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metelyk

Hello, I am new

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Hello, you can call me Metelyk :) I recently created an account on AVEN but since I identify as aroace or arospec ace, I thought I could join over here as well. It is good to know that there are other people like me in the world and I am not alone :)

 

For some backstory, it took me a long time to understand I am aromantic because I had misconceptions about what that meant (I used to know an aro person who hated all forms of romance, so I assumed all aros had to be that way). I also used to think that the only “allowed” way to be close to someone of the opposite gender was to be their partner, so I pursued people romantically and was always confused when they reciprocated and suddenly I was very uncomfortable. I did not understand why I could find someone wonderful and want to hang out with them, yet hate it when they told me they loved me, wanted to be with me all the time, did cutesy lovey-dovey things, etc. Whenever I was dating someone, it felt like we were functioning on two completely different levels.

 

One of the things that stopped me from identifying as aro for a long time, and that I still struggle with now, is that I love physical contact. I love hugging my friends, cuddling with them, even holding hands and small kisses (I view these things as platonic). Often, when I like someone, I also want to be physically affectionate towards them. And because people often say that romantic relationships are “close friendship + physical affection”, I thought I wanted a romantic relationship. But I don’t. At all. I am not romance-repulsed in general, I even write romantic stories, but the thought of me personally being in a romantic relationship does repulse me a lot. All I want, is friends that I can hug :)

 

Another thing that I struggle with at the moment is the misconception that “aromantic people can’t love”. I know it is not true, but it still makes me feel conflicted. I feel things very intensely, I love the people around me a lot, I want to be affectionate with them, so I feel like I am “not aromantic enough” (even though the definition itself fits me perfectly, I do not feel romantic attraction, I have never had a crush except maybe once but even then I am not sure, and I have never desired romance for any other reason than peer pressure). But then, if I am not aromantic, what am I? If I do not belong here, where do I belong? I noticed that for the last few weeks, I have been looking at people and desperately trying to feel something romantic or sexual for them, and feeling distressed when nothing comes because it means I don’t belong there either. It feels like the world does not allow me to be aromantic, because I am “too loving”, but it also does not allow me to be alloromantic, because my brain simply does not work that way.

 

Like I said, I know it is a misconception, and I am trying to work through it. Being comfortable with your identity is a journey, not a one-time realisation, I think :)

 

I will stop here, but I thank you for reading and I look forward to hanging out here!
 

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Welcome! :)

 

31 minutes ago, metelyk said:

I feel things very intensely, I love the people around me a lot, I want to be affectionate with them, so I feel like I am “not aromantic enough”

 

I personally find the word "love" is incredibly unhelpful in this context. It's too broad/blanket a term, it doesn't properly capture the required emotional nuances and different means of expression.

 

Other cultures can break this down more in ways that are quite helpful, IMO. I find the Greek terms eros, philia, agage helpful in your context. I reckon you can be 100% aromantic and feel and want to express philia and agape (friendly affection towards others and unconditionally wishing the best for them, respectively) very strongly, but not want to go all-in (or in at all!) with eros, in the way that an allo-romantic person would.

 

I find our culture (your "the world") highly confused on this point to be honest. Like it can't wrap its head around the idea of physical affection being expressed outside of the context of a romantic relationship. Like it wants to put all physical affection into the romantic relationship "box". I think that's where your sense of there being a conflict between being "loving" and being "aromantic" is coming from:

31 minutes ago, metelyk said:

It feels like the world does not allow me to be aromantic, because I am “too loving”, but it also does not allow me to be alloromantic, because my brain simply does not work that way.

 

If you re-interpret "loving" in terms of concepts like philia and agape (or, say, metta, karuna and mudita from the Buddhist tradition) then I find that the conflict disappears. Hope that helps :)

 

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9 hours ago, NullVector said:

I personally find the word "love" is incredibly unhelpful in this context. It's too broad/blanket a term, it doesn't properly capture the required emotional nuances and different means of expression.

 

Other cultures can break this down more in ways that are quite helpful, IMO. I find the Greek terms eros, philia, agage helpful in your context. I reckon you can be 100% aromantic and feel and want to express philia and agape (friendly affection towards others and unconditionally wishing the best for them, respectively) very strongly, but not want to go all-in (or in at all!) with eros, in the way that an allo-romantic person would.

 

 

Thank you for the welcome and for your answer :) You are right. I have studied some Greek and I did always think that their terms made more sense than the English ones. It does no good to put so many different feelings into one single category. Yes, they are all love, but they are not the same kind.

 

Philia and agape, I feel a lot. Eros... is not my thing. And that's okay!

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