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Ceri

Am I trying to fix what can't be fixed

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I'm 32, I've been in relationships but I can't remember, or say for sure, if I've felt love or romantic atttraction. I dislike the sloppiness and need for romantic validation that is expected when I enter into a sexual relationship. I have been needy, but I'm unsure why this was and it was a long time ago.

 

I cant form romantic bonds though I can commit to a monogamous sexual companionship. Predominantly because Its It's easier to orgasm with someone who  knows how to do it and they provide me with someone to do stuff with at a time when most women my age are married with children.

 

When I used to listen to my grandparents talk I never sensed romance from my grandfather, just building an expected life and respect for the opinions and advice of my nan. So I'm wondering if it's genetic and inborn. Or is it due to mental health conditions which cause blunted affect? particularly ptsd which would impact my ability to develop romantic attachments.

 

I'm unsure if I want to feel romance because that's what's normal and I feel lonely, or because of ptsd.  

 

I'd really really appreciate some opinions on this from people who knows abd is comfortable with their romabtic identity? 

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2 hours ago, Ceri said:

Or is it due to mental health conditions which cause blunted affect? particularly ptsd which would impact my ability to develop romantic attachments.

It's possible, though I can say for sure that this is not the case for everyone with PTSD. I have a good friend who has PTSD and she is very romantic and quite confused by my aromanticism.

 

2 hours ago, Ceri said:

When I used to listen to my grandparents talk I never sensed romance from my grandfather, just building an expected life and respect for the opinions and advice of my nan.

My understanding is that romance tends to be reasonably short-lived. For someone married as long as your grandparents have been it has probably evolved into something that looks closer to a platonic relationship.

 

2 hours ago, Ceri said:

I dislike the sloppiness and need for romantic validation that is expected when I enter into a sexual relationship. I have been needy, but I'm unsure why this was and it was a long time ago.

I can't directly relate but I've heard similar stories from other allosexual aromantics.

 

2 hours ago, Ceri said:

I'd really really appreciate some opinions on this from people who knows abd is comfortable with their romabtic identity? 

There's an important problem in mathematics known as the Null Hypothesis which is interesting to aromantics and asexuals both. Basically, the point is that it is very hard to prove absence of something and also that single instances of a thing happening aren't necessarily enough to disprove the hypothesis on it's own.

 

2 hours ago, Ceri said:

Am I trying to fix what can't be fixed

I find this statement interesting. What are you trying to fix? Being aromantic is complicated sometimes but it isn't something that needs 'fixing'.

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On 13/07/2017 at 10:25 PM, Ceri said:

I cant form romantic bonds though I can commit to a monogamous sexual companionship. Predominantly because Its It's easier to orgasm with someone who  knows how to do it and they provide me with someone to do stuff with at a time when most women my age are married with children.

 

I can empathise with this, especially the "someone to do stuff with" aspects. I think that's an important and underrated part of what romantic relationships can typically provide (friendships can also provide it; but they tend to get sidelined in favour of romantic-couple relationships). It can start to get lonely at our age (I'm 31) once friends get married and start having kids. You can rapidly lose your circle of people to do stuff with. Would your preference be to do stuff in a group of friends or as a couple? (are you only choosing the latter because the former isn't an option that's readily available anymore?) If you see romance as predominantly "annoying stuff that I have to put up with to get/maintain sexual companionship", or you are indifferent to the whole thing, then you could be aromantic

 

On 13/07/2017 at 10:25 PM, Ceri said:

I'm unsure if I want to feel romance because that's what's normal and I feel lonely, or because of ptsd. 

 

I'd probably suggest to focus on trying to 'self-listen' non-judgmentally to what you feel and not so much on trying to work out why you feel it. This fits in with what i said above: do you genuinely want romance for its own sake, or only for some of the typical 'fringe-benefits' it brings? Like providing a socially acceptable framework for long-term monogamous sexual companionship and having somebody to do stuff with who won't sideline you in favour of a romantic partner at some point in the future. This could be a bit like a non sex-replulsed asexual person (who is pretty much indifferent to sex) being in a sexual relationship because of other benefits that come along with having a partner (who happens to be sexual in this case).

