It seems that every polyamorous practitioner universally dislikes and finds inadequate hierarchical terms such as “primary” and “secondary,” but we often default to using them for lack of anything better.
I like to refer to “entering a existing couple,” rather that referring to myself as “secondary,” but the word always seems to slip out at some point. And in seeking relationships, it seems positively crass to admit to wanting something substantial and involved enough to be considered “primary.” In fact, I’ve heard people say in an accusing tone, “She’s looking for a primary.” You know, kind of like you’d say, “She’s desperate for a husband to support her and give her babies.” Blech.
But today, a poly-friendly OKC date asked what I wanted. And I answer as I always do, “Truly what I want is one person in this world who gets me. An anchor. Two or three people would be great, but really, everything after one gravy.” And this is true–two or three friends or lovers were great, but that was almost an embarrassment of riches. I just need a person or two I can be myself with, and I’m good.
I always found that I was much better at accepting the nature of relationships when I had an anchor person, someone who was there for me emotionally and who understood me on most levels, and whom I understood and supported as well. The nature of the relationship is less important than that one aspect: needing to be understood.
And that’s when it hit me. I’m not seeking a primary; I was never sure about that, anyway. I’m seeking an anchor person of some sort. Kinky? Emotional? Spiritual? That’s all flexible, and less important than the rest of it. And I can have two anchors or three, and they might all be friends, lovers, live-in partners or various iterations thereof.
I like “anchor” because it implies support without exclusivity (more anchors is better) and a state of connectedness without implying a sexual, live-in or hierarchical arrangement. My anchors could be a long-distance friend and an in-town lover; two live-in partners; a long-distance lover, an in-town friend, a partner and a metamour; or any other combination.
So I offer this to you: instead of a “primary” polyamorous relationship, who is/are your anchor relationships?