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Cassiopeia

Early signs that you were aro

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When I was about 8 a friend of mine had a crush on a guy, and for some reason she thought that walking around with me on her shoulders would impress him. I thought it was the dumbest thing in the world. First of all, why would that impress him, and second, what were they gonna do, ask their parents to take them on play dates? But okay, whatever, I sat on her shoulders. It didn't help her any.

 

When I was in sixth grade my entire grade went to a camp for a couple of days (it was a small school, there were probably only about 40 people in the grade). One of the teachers went around the girl's cabin and asked every single one of us who we liked, and actually noted it on her iPad. When she got to me, I said I didn't like anyone, and no one believed me. They would not leave me alone until I picked someone to say I had a crush on.

 

My freshman year of high school I thought I had a crush on a guy, although in retrospect it's pretty obvious that I just wasn't used to having a squish or whatever on guys. Anyway, I was excited because I finally didn't have to get all evasive whenever my friends asked me who I liked. Then my best friend at the time asked the guy to a school dance. Everyone was enraged on my behalf, like how could she do that, she knows you like him!! I didn't really think it was that big of a deal. If she liked him, she could have him, it wasn't worth ruining a friendship over.

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I used to think relationships were cool but with any little problem that could arise it felt like too much work. I felt like the only point to dating was to find someone to get married to and I really didn't feel like going through trial-and-error. Turns out people date even without marriage in mind??

 

I would forget about crushes and boyfriends up until someone would ask "who do you have a crush on". It seems like allo people constantly have a crush on someone.

 

I thought I had a crush on this one guy and someone asked if I liked him and I immediately felt embarrassed and repulsed and not in the way that would imply I had a crush on him. 

 

I didn't understand the big deal with crushes because with all my "crushes" I just wanted to impress the person with jokes and stuff. I didn't understand how other people could blush and stutter and mess up.

 

Fictional kisses were cool but whenever I tried to imagine myself kissing someone (even my supposed "crushes" lmao) I got bored and a little disgusted with the fact that people willingly exchange saliva.

 

When I was like 9 I think I actually screamed at the radio for playing the same love songs over and over again because they were so boring.

 

I thought crushes were supposed to just be admired because I didn't understand why people would want to date someone they know they'd be over in like 2 months why even bother? Crushes were just people who were aesthetically attractive or fun to talk to.

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I’m new here. First comment. ^^

Personally, I always found romance interesting— for other people. I like reading romance novels, but for me, it’s pure fiction and wish fulfillment. I could never really connect myself with it. I never liked I idea of getting married and dating made my skin crawl. I had attractions growing up, but they were insignificant and oftentimes I would go years between finding anyone attractive enough to call a “crush”. I still get the feeling every once in a while, but it dies out after not too long. I always wanted to have that romantic attachment, and people always said it would hit me eventually, but yeah, no.

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6 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

lmfao I was backing up posts from my Tumblr to Dreamwidth and I literally posted this almost a year before I'd ever heard the word "aromantic":

 

CvEy3Ju.png

I relate so much to this too. I never get it. Why a romantic relationship would be the only way to be happy? If you don't like your job, I get that a romantic relationship would be more satisfying, but there must be people who love their job somewhere and think it is important for them...

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@eatingcroutons what was the 'context' you were referring to?

 

I reckon most people (i.e allo-romantics) would find the statement that personal happiness derives exclusively from a romantic relationship to be a bit extreme. But, at the same time, I think they would also find it difficult to envision themselves living a fulfilling life without a romantic relationship being incorporated as a key component of that vision. This is where I think you and I (and others on these forums) are quite different from most people: it's not a key component for us.

 

Thinking in terms of Maslov's hierarchy of needs: I suspect many allo-romantics see romantic relationships as a non-negotiable requirement for meeting their 'belonging/love' related needs adequately. Whereas an aromantic could meet those same needs just fine with friendships and family relationships only.

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On 12/13/2018 at 2:17 PM, NullVector said:

Thinking in terms of Maslov's hierarchy of needs: I suspect many allo-romantics see romantic relationships as a non-negotiable requirement for meeting their 'belonging/love' related needs adequately. Whereas an aromantic could meet those same needs just fine with friendships and family relationships only.

To me the biggest stumbling block is normative concept of 'friendship' almost invariably excludes the sexual and sensual. As well as often being secondary to romance, even for many single allos.

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I always thought of falling in love and romantic relationships as something funny. My thinking was along the line of: if they want to have sex, why don't they just do it? Why the silly talk about hearts and promises and stuff.

 

At 8 I also wanted to be a priest (Catholic), because they don't have to marry!

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i dated someone in elementary, but there was no love in the relationship from either side. none from me because i don't feel that shit, i just wanted to play with someone and none from him because he turned out to not actually care about my feelings at all. helps (or doesn't help, i guess) that we were in fifth grade.

edit: i just realized this might not exactly count. oh well.

