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  1. 17 points
    You might be aro if you mistook sexual, aesthetic or sensual attraction for a crush. You might be aro if you thought romantic feelings described by others must be exaggerated. You might be aro if you never notice when someone has a crush on you, unless someone points it out to you. You might be aro if you broke somebody's heart by accident, even without realizing it, simply because you underestimated the intensity of their feelings. You might be aro if you felt suffocated and overwhelmed in a romantic relationship. You might be aro if the pet names people gave to their partners, always felt artificial and ridiculous to you.
  2. 17 points
    Alternatively, assumed you were bi or pan because you felt equally towards all genders.
  3. 14 points
    You might be aromantic if when you think about marriage you don't imagen who you will get married to, but other things instead e.g. getting to wear nice clothes, how nice the food will be, having the opportunity for a big family get together You might be aromantic if when people look down on marrying for visas, marrying for tax breaks, etc. you wonder why they do because those sound like very practical reasons to get married
  4. 12 points
    I would say it definitely affects the experience of aromanticism differently, or at least the experience of the aromantic community. I've noticed that allosexual aros, myself included, tend to have a more prolonged questioning period than most aroaces even after exposure to LGBTQ+ communities, because aromanticism isn't often talked about outside of asexuality. Aromanticism is still thought to go hand-in-hand with asexuality in many ways, and aro resources communities, or pride-related things are often included as a part of ace things, which can feel isolating to allo aros. (One example I recently saw: A Picrew, aka doll maker, that included pride pins. Some were combos, and although there was a combo pin with the aro and ace flags, there were no combos for the aro flag with any sexual orientation other than ace, which made me feel very left out and like I had to "choose" between my aromanticism and my bisexuality when aroaces did not. Even if it's something as trivial as a dollmaker, little things like this can really add up.) The prejudices we deal with from outside are different, too. Aroaces are more likely to be thought of as being naive, child-like, "innocent", or completely detached from all emotion, while allo aros are more likely to be thought of as predatory, perverted, manipulative, slutty, or just making excuses in order to use others- Even by people who might have no awareness of someone's sexual history, or if they even HAVE a sexual history at all.
  5. 12 points
    Hey, stop calling arospecs alloromantic. That's pretty fuckin rude and dismissive. If arospecs are somehow "allo" for feeling romantic attraction in any capacity, then bisexuals must be "straight" for being sometimes attracted to the "opposite" gender, and I'm sure we all know that's not true. (Or at least I should hope so, cause I ain't playing the biphobia game with anybody.)
  6. 11 points
    More specifically, I'm reading Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank. As the author points out time and again, you can't understand sexuality without looking at heterosexuality and what the so-called "standard" was considered to be, so I took a chance and borrowed the e-book. Even then, I never expected to find vindication in the written form! It's been a wonderful read all around so far. Just tonight, I got so excited when I reached "Chapter 4: The Marrying Type" and came across this paragraph that had me SCREAMING (emphasis my own): "As difficult as it may be for us to believe today, particularly if we have had the seemingly involuntary, overwhelming experience of "falling in love," anthropological and historical evidence both suggest that falling in love is not actually something human beings are hard-wired to do but a behavior pattern that is learned. In cultures where there is no significant cultural pattern of experiencing romantic love, most people do not. Such a pattern did ultimately develop in the West, but for most of our history it was not part of the everyday experience of the average person." The book was published in 2012 and makes no overt references to asexuality or aromanticism as of yet, but I got! so!! pumped!!! And wanted to share this quote somewhere. I will definitely be doing some digging into any references I can find to see what research in anthropology and history Blank has based this paragraph on. What does everyone else think?
  7. 11 points
    I'm feeling a bit adrift at the moment. Maybe you fellow aros can help me. Sorry if it's coming of as a bit of a rant. Feel free to comment about relating experiences, it doesn't have to be about my own personal musings. Ever since I moved away from my parents home, ten years ago, I've lived this kind of temporary life where everything I did was somewhat fleeting. Whatever I did it was always in my mind that it wouldn't last, college, the places I lived, my first job, my second job. I was always looking forward, feeling like the present was a preparation, a saving up for the future where my ideal life could begin. That's not to say I've not been happy. I've mostly enjoyed myself and I feel proud about how much I've accomplished. But now, when I'm close to thirty, I feel like I don't want to live that way anymore. I want to feel like I'm settled. For most people this would correspond to finding a partner and having kids, but I don't want either. When I try to imagine my ideal living situation it's some sort of communal living with a group of people. Preferably with a mission of some kind to promote community building and sustainability. But it's not like such a group is readily available. I've been trying to connect to different organizations to find like minded people but it's hard to know how to seek people out for such a big thing. I also feel like I'm afraid of actually trying to make such a thing happen for real. Because when it's in your mind it can be perfect. Does anyone struggle with similar feelings, wanting to settle down but being unsure about how?
  8. 11 points
    If you have thought your squishes were crushes or have had to make up crushes to fit in.
  9. 10 points
    I think no action are romantic or platonic on itself. It is the intent behind it that is, the feelings. It changes the way we perceive things.
