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Philbo Wiseroot

Aros at family-orientated events and holidays

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With Christmas and Hanukkah just around the corner and other family-oriented holidays throughout the year, people are come home to families who often don't understand their taste in music, hairstyle, or romantic partner. And then there's us: people who the majority of the population don't know exist. To most people, you're either straight or gay and there are no other option. As such, our families will inevitably ask us all of the options on the bingo card.

 

So I was wondering: what resources can we use or things can we do to make this next couple of weeks more bearable when we're around people who don't (or can't) understand us and our perspectives?

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Lower their expectations so that they don't even try communication.

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Just suck it up and try not to go insane... and maybe rant about stupid stuff that the romantics say on Arocalypse. :P

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My approach has always been to respond with "not gonna happen!" or something else similarly final-sounding if my parents ask when I'm giving them grandchildren. If they ask why, I don't bother to elaborate. Just some more "Nope, never" kind of responses. It seems to discourage discussion, at least for my parents anyway. :P

 

This has been going on for many years now, so I think they're starting to believe me. They haven't asked about marriage or other related stuff quite as much though, or if they have, I don't remember. That idea doesn't irritate me nearly as much as the idea of spawning a human. But I'll do the same for that if it comes up.

 

As far as I'm concerned, I don't owe anyone any explanations for anything in my life. I'm bad at explaining things to people anyway. I've only recently even discovered that there are actual words for these things. :rofl: 

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Do you still want grandchildren from me, mom? Gimme enough $ for a 1-bedroom and we're talking (I'll obv just rent it out but it's none of her business). No $ -> no extra grandchildren :P

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I don't tend to see a lot of extended family on major holidays since only my immediate family and my brother's family live anywhere near me. How to approach my extended family depends on if we're talking maternal or paternal.

 

I have more of a bond with my dad's side of the family, so when we talk, they can probably tell that I'm more interested in my music than relationships, so they haven't asked about romance in years and never made a huge deal out of it. 

 

My mom's side is a little trickier since a lot of them speak strictly on surface-level topics. Often quite literally skin deep. Growing up, it was mostly non-conversation, commenting on my appearance and attractiveness to men. Honestly, it's more comment than dialogue, so a simple "thanks" actually cuts off the conversation really well.

 

Still, in situations when anyone asks about me and romance, I just fall back on some variant of "I'm focusing on my studies." That's definitely a perk of being an eternal student, and assuming I become a professor, I can probably use the career as an excuse too :P 

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I live with my parents and they don't bug me about my lack of relationships (to all intents and purposes, I'm just a 'shy' person who doesn't get out much to them. Really I'm introverted to the point where I'd become 99% hermit if I had enough money to retire, and grey aro, but they don't know about the grey aro bit lmao), and nobody else does either. Even when anyone has asked out of curiosity/conversation, I just say I'm not all that interested anyway, and probably throw in some kind of joke about not wanting to spend my days picking up some guy's smelly boxers. 

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My personal favorite is the casual insinuations that I will one day have a husband and kids because surely I must be straight by default and the traditional heteronormative nuclear family structure is all that matters in the world. :clapping:

 

I usually just shrug it off and try not to let it get to me. People are ignorant and uninformed and sometimes it's easier to just grit your teeth and deal with it. You don't owe anybody an explanation.

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17 hours ago, techno-trashcan said:

My personal favorite is the casual insinuations that I will one day have a husband and kids because surely I must be straight by default and the traditional heteronormative nuclear family structure is all that matters in the world. :clapping:

 

I usually just shrug it off and try not to let it get to me. People are ignorant and uninformed and sometimes it's easier to just grit your teeth and deal with it. You don't owe anybody an explanation.

This, so much.

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I usually only see my immediate family during Christmas, and I live with them anyway. They don't really bug me about romance much, and when they have, a lot of the time they include the possibility that I might be something other than straight, at least.

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On 23/12/2016 at 9:59 AM, SoulWolf said:

That idea doesn't irritate me nearly as much as the idea of spawning a human.

 

:rofl: I am so glad I'm not the only one who calls it this..

 

Seeing as there has never been a single family event where I have had a partner of any kind, I think they all just think I'm odd and it's better not to ask :D

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On 11/05/2017 at 0:59 PM, SamwiseLovesLife said:

 

 

Seeing as there has never been a single family event where I have had a partner of any kind, I think they all just think I'm odd and it's better not to ask :D

 

Same here!  I don't see my extended family very much, I think they have given up on me now anyway..

