of RA
Unlike the societal rules of an ideal relationship, relationship anarchy is based on a few principles-
- loving more than one person without categorizing them is possible
- love has to be selfless and should not set boundaries in each others paths
- no need to compromise for the individuals you love, only learn to respect their views
- do not do anything in the relationships because you have to but, do it because you want to
- learn to fight the norms of monogamy
Just like any other relationship out there, be it heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual or lesbian, relationship anarchy also exists. At least one thing with RA is that no one feels cheated as there is the most important consent and openness about the relationships from all the partners involved.