  10. 10 points
    ...With all due respect, I would... Possibly avoid trying to give advice on how to write bi aros if you've never felt attraction. I know you mean well, but I would say that's not really accurate to the experience. That being said, here are some ways my bisexuality and my aromanticism affect each other: -Because I don't experience romantic attraction, I often struggle to relate to other bi folks, and avoid larger LGBTQ events or resources unless they make it very, explicitly clear that they're welcoming to aros, which few do. However, because I do experience sexual attraction, I often feel disconnected from the aro community as well, as there is a large emphasis on aroaces + lack of attraciton in general. Still, there's a lot I do relate to in both communities, and both are important aspects of my identity. -Weirdly enough, I find I'm actually more selective about personality when it comes to interest in folks? Like... I've noticed that alloromantic folks tend to develop crushes and then just kind of, go with it even if the person isn't terribly compatible with them, for some reason. With me I'm like, yeah he's hot, but his taste in anime? Horrible. 0/10 would not bang -I tend to be affected very negatively by the intersection of aro and bi stereotypes. "Heartless, manipulative player who doesn't care about anyone and uses people for sex" is a stereotype that's very commonly associated with both bisexuals and aromantics, and pushback against these stereotypes from both communities can, unfortunately, often result in throwing actual bi aros under the bus. It's very easy to feel like you're a traitor to your orientation by just being yourself, which can be hard to deal with. -Despite the stereotype that allo aros have lots of sex, and the stereotype that bis have "more to choose from" or whatever, for a lot of allo aros it's actually very difficult to access sex. If you're romance repulsed, not the sort of person who likes parties or bars, and don't use hookup apps, there's really very little opportunity for sexual encounters, and a lot of allo aros have never had sex at all even at ages when most other allosexual folks would have. Many allo aros also are extremely selective about who they hook up with, for fear of the possibility of their partner """""catching feelings""""" and then blaming them for not reciprocating- Even when a relationship is explicitly agreed to be only sexual, not romantic, there's still sort of a societal expectation that if one party changes their mind, the other party has some obligation to accept this. -Sexual attraction to men and women can feel different, and some bi folks may be attracted to one gender more than the other. Without romantic attraction, aesthetics may play a larger role- And I don't mean if someone's "ugly" or "hot", I literally mean aesthetics. I tend to be attracted more to women because women are generally more creative in how they express themselves aesthetically, whereas dudes in general kind of fluctuate between "t-shirt and jeans" and "blazer and button-up" which is a pretty boring range of looks, and I'm just too dramatic for that. I don't care what your face looks like but if you have the same haircut as 70 other guys at my school I'm probably not all that interested, hon -The constant struggle between bi purple and aro green vs. the knowledge that people see purple and green paired in a pride context and assume it means aroace... -Fictional characters are often more attractive than real people, because there's just so much less trouble involved. A cute girl might fall in love with me, or ditch me for a romantic partner, but Mai Valentine and her hot motorcycle have never and will never do me wrong 🤝 -When you're young it can be easy to mistake sexual attraction for romantic attraction, or to start dating someone because you feel like it's what you're "supposed" to do. This can lead to a lot of discomfort if romance repulsion arises, and, eventually, possibly messy breakups. There may be a long period of time between realizing you don't love someone and actually breaking up with them, either due to fear of negative consequences for not doing the "socially correct" thing by having a partner, or due to hope that you might develop romantic feelings eventually.
  11. 10 points
    I think we need both. We absolutely do need ace spaces to become more inclusive of aros, but we need aro-specific spaces as well. The other, perhaps more pressing matter, is that we need everything labeled as "ace and aro" to show that it's not just a name. Sure, anyone can slap "and aro" onto a title- But will they make space for romance-repulsed folks? Will they make space for allosexual aros to talk about our sexualities? Will they actually do anything to welcome aros, or is it an ace space in all but name? In an ideal world where both orientations are treated with equal respect, as an allo aro I might actually feel totally comfortable with "ace and aro" events and such. But as it is, I tend to distrust them unless they do something to outright state that they are welcoming to allo aros, because I can never tell if something is genuinely by and for aros (and by that I mean, not just aroaces who exclusively interact with the ace community), or if it's just an ace group that changed their name for the sake of keeping up appearances and pretending to be inclusive without actually trying.
  12. 10 points
    Hi and happy new year everybody! So, I got the feeling that we focus too much on aro inclusion in ace places. Which have sense considering that aro and ace has been tied together since the creation of ace community... but seems damaging too. For instance, people here saying they didn't realize they are aro because they thought you have to be ace : except for heterosexual aro (I don't think there exist hetero places like LGBT places?), learning about aromanticism on gay, bi, pan, transgenres, etc places would have help them a lot. Also, aro would feel more safe in LGBT communities, and it would help aro awareness more. But I don't know how to do that. I am not personnaly involved in queer places except arocalypse. I can't picture myself go on a LGBT community and say "hi! We exist!". I don't feel legitimate. I think AUREA must have a role here. So, what I'm trying to say is : we should stop to focus so much on the ace communities and look for other places too. 2020 will be the aro year!
  13. 10 points
    I'm sorry, but this is... Not right at all. First of all, asexuals exist. To say that romance is merely a combination of sexual attraction and friendship is extremely acephobic. Plenty of people experience romantic attraction without sexual attraction, and you need to respect that. Secondly, as someone who is the opposite- I experience sexual attraction, but not romantic attraction- I am VERY offended by the implication that if I were to enter a sexual relationship with one of my friends, that would qualify as "romantic". None of my attractions are romantic, no matter how they may or may not overlap. I understand that romance can seem almost fake at times from an aro perspective, and I don't think it's wrong to try to think philosophically about the nuances of different types of attractions people feel (or don't feel), but please, please try to be careful with the conclusions you come to. Try to think about things from different perspectives, and be very careful what labels you try to put on others for them. It's really not fair to try to assume other people's feelings; No matter how it may sound to us, deciding that alloros are just making it up and don't "really" feel romance is just as horrible and disrespectful as it is for them to assume that we're making things up and not "really" aromantic. Please have respect for other people's feelings, and let them label them for themselves.
