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fagricipni

How Does Your Aromanticism Affect Your Relationships?

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I have added a new reply to my intro thread with some relevant quotes from my old Livejournal posts.

I seem to be more romance-favorable toward romantic-coded actions directed at me than most people who identify on the aromantic spectrum.  Others can point to a romantic-coded activity that they dislike.  But I like cuddling, hand-holding, and some other romantic-coded actions.  If my aromantic "identity" doesn't effect what I actually do in relationships, just perhaps the feelings behind my actions, should I even be identifying as aromantic at all?  

For those aromantics who look for partners, what effects do you think that your aromanticism has or would have on your relationships?  I know that this is a broad question, but I can't figure out how to narrow it.  I don't feel right hiding the fact that I identify as aromantic, but I also can't say exactly how it would change things for a partner.  

 

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Actions don't make an identity. If the label aromantic resonates with you then it's yours. 

When its comes to likes and dislikes within the aromantic community, the things people dislike are always going to be talked about more than what people like. People like to vent and complain haha. I can't say for sure whether most aromantics dislike romantic-coded actions - though I have also felt like that at times - but I can say I like a lot of those romantic-coded actions, the physical ones in particular. For me, since I know I'm not practising romance then the action I'm doing isn't, can't be, romantic. And yes that has caused a lot of confusion for allos over the years lol bc there they are reading romance-coded actions as romantic smh. I've accepted that I like and want things that don't make sense to others. Why do they have to make sense anyway? They're feelings ffs.

I felt a lot of those quotes you added to your intro, like oof that's me haha. I'm not looking for a partner, nor do I feel romantic feelings in any regard. I am in a sexual relationship with my best friend though and in my experience I would say sometimes you won't know what things you want to change until they're being offered to you. I really enjoy cuddling for example, it's fucking great! And then my best friend said she wants to cuddle outside of bed, like when we're hanging out watching TV, and I knew I didn't want to do that. I couldn't have guessed what my preferences were going in, I didn't have the experience. 

Actually though I will say my aromanticism makes me adverse to being physically affectionate with my best friend in public. I know people will assume we're in a romantic relationship and I don't want people to assume I'm interested in romance. Clearly I picked the wrong universe for that lol. If I'm being fair a lot of what we do does emulate a romantic relationship. If I'm being honest I don't care what it looks like. I'm not going to limit the bounds of my friendship because people who aren't involved say I crossed one of the lines they have for their relationships. 

My advice: just tell the people you want to be in relationships with that you're aromantic, that no two relationships look the same, and you're idk excited to figure it out with them. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, fagricipni said:

If my aromantic "identity" doesn't effect what I actually do in relationships, just perhaps the feelings behind my actions, should I even be identifying as aromantic at all?  

Why shoudn't you? If the label fits you, you can use it freely.

Attraction and action are different things. In itself, an action is not romantic (though society can see it this way), it is your intent behind it that is. Like holding hands : I loved to hold my parents hand as a child, still kinda do, and that was certainly not romantic.

 

And though I think a lot of aro are romance repulsed, you don't have to to identify as aro. Everyone is different, it would be boring if we were all the same.

and if you look at the survey,  you'll see that there is also a lot of aros who are not romance repulsed anyway.

Edited by nonmerci
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On 4/15/2020 at 9:10 PM, fagricipni said:

I seem to be more romance-favorable toward romantic-coded actions directed at me than most people who identify on the aromantic spectrum.  Others can point to a romantic-coded activity that they dislike.  But I like cuddling, hand-holding, and some other romantic-coded actions.  If my aromantic "identity" doesn't effect what I actually do in relationships, just perhaps the feelings behind my actions, should I even be identifying as aromantic at all?  

For those aromantics who look for partners, what effects do you think that your aromanticism has or would have on your relationships?  I know that this is a broad question, but I can't figure out how to narrow it.  I don't feel right hiding the fact that I identify as aromantic, but I also can't say exactly how it would change things for a partner. 

hey there.

you can like or not like anything that's romantic coded and still ID as aro. i have friends where we talk about kissing or cuddling, and despite being ace i still engage sexually with those people. sure, it's a bit confusing, but i've found being forthright and setting boundaries still makes those relationships possible. i still say i love you, because love to me isn't inherently romantic or platonic, but i mean it all the same.

to rephrase: people often assume romantic attraction and platonic attraction are separate. i had a friend once describe it to me as a venn diagram with the lines blurred. you can't distinguish where one part ends and the other begins. i don't see romantic-coded things as inherently romantic. that doesn't make me less aro, it makes me my own. (and repulsion isn't inherent within aromanticism either!) there isn't a check box with how you should feel before using the term aromantic. i use aromantic as an umbrella term. i'm not comfortable defining it further with people who aren't familiar with it. (there's a term- alterous - that gives me comfort and knowledge that other people feel the same way i do, but i don't use it often outside of aro-circles, namely this site.)

i'm babbling. simply put, my aromanticism has dramatically changed how i present and confront my relationships. i often speak up about how my orientation works, to limit leading someone on, as actions people might call flirtatious are just... how i interact with people i care for. it's lead to me pressing for communication early on, and ensuring (especially if someone is allo) that they have just as much control of the relationship, enabling things like check ins and ways for us to touch base about how we feel in order to keep everyone content and comfortable. my aromanticism has forced me to speak up for what i want, to set my boundaries early on, and to sidestep those who disregard it. i often look for people who emotional maturity because of this. my closest friends are ones who can open up and have these discussions with me, because i can't be damned to play games and skirt around truths. it's been a slow, but important change. hopefully this helps.

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