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Not sure if I’m aromantic??


jess243
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Hi guys,

 

Not sure if this is in the right forum, sorry if not! Also, probably going to be a complicated post haha, but basically I’ve always assumed I’m heterosexual/romantic. Lately though I’ve been thinking about the possibility of being aromantic because, of the handful of relationships I’ve had in my life, I’ve never actually liked the guy I was talking to in a romantic fashion and I think I’ve only actually romantically liked around three people my entire life. From this, I began exploring the possibility I was aromantic because I’ve never actually had a boyfriend and it’s never really bothered me, save for a few moments I’ve thought ‘it would be nice to do this with a guy rn’ or fantasised about it.

 

It’s just confusing me because I think I like a guy at the moment, but I’m not sure if I actually like him or if I just think I do because I’m sexually attracted to him and/or he’s unavailable (he has a girlfriend). The last guy I was in a sort of relationship with (basically boyfriend/girlfriend but not official because I didn’t want to go that far), I thought I liked him at first because he was unavailable, but once he was single and we began getting closer, I realised I really didn’t like him in that way and then I realised that’s exactly what’s happened with everyone I’ve talked to romantically. I’ve thought I liked them, started talking to them and realised I’m really not interested, and then gone on a relationship-hiatus for months on end because I’ve just not been interested in pursuing another relationship. I currently haven’t talked to anyone for a year, and I’m honestly not bothered because I just don’t feel like I properly feel romantic attraction, but there are still moments when I think about how it would be nice to have a boyfriend.

 

My main problem when getting into relationships, aside from realising I don’t like them, is I always feel stifled and like I’m nowhere near as attracted to them as they are to me. For example, I reply fairly slowly (usually every few hours or so) and my partner at the time would usually send me messages asking where I’ve gone, but I’d just not be replying to them because I need a lot of my own space and distance in a relationship or I feel stifled. But this is so extensive that I’d rather see them once or twice a week max, and only message them every so often otherwise I just feel like it’s too in depth if you get me? However, I’m usually like this with friends in that I take a while to reply to everyone, but surely if I really liked someone I’d prefer to talk to/see them more often?? It’s the main factor that turns me off, the more romantic attraction they show, the less I feel kind of thing.

 

I’m not sure, I’ve done some research into the different areas of aromanticism, and I feel like I may fall into cupioromantic because I sometimes desire a relationship but don’t feel genuine romantic attraction, but I’m confused. Past experiences may suggest I don’t feel romantic attraction, but that could just be the fact I often rushed into past relationships and got with guys who weren’t fully supportive of me. As well, there’s the fact I think I like a guy right now. I’m not sure, what do you guys think?

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1 hour ago, jess243 said:

I’m not sure, what do you guys think?

 

I think it's okay to take it slow in figuring out what words you want to use. The aro community is for the entire aromantic spectrum, which means that people can relate to the concept of aromanticism in lots of different ways, so whether or not you belong isn't going to hinge on any one specific label or fitting any one specific narrative.

 

Also, welcome. Have some ice cream. :icecream:

 

1 hour ago, jess243 said:

It’s the main factor that turns me off, the more romantic attraction they show, the less I feel kind of thing.

 

You mentioned cupioromantic, but I'll also add here that you can find some narratives of only-being-interested-in-unavailable-people in association with some labels like lithromantic. Unfortunately I don't know of a lot of examples that I can link you to, but here are some: one, two, three. Also, here's a post by the coiner on where the term comes from. Not suggesting you have to fit yourself into that narrative either, just another example of the breadth of possibilities. This is also why I think it's important to have umbrella terms like grayromantic, which are a lot more vague and nonspecific. Here's an example of a grayro talking about being grayro -- and how "??? is this romantic?" can be a part of that. Basically, identifying on the aro spectrum doesn't have to mean pinning anything down in exact terms more specific than that.

 

1 hour ago, jess243 said:

For example, I reply fairly slowly (usually every few hours or so) and my partner at the time would usually send me messages asking where I’ve gone, but I’d just not be replying to them because I need a lot of my own space and distance in a relationship or I feel stifled.

