Do Relationship Anarchists Commit?

Hi, I’m Kale. Today I want to clear up some misconceptions about relationship anarchy and commitment.

I’ve had some people say to me ‘I couldn’t handle relationship anarchy, I need commitment!’

It seems that since many people associate relationship anarchy with chaos, they also assume that to be a relationship anarchist means to not have any commitments.  

My question is: what does commitment look like? Maybe to monogamous folks, it involves the relationship escalator: date, move in, marry, have kids. If you are not committed to all, or at least most of those things, you are not really committed to a relationship.

We already know that is not the likely path an RAs relationships will take. But does that mean that they don’t know how to commit?

Just because commitment doesn’t look how it might in a monogamous relationship, does not make it less real, or important.

An RA relationship will set it’s own tone, and the people involved will form their own types of commitments together.

How we practice commitments as relationship anarchists is important. You can practice relationship anarchy without having spent your life as an anarchist, but some of the politics are integral to how we perform RA.

Here are some key points to commitment within an anarchist framework:

  • They will be discussed and reached based on consent, non-coercion and mutual aid
  • They are an on on-going communication
  • They help make people’s desires clear
  • They will be fluid and the terms can be renegotiated
  • They are always voluntary, a person can choose to opt-out at any time

The thing about any type of commitment is that it is not often static and permanent.

No matter how committed someone may be in the moment, in the long term it is possible, if not probable, that things will change.

What we are doing in relationship anarchy is recognizing a person’s autonomy, and allowing space for that change.

Once you realize that commitment is a living thing, that it can change and evolve, you can acknowledge that it’s permanence is a fallacy.

That means that you must look at what is going on in this moment.

In some ways, this approach can give us more reassurance about a person’s commitment. Every day that they show up they are re-affirming that they want to be there.

If someone can opt out at any moment, and they still choose to be there, that is a powerful sign of being committed!

So, can relationship anarchists commit? Of course they can. They do it intentionally, deliberately, with much careful thought.

They recognize that every commitment might not be from now until the day they die, but if they are there it means they fully and completely want to be.

If you’re a relationship anarchist, how do you practice commitment? If you want to be a part of the discussion, post a comment, join our Facebook group or follow me on Twitter, all which you will find down below. Thanks for watching, bye!

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