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Romantic Attraction


DeMorgan

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I dunno if it is Aro or what not but I wanted to share some thoughts.

A lot of relationships (traditional) feel forced to me like in the sense if I did it. I don't think I could genuinely be happy at all to be stuck that way. 

I like spending time with someone close but not like those sorts of ways.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I know for sure that I haven't experienced romantic attraction. My reactions to someone "confessing" their feelings to me is more close to the description of a panic attack than anything else. I don't like feeling tied down to anything, I like to spend time with people but not for long.

I didnt read the whole thread but have the gist of it. I don't feel I am missing out on anything by my lack of attraction. It is what it is, and I see it as something that makes me, me. I see and hear too many stories about unhappy relationships so I don't want to be one of them. If by any chance I find someone that we both can tolerate each other and enjoy each others company 70% times,and want to be in a qpr with sex very rarely or never, I would do it. We both could see the world and be ourselves and just be happy. But if it doesn't happen, I'll do it alone and thats it. I don't need anyone to complete me, that is an heteronormative and amatonormative concept and I will not be part of it.

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  • 1 month later...

I would define romantic attraction as a very specific type of love or a certain feeling (one that is notably different from just being close friends who have sex.) Often involving the cultural or religious constructs of your region.

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Token Allo

Hi! As someone who expirences sexual, romantic, and platonic attraction often at the same time I can say that having expirences of them still makes the whole matter confusing. I have a crush that is ace and but not aromantic and as I basically want whatever kind of closeness they are comfortable with it is hard to know what that would be and what it would mean for us to date as oposed to be friends especially becuase I am poly so it wouldnt be exclusivity!
 

Also sensual attraction is different from romantic attraction most seem to think. The desire to touch someone and be touched (not necessarily in sexual ways) is not necessarily the same as romantic attraction. 

Most of the definition I have seen especially from aro/ace discussion boards have a tendency to erase any positive romantic relationships, or romance without possessiveness and jealously desire for exclusivity or desire for nesting together. As some one who is poly this is annoying, but I understand the desire to categorize it this way. Is romantic love merely the toxic amatonormative idea of love and platonic love the more open and "less deluded kind"? Then would positive considered romantic relationships be better defined as platonic and sexual? They also assume that a romantic relationship must always be primary. 

This said ace people who are allomantic seem to want to say that dating someone is different from being best friends. But differentiating on terms of touching or "emotional intensity" or "commitment" or "neurochemicals" degrades platonic love to a less intense romantic love.  Romance is often reduced to limerence or neurochemical delusion. 

For ace and allomantic people-- what separates a romantic relationship from a queer platonic relationship.

I agree with the OP-- i think it is only through aro and allos talking together that a good definition can be established.

For me, romantic seems a not useful term. there are no romantic activites i wouldnt or couldnt do with a platonic partner. Maybe categories for those activities is more useful. (and thus attraction conceived as desire for those activities)

ie desire to nest, desire for exclusivity, desire for cuddling, desire for pet names, desires for date, desire for a place of primary importance in a persons life, desire for a condition in which your happiness and their happiness or sadness are emeshed and transferred, a desire for anniversaries to be celebrated ect.

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

To me romantic attraction is having a strong affectionate attachment to an individual that makes you want to commit to them in relationship. People who feel it may express it by doing things like kissing, embracing, cuddling, dating, being affectionate, and doing things to make the each other happy. Knowing that person is simply okay and safe is enough to brighten your day. Sexual attraction can overlap into romantic love but does not overshadow any of the former. 

Edited by Terra Branford
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  • 4 months later...

I think it's really hard, almost impossible to describe a meaning of "romantic attraction" that everyone can agree upon, it's such a vague concept, but everyone is supposed to apparently know how to describe it and understand it just by coming into contact with it. Because describing feelings to someone is extremely hard, like describing what color looks like to a blind person, not saying that aros don't have the feeling at all it was just the first analogy that came to mind. A lot of times people try to describe the feeling as wanting to hug or kiss someone or something but I don't know if that's a good way to describe it. I feel like someone can still like someone and not want to be committed or have to be around them 24/7 or hug and kiss them. I really don't know if any of this is accurate or if there's something I'm missing(I was kinda just ranting) so if I'm just ignorant someone please let me know, or just lmk what you think.

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  • 10 months later...

When I personally tried to quantify romantic attraction, I guessed it would feel like a kite that had that weightless feeling that simultaneously buffeted you up and tossed you about but would still feel fun. When I asked my brother he said “wanting their love and acceptance in a way that is different from friendship, wanting to see someone completely, their flaws and their strengths.”

By contrast I imagined a platonic relationship to be less dramatic. The imagery I used was a picnic table. Relatively stable and reliable but still something that you have fun around. 

I don’t know if that imagery is helpful. I always found imagery and metaphors to be much better at describing what I was feeling. 

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  • 3 months later...

I'm still confused about whether I've ever truly experienced romantic attraction. I know I've felt genuine like for specific people before, but sometimes that is tinged with nervousness because I get anxious in some social situations. When I was younger in my teens I believe I had infatuations but they were often very shallow and based on how the person looked aesthetically.

To add to this confusion, I'm not sure I can clearly give myself a label to describe who I'm attracted to, whether platonically or not. When I meet someone for the first time, of course I might notice physically pleasing aspects in how they look but I never consider getting to know the person better for the purpose of getting close to them romantically. The nervousness I feel in social situations is embarrassing and can vary depending on different factors. If I find the person sexually attractive, I also feel intimidated by my own perception of the person and insecure about whether the person finds me interesting to talk to. If I get to know a person well enough and the sexual attraction stays, sometimes I'll imagine what it might be like to kiss or cuddle with the person, however, I can't tell if this is really romantic attraction because it's just a fantasy in my mind and not actually a lived experience in real life. so I wonder if I actually only like the IDEA of what it might feel like to be with the person as such but if it really happened, I am not sure I could reciprocate. At the same time, I can't see myself kissing or cuddling with anyone, unless maybe if I already had a deep emotional bond with them. And this in itself is not guaranteed as I only imagine this is how I would behave if I had such a person, and I'm unclear if it happened in real life, would I still react this way or would I be repulsed? 

Edited by Raininspring
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