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Everything posted by Autumn

  1. Hi! While I can't flat out tell you if you're aroace or not, I will say that there isn't some magic age you have to reach to be 'valid' in identifying as aro or ace. 9th grade is not at all 'young' to be labeling your attraction or lack there of - many teens are already dating in 7th and 8th grade, and getting strong crushes in 4th/5th/6th grade. You also don't have to 'try' dating or having sex to decide you don't want it for yourself. So if you find the term aroace useful in describing your current experiences with attraction and want to use it, then 'you're aroace'. And if you eventually stop finding the label useful, you can discard it. I'm aroace and in my early 20s, and I first started thinking about the possibility in early high school as well. It's quite possible the lack of attraction and repulsion will simply stay. And if it doesn't, that won't mean you were immature or 'wrong' now, just that the way you experience things and the things you want for yourself changed over time, which is normal and fine too. So just go with what feels comfortable in the moment, there's always time to reconsider things as you get more data later. I personally found that more useful than dwelling on what orientation term might maybe someday fit me better in theory (which, I definitely did at first when questioning if I was aro).
  2. In both writing and roleplay, a very large percentage of my characters are aromantic or a-spec in general. So far I've only roleplayed characters who are a-spec (a pan a-spec, two non-sam aros, an aroace, a non-sam ace, and a bi angled aroace), and my list of aro protagonists in my other writing works combined is very long. I never roleplay romance since I'm romance repulsed and generally a lot more sensitive to things directed me/my character in rp than in traditional writing; I have one antagonistic npc for a character who has romantic feelings for my player character (the...romance isn't the cause of the antagonism, it just kind of Happened in my head), but that's as far as I go. I definitely wouldn't want someone else roleplaying attraction at me. In traditional writing, I still have very little romance - it's not something that interests me very much and feels unnatural to write most of the time, but there are a small handful of couples I intend to write because it felt right enough for those characters.
  3. Oh, I was definitely in a lot of ways 'obviously aro' as a child, despite having no concept aromanticism and entirely expecting crushes would simply Arrive one day. I always talked about how I didn't have any crushes on anyone, didn't really get romance in media, couldn't really understand why everyone was so obsessed with crushes and dating. And that kind of just stayed the same with slight variation until I finally started id-ing as ace and then aro in high school. I think exactly no one in my immediate family was surprised when I told them, so much so I barely even remember my very first coming out clearly. xD (Though I do remember a lot of other conversations we've had around it)
  4. Hey, welcome to the forum! I hope you have a good time here.
  5. I'm aroace but not oriented, I've never personally felt it was a divisive term? The only issue around it I was aware of was it specifically describing aroaces who experience no romantic or sexual attraction at all, which is how we got 'angled aroace' for aroaces who do. I don't think the term indicates other aroaces don't experience tertiary attraction, just that it's not significant enough or consistent enough to label as being bi or gay or what have you specifically. Aroaces can want intimate relationships, and regardless my understanding of the term describes a tertiary attraction (alterous, aesthetic, etc.) that the person feels important enough to label and include in their identity. (Obviously anyone who is actually oriented aroace can correct me on anything I've gotten wrong, they know their experiences best)
  6. I'm not an expert, but I feel like I've seen it used in a few ways? More casually as going on date-like hangouts with your regular friends, or to mean actual dates with a platonic partner. I'm not sure if it refers to qpr dating as well, due to the confusing (to me) distinction between platonic and queerplatonic, but definitely the previous uses. I don't think I've seen the phrase used to ever imply a sexual component though, which friends with benefits specifically does (since the phrase usually means sex with someone you aren't dating or having a date-like relationship with as far as I know).
  7. I have no idea if he likes you back romantically or not - those actions could be anything depending on his idea of what close friendships and romances look like - but he does clearly like spending time with you, so I don't think an offer to do the club together would be bad by any means. The only thing I'd recommend considering is if he agrees but turns out to not have romantic feelings, would you still be able to have a good time with him during those activities? If so then it's definitely a good idea, if not I might recommend caution just to avoid having committed activities to sort out if you find yourself needing space later on. (Which might not be an issue if he does return your feelings, but since that's a question mark, I figure it's good to give some thought?) Regardless, good luck!
