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YXSHINN

Questioning & Romantic Friendships?

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I'm kind of surprised I haven't seen any topics nor forums about this on Arocalpyse either (posted this on AVEN  too), so I decided to open one here as well and ask some questions aside from that, so it'd be great if some of you guys could help me out.

 

I also think it might be of more use if I asked fellow aromantics, so here goes nothing.

 

I've circled back into my questioning fase and I've been wondering about what relationship/friendship I'd want and if really I'm aromantic.

 

One reason is that I fantasize a lot, like every day. The fantasies seem nice, but on the other hand, "I don't even know how to friendship, maybe it's a stretch."

 

And I still haven't had a crush, but that isn't really all that surprising.

 

I'm also questioning my "sapphism" since I'm like, "girls are great," but then I realize that I literally don't like anyone, not even platonically.

 

So then I'm like, "maybe I have some kind of problematic attachment style and/or trust issues, maybe it's my anxiety?"

 

Or I'm just tricking myself into amatonormativity, once again.

 

Earlier this week I went online, trying to figure out what I really want out of a friendship/relationship and then I came across this term.

 

Romantic friendship (n.)

 

The term romantic friendship refers to a very close but non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in the contemporary Western societies, and may include for example holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sharing a bed. The term was coined in the later 20th century in order to retrospectively describe a type of relationship which until the mid 19th century had been considered unremarkable but since the second half of the 19th century had become more rare as physical intimacy between non-sexual partners came to be regarded with anxiety.

 

Sounds like what I want (maybe minus the kissing), however the only issue I have with this is literally the term itself. Is that just me?

 

Like, "romantic friendship," huh?

 

In that sense, I could see why people would prefer QPR over romantic friendships, because I'd do that too. I'd just call it a intimate/close friendship. It is something more, but nothing less.

 

So my questions are:

 

1. What do you think of this term? Do you think it conforms to amatonormativity?

 

2. What do you consider as platonic gestures? Or do you think the intention behind it matters the most? (Please list a ton, if you like.)

 

3. And lastly, what do you think of my thoughts on myself? Do you think it's possible to identify as sapphic and aroace at the same time? (Not romantically, just when talking about alterous attraction...)

 

Please be as honest as possible, I'm trying to gain some good knowledge and maybe get a discussion going?

 

Thanks in advance~!

 

 

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1 hour ago, YXSHINN said:

Earlier this week I went online, trying to figure out what I really want out of a friendship/relationship and then I came across this term.

 

Romantic friendship (n.)

 

The term romantic friendship refers to a very close but non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in the contemporary Western societies, and may include for example holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sharing a bed. The term was coined in the later 20th century in order to retrospectively describe a type of relationship which until the mid 19th century had been considered unremarkable but since the second half of the 19th century had become more rare as physical intimacy between non-sexual partners came to be regarded with anxiety.

 

Sounds like what I want (maybe minus the kissing), however the only issue I have with this is literally the term itself. Is that just me?

 

 

This is what I want too, except with some sexual aspect to it. 

 

1 hour ago, YXSHINN said:

Like, "romantic friendship," huh?

 

In that sense, I could see why people would prefer QPR over romantic friendships, because I'd do that too. I'd just call it a intimate/close friendship. It is something more, but nothing less.

 

So my questions are:

 

1. What do you think of this term? Do you think it conforms to amatonormativity?

 

2. What do you consider as platonic gestures? Or do you think the intention behind it matters the most? (Please list a ton, if you like.)

 

3. And lastly, what do you think of my thoughts on myself? Do you think it's possible to identify as sapphic and aroace at the same time? (Not romantically, just when talking about alterous attraction...)

 

Please be as honest as possible, I'm trying to gain some good knowledge and maybe get a discussion going?

 

Thanks in advance~!

 

 

Yeah, I think it conforms to ananormativity, and it's just confusing to me. I think hugging is a very platonic gesture and maybe high fives, but I think some good friends cuddle and it's not romantic. Kissing and holding hands, I'm not sure, it depends on the intent in a way. I don't like touch unless it's an occasional hug from a good friend, it's my family or it's my 'partner'

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17 hours ago, YXSHINN said:

Romantic friendship (n.)

 

The term romantic friendship refers to a very close but non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in the contemporary Western societies, and may include for example holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sharing a bed. The term was coined in the later 20th century in order to retrospectively describe a type of relationship which until the mid 19th century had been considered unremarkable but since the second half of the 19th century had become more rare as physical intimacy between non-sexual partners came to be regarded with anxiety.

 

Sounds like what I want (maybe minus the kissing), however the only issue I have with this is literally the term itself. Is that just me?

 

Like, "romantic friendship," huh?

 

In that sense, I could see why people would prefer QPR over romantic friendships, because I'd do that too. I'd just call it a intimate/close friendship. It is something more, but nothing less.

This kind of relationship may or may not be "platonic". Depending on if the term is being used to mean "non physical" or "non sexual". With the additional complication being that kissing may or may not be sexual. IMHO how "romantic" it might be depends more on how much the people involved identify as a couple. Which isn't stated.
It's not something I would especially want. Maybe without the bed sharing.

 

TBH I'm quite ambivalent about if this is called a "romantic friendship" or "QPR". 

 


 

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22 hours ago, YXSHINN said:

1. What do you think of this term? Do you think it conforms to amatonormativity?

I don't really know. As said before, it is unclear how it is different from QPR (at least for me). Now, QPR is supposed to be "between friendship and romance" (I hate this définition but still, this is how I see word it), so maybe QPR is a kind of (queer)romantic friendship as described, I don't know... But the thing is : people chose to use platonic in the term QPR, not romantic, and I think it is precisely to prevent people from associating their relationship to romance. So I don't know if this is amatonormative or not, but I don't know if a lot of aro could relate to this term.

