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Everything posted by JetSettingAro

  1. Marriage as an institution is something that historically was not romantic. It instead existed to bring families together, create community bonds and provide stability in times of trouble. Sadly, it was co-opted by romantic propagandists, and now most people associate marriage with romance. Marriage, in its altered form, is used as a tool to create "haves" and "have-nots". Gone are the days it brought people together and fostered community. We all know that nowadays, most marriages snuff out platonic friendships, and isolate us aros from our friends and families. That is why I can see why many aros would be turned away from what marriage has become, but on the flip side, I can also see why many aros would want to take back marriage and bring it back into a platonic realm.
  2. Wow Kricket, that sounds tough! I think that sometimes society treats orientation too restrictively, while in truth, it exists on spectrum that is often in flux. Some people will waiver between a few orientations their entire life, and there is nothing wrong with that! It is quite possible that you might be a grey-romantic and/or grey-ace identity, or you might even be in an undefined part of the spectrum. it's okay to try to figure out who you really are, and you most certainly should not feel like you are living a lie. Surround yourself with allies, and let them be part of your journey. As for talking about this with other people, keep in mind that many people are ignorant of aromanticism and asexuality. Some will react in a bemused way, others might try to dissuade you from being aroace entirely, just remember to stay true to yourself. In time, your true friends will accept you for who you are, regardless of your romantic and sexual identities.
  3. I know we have folks from all over the world on here, but when the ball drops in NYC and everyone kisses each other and couples dance around, it kind of feels like a second Valentine's Day to me. I mean, honestly, what is there for an aromantic person to do on this holiday? Especially in the USA. It's possible to do stuff with friends, sure, but most of them are doing things with their significant others...so...what do you all do?
  4. I think you might have to borrow a word from outside the English lexicon to accurately describe the phenomenon that you are explaining. Non-romantic hugging, kissing, hand-holding and like activities are common in certain parts of the world. The word that immediately comes to mind is skinship (an english approximation of the Japanese word sukinshippu). In the Japanese context this word can mean to share a bath with someone in a non-romantic way, or it can also mean close non-sexual/romantic physical relations between friends or family. In the Korean use of the word, it means a person who engages in close non-sexual/romantic physical intimacy with their friends, generally of the same sexual identity, but not necessarily so. Young males are especially "touchy-feely" in Korea, and commonly show non-romantic/sexual physical affection towards each other. A funny blog post on the subject: https://randomkorealife.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/you-touch-my-what/ With that being said, the word skinship fits kind of awkwardly with other aromantic identity labels. Maybe make some kind of a derivative of it ie. skinmantic.
  5. My opinion is that you most certainly can be. I myself want to get married, but I envision the relationship as being more of a very deep friendship, rather than a romantic relationship. A QPP more or less, whether that is what we call it or not.
  6. In the extremely unlikely event that he is reasonable, and you actually do like him as a friend, now might be a time to test out a QPR. In the far more likely situation that he is your average high libido teen boy, then run, and I mean RUN. 😋
  7. As a university graduate student (in the USA) I have an IRB procedure that I must complete before conducting any research involving human subjects. I urge you to be very careful, as U.S. law requires that most human related research be approved by an IRB before data collection can begin. This includes quantifiable and qualitative data types. Since this project likely falls under the prescriptions of the National Research Act of 1974, you will likely have to contact an independent IRB board before you can collect data or risk penalty under federal law (more info here - http://www.consortiumofirb.org/faq/). For the record, I think what you are doing is very cool. I will be happy to participate once I am assured that my data is being governed in accordance with an IRB procedure.
