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Romantic Attraction

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52 minutes ago, NullVector said:

I think with strongly 'romantic' types, there is a tendency to

  1. want all those 'intimacies' to be present in a single person (or perhaps two or three people, in the case of poly-amorous allo-romantics)
  2. want all the intimacies present in that person(s) to also be at a greater level of intensity that for there friends (with whom not all the intimacies would be there at once and those that were there would be expected to be more 'dilute')

The former seems to explain what I've previously described as "bundling" when it comes to romantic relationships.
Including less obvious 'intimacies' such as co-habitation, entangling personal finances, identity merger.

The latter seems a good explanation for hierarchy. Be it between partner(s) and friends or primary/secondary/tertiary 'partners'.
 

52 minutes ago, NullVector said:

Whereas a strongly aromantic person wouldn't particularly care how the numbers and intensities  of different 'intimacies' were distributed amongst their friends and/or sexual partners. For example, they might have strong sexual intimacy with one person but weak "in the moment" intimacy (outside of the sex act) and weak intellectual intimacy. With another person they might have far stronger intellectual and "In the moment" intimacy, but no sexual intimacy whatsoever. And so on. And the aromatic person would be totally fine with this, whereas the strongly  romantic person might see it as a problematic form of 'emotional cheating' (as they would tend to want all the intimacies to be present together and also strongest with their romantic partners).

This sounds like a good description of 'relationship anarchy'.
There definitely are alloromantic relationship anarchists. Though possibly not including the 'strongly romantic'.

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On 4/15/2016 at 8:16 AM, omitef said:

Okay, so speaking as someone who's lithromantic, and had a crush turn into a squish, here's my opinion on defining romantic attraction.

 

The difference between platonic and romantic attraction, for me, is exclusivity. When I feel platonic attraction towards someone, I want to be a significant part of their world, but not the center of their universe. I want to get close to them and make them happy, but I don't feel the desire to always be close to them, or be a major source of their happiness. When I feel romantic attraction towards someone, I want to be their everything. I want to be the one who is there for them, 100% of the time, providing everything and anything they want or need--except when I actually end up doing it, or get asked to do it, I feel really gross. 

 

So what all polyamorous are aromantic? I don't quite agree, alhough it fits my own experience. As a friend pointed out to me lately though, we probably (not we aro, we everyone) confuse romanticism with passion. I don't feel passion anymore (I'll get back to that) but I do feel what I can only call love for many people. I don't make a difference between friendship and love (at least there's not a qualitative difference) but rather different levels of comitment, frequency in interaction and so on. Some of those friends/loves/lovers I have sex with and then I don't, depending on what we both want at the time.

 

When I say I don't feel passion anymore, I think I used to (and no, I'm not entirely certain). I used to have the butterflies, to want to be the center of the others world, to spend time together and so on. As I see it, it all came from a deep insecurity which doesn't really bother me anymore. I discovered polyamory and things started making sense (why should I give the exclusivity of my capacity for attention and thoughtful relationship to just one person who is anyway incapable of giving me everything I need?) but I still felt passion, mostly during what is called "NRE". Then I healed most of my childhood issues and there's no passion anymore. I feel like Ive grown up and even though it looks like I lost something (something that looks like the ability to marvel and get engrossed in a person the way kids marvel at the world) it also really feels good. I'm more in control.

 

So, I'm not sure if I'm right but since noone seems to agree what romanticism (and as a consequence aromanticism) is, I would I fit the description. Which gets me to my point : to me aromanticism is the lack of passion, not the lack of love.

 

Feel free to disagree :)

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I have no idea what romantic attraction is but from what I heard from friends I know I've never experienced it and I know I could never be in a romantic relationship for several reasons :

The feelings people say they experience when they see their crush, the wish to be with them all the time, thinking about them a lot etc are :

 

1) Very smothering. I don't want to be with someone and feel forced to spend time with them.

 

2) temporary and usually turn into something else. A lot of couples don't even like each other. They're just used to the other's presence, whish is why I feel much safer in my platonic relationships. I like and love my friends, otherwise I wouldn't hang out with them anymore but romantic relationships don't work like that for some reason.

 

3) There are too many expectations. It's like once you put the label "romantic", you have to do a bunch of things otherwise you're not normal. No thanks.

 

4) I just don't get it. Why would people want to sing love songs to other people ? Why is sharing everything so important ? Why do they talk about "finally being complete" ?

 

That being said, I still want to have intimate relationships but not in a possessive way and I think that's one of the differences between us, aros and alloromantic people.

