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  1. I've been aro for 4 decades. That's a while. In this time, I didn't even know the condition existed until a few weeks ago. Now though, in retrospect, I am seeing that romance has been missing from my set of conceivable human experiences since I was a toddler. For me, being aromantic means that I am still open to heterosexual relationships (and seek them out) but I recoil from the romance part of them. Romance, to me, is the distorting of these relationships and the people in them beyond the "logical". Its no longer - that girl is cute, its - she is everything, she is better than all the rest, I want to die with her in my arms (or is it the other ay around... I don't want either). Remarkably, that lack of romantic sentiment has applied to things and situations as well as people throughout my life. Here's how: Groups Being a certain religion, being from a certain race, language group etc etc. has never really made me feel as special as it clearly does to others. To me, I am happy to be from where I'm from - but its a mixed bag, we have a lot of room for improvement in some areas so I don't really wax lyrical or get on my high horse about it. I get upset about the way "my people" are treated by some people and institutions, of course. But I'm not convinced of any special properties or dignity or whatever that makes me obligated to be proud of my skin color or race or something like that. To me that's hokey and ridiculous. Concepts I appreciate people's inventions or clever business ideas - but not beyond the basics of their usefulness or their application to real people in the real world. Many "entrepreneurs" are insulted by my meh response to their mad passionate appeals for agreement that their idea is the dogs bullocks. See how I put the word entrepreneur in quotes. Stuff like that really upsets them. Daddy-hood As a parent, I love my kids like a bear loves its cubs. Man, that's my offspring winning that medal or talking for the first time. Emotionally that is amazing and I feel all the passion needed to play the daddy role. I only fall short in one area. The part where people say " its the most amazing experience in the world being a dad". Is it really? A bit preachy though right? What about all the b------t parents have to deal with? What about the totally negative impact it has on the relationship that made being a parent possible in the first place. To me, romanticizing parenting (fathering or whatever) beyond what it actually is doesn't reflect reality and once again is hokey and seems disingenuous. Patriotism As an aro (who may or may not be in the military ;-)), I'd still be 100% willing to deal with the worse stuff should it come to having to defend my country - and remain steadfast in the face of enemy interrogation. Yet, no heartstrings are being pulled when I hear the "proud to be an American" song. I'm actually proud to be an American - but that's because I actually think we've done some cool stuff and I like having some of that rub off like its something I'm part of. But I'm also ashamed of some of the stuff we've done and know that stuff rubs off on me too. I think we have stuff to learn from others. We're flawed humans like everyone else. Fighting is disgraceful and no amount of romanticism makes stuff like landmines, nuclear bombs and flamethrowers or the people who happen to use them somehow more honorable than those who don't. As for the symbols: the flag could be white, green and black (see what I did there?), we could wear tutus into battle and call ourselves the clown force and I would probably not feel much different about it than I do now. Pretty much not swayed by the aesthetics when life and death is at stake. (Okay maybe I'd write a polite letter about the tutus...) Of course, I can still feel attachments, love, be dedicated, make and keep promises, enjoy a day out with someone special, have special people in my life and feel allegiances to teams and groups. I just don't have a romanticized soft-filter view or expectations of those things. At all. To sum it up, being an aro means I "keep it real". Both with relationships between people and with the way I see my nationality, race, roles, religious background and the other labels that define me to others. Is this the same for other aros out there? Do romantic descriptions of nationality, soldiery, religious piety, family relationships, dedication to job duty etc irk you like they do me? Would love to hear what all this means to you.
  2. Hey Cassopeia. I feel your pain here. Its made more complex by the fact that the majority of our aro community is also ace. So the answer for them is a simple - "just be unapproachable". But there is a certain issue we have to deal with that is totally different for them: we actually want to find sexual partners. We just don't want to gaze into their eyes, demote all our other friends, share bank accounts and live happily ever after. Reconciling those two are hard. But I ran into an aro girl the other day and she nailed the right expression that expressed to me that she was aro - but sexual. She basically, wanted to say that she was not stuck on the Brazilian coffee blend at the office and was cool with whatever new blend they brought in. But she said something with a knowing glint in her eye: "typical me ... I have a little problem with commitment." This makes her a nightmare for a sexual partner who is competing for 100% of her romantic attention (ergo: we have no romantic attention so there is nothing really to be competing for!). So, it means she's perfect as a friend for people like us. Needless to say, she and I are going to get to know each other a little more. With no intention whatsoever of ever having to go shopping for a pet cat together. ;-)
  3. Talking to my 5 year-old and realizing that she knows her favorite cartoon characters are voiced-over by actors.
  4. Welcome comedyofaros! ... in a big way. I'm new to all this too. It makes so much sense now. I also didn't know what was so wrong with me all this time either. The "still want sex though" part was particularly hard for my girlfriends/ex-wife/me/friends to reconcile. Been riddled with guilt for wanting aromantic sex all this time. Guilted into pretending to spend money or dress up or talk like an interlude in an R&B song to fake-woo a girl when in all honesty IDGAF - but in the nicest way possible. But yet, I really liked her as a person and would have just liked to find common interests, have intimate sexual contact if and when it happens and leave the overly-intense "I love you all of a sudden let's get real possessive, fire all our single friends, open a joint-bank account and live happily ever forever" part. Was always mildly flattered but mostly scared witless that she felt that way about me though. I image that same fear is felt by combat pilots when they realize an enemy fighter has locked on to them. Get me out of here please Lord! I don't want to die! As a hetero guy it was particularly bewildering. I'd meet a gay/bi man who was interested, and I'd politely turn him down without wanting either his romance or his sex. Same week, I'd be with a really cool girl I connect with and respect greatly, at home alone, semi-naked, she's physically the girl of my dreams and a great sexual partner. But then she starts with the romance (or I feel I need to over-fake the romance) and inside I feel THE EXACT SAME at that moment as I do when I reject a gay guy's advances. I didn't understand: I do not want to have gay sex and I do not want to get romantic with the hottest girl in the world either even though I really like her as a sexual partner. Am I just a cold sex-fiend or something? She feels I just used her. How confusing, unfair and frustrating for all. Anyway, thank you behavioral experts for noticing this form of romantic expression! comedyofaros, again, welcome to the community.
  5. So happy to be part of the community. I'm just recently in that phase where I discovered that Aromanticism exists - and that I have been it for my 40+ years of life. Wow ... I wish I had known this years ago! So many things make sense now. So, so, so so so many things. Can't help but think about how sorry I am to all the girls I've upset over the years. So many years lost trying to figure out what's wrong with me. Man. Anyway, I'm looking forward to discovering more about the community and my fellow aros here. One more time: this is really great and I'm pretty happy about it
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