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Cassiopeia

Early signs that you were aro

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Ooooh, yeah in retrospec I can see some signs that I was aro. 

In general, anytime a boy told me they liked me, showed interest in me, or straight up asked me out I would feel VERY uncomfortable, nervous, and awkward to the point where I did not want to be around them anymore. This has been happening since  the fifth grade when my friend told be he had a crush on me. Like instant "hey we're friends" to "oh I do not want associate with you anymore". 

Also, my ideal "romantic relationship" has always been something like a QPR and not an actual romantic relationship like allos mean... so yeah... that was an eye opener and a moment of clarity to say the least. Like "oooooh, now that makes sense and I'm not weird... cool".

Even looking back on a work of fiction/story I have been working on since freshman year of high school I realize that I wrote the main character to be aro and the relationship they have with the other main character is a QPR... I only realized this after I figured out I was aro and now I'm going "welp, I guess I wrote what I knew".

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1) When I was a little kid, I didn't like to be called handsome (I still don't). My parents would always tell me that one day, I'd like being handsome. Well, I'm 21, and I'm still waiting for that day to come (spoiler: it never will come).

2) I remember, in my elementary and middle school years, coming up with stories for these characters in my head. Their names were Papa Murphy (me), Drew Reilly, and Nico Matamoros (Drew and Nico were two people I knew in real life). The only times where romantic interest was involved in these stories was when girls tried to pursue Papa Murphy romantically, and he, Drew, and Nico always countered their romantic attempts. They usually countered the girls' romantic attempts by Drew, Nico, and others protecting Papa from the girls, and making sure the girls didn't get to Papa. Papa, Drew, and Nico always found the girls' failures to pursue Papa romantically, hilarious and entertaining! Anyway, other than that, nothing to do with romance was involved in these narratives. These narratives mainly involved Papa, Drew, and Nico hanging out at their elementary school in the special ed room, jumping from high heights on the playground, hanging out at each other's houses, wandering around on empty roads in the middle of the night, etc.

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An early sign that I was aro was when I started my relationship and couldn't understand what was the big issues with long kisses, it was just an extended exchange of saliva, and after 2 seconds it was enough for me. Also, I couldn't see why people had to start making out if you where watching a movie, gosh you.are.seeing.a.movie. Let me see the movie in peace, I missed that awesome action part cuz you where kissing me. Relationship didn't last long, but it did helped me discover my aromanticism. (Still salty about missing that action part, I had to search the movie in netflix to see it again but alone)

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Mid teens. 

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One time, my dad and I (and maybe my sister) were at the movie theater, waiting for our movie to begin. We were watching the pre-movie commercials. Apparently, in one of the commercials, there was a girl, and my dad leaned toward me and said something similar to "she's cute, isn't she?" I replied, "not as cute as Katie [Katie is my really fluffy and cute cat]".

Now that I think about it, I look back on that moment with a little annoyance.

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1. I used to fake having crushes on people, even once I realized I liked girls 

2. Completely not understanding the concept of celebrity crushes or crushes on fictional characters (or crushes in general)

3. Loved Mulan, Brave, and Frozen because they didn't focus on romantic relationships.  (Merida is aro, nobody can change my mind.)

 

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I don't know how much of this was ace and how much was aro (and how much of a difference there is to me) but I never understood the kids in my class who got nervous around the "opposite" gender or things like that.

Celebrity crushes, though, were and still are the most baffling to me. I don't experience romance but I can sort of understand it; I don't understand sexual attraction but I know it exists. But for celebrities? People you don't know and never will? When people asked about celebrity crushes, I always assumed they were just discussing which celebrities they found aesthetically pleasing.

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On 6/6/2020 at 6:08 AM, ink said:

I don't know how much of this was ace and how much was aro (and how much of a difference there is to me) but I never understood the kids in my class who got nervous around the "opposite" gender or things like that.

Celebrity crushes, though, were and still are the most baffling to me. I don't experience romance but I can sort of understand it; I don't understand sexual attraction but I know it exists. But for celebrities? People you don't know and never will? When people asked about celebrity crushes, I always assumed they were just discussing which celebrities they found aesthetically pleasing.

No kidding. There was a girl in my construction class, Gr. 8 (I hated her before this, but we were the only two French Immersion kids in that class, so we kind of ended up as friends during that hour,) and she had this crush on a kid who'd moved into the English Program, Jackson. Massive crush, like, couldn't form two words around him. I thought it was hilarious at first because I thought she had convinced herself of that fact, that it was in her head. Turns out no, she was utterly in love with him. I ended up steering him towards her whenever possible, like if he asked me for help with looking for something in the work booklets, I'd point him towards her. She eventually figured out how to talk. I was proud.

