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pigeonhead

What do I do about this?

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Currently, I feel like I *have* to be in a relationship/ have a crush on someone, even though the rational part of me knows that just isn't happening because I wouldn't enjoy it due to the lack of romantic attraction. I know it's just amatonormativity getting to me, but I don't really know how to get over it. It's kind of made worse by the fact that I spend more time in the mainstream LGBTQ+ community, which obviously is going to have a greater emphasis on romantic love and crushes. Plus yearning blogs/romance quotes constantly popping up doesn't help much. Any advice?

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I believe that you do what it makes you happy and comfortable. The lgbtq+ community has fought (still fighting) for their rights to love and be loved, but most importantly: they have fought for their right to be themselves. Aromantic and asexual people are not excluded, no matter what exclusionists tell you.

You are aro, you need to be yourself. Of course romantic love is going to be in the picture (because in my perspective media idolized romantic relationships, but of course romantic relationships are not bad, just not for everyone) but you do not need to feel the pressure of doing something you do not want or are not comfortable to. 

May sound cliché but: be yourself. If someone dislikes it, screw them. You have to be the example of someone who understands and feels love in a different way, and is happy and proud of it. Be proud of who you are and what you feel.

I'm sorry if I made mistakes, English is not my native language. Hope this helps and have a wonderful day 

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I 100% agree with Circe. You have the right to be yourself and no one can tell you otherwise. Keep reminding yourself of that.

But if you really feel like that isn't working, maybe try to exclude those places from yourself. If you can find any way to make sure that no romantic-type stuff comes into your feed, do that! 

But, again, above all, remember that you should do what makes you comfortable. And if it's different than what society tells you, then so be it. Blaze a trail!

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Hey @pigeonhead, I'm sorry to hear you feel this way and I hope you feel better soon. I have a few suggestions for things that I think could help:

1 - as the others have said, limit your exposure to content that triggers or exacerbates your bad feelings about this - those romance quotes and yearning blogs you were talking about. If you can, replace them with some aro-positive, single-positive, and/or nonamory-positive sources. When's the last time you read a book with positive aro/nonamory representation?

2 - spend some time with other arospec people, nonamorous people, and/or perma-single people, either online or offline. It is very hard to feel positive about yourself if you constantly feel you're the only one of your kind and that the life you want for yourself is outside all norms. 

3 - maybe limit your involvement in mainstream LGBTQ+ spaces, or change the nature of your involvement. Can you suggest changes to some spaces you spend time in that would make you and other aros more comfortable and welcome there?

4 - if you want to dig deeper, keep a journal to write about these feelings. That allows you to wallow a little but also problem-solve. You could also write about your ideal life without a romantic relationship, write about the kinds of people you want to spend time with, the sort of experiences you want to have in your life. It's hard for all of us who don't follow the "standard script" of romantic/partnered relationships to figure out how we want to live, and creating a positive vision for yourself in this way can be very powerful.

I hope some of these help you and you feel better and more positive about yourself soon! Being arospec and perma-single is valid and beautiful and you deserve to feel good about it.

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Get along with people who are not talking only about romance. Go with people who share your other interests.

Be clear with others about the things that trigger you. If you don't want to come out as aro, just say that you don't want to talk/be reminded about relationships right now. Even romantic people have the right not to seek romance at times.

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