  8. I've never heard of it before now, the usage in that example makes it sound like it would refer to an aro who doesn't wholly identify as loveless but doesn't totally feel comfortable with love as it's usually discussed either. But that's purely a guess based on 1 example without context, if anyone knows where it originates from/what it means I'd love to know.
  9. It's definitely possible! Even if perhaps the term gray-aroace isn't used often, there's no reason you can't use it if you feel it describes your experiences.
  10. I think it comes down to which label you feel most comfortable with; on paper your experiences sound like they could fall under a number of labels. There's no reason you can't be a pansexual who just doesn't feel a strong need or desire for sex despite having the attractions for it. Pan grey-ace also sounds similar to what you describe, since the 'grey' part is broad enough to cover any quality that makes identifying fully as allo feel wrong. Sex-positive asexual could apply to the grey part as well, though I often see it used to describe people who are favorable towards sex despite not having the attraction; but there's no reason you couldn't use it if it felt the most natural to you. All in all though, if pansexual still feels the most 'right' or such, then I don't think what you've described is enough to make it flat-out inaccurate. Just a different experience with sexuality than what people think of as the 'norm'.
  11. People debate and debate what does or doesn't constitute love all the time, so I think what matters more is whether or not you feel it's accurate or useful to describe the feelings as love or not. What type of relationship it is defined as also pretty much comes down to the personal perception of the people involved. But yes, you can feel romantic attraction separate from sexual attraction! So that's certainly one possibility. It could be platonic or alterous attraction too, or it could be more nebulous than any of the common descriptions of attraction. I think as long as you and your friend are on the same page about boundaries and what you want from the relationship, than the specifics don't really need to matter much unless having certain titles/labels is important to you both.
  12. Hi there! Welcome to the forums, we're glad to have you. Figuring out your identity is often complicated, regardless of where you end up though I hope you enjoy your time on this site with everyone!
  13. Haven't been playing actively super recently since I've been binge reading instead, but there's definitely a list of games I'm in the midst of along with a list of Old Faves. Currently I'm in the middle of Unavowed, the port of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Crypt of the Necrodancer, and the first Diablo among others. Oh and Breath of the Wild too, and occasionally Animal Crossing (I keep forgetting to log on though). And I am playing a bit of Lord of the Rings Online! Mainly grew up with Gamecube and PC games with a mix of N64, Sega Genesis, PS2, and Original X-Box games (Legend of Zelda, Sonic, Mario, Metroid Prime, Castlevania, an assortment of other games), and often replay those. Have only slightly updated since then lol. (I...completely missed the entire wii/wii u/ps3 era xD)
  14. Definitely feel free to take your time with choosing a label, but also the idea of it being 'too soon to say' will never actually go away with some people - easier to claim a full grown adult is a 'late bloomer' than accept aromanticism is just A Thing. (People so often start getting 'real' crushes in 4th-6th grade, saying teens can't or shouldn't use whatever label fits them at the moment is silly). But again, you don't have to rush into anything if it makes you unhappy. Whatever you go with, I wish you luck!
  15. You didn't ask an offensive question! Sometimes activity is just a bit slow here. I'm not grey-aro myself, so I'm not an authority on what would or wouldn't offend that community, but generally I'd say labels don't have to be set in stone at any point. If using one makes you feel the most comfortable, than it's doing its job - even if you can't "prove" it. And it's completely okay to switch labels later! I don't think it's any one person's responsibility to uphold or reject certain perceptions of a label or usage of it, you just gotta do what works for your personal experiences and self-perception.
