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The aimless life outside the relationship escalator


Holmbo
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I have had a reflection about my experience as an aromantic lately that I find hard putting into words. I'm just gonna write something and see if it makes some kind of coherent whole.

You know how we sometimes talk about the relationship escalator the majority of society subscribe to? Here's a quick definition I stole from a website:
"The goal at the top of the Escalator is to achieve a permanently monogamous (sexually and romantically exclusive between two people), cohabitating marriage — legally sanctioned if possible. In many cases, buying a house and having kids is also part of the goal. Partners are expected to remain together at the top of the Escalator until death. "

I think for many people it's also a comfort to have a specific aim in life and a guideline for when you're "expected" to make certain life decisions. And most would never dream of doing things "in the wrong order" for example having a child or committing to a home long term, before a romantic partner.

I feel though that for Aros (or really anyone who've jumped off this imagine escalator) things gets more complicated because you open up for the potential of doing anything you feel like at any moment. For example for me, I could have a child now if I wanted (not right now of course, but in 9 months). All I'd have to do is to find a healthy male willing to give me some sperm. I have a solid economy, permanent employment with a good salary, a home that's big enough for two, and Sweden offer very good maternity leave and subsidized day care. Now, I don't actually think I want children, not badly enough to give up on other things. But the knowledge that I could have one makes me feel like I'm actively making a decision not to. An allo person would not even consider having to make that choice while single.


And I think about a lot of other life choices too, like I long to "settle down" in a home I could see myself living in for a long time. I have thoughts about my career as well. In some ways it would be so much easier to frame it all around the search for monogamy. If I was alloromantic all my focus would probably be to find "the one" and everything else would have to be on hold for that. Then I would have to adapt all my life choices to that person. I might feel a bit of sadness about possibilities I'd have to give up, but we're all told to prioritize romantic love and the nuclear family so I'd get plenty of encouragement that I was making the right choices.


I love being aro for the most part, but lately I have been having these types of lost feelings. Maybe I'm just longing for having a clearer sets of priorities in my life.

Anyways, that's my rambling. Feel free to add any of your own reflections more or less related to mine ;)

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On 2/21/2019 at 4:45 AM, Holmbo said:

I feel though that for Aros (or really anyone who've jumped off this imagine escalator) things gets more complicated because you open up for the potential of doing anything you feel like at any moment.

I think you mean more awesome.

 

Seriously, what could be better than having the complete freedom to decide on your own terms, for nobody but yourself, exactly what to do with your life at any given moment? It's my absolute favourite thing about adulthood. Every now and then I have a surreal moment where it really hits me that I'm out here in the world literally making my own rules. That I can live and travel and work wherever I want - all I have to do is make a decision and go do it. And in those moments I feel almost giddy with autonomy.

 

The downside of an escalator is that once you're on it, it's very hard to change direction - and I value my freedom far more than I care about making the "right" choices in life.

Edited by eatingcroutons
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interesting topic, and @eatingcroutons, i totally agree.  not worrying about centering my goals around other people (spouse/kids) or even accommodating their schedules means my goals are whatever and whenever i want.  i don't even have to know what they are; there are fewer consequences of sudden decisions.  and i like that because i hate feeling stuck.  i don't want to know exactly what my life will be like in 50 years, or 10, or 1.  i mean, there are things i want, but it's not like i can't be fully happy until i have certain things.  like, people will get stressed about finding their soul mate and starting a family by a certain age (which i think is dumb in any case--most of my mom's friends were married with kids when she (30) met my dad (29), and they had me at 38, so what?), their whole lives will revolve around these things, and they'll consider the time they spent without them to be, like, just leading up to them.  i don't want to count my days away like that.  and there are no "right choices," certainly not for the population as a whole but not even individually--the universe hasn't already decided how it will reward or punish you for certain choices; you decide your own fate and 'the universe' adapts.  the most minuscule action can change your life in ways you couldn't imagine; you couldn't carry out a plan perfectly if you wanted to, and sticking stubbornly to it would only hold you back from opportunities.  like "oh, i can't do that, it's not part of my plan".  fuck that, it is now!  it's a journey, not a destination, right?  yeah, i'm definitely happy about that.

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16 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

Seriously, what could be better than having the complete freedom to decide on your own terms, for nobody but yourself, exactly what to do with your life at any given moment? It's my absolute favourite thing about adulthood. Every now and then I have a surreal moment where it really hits me that I'm out here in the world literally making my own rules. That I can live and travel and work wherever I want - all I have to do is make a decision and go do it. And in those moments I feel almost giddy with autonomy.


That is how I too use to feel, and might again in the future. But right now I'm more  longing to settle down, to really put my roots down and commit to something. I'm just not sure what that something is. If I was allo it would be a partner, because that's what society tells us, to put romantic relationship above all else. But I don't have any desire for a romantic (or platonic either) life-partner. I suppose I just long for one aspect in my life that I don't question. Something I can feel, whatever else I do with my life, I want it to include this.

 

Now, this makes me sound like I think committed romantic relationship is some kind of heaven. I don't mean that. I just like the commitment aspect of them at the moment.

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