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Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator: Uncommon Love and Life

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Love is not one-size-fits-all. Yet often, people assume that all healthy or serious intimate relationships must follow same trajectory. Fortunately, there are plenty of options.

The “Relationship Escalator” is the bundle of social conventions for intimate relationships: monogamy, living together and much more, ideally until death do you part. If you wish to explore a diff
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Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published February 3rd 2017 by Off the Escalator Enterprises
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Hannah
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: polyamory, theory
I very much appreciated this book for breaking down different elements of escalator relationships and various configurations of alternatives to it! I don't think I encountered any brand-new things, as a lifelong nonmonogamist and relationship nerd, but it was a solid reminder of why I am doing what I am doing at a time when I'm questioning it and transitioning how I do it somewhat, and as a significant partnership is transitioning into something else. I would definitely recommend this book to ne ...more
Beverly Diehl
How much do you know about unconventional relationships: Polyamory? Married monogamous partners living in separate households? Relationships that may burn hot, move to the back burner, heat up again years later? Relationships that de-escalate from romantic partnerships to friendships? Non-sexual but deeply intimate and important friendships?

There are so many ways to have relationships, but the ONLY societal model familiar to most people is the Escalator: dating, becoming "more serious," living t
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Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-05may-2020
4.7/5 stars

This was a really accessible and enlightening book. Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator is not a run-of-the-mill self-help relationship book that tells you how to make your life and relationships better. This book does not pretend to know the answers or prioritize one way to do relationships. Gahran describes many different ways people can organize relationships off (and on) the traditional "relationship escalator" by diving into the perspectives of those living in nontraditional
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K
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of the ideas in this book have been circulating in other forms. This book is the result of an interesting idea that the author thinks is completely unique. It also reads like it’s in a vacuum. All of that made me sad. I can see that this book would be very interesting and helpful to some. I just wish it had not felt the need to be so comprehensive since other people are doing this kind of work (and engaged with their ideas...) Seriously, the only authors she cites are people like Tristan T ...more
Rose
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible. The author really did due diligence in researching the myriad of different relationship styles, and defining them in accurate, fair, and flexible ways based on what is my best understanding of the various types that are out there at this time, although I'm sure there are more to learn about as people become more comfortable crafting and personalizing relationships that work for them.

It's one of the first places I've read a definition of relationship anarchy from (I think
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Amy
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
As my partner and I transition out of functional monogamy, I needed to find alternatives to More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, which I no longer consider a trustworthy source due to the (sadly unsurprising) history of harm caused by one of the co-authors.

Read my full review here: https://amyhuang.work/blog/2019/9/3/b...
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Elizabeth
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Eh. I wish there was less discussion about polyamory but get that this is where the topic finds most exploration. I would like something that talks less about poly and more about exploration of relationships that don’t lead to marriage. I do like the greater concept and the author’s perspectives about cultural buy in to the escalator and navigating doing something different
Zyriel
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a solid book. And one which I would recommend to someone new to non-monogamy, or exploring the idea. Where More Than Two is a text book, this is a primer.

This book is a supremely easy read. The information is presented in clear language, logically laid out, and is easy to follow. It is interspersed with regular anecdotes from survey participants. I loved the feature of these anecdotes, they were perfect, even when they made me cringe, they were on-point and well selected.

My chief complai
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Tom
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even if you have no interest in having an unconventional relationship yourself, you owe it to yourself to read this book. You very likely have friends who are in unconventional relationships. But more importantly, you may find yourself starting a relationship with someone who is not interested in the relationship escalator. In this book, you will discover how such relationships work which may help you navigate such territory.
Natasha
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is useful to people who are thinking of exploring alternative relationships. It’s also useful for folks who will probably never read it but should, such as people who judge those in alternative relationships.
As someone who is already very familiar with alternative relationships, nothing was new to me so reading was like: Here’s yet another type of relationship and 1-3 anecdotes from someone who is or was or would like to be involved in this type of relationship. I also wondered if I kn
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Marcus Parks
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Read most of it but the ending chapters dragged on and retread information in earlier chapters for me. I will say that this book has shifted my views on relationships and pointed out things that used to be dealbreakers (like having kids) don't have to be dealbreakers, because social standards have dictated one person is supposed to be our everything.

That goes against our very nature as a social species. Our survival depends on community strengths and weaknesses. Why should our relationships (sex
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Sarah Rogers
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Of all of the alternative relationship books I’ve read over this years, this one may take the cake. I wish I read it earlier in my own journey! It lays out a choose-your-own-adventure style of building, maintaining, and transitioning relationships, written for monogamous and non-monogamous people alike. It gave me plenty of food for thought, even after over a dozen years of deeper introspection and first-hand experience in intentional, anarchic relationships. This’ll be the first book I lend to ...more
George
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Incredibly important book to read - author collected priceless data and organized them well, but it's hard to read that much at one piece. Also, it's one of the most inclusive books I read - there are considered needs of every imaginable person.
If you have at least one relationship(yes, even friendship) with one person - this is a mustread
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V
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book solidifies a lot of ideas about the diversity of off-escalator relationships that I had previously glimpsed. It gave me a chance to think about what matters to me about relationships I have, what I bring with me of the escalator into those relationships, and what I feel like I can/should keep and discard.

I am definitely looking forward to the next two books.
Tasha
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading and reflecting through this book and the conversations it sparked. A wonderful look into the many facets of how we can relate to others through connections/friendships/relationships that I didn't even know I had missed out on in depth and in breadth. ...more
Holly
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Explores and deconstructs all the assumptions about what a relationship has to be, and then offers alternatives to each principle. Great introduction to relationship anarchy (among others), lots to think about
~Ivy~
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even if you are just curious, it explores all types or relationship options and I would say even a healthier way to look at monogamy as well. One of the best books I've read on consensual non-monogamoy. I think it is a must read no matter your choices in life and relationships. ...more
Michelle
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of this was familiar information, but it was well organized, and utilized many individual perspectives. I appreciated the "further thought" questions at the end of each section! ...more
עדית (Edith)
Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it
A good collection of anecdotes illustrating the possibilities available to us, though the specifics of the content have already been covered in the other books on this topic.
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