Celebrity crushes. Ew. Gross. Like, sure, they might play a superhero or something, but they're also forty years older than you and married. Never got the Justin Biever craze myself - or any craze, for that matter. I knew they were talking about how they wanted to date those people, but it was always repulsive to me. I usually ended up going and sitting at the guys table for lunch or alone, so I didn't have to hear about it. 

The only way I understand romance is through friendships. I have this friend, who I've had since, like, Gr. 2. And we have this deal; we'll go to the Gr. 12 dance, when it comes, in a tux each. We're both girls, by the way. But we both hate dresses - and were forced into a skirt for me, and a dress for her for Gr. 6 Grad - and I'm aro-ace, and she doesn't seem to give a crap about anyone of the opposite gender, or anyone of our gender, in a romo way. So we have a pact that even if we get dates for it or something, we'll still both wear tuxes. This friend though, I would die for. I would do anything for her, and I know she'd do anything for me. And I guess that love, romantic love must be like this, just... more touching.

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I used to (and still) write aro characters without realizing it. I write fanfic, and I have a habit of playing characters as aro-- so they were actively repulsed by romance or PDA. They still cared about their friends, and often times they'd still be invested in the main characters' relationships, even though they found it kinda gross. Didn't realize that was just me, writing a self-insert with every other character. *shrug emoji* 

I think it's really interesting how aromanticism can manifest in different people's experiences with their media. Like, even though I like writing characters that are romance-phobic to the point of comedy, I'm super into shipping and relationships when I'm into them (sometimes relationships in media really rub me the wrong way, but if they're done right I get pretty invested). But like Quinoa above me, some people are just like "nope!" 

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I don't really think there was any "overshadowing" when I was a kid. In kindergarden I was pretty much romantic, used to play "the family" with others and actually liked some kids (though now I think at that time I just confused aesthetic attraction with romance).
However, in 7th grade my classmates began to have crushes and dating, that was my great moment of confusion. I've never had crushes and didn't like anyone, so I assumed romance was some adult thing I'm too yound to understand. So I was extremely surprised when others suddenly started to care about romance at that young age. I clearly remember asking some classmates "Why are you dating? For what?" and being confused when they answered something like "Um, you know... love??". I just once felt something that I'd mistaken for a crush, but I didn't feel anything when got rejected. From that moment I just refused to do anything wirh romance, because I didn't really care and was completely okay with that.

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I can probably find much more but this is all I can think of right now

When I was 17 I was on a youth holiday with people I had known for years and they were talking about crushes and I said I knew who this other girls crush was from a previous conversation. Turned out you dont keep the same crush over a couple years, really confused me who had yet to have a crush, I think I just assumed you would keep liking them unless you had a falling out which they hadnt.

More aro ace thing, as a side point for this I am not anti relationship -

Thinking about marriage and just wondering why people want to ruin their wedding day by having sex, and then also how to get out of that if I got married. Then also wondering if you had to kiss in the ceremony or if you could get out of it somehow.

Also at school (I went to an all girls school so would have had less dating than at mixed) and not actually realising people got attracted to each other as teenagers and the people in my year who had boyfriends were just dating for popularity with the idea it was cool as it made them look more mature as they were doing an adult thing. 

Oh at the school discos when we were 10 and 11 joint with a school that involved boys, the boys would always ask (or get their friends to ask) if girls from my school wanted to go out. I always said no (I hope I didnt hurt anyone looking back) as I was just thinking we are too young to date and with the number of boys doing this it wont be real and some kind of competition to get the most yess.

In films I always got awkward and looked away at anything like kissing and was always mentally complaining when they ruin good sci-fi/fantasty with romance as the reason I watch them is I dont want to watch romance films.

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When I was younger I used to try to write fantasy a lot, and I thought romance (straight romance, even, I grew up in rural USA and was therefore Not Very Aware) was an absolute requirement. But I also thought it was kinda stupid. I wrote two decently long stories. In the first, there was a mermaid who, Ariel style, got a crush on a guy and tried to follow him on land (she used a wheelchair instead of some strange transformation thing). But later she found out he was a douche so just became super close "friends" with this other girl instead. (Was it friendship? Dating? A QPR? Who knows, certainly not tiny oblivious me who just really liked the concept of Secret Mermaid Friend and a fun knit lap blanket to keep her tail warm and covered.) In the other, the lead pretended to like a guy cause he really liked her and so she thought she'd give it a try, but then he tried to kill her so she stabbed him and ran off with her best friend, who happened to be a dragon. 

