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Aromatic or Emotional Detachment?




 Probably a commonly stated phrase: I'm unsure.  I feel sick at the idea of trying to be romantic with someone and can't imagine myself capable of that, but I also have social anxiety and can't imagine myself capable of having friends other than a few acquaintances.  As for sexuality, it is a flip of a coin: sometimes the idea makes me sick, sometimes I'd want it.  Suppose I'd just have to try and learn.

The idea of having a partner to rely on for living together and financial support as like a friend is appealing though.  Maybe even having a child.  Again it is confusing:  I can't right now be emotionally open or supporting, but seeing other people with that installs a sense of longing.  The idea of overcoming my problems to have the above is motivation.


So the question is: Does this make me aromatic, or romantic with social anxiety and emotional detachment?  Is there a name for the sort of relationship described above?

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Thank you for coming by and voicing your insecurities. :) We've all been where you are.


I'll start with the relationship you're describing. There are many aros (and non-aros as well) who don't like that raising children and living together is reserved for romantic partners.

There are instances of non-aro friends who decide to co-raise a child and to live together. They're rare but they exist, and wanting to live with a friend is natural. Humans are social creatures.

However, it is also true that wishing to live with friends and not 'romantic partners' is a very common aro experience. There are also aros who want that kind of dynamic, but with someone who is very close - not exactly a friend but not a romantic partner either; someone close to them that is neither of those things. Many aros engage in Queerplatonic Relationships (QPRs) when they feel that kind of connection to a person, and some Queerplatonic Partners (QPPs) live together or marry, and they define their relationship in their own way.
Deciding whether you want to live with a friend or have a QPR depends on what kind of connection you imagine having with the other person/people. Do you want friendship and platonic intimacy? Do you want something different that is beyond platonic or entirely different from platonic but not quite romantic? Those questions might help.


As for being aro, it all comes down to whether you feel romantic attraction toward other people. You can feel no romantic attraction but still want a romantic relationship. You can feel romantic attraction but not want a romantic relationship (there's a specific aro identity called Akoiromantic that is liking the idea of romance in theory but not in reality, for example).

This list is helpful to look through when you're questioning and starting out: http://www.arocalypse.com/forums/topic/1135-comprehensive-list-of-romantic-orientations/

Looking through the definitions may help you find something that describes your experiences with romance.


If none of those definitions work for you, then maybe it is a social anxiety and emotional detachment thing. I should mention, though, that I have social anxiety [that can be pretty bad sometimes] and am aromantic so it is certainly possible to be both.

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