  14. 10 points
    We've made an AUREA-specific account (this one) to respond to anyone on Arocalypse from now on. This is to make it easier for you all to talk to the Team and understand what's coming from the official organization and what's just coming from us as individuals. You can ping the Team by typing @AUREA.
  15. 10 points
    When the question "What is your type?" really confuses you and you just answer with what you think would make a good friend.
  16. 9 points
    There's a lot of cooperation between aro and ace activists, initiatives, orgs. There's also hostility in some aro and ace spaces, which is usually aimed at one identity. So it can be aimed at aces, at aros, at alloaros or at alloaces, maybe to a lesser degree at aroaces (they deal with being caught in the crossfire of aces vs aros antagonisms instead), but that happens too. There's a lot of hurt and bitterness, and the communities are linked (by people, by history), and it creates tensions, because we have our differences. Some people would like to be separate - alloaces were vocal about asexuality not always going together with aromanticism, now alloaros are starting to be more vocal about the differences and not wanting to associate with aces. This creates an identity split in some places - it's aros against aces, aces against aros and everyone with the same label gets thrown into the same bag. That leads to divisions, because we have our differences, but what the "aros this", "aces that" actually achieve? Hurt, alienation, helplessness..? Cool, very constructive, we'll go far on this. This split also creates an allosexual vs ace division in the aro community, which puts non-sam aros and greyaces in a weird vacuum. Say an aro person is angry at an ace person for doing something a bit insensitive. We create anger and guilt, and people who are feeling guilty don't make good progress for a cause, because they don't want to actually do it, they feel shitty, they burn out. And if someone feels wrongly accused, they're probably not going to listen to the points another person is making anyway. There will be assholes everywhere, and it's important to correct them, stand up to their assholery, or not give support to their harmful behaviors, because it's impossible to get rid of them all. They can't take over the conversations and narrations though, because that just leads to toxic communities. That was a rather large introduction, but: aros who act acepobic. They're there and we need to address this problem. For the last few years we've been steeping in acephobia (exclusionist crusades on tumblr and other social media) and we're not immune. The way our communities are linked creates strong and contradictory feelings. They're our strongest allies and we want them to remain so, we're grateful, but there's also jealousy - they're bigger, more visible, have more resources, people often ignore aromanticism when it's paired with asexuality. There have been instances of aros invalidating, diminishing ace people's struggles, when we get so angry when it's in reverse. There were aros saying that if you're asexual or you define your relationship as nonsexual, you're oversharing about your sex life - "you're asexual, so what, no one needs to know about your sex life" is a common acephobic talking point. There are aros taking a thing one ace person said, generalizing it to all aces. They were dismissive of things an ace person said on the basis of their asexuality. Any disagreement with an aro person by an ace person was treated as an example of arophobia, instead of someone else's opinion. "Aces are less oppressed than aros" is... an argument, suddenly (please, this really isn't oppression olympics). Ace people can be treated as if they have privilege..?? There's this mentality that if your group (aros) is more oppressed on average, it's impossible really do harm to a person from a group that is less oppressed. (No, I'm not getting into who and why and how is more oppressed, pls do me a favor and don't start that topic on this thread.) I think we need to realize that some aro spaces are getting acephobic, realize that there's potential in aros to be acephobic, and try to combat that, so that we're like you know, decent humans, and don't start alienating aroaces who identify strongly with their asexuality.
  17. 9 points
    I wrote an aromantic poem. I dont consider myself a very creative person and this is the first poem I've ever written but I wanted to write it to convey some of my feelings. Anyway, here it is: Space Aro I feel lost. Like an astronaught drifting through space. All I can see are spaceships. But I am floating in the endless void. I don't have a spaceship. I can't experience the wonders of stars. Am I destined to stray like this forever? Alone. Or will a comet streak across the sky? Answers will only come with time. Only then will my planet arrive.
  18. 9 points
    That person would be me. Hello! I definitely do recognize that allo aros need to be careful not to repeat acephobic rhetoric, and some people are... worse about that than others. 🙄 It's something I've been trying to keep in mind lately. That being said, I definitely agree that aces also need to recognize the line between "this is genuine acephobia and I should ask this person not to talk like that" and "This person is angry about legitimate injustices done to them and I Am Feel Uncomfortable When We Are Not About Me so I'm gonna tone police them". It definitely is a very difficult line to identify though. Allo aros need to be allowed to express frustration with the way the ace community treats us, and we need our frustration to be respected regardless of if we're being "polite"- But we also need to be very, VERY careful that we do not express this frustration via straight up repeating acephobic rhetoric, in the same way that aces need to be careful that they don't express their frustration via repeating homophobic rhetoric. It's a very difficult line to navigate for both parties. But it absolutely needs to be navigated.
  19. 9 points
    I understand that, like, we've been told all our lives that the ultimate goal is marriage and kids, which I do not want. So, how do either of us proceed? I'm thinking of having like a close friend that I can live with but that also wont leave me for a romantic partner. Thats hard to find though.
