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Early signs that you were aro


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Thinking back I don't think I ever remember a valentines day I didn't dislike. Maybe some of this is practicality, I never enjoyed the idea of spending money as a symbol of affection. Also some of it is just how tacky some things surrounding the day are. However I definitely remember feeling wierded out that people were looking forward to this day in particular.

I remember someone in my extended family telling me that he had proposed on valentines day because it was 'more romantic' and my brain just went blank. Like how is the fact that it is done on a day associated with love intrinsically more romantic. I guess even then I knew I was confused over what the hell romance even was and could not comprehend how that would possibly add to the romance which was supposed to be an innate and personal feeling but was also made more so by some bullshit celebration of consumerism and I dunno, I just give up.

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I've always been aro, I always was waiting for those feelings and they never came, and at one point I stopped waiting for the future and identified as how I feel now and I'm never gonna stop!

Let's see here. When I was young, my family always told me that I couldn't talk to girls, because I only ever talked to other guys. I just didn't see what the point in talking to girls. I went to a sm

I didn't figure this all out until I was 37, so I'd be the wrong person to ask.   I guess never being interested in dating would be the biggest sign. But, the lack of a feeling doesn't reall

Guest ThomasTheTankEngine

Side Note: Just found this today and this made my (aro!) heart happy, I recently started identifying as aro-ace and I love how everyone here is so friendly and open, all these posts are very relatable for me and I've never found a great forum like this before :) 💚🤍🖤

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest daydream-dog

hi, im 22 and trying to grasp my aro/ace identity!

in elementary school when all the girls would talk about their "crush" i kinda just zoned out and was uninterested. and when asked who i had a crush on i would just say who i thought was cool/who i low key wished i looked like (im trans mask nonbinary)

also, in elementary, a boy confessed to me in a note and gave me a little plastic ring from a vending machine and the only thing i felt was anxiety and panic

and also, there was this really sweet boy who always used to go out of his way to say hi to me and be really nice and just friendly because i was the new kid, and everyone in my family would tease me bc "omg he has a crush on you!!" so every time this kid interacted with me i would feel very anxious and uncomfortable and i was even a little rude to him at times out of panic and James I'm sorry i was a total jerk. we honestly could have been really good friends.

fast forward to middle and high school,  i had "crushes" on a total of 2 people. I put that in parenthesis because they were not really romantic or sexual in anyway, i was just interested in their personality and thought they would be cool to hang out with. and also their humor and sense of style really stuck out to me.

in senor year one of my cousins friends once asked me what i identified as out of the blue and i just said "probably somewhere on the ace spectrum"  without even thinking about it.  like i literally have never truly thought about my sexuality/ romantic attraction before, but that is just what naturally came to mind first.  and since then ive kind of just been like "wait. am I? that would actually make alot of sense"

and finally, when asked the common question of "what is your type" i literally have no thoughts.  honestly the first thought that does come to mind is someone who can make a good homemade mac and cheese lmao other than that i dont really think of people in a romantic/sexual sense naturally, so ive never really considered what traits i find appealing in a person. of course i find certain people attractive and others not so much, but i don't consider that attraction to be romantic, just visually appealing.

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Guest daydream-dog
On 10/14/2020 at 9:30 PM, senACEay_11 said:

Upon one of my friends asking me, "what my type was," I responded with, "Um, I don't know, nice?" 🤣🤣

Goodness gracious, sometimes I'm so aro/ace it makes laugh.

yep! my friend asked me a few weeks ago and i was like "lol idk.. girl?" because im 22 and have never thought about my type. and he was not satisfied with that answer as if it had to be longer and more in depth. so i thought about it for 5 seconds and finally said "ok, then, someone who can make a really good homemade mac and cheese" so yeah, ive known for a while now that im on the ace spectrum but now im here on this forum at 2 am finally discovering that im probably aro as well XD

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On 2/28/2021 at 6:57 AM, Guest daydream-dog said:

 so i thought about it for 5 seconds and finally said "ok, then, someone who can make a really good homemade mac and cheese" 

I can relate to this on so many levels it's unreal 🤣🤣

Thank you for sharing 😁

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Early sign I was aro — long ago when I was a young child, I refused to refer to anything/anyone as “cute”. I would say “cool” instead. Probably strange for a preteen girl to never say anything was “cute” lol. I started to say it later on, but I guess it was just an effort to blend in better. 

