Hmm, I'm so confused as to how to describe myself then! It seems that many poly people tend towards relationship escalator type relationships. I thought that saying I am RA is way to avoid that and make for more genuine connections. But I also really thrive on commitment and having people "in my corner," so to speak. Should I just describe myself as non-hierarchal polyamorous then? Or RA with desire for commitment?
I don’t think that it’s impossible to have both a preference for commitment and an identification as a relationship anarchist. Mostly because, well, hi! That’s my preference and ID as well.
So relationship anarchy is, at its core, the belief that relationships have no expectations other than those agreed upon by the people in them - its a rejection of societal definitions. It’s also a rejection of the idea that one’s romantic partners have to be the most important people in one’s life, and an embracing of the idea that a relationship can contain exactly the components wanted between two people (the relationship smorgasbord is a convenient tool for that, if you haven’t seen it I’ll dig it out for you or you can search on the site, I think I’ve posted it a few times).
Nothing in any of this says that two people in a relationship can’t agree on an explicit level of commitment, communication, or constancy of contact, though it does say that if one’s desire for any of these things changes it’s not wrong and in fact intrinsically encouraged to have a conversation setting up those expectations. Some people see that kind of ageeement as limiting autonomy; I personally do not as long as it can be renegotiated at any time without penalty.
I mean, most people would agree that it would be a jackass move to agree to split rent with someone and then skip out on it without communication; not sure why agreeing to a certain level of communication and emotional depth to an LDR and not fulfilling that without explicitly saying “hey, I can’t (or don’t want to) do this in this way anymore, what do we agree this should look like instead?” is any less so.
I suppose there are those that would argue having to communicate is a limit on autonomy, but personally I think that’s the base minimum you owe other humans you have relationships with.
I don't care how RA one is, one does not owe someone a future relationship if one does not like how one is being treated in the present. Everything involving Brad aside, the baseline of "we agreed on relationship X, what happened was actually Y, I don't want to try for X again" is a reasonable choice on @Open4love's part.I think a more autonomous approach would be that Pam does what she does, you do what you do, and you both enjoy any overlapping activities and desires together. As they present. Therefore the future is not being pre-determined based on current actions.