Skip to main content

What’s an Anchor Partner?

·461 words·3 mins
Advice Friend

Hi Page,

_I love your page and have read all of your books. I had a question. I keep seeing people talking about something called an “anchor partner.” I searched here on the site and found a couple of posts that talk about anchor partners but nothing on what the term meant. _

What’s an anchor partner? Thanks.

What’s An Anchor Partner?

An anchor partner is a term that basically describes a long-standing and typically rather logistically entangled romantic relationship. It’s used similarly to how a lot of people will use the term “primary” partner. However, anchor partner is completely free of hierarchical language, whether descriptive or prescriptive.

Some people will also use the term “nesting partner” to mean the same basic thing — although nesting partner has the implication that you live together. (Sometimes people live with anchor partners; sometimes they don’t.)

I’ve always been fond of the term anchor partner and found it to be a very pretty poetic way of putting the concept. It simultaneously acknowledges the joys — something steady that tethers you in a stable way so you’re not just drifting — while nodding at the fact that having an anchor partner does change the way you have to operate. Not that you’re stuck in one place, mind you… but just like a boat has to lift its anchor before traveling somewhere, typically people with anchor partners do have to consult them and factor them into important life decisions.

Old Relationship Energy

There’s another adjacent concept that I’d like to talk about that you may be familiar with (or maybe not). It’s called Old Relationship Energy, the opposite of New Relationship Energy. Some people prefer to call it Established Relationship Energy because they think calling something old makes it sound bad. I think there’s nothing wrong with being old — in any respect — so I keep it ORE.

Old Relationship Energy: (noun) The dynamic of a long-standing established romantic or sexual relationship.  Related to the Greek concept of _pragma _or mature love. Also known as  companionate love. Also known as ORE. Its opposite is New Relationship Energy (or NRE).

I’ve written quite a bit about ORE. I actually prefer it to NRE. Here are some posts that I’ve written about ORE if you’d like more information:


Have a question about a post? Maybe need some advice about a relationship or situation? Write me. I love getting messages from you.

Your letter and my answer might be featured in Advice Friend. I regularly change identifying details and/or completely rewrite letters to preserve anonymity.



Ask Page: Can a Solo Poly Person Be a Nesting Partner?
·807 words·4 mins
Advice Friend Polyamory
What’s the Difference Between Polyamory & an Open Relationship?
·744 words·4 mins
Advice Friend
Can the Term “Metamour” Also Be Used to Describe Friendamours or Your Partner’s Friends?
·707 words·4 mins
Advice Friend