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LoveIsZaxlebax

Explaining aro monogamy

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I want to be more out as aro, but I have trouble explaining myself in a way that doesn’t get my orientation called into question, accusations that I am a narcissist/abuser/unenlightened terrible person who needs to change, or both.

I am a monogamist for practical reasons not affective ones, and I don’t understand the use of the word commitment to describe monogamy.  Commitment seems like a thing that takes effort, and in my mind it takes next to zero effort to limit my irl social activity to one Designated Human.  I don’t have to try not to get attached to more than one person.  The attachments just don’t form.  I’ve tried nonmonogamy and non-exclusivity and I didn’t like it.  Too many people, it felt like forced sharing, I had no way to proactively enforce my boundaries other than leaving, or trusting the other person on a level where I am NOT comfortable trusting anyone, and never will be.

Idk maybe there’s an assumption that monogamy requires a higher degree of emotional babysitting, caregiving, trust and placing another’s wellbeing before one’s own?  (Which it doesn’t.) And people are assuming that any partner I might have would expect to receive this, so they jump to the conclusion that I’m callously depriving said partner of emotional fulfillment?

There seems to be a difference between friend-level emotional support and boyfriend-level emotional support.  Things that are perfectly fine as a friend are suddenly selfish and callous as a boyfriend.

”I can’t imagine how anyone would want to be treated that way” is a common refrain.  What does that mean, that I should try harder to elaborate, or that they refuse to entertain the idea and want me to shut up and go away?

Is an aro relationship somehow only ethical insofar as it does not involve exclusivity, and the second there is an element of ownership it becomes unethical?  Is an ownership dynamic somehow only ethical insofar as it involves romantic attraction?

I’m sick of being admonished to “care more about the feelings and needs of another person.”  Like.  This other person is a grown adult who can look after his own needs and feelings, with or without anyone else.  So am I.  Also, these admonishers have no idea what his feelings and needs are—yet they jump to the conclusion that exclusivity without alloromance is demeaning, or means he’s being affectively starved to death.

I don’t need or want to be the recipient of all the other stuff people associate with monogamy and I’m not emotionally deprived or demeaned at all.  It doesn’t compute how so many people have acted like it’s such a sad fate, to be in a pragmatic-storgic marriage.

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@LoveIsZaxlebax

It sounds like you're talking here both about aro monogamy and about issues/conflict with other people about it. Out of those two, was there one you were more interested in hearing advice/perspectives about? Because I have some different thoughts on each.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Coyote said:

@LoveIsZaxlebax

It sounds like you're talking here both about aro monogamy and about issues/conflict with other people about it. Out of those two, was there one you were more interested in hearing advice/perspectives about? Because I have some different thoughts on each.

I guess both, this was about both being monoplatonic aro (I guess monoplatonic is a more accurate word) and wondering what a better way to explain my orientation would be, given the usual flak.

Original post was imprecise with terminology I now realize, I know “monogamy” means several different things but I used it as a catch-all and generalized term.  In my case I was referring more to sexual exclusivity and the troubles of explaining how I’m oriented towards sexual exclusivity without romantic love.  Some of my relatives and former friends said I was evil and abusive for being that way.

Edited by LoveIsZaxlebax
Imprecision of terminology

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I don't know about thoughts about monoplatonic aros, only because I definitely sit more on the ace/I don't care side of things....but as for the bad reactions people are having I'm sorry you got those reactions as they sound particularly horrible. Either people are making assumptions/jumping to conclusions or you are living in a particularly amatonormative social setting.

On 5/11/2020 at 7:30 PM, LoveIsZaxlebax said:

Commitment seems like a thing that takes effort, and in my mind it takes next to zero effort to limit my irl social activity to one Designated Human.  I don’t have to try not to get attached to more than one person.  The attachments just don’t form.

Possible assumptions people are making:

1. There are many work industries, probably most of them, where this is just not possible to limit irl social activity. Sure it is work related and generally within the boundaries of work hours but many people have assumptions about those interactions being the basis of friendship. I have had several instances of work acquaintances referring to me as their friend which I thought was an imposition, and I low key despised a few of them so I have no idea what their idea of 'friend' could actually be. 

2. I was also taught that one red flag for an abusive relationship is when a friend starts dropping all previously established friend relationships when they get a new partner (the isolate-and-break pattern). 

I totally don't think you are doing that, you make it clear to me when you say [This other person is a grown adult who can look after his own needs and feelings, with or without anyone else.] but it's possible that the way you describe your circumstances that the people listening are making those two assumptions that all outside attachments are to be broken and a misunderstanding about social activity and assumptions about 'friend' relations. 

Maybe just moving away from established vocabulary like boyfriend/friend/monogamy/commitment will reduce the instances of misunderstanding. Rather use QPRs (QueerPlatonic Relationships, Zuccini (non-romantic partner) and as you have already used, monoplatonic. 

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On 5/11/2020 at 1:09 PM, LoveIsZaxlebax said:

I guess both, this was about both being monoplatonic aro (I guess monoplatonic is a more accurate word) and wondering what a better way to explain my orientation would be, given the usual flak.

I'd probably still just use monogamous or monoamorous for that. If you say platonic, most people will probably figure you mean without sex.

Anyway, that's going to depend some on the specifics of each conversation, I think. I doubt there's any one-size-fits-all explanation that's guaranteed to work for everyone, as with any topic.

It sounds like one of the objections you've been encountering so far is the idea that nonromantic sex is categorically bad. From what you've described, it's unclear if people are saying this in general or specifically when combined with sexual exclusivity.

Regardless, one thing I'd be inclined to highlight, myself, is the matter of compatibility -- i.e., these are preferences that make you compatible (or not) with individual other people, so if someone else's preferences are different, you're choosing not to partner with each other. It's not like you're dragging people into an arrangement that they don't want. You're identifying which arrangements you don't want.

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