Relationship Types and Styles
Being aromantic doesn’t say anything about the relationships one has or wants to have. However, there are some relationships that are close to the aromantic community.
Nonamory: A lifestyle choice or relationship style that does not include intimate, long-term partnerships, whether romantic or platonic.
QPR (Queer/quasiplatonic relationship): A non-romantic relationship that rejects the common limits placed on platonic relationships in terms of their value and commitment.
Many aromantic experiences with relationships are also shaped by living in an amatonormative society.
Amatonormativity was coined in 2012 by Elizabeth Brake in Minimizing Marriage. It’s defined as “The assumptions that a central, exclusive, amorous relationship is normal for humans, in that it is a universally shared goal, and that such a relationship is normative, in that it should be aimed at in preference to other relationship types.”
Living in an amatonormative society impacts all people, but it’s impacts often hit quite close to home for aromantic people. Aromantic people often don’t want to form romantic relationships and find that the relationships they do want to form are devalued. Aromantic people can also feel othered because they don’t share what is so often presented as a universal goal. Many aromantic people work to reject amatonormativity in their own lives and in broader society.
Relationship anarchy is an approach to relationships that’s built from anarchist principles. Anarchy is committed to breaking down harmful hierarchies. Relationship anarchy works to oppose hierarchies in and between relationships and relationship types. This means an opposition to patriarchy, heteronormativity, amatonormativity and more. Relationship anarchists try to build relationships while rejecting notions of what their relationships ‘should’ be. As such, while not all aromantic people are relationship anarchists and not all relationship anarchists are aromantic, there is a close connection between aromanticism and relationship anarchy.
To learn more about relationship anarchy you can visit relationship-anarchy.com.