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treepod

what makes you grey?

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Identifying as greyaro (sp?) can be really useful precisely because it is so vague, making it applicable to a lot of different experiences and even changes in understanding of oneself. With that in mind, I'm curious, if you identify your romantic orientation this way, what led you to do so? I'd love to hear other people's musings about it, and don't worry, I'm not trying to create a cohesive definition where there is none.

 

For myself personally, I have a variety of reasons:

-I tend to feel totally aromantic like 90% of the time. I find it useful to tell people that I'm just not interested in anyone "that way," because the odds are overwhelmingly not in anyone's favor. I feel like the stars have to be aligned, the wind has to be going at 5.7 mph, and someone in the next room has to sneeze, but it can happen. lol

-When I do feel romantically attracted to someone, it almost always seems pretty minimal, or unreliable, compared to most people. I can easily brush it off if there's a condemning factor like the person already being in a relationship, or not attracted to guys, etc. (I count this within the 90% aro part because it's all very logic-based). Also, I've had a lot of "crushes" turn out to be squishes, and being real close friends with someone is completely satisfying to me, no real need to go any further. 

-The other 10% accounts for maybe just a couple of instances in my whole life, where I've been completely gobsmacked. I know there's a difference because I have no control over it logically like I normally do and there's an obvious physical element (though not what I'd call sexual). Still, it's hard to tell what I really want (a romantic relationship? a QPR? something in between?)

 

Please, whether you have a similar or different personal definition, I want to hear about it!

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Soooo....I am aromantic and greysexual, so not exactly what you are asking about but our general experiences seem to line up. One difference is I managed to find a specific micro-label for my kind of greysexual, but it is still part of the greysexual spectrum/umbrella. I wrote a post about it here: https://mesotablar.dreamwidth.org/3315.html

 

but yes, 95% of the time there is no attraction working and that 5% is gobsmacking and uncontrolled. In the 95% of the time I'm fairly sure there is no attraction because I recognise aesthetic as it's own thing (like going to an art gallery, look but don't touch and don't take home), but it's possible?maybe that there is some low key attraction being vague and wisp-like in that 95% time but I don't care and it doesn't bother me. 

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12 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

One difference is I managed to find a specific micro-label for my kind of greysexual, but it is still part of the greysexual spectrum/umbrella. I wrote a post about it here: https://mesotablar.dreamwidth.org/3315.html

Interesting! Thanks for sharing that post. In the past I considered identifying as demiromantic, but it didn’t fit because it didn’t seem like any special emotional bond had to be formed for me to experience romantic attraction, but there is something else that goes along with it and I think it might be sensual like you said, physical but not sexual. I think maybe for me it might have to be a combination of sensual attraction in addition to the usual feelings that go with a squish (friendship compatibility). These feelings don’t necessarily lead to anything romantic though because I think they’ve happened to me briefly or vaguely before, in instances where they come up but romantic attraction does not occur. I definitely used to jump on those instances when I was a kid, like “ah-ha! a crush!” but then later I’d realize I was just trying to force myself to feel romantically about them because I wanted what other people had/to be normal. Sooo maybe some variation of that micro-label might apply to me too? Idk where I’d feel the need to use it though, unless I was getting into a deep discussion like this one. 

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I'm slowly coming to the grey aro identification for myself because I haven't really sought out relationships, I enjoy being in relationships, I've felt a total of one butterfly in my chest when I was perfectly happy and content and the stars aligned just so. On a daily basis, however the love I feel in my romantic relationships doesn't differ from the love I feel for my friends at all.

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On 6/3/2019 at 11:52 PM, treepod said:

Sooo maybe some variation of that micro-label might apply to me too? Idk where I’d feel the need to use it though, unless I was getting into a deep discussion like this one. 

I basically never use that label for my sexuality unless it is deep discussion like this :) So far I have only found 1 other person who uses a variation of apres- 

Most other people mention it when questioning because it truly is a really broad concept behind that label, but I guess people move on to more common terms or more specific concepts.  

I know I mentioned it somewhere in the forums before, but it really all depends on your inner drive to be specific or not. Personally I thing grey- works really well for me most of the time. Most of the time though, not all of the time. 

