Kale of Relationship Anarchy and I have been hosting a discussion group in Vancouver in conjunction with some Facebook group-based community (Relationship Anarchy, Relationship Anarchy Vancouver). This group was on the smaller side, but the conversation was very in-depth, and rewarding. I included some links that touch on some of our conversation. Since the conversation was flowing so naturally, the last section of notes is more random than usual but I felt the ideas shared were wonderful. Here are the general notes on what was covered.
What is RA?
~ the individual is more important than the system or structure
~ what does romance even mean? romanticism could be fallacy in some forms of connection; why do we call connections “romantic”?
~ “How Romanticism Ruined Love”
~ familiarity can lead to unintentional attachment; proximity to people develops connections sometimes without them being on anything really tangible
~ poly can prioritize romantic/sexual connections, and a lot of them at once
~ placing value on the time we spend with people as indicative of care: still a choice we’re making to show we care that way, or accept care that way
~ can be a blanket term for other bad feelings
~ entitlement is very wrapped up in the idea of jealousy; we feel entitled to possess something, and wronged that it is being expressed elsewhere, or not ours
~ we are ultimately responsible for our own emotional reactions ourselves. others can help us with them, but they are ours. “I can hug you while you think about this”
~ thorough discourse about emotional abuse, gas-lighting, power dynamics
~ people are messy, and every relationship is different because of that
~ giving people the space and empowering them to change and grow is facilitating their autonomy
~ comfort with taking risks within non-monogamy comes with having done so, survived, and learned from mistakes
~ change is scary; we are okay with children growing in changing, up to a point, and then we expect them to stop and be something static, which is pretty ludicrous
~ why would you want someone you love/care about to stay in a relationship or situation that is not empowering them, or helping them grow?
~ short relationships and interactions can have as much impact as things that last for long periods of time
~ treating relationships like stolen cars: drive them as hard as you can and see where they go
~ can we engage with people less experienced in non-monogamy: is that a power dynamic that is unbalanced when people aren’t dealing well with their emotional processes around non-monogamy?
~ mental health and relationships: how are we sensitive to people’s particular neurological status or sexuality/queer status?
~ When Your Partner Has Anxiety: A Meltdown Guide
~ cognizance around the space we have available for relationships to take the forms they are naturally inclined to take is important
~ good boundaries are very important to not ending up in a relationship that we didn’t consent to.
~ banding together to support people who need more support for periods of time is a great benefit about non-hierarchal and anarchistic relationships
~ social fallacies of polyamory and other forms of non-monogamy are not unlike the 5 geek social fallacies.
The discussion groups occur once a month on the first Tuesday at the Tipper Restaurant and Review Room.