Relationship anarchy

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An 'A' in a heart is a symbol of relationship anarchy.

Relationship anarchy (abbreviated RA) is the practice of forming relationships which are not bound by rules aside from what the people involved mutually agree on. It can be considered as one form of polyamory, but distinguishes itself by postulating that there need not be a formal distinction between different types of sexual, romantic or platonic relationships.

Relationship anarchists look at each relationship (romantic or otherwise) individually, as opposed to categorizing them according to societal norms such as 'just friends', 'in a relationship', 'in an open relationship', etc. The term 'relationship anarchy' was coined by Andie Nordgren,[1] and is the topic of Swedish bachelor theses by Jacob Strandell[2] and Ida Midnattssol.[3] It was discussed in workshops at OpenCon 2010,[4] and by Senior Open University lecturer Dr Meg Barker in a presentation in 2013.[5]

Relationship anarchs (or RAs) prefer not to divide relationships into subsets of those involving romantic partnerships and those that do not. Instead, they have a more flexible approach in which everything that the people involved mutually agree on is allowed. As in other forms of polyamory, many relationship anarchists have multiple sexual, loving, or intimate relationships with different people. One notable difference between some forms of polyamory and RA is the categorical distinction sometimes made by polyamorists between romantic relationships and friendships. In general, relationship anarchists tend not to recognize any such categorization, nor any conventional path to follow, in order to pursue, have, or express love in their relationships.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Anapol, Deborah (2010). Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 
  2. ^ "Det fria subjektets diskurs: en analys av de diskurser som möjliggör relationsanarkins diskurs och praktik.". 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ett relationsanarkistiskt ställningstagande - en undersökning av subjektspositionering inom relationsanarki.". 19 March 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "So what’s OpenCon all about, then?". 5 October 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Barker, Meg (23 January 2013). "Rewriting the Rules: Non/monogamies". Retrieved 5 July 2013. 

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