 

 

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I also agree with what @Momo said:if it turns out, after some further self-examination, that you are aromantic, then that's something you can be at peace with and doesn't need to be fixed, IMO. My experience was that, after I found this site and was able to let go of that sense that I "needed" to sort myself out and get around to finding a "life partner" at some point, I felt an enormous sense of relief. Like a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

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First off, welcome to the forum! 

Are you lonely for a close partner or in general? Do you think you'd feel satisfied having close friendships instead, or is your preference leaning towards finding a partner of some kind? It's fine if you do want a partner, but it's not as necessary as many people would like you to believe - being single is the default, after all, and nobody's going to die from being unmarried. There are even romantic people out there who are happier being single!

Also, 'normal' isn't always what it's cracked up to be ;) 

 

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On 7/13/2017 at 2:25 PM, Ceri said:

When I used to listen to my grandparents talk I never sensed romance from my grandfather, just building an expected life and respect for the opinions and advice of my nan. So I'm wondering if it's genetic and inborn. Or is it due to mental health conditions which cause blunted affect? particularly ptsd which would impact my ability to develop romantic attachments.

 

I suspect epigenetics makes the difference, not a mental health or simple genetic mutation. DNA Methylation can have some pretty interesting side effects, and epigenetic factors have already been linked to sexual orientation. It would make sense for it to impact romantic orientation as well. 

 

If you aren't aware, epigenetics is the study of things attached to your DNA. For example, when you're done growing as a teenager, your genes that made you grow don't disappear. That region of the relevant chromosome gets a methyl group (CH3)  attached to it, preventing the gene from being expressed again. That means you stop growing even if you have the gene to keep doing so. It's a sort of layer of added chemical control over the top of the conventional DNA sequence. To my understanding, it isn't something you can easily target with chemical agents, but that could change. Any such drugs would probably be targeted mostly at physical disorders rather than orientations (e.g. activating DNA repair enzyme-coding sequences or deactivating a gene for a faulty checkpoint enzyme, etc.). Alternatively, do we really want someone to research a way to "fix" unusual orientations? That technology would be begging for someone to misuse it.

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On 15/07/2017 at 0:13 PM, NullVector said:

I can empathise with this, especially the "someone to do stuff with" aspects. I think that's an important and underrated part of what romantic relationships can typically provide (friendships can also provide it; but they tend to get sidelined in favour of romantic-couple relationships).

It can also be tricky since many alloromantics will refuse to "do stuff" with friends or only be prepared to do so until they can find a (proper) romantic partner :(
 

On 15/07/2017 at 0:13 PM, NullVector said:

It can start to get lonely at our age (I'm 31) once friends get married and start having kids. You can rapidly lose your circle of people to do stuff with. Would your preference be to do stuff in a group of friends or as a couple? (are you only choosing the latter because the former isn't an option that's readily available anymore?)

This an interesting question which often goes unasked, IMHO. My preference has always been group. Whilst living in a society where virtually everyone else appears only into the couple thing.

 

On 15/07/2017 at 0:13 PM, NullVector said:

If you see romance as predominantly "annoying stuff that I have to put up with to get/maintain sexual companionship", or you are indifferent to the whole thing, then you could be aromantic

With how much "putting up with" someone is prepared to do depending on their degree of romantic repulsion.

 

On 15/07/2017 at 4:19 PM, Untamed Heart said:

Are you lonely for a close partner or in general? Do you think you'd feel satisfied having close friendships instead, or is your preference leaning towards finding a partner of some kind?

In theory "partner" does not equate to "romantic partner". Indeed for some types of QPR the terms "partner" and "close friendship" could be interchangable, But in many situations talking about this is highly taboo.

 

On 15/07/2017 at 4:19 PM, Untamed Heart said:

There are even romantic people out there who are happier being single!

As well as those who are happier being in non-romantic, non-monogamous, Queer Platonic, etc relationships. Or or relationships which don't especially conform to hetero, mono, amantonormative  ideas.

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

In theory "partner" does not equate to "romantic partner". Indeed for some types of QPR the terms "partner" and "close friendship" could be interchangable, But in many situations talking about this is highly taboo.

Taboo to whom, exactly?

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