Originally Posted by Eponine
I'm glad that you're interested in RA and made a separate thread for it.
I think RA is more radical than poly. Someone who is RA is probably poly, but I don't think many polys are RA. First, hierarchical poly is incompatible with the RA philosophy, which is against entitlement and arbitrary rules. Second, even many non-hierarchical poly people draw a clear line between "just friends" and "romantic partners", whereas RA aims at dissolving the rigid relationship categories. This
blog post did a pretty good job of explaining the differences between poly and RA.
I agree. One of my SOs has said that RA means a "bottom-up" approach to do relationships: Forget about all the pre-set categories and what a relationship is "supposed" to look like; instead, just work out the terms and conditions of each individual relationship based on the participants' unique needs. Hence the "customized commitment" idea in the RA manifesto.
I liked that blog post. It didn't make me feel differently about RA just being how poly "should be done" but it gave me a clearer indication of why someone would prefer that label. However, this confused me:
Joe has a romantic friendship with another man named Paul who he loves just as much as Taylor. Joe and Paulís relationship looks very similar to Joe and Taylorís relationship, but itís a little different simply because Paul isnít interested in dating or having sex with Joe in the first place. Paulís straight.
It might be "my literal" but if Paul is straight, isn't interested in dating or having sex with Joe, how can they have a "romantic friendship"? I mean, if Paul describes it as that too, sure, but if not, surely it's a friendship. Even if Paul did call it that I would wonder what aspects they consider "romantic". I think non sexual affection is within the realms of friendship if the people want it to be. Affection doesn't necessarily constitute romance, nor does sex. It's friendship which is absolutely as important as a relationship.