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I have a tiny family consisting of only myself, my father and my younger brother, and we all live together. "Family events" are not really a thing for us, except for us usually eating dinner together at home. We largely have separate lives, although we do briefly talk from time to time and my father and brother have much more to do with each other than I do with either of them.

 

I actually wish I could live alone, but that's currently not feasible. If I lived alone then we might have actual family events for the three of us, and those might mean something.

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Christmas is a time for most of the family to get together. Last time me getting married was brought up in conversation it was in relation to a very close male friend I have. I didn't have to do anything as my mother explained to my grandmother that that friend was very very homosexual and I was very very the wrong gender. But that is also the conversation that I found out my grandmother is a racist homophobe! No one brings up my relationship status anymore in fear of what my gran will come out with. 

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Most of my family aren't that intrusive, and just accept that I'm not into relationships. However, I struggle to know what to say to one of my aunties, who has learning difficulties. She's intrigued by the fact that I don't want a boyfriend and it's difficult to know what to say. I don't want to skirt the issue because 1) I don't feel the need for it to be a secret, and 2) I don't want to treat her like a child. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation?

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I dread going home my mom always brings up my love life (which I deliberately tell her not to because it doesn't exist and it makes me uncomfortable) and she literally probes it until I break down and cry. EVERY SINGLE TIME. She always asks me if I'm really aro or "actually just gay". "Any boys?" from my family members, I fucking hate. Just let me alone (literally.).

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i just go with "Nah- why have children when you can have puppies?!" :D

"They stay cuter so much longer..."

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Just had to answer stupid questions about not bringing a boyfriend with me... during Christmas dinner O.o. But I don't bother explaining aromanticism because I doubt anyone would take me seriously. And this happens so rarely that it's not that big of a deal. I think that as I get older everyone will realise that dating and relationships just aren't something I pursue. And if anyone genuinely wants to know about my orientation I'll tell them, but until then... Let them speculate :P

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We don't celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah where I live but we do have Muslim holidays/"Bayram"s and since I was never really interested in romance etc anyway, if they bring it up often times I just simply reiterate what I've been telling them for years. As it is something I was always vocal about, how romance is in everything and how unhealthy relationships are being pushed as romantic ideals in media etc, they honestly aren't even surprised even if there are still comments of "You will get it when you are older" or "Are you sure you are not hormonally deficient" or "So you won't marry like [insert a cousin from that side of the family that is 30+ ages old and still not married]" with a defeated/tired voice. (Second one only happened once with an aunt of mine so it is not a response I always get, though since I am only now 19 years old they probably took it as "just me being a ~child with no experience~ yet" until now.)

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Got two weeks in before my mom said "normal people" when referring to allos when talking to me. Which is actually pretty good considering we were even considering aros exist in this conversation about "why mens freedom to make unprovoked suggestive comments and "compliments" towards women" is actually a good thing. 

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I don't see my external family that much but to be honest how I deal with is is...get drunk. It's a really sad and not healthy way to deal with things but I'm really not sociable anyway so it temps on basically all levels. I mean every women on my father's side of family (I don't see the other one) are in long-lasting relationship (even my 15 yo cousin) most of them even recently have children. I definetely know it will come up. Last year everyone was so focused on babies (yeah awful) they thankfully didn't talk to me but in june I'll have to see them for the wedding of one of them and it will for sure come up during the week sooo alchohol is my solution. I'll probably just giggle and not answer. We'll see. 

 

Which is funny tho is that I had a favorite cousin for a long time and then she asked me when I was twelve "Ooh and do you have a boyfriend?" I think I cried and never talked to her again. I didn't even know I was aromantic at the time but it was so uncomfortable I just cried. 

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To me, it’s not a challenge, they don’t really talk about romance, when someone does though, I just suck it up and not pay to much attention, but when someone asks me about my romantic status (only once this has happened...), I just ignored my folks saying don’t do it, and privately came out to this member of the family, about my Agender-ness, Asexualilty and Aromatic status, she was very weirded by it and said some anti-identity stuff, but I just stood my ground, she finally understood and apologised about the oddness and embarrassment.

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