Jump to content

Your Stories (Tell 'em to me!)


Saraneth
 Share

Recommended Posts

(Hello! I'm new. I'll do a proper introduction in the correct forum soon, but I came here specifically to ask these questions. Thanks in advance!)

 

How did you know you were aromantic? When did you adopt the label(s; privately or publicly) and why?

Also, aromanticism is often defined as "a lack of romantic attraction." How would you define "romantic attraction" or "romance"? (And hence, how did you know you also lacked this, if you follow this definition?)

 

edit on May 28, 2016

I'm editing my first post to ask you a new question based on a commonality I see in many people's answers to my previous questions.
Do you think it is accurate to say that an aromantic person is someone who doesn't experience infatuation (i.e., a romantic crush and/or the obsession with the object of one's love that occurs at the initial stages of most romo-normative relationships, which lasts anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of years)? 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I thought I was straight on the basis that I didn't feel attracted to men (the woes of amatonormativity) until I thought 'I'm not attracted to anyone but I'm ok with that'

I looked into asexuality and found aromanticism which also fits me and is a better label seeing as asexuals can still have relationships

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think when I heard people discussing their crushes, and I realised I just wasn't feeling that... I was questioning aro for about a year before I started identifying as "probably aromantic" and now, fairly recently, just aromantic :)

I don't really know how to define romantic attraction, but everyone I know mentions how much they want to be around that person, jealously, wanting to date them/hug them/kiss them and I just never related the way they spoke about people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Saraneth said:

(Hello! I'm new. I'll do a proper introduction in the correct forum soon, but I came here specifically to ask these questions. Thanks in advance!)

 

How did you know you were aromantic? When did you adopt the label(s; privately or publicly) and why?

Also, aromanticism is often defined as "a lack of romantic attraction." How would you define "romantic attraction" or "romance"? (And hence, how did you know you also lacked this, if you follow this definition?)

 

Hi! Welcome! I'm new as well. : P

 

I think I knew I was aromantic from the moment I realised I was asexual last year (18 years old then), but I denied it because I didn't want to have no romantic attraction. When the evidence kept piling up, I finally admitted it to myself about 2 or 3 months ago. I'm no longer angry or sad or anything that I'm aromantic, it's just like any other part of me. In fact I think I like it now. I've only adopted it mostly privately, with the exception of people from AVEN and here, and my sister. I did so because it helps me connect with others like myself. It's very suffocating (and a little scary) living in a world which values romance so highly. So highly that you're thought to be mad if you don't take an interest in it. That people are assumed to be absolutely miserable if they don't find a romantic partner. It's just assumed that you can't be happy.

 

It's so damn hard to define romantic attraction. I adopt the label aromantic because I've never felt the urge/desire/whatever to enter a romantic relationship with another person. It's just not something I find worth doing. Companionship is great, but kissing and cuddling and all those things that come with the general romantic relationship really don't appeal to me. I find it very suffocating when someone platonic tries to cuddle with me, so I think I would completely bum out if that happened in a romantic relationship. I can't stand even sleeping in the same bed as someone else. So when someone says they're aromantic, it's never for the same two reasons I think. It's just a label that like-minded people adopt. We all don't experience romantic attraction in our own ways, and that's the thing that connects us. But you really have to come up with this yourself, if it's not useful to adopt the label then don't.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Saraneth Welcome to arocalypse! 

 

I figured it out after dating twice (yeah, I'm a little bit slow or maybe just stubborn). During my first relationship I wondered why I didn't feel the same towards her as she felt for me, then I thought that maybe I am straight in the end. The relationship ended and I swore to never date again because it made me feel suffocated and it just didn't feel right. Yeah, in the end I started to date again, this time a guy. He was amazing and we had fun but something felt wrong. I had heard the term aromantic earlier but I'd dismissed it because I thought I had had crushes (they turned out to be squishes). Anyway, finally with him I understood that no, I don't want anything more than friendship and looked more into aromanticsm and was surprised how perfectly some stories from other aros reminded me of myself. I left him and explained why it wouldn't work out and that feeling of freedom was so great. Romance makes me uncomfortable and feel like someone owned me. I still freaked out a little when I realized I won't fall in love like everyone around me told me I would some day but after living with the idea some time I've finally accepted myself. My best friend was cool with it too, I got a lot of support from her. I also told about aromanticism to my mom just so she'd stop expecting me to date my ex again. 

