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Confused hello from newbie


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Hi! Call me Night. She/her, 18, pansexual, and most likely(??) aromantic. I like the color red, and I write and draw quite a bit.

 

I just joined because, well, i almost feel like I need to?

 

Like, my sexuality crisis was easy, I saw a lot of lgbt things on tumblr and had friends who came out to me, so it wasn't too huge of a deal for me to realise that hey, girls are pretty cute too, and head out from there. In contrast, i didn't even know aromanticism was a thing until years later, when i found that most, if not all, of my friends had or were dating someone and i hadn't. So then i started looking, but i didn't really feel anything, and then i started realizing that i didn't even know what to look for. I had these flowery descriptions of crushes from books and from gossip to go off of and none of that fit, i started looking back on past "crushes" and realizing that i kinda forced myself to feel those because i thought that was what i was supposed to be doing. 

 

I actually ended up asking my friends to try to explain the difference between romantic and platonic love to me, which was an awkward conversation. They tried to tell me that you needed the other person when you fell in love with them, i said that that sounded codependant and unhealthy. They said that you care deeply about them and want them to be happy and you feel happier around them, I said you could feel that way in a friendship as well. Then I said that I used to classify it as deep platonic love combined with sexual attraction, but friends-with-benefits and asexuals in romantic relationships exist, so that was out the window. Hand holding, hugging, even some kisses could all be platonic. We ended up narrowing it down to this mysterious feeling, this romantic feeling that i didn't understand and they couldn't describe to me, that was the only thing different. 

 

So then I turned to the internet. I managed to find the term "aromantic" linked to an asexual post, which lead me to a forum (not this one) explaining it. I looked up more and more definitions and descriptions, and it felt like this could be it, but not quite, because I kept coming across this one line is every definition: "does not want a romantic relationship". Which, I did, i do, I'm not romance repulsed, I would like to do quite a lot of typically "romantic" things.

 

This kept me from taking it up for a good while, as well as a good old fashioned bit of Denial, until I finally looked up "how do you know if you're aromantic" and found one specific forum post written by a gray-romantic. They said that they used their own confusion about it as proof, because they had to go searching for these answers and definitions to try to understand romantic attraction, and still didn't (until they discovered they were gray-romantic), they were probably on the aro spectrum.

 

So I'm sitting here now, around 90% sure i'm somewhere on the aro spectrum and 79% sure that I'm aromantic. Which brings me to why I'm joining this forum. Mainly, because I'm still confused about all the ramifications of this realization, the weird details, and there isn't much out there that I can find in the way of help. This is honestly one of the only aromantic forums I have found at all and I've already been looking around and reading and it's nice and i don't know.

 

So hey, here I am, with about a dozen vague questions and a soda can, saying hi.

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yeah, that was kind of a big realization for me, like when i was in denial, thinking how can i know i don't experience romantic attraction if i don't even know what it is, but then i thought, well, isn't that a pretty good indicator in itself?  if i had felt it, i'd know.  with that in mind, i evaluated my confidence that i never would, which turned out to be pretty strong, and still is (i decided to id as aro about 3 years ago--many other factors led to it as well, including relating to other aros' personal accounts, and the absolute gong show which was my relationship).  you mentioned you would like a romantic relationship--do you differentiate that from a sort of qpr (queer-platonic relationship) which involves romantic-coded elements?  aros can still definitely desire, participate in, and enjoy them.  however, there is a term for aros who want romantic relationships: cupioromantic.  other possibilities are gray and demi...i can't really offer personal insight as i'm unbelievably aro, and of course only you can decide anyway--or not, if you don't find labeling necessary.  anyway, welcome!

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Welcome! Yeah, there doesn't seem to be much exposure and information around. It is sort of sad that I truly believe the small forum here which has links to outside articles is a fairly comprehensive archive of the articles available. There is some good stuff there (and some slightly worrying things, like aro representatives in interviews being less than healthy/stable). 

3 hours ago, nightmarechaser said:

They said that they used their own confusion about it as proof, because they had to go searching for these answers and definitions to try to understand romantic attraction, and still didn't (until they discovered they were gray-romantic), they were probably on the aro spectrum.

This is massively accurate. For my sexuality I did the same thing, I was massively confused and spent weeks/months dissecting ancient feelings and experiences which I now totally count as internal proof and validation of my sexuality. I hated the confusion at the time, but looking back I am grateful for it as I feel that confused experience supports me now, I hope that as you learn about other people's experiences and become comfortable you too can think back on the current situation with fondness too. 

 

3 hours ago, nightmarechaser said:

I looked up more and more definitions and descriptions, and it felt like this could be it, but not quite, because I kept coming across this one line is every definition: "does not want a romantic relationship". Which, I did, i do, I'm not romance repulsed, I would like to do quite a lot of typically "romantic" things.

The fact that some of us don't want romantic relationships or are repulsed by them is sort of using the extremes to form the most distinct definition. There are many terms in the aro-spectrum glossary to describe all the nuanced ways people experience their orientations, though these are less well known and overlap or are indistinct because that is what the people who use them identify with. If you do still feel discordant with 'aromantic' because you feel it misses important parts of your desires you might be interested in the term Cupioromantic, I'm sure there are some conversations here or on AVEN which can give you a better idea of how people use it, but in it's simplest terms it is an aromantic (no attraction) who desires romance (action or feeling or something). I never got it explained to me by an actual Cupioromantic but I am sure there is variation in understandings. (the lack of accepted solid dictionary meanings for most of these terms makes everything slightly vague, so any vague questions are certainly welcome as then at least the vague answers will match the spirit of the vague question)

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The other responders did a great job at welcoming you and giving you some information to work with, so I will only add a welcome aro ice cream that new people receive: :aroicecream: I'm glad you've found us and we'll do our best to support your questioning and research! :)

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Welcome!

 

The definition that should be used for aromantic is just someone who doesn't experience romantic attraction (and this is also a common definition in many places). I understand most aros don't want romantic relationships, but I don't see why that should be the definition, since the definition for other orientations are usually based on who you are capable of being attracted to, not on what relationships you want.

 

There is a label named cupioromantic, which is for people who are unable of feeling romantic attraction who still desire romantic relationships. And people who are cupioromantic may still identify as aromantic or arospec.

 

Regardless, I hope you find a way to identify that you feel comfortable with! I know a lot about labels, so feel free to talk to me if you are looking for something more detailed. ^^

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