Once they're in a relationship their partner becomes all that matter and they want to be all that matter to their partner. 

Even in polyamorous relationships, they're usually together in this "bubble".

 

I don't know, maybe I'm totally wrong and maybe I'll change my mind in a few months but that's how I feel now haha

 

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1 hour ago, Silyun said:

Why do they talk about "finally being complete" ? 

Because they are not on their own. I used to be the same. I'm much better thank you and I don't need another person to tell me I exist or define my worth. So yeah, that's what the difference is to me. Romantic people are crippled :D

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3 hours ago, Wildfires said:

Because they are not on their own. I used to be the same. I'm much better thank you and I don't need another person to tell me I exist or define my worth. So yeah, that's what the difference is to me. Romantic people are crippled :D

 

But unfortunately that leads to believe that everyone needs a romantic relationship :/

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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.

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7 hours ago, Silyun said:

Why do they talk about "finally being complete" ?

Something to do with, the cringe worthy, "other half" expression...
 

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2 hours ago, JetSettingAro said:

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.

 

Yeah it's tough :/ I've always wanted to adopt a kid someday but I'd love to raise it with someone and as you said, it's difficult to do when you're not in a romantic relationship.

 

3 minutes ago, Mark said:

Something to do with, the cringe worthy, "other half" expression...
 

 

Ughhh, I hate this. I think an ideal relationship would be like the concept of fusion in Steven Universe. The fusion is a separate entity made by 2 complete persons but they can still stay appart if they want to. I don't know if it's clear or not ><"

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The worst thing is wanting a romantic relationship, but never being able to feel the romantic attraction.

Like, it looks like something I would want so why don't I ever feel like thaaat

 

My brain needs to make up its mind.

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I’ve heard plenty of times that romance is what you think it is. So if you feel that there is no difference between a platonic relationship and a romantic relationship, then you can say romance means closeness and intimacy. It’s what you personally define it as

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As someone who has experienced romantic feelings once in my life....

 

It is more about what your body does. Like when you kiss the person your heart beats fast and you feel all happy. You get intrusive thoughts about them. You feel happy and relaxed in their presence. When they tell you that they love you, you blush. Just looking at them elevates your heart rate.

 

I've talked to allo people and they also describe euphoria involved with the person which I don't seem to get and something about butterflies in their stomach whatever that means. They also describe finding it difficult to say things around them

 

It is less about wanting to do romantic stuff as I am still put off by most romantic stuff. It is very much a physical reaction and while the happiness from it can be pleasant the others can be annoying.

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On 8/26/2018 at 7:25 PM, AroAce said:

The worst thing is wanting a romantic relationship, but never being able to feel the romantic attraction.

Like, it looks like something I would want so why don't I ever feel like thaaat

 

My brain needs to make up its mind.

I feel this so much! relationships do seem kinda fun, if not a little anxiety-inducing, but i’ve never actually had a crush or felt romantic attraction to anyone

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On 4/7/2016 at 5:07 AM, DeMorgan said:

This may end up being bloody, but it has to be done at some point. We, as a forum dedicated to aromanticism, need to settle on a definition of romantic attraction. Soon we'll be designing pages for the main site; such a definition will undoubtedly be needed. The concept is intuitive enough, but defining it concisely in a way that the majority of the aromantic community can agree on has proven an unreasonably difficult task in the past, and has led to the existence of many similar but nonetheless contradictory definitions existing. I'd venture to speculate that this stems from the difference in perspective between asexual and allosexual aromantics, but I won't go any further without evidence.

 

We should avoid circular definitions such as those that define romanticism in terms of "love", "infatuation", or any other terms that are generally themselves defined in terms of romantic attraction. Now one can see why this description's formation is such a behemoth task.

 

The best definition I've seen so far comes from AVENwiki, which defines romantic attraction as "an emotional response that most people often feel that results in a desire for a romantic relationship with the person that the attraction is felt towards". I think that the use of "romantic relationship" is fully justified in its usage for the sake of brevity, but I would consider editing parts of the sentence so as to obtain the following:
 

  • Romantic attraction is an emotional response that results in a desire for a romantic relationship with others.

 

Given this, we can define aromantics similarly to the AVEN definition of asexuals:

 

  • An aromantic person is a person who does not experience romantic attraction.

 

This is wonderful and all, but it misses an important point: just what is a "romantic relationship" and how does it differ from a platonic one? I've never seen a satisfying definition, only people listing the traits that such a relationship has. Any ideas?