 

About how to define romantic attraction and romance... that's a good question since I've never felt it myself but once I thought I did (that's what caused so much confusion in my past relationships). Let's see, my ex-gf wanted to meet all the time, she wanted to hold hands, cuddle, kiss, have serious conversations about our situation, to be the only one I looked that way, wanted to share thoughts (I feared the moments she asked "What are you thinking?" because I wasn't thinking anything related to her and it made her sad and mad). So, err, romance. Strong feelings, a strong pull towards someone, a need to spend time with them, thinking about them a lot. That's part of it but I guess it's something more. Some feeling that I at least don't understand and can't describe. Maybe it's something like a strong friendship? Stronger than friendship? Is anything stronger than friendship? Err, anyway, in a romantic relationship they want that special one become the center of their world and the other way around. I didn't want that and I think many other aros don't want it either because for many of us that feels uncomfortable, like being someone's possession. (That's simply what I think.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For about 20 years, I kept forcing myself to date. I thought that if I kept dating, I would eventually find someone that would make me actually want to date them and eventually fall in love. I didn't realize until recently, that what I was doing was backwards from what alloromantics feel. They truly do want to date in order to find that special partner in their life. I never much cared for the idea of a romantic relationship, and when I finally got into one, I found it very stifling. The thought of being single forever sounded awesome, so I read a few books and searched the internet and learned about aromanticism. It fit me really well and I was at peace with it. That was about ten months ago, and I declared it publicly on Facebook about three months ago, just before V-Day (chocolate discount eve).

 

There are several other threads that discuss romantic attraction here. It's difficult to define, people seem to each have a unique idea of what romance is. It seems that one common component is exclusivity. You are supposed to place a romantic partner on a pedestal. They are your number one, and you are theirs. You are supposed to spend a lot of time together, prioritizing time with your partner above everyone else. Also, all important decisions are made together. Another common component is jealousy. You don't want your romantic partner to have any other romantic partner but you. The exception there is polyamory, but even still you don't want random people entering the relationship.

 

Other aspects can be found in friendship too. For example, you are supposed to share your deepest secrets with each other openly, which is also a sign of a good friendship. You help each other through the low points in each other's lives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I figured out I was asexual a few years before I figured out I was aromantic. Looking back, I can see a lot of signs of being aro, but at the time I assumed a lot of my lack of interest in romance, dating, hot people, etc came from being ace, and I was still heteroromantic. Once I got my first real boyfriend however, I realized that I felt trapped and uncomfortable and I really don't get the appeal of kissing. So I eventually broke up with him, and admitted to myself that I was probably aro too, which explained a lot. I still haven't told anyone not on here, but I'm hoping to soon. I honestly don't know how to describe romantic attraction, but this post helped me figure out that my (lack of) feelings were because I was aro. The definition of aromanticism is something we're still talking about on this forum, but some people also think that a lack of interest in romantic relationships is also a part of aromanticism, if that is clearer to you than lacking romantic attraction. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the longest time I thought I was actually alloromantic, but there were always a few "weird" things that bothered me about romance and relationships. Like even though I wanted to be in a relationship, actually being in a relationship was uncomfortable for me. It wasn't that I didn't like the person I was dating--it just felt really wrong. Relationships made me feel trapped and overwhelmed by my partner's feelings. Another issue was, once the other person started being extremely affectionate with me, it was an immediate turn-off. It was okay when I was affectionate with them, but if they did it too much back to me, then I started feeling trapped again. I'm happiest when I'm able to be affectionate with someone who appreciates my affection, but doesn't do anything in return beyond platonically.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I define myself as aro-ace since about four or five years. Before that, I considered myself as "single by conviction, but mabe making an exception". This happened exactly one time in my so-far life. When I was a teen, I was already annoyed by having or having to have "crushes" and declared that I would never "crush" anyone, but "venerate" persons. 

I cannot really say on which exact grounds I define as aro. Of course, there is no romantic attraction, but then, how do you define "romantic attraction"? I asked my former boyfriend when we started dating and he would tell me he was so in love with me: "What does it feel like?" - "Like having a tingling feeling in your tummy." Nope. Maybe that's it: while I generally tend to somatize a lot, especially when it comes to negative feelings, I never had somatoform experiences when confronted with someone, even when I really loved them and felt emotionally close to them. But that's just a theory. Generally, I just don't want to be in a romantic relationship, and never consoder persons I meet as "relationship material" anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First I found out that I was asexual, and then I say a tumblr post about aro aces. I looked into what aromantic meant and it made sense to me.I had told people that I wasn't intersted in dating, but I didn't know why. I had always been confused about why someone would voluntarily put themselves through something that seemed so emotionally draining. I use it privately, except for a few people at my school.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How did you know you were aromantic?