  20. 9 points
    I'll pop in just to say that if we are attacking a-spec flags with black triangles on the basis of Nazi imagery, we should also be attacking the flags of the following nations for having Nazi symbolism: The Bahamas (black triangle), South Africa (black triangle), Jamaica (two black triangles). The fact that people are not complaining about triangle imagery on nation flags (or even in the Queer Chevron, whose design contains downward-facing triangles, closer in design to Nazi imagery; or even in the Lesbian Labrys flag which literally has a downward-facing black triangle), but only on a-spec flags, is telling. Again, like Coyote said, this criticism is nothing new and unfortunately not something that really holds up. Queer and LGBTQ+ groups fly the triangle demi flags and some queer/LGBTQ+ people have even reclaimed the downward-facing triangle imagery entirely. Suppressing these things is not the answer, never has been, and never will be. It has always been an attempt to mask exclusion and violence with false accusations of appropriation.
  21. 9 points
    Very early aromantic moment, but when I was nine or so, I would always hang out with one boy in my class after school, and one time he asked me if I loved anyone (and was expecting me to say that I loved him), but I said “Yeah, I love my dad a lot”.
  22. 9 points
    I'm sure this is well-intentioned, but at this point I'm pretty tired of flag redesigns. Especially on grounds like these. Here's what that Wikipedia page says about it: "The black triangle was a badge used in Nazi concentration camps to mark prisoners regarded 'anti-social' and 'arbeitsscheu' (work-shy). Those considered anti-social included alcoholics, homeless, beggars, nomads, and prostitutes. Women deemed to be anti-social included prostitution, nonconformists, and lesbians." So "against lesbians" is accurate but also a pretty big oversimplification. It's also.... not even oriented the same way. It's just a triangle. That's just a basic design element. It's not like it's something as distinct as a swastika or a symbol of Venus. Anyway, I think it's important for the aro community to be aware that people have been attacking aces' use of triangles since at least 2011. This is kind of criticism is nothing new.
  23. 9 points
    You might be aro if you don't understand how most people seem to have crushes all the time... Or if you thought you were just picky when it came to crushes..
  24. 9 points
    Assumed you were straight, and then realized you felt nothing towards any gender.
  25. 8 points
    Ask her. Does she want to be in one? How important to her is romance? Can she be in a QPR and have a romantic partner, or do you want this to be her only partnership of any variety? We can't read her mind. Alloromantic folks are not all identical in their desires, and not every QPR is the same by far. If you don't know how she would feel about something, ask her.
  26. 8 points
    AUREA was founded independently of the forums and combining them isn't possible right now. We're however talking to other groups about how to save the forums if no one takes over the responsibilities of Phoenix by March 29th.
  27. 8 points
    Just wanted to thank you, @Blue Phoenix Ace, for doing the work of hosting and managing these forums for as long as you have! < 3 I wish I'd found this place sooner, but I'm glad I got a short time here, at least.
  28. 8 points
    This is a really interesting topic, actually. I'm going to focus mainly on 1-to-1 empathy with someone who isn't your partner. I don't think we lack empathy for allos in general, I think it has to do with us practicing empathy on a regular basis. I think it has to do a lot with who we surrounded ourselves with how they interacted with us. I can only talk about myself here, so that's what I'll do: I was always the friend (and am, still, honestly) that gets approached when someone needs romantic advice. Why? Beats me. I'm a neutral party, mostly, and I've made my mistakes. I guess I look at relationships on a "platonic" level the same way I look at "romantic" relationships. I put the needs on the same plane, and often I don't consider particular romantic/sexual aspects of a relationship as observing one as a whole. Empathy is something we lose if we don't practice it. I've been lucky enough to have the interpersonal connections around me to know how to empathize. The people who are confiding in you (or in a group) are looking not just for sympathy, but understanding. It's okay if you can't relate, it's okay if you don't understand. There is something powerful in standing in the rain with someone. It forces you to be vulnerable, and while that is a beautiful and scary thing, that is something I think everyone can relate to wanting and needing. Granted, I'm used to empathizing with allos in this way, so if that's something some people struggle with, here are a few things I've picked up: Admit you don't always know. We don't know what it's fully like to be alloromantic! The nuances of romanticism may not click for us (or maybe it does! I'm not your parent!) The most simplistic phrase you can adopt is "wow, that's really hard. I can't imagine what that's like." You don't have to explain why, but it's really validating for people expressing their concerns to know that what they're going through is hard. They're coming to you! They've picked you! Find comfort in knowing they trust you for this, be it in person, online, or on a forum. People have come here seeking advice or an ear, let's try to do that. It's not just about the content. If the thing they are telling you about triggers you, that's different, but if this is something you can bear you don't have to focus entirely on the details. This is someone trying to share their story with you, and reach out in a way so many of us forget to. Try to keep that in the back of your head while someone is talking to you about a frustration. Still, Listen. More than anything, empathizing with someone involves active listening. Show that you're still interested. Try to repeat back what's going on. "So Dave dancing with Daniel bothered you since you both are dating?" These things might seem trivial to us, but they matter to whoever is talking to you. It also might help explain some things you don't understand, without taking away from the story telling aspect. "So let me get this straight, your partner is asking ____ and you need ____?" If in person, or over the phone, listen to their tones. Listen to their hurt, their anger, their grief. Watch their facial expressions, if you can. Often we can mirror these expressions without thinking. We mirror things such as posture and hand gestures and that in itself invokes empathy. Focus on the interpersonal. There's always an angle you can poke for in relationships. If you can't understand the desires for romanticism, you can certainly understand the want for honestly, responsibility, authenticity, and vocality. Does this couple communicate well? How have you had trouble communicating in the past? I can't imagine someone who's never had an issue with communication before. You can relate back to yourself without making it about you! "I know it's so frustrating when people get mad at you for not reading their minds. I'm so sorry that's been eating at you." If there truly is nothing comparable, always make that known. "I can't relate to how troubling that must be, but I can tell you're hurting and I'm okay listening as long as you need me to, and if you don't want to talk I'm here anyways." I find that offering a second, concrete way to help is often so appreciated. Not just a "I'm here if you need me." but a "I can go on a walk with you or bring food/entertainment/myself over and we don't have to talk about it at all." goes a long way, especially for friends dealing with heartbreak. Reminder that I'm just a college student without a degree. I don't know everything! This is just what I found helps. Let me know if this is helpful. 😃
  29. 8 points
    Yeah, I think we'll likely lack some degree of empathy in this context almost by definition. Empathy means literally something like "feeling in/into"; it implies to me some kind of resonance of your feelings with the feelings of the person you're empathising with. Whatever "resonance" an aromantic can generate for the feeling of romantic heartbreak is never going to be as accurate as what an allo-romantic empathiser can generate here, so we'll always fall short in terms of "raw" empathy, IMO. We might be able to compensate in other ways? But I think it means we need to be extra careful when responding to allo-romantics, as we're more likely to make mistakes because our empathy "machinery" won't be well calibrated in this context. I think I've made mistakes because of this in the past. I've tried to apologise where I thought I did; but I'm personally not super proud of everything I've ever written here in response to allo-romantics.