  8. Another problem, going along with the fear of "me-too-ism" as described by the OP, is that many people think that being aromantic is not something that causes discrimination. Using that logic, many people really do believe that aromantics are looking for attention, and that we are taking resources away from other LGBTQI groups that have experienced more outward discrimination. Let me tell you something though, to say that aromantics don't experience discrimination is a major fallacy. I can't speak for others, I will let them do that, but I have been discriminated against for being aromantic my entire life. People have shamed me, mocked me, presumed things about my sexual orientation, pitied me, and denied my feelings ever since I was a teenager (I'm in my mid-20s now). I have lost many friends who found a romantic partner, and no longer wanted anything to do with me. I have had to field all kinds of awkward questions about why I am not in a romantic relationship. I have had co-workers tell the entire office that I'm a "virgin" without me having ever said a word about my sex life to any of them, all because they perceived that I was somehow different from them. Perhaps the worst thing is that I will likely never be able to have children, even though I desperately would like to, and nobody would ever let me adopt as a single male. I can't even go for a hike without people grabbing their children or partners tightly, as if I am some kind of predator for taking a walk through the woods. They never do this when other couples or families pass them on the trail. I could probably sit here and spend my entire day making a complete list of all the problems that I have faced. 😣 So...yes....there is plenty of discrimination that I have dealt with, and I am sure that other people on here have faced these things and lots more for being aro. So, if the OP finds out that this really is a contributing factor to the response that they received from their friends, I would encourage them to remind their friends of some of the very real discrimination that we face. Lots of it is unique to us, and some of it overlaps with the discrimination that other groups experience, but none of our experiences should be dismissed.
  9. It's a weird question, I know, but hear me out. I have been deep in thought about aromanticism and its place in the world, and I keep coming back to the idea that being aro actually used to be pretty common (at least in Western Society). When I look at history, and examine classical cultures, I see very little evidence that romantic relationships were mainstream. In most societies people were either forced into arranged relationships, or married for power and social status. Nothing I read indicates to me that people commonly exchanged love letters, went on dates, displayed PDA, fawned over their prospective partners, or did any of the things that we associate with modern romantic love. That is not to say that sexual desire wasn't common (it was very common), or that romantic love didn't exist at all, but it seems that most historical societies were oriented around the idea that having a partner was more about procreation, creating bonds between families, and fulfilling sexual needs; not about romance. Most of the romantic overtures that I have seen from this period actually seem to be pretty demiromantic, partners grew deep emotional bonds and then fell in love...they were not in love from the start. Starting in the high middle ages, and then moving into the European Renaissance, this all seems to have changed. Romantic attraction became normal in Europe, and spread its way into other cultures. Leading us to the present day. Now I'm not saying that Western Society should bring back arranged marriages or try to emulate medieval and classic cultures, but it would be nice for people to at least acknowledge that romance has not always been as important to society as it is today. It would also be nice for people to acknowledge that it isn't some blasphemous thing to want to form non-romantic partnerships with other people. Thoughts?
  10. I don't get it either, romantic gestures and relationships are just too bizzare for me to comprehend. One thing is for sure, I don't need another person to make me a complete person...BUT...and this is a big but...not having that kind of relationship makes it more difficult for me to have kids, which I am willing to bet would make me feel more complete. 😥 I have always wanted to be a Dad, but its next to impossible to get to that step without first building a romantic relationship.
  11. Yeah, from my experience I agree that people aren't usually super possessive with their partners (although I'm sure some are). I think the bigger issue is that people in romantic relationships prefer to hang out with other people in romantic relationships over their non-romantic single friends. When you don't have a partner, you become unrelatable to the rest of society. It only becomes worse with age too. The older you get, and if you continue to not pursue a romantic relationship, the more ostracized you become. If you are a man, people think you are a deviant or hiding some kind of secret sexual orientation. If you are a woman, they feel pitty on you but little else. If you don't fall into gender binaries, then it is even more complicated. By the time couples are settled down and having kids, you will be completely ostracized at that point. In fact some people might actually go out of their way to avoid you.
  12. I'm not sure what your experience is, but I have noticed that couples only like to talk to other couples. Our so called "friends" treat us like we are diseased and avoid us like the plague, especially once they get married and have kids. At that point, if you can't talk about couples and parenting stuff then you are a worthless to them. Ditto the thought. 😁 I mean you barely know this person, you met them last week and they are somehow already your "soulmate". Bizzare. No wonder so many marriages end in divorce. It takes years to learn the ins and outs of another person, not a week. I like that you call dating a "culturally ritualized" practice. It is somehow so ingrained into our society that if we don't date then we are somehow broken, or worse "hiding something". It used to be that people married for non-romantic reasons, but now nobody seems to do that anymore. Romance and sex are everything, and as has been noted, it is difficult in our society to have one without the other.
