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Skall
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Hi! I just discovered this site and figured it would be a good place to describe my feelings in regard to romance. I’m entering my senior year in high school and recently discovered the concept of aromanticism, and I’ve been wondering if it applies to me. I know no one can really give me a concrete, yes or no answer, but I’ve been struggling with it lately and would really appreciate some feedback :)

 

I don’t have any problems with romance in books or TV, and I often help my friends with their romance issues. In the past, however, romance applied to me, personally, has made me anxious and uncomfortable, often inexplicably. Last year I dated a guy I was close with but shortly broke up with him for seemingly no reason other than I was extremely uncomfortable. Romantic things like holding hands, going on dates, and being called someone’s girlfriend stress me out and make me immensely uneasy; my gut reaction to romance in my life is to run the other way. When my friend/crush asked me to prom, for example, my immediate reaction was fear/panic, even though he is a perfectly nice guy and I liked him until that point. Does this mean I’m likely aromantic or somewhere on the aromantic spectrum? 

 

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You can be, if you feel like it applies to you! I certainly feel bad about having a romantic relationship or being confessed to in general when I'm unable to experience romantic attraction.

 

If you feel like you are aro-spec in some way but don't know how to articulate it, here are some posts that may help you understand possibilities or even sort out your own romantic orientation:

Remember that you don't need to label yourself, to label yourself in the most specific way possible, or to stay with the same label for your whole life, if you don't feel like a label doesn't apply to you anymore. Labels are tools to be used, not prescriptions you need to abide by forever.

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I've read similar experiences from other people on this forum - where the idea of romance and romantic media appealed to them, but when it came to actually being part of it themselves, it just didn't fit. Definitely look through those resources above, and maybe also look through some of the labels here that describe different attractions on the aro spectrum. It's a great masterlist. I hope you can find something that clicks, whether aro-spec or not. :)

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On 6/26/2018 at 8:39 PM, Skall said:

Romantic things like holding hands, going on dates, and being called someone’s girlfriend stress me out and make me immensely uneasy; my gut reaction to romance in my life is to run the other way.

Like you said, no-one can give you a yes or no answer but sometimes your gut reaction will tell you what you need to know. For what it's worth, your experiences sound very similar to mine and I identify as aromantic. Regardless of whether or not you decide to use the label, this website and AVEN https://www.asexuality.org/ are good places to explore.

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On 6/26/2018 at 8:39 PM, Skall said:

I don’t have any problems with romance in books or TV, 

My reaction tends to be that this is boring, potentially annoying.
The latter with TV or movies where plot appears to have been trimmed to make time for romance.

 

On 6/26/2018 at 8:39 PM, Skall said:

Romantic things like holding hands, going on dates, and being called someone’s girlfriend stress me out and make me immensely uneasy;

The first two (along with other romantic coded activities) I really like, especially with friends.
However being called a "<pseudo>friend" or calling anyone else that kind of thing is something I want nothing to do with.

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