  30. 8 points
    Hi @TripleA. I will say this bluntly because I'm not sure you've understood where others who have said this are coming from. You've formed your opinion based on information that is outdated, incomplete, and/or not representative of the community. The aro community has discussed this many times. It is fact that within the aro community, the word "aromantic" has two meanings: Experiencing no romantic attraction ever, at all, zero times (the definition you're familiar with) An umbrella term for people who do not experience romance or romantic attraction in the ways conventionally put forth by society, whether this is in terms of how often the attraction is felt, the circumstances behind the feeling, or the behaviours connected with the feeling Identities are never fixed because human beings are fluid. Identity terminology, especially orientation terminology, is descriptive and not prescriptive. X-sexual or X-romantic indicate tendencies toward whatever fills the X slot. They do not indicate a rule that, upon being broken, can no longer be used as an identifier. A person who is heterosexual that had one crush on someone of their same gender but had 20+ crushes on people of their opposite are not necessarily bisexual because of one experience. For some people, the exception does change the rule, because the person and their identity have changed. For others, the exception does not change the rule; it's an exception because human beings aren't robots bound to identifiers and If/Then statements. If someone says they are aromantic and they have experienced romantic attraction before, you have no right to be saying "Yeah, but if that was me, I wouldn't use the label aromantic." Perhaps that's how you define aromanticism for yourself, and that is fine, but you cannot say "Oh everyone is valid" and then proceed to tell those people that they are wrong. You draw the line between aro and alloro for yourself in a particular way. You should not say that this line is the correct line or should be the correct line. The aro community as a whole welcomes anyone who fundamentally feels that they belong in this community, because chances are, regardless of how many times someone has felt romantic attraction in their life, if they are feeling alienated from alloromantics or from typical romantic narratives, they feel they belong in the aro community. We as a community don't believe that we should define a line for everyone. At least that's what I've noticed about inclusive queer communities in general. We don't define the line. What we do is provide examples of others' experiences with drawing the line so that questioning folks can decide where their line is and whether they identify with our community. It is true that some grey and demi folks, for example, don't view themselves as being part of the aro community. Sometimes they feel they fit better in the alloro community, sometimes in neither or in-between. Ultimately, identity is relative and completely personal. Words and categories of identity never have hard lines and boxes. It's impossible. Even in sciences where we think lines and categories are very clear, you'll find that nature is not that easy to put in a box. Language is always approximation. And when feelings are involved, there is no aromantic experience that is shared by everyone in the exact same way, even for the aros who fit definition 1. Fact is, drawing a line between aro and alloro, and placing greyros, on an expansive scale is prescriptive and will never be correct. It's impossible. Lines and categories for things are always arbitrary, because nature is not and never will be black and white. TL;DR: Labels are not for other people to categorize someone, they are for someone to sit themselves in relation to others. People are getting frustrated with you because you seem like you are trying to pass your opinion off as more correct than others', since, to you, it is. You can't be correct because no one can be correct, because the aro community is not trying to define an aro/alloro line on a large scale. Having conversations about this is unproductive and only serves to make some people feel excluded.
  31. 8 points
    Bruh. I’m probably one of the most stereotypical no-romance-ever aromantics, and honestly, I think this is pretty rude. Why shouldn’t arospec folks be included in our flag? They’re aro too. It’s called aro-spec, not some-attraction-sometimes-spec. Why are you so determined to separate yourself from them? Why does being inclusive of our arospec siblings upset you so much? If you feel so threatened by the thought of one single stripe out of five on the flag having something to do with arospecs, that’s a you problem. Now sit down and stop being exclusionary, because that attitude is NOT what this community is about.
  32. 8 points
    my lecture focused on queer theory today, and during discussion, i threw in a casual reference to romantic orientation by saying "cisgender, heterosexual, and heteroromantic". i also included a line about my aromanticism in the brief reflection we had to hand in. just sneaking stuff in there.