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19 minutes ago, Aimee03 said:

Early sign I was aro — long ago when I was a young child, I refused to refer to anything/anyone as “cute”. I would say “cool” instead. Probably strange for a preteen girl to never say anything was “cute” lol. I started to say it later on, but I guess it was just an effort to blend in better. 

There sure are many cute things in this world: like kittens. But I never understood why it's applied to adult humans. Those may be pretty, beautiful, handsome, hot. Not cute. At some point I just resigned and used the word in this manner.

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11 hours ago, DeltaV said:

There sure are many cute things in this world: like kittens. But I never understood why it's applied to adult humans. Those may be pretty, beautiful, handsome, hot. Not cute. At some point I just resigned and used the word in this manner.

I've never understood where the notion of couples being "cute" come from.

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A lot of people think that you can't know you're aromantic until you're older, but that can't possibly be true since when we were kids everybody always had "crushes" and were romantically interested in others. I always thought it was a game of playing pretend. Just how like when we were kids we pretended that there were dragons and that we played family. (I much preferred the dragons.) I should've known when I was the wedding planner for the fake weddings we had. I first really started realizing it wasn't made up when my best friends started to prioritize their significant others, who they had known for much less time than they knew me. 

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6 hours ago, ThatDndDragon said:

A lot of people think that you can't know you're aromantic until you're older, but that can't possibly be true since when we were kids everybody always had "crushes" and were romantically interested in others.

Notably such children are unlikely to be told they are "too young to know" or "might change their mind". (Ditto for children who identify as cis and/or hetero.)
 

6 hours ago, ThatDndDragon said:

I always thought it was a game of playing pretend. Just how like when we were kids we pretended that there were dragons and that we played family. (I much preferred the dragons.)

Rarely does anyone ask children what they consider "playing pretend".

An interesting irony is that "romance" used to mean "adventure story", in some contexts it still does. Dragons are a good fit in that genre.

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I think that for me it was the thought of crushes and i made one up in like 4th grade and it was a squish i realized once i found out i was aro... whoopsies haha.

what also pointed towards my being aro was when i was in a relationship and we were using nicknames lol and i didn't feel comfortable using them. also when we broke up i felt that i should've been sad or at least broken but all i felt was relief and happiness that we're still friends.

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When I was a kid and watched shows where the character was so nervous to ask their crush out, I always thought, "Why be so nervous? If that was me I would simply go up and ask, I wouldn't be scared like that." I'm not sure, but I'm wondering if it was a sign I was aro! (Because I didn't grasp the gravity of finding out whether someone else ~liked you~ in that way). It could've also just been me being a kid though.

 

But definite signs of me being aro were making up crushes to feel more normal, and also feeling sad when my friends one by one starting to date for the first time. I could never figure out why I was sad at the time, but now I realize it was because it made me feel more weird because I was realizing people weren't like me. It also disorienting because even though I didn't know I was aro, I always subconsciously defaulted to thinking people had the same type of attraction as I did (AKA no romantic attraction), so it was weird to see them date someone for the first time.

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I keep thinking about the time when I complained about the later books in the Harry Potter series -- that all the falling in love is boring, and why would you worry about dating when you have Voldemort to fight? Then being told that it's a representation of the high school experience that most people relate to... I was very clueless about other people's priorities as teenagers.

I also like to imagine stories and have since I was a kid, and I realized recently that I used to always make my characters get married when they grew up because that's what I thought adults had to do. The rest of the story would be super detailed, and then I would imagine the romance in about as much detail as, "and then she met a nice man and they got married," then move on with the story with the husband as a very minor character.