I found out after trying the dating thing. I was in exactly one romantic relationship and it was bad. I don't know if it was bad for my ex (probably was, considering that I had no idea what I was doing) but it was for me. I'd always dread seeing my ex girlfriend, even though I should have been excited or happy. Whenever I was with her, I'd become a recluse, and it would be rare for me to talk or do anything. I'd just sit there looking pretty :P

When did you adopt the label(s; privately or publicly) and why?

I didn't tell anyone about my aromanticism until about a month after I broke up with my ex (dude, I was so relieved when it was over). I told a couple close friends, though I came to terms with it online first in a few LGBT circles.

Also, aromanticism is often defined as "a lack of romantic attraction." How would you define "romantic attraction" or "romance"? (And hence, how did you know you also lacked this, if you follow this definition?)

Romance and romantic attraction: feeling romantic feelings

I knew that I lacked this because I always felt like I was missing a feeling that I should have had in my relationship. I should have been happy (at least for some of the relationship, which I didn't; it only ever made me stressed...) and I should have gotten those "feels" that people are supposed to get in a romantic relationship. I never did.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, being aromantic was never really a question for me.  I didn't have a term for it at first, but I knew that, whatever this romantic attraction may be, I had never come close to feeling it.  I had never had a crush and never felt any sort of desire to have a romantic relationship; the idea of dating and marriage was ridiculous to me--I knew I could never manage to make that work.  I was maybe 15 or so when I started seriously questioning my orientation(s), since I knew that the "something will happen when I'm older" rationale was getting much less likely.  At the time I conflated being ace and aro, so I just assumed it was all a part of not feeling sexual attraction.  But after discovering AVEN and learning about romantic orientations, it was immediately apparent to me that I'm also aro. 

 

I have no idea how to accurately define "romantic attraction."  I just know that it's something I've never felt.  Watching people with crushes, being in love, or acting in a typical couple way has always been bizarre to me.  Whatever that emotion is that they are clearly experiencing is not something I feel.  When I was younger, I often simply forgot that people could be interested in dating and such. I never thought about the fact that I hadn't ever had any romantic interest until someone would bring it up.  I remember this one time when I was around 15 or so, my mom brought up the concept of me dating (my parents were religious and conservative, so this was an issue), and I thought, "oh yeah, people like to do that."  It shocked me though to hear it in relation to me, and I almost laughed when my mom brought it up.  I just informed her I wouldn't be doing that. At the time, she seemed relieved. I don't think she thought I meant forever.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply myself, but thank you all so much for your stories and definitions!

 

I've had a serious issue with both asexual and aromantic resources giving circular definitions. To say an asexual is "someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction" isn't very clear about what the "sexual" of that definition means, and if "sexual attraction" isn't clearly defined, how can one know they lack such an experience? Similarly, including any version of the word "romantic" in the definition of aromantic doesn't help me understand if I am or am not.

 

I'll edit my first post to reflect this: I'd like to ask you a new question based on a commonality I see in many people's answers to my previous questions.
Do you think it is accurate to say that an aromantic person is someone who doesn't experience infatuation (i.e., a romantic crush and/or the obsession with the object of one's love that occurs at the initial stages of most romo-normative relationships, which lasts anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of years)? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Saraneth said:

Sorry for the late reply myself, but thank you all so much for your stories and definitions!

 

I've had a serious issue with both asexual and aromantic resources giving circular definitions. To say an asexual is "someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction" isn't very clear about what the "sexual" of that definition means, and if "sexual attraction" isn't clearly defined, how can one know they lack such an experience? Similarly, including any version of the word "romantic" in the definition of aromantic doesn't help me understand if I am or am not.

 

I'll edit my first post to reflect this: I'd like to ask you a new question based on a commonality I see in many people's answers to my previous questions.
Do you think it is accurate to say that an aromantic person is someone who doesn't experience infatuation (i.e., a romantic crush and/or the obsession with the object of one's love that occurs at the initial stages of most romo-normative relationships, which lasts anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of years)? 

Yeah, the circular definitions are fustrating, aren't they? The problem is that any attempt to add to them runs into problems because of the differences between how individuals experience things. I mean, if you think orientations and attractions are confusing, you should try looking at genders xD

 

On to your new question, I would say it's probably accurate if you're talking about aromantic the... um... 'singlular identity'(?). But if you're talking about aromantic 'the spectrum of various identities' it's less solid. For example, some people might experience it weakly or rarely as part of their aro-spec identity.

 

Thanks for bringing it up :D It's an interesting thing to think about.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...