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Aromantic or Confused?


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So I made a friend about a month ago, and the other day she was venting about her relationship struggles, then asked me if I had any relationship stuff I needed to vent. After talking for a bit, she is FIRMLY convinced that I am aromantic. I don’t think I’ve ever had a crush before, but there MAY have been one guy (maybe one more too) but when I described my maybe-crushes to her she said that they technically didn’t count as crushes, they were actually squishes. So I’ve been trying desperately to try and find out what romantic attraction actually feels like, what crushes feel like, etc., but the only answers I’ve gotten apply to how I feel about my family and BFFs, or are wholly incorrect (in that they say romantic attraction is when you are sexually attracted or aesthetically attracted to someone) (and those are DISTINCT, DIFFERENT types of attraction, which is exactly what I’m trying to find out: what differentiates romantic attraction and makes it its own entity). Can you please help me learn what ROMANTIC attraction is so I can finally examine whether I feel the label “aromantic” fits me or not? Also, I’ve been running into the problem that what is defined as romantic attraction includes wanting to do romantic things with your s/o, but what about people who aren’t into romantic stuff (ex.: those tough, hyper-masculine dudes) but are still in love? Also, the definition of what is romantic varies DRAMATICALLY from culture to culture, and even just throughout time within each culture themselves. So is romantic attraction just a social construct? I know that just because something is a social construct doesn’t mean that it isn’t real; social constructs can - and do - have real effects (like the legit chemical changes in the brain when in love). But it does mean that if someone were not socialized exactly right when it comes to that construct (romance/romantic attraction), they might not grasp, or experience, or react, or perceive, (etc., etc.) things the way people expect them to - hence being aromantic. (Btw I’m not saying that they are broken, wrong, socially inept, had lacking parenting, or anything like that. Just wanted to make sure I’m not accidentally giving that impression).

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short version: In my opinion, it's likely that you are aromantic, but the only person who can determine this are you.

long version: in this thread, we tried to define romantic attraction, so if you haven't already read it it should be quite interesting (Caveat: we didn't find a real definition). I personally use two rules to distinguish between squishes and crushes: I think about if I either made a conscious decision to be "in love" with someone and if I don't think I did, if I would've been jealous if the person got together with somebody else. This eliminated basically all of the cases I had on my list of possible crushs.

It might help you if you just read through some more posts in this forum. A lot of the points you raised were the topic of a discussion at one point. There will be lots of interesting threads in the this subforum, and if you want to look for people with similar problems the Q&A part is definitely worth a look (for example this post).


II hope I could help you. If you have any questions, just ask. (And have some ice cream :aroicecream:, we've got plenty of it)

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