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Sababylon
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My name is Sabastian and I recently realized I was Aro. It took me some time to come to this conclusion, though.

 

I spent two years in a committed relationship in my early twenties. I fell into it after a brief FWB situation with another friend, which had complexities of its own but I was still quite important for me at the time. But when I entered into the CR, I thought I was in love and agreed to monogamy with my partner. I didn't have any other lens at the time to frame my feelings with, and my powerful sexual attraction combined with a laundry list of platonic attractions had to be romantic love, right? It certainly checked a lot of the boxes.

 

Within a year I was noticing I was still sexually and platonically attracted to others, but I was no less attracted to my partner, who was in many ways also my best friend. I felt weirdly guilty, even though I knew in my heart these attractions did nothing to undercut what I felt for my partner. I felt like I should have felt guilty, cuz that's what romantic love was supposed to mean, but I didn't; instead, what I felt was a confused guilt for not inherently feeling guilty for being attracted to other people. Simple, right? Eventually, we split.

 

After that I avoided dating proper. I realized, to some degree, that everything I gained from my relationship could be gained without one. I kept telling myself that it just meant I wasn't "in the right place" to date or fall in love, but this just made me feel vaguely inadequate; I felt that, since I wasn't "ready," something must have been wrong with me, even though I felt otherwise very confident and comfortable with myself.

 

I first heard about aromanticism, as a defined concept, in Bojack Horseman at Todd's ace meet up at the beginning of season 4. "Not every asexual is aromantic," or something to that effect. This struck a serious cord with me, but I couldn't put my finger on it, since I wasn't asexual myself. It took me until very recently to understand aro as a distinct orientation separate from sexual orientation. When I did and I looked at myself in that light it felt so comfortable and right. I no longer felt like I had to "fix" myself to be ready for love, and I no longer felt weird or insecure trying to find something in sexual and platonic relationships that just never resonated with me to begin with. I finally make sense to myself.

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Welcome! I'm so happy that you've been able to understand yourself and come to terms with your feelings. I always enjoy hearing other people's stories.

 

Have you considered that you may be whatever the aromantic equivalent of polyamerous is? Since you talked about having sexual and platonic attraction to other people while you were in a relationship, might it be possible that you could have more than one committed friends with benefits situation at a time? By no means is the meant to tell you what you are or how you should feel. I simply think that looking into it could help. If it isn't true about you then no harm done, and if it is then you've learned something new about yourself.

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On 12/5/2019 at 3:16 AM, Sababylon said:

"Not every asexual is aromantic,"

and not every aromantic is asexual.  everyone has a sexual and romantic orientation, which may or may not be the same.  when i watched that episode (i already identified as aro) and i heard the word 'aromantic' i had to pause it and scream.  i didn't think i'd hear it on tv in my lifetime.

 

19 hours ago, lonelyace said:

Have you considered that you may be whatever the aromantic equivalent of polyamerous is?

you can be aro and polyamorous!  i am.

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On 12/5/2019 at 6:20 PM, lonelyace said:

Have you considered that you may be whatever the aromantic equivalent of polyamerous is? Since you talked about having sexual and platonic attraction to other people while you were in a relationship, might it be possible that you could have more than one committed friends with benefits situation at a time?

 

 

On 12/6/2019 at 1:57 PM, aro_elise said:

 

you can be aro and polyamorous!  i am.

 

It's definitely a possibility for me, I've always been comfortable with polyamory as an idea, but my partner was not. My FWB had some other casual partners I learned of as I started to lean into the relationship, and I was genuinely happy for her. As I try to get back into a casual dating life I think I'll explore those kinds of connections more, they definitely brought me the most fulfillment, even if they had (for me) shorter lifespans.

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