  16. I definitely can relate to being frustrated with not being able to understand something in general. But I think it comes down to different types of understanding. There's intellectually understanding something, abstract understanding, and the kind of understanding that can only come from experience. For romance, I've settled for abstract and intellectual understanding. I know it's an attraction, I know common beliefs/philosophies about it, I know how people often behave or expect to behave in it, I know it means a lot to many people. And sometimes I can, in a roundabout way, connect to elements of it, but mostly not. So I go by observation and anecdotes to understand it as best I can given my experiences or lack thereof. I don't know if that's helpful or applicable to your situation, but I do think it's good to try and make peace with certain gaps of knowledge as wildly irritating and unsatisfying as that can be (I am...very pro seeking knowledge in general lol, but for certain things you gotta cut your losses)
  17. I think what people generally mean is feeling lonely/isolated your whole life and not having anyone to lean on/reach out to, especially since meeting new people/making deep connections is assumed to be harder in old age. And the role of 'someone who stays by your side and you trust/feel close to' is usually assumed to go to a partner. I don't know how much I've personally thought about this for myself, mostly I'm content with my friends and family? Edit: The other thing I just thought of, for a lot of people it ends up or could end up that their friends/family don't live nearby enough to be super involved, because career/life choices lead them different places and it isn't assumed that you'll make a mutual effort to be in the same city or neighborhood as them (at least certainly not friends, possibly family but I know it's not weird for them to be separated by distance either)
  18. Ohh yes, I would certainly say my being aroace effects how I rp. when writing for novel projects, or other non-rp fiction, I can write allo characters and sometimes even minor romance, but I only really feel comfortable role-playing aro characters, and when I DM romance isn't part of the plot. I don't really like other characters flirting with me too much. I played 1 game with strangers for a while that didn't get romantic at all but had some innuendo that made me mildly uncomfortable in one or two very short instances, but it wasn't much of a problem. Otherwise, I've played with my friend group who all know I'm aro and care about respecting everyone's boundaries and stuff, so it's been only good times with them. I'm not currently in an active d&d game right now though. I'm playing Masks instead, which is for teen superheroes, and having a lot of fun with it.
  19. No yeah, ending things is definitely easier said than done, but your feelings of being ignored are valid and if you have to keep hoping things get better, then there are some real problems there to begin with. I just recommend as a course of action to start thinking about. Talking to her straightforwardly about your frustrations would generally be the first step I recommend though. But if she still ignores you... then there may not be any avoiding her thinking you're drifting apart or ending things for 'no reason' if she just doesn't think any complaint or emotional hurt matters. But that may not be the case! I don't personally know her or anything, that's just what I would assume based on the available info. But you deserve a satisfying friendship where people listen to you. I hope whatever approach you take though, things are able to work out for ya!
  20. You're definitely not just being dramatic, your friend is being an outright jerk, just the passive-aggressive variety. Her text response was definitely dismissive, if you don't know how to respond to something so big you take some time to think it over and sort your thoughts before responding properly (if you think it might be a bit it's also better to actually tell the person you're taking some time to think it over so as to not leave them hanging). And whining about someone being uncomfortable with certain acts of affection as if they're a victim is extremely self-centered at best and manipulative at worst. She isn't trying to be understanding at all, she just doesn't want to acknowledge anything is different and keep having things go her way/ stay the same. (Ignoring you until you drop the subject whenever you have a complaint with her behavior is another red flag) Yes, the whole aro thing can be hard for allos to Understand, but that's not a free pass for selfish or insensitive behavior. I'd either have a serious talk with her and/or start distancing yourself if possible, you deserve better than that.
