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Illus

Titles are Awkward

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Hi everyone, new user here but I'm slow to change so I've poked around a fair bit before signing up.

 

The main question I have is "How were any of you ever sure with your identity?".  I'm only here because I found a list of the types of attraction that can be felt (it included sexual, romantic, sensual, emotional, and aesthetic - are there any others?).  I know for sure I've felt everything on that list with the exception of romantic, but I'm struggling to determine where the line is between aromantic and merely afraid of commitment.  My situation also means that I pass really easily - I've been in a couple reasonably serious relationships before, and the common factor in the break ups is my inability to see things working out for a longer term future.

 

I think maybe something more is going on because of my answers to several of the 'You Might Be Aromantic If..." questions.  I don't really get what most people get out of kissing, for example, and my ideal relationship looks like some kind of relationship anarchy/QPR with benefits mess.  I scored something like 30/50 on Anagnori's list (https://anagnori.tumblr.com/post/69145328274/you-might-be-aromantic-if, I've seen it mentioned in a couple threads).  Any advice on how I might be able to know for sure appreciated.

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The trouble with aromanticism is that it's very hard to prove a negative. Most of the time when people identify as aro what they're saying is "I've felt little to no romantic attraction up to this point and I greatly suspect that this will continue to be the case". Of course, there are other reasons to identify as aro aswell, but I think that's what a lot of people mean by it.

 

So like personally I consider myself to be aro because I haven't ever felt anything I would consider to be romantic attraction, and when I'm in situations where I'm expected to reciprocate romantic feelings or actions it usually impacts my mental health negatively. I know that all of that might change in the future and if it does I'll probably find another identity label to use, but at least for right now that doesn't appear to be changing any time soon and having the word "aromantic" helps me explain and understand my experiences.

 

So I guess what I'm trying to get at is that you don't have to be 100% sure that you'll be aromantic forever and always to use the label. In fact most aros aren't that certain. But if the term  'aromantic' helps you understand your current experiences a little better then you're welcome to use it for as long as you need to, whether that's only for a few months or for the rest of your life.

 

You're also welcome to try out that label for a little bit to see how it fits, I think a lot of the questioning process can be very guess and check. 

 

Absolutely certainty isn't something you're likely to get with an orientation that's based on a lack of something, but if aromantic is a label that you think might fit you then it's totally okay to just try it out for a bit.

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@Illus what @bananaslug said ! That's the reason I set my profile up as essentially a 'question mark' and  why I've kept it that way since.

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Thank you both!  I guess I'm currently aro then and we'll see if that changes in future.

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Everything said above by the others is on point!

I'll jump in to say that, as an aroflux, my entire identity is basically me changing my mind all the time about where I sit with regards to romance. XD It's common to be unsure, but trying out labels and chatting with others who share that label is a great way to get to know whether that label works for you. :)

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I've been kinda semi-unsure my whole life. When I started reading about aro stuff, I was still unsure. 2 years of trying to figure it out later, I'm still unsure. I think the only thing I can be sure of is that I'll be unsure forever! 🤣

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i'm more sure i'm aro than i am about most things in life.  when i first found out about it at 16, it seemed to fit but i told myself i couldn't be sure because it might change, especially since i'd never been in a relationship.  i tried to put it out of my mind but it was still there.  i started dating a friend and told myself i just had to get used to it, but in 8 months i never did.  i always felt like i was playing a role for which i hadn't prepared.  romantic activity felt unnecessary if not uncomfortable, and our return to friendship was a great relief.  and i know you said you've had relationships but you don't even need that to know--as i say, i think i kind of already knew.  if you think it might be related to commitment, consider whether that's the case in other types of relationships.  my best friend and i have been friends for almost 15 years and i know we will be for the rest of our lives.  i love her very much, and i feel that our bond and commitment are stronger than those of people in even what would be considered a fairly long-term romantic relationship, like a few years.  i'ts not that i want to make a romantic commitment but am afraid to; it's that i don't want to.  and it's not the length or amount of time i would spend with a romantic partner which is the issue; it's the 'romantic' part--i don't want to date someone for a week or even a single date either.  i'm also poly, again not because i believe i should limit myself to being attracted to/being in a relationship (qpr or whatever) with one person but can't; but because i don't believe i necessarily should.  a lot of that is tied together for me.  but of course there are mono aros and poly allos.  i do think, though, that relating to the sentiments of other aros and not relating to allos are good indicators when there isn't really a way to "prove it"--it's like, this makes sense. 

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It took me forever to figure out I was aro. I'd started to think I was on the ace spectrum when I was 16 or 17, but I didn't figure out I was aro until a few years later. What ended up happening is less that I realized I was aro, and more that I decided I was. I'd been having a rough time, and I was really frustrated with a lot of things, so I ended up making some changes. One of those changes was, I didn't want to be questioning anymore. I'd been trying to figure out where I fit on the ace and aro spectrums for a while at that point, and I was kind of frustrated with it. So I decided that I would be "asexual aromantic until proven otherwise" with the idea that I would call myself aroace and if I felt I was attracted to someone later on I would figure it out then. It's been almost three years since then and I still consider myself aroace, so I'd say that worked pretty well from me.

TL;DR trying to "prove" I wasn't attracted to people was way to difficult, so I gave myself permission to be aroace, with the knowledge that it wouldn't be a big deal if I had to change that label later on.

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Other types of attraction include queerplatonic and alterous; alterous is defined as basically wanting an emotional closeness which isn't strictly romantic or platonic.

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