6 hours ago, mossy said:

feeling sad when my friends one by one starting to date for the first time

This too, and then when they had problems with their relationship, my first thought being "so why are you dating, it would be easier if you just stopped."

And a very big sign I was aroace as early as middle school -- I heard of different orientations (might have bit a bit late with that, I was the kid in sixth grade who knew that "gay" meant "cheerful" and could not figure out why some kids seemed to use it as an insult. Which is not okay in any case, but I really thought they were calling each other cheerful.) And I couldn't figure out how you were supposed to know which gender you liked. It took me until 20 to slowly realize that I was the only person I knew who couldn't tell...

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2 hours ago, mercaesan said:

I keep thinking about the time when I complained about the later books in the Harry Potter series -- that all the falling in love is boring, and why would you worry about dating when you have Voldemort to fight? Then being told that it's a representation of the high school experience that most people relate to... I was very clueless about other people's priorities as teenagers.

I also like to imagine stories and have since I was a kid, and I realized recently that I used to always make my characters get married when they grew up because that's what I thought adults had to do. The rest of the story would be super detailed, and then I would imagine the romance in about as much detail as, "and then she met a nice man and they got married," then move on with the story with the husband as a very minor character.

This too, and then when they had problems with their relationship, my first thought being "so why are you dating, it would be easier if you just stopped."

And a very big sign I was aroace as early as middle school -- I heard of different orientations (might have bit a bit late with that, I was the kid in sixth grade who knew that "gay" meant "cheerful" and could not figure out why some kids seemed to use it as an insult. Which is not okay in any case, but I really thought they were calling each other cheerful.) And I couldn't figure out how you were supposed to know which gender you liked. It took me until 20 to slowly realize that I was the only person I knew who couldn't tell...

Ah I always had such little patience with love triangles in YA books 😅 "Guy A is so nice to me, but guy B and I just have this electric chemistry" and I'd be like, choose Guy A! What other factor is there except how nice they are? And don't you have bigger things to worry about anyway? (And then the girl would spend the whole book waffling before choosing Guy B in the end)

My first line of advice whenever anyone tells me they're having problems with their relationship is for them to break up. I still stand by it usually being useful advice 😂

I just assumed I was attracted to guys because it was the norm (thanks alloheteronormative society 🙃) until I was around 17-18 years old. At that point I was realizing maybe I wasn't straight, because I didn't have crushes on boys, but I didn't know what else I would be so I started mentally "trying on" every label. Was I a lesbian? No. Was I bisexual? No. Was I trans? No. (That wouldn't have even affected who I was attracted to, but I was really trying out everything because all I could figure out was that I was different than the norm).

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5 hours ago, mercaesan said:

(might have bit a bit late with that, I was the kid in sixth grade who knew that "gay" meant "cheerful" and could not figure out why some kids seemed to use it as an insult. Which is not okay in any case, but I really thought they were calling each other cheerful.)

In middle school I watched an episode of a show (don't remember which one), when two boys were laughed at because people thought they were gay, and the two boys tried to prove they were not. It was very confusing so I asked my mum : "I don't get it. What is wrong about being happy?" I still didn't get what was wrong about being gay after she explained. But at least, it was clearer why they were trying to prove they were not by dating girls.

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11 hours ago, mercaesan said:

(might have bit a bit late with that, I was the kid in sixth grade who knew that "gay" meant "cheerful" and could not figure out why some kids seemed to use it as an insult. Which is not okay in any case, but I really thought they were calling each other cheerful.)

6 hours ago, nonmerci said:

In middle school I watched an episode of a show (don't remember which one), when two boys were laughed at because people thought they were gay, and the two boys tried to prove they were not. It was very confusing so I asked my mum : "I don't get it. What is wrong about being happy?" I still didn't get what was wrong about being gay after she explained. But at least, it was clearer why they were trying to prove they were not by dating girls.

