I’ve read stories, books and articles on the subject and learning to live without attachment is perceived as the path to enlightenment. Guru’s discourage developing attachments to material possessions, to feelings and privileges and among those that identify as relationship anarchists ‘attachment’ can be a dirty word.
“How can you love without attachment?” I asked Riddles during one of our many discussions. He is of the opinion that loving without attachment allows for a more genuine connection, and on discussing his viewpoint I came to agree with it. When I passed on this opinion on a thread in the group I help moderate for local polyamorous people, one of the members stated that she didn’t “… want detachment from [her] partners in the slightest”.
I agreed with her, but that’s because the concept of ‘detachment’ differs slightly to how I view a ‘lack of attachment’. It implies a separation or disunity while ‘attachment’ goes hand in hand with (co)dependence.
Maybe this is just semantics but I believe the Gurus (and Riddles) were referring to this concept of dependence in a relationship as opposed to a detachment from people or emotions.
Embracing polyamory has allowed me to comprehend that I belong deeply to myself and the same is true for those I love. When I talk about the loss of attachment I am talking about learning to cherish your autonomy and respecting the same in others.
To break the cognitive dissonance we all share surrounding relationships. To question those thoughts that imply ownership and this attitude of entitlement toward someone else’s time and attention.
I don’t see attachment as a negative or something polyamorous people should flat out avoid, but rather to embrace this process of unlearning as a positive. To shift your perspective and the language you use to validate the autonomy of those that are close to you and to be inclusive of those that are new in your life.
Being conscious and intentional about who I do form attachments to makes me feel empowered. I feel special when someone consents to my forming an attachment to the relationship we share. It is then that I allow myself to have expectations of people, and those expectations are usually based off verbal agreements.
Maybe this is why I struggle to understand the nuances between a Friend With Benefits, a ‘casual’ relationship, an NSA arrangement or a Fuck Buddy… because I’m always questioning this narrative that we possess those we have chosen to be in a relationship with, even with those people I have been seeing consistently for months or years.