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Guest Chandrakirti

What makes me grey? My hair! (Sorry guys...couldn't resist that..I'm aroace instead)😆

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Romance repulsed despite being able to experience romantic attraction that occurs infrequently and fades very rapidly. Not interested in romantic relationships but have a need for sensual and emotional connection not available in a "regular" platonic relationship. I generally keep people at a distance due to trust issues and not really caring about having many so called "friends". If I do decide that I care enough about someone to consider them a friend, I take that friendship extremely seriously. Friendship will always be more important than romance for me (romance isnt an option anyway due to romance repulsion). Personal space and being able to feel like I can be myself is important as well. So at the end of the day if I can be myself around someone and that person feels like they can be themselves as well then that's all that really matters.

 

So those are my reasons for identifying as greyromantic.

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1 hour ago, greyromantic kittay said:

Romance repulsed despite being able to experience romantic attraction that occurs infrequently and fades very rapidly. Not interested in romantic relationships but have a need for sensual and emotional connection not available in a "regular" platonic relationship. 

I resonate a lot with this personally. I see others in romantic relationships having deep emotional connections and being affectionate, and I think to myself that it seems nice and I wish I could have that. But then when it comes down to it, my attraction to others is fickle, and someone reciprocating my feelings generally freaks me out a little. If friendships were more commonly affectionate (especially physically) I would be satisfied with that. Goodness, I am so touch starved 

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Grey because: I've experienced limerence and some sort of attraction in the past, but only maybe a handful of times, and never to strangers. But also--and I consider the following just as salient to my greyness as scarcity of attraction--since I hadn't been too familiar with aromanticism at those points I had always thought that attraction both sexual and romantic, but thinking back on it I'm not entirely sure about the "romantic" part; I don't think I ever really strongly wanted to date any of my 'crushes'; the one time it got close to dating, I became uncomfortable and we decided to stick with friendship and there was so much relief--and it was good, I cherish that friendship; I almost never feel any particular general desire for a romantic partner; I think 'romance aversion' is a more personally familiar thing than any desire to date, but really, emotions in general are confusing to me. And yet.... I've had 'crushes'? Butterflies? Limerence, the 'can't get them out of my head' feeling? And yet again: I've always had a sort of control over those feelings; if e.g. the person started dating someone else, I could always consciously just.... decide to stop having a crush on them; not preference or goal or action like 'oh I won't pursue them anymore' (I'm not sure if I ever had that in mind even?) but literally 'stop having those sorts of feelings about them.' 

 

Still waiting for the next crush to see if I can gather more data on this, but I started questioning arospec some two years ago and have not had a crush since. Maybe it'll never come. I'm fine with that; even if I had a crush I think my preferred partnered relationship is either 'QPR' or 'none.' I'd just miss the opportunity to have more information on how I personally interact with 'attraction' & its relationship to 'desire' & how much control I really have over it. It's probably relevant to the topic that the part I'm looking forward to most if I ever have a crush again is 'I wonder how that experience will affect how I view the social constructs of romantic & sexual orientations and attractions.'

 

So, personally, greyness is: yes infrequent, yes never to strangers, but also--it's confusion, the difficulties I have with emotional interoception in general, the comfiness of big vague umbrella terms because of that confusion; it's toeing the line of categories, the fuzziness of definition boundaries, living the 'attraction is a social construct' since my relationship to 'attraction' does not mesh well with the most widespread models; it's an outlook on life, not one that feels like a view I choose but more like an innate quality of how I perceive the world, how I do not value 'romance' as it is valued by society, how I act on 'attraction' differently than people think we should. 

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52 minutes ago, kernsing said:

And yet.... I've had 'crushes'? Butterflies? Limerence, the 'can't get them out of my head' feeling? 

Limerence- I’ve never heard of this word! According to google it seems like it’s generally a synonym for romantic attraction (at least to general society) but it seems to me like the way you’re using it defines it in a way that encompasses “platonic attraction” or what one feels in a squish. It’s like a state of mind toward a person rather than a desire to go through with specific romantically coded actions. Very interesting. I think I might bring this up in another topic; a while back I think there was some discussion over the term “platonic attraction” and whether attraction was really the right word. Maybe “platonic limerence” has a place.

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Yeah so what makes me grey in my opinion is my straying from the allo/aro characteristics. While sometimes yes I feel a romantic attraction, it isn’t strong and only once or twice did dating even enter my thoughts. Definitely not alloromantic, but also not strictly confining to aromantic. Although I definitely feel closer to grey-aro than I don’t know grey-ro?

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