  33. 8 points
    Hi all ya wonderful aro people! I'm not a native english speaker so I'm sorry for any grammar- and spelling mistakes! I just turned 39 so I have spent all theese years not understanding why I was the way I was. I found out about aromanticism, and rediscovered asexuality, by coincidence not more than three weeks ago. Finding out about aromanticism totally blew my mind and made me super confused! I'm an aspiring writer and I was watching a youtube video from one of my favourite you tube-writers when she came out as asexual and/or aromantic (I can't remember which). Anyways, after watching that video I was like WTF, asexuality and aromanticism is a legit thing!!!??? I only have one or to people to talk about this in IRL, so I just feel this overwhelming desire to share some things with you guys. This is gonna be a rant so feel free not to read the whole thing! I have never had a boyfriend/girlfriend. I faked one or two crushes i middleschool/junior high just to fit in. I always felt super awkward the few times my friends talked about romance, sex and such. I have been hugged by boys/men/girls/women but either felt nothing in particular, or felt like they were somehow violating my personal space. I have never felt the need to cuddle with people(I've only ever voluntarily cuddled with my pet cats and dogs). I have never been kissed, never had sex and never actively pursued either. I do have a libido of some sort, so I can find (some)sex scenes in movies/books quite intriguing. Though, oftentimes I feel indifferent towards it and hardly ever fantasize about it. And I have always disliked romantic movies/books but never known exactly why. I'm a writer myself but I just can't write romance or sex scenes so I totally avoid that. Writing about it makes med feel super awkward, I'm absolutely lousy at it, and it totally shows in my work. I find women more physically/aesthetically attractive than men, but I don't feel any romantic or sexual attraction towards women. For quite a few years I wondered if I was perhaps bisexual or gay, but I just couldn't wrap my head around that possibility. I just enjoyed seeing/watching beautiful people doing their thing. So, I suppose that's a pure aesthetic attraction. I have always had a really hard time understandig the different concepts of attraction but now, finally, I think I'm getting the hang of it. I believe that the two-three crushes I've had in my whole life were actually squishes. The last one might have been a crush but I don't know for sure. I just couldn't distinguish between platonic and romantic feelings back then. I believe they were squishes because I never actively pursued any relationships, and never got jealous when the boys I "liked" eventually got girlfriends; and I was happy as long as they were happy - though it made me very was sad knowing that I wasn't one of the most significant people in their life. I always wanted a "best male-friend forever" (with "benefits" perhaps???) but never got one... I have been asked out on dates a few times but turned down all but two. The two dates I went on, one in my early twenties and one in my early thirties, felt quite pointless. A couple of my good male friends developed crushes on me at university(I've spent a good ten years at different univeristies so there's been a few guys) and it always made me feel uncomfortable, or totally out of my element. Since I'm now 39 years old I have been asked if I have a boyfriend/why I don't have one/if I'm interested in any one, more times than I can count. In response, I have always told people that I'm just too busy with school, with work, my writing career, and what not. I feel quite haunted by these never ending questions about my "love life" so last year I even tried a matchmaking service online, mainly just to make people shut up about it. But that totally backfired because I felt sooo uncomfortable when these guys who I didn't know started sending me messages, showing a romantic interest, and I never responded to any of them. After reading up on this forum and on AVEN, I now strongly believe that I am aromantic and somewhere on the asexual spectrum(ace or grey ace), but the concepts are still so new to me that I'm quite confused. It also makes me a bit sad because somewhere deep down I thought that I just hadn't met the right man/woman and that I eventually would (magically?)"end up" in a relationship - making my mom proud and relieved. Allright... So this is where I'm currently at. At least I'm verry happy to have found this forum. I'm sure I will be spendig a fair amount of time here from now on, while trying to figure stuff out. Sorry for the long rant! For anyone making it all the way down here, thank you for reading! Have a great weekend!
  34. 8 points
    There is a concept I came across several years ago that I truly believe has had a large effect on my psyche, not just in terms of orientation, but also some of my other emotional issues. That concept is called "touch hunger" (also known as "skin hunger", but I will be speaking more on that below). In brief, it refers to the idea that human beings require a certain amount of affectionate touch in order to thrive… and in the West, they aren't always getting it. Oh, when a baby is born, in most cultures, it spends much of its time in close proximity to its mother. And, for the first couple of years or so, a child only has to wobble over to a parent, arms outstretched, to be picked up and held. But after a while, that activity ceases. Kids are expected to socialize with their peers, primarily in a school setting. At least at the beginning, affectionate physical contact is acceptable, if occasionally unexpected. [True story: On my very first day of kindergarten, a boy walked up and hugged me hello. This actually freaked me out a bit, because my own upbringing was a bit more standoffish than most, despite my Italian-American upbringing. (My parents weren't huggers, and while I did have an aunt or two who were, it wasn't so much affectionate as smothering. Seriously... bears could have taken lessons. ) ] This does not last. As youngsters become pre-teens, the idea of touching your peers with anything more than a handshake or a slap on the back slowly but surely becomes socially awkward, especially with boys. They are expected to be tough, and self-reliant. Showing tenderness to a peer would be construed as a sign of weakness at best... and as they aged, a signifier of their possible orientation. And touching a girl? By the time they even admit girls exist, practically any sort of contact, affectionate or otherwise, is construed romantically. Do you remember "$BOY and $GIRL sitting in a tree..."? I will confess that I do not know whether girls are allowed to hug other girls, or at what age it becomes coded as a romantic or sexual signal. But I would suspect that the transition happens later than with boys. Meanwhile, any other role models they may have are pretty much exclusively hands-off. I don't believe I need to explain why. They don't get touch from their parents. They don't get it from their peers. And they CAN'T get it from other adults. So they get older, and the hormones kick in, and suddenly, they are expected to pair up with a peer of the opposite gender (or, more progressive areas, any gender) and enter into a romantic relationship... which is expected to turn sexual after a certain age. At this point, affectionate touch is hardwired as a form of foreplay. But what is an aro/ace to do? Stay at home, starving for a tender touch. After a while, at least for me, it transitions into a need for skin-to-skin contact beyond handshakes. I tend to call this skin hunger, as it's a degree beyond clothed hugs and the like. Of course, this is nearly impossible to experience in any relationship, same-gender or otherwise, without it being interpreted as a prelude to something else... and I must confess, the last "romantic" relationship I had, approximately 2 decades ago, was basically an excuse to achieve the touch I really needed. It did not end well, which may be part of the reason why my preference these days has switched to those of my own gender. Impossible to say, at this juncture. There are glimmers of hope, however. There are other cultures, primarily Japanese & South Korean, where the idea of older teens showing affection is more acceptable. And I've also seen younger actors & performers show affection to each other in public, something which would almost certainly have been controversial when I was their age. But as things stand now, we have generations of children, male, female, or other, who are not getting the affection they need... and that can turn them into broken folks like me…. Requested/suggested by @Coyote.