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Around the time when people still had BBM I was in grade 6 and people started getting into relationships by text. Even then I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that 1) that's what they were considering their first relationship and 2) they were so happy to be doing it.

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i remember when i was asked out for the first time, i was mentally doing the math on whether or not i actually liked the guy before saying yes. my sister said it best, most recently: if you have to think about it, the answer is probably no.

 

i've never really felt those strong feelings everyone talks about. i thought everyone was faking it until recently. missed the boat on that, huh? whoops.

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I can't speak on "friends asking if you had a crush" or anything like that, since I had very few lasting friendships throughout school, but I distinctly remember being sick to death of media with any kind of romantic themes by the time I was, like, 14. It was like, there are so many other things to write about... Why is everyone focusing on this weird theme? Growing up in a Christian family, I thought it was like, marriage propaganda. And it wasn't until about a year or two ago that I asked myself, wait, people actually do that? Like in real life? It was a weird experience.

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5 hours ago, yickel said:

 And it wasn't until about a year or two ago that I asked myself, wait, people actually do that? Like in real life? It was a weird experience.

 

literally having this revelation is so strange? like i live with happy parents in a happy marriage, but it still occurs to me regularly like oh people genuinely want this. people aren't just saying it to say it.

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On 12/13/2018 at 2:17 PM, NullVector said:

@eatingcroutons what was the 'context' you were referring to?

 

The context was someone complaining that "narratives often require female characters to choose between professional satisfaction and personal happiness”. This was in response to a broader discussion about whether one specific fictional relationship would have been better if it had been platonic rather than romantic - by "personal happiness" they were explicitly and exclusively referring to romantic relationships. 

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I forget when exactly but some time during middle school, I had met a boy online and I thought it was the greatest thing ever because I loved romances. So naturally we talked and became virtual bf/gf. Then one morning he messaged me “good morning, beautiful” like he always does, but as I read it, bile immediately rose to my throat. I felt this uncomfortable heaviness in my chest that physically weighed me down but also this strong urge to run away; to just physically get away even though he was nowhere near me. I stopped talking to him altogether that day and cried out of anger and confusion. I still like doing him but out of no where I felt disgusted by him trying to romance me even though it was what I wanted and I easily now felt nothing for him. Since then, I’ve been struggling with myself. 

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- as child I pushed certain people of the opposite sex away from me because I was afraid they have a crush on me

- in elementary school people around me had crushes and I was only like Why??? We're too young for this shit.
I also did not understand why one girl who felt heartbroken couldn't just get over the guy she liked because I thought he was an asshole anyway

- the first time I was with someone who liked me romantically I felt like I couldn't care less. My friends were still my top priority

- not being curious about my first kiss but grossed out
Oh and I already knew in elementary I don't want to get married and didn't get the fuss about it

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I am still confused about my orientation, however for a while I have been really thinking I am aro. Looking back to my childhood, I do have a couple early signs. 1) It could be because I was raised by a single mom, but I never wanted to marry or have my own kids.  2) I always thought that being in love was a burden to your potential success or could become a crutch in general (the latter probably stemmed from action movies where the villain would capture the protagonists loved ones to manipulate them). 3) When I was 13, I had a crush on one of my friends, but when he said "I love you" or spoke romantically I got really grossed out. I did not like that he changed how he behaved around me and did not understand why we could not just act like super close friends. 4) I got into an online relationship when I was 14 which lasted about 3 years. That could have been a way to have a relationship like I thought I should, yet have some predetermined distance. 5) When I was 18 I started "dating" IRL and I was very confused because I had different pursuers who I liked equally. I became so emotionally overwhelmed because I wanted them both in my life and did not understand why romantic restrictions were making it so I had to pick one and kick the other out. I tried just being friends with both, but it got so awkward and weird. I felt like I was torturing them or something. 

 

However, after that, I kind of just accepted that's what people do and went with it. I think that's why I'm having such a hard time now accepting that I am aro, because for the past 3 years (I'm 21) I just mimicked what was expected of me which makes me pretty romantically experienced. Since I was a kid I always thought love would cure the world, so I always felt like I loved everyone. I cared deeply for people and I think I needed people to care deeply for me due to some childhood trauma, but now that I have grown up a bit more and am able to love myself, I realize the love was not romantic nor do I feel comfortable being in a situation where someone completely depends on me for emotional support. I know friends support each other all the time, but it is scary to me to think someone would function less efficiently or happily if I were not present and vice versa. 

 

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My "crushes" were actually just admiration, but I expressed it similarly to allo-romantic girls because I figured they felt the same way and that's how you are suppose to express admiration. For instance, I thought it was so cool that Justin Bieber went from being a YouTube singer to being signed to a record label and becoming globally known. I was a Youtuber myself and saw his accomplishments as something to aspire to. I put his posters on my walls because other girls had posters of people on their walls, and I thought it was because of similar sentiment. 