  13. I agree with you 100%. I am actually happy being alone to an extent, especially since that means that I don't have to partake in romantic relationships, but it is a lonely road. I get jealous of the close friendship that many couples have, and I wish I could find a deep permanent friendship like they have. The truth is that I have built many close friendships throughout my life, but invariably those friendships wither away once the other party gets into a serious romantic/sexual relationship with someone else. I am incapable of building a deep relationship that doesn't start as a friendship...so conventional dating is out of the question. As you say, dating really is a concept that I can't wrap my head around. Its like society has erected this barrier to keep those of us who don't follow normative romantic conventions out of their club.
  14. Thank you everyone for the welcome (and ice cream @Spirit of God)! I am definitely starting to dig into the vocabulary and as you say @Powder I can't seem to peg my aro-spec down to any of the specific labels. Maybe demi, but that doesn't necessarily seem right to me, I have built plenty of close friendships in my time and never felt or wanted them to evolve into anything romantic. Having now read about qp relationships I think they are something that I would be very open to! I would also be interested in developing a very deep "aromate" friendship with someone (which I take it is an advanced version of a qp relationship), but I think the chances of finding a deep platonic partnership like that is going to be pretty hard. 😅 As for sexual orientation, I assume I am heterosexual as I have always been sexually attracted to the opposite sex, but it is kind of hard to say. Basically I have been ostracized by others my entire life for not having romantic inclinations, and at many times I have been downright bullied, humiliated and shunned by my peers for being who I am, so I have always kind of been lost and adrift on these matters. This is the first time I have ever spoken about my feelings with anybody besides a couple of counselors, it actually feels really refreshing! I feel like I can finally breathe. If anyone has any other advice for me as a newly discovered aromatic, I am very open to listening!
  15. This is an interesting thread. Here is the thing... Many modern Christians especially in Western Countries have this notion that you need to be in love to be happy, and that you need to get married at a young age with your "soulmate" and start popping out babies. I see this at play especially in conservative Protestant and Catholic circles, and my own Christian church. If you don't follow this path, people will either think something is wrong with you or they will feel bad for you and tell you that you will find "true love" soon. The thing is, in Medieval Christian Europe and before that in the Roman Empire...Christians rarely married for love and most marriages were arranged. All these modern notions of true love, and soulmates that have infiltrated Christianity are actually unorthodox when it comes to Christianity. So in many ways, an aro or ace Christian is behaving more on par with historic Christian morals than their peers in this regard.
  16. Hello Arocalypse members, nice to meet ya! I am a university student/student teacher who has recently come to the conclusion that I am aromantic, I barely understand what type of aromantic (all of this world is still very foreign to me), but I know that I am somewhere on the spectrum. Real briefly, I have never been romantically attracted to anybody my entire life. I have had no desire to kiss, to hold hands, to go on dates, to show or have any kinds of PDA (or private displays of affection for that matter). I started to realize that there was something different about me about 4 or 5 years ago when I was entering into my early twenties and still had never had any kind of a romantic relationship. I went and sought counseling at my school's counseling office, and the psychologist thought that I might be an Ace...and gave me a brochure on it. It was my first time ever hearing of asexuality, but I knew that I wasn't an ace...I do have sexual attraction to others, just not any romantic attraction. In fact I would love to get married and have a family, but it would have to be a platonic marriage built on close friendship and understanding because I don't think I could handle a romantic one. Fast forward, a couple of months ago I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said "Aro Pride" and I looked it up out of curiosity. Instantly I knew I was an Aro, but it took time to process it. So now here I am! I am hoping to learn more from all of you, and hopefully it will help me to understand myself more as well. Cheers, JSA
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