We can love many people and each relationship is unique
Relational Anarchism questions the idea that love is a limited resource that can only be real when it occurs between two people. It is possible to love more than one person and the love felt by one does not diminish the love that can be felt by another. Let's not evaluate or compare people and relationships. Let us appreciate each person and our relationship with them. A person in our life does not need to be called "primary" for the link to be real. Each relationship is independent, and connects autonomous individuals.
Love and respect instead of rights
That a relationship is not based on the acquisition of rights over another person means respecting the independence and self-determination of others. Our feelings towards a person or our joint history does not give us the right to give orders and control them to fulfill what is considered "normal" in a relationship. Let's explore how to compromise without trampling on the limits and personal beliefs of others. Instead of looking for obligations in each situation, let those we love choose the paths that allow them to keep their own identity intact, without letting this imply a crisis for the relationship. Leaving rights and demands aside is the only way to be sure that we have a relationship in which feelings are truly mutual.
Let's find our basic set of values
How do we want to be treated by others? What are our basic limits and our expectations in all relationships? What kind of people would we like to spend our life with and how would we like our relationships to work? Let's find our basic set of values and use it for all our links. Let's not set exceptions and special rules as a way to show people that we love them "for real".
Heterosexism is everywhere but let's not let that scare us
Remember that there is a very powerful normative system in force that dictates what real love is and how we should live. Many will question both us and the validity of our relationships, when we don't follow the guidelines. Let us strive with the people we love to find formulas that counteract the worst and most problematic of these rules. Of course, let's fight for what we really want, not just against the rules. Let us find positive spells that neutralize the collective enchantment of regulations and do not let fear dominate our relationships.
Spontaneity instead of obligation
Feeling free to be spontaneous to express ourselves without fear of punishment or obligations is what gives life to relationships based on relational anarchism. Let us organize our lives according to the desire to meet and explore each other and not according to obligations and demands, and disappointments when they are not covered.
Let's imagine it until we get it
Sometimes it may seem that it is necessary to be a superhero to manage all the rupture that entails establishing relationships that do not follow the norm. A useful strategy is based on imagining, when we feel safe and inspired, that we act and react as we want to. We can infer from this simulated behavior simple guidelines and maintain and apply them later, when our mood is not so conducive. In any case, let's seek the support of other people who also defy the rules and do not reproach ourselves when the pressure of the established rules leads us to behaviors that we don't like.
If we decide to assume that the people we want do not want to harm us, we will travel a much more positive path than if our approach is one of suspicion and distrust, of need for the other person to constantly revalidate that he is in and through the relationship. Sometimes there are so many things happening within ourselves that we have no remaining energy left to show our love for others. Let's build relationships in which changes and withdrawals are easily accepted and overcome, and in which many opportunities to speak, explain, see and be responsible are offered. Let us remember our basic values and remember to take care of ourselves too.
Let's change through communication
In most human activities there is some kind of pre-existing rule that dictates how things should work. If we want to deviate from this pattern we need to communicate. Otherwise, everything tends to end up following the pattern, since others will behave according to it. Communication and joint actions in pursuit of change are the only way to disconnect from this situation. Radical relationships must have conversation and communication as the central axis, not as a state of emergency that only appears when there are "problems." Let us communicate in a context of trust. We are so used to people never saying what they really think or feel, that we have to read between the lines and extrapolate to find out what they really mean. But these interpretations can only be built based on previous experiences, usually based precisely on the rules whose control you want to escape. Let's ask ourselves things, and let's be explicit!
Let's design the commitments to our needs
Life would not make much sense if we didn't join other people to get things, like building a life together, a home, raising children or growing together in good and evil. These projects usually need a lot of trust and commitment among people. Relational Anarchism is not based on the rejection of commitment but rather that we are ourselves and those around us who design the commitments, freeing us from the norms that dictate that certain types of commitment are inescapable for love to be real, or that certain Projects such as raising children or living together must correspond to certain behaviors and feelings. Let's start from scratch and be explicit about what kind of commitments we want with others!
# This text is a Spanish translation of Andie Nordgren's Relational Anarchism manifesto, published in Swedish as “Relationsanarki and 8 punkter” by Interacting Arts in 2006. Specifically, the source is the English translated version found at http: / /log.andie.se/ . More material can be accessed on the same website, which the author actively maintained between 2004 and 2008, where Relational Anarchism was defined and explored. *
* Between the two possibilities: "Anarchy" and "Anarchism", I have used the second one in the translation into Spanish because of its cultural connotation more associated with activism and because some of us prefer to call ourselves "relational anarchists" rather than "relational anarchists", although without no doubt you can find reasons to use either.