I was always this kid lol. I remember when I was probably in 1st grade or so, I had a little meltdown in the mall because I told my mom I was queer, meaning “weird”. She kept telling me to not say that, that that wasn’t the actual meaning and all. It’s kind of funny looking back, because I was right with both meanings of the word. 

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A whole basket of tropes in anime (or Japanese video games) are those long, extremely drawn out "romance does never happen but is strongly suggested" dramas. Boy(s) and girl(s) get really, really, REALLY close together but a romantic relationship never evolves.

Either this is a well-known trope like "Clueless Chick Magnet", or it is: Nothing happens between the boy(s) and girl(s), they seem like a match made in heaven, but stay "just" besties for ten seasons.

I was so baffled at this as a young teen. I sensed they wanted to evoke a strong emotional reaction here, but didn't understand what they were up to precisely. Like constantly hinting that something weird or abnormal was going on but I was just "What is it? Just damn spill it out!".

Honestly, I still don't really understand (grasp the appeal of that).

Now with some more life experience, I know how easily allos develop romantic desires and how easily emotional conflicts arise or even resentment builds up when a romantic relationship simply does not develop. I dislike those tropes more than a lame romantic plot. If you use those tropes, you just have to supply a damn good explanation. Make them have incompatible attractions... or explicitly aro. That would be great.

I mean I could perhaps excuse it if they aimed at a G rating (yeah, not really... "decent" romance is always regarded as "safe for all ages"). Yet even some extremely violent anime engage in those antics.

Edited by DeltaV
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I was thinking back, and I think that an early sign I was aro was when I was 7-8 yrs old and was at summer camp. I had the strongest feeling to become the best friend of another kid the instant I saw him. We both did not spoke the same language, but I felt like we could have been the best friends ever. He saw me just as a friend though, and after that summer I never saw him again,but the time together was amazong. I always thought it was a crush but now I think it was a squish. 

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I don’t know if this counts but when I was around the age of 12 a boy in my class had a crush on a girl and wrote her a love letter. I remember us sitting all together in school around her afterwards asking her how she feels about it ... I just said to her: “so, just say that you are in love with him too, what’s the problem.” Bc I thought that would be how it works, that when someone is in love with you you just have to love them back lol

 

actually this was how I reacted in elementary school too. A friend told me that another guy would have a crush on me and I just pretended that I was into him, including kissing his face on the class-photography while in reality I didn’t even like him lol

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On 3/29/2021 at 7:56 AM, Acecream said:

I thought that would be how it works, that when someone is in love with you you just have to love them back lol

yeah, this seems like fairly common idea here. like if you don't get romantic attraction then you have to have some explanation for how romance must work, and most people are useless to ask because they just want romance themselves and don't understand that lack of experience.

So there is this mess of ideas in a young aromantic mind about how romance works, which is a sort of beautiful bodge together of schoolyard rumours and popular culture.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Pia

During my freshman year in high school my best friend and I started dating because she had liked me and I told her we could start slow. I started to realize that to me it didn't feel like anything changed. A few months we broke off but I'm happy to say that we are still friends and she was understanding. But after this experience was when I realized I've never felt a romantic attraction towards anyone.

I have never experienced a "crush" before. I have had the feeling of wanting to get closer to someone which I now know is a squish. 

I started with looking up the term asexual but then came across aromantic and felt that it fit me pretty well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Once, when I was around 11, my classmate asked me if I would like to date him. It was kida uncomfortable for me, so I found a way to get away without hurting him in any way. So I said: "If you buy me a horse, I will date you". He didn't answer, but I was really proud of myself. 

Edited by Pax
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When I was 10, I was in a movie theatre with friends. Our class had only two boys so basically they were discussing which one they would "pick". I was uninterested in the conversation until one of the girls turned to me and said, "Hey, who do you think is cute"?.

My immediate response was "my dog is cute!" as the topic made me really uncomfortable. They all laughed and it was an inside joke about how "oblivious" I was for a couple years.

It didn't occur to me I was aro until the end of college but that moment probably should have tipped me off. Clearly all I need is a canine companion!

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