 

I don't even consider that to be "slowly," lol. It sounds like you've been dealing with some clingy people. Everyone's free to have different preferences about that sort of thing, of course, but even for people who are deeply romantic, I can see that being a bit much for some. It's not totally off the wall to say "I need you to stop expecting me to be available at a moment's notice. This isn't the relationship communication style that works for me. If that's not okay with you, then it could be that we're just not compatible."

 

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5 hours ago, jess243 said:

but I’m not sure if I actually like him or if I just think I do because I’m sexually attracted to him

In case this helps, I've taken to asking myself the question: do I think about this person I barely know outside of two very specific contexts? Either, 1: they are right in front of me, or, 2: during (or immediately preceeding) certain 'self-stimulatory' behaviours (apologies for crudeness!). My answer is basically always 'no', so I've come to conclude that my past 'crushes' were of a purely sexual (rather than partially romantic) nature. I get the impression that romantic crushes are characterised more by thinking about the person all-the-damn-time (this 'can't get them out of my head' phenomena is a level of commitment I simply cannot achieve! not when there are so many other interesting things to be thinking about in any given moment!). Also, fantasising about your future together. I don't think I've ever done this. Rather, being honest, I've only fantasized about moment-to-moment sexual stuff we'd do together ? (or maybe having interesting conversations before/after the sex; but it is rather stretching the definition of 'romantic' IMO to call this that!)

 

5 hours ago, jess243 said:

but there are still moments when I think about how it would be nice to have a boyfriend.

I'm curious, given what else you wrote, about what are the specific aspects that you would think about as being 'nice'? 

 

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After reading, I think I probably fit into the greyro more. Like, I’ve felt romantic attraction to people before, but it’s often more physical attraction than romantic. For example, the guy I like now, whenever I think about a relationship with him, it never involves going out on dates but actual physical things like kissing or hugging or laying in bed together or something. Although I do have this really romantic date wish that I’d love to do with the guy I love, but I can never picture a specific person in it. So I’d say I sometimes feel some degree of romantic attraction, albeit very rarely, so I’m not 100% aromantic?

 

Also, it was a bit of an under-exaggeration haha. A lot of the time I leave between 10 hours to a day between replies whoops, but I’ll definitely try that if I get in another relationship. Last time I tried it it just didn’t work bc I could tell he didn’t mean it when he said he’d be happy messaging less.

 

thank you for your help!!

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Don’t apologise for crudeness hahahaha, it’s a completely normal part of life!! But that’s a good way of measuring it. It’s tricky, I feel like I only rarely think about him when he’s not in front of me? Like, if I’m just remembering something embarrassing I’ve done/said to/around him, or if I’m just thinking about what it’d be like to have a boyfriend I actually like then I’ll try to picture him in it to see if I do actually like him, then it’ll go into semi-romantic situations (i.e. just cuddling in bed or kissing or sex). I definitely don’t think it’s a ‘can’t-get-him-out-of-my-head’ attraction, especially because I don’t actually know him much personally, we’ve just talked a handful of times. I think I’m only physically attracted to him at the moment to be honest.

 

I can’t explain it properly sorry hahaha. I think there’s a degree of romantic attraction there for me, but it’s always the same scenarios I think of and they’re more often than not physical over making emotional bonds.

 

Also, again, when I think of having a boyfriend in general it’s always the same scenarios. I’ll just generally think wow it’d be nice to watch this tv show cuddled with someone right now, or boy I’d love to slow dance in the park one day. That’s about it,

to be honest. I never think how nice it would be to go on a date to the cinemas or a restaurant and if I do I don’t enjoy it much and find it cringey. Even in real life I don’t enjoy it, whenever I’ve been on dates for food I’ve always felt awkward and I’ve not enjoyed it, and especially with the guy I was seeing last May I was just thinking how much more I’d rather be at home than with him. It’s weird and what makes me think I could be lithoromantic or greyromantic or something, I’ll think certain scenarios are nice or think I like someone, and then once I actually get to try it or the feelings are reciprocated I lose interest and would just much rather be on my own.

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