  21. I'm actually not as bothered by ambiguous representation as a lot of other people seem to be. I absolutely do think it can be done poorly, awkwardly, or for less than fantastic reasons; but I also think ambiguous writing can be powerful and, to me at least, a lot more appealing sometimes than a boxed in story. (Unpopular opinion, but I personally had no issue with how Good Omens wrote the main relationship; it was everything I wanted to see on screen and I don't see how having some characters/relationships be open to interpretation/head canon is so terrible, it allows viewers to more easily project/relate to something) We definitely need more stories - mainstream ones especially - where orientations/identities are spelled out and explored, and the writers of the Big Companies like Disney certainly are avoiding any overt rep because they're Like That. But just as a viewing experience I didn't have any issue with how Elsa was written either - the second film was about her learning about the origin of her powers, her relationships (outside of familial ones) weren't really the focus. (A third film, if made, I do think would have to shed more light on that though, not that I trust Disney to do so particularly well) So while I fully understand why some people might be bothered by ambiguous rep, and certainly encourage more explicit rep, I also just... like ambiguous relationships, and stories getting to focus on other things. I also don't equate ambiguous rep with queerbaiting, since that pretty specifically requires the marketers/writers to promise explicit rep for sales and then not come through. I just take it case by case, some ambiguous rep is sloppy and avoidant, other times it's well handled and I like it plenty. (Ambiguous rep in shows that already deal with Relationship Drama as a focus I raise my brow at a lot more than in stories where that's not really included to begin with)
  22. Without knowing your friend a lot better, it's impossible to say with any certainty. Mixed signals generally require intent, otherwise it's really more of a case of miscommunication (which, can still hurt just as much, but comes from a different source). I can say though it's definitely not uncommon for aro folks to enjoy romantic coded actions, or see certain intimate actions as not being inherently romantic, so it's very much possible your friend thinks of those actions as what she wants out of a close friendship, and feels comfortable with it since you know/accept her aro identity. If you feel like you're being lead on/receiving mixed signals though, I think it's entirely fair to bring it up with your friend. Ask maybe about how she sees the actions, what she wants from the relationship, etc. (But like, without being accusatory/making it an interrogation, since the mixed signals could still be accidental). That would be my take on it anyways, hope you're able to work things out!
  23. I guess my main question would be: do you actually want a partner, more than could you get one. If so, why? If you only want a partner for financial or other pragmatic reasons, then you should look for someone who also wants the pragmatic elements of a partnership if you already know you'd gain nothing from the social elements. Arranged partnerships for practicality are more frowned upon now then they used to be, but I don't see any reason why you'd be unable to find one. As long as the person you partner with is looking for the same thing and you're upfront from the beginning, I'd don't think you'd be being cruel. Yes, most people do want partnerships for social reasons first and foremost, but there's always exceptions. I don't know if this helps at all, I'm a little unclear on the intent behind the questions, but hopefully you can find what you're looking for!
  24. Like others have said, you could definitely include side characters or referenced characters in different kinds of relationships, even if it's just like...the MC's friend asking if what she wants is like other people they've met have. Even if there's no space for a fully fleshed out character that's alloace or alloaro, you can have other references to those relationships existing. Maybe in flashbacks to other people some of the main characters met, or the like? Although if it's exclusively a story about 1 character's coming of age, I don't think you need to worry too much about showcasing every possible orientation? Unless the compare/contrast element is a strong part of the coming of age I guess (but then, maybe I'm not one to say, since I write 90% of my casts to be openly aro-spec and then never try to explain anything...)
  25. Correct me if I'm wrong - this is meant to be phrased more as a real question - but with identities such as demiboy/girl and boy/girlflux existing, doesn't that mean agender sort of is - or can be - a spectrum? Since not everyone who id's as such does to the same extent or the same way? Obviously it is part of nonbinary, and if no one who at all id's with agender would consider it a spectrum then it's not, but I've been under the impression it could be? I like the orange and blue one too - it not being unidentifiable quickly as connected to the other communities never bothered me, since again it can be its own separate thing and so I don't think it really needs to take from the other ones. But I'm not really invested in the flag debates like some people, the other ones I've seen (such as @Magni's!) I think look lovely as well and are great choices. (Although I never did like the literal smooshing of the aro ace flags, any other original designs are fine by me though). The aro flag is consistent enough to offer community for me personally, so a singular Official aroace flag isn't as critical for me.
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