relationship anarchy everything you need to know

When someone mentions anarchy, you might picture a punk rock rebel with black eyeliner, who rejects all forms of hierarchy and rules. While relationship anarchy shares some similarities with this image, it is actually a distinct approach to relationships and non-monogamy. It is defined in a loose and flexible way, allowing individuals who identify as relationship anarchists to create their own definitions and guidelines.

What is Relationship Anarchy?

In 2006, Andie Nordgren coined the term "relationship anarchy" or RA, which is a non-traditional approach to relationships and non-monogamy. This relationship style prioritizes personal autonomy and non-hierarchical relationship practices. In RA, there are no established rules or expectations other than the ones that the people involved in the relationship agree upon. This philosophy encourages people to define relationships based on their own values rather than relying on societal norms.

Dr. Heath Schechinger, co-chair of the American Psychological Association Division 44 Committee on Consensual Non-Monogamy, explains that people who practice relationship anarchy value autonomy and personal choice. Nordgren's original RA manifesto includes nine tenets that outline the values of RA, emphasizing that people should customize their relationship agreements according to their preferences.

One of the core principles of relationship anarchy is the rejection of hierarchy, meaning that a romantic relationship is not more important than any other type of relationship. This philosophy is based on the idea that love is abundant and should not be a finite resource that needs to be carefully allocated. Relationships are perceived as being more on a spectrum instead of a hierarchy.

Relationship Anarchy VS Polyamory

Although relationship anarchy and polyamory are both forms of ethical non-monogamy, they differ in that relationship anarchy does not have to be non-monogamous. One can still reject traditional relationship norms but still be exclusive with their partner. On the other hand, polyamory involves intimate relationships with multiple partners, often with hierarchies such as having a primary partner. Relationship anarchy rejects the concept of hierarchy altogether unless all parties involved agree to it.

Relationship anarchy is not for everyone, as it requires significant time, effort, and communication. It is best suited for those who want to redefine relationships outside of societal expectations. Relationship anarchists should possess good communication skills, awareness of their own needs and desires, and healthy boundaries. They should also be capable of working through issues related to jealousy, as RA may involve several partners. The rejection of societal standards of relationships and the emphasis on personal choice make RA an attractive option for those who wish to build relationships that work for them.

Communication in Relationship Anarchy

Effective communication is vital in any relationship, regardless of its nature. However, in relationship anarchy, it becomes even more critical as individuals aim to establish a unique and personalized relationship from scratch. In such situations, it is crucial for all parties involved to express their needs, boundaries, and expectations. As relationships involve more people, the need for clear and healthy communication also increases.

According to Dr. Schechinger, a licensed clinical psychologist, communication is the most important thing in relationships. As Schuster adds, people in traditional relationships often let their expectations become assumptions, which eventually lead to resentment, hurt, and breakups. Therefore, communication is essential for everyone, but relationship anarchists might need to use these skills more often.

Besides, communication with individuals outside your relationship can be necessary if you need to explain your relationship to those who do not understand it. However, it is essential to note that you do not owe anyone an explanation. You may encounter opposition from family members who feel entitled to tell you what you are doing wrong relationship-wise since you are defying societal norms. Nonetheless, it is crucial not to let anyone belittle or invalidate your relationship.

Starting with Relationship Anarchy

Anyone curious about relationship anarchy can practice it as long as they have the necessary skills and qualities. However, if you are already in a relationship and want to transition to relationship anarchy, communication is critical. Abandoning all relationship expectations and creating a unique relationship from scratch can be challenging and require lots of communication.

Ask yourself critical questions such as what you want your relationship to look like, your expectations, whether you want to be monogamous, non-monogamous, have an open relationship, live together, get married, or have children. Your answers may evolve over time, and it is vital to acknowledge that relationships are dynamic.

Take your time and go slow. Deviating from social norms can be exciting but challenging, and it is necessary to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page before making any changes. Having a support system can also be beneficial during this process.


In conclusion, relationship anarchy offers a unique and flexible approach to relationships, prioritizing personal autonomy and non-hierarchical relationship practices. For those interested in practicing relationship anarchy, communication is key, as it requires individuals to establish unique relationships from scratch. It is essential to communicate needs, boundaries, and expectations to establish healthy relationships.

On the other hand, committed relationships are based on the idea of a shared commitment between two people. Trust is built through consistent actions and behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to the relationship and to each other. This means being loyal, honest, and trustworthy, as well as trying to meet each other's wants and putting the relationship ahead of other connections. If you're having trouble with trust and uncertainty in your relationship, iFindCheaters can help you find answers in a way that is both anonymous and discreet. You can find out if your partner has an active profile and is looking for romantic connections with other people with just a few simple steps. iFindCheaters makes it easy to rebuild trust in your relationship, whether you're worried about possible cheating or just want to know more.

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