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Experiences with telling people you are aromantic?

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How do people usually react when you tell them you are aromantic? What are their responses like? What were your responses to their responses? Have you ever regretted telling someone that you identify as aromantic? 

 

I'm typing this at 1am because it won't stop bouncing around my head haha, I look forward to seeing your responses!

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"Oh, asexual? So you're asexual? You mean asexual? You're aroace? Hey, Alex, you're asexual, right? So you're not interested in sex? You're asexual? Hey has anyone ever told you you have really pretty eyes you look lovely today are you doing anything this Saturday-"

 

Nah, but for real though... My best friend is pretty chill with it. My family initially reacted horribly (calling me a robot who uses people for sex, etc.), but now they're... I mean they make hurtful jokes sometimes, but at least they don't try to talk me out of it or anything? But yeah, most people I encounter can't seem to understand that aromantic and asexual mean different things, if they can even somewhat grasp the concept at all instead of thinking I'm just saying "I haven't had a boyfriend yet" or "I'm not an overly affectionate person" or flat out just tuning out what I said entirely.

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I've only told two friends and my therapist so far... The therapist was like "Huh, that's a thing I'll have to research!" My friends basically said "huh, interesting. is that a thing?" 

Basically all of my friends are extremely analytical, so pretty much everyone I expect to take it as an intellectual exercise.. which is how I take it, so that's ok...

 

Basically, the reason I haven't told more people is because I don't think that they would care... 

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Depends on people. Some people just don't care. A very good friend who never had a boyfriend said "so I am not alone" (I don't know if she is aro or not but she doesn't date).

One didn't understand the word, thinking "aromantic" means something like "I don't like romantic things". And my mother te actes with the classic "you'll never know" and "you'll be alone". And the other day she said "when you get married"... we also have different point of view about the idea of having a child without a father... Strangely,  my lgbt-phobic father was almost more understanding. Well, understanding isn't the word, because he doesn't understand anything (I'm still trying to explain that being asexual is not "disliking sex"), but at least he gets that I don't want to get married, though he complains about it.

 

But I think it really depends on people. 

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I have had very different experiences with different people. My two best frieds reacted understanding and accepting. It probably helps that they are both not really a fan of very intense romantic relationships and gestures. They both have a boyfriend but they do not really put the focus on that when we meet up. The are also the only two people that I have thirdwheeled with  (with their respecitve boyfriends) and not felt like the thirdwheel. 

 

My sister was a whole different story. I first told here that I was bisexual and she was relieved that I wasn't asexual ("Oh good you're not asexual!"). After which I said, no I'm not asexual but I am aromantic. Here immediate response was "huh is that a thing?" and "you should date to be sure" (nevermind the fact that I did try to date and that was a horrible experience). She hasn't brought it up again but I am fairly sure that she is still holding out hope that I will find someone. 

 

I recently (as in yesterday) sort of indirectly came out to a not so good friend of mine. We were with a couple of people and he randomly asked us what we wanted to do on our honeymoon. I answered honestly and said that I didn't want to get married. He wanted to know why, so I said that I didn't want a relationship. He almost seemed offended by me saying this and he wanted to know why I was so "afraid" of having a relationship. He said that he wanted to understand my point of view, but the rest of the conversation was just him telling me that I am wrong and that relationships are the golden standard and that I'm weird for not wanting any of it. I eventually cut of the converstation but I am still pretty hurt by it. He will also probably get back to it, so I am not looking forward to that. 

 

But in the end, the people that matter to me most (apart from my sister) reacted positively! 

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I've had mixed experiences with coming out. With a couple of friends it was a non-issue because they already knew I wasn't "romantically inclined", they just didn't know aromanticism was a thing. One or two friends were positive and accepting. One "friend" accepted it, then asked me to be his girlfriend about a week later, so clearly something went wrong there.

 

I've never regretted it, but there are plenty of people I'm not properly "out" to, including family. If I suspect someone is going to be shitty about it, I don't bother telling them.

 

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I have also had mixed experiences. Firstly, my mother doesn't think that aro and ace are real orientations. When I told her about what I was feeling, or rather, wasn't feeling, she told me that that's normal because she felt/feels the same way (i.e. my mother is probably aspec and just doesn't realize it lmao). On the other hand, I attend a pretty liberal college so many people here are very understanding and supportive of the LGBT+ community but not everyone knows about aromanticism and/or asexuality. Of the few people that I've told, I've gotten a few "it's probably just a phase" and "maybe you're really just afraid" but I've also gotten positive reactions as well! Sometimes though, it feels as if I'm not really out because I don't have anyone to talk to who is aromantic who will understand, relate to, and care about my identity. I'm reminded of this every time I come out and have to explain what aromanticism and/or asexuality is, while they nod confusedly. Its difficult to talk about with non-aro people even if they are understanding. Despite this, I don't think I've ever regretted telling anyone. It's liberating to feel as if you're no longer hiding part of yourself from other people. 