  35. 8 points
    Think of it like the LGBTQ+ community. Obviously (to pick an arbitrary example), gay people are not bi, and bi people are not gay, and I'm sure most of them would not consider themselves a part of those specific communities (i.e. I, as a bisexual, do not consider myself part of the lesbian community because I'm not a lesbian). But at the same time, most of them do consider themselves part of a larger unified community, based on the experiences that they do very much share and the benefit that can be gained from unifying with each other. That's how I feel about the aspec community; I don't consider myself ace, and I don't consider myself a lesbian, but I do consider myself aspec and queer.
  36. 8 points
    I think that yes, it should be inclusive. How inclusive is up to who feels like being included. If someone feels like their lack of a certain kind of attraction impacts their life and identity enough to seek out our community, then I think they should absolutely be included, regardless of how else they may identify. If someone pops in saying they're heterosexual heteroromantic aplatonic, then clearly something has compelled them to seek community for that; I don't think it would be fair to turn them away. I'm also fond of the term "aspec" (ignoring the pronunciation issue) because, speaking of an allo aro, it's what- to me- joins the ace and aro communities together. I am not part of the asexual community. I cannot be part of the asexual community, don't want to be, and presumably they would not want me to be either, given that I am, as mentioned, not asexual. But at the same time, there is a ton of overlap between the aro and ace communities, not only due to the number of aroaces out there, but because of shared history and experiences. I think it's important to acknowledge that overlap, and to be allies to each other, so the aspec community is the union of both the ace and aro communities as one large, diverse whole. "Ace and aro" more implies a partnership than a single unified community, imo.
  37. 8 points
    Me, furiously digging myself further and further into the hole I have created within my fandoms by blacklisting every ship tag and blocking half the fandom and only interacting with the 5 people in my gen servers and churning out 20 genfics a year: Sorry did someone say something I think I have dirt in my ears
  38. 8 points
    You might be aro if you spend years thinking 'im not ready for a relationship' and aren't sure of the reason why.
  39. 8 points
    YMBAI you are on this website and reading all (or some) of these things and nodding your head or smiling because you relate.
  40. 8 points
    You might be aro if you don't understand the point of romantic relationships.
  41. 8 points
    Dated someone because you felt like you were supposed to.
  42. 7 points
    So as we talk here, I am interested in creating a Wikipedia page about aromanticism, because we lack one and let's be honnest : it is very important for visibility and people people believing we exist. However I can't picture myself to do it alone (because it is about all the communauté, not just me), and because as people said in the other thread it can be long. I will not have the time to be involved in it before the end of the month, but as arocalypse may be closing 😢 I am looking now for people who are interesting. If so, please say it here or send me a private message.
  43. 7 points
    I can commit to running things from a technical perspective and potentially short-term funding. I don't know what the moderation story is here or the day to day running though - I have little ability to help on that front. I run servers for a living so this is definitely something I can take on in my free time.
  44. 7 points
    (My thought process every other day 😂) Source: arohumor.tumblr.com I like this thread, good one!