Tbh I pay attention that romantic attraction have some kind of a pattern. So with that pattern I create a definition to romantic attraction:

romantic attraction- "an need to give to someone else love and affection in a way that count as "traditional". I don't really sure if it 100% accurate, but I hope that's help!

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:38 PM, NullVector said:

I think with strongly 'romantic' types, there is a tendency to

  1. want all those 'intimacies' to be present in a single person (or perhaps two or three people, in the case of poly-amorous allo-romantics)
  2. want all the intimacies present in that person(s) (a.k.a. romantic partner(s)) to also be at a greater level of intensity than they are for their friends (with whom not all the intimacies would be there at once - and those that were there at all would be expected to be more 'dilute')

I've encountered alloromantics who use terms like "complete package" to describe the kind of relationships they seek. Related appears to be the idea that such relationships should have a specific character, form and 'escalation'.

 

On 6/6/2018 at 9:38 PM, NullVector said:

Whereas a strongly aromantic person wouldn't particularly care how the numbers and intensities  of different 'intimacies' were distributed amongst their friends and/or sexual partners. For example, they might have strong sexual intimacy with one person but weak "in the moment" intimacy (outside of the sex act) and weak intellectual intimacy. With another person, they might have far stronger intellectual and "in the moment" intimacy, but no sexual intimacy whatsoever. And so on.

I've always found the notion of "soul mates", "the one", etc. to be utterly bizarre. Even in forms which arn't romantic, such as many QPR definitions.
Whereas the notion of different connections with different people.

 

On 6/6/2018 at 9:38 PM, NullVector said:

And so on. And the aromatic person would be totally fine with this, whereas the strongly  romantic person might see it as a problematic form of 'emotional cheating' (as they would tend to want all the intimacies to be both present together and strongest with their romantic partner(s)).

Issues surrounding emotional (and activity) monogamy have been showing up on polyamoury forums for a long time. Even before terms such as 'emotional monogamy' were coined.

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7 hours ago, Mark said:

Issues surrounding emotional (and activity) monogamy have been showing up on polyamoury forums for a long time. Even before terms such as 'emotional monogamy' were coined.

That's interesting. Do you have any links to example posts where this topic gets discussed?

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The thread on the word “a-spectrum” eventually devolved into fighting the border war set between the definitions of aromantic and alloromantic, but at least I got to ramble about what people mean when they say “romantic attraction.” Thought it might be nice to put it here.

 

Quote

I feel like the term [romantic attraction] usually(?) refers to a whole host of emotions/desires that apparently most people [read: alloromantic people] experience as a conglomerate: (1) limerence (i.e. being obsessed with someone, thinking about them all day), (2) emotions such as “having butterflies in the stomach”/physical responses to the other person, (3) desire for emotional closeness, (4) desire to do conventionally romantic activities (e.g. going on dates, calling each other pet names), (5) desire to be sensual (e.g. kissing, hand-holding), (6) having an aspiration for a long-term relationship, (7) desire for reciprocation, (8) all these emotions and desires are perceived as involuntary/you aren’t able to stop of your own free will, (9) these emotions and desires are directed at a specific person.

 

May have missed some other aspects that most people think of when talking about romantic attraction. YMMV. My philosophy attempts to be descriptive, not prescriptive. In the end I’ll say something is romantic if the person experiencing it says it is.

 

EDIT: “conglomerate” is not the right word since it means “different things that are grouped together but remain distinct.” I meant “most people experience [these emotions/desires] as one single entity termed romantic attraction,” not as distinct emotions simply grouped together

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Posted (edited)

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Edited by TotalMind
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On 4/6/2016 at 7:07 PM, DeMorgan said:

Romantic attraction is an emotional response that results in a desire for a romantic relationship with others.

Hey I'm super new to this party but honestly-- I've toiled and hemmed and hawwed over what romantic attraction is supposed to be, since literally no one can give me a solid definition (as opposed to sexual attraction, which is pretty easily described and physically experienced) but, like, honestly? This is a pretty solid definition. I've felt a lot of things for people, and they've been really confusing feelings because they fit the standards for romantic attraction. I like people a lot, I tend to worship people if I think they're cool, I get nervous around people I like, I find people attractive and get giggly when I do, I give people I like gifts, I go out of my way to spend time with them or help them out, and I spend time alone thinking about them if I like them or think they're attractive--

And none of those feelings or impulses are the result or or result in a desire for a romantic relationship with someone. That's the bottom line, and that's helped me out a lot when trying to figure out my identity. 

I'm sorry, I know this is more of a personal comment than a constructive one in terms of pinning down a definition like the rest of yall, but I just wanted to chip in my two cents. 

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