 

22 hours ago, YXSHINN said:

2. What do you consider as platonic gestures? Or do you think the intention behind it matters the most? (Please list a ton, if you like.)

For me, it the intent or the context that leads a gestuel to be platonic or not. Like for me, hugs are platonic; but if a romantic couple are hugging, it may be romantic instead.

Kissing on the mouth sounds very romantic for me, but this is probably cultural. And I saw mother kiss their child on their mouth,  so it can be platonic too.

 

22 hours ago, YXSHINN said:

3. And lastly, what do you think of my thoughts on myself? Do you think it's possible to identify as sapphic and aroace at the same time? (Not romantically, just when talking about alterous attraction...)

I don't know; why not? I saw people describe themselves as oriented aro ace. If alterous is it's own attraction, then their is no reason you can have it for girls and then describe yourself as sapphic. At least if I understood your question?

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On 10/1/2019 at 2:32 PM, YXSHINN said:

1. What do you think of this term? Do you think it conforms to amatonormativity?

I'm not sure. I think it's a bit complicated. Romance as a concept is rather new (in the past few centuries), and all it does is put a name to a specific kind of intimacy. Something being romantic isn't necessarily amatonormative, since "romantic" just categorizes a type of intimacy. Amatonormativity is about normalizing the idea that everyone feels this attraction in one specific way and must seek out a romantic partner to be valid/healthy. Calling certain relationships "romantic" I think was a way for people who use and understand the term as it is usually defined by society to make sense of intimacy. For them, certain types of intimacy were in the "romantic" box, because that's how they and society categorized and labelled that intimacy.

 

A great modern and personal example of this is the relationship I'm currently in. To me, it's alterous, sometimes platonic, but to my accomplice it often feels traditionally romantic, and probably looks that way at times to others. I categorize certain intimate things differently and it doesn't bother me that my accomplice also categorizes differently. We both know each other's feelings and respect each other's definitions.

 

Where calling friendships "romantic" does become amatonormative is when people are very insistent. Like, "this cannot be just a friendship! It must be something more!" That playing into relationship hierarchies can often trigger amatonormativity, because people can then say "at least X has a romantic friendship with Y so they're basically romantic and romance is something everyone wants, so they're getting it via friendship" or "finally X has a romantic-ish partner; thank God they're normal like the rest of us." It's a subtle difference and it's often all in the tone.

I'm not sure that inherently labelling something "romantic" would count as amatonormative, but that's maybe a separate point.

 

On 10/1/2019 at 2:32 PM, YXSHINN said:

2. What do you consider as platonic gestures? Or do you think the intention behind it matters the most? (Please list a ton, if you like.)

Most things!

I consider very few things romantic, because I define romantic as a specific kind of performative and hierarchical thing. Things like gift-giving, PDA (public displays of affection), celebrating milestone anniversaries, and generally elevating a romantic partner over every other person in one's life (prioritizing them as the "most important person") are things I consider romantic. Especially if these things are done when in the presence of other non-participants, as if forgetting the non-participants are there (e.g., I've heard some people call this being lovestruck or seeing a person surrounded in a kind of light that erases everyone else around them). 

Some physical gestures, like kissing (which people often put in the romantic category) are platonic to me until they become very prolonged and backed by a specific intention or feeling. It really is about the intention, the feeling, and end-goals for me.

 

However, what I think society defines as platonic is a different question. It's also complicated, because depending on your community, the answers may be different. Generally, I've seen platonic things be defined by not being too deep or prolonged. For example, a platonic hug would be going in for a squeeze, maybe holding it for a while. A more 'romantic' hug would be going in for a squeeze, maybe holding it for a while, and also adding something like gently caressing. There's a level of gentleness and vulnerability that society seems to reserve only for romantic gestures.

 

On 10/1/2019 at 2:32 PM, YXSHINN said:

3. And lastly, what do you think of my thoughts on myself? Do you think it's possible to identify as sapphic and aroace at the same time? (Not romantically, just when talking about alterous attraction...)

Absolutely you can identify as sapphic and aroace at the same time! You can say oriented or angled aroace if you'd like, as @nonmerci described, since describing orientations that are not romantic or sexual attractions is the point of those terms. Or you can just say sapphic aroace, or sapphic and aroace.

Personally, I don't use "oriented aroace" or "angled aroace" and just say I'm bialterous (just like someone could say bisexual). I throw the bi- modifier onto the type of attraction I feel. Sapphic as a term seems to be valid to use for any kind of attraction, since it's not a modifier like bi-. It's a standalone concept. All that to say I believe it's fine. :) 

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On 10/1/2019 at 7:32 PM, YXSHINN said:

The term romantic friendship refers to a very close but non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in the contemporary Western societies, and may include for example holding hands, hugging, kissing, and sharing a bed. The term was coined in the later 20th century in order to retrospectively describe a type of relationship which until the mid 19th century had been considered unremarkable but since the second half of the 19th century had become more rare as physical intimacy between non-sexual partners came to be regarded with anxiety.

It would be interesting to know what these relationships were called at the time, rather than about a century later.
It would also be worth knowing what romantic relationships typically looked like before the mid 19th century.

These kind of relationships falling out of fashion as amantonormativity came in certainly seems significant.


 

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