I recently came across the relationship anarchy manifesto and when I read it, I thought it was a funny name to give to the charter for solo polyamory. It was only a while later that I realized that it’s got nothing to do with solo polyamory directly.
I think there is a great deal of overlap between my idea of solo poly and what’s written in this manifesto. Of course, this highlights that I had thought that solo poly was one way of doing poly… it’s not. It’s a subset of ways of doing poly. In all likelihood, each individual will do it slightly differently.
What does this mean for me?
Well, I love the idea of writing down a relationship anarchy manifesto. Much like the idea of writing user manual, such a manifesto can provide a clear and explicit description of how to conduct relationships as well as the philosophy behind that description. So, I’ve decided to write my own personal relationship manifesto and of course update my user manual (I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last half a year or so).
Here is the first draft of my relationship manifesto (obviously heavily influenced by the relationship anarchy manifesto):
Love is abundant and every relationship is unique
I have the capacity to love more than one person. One relationship and the love felt to the other person in that relationship does not diminish with love felt for another. I cherish individuals and the connection I have with them. No person in my life is named or treated as primary and all my relationships are real and valuable without any heirarchy.
Freedom of expression
I value the freedom to express love and desire freely. These expressions do not automatically indicate a desire to have sex or begin a relationship. They are a way to express a connection with another.
I value the freedom to express any emotion without constraint or disapproval. Emotions are personal, always real and never to be negated or invalidated.
I respect everyone’s personal boundaries so long as those boundaries do not extend to others in an attempt to control them. I value open and honest communication of these boundaries and build an inter-personal environment that encourages and supports such communication.
For me, commitment means respect, freedom to autonomy and self-expression while improvising and building a relationship dynamically according to the individual and unique needs of that relationship. There are no demands, self-sacrifice and conformity to societal norms in my relationships.
Quality over quantity
The quality of the connection between myself and a partner is what counts, not how often or how long we’ve been seeing one another.
I value relationships that bring any of: Happiness, contentment, interest and passion. I believe that struggling to maintain a relationship is not a good sign for it’s sustainability.
Every relationship should bring something positive in to all partner’s lives.
All my relationships are to autonomous individuals. I am not dependent on any partner and no partner is dependent on me.
My relationships are entitlement-free. No amount of anything entitles any partner to control the other in any way. No partner has any right to demand anything from the other. Favors, gifts and affections are given freely and without coercion.
I trust my partners to be honest and to act with good intentions toward me. I will not inspect personal things or attempt to control any partners behavior. I will not second guess actions or assume malicious intent. I trust that if anything should happen (i.e. falling out of love, contracting an STD), that my partners will inform me on their own initiative. My partners can trust me to take such news without judgment or blame.