Those of us who seek freedom have questioned the constructs we were brought up to believe in one form or another. We may have thought that life had to be a certain way, because that is what we were taught, and it was the only way we had known life could be…. until we finally knew something more…
From meat eating, to voting, there is a huge web of beliefs that keep the world spinning. Some of us are becoming aware of ways in which we’ve been conditioned, and how that conditioning greatly effects our perspective and behavior, and one way we are finding this awareness, is through how we relate to others.
Relationship Anarchy describes relationships without rulers. Each person in a relationship is treated as sovereign, and all interactions are voluntary and consensual for all parties involved. Relationship Anarchy can look and function similarly to many different relationship dynamics including polyamory, monogamy, or something entirely unique. Relationship Anarchy is not only useful to apply in our romantic and intimate connections, but in all of our relationships from those with our children, family, parents, co-workers, to the people we encounter in passing.
What beliefs and thoughts have we been conditioned to believe about relationships that are no longer serving us? The divine and sacred masculine and feminine are often seen expressed unhealthily in today’s relationships and culture, creating an imbalance in which two people come together attempting to be complete, by each being an incomplete, unbalanced, toxic half to each other.
Self ownership required us to cultivate the divine feminine and masculine both within ourselves in balance, rather than looking outwardly to a partner to fulfill one of those roles for us. Growing into a whole and balanced person involves learning to develop, enforce, and respect our boundaries. Relationship Anarchy allows for freedom to practice boundaries for ourselves, and to practice hearing and seeing others boundaries. Relating as sovereign beings allows us to grow and develop communication skills, respect, understanding, and strength. It challenges us to work through base self centered emotions. We must come to face and accept death, making it our lover, realizing that everything is change. When we feel our deepest purpose, we can offer our love within and without, loving without expectations of it being received or return, knowing our boundaries, limits, and first caring and loving for ourselves until we are full before pouring our love outward to others. When we cultivate space to know ourselves and know who we are most deeply, we can begin to share that depth of ourselves with others. If we own ourselves, we must first commit to ourselves, before anyone else.
Those of us who seek to know thyself, and to grow and evolve into a life of more good than harm have questioned where our ego has driven us to harm, so that we may heal. In the same way we benefit from questioning authority and conditioned constructs and dogma, we must observe and question what is Truly motivating our actions in relationships. What beliefs do we hold about relationships that are from a place of fear?
When we take a look at our relationships through the lens of anarchy, what do we see?
Do we love in such a way that those around us feel free? Or do we posses or hold desperately tight to our partners?
Do we love so that we know our partner choose to be with us genuinely in every moment, or are we so far deep in contract or commitment that we can’t tell if we are there because we want to be or because we previously agreed to and it is an obligation?
Do we account for growth and change, and commit so deeply to ourselves and trust that we will know ourselves enough to choose what is right for us, or do we make contracts to create a false sense of security to satisfy our fears?
Do we order our children around, telling them what to do? Or do we make requests, and encourage them to think for themselves, respecting their sovereignty?
Monogamy has been defined as marrying only once in a lifetime, marrying only one person at a time, or having sexual or romantic relations with only one person at a time. Mono meaning one, and gamy meaning marriage. The laws of monogamy and marriage are not constant or everlasting, but instead vary depending on the time period, place, and the current whim of legislators and cultural norms. Monogamy often requires adding distinct boxes and labels in how we interact with one another. Where is the line drawn in what is monogamous or not? Having coffee? Working together? Playing music? Does hugging someone else break this contract? A kiss? Imaging or dreaming about someone else? It really depends on who you ask. Mathew 521 says, …”anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Relationship Anarchy allows us to step outside of man’s laws on how we relate to others, shedding old concepts of selling and trading women like property.
Toxicity in monogamy has surfaced in many ways. One of the ways comes through is of the normalization of jealousy and possessive behaviors, confused with an expression of love. Monogamy can encourage blindness when it comes to recognizing red flags and practical incompatibilities when their is an all encompassing focus on monogamy as the end result, as an emphasis placed on previous agreements and belonging to the other person.