 

Recently,  I became super intrigued in the work of Space X and Tesla. I started listening to interviews of Elon Musk and started to develop a crush. THAT'S when I realized I mix up admiration and crushes. Once I was aware of the correlation, I was so embarrassed and realized that is definitely something I need to start distinguishing between. Could you imagine if I continued into the STEM field and started having crushes on well-educated professors? That is a line I'm not trying to accidentally cross due to my own emotional ineptitude. Also, it makes sense why I have stumbled into relationships with the people I have. I always admired them for one characteristic or another and wanted to channel in their energy. 

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@momokoala I confused admiration with crushes for a long time too - I can quite relate to your experience there. Especially when someone has an outstanding intellect.
In my case, I confused sexual attraction with romantic attraction as well. It made me wonder how I can think about sex but don't want to kiss or hold hands.

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Now that I see the marriage topic, I remembered that as a kid, only reason I was interested in getting married was because I realized how much money was put into that one day and that while in the country I live in it was done in a lot more conventional way, but people in especially American/Western movies doing stuff like bursting out of cakes, some other shenanigans happening during the party, it suddenly turning to a musical etc so I was just "swinging down from a rope with a long fluffy sweet dress and kicking some infiltrator butt and maybe pulling a musical number in a party that is based around my favourite series/themed after things I like, and since this is some "once in a life time event" I could rationalize it to my parents like "you would pay just the same if we did it conventional way, this is once in life let me have this"? That sounded fucking sweet to me.

 

Like, the fact that it was supposed to be a tender and romantic and emotional thing was the least of my concerns, and the groom was something I didn't think much about because ever since I was younger, I have always been of the opinion that "If I ever marry someone that honestly would be a bff who I adore the personality/way of thinking/someone I respect as a person and enjoy spending my time with and knew for a good long time, and if they asked for marriage sure, only thing that would change is that sex would be added to stuff we do, I guess" way, so my assumption was that if I was ever marrying someone, they would be the type to enjoy that sort of party/'quirky' stuff too so it would be pulling a giant fun party with a bff, surrounded by friends who enjoy that with us as well. And of course, I would do something like making bunny ears behind his head as we take the wedding pic or smth because of course it would not be complete without me pulling an annoying, childish trollish thing.

 

(Now that I think about it, most ""romantic"" type domestic scenarios I could think of often had more of a dynamic of "annoying lil sister type with an exasperated yet loving older sibling-ish friend type of relationship even when I was thinking I was/my OC was crushing on a canon character. Like, there would be some random stealing kiss moment, because of course there had to be one if they were a couple!, but honestly it was more in a way of "Ha! Caught you off guard!" way than any sappy, truly emotional and tender thing? The latter type of scenarios never sat right with me/always made me feel uncomfortable and I would often end up imagining it turning to something funnier/some funny background event happening to disturb it, so huh. I think I always just felt uncomfortable with my character actually being romantically involved with other character despite other character being a character I really love/admire/want to pinch the cheeks of and felt genuine connection to/affection towards but the point was that I would want to be involved with that character in a platonic manner than romantic and/or sexual. Even my "celebrity crushes" were all "I admire this person so much that I would love to meet them and for them to be an older sister/brother figure who mentors me/be people I can learn from and earn the respect of as well, I would be so happy if they ever found me admirable too" way.

 

Before I knew about squishes, I used to call those "admiration crushes", as anytime I had that with a friend I was getting closer towards, it just ended up going away the moment we became a "couple", and often times, even without that after a while it always fades once I know that friend well enough to be good friends- once I am someone close to them and the bond I so strongly desired is accomplished and I know that I have a place in their life and vice versa. I still care about them a lot, but not as actively waiting for their responses, if that makes sense. Though, honestly I often almost always only talk about common interests with people so at least half of that eagerness is eagerness to be able to talk about that story/topic we are both so into, with someone who is genuinely as into the thing as I am, wanting to share tha experience with someone, than a romantical/sexual interest? But ye.)

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This is more an early sign of my romance repulsion, but when i was a kid i used to leave when it was "the kissing moment" in movies.

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On 12/25/2018 at 4:18 PM, arolectriclady said:

At middle school dances, I loved to fawn over the couples who were slow dancing but I absolutely did not want to be involved in a slow dance myself 😂 

I've always preferred dances with partner changing...

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So I’ve never been interested in the romance in tv and movies and have always seen it as pointless, so I never got into Disney movies (except lion king that one’s awesome) I’m also super oblivious to any hints that someone wanted romantic relationship with me. Also as a kid my parents would ask me if I liked anyone and I just flat out said “no I hate romance”. And in middle school people would ask me out and I accepted just so that I could fit in with everyone else. But every time I felt so suffocated and freaked out and ended it for no reason, when they didn’t do anything wrong. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, but the biggest clue was when I read Hunger Games before it released as a movie and I LOVED it then found out they were really pushing the romance in the book and couldn't figure out why because I thought it was super subtle? Turns out it wasn't. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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