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LBMango

Reactions to announcing your aro-ness

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I used ASAW last week to tell my close friends (me emo-list on facebook) that I'm aro. I explained what this meant for me, gave some pointers to AUREA and ASAW and Aroccalypse, and closed with:

What does this mean? For any of you? Absolutely nothing other than maybe a bit of "understanding [LBMango]"... And I guess at least a partial answer to "why is [LBMango] single?" which I doubt many people have bothered to wonder about...

 

That's pretty much how I expected people to respond, and, well, since this was my emo-list who are the FB friends who I really trust, I was right. There were a few likes/loves, etc but that's about it... 

Now, I'm a middle-aged cis-hetero-aro-male, so that may have a definite effect (no one is going to tell me I'm still too young to know, or that I'll grow out of anything...) but I'm often surprised how invested other people seem to be in other people's aro-ness... 

So, is my experience unusual? 

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I don’t believe so. Once people have an understanding of your orientation, they don’t seem to care anymore

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2 hours ago, Star Lion said:

I don’t believe so. Once people have an understanding of your orientation, they don’t seem to care anymore

Which, to me, at least, seems totally reasonable...

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I think it makes sense that an identity that doesn't apply to them is only meaningful to them in understanding you! That's definitely reasonable.

 

I do have one friend from my past who unfortunately has taken to pestering me about getting a pet or mentioning she wants to hook me up with random men (and only men for some reason even though I was previously bi/pan before I was aro) in her life, including my boss and a friend of hers who they think is also rather aroace because I came out as aro and she "doesn't want me to be alone" even though I'm perfectly happy with my status and in fact would be unhappy if partnered up - even with a roommate.

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Yeah idk, I mostly got supportive reactions, friends saying i can talk to them and some asking some more about aromanticism and how i discovered it, some were more like "ok", bc it's true that it doesn't like change a lot outwardly?? as much as it changes things in your perception of yourself and all

 

the only negative reaction was that of my mom, she just didn't believe that it was possible to be aro, and said that im making things up, bc i dont have any real problems

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In my experience, friends bother less with that, though of course it depends on their personality. But my friends don't care.

However it's harder with parents, probably because they are more likely to have life projects for you and are not ready to let them go. Also maybe, a different generation. 

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My friend were not surprised. But from the ones who cared about me the most I did feel some pityful looks like 'something is not right with you I knew it' or 'you should at least try or get counseling'.

With my parents, the battle is still ongoing: my mother can't help being unvalidating, even if she loves me and tries hard to respect me.

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I will say, that I haven't told my family... I mean, I'm 47, and I've never introduced them to a partner or anything, so they pretty much know that I'm not going to get married and have kids... (My sister is married, but not having kids, so no grandkids... oh well) Beyond "when will I get grandkids" which I have THANKFULLY never been asked, I don't think my family would have any reaction... But I also don't feel any need to actually TELL them either... 

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I honestly don't feel the need to tell anyone I'm quoiro unless I'm dating or having sex with them or I think I might have a crush on them. Lots of people have complex feelings about romance and would fit the definition of aromantic or grayromantic whether they identify that way or not, the concept of aromanticism and asexuality as we define them on here are very westernized, and being aro isn't an oppressed identity. Same for being ace. So I don't think there's usually any need to tell people about that part of your identity unless you're romantically/sexually involved with them. Or unless they're your therapist or maybe a close friend or something. Like, someone you would normally talk to about your sex life.

 

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so when I was 26-ish I came out to friends who were the same age. I figured at that age I was beyond the 'you'll grow out of it reaction' and my friends were open minded enough to other topical LGBT+ issues. These friends I love and trust were starting to orient their lives towards getting a partner to get married and have kids. Their reaction was flat denial that aromantics exist. One since admitted that she was terrified I was forcing the orientation on her because she related to some of what I said even though her ultimate life goal is still to get married and have kids.....which is the complete opposite of me. 

Other friends I am less close to were much more accepting and chill about it all. 

Still not out to family, but they have known for years I'm never having kids and have generally figured out that I'm never 'settling down'

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My parents were concerned that I'd be lonely, they asked a lot of questions (so did my sister) but they all did accept me and I'm v v lucky for that. 

My friends didnt seem to care all that much, I'm pretty sure they already knew just without the label attached. 

Anyone new that I meet always asks questions or feels sorry for me or both and I have to educate.

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Guest Wren

My parents just did the usual "It's just a phase." thing.

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