Another form of toxic monogamy is when a person might be considered inadequate by their partner if they cannot meet their partners every need. Similarly, a person might be considered too needy if they are looking to meet all of their needs with one partner.
Relationship Anarchy and self ownership teaches us that we are responsible for meeting our own needs, rather than expecting them to be met externally. This is not to say that we cannot ask for a partner to meet a need for us. This can be a form of meeting our own needs, as we have taken the initiative and responsibility to do something by making a request. However, we cannot expect that our partner will meet this need, even if it is something they have done in the past for us. Habitual dependency can lead to codependency.
Monogamy can present harmful when it comes with the unrealistic expectation that you will no longer and never again be attracted to anyone else ever, because you have this one love special love that completes you. Personally I find that taking in the beauty of life is essential to my well being, and i will not pretend that people are not attractive or beautiful. I can admire many beautiful things, and one does not take away from the others unique magnificence.
Monogamy confuses the idea of commitment with exclusivity, using them synonymously, when in fact they are very different things. Commitment does not require a particular kind of exclusivity. Monogamy can promote a toxic crutch for our insecurities, when we depend and rely on our partner as if it is their responsibility to accommodate us for the inner work we have not yet done.
Being of value to a partner can often make up a large part of our identity in toxic monogamy, effecting and weakening our ability to value ourselves. This codependent sense of self worth can be devastating to a persons sovereignty, sense of self worth and inner strength. Only through knowing ourselves and valuing ourselves can we truly have a sense of self worth.
The fear I have seen within monogamy most of all, is the fear of monogamy it’s self. What are you afraid of if your partner shares love, connection, affection, intimacy or some form with someone other than you? It is a question I have asked many times, and most often I hear 2 responses. One is the fear that they could get an STD or STI from outside partners. The second is that they fear their partner will stop loving, connecting, being intimate, or showing affection towards them, or not have enough time for them.
Intimacy, love, connection, and affection do not inherently include sex or sexual activity that could transmit infections or diseases (and if we get this far, there are communications, agreements, etc that can be had around this particular topic for those who want to be poly sexual). With the first reason aside, we can examine the second, the fear that you might no longer receive love from your partner if they give it to someone else, or that it will not be as deep or special or whole.
This fear comes from the conditioned perspective that monogamy is the only way a relationship can be. This fear is essentially the fear of monogamy because we fear that our partner would become monogamous with the other person, resulting in our loss of connection with them.
Polyamory, as opposed to monogamy, can be broken down and look at as poly, meaning multiple, and amory, meaning love. Polyamory describes the act of loving more than one person. Polyamory does not require strict laws about how we interact, though individuals can consent and voluntarily set boundaries and make requests with those whom they relate with. Polyamory is not inherently sexual, as it speaks to the ability to love multiples, without setting limits on love. Polyamory can speak of relationships of all kinds from romantic to platonic. In the same way that parents can love multiple children, and loving one child does not take away from the other or mean that they do not love the other child as much, polyamory describes this ability in a broad sense, to include friends, children, family, romantic partners, etc. It is my experience that polyamory does not have much value without the concept of self ownership and sovereignty. When Love is the foundation of all our actions and motivations, we can love first within, and then without, owning our fears and insecurities, owning our feelings, and freely loving others in a way that is conducive to their self ownership as well.
Relationship Anarchy is sovereignty in how we relate to others. It requires us to know ourselves, and to continuously examine ourselves to continue learning and growing. Relationship anarchy is relationships free from rulers and masters, and free from subservient submissive slaves. It takes courage to know yourself, and even more to be your authentic genuine self at all costs, overcoming the fear of losing someones approval. Relationship Anarchy comes from a place of understanding that we are constantly growing and evolving, and if we so choose, takes us on a journey to growing into the best versions of ourselves. This means constantly checking in with yourself, observing yourself, to truly know who you are, what is true for your soul’s best interest in growth, what does your being need to experience? What do you want, what do you need, what do you feel, what do you think, what do you seek, what do you intend? Relationship anarchy allows for maximum growth in ones self, to do the work necessary to be evolved enough to healthily relate with others, and willingly collaborate with the divine in another balanced individual.