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Naegleria fowleri

How has your upbringing influenced your attitude towards romance?

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I don't know about you guys, but I definitely didn't grow up having dreams of finding "the one" forced upon me.

 

My mom raised me pretty much by herself, and she didn't date so that she could focus on raising me. The only displays of romantic attraction I can recall from her were romantic-aesthetic (as in, bookmarking all the movies on Netflix with a certain good-looking actor in it) and not frequent. I was not teased about who I "liked", and the prospect of marriage was optional. I certainly don't blame her for being cynical about relationships, but nevertheless I adopted the attitude that women were vultures, scooping up every good man that was out there.

 

Then, it was my senior year, and I planned to move into the dorms of the university in town that next fall. And she started dating. And she found somebody. I ship them, honestly. He's sweet (to both of us), and he can cook, and they are in love. But I didn't meet him until they had been dating for eight months. So I saw how someone could fall in love, and still keep their head. She didn't introduce us until she was sure he would be sticking around for a while.

 

I know a lot of people associate romantic attraction with recklessness, overoptimism, and just general lack of logic. That wasn't the case for me. I knew you could be allo, and not dream of marriage. I knew you could be allo, and have your priorities in place. I knew you could be allo, without getting carried away. Maybe that made it harder for me to realize I was aro, but maybe that also made it easier, since romance wasn't a dominant force in my life.

 

So my question is, who else here feels their upbringing influenced their attitude towards romance?

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My parents never really pressured me into dating either. I think they liked that I was always single because they didn't have to worry!

 

In fact, I never actually thought about my orientation at all until a classmate brought up romance and made me feel alienated because of it. I didn't really question whether the way I felt was different from anyone else until I started receiving those pressures from my peers.

 

My parents, mostly my dad, do still expect me to get married I think, but they don't really bring it up as long as I don't mention it.

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My parents never really pressured me either, and think it's pretty early for elementary and middle schoolers (and probably high schoolers) to have a romantic partner. Especially my mom since I remember that when I was in 5th grade she said "no boyfriend until college" and I was kind of like "uhh why not I don't care about guys and I probably won't care when I grow up either".

 

When I was in 3rd grade, a kid named Zach had a crush on me, but I really didn't get the concept of a "crush". Sure, he was nice and gave me some rainbow loom bracelets and showed me his project at a school fair thing, but I just thought of him as a (minor) friend. Now, almost every single guy in the school is a jerk/annoying/I just don't like them in general. The only guy that I like (as a friend) is my squish's boyfriend. They're not really clingy, and I'm not even sure whether they have held hands yet. THAT is pretty much the only exception. They also don't talk about romantic things, so *thumbs up*

 

My parents are pretty accepting in general (like when they found out that I like yaoi they just said "whatever we don't care about that stuff but don't read/watch it too much"), so I don't think it would be that big of a deal but I'm still a bit nervous.

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My parents made a conscious choice to let parts of their relationship play out in front of their kids so they could set a good example for us.  So we saw them being loving and affectionate, having respectful disagreements, working out problems, worrying about money, doing chores together (or separately if that was more efficient), and generally just how mundane married life can be.  They aren't perfect, and I didn't learn until I was an adult that my mother in particular has some bad habits when arguing, but overall I think they did a good job demonstrating how to have a healthy romantic relationship.  They're genuinely happy together and they've learned how to be honest and work together.

 

But I still never wanted what they have.  It makes them happy, but it doesn't make me happy.  And they don't get that.  But I do think I have been able to apply some of what I learned from them to my own intimate relationships.

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My parents are like unhealthily obsessed with love and I'm not saying this because I'm being cynical. I actually really like the idea of love and romance it's just not for me but I get how it can be helpful and important for people if it's healthy. I like to write a lot about relationships and how they work because I find it truly interesting and fascinating even romantic relationships. It's just really amazing how different people can meet and developp completely differents and personalized forms of relationships depending on how they interact with each other. Anyway I know how love can be cool and sweet for alloromantic people but when I say my parents are unhealthily obsessed with love I don't mean it lightly. They actually thought by the power of their love they wouldn't have any problems ever and they childhood trauma would disappear. They always put their romantic relationship at the center of everything to the point where they come to find reconfort and advice from me about that and when I say something to one of them the other blame me to try to put myself in the middle of their relationship problems. Which is completely crazy because I honestly couldn't care less since I'm aromantic. It's just messed up, but it really doesn't make me cynical tho. It honestly could because my parents are the definition of how the idealisation of romantic relationship is seriously dangerous but it doesn't make me hate the concept.

So I guess it didn't really influenced me that much. I mean it influenced me in my discovery of my romantic orientation and it makes me feel so bad about being like that because my parents seriously can't understand and sometimes I think my aromanticism is just me faking it because I'm actually afraid of love because of them. I rationally know it's clearly not the case but when I'm sad and don't feel valid it's something that makes me feel unvalid. But except from this and how it's related directly to me and my experience as a general form it didn't really change my view. I'm pretty objective on the matter I think. I understand that even if it's not necessary to me it can be for other people and how they feel is valid. I'm sad for them sometimes because the idealisation of love in the media can cause a lot of damaged on easily influenced people but I think most couples (married especially) are probably pretty healthy and well balanced and if they're happy like that and sad if they didn't have that well it's pretty neat they can live the way they want. I mean aromanticism is not a choice I know that really well since I tried to forced myself a lot of time to feel it, alloromanticism isn't either. It seems a bit pointless to me to be bitter about romance. I for example don't like chocolate, it would be ridiculous from me to  boo or make fun of people who enjoys chocolate. 

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My parents are absolutely sickeningly sweet together (my father makes jewelry as a hobby and forged them new wedding rings at some workshop while they were on holidays together :'D) but never really pressured me into anything. I know how much they want that for me and they really can't understand me being aromantic (it was kinda like no you aren't you just have to be more open) 

I always saw romantic relationships as something positive (still do if all people involved are happy with it) and I really like the idea of somebody having someone like that, this ideal picture of true love but firstly it's just not like this in RL and well it's just not for me

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Love this topic, and reading everyone's responses. :)

 

As for me, I grew up with parents who weren't very affectionate at all and who never spoke about their feelings or deep issues (like identity and finding yourself and all that). I think that because of that, my emotional and social development was slow and only took off very late (around 3rd year college, when I lived away from home). So, I didn't think about my wants or attractions or identity until recently. In true Old Polish "show no feelings" fashion, I don't share any of that with my family. I catch my parents sometimes just assuming I'm straight and am dating behind their backs, or alternatively am so focused on my studies and career that I'm choosing to stay single *for now*. Sometimes I'm salty that I didn't get to see an example of what a romantic relationship really looks like (and who knows? Maybe that's why I'm romance-repulsed; lovey-dovey stuff is foreign to me and I never saw it much growing up), but when I /do/ see examples via friends, I'm still repulsed. So perhaps some of my preferences have to do with upbringing, and some are just Me, which makes sense. Nature/Nurture balance.

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My parents aren’t super lovey dovey but occasionally they acted romantically. They occasionally bring up a boy I know in school and ask me if I think he’s cute but that’s about all they do. I feel uncomfortable around my friends when they hug and sit on the lap of their bf or gf and any make out scenes in movies make me internaly cringe as well. In middle school when my friends first started dating all that happened was a bunch of drama when they broke up and crying and school dances. I feel like romantic love is fine enough but when you get to invested in it all it causes is a mess. I feel like it was kinda molded from seeing my friends drama play out in middle school and in movies where people do ridiculous things in the name of love (less movies because that stuff wouldn’t happen in real life.) 

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