Relationship anarchy (sometimes abbreviated RA) is the application of anarchist principles to intimate relationships. Its values include autonomy, anti-hierarchical practices, anti-normativity, and community interdependence.[1][2][3][4] RA is explicitly anti-amatonormative[5] and anti-mononormative and is commonly, but not always, non-monogamous.[3][6][7] This is distinct from polyamory, solo poly, swinging, and other forms of “dating”, which may include structures such as amatonormativity, hierarchy of intimate relationships, and autonomy-limiting rules.[2][6][8] It has also been interpreted as a new paradigm in which closeness and autonomy are no longer considered to create dilemmas within a relationship.[9]


Andie Nordgren popularized the term "relationship anarchy"[2][3][7] in her 2012 Tumblr essay "The short instructional manifesto for relationship anarchy",[10] which she translated from her own Swedish-language "Relationsanarki i 8 punkter" (lit. Relationship anarchy in 8 points).[11] Other relevant writings exploring this topic within a similar time frame include "A Green Anarchist Project on Freedom and Love" and "Against the Couple Form".[12]

Workshops at OpenCon 2010 discussed relationship anarchy,[13] and the Open University professor Dr. Meg Barker discussed it in a 2013 presentation.[14] In the International Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conferences, since 2016, different aspects of relationship anarchy have been studied.[15][16] In March 2020, the first book dedicated monographically to Relationship Anarchy was published in Spanish: "Anarquía Relacional. La revolución desde los vínculos",[17] translated into English in 2022 as "Relationship Anarchy. Occupy Intimacy"[18]

The general press has dealt with Relationship Anarchy in articles with different approaches and scopes. In 2021, Cosmopolitan magazine[19] describes it as a distinct relational style, remarking on the importance it assigns to needs, boundaries and expectations, and quoting experts such as Dr. Heath Schechinger, co-chair of the American Psychological Association Division 44 Committee on Consensual Non-Monogamy and other authors and practitioners. In April 13, 2022, an article in Men's Health magazine[20] emphasizes how to put the philosophy of Relationship Anarchy into practice and how it leads us not to hierarchize between platonic and romantic relationships. It even extends that to deeply loving relationships with non-humans: the environment, pets, God or spirituality, art, music, or even football clubs.

In June 17, 2022, an article in The New York Times[21] stated that The Organization for Polyamory and Ethical Non-monogamy, or OPEN, sent an open letter to Meta calling for Facebook to allow users to list more than one relationship status in their profiles, including “Polyamory,” “Swinging,” and “Relationship Anarchy". In February 8, 2023, The Observer, in the article We Can All Learn From Polyamory,[22] the nine statements that make up the relationship anarchy manifesto are proposed as pillars of any type relationship. It is compared to Polyamory that is said to fall under the umbrella of Ethical Non-monogamy, identified as the set of all nontraditional connections made between more than two people. Relationship anarchy is regarded as more of a philosophy, comprising values that encourage people to form relationships based on their own wants and needs rather than traditional social rules.

See also


  1. ^ "The Difference Between Relationship Anarchy and Non-Hierarchical Polyamory". Relationship Anarchy. Archived from the original on 2020-05-03. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  2. ^ a b c "The Great Showdown of Hierarchical Polyamory vs. Relationship Anarchy". The New Modality. 2020-09-05. Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  3. ^ a b c "Can relationship anarchy create a world without heartbreak? | Aeon Ideas". Aeon. Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  4. ^ "What Is Relationship Anarchy?". MBGRelationships. Mindbodygreen. 2 August 2020. Retrieved 2023-04-26.
  5. ^ "Are You Radical Enough to Be a Relationship Anarchist?". GQ. 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  6. ^ a b Lopez, Veronica (2021-10-15). "Here's What to Know About Relationship Anarchy". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2022-02-13.
  7. ^ a b Heaney, Katie (2018-10-23). "What It's Like Being a Relationship Anarchist". The Cut. Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  8. ^ De las Heras Gómez, Roma (2018-12-20). "Thinking Relationship Anarchy from a Queer Feminist Approach" (PDF). Sociological Research Online. SAGE Publications. 24 (4): 644–660. doi:10.1177/1360780418811965. ISSN 1360-7804. S2CID 220124663.
  9. ^ Guillén, Ricardo. "Beyond romantic love – an analysis of how the dilemma of closeness vs. autonomy is handled in relationship anarchy discourse". LUP Student Papers. Lund University Libraries. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  10. ^ Nordgren, Andie. "The short instructional manifesto for relationship anarchy", Andie's Log, July 6, 2012.
  11. ^ "The short instructional manifesto for relationship anarchy". The Anarchist Library. Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  12. ^ "love relationship - His Secret Obsession Review". Retrieved 2021-11-21.
  13. ^ "So what's OpenCon all about, then? | Polytical". 2013-12-03. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  14. ^ "Rewriting the Rules of Relationships". Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  15. ^ Meyer, Gesa (2017). Polynormativity!? – Revisiting the relationship anarchist critique of polyamory (PDF). 2nd Non Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference. Sigmund Freud University, Vienna.
  16. ^ Rose, Amanda (2017). Relationship Anarchy: Breaking the paradigm (PDF). 2nd Non Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference. Sigmund Freud University, Vienna.
  17. ^ Pérez Cortés, Juan Carlos. (2020). Anarquía relacional : la revolución desde los vínculos (in Spanish). Madrid: La Oveja Roja. ISBN 978-84-16227-33-4. OCLC 1176250441.
  18. ^ Pérez-Cortés, Juan-Carlos (2022). Relationship Anarchy. Occupy Intimacy. La Oveja Roja (The Red Sheep). ISBN 979-8-3680-3944-2.
  19. ^ Lopez, Veronica (Oct 15, 2021). "Here's What to Know About Relationship Anarchy". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  20. ^ Moss, Abby (April 13, 2022). "What Is Relationship Anarchy? If Hierarchies Are Holding You Back, It Could Be for You". Men's Health. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  21. ^ Safronova, Valeriya (June 17, 2022). "Non-Monogamy Advocates Ask Facebook to Be More Open". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  22. ^ Yu, Jessica (February 8, 2023). "We Can All Learn From Polyamory". The Observer. Retrieved May 23, 2023.