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On 10/12/2019 at 11:26 AM, Philotes said:

I have had very different experiences with different people. My two best frieds reacted understanding and accepting. It probably helps that they are both not really a fan of very intense romantic relationships and gestures. They both have a boyfriend but they do not really put the focus on that when we meet up. The are also the only two people that I have thirdwheeled with  (with their respecitve boyfriends) and not felt like the thirdwheel. 

 

My sister was a whole different story. I first told here that I was bisexual and she was relieved that I wasn't asexual ("Oh good you're not asexual!"). After which I said, no I'm not asexual but I am aromantic. Here immediate response was "huh is that a thing?" and "you should date to be sure" (nevermind the fact that I did try to date and that was a horrible experience). She hasn't brought it up again but I am fairly sure that she is still holding out hope that I will find someone. 

 

I recently (as in yesterday) sort of indirectly came out to a not so good friend of mine. We were with a couple of people and he randomly asked us what we wanted to do on our honeymoon. I answered honestly and said that I didn't want to get married. He wanted to know why, so I said that I didn't want a relationship. He almost seemed offended by me saying this and he wanted to know why I was so "afraid" of having a relationship. He said that he wanted to understand my point of view, but the rest of the conversation was just him telling me that I am wrong and that relationships are the golden standard and that I'm weird for not wanting any of it. I eventually cut of the converstation but I am still pretty hurt by it. He will also probably get back to it, so I am not looking forward to that. 

 

But in the end, the people that matter to me most (apart from my sister) reacted positively! 

Then you are like me, bisexual aromantic probably. I'm still figuring out, but I get so pissed when people tells me that ''getting a romantic partner will solve all my problems'', specifically when I'm feeling vulnerable due to cycling hormonal changes. I always felt like being repulsed by dating made me an immoral weirdo, but I have no problem with knowing people, but if it's a formal date I shrink into my hole and I don't leave home. I was thinking about going to a sex doctor, I have too much pressure to be ''normal'' and I wanna know if this romantic repulsion is okay or should I be fixed. All this because I do feel sexual attraction and for some people, a woman with sex drive but no romantic feeelings is monstrous and she must be broken (I do feel queerplatonism tho).

I just don't think there is a magical pill that will turn me into your ''average romantic crazy Joe''. At least my family accepts it (I'm not sure if I want to label myself as aro tho) but a good portion of humanity doesn't. My best friend, an aroace, she told me the ''sure it's just a phase'' clique and it disappointed me. People only understands aromanticism when associated with asexuality and it makes me sad.

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On 10/13/2019 at 7:19 PM, Cheerio said:

I've gotten a few "it's probably just a phase" and "maybe you're really just afraid" 

Both of these have ALWAYS confused me...

So what if it's just a phase? This is where you are now. The question is (usually) "why aren't you dating?" PRESENT TENSE. And that's the answer.  No one knows that anything is forever. 

And what is there to be afraid of? I think that this may be part of my aroness, but I've never understood the concept of "emotionally vulnerable". I mean, I'll share anything that I think someone else might care about... but basically I trust my judgement that my friends aren't assholes (or they ARE assholes, but in predictable ways at least B-)). "vulnerability" implies fear or risk to me... I just don't feel like there's anything there to risk... 

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5 hours ago, LBMango said:

So what if it's just a phase? This is where you are now. The question is (usually) "why aren't you dating?" PRESENT TENSE. And that's the answer.  No one knows that anything is forever. 

Absolutely, thank you! Even if someone is aro today and in love tomorrow it wouldn't make their before felt "aroness" and the way they experienced the world insignificant all of a sudden. Then every feeling or view would be meaningless at some point and it wouldn't count exclusively for people who don't fit a certain norm at a given time.
People who say "it's just a phase" seem afraid their (cast in stone) worldview could fall apart or they can't handle when someone feels a different way, which is rather sad.
The person who feels this way could learn A LOT if they questioned why they have a problem with someone feeling a different way when it comes to topics like e.g. aromanticism.
But if everyone would think so construtctive and self-reflective, we would live in a different society anyway. People would take aromanticism and other orienations more serious from the beginning or rather...everyone would be accepted the way they are. Which would be wonderful and better than trying to argue someone out of their emotions.

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Pretty much everyone I've told has pretty much told me it doesn't exist and that I just haven't met 'the one'. What was particularly hurtful as it came from friends within the LGBTQ+ community. I feel like in the LGBTQ+ community that I frequent aro is always viewed as being attached to ace and most people don't even realise they are not mutually inclusive.

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I have a lot of friends who were supportive when I came out. Of course, most of them were super confused and I had a few screenshots ready of explanations I sent to them, but afterwards they understood. Some of them even sent me aro memes!

 

One of the friends I came out to was a little more skeptical from the others, though. She's well-meaning, but honestly she's like the external embodiment of my own doubts. She keeps asking if I'm sure I'm aro or that maybe I'm just clinging on to the label so much that I don't want to actually experience romance. One of her arguments was "everybody feels that way" and for a while now I've been thinking she's aro-spec. Oh well. Sometimes her arguments feel more convincing but other times I feel so sure in myself that it just seems aro-phobic.

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