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About zəl

  • Birthday 08/24/1990

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  1. Someone suggested we should ask gray-aros to find out what "romo" attraction could be described and feels like. I'll try to give my perspective as a "dark-gray" demi-romantic. Please note that I am brainstorming here. First off, I agree that it might be useful to differentiate between different kinds of love, and to distinguish loving someone from falling and being _in_ love. The greeks had multiple words which can be translated as "love", so that word alone is pretty ambiguous. Then again, _romantic_ love is a bit more specific ofc. But it might be helpful to make clear in any "official" definition that aros are indeed capable of feeling non-romantic kinds of love, so as to not feed any stereotype of a lack of empathy or similar. I'd say I was _in_ love precisely once. It was in a context where I had _a lot_ of time to cultivate trust through exchanges online before ever even meeting up, which when it finally happened were some of the most intense experiences I have felt. Sadly I have not been able to replicate those feelings with anyone else so far. And I was in other relationships since, albeit complicated ones because my aro "tendencies" lead to a bit of an identity crisis that I'm still working out. So what does being _in_ love feel like? One quote on the subject that keeps amusing me is the following from the book The Ethical Slut: "Look at the lyrics of popular songs, or read some classical poetry: the phrases we choose to describe romantic love don’t really sound all that pleasant. Crazy in love, love hurts, obsession, heartbreak … these are all descriptions of mental or physical illness. The thing that gets called romantic love in this culture seems to be a heady cocktail of lust and adrenaline, sparked by uncertainty, insecurity, perhaps even anger or danger. The chills up the spine that we recognize as passion are, in fact, the same physical phenomenon as hair rising up on a cat's back and are caused by the fight-or-flight response. This kind of love can be thrilling and overwhelming and sometimes a hell of a lot of fun, but it is not the only 'real' kind of love, nor is it always a good basis for an ongoing relationship. Yet as George Bernard Shaw famously remarked, 'When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.'" But is falling and being in love the same as experiencing romantic attraction? I'm not sure. I guess more or less? Is having sex the same as experiencing sexual attraction? We know there are people who identify as asexual but still enjoy the sensations of partnered sexual stimulation (defined as cupiosexual, and altho I have seen some controversy about that subject on AVEN at least, it does seem to be accepted "officially" by large parts of the ace community). But it is difficult to define romantic attraction in terms of behaviour, just as it is difficult to do so with sexual orientation. Asexuals might have sex, like homosexhals might have heterosexual sex(?), or vice versa(?). Aros might still want to engage in any of the actions typically regarded as romantic: Spend time with a squish in a queerplatonic relationship and enjoy any kind of physical intimacy and sensation. Forms of attraction and a lack thereof can only be defined in terms of personal experience. Now, we might argue about the universality of human experience and the adequacy of human language in capturing it, but then again we don't want to waste all of our time on deconstructions. For me personally, there is a qualitative difference between loving a friend and being in love romantically. We might again argue about romance being a cultural construct and the universality of that, but arguing about an aromantic experience in the first place also implies romance as a valid category. I haven't read this whole thread yet, so I'm sure I will repeat what has been said already. Romantic attraction usually involves feelings of jealousy, but we have learned from poly communities that those cannot be a prerequisite and have more to do with individual insecurities. Most people experience romantic attraction moreso during the beginning and first phases of a relationship. The usual trope is that people can fall in love rather quickly; whether "love at first sight" is mere infatuation and in how far that is different from being in love I cannot tell, but there are certainly people who fall in love quite fast and relatively often. But then again, for gray-/demiromantics that can be very different as well. Thinking about aro relationships now, I see some parallels to solo poly descriptions of desire. Perhaps defining factors might be found around the idea of the "relationship escalator", the desire to cultivate an increasingly intimate bond with the object (focus, receiver) of romantic attraction. Of course most solo polys aren't aromantic(?), but I feel like a definition of romantic feelings boils down to something like that. Polyamorous people in general do spread their focus of romantic desire on multiple people, but from reading and listening to many of their stories, and even just because of limits in time and space, their romantic attraction at any given moment is usually concerned with one partner at a time and periods of meeting and getting to know new partners are described as special and especially romantic ("new relationship energy"). That's all I got for right now. ?
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