Yeah, I definitely should've noticed I was aro sooner than I did. 

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Guest Killer Bean Forever

The main thing was crushes.  My friends and I didn't talk about romance that much, but people asking about crushes was inevitable.  I would always say I didn't have a crush and people wouldn't believe me.

Also, someone once asked me what my perfect wedding would look like, so I came up with this idea that included challenging gender roles, crossdressing (I'm genderqueer now lol), and a giant, epic paintball fight.  I only recently realized that's not romantic at all.

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I didn't realize this was a tell at the time, but I didn't actually have crushes. I remember just picking someone and decided that they were who I was going to have a crush on next! And I genuinely thought that was how crushes work.

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19 hours ago, emmafriendly said:

I didn't realize this was a tell at the time, but I didn't actually have crushes. I remember just picking someone and decided that they were who I was going to have a crush on next! And I genuinely thought that was how crushes work.

I used to do this, but with celebrities! I would just pick the next j-rock singer with a cool style and gush about him on the internet until someone told me I was trying too hard. 

I also used to believe that romantic attraction was dramatically overplayed by everyone, because obviously people don't actually feel that way. Butterflies in the stomach and heart palpitations just sounded like some unsettling medical condition. Because of this, I genuinely thought that I was like everyone else for a long time and, ironically enough, it wasn't until I actually felt romantic attraction that I realized how fucking aro I am. 

 

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(I don't know what kind of aro fits me better yet)((Sorry for my english))

I never had a crush when I was in middle school, I kinda forced one when I was like 10? because my mom always asked me if I had any crushes because "you always had one". 

Also I always doubted about my sexuality, because I am bi"sexual" but I'm not that interested in sex/I feel weird with having a male partner

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On 5/15/2016 at 2:15 PM, breaddd said:

I also didn't like the idea of marriage; I remember thinking that I didn't like marriage as a third grader, but maybe that's just because I was a third grader xD the point is that my views never changed.

As much as I LOVED the concept of romance when I was younger, I would always get anxious with the idea of getting married to someone or moving in with a romantic partner, and I didn't understand why for the longest time? Maybe I was worried about being tied down for too long. Tied down to one specific person who might suddenly become abusive or nasty. I don't know if that actually has anything to do with aromanticism, but I've mention that fear to people before and they all found it weird.

On 7/16/2020 at 5:20 PM, emmafriendly said:

I didn't realize this was a tell at the time, but I didn't actually have crushes. I remember just picking someone and decided that they were who I was going to have a crush on next! And I genuinely thought that was how crushes work.

Im like 99% sure I did the same thing since Elementary school

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Waay back in primary school my class was given the task of writing a timeline of our life, kind of like hopes and dreams sort of thing.

a friend of mine put, rather jokingly:

marriage

the next day - divorce

I thought it was brilliant and we both proceeded to turn our predicted lives into a long line of pain involving continuing theme of marriage followed very quickly by ridding ourselves of any partner. highlights include: next day - set on fire, next day-beheading and next day-give up,get cat. My teacher was not particularly impressed

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My parents told me romantic relationships weren't serious until you got to high school (we all know why).

Because of this, I thought it was weird that kids were already having crushes and in some cases even dating in elementary school. In my mind, romance was this big kid thing that you got into when you were older, not when you were a kid. Despite the fact most kids have their first crushes at five years old. FIVE.

Probably would've figured it out sooner if it weren't for the barrages of "you'll like when you get older."

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I should've known I was aro back when I was in high school. Sure, I had crushes on girls but oftentimes it felt like I was forcing myself to play by a heteronormative script. I don't think any of my crushes felt completely like authentic crushes. I went through all of high school never dating anyone and never going to prom, and for some reason I actually felt pretty happy/relieved about it when all was said and done. I would often joke to my friends that I would be single for the rest of my life and it felt pretty validating for some reason.

Halfway through my freshman year of college I stopped having any kinds of crushes whatsoever. To me romantic relationships just feel like far more troublesome and exclusive friendships. Now I'm happily aro (well, as happy as a depressed paranoid autistic trans woman of color can be in today's world) and I'm never looking back.

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