Episode 20: My Journey to Non-Monogamy (with Kira Williams)

How can somebody go from being cheated on, to being non-monogamous? What is Relationship Anarchy? And what do you do when you realise that society’s ideas and expectations surrounding relationships don’t make sense to you?

KiraKira Williams (they/them) is a genderqueer trans woman, a critical human geographer and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Their research focuses on international migration, political geography and analytical methodology. You can find out more about them at their personal website: https://sites.google.com/view/kiraandreawilliams/.

In this episode, we explore ideas of relationship norms, what it’s like when you don’t subscribe to society’s ideas about romantic relationships, and how Kira’s relationship with a woman who cheated on them led them to realise they were non-monogamous. This episode originally intended to look into why people cheat, but instead took me down a completely different road – why don’t some people cheat? What keeps people monogamous? And what about those who don’t conform to those expectations?

Listen here: https://anchor.fm/the-way-we-connect/episodes/My-Journey-to-Non-Monogamy-eb98f9 

Resources:

Listen: BBC Why Factor – Why Do We Cheat on our Partners?

Episode 10: Compatibility (part 2) Who says we need soul mates anyway?

What if there isn’t somebody out there for all of us? What if there are multiple people, or – more radically – what if focusing on finding one romantic partner for life is stopping us from experiencing the full potential of our friendships, talents, or careers? What does it look like to shift the paradigm away from searching for the right person?

In this episode, I talk to two fascinating people. The first, Rowen Bridler – singer, actress and author of Love Poems for People Who Don’t Like Being in Love,  talks to us about why she thinks people get so obsessed with finding a partner, getting married, and settling down, and about what it means to be a woman in your 40’s who doesn’t fit into society’s expectations. We discuss the lack of positive role models for women who choose not to have children or conform to a ‘typical’ lifestyle, and what life can look like when you choose to focus on excitement, pleasure, adventure, and developing yourself.

Then we talk to Natalie, who discusses what it means to be non-monogamous, demi-sexual and a relationship anarchist. Natalie is not looking for ‘the One’, but has their sexual, romantic and platonic needs met by a constellation of like-minded friends. We ask why do people feel that they have to spend their lives with just one person? Can’t things be different?

While this is likely to be a controversial episode for those with deep-set beliefs about finding love, marriage, monogamy or commitment, it is also a refreshing look at alternative lifestyles. What can life look like if we free ourselves of the idea that we are somehow a failure if we don’t settle down for life with one perfect partner?

Listen to the episode here: https://anchor.fm/the-way-we-connect/episodes/Compatibility-Part-2-Who-says-we-need-soul-mates-anyway-ea30vm

Resources:

Rowen’s website: https://dontlikebeinginlove.com/

Childless & Childfree Role Models – after Rowen’s comments that we lack positive female childfree role models, I found this!

The Ethical Slut (Referenced in the episode): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethical_Slut – a great book not only for people exploring polyamory/non-monogamy but for relationship communication advice in general

The Relationship Anarchy Manifesto – https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/andie-nordgren-the-short-instructional-manifesto-for-relationship-anarchy