  45. 7 points
    What about people who aren’t sure if they experience romantic attraction? For one, how are you defining romantic attraction? I feel like the term usually(?) refers to a whole host of emotions/desires that apparently most people experience as a conglomerate [EDIT: “conglomerate” is not the right word since it means “different things that are grouped together but remain distinct.” I meant “most people experience [these emotions/desires] as one single entity termed romantic attraction,” not as distinct emotions simply grouped together.]: (1) limerence (i.e. being obsessed with someone, thinking about them all day), (2) emotions such as “having butterflies in the stomach”/physical responses to the other person, (3) desire for emotional closeness, (4) desire to do conventionally romantic activities (e.g. going on dates, calling each other pet names), (5) desire to be sensual (e.g. kissing, hand-holding), (6) having an aspiration for a long-term relationship, (7) desire for reciprocation, (8) all these emotions and desires are perceived as involuntary/you aren’t able to stop of your own free will, (9) these emotions and desires are directed at a specific person. I’m curious about which one of these you see as the real definition of romantic attraction (or if it’s a factor I have not listed), or whether you do consider romantic attraction to be a combination of factors that are apparently never experienced separately by anyone ever despite there being seven billion people on the planet (and therefore the pronunciation: you either have romantic attraction or you don’t have any. Because if romantic attraction refers to a combination of things, and some people only experience some of those things, how is that an either-or situation?). (Hypothetical situation: do you think your definition of romantic attraction is the definition most people will agree on? If we surveyed people about how they define romantic attraction, and we found that people disagreed on it, would you say that clearly, there is a right answer and a wrong answer—some of these people are wrong and some of these people are right? Maybe you would, but I wouldn’t; I would say words are what people make them as, that these series of letters aren’t magically tied to some real-world object or platonic ideal forever, or else language wouldn’t be able to change over time, and “romantic attraction” would mean something like “a pull towards stories about knights,” considering the original meaning of romance.) Secondly, I am sometimes not very good at identifying/processing my own emotions. So if I say, “I really don’t know if I want to kiss this person, or date them, or hold hands, or if this feeling of anxiousness is apparently something everyone feels around their crushes or my usual romance and touch aversion,” are you really going to tell me, “Look, kernsing, you either experience romantic attraction or you don’t, so even if you can’t tell, you’re still either experiencing romantic attraction or not, you’re still either alloromantic or aromantic, no in between”? Except I’m never going to be able to tell which one I am. Sorry, but that classification system is pretty useless to me. I consider myself aro by virtue of my usual varies-neutral-to-strong disinterest/aversion to romance. It ties me to a significant portion of the community (a community that gives me so many words and shared experiences that have cleared up a lot of heretofore confusing aspects in my life—I feel connected to it, deeply grateful for it), and has the added bonus of being actually applicable to my experience. {EDIT: (IMO there are definitely many, many more ways to be grey, but these were the ones I could think up that might challenge your notion of “either attraction or no attraction”) [deleted response to Star Lion because I don’t want to clutter this thread up too much, especially with responses to stuff posted a month ago. Anyway.] } — OKAY. I write nothing for over a month, then this. The wonders of internet arguments—I think reading this thread was frustrating (interoception, I’m telling you, I can’t believe emotional literacy is a Thing people Have)? Anyway, long rambling about grey identities out of the way. Topic of discussion: the word “aspec” and ace & aro people unified under one community? I think we do benefit from having a single ace+aro community (in addition to our separate aro & ace communities; more “community”, less “partnership/coalition”; I think the aro/polyam solidarity thing that’s sometimes talked about might be a good basis for a partnership/coalition and not community, if we’re drawing distinctions) considering our shared history and experiences, which are thus shared because of how society has traditionally perceived romanticism and sexuality as one amorphous blob thing (sometimes I can do words, sometimes I can’t.) Convergent? Not SAM? However we are referring to it nowadays? So we’ve been lumped together by the majority of society, it makes for shared experiences, e.g. being perceived as cold/distant, mentally or physically ill, inhuman; having to do relationships differently and all the joys of navigating that, etc. We have shared interest in improving our shared experiences, through visibility/awareness and acceptance efforts. I’m pretty sure I found out about aromanticism through asexuality resources (although aromantic-focused resources may make that obsolete). I consider myself aspec, same way I consider myself Asian-American—I’m Chinese, “Asian” as a group doesn’t really make sense until we’re a minority in the US (and other places too? But I’m just American, I don’t know) and people lump us together. Beyond ace & aro—I’ve never actually heard of including agender in aspec until this thread, but I’m not necessarily against that. I guess I don’t see too many shared commonalities though? People nowadays generally consider gender and sexuality to be separate things, I think. We do have some shared experiences, though—looking through the voidpunk tag on tumblr. People telling us that we’re missing out on some cornerstone human experience. Bleh. EDIT: I also don’t think I’ve heard of aplatonic or like, anything other than aro & ace referred to as aspec. Still no opinion, would like to hear from people who do consider those other identities aspec.
  46. 7 points
    "Oh, so you just want to live with 15 cats when you're older?" Well that does sound lovely "You have to date before you can be sure" I didn't sleep with a man and a woman and yet you still immediately believed me when I told you I am bisexual "By the age of 30 you will start to wonder what's wrong with you" I already went through that process and I came to the conclusion that nothing is wrong with me And of course the "you just have commitment issues"
  47. 7 points
    that aromanticism is a choice and that we identify as aro just because we can't find someone who'll date us
  48. 7 points
    I understand that feeling. For me, it tends to be a fear that they won't be as interested in spending time with me if they have a romantic partner, or that they'll be constantly talking about them/engaging in PDA around me (I'm romance repulsed). It's an unpleasant feeling to have, and obviously you should be careful not to be a dick about it, but it's important to know that it's normal and doesn't make you a bad person.
  49. 7 points
    That's definitely an issue with me and my fondness/need for affectionate physical contact. It's almost impossible to hug a non-relative without it being interpreted romantically/sexually, especially someone of the opposite gender. And, of course, amongst my (apparent) peer group, hugs between males are often interpreted negatively. It's definitely at least partly cultural, since amongst my Italian cousins, public affection between friends is socially acceptable (if approached more like rough-housing than anything else), and I've heard before of a Korean concept called "skinship" which encapsulates the activity. I do believe mores are changing, however, as I've seen more examples of late in the media, in particular between young male actors.
  50. 7 points
    I totally love this - It only came out earlier this month!
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