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Am I aro or grey-aro?


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Hi everyone!

So as I understand it, gray aros have crushes but don't want a romantic relationship. But how do you know if you've had crushes or not? I may have had one when I was 13 (I'm 32) but it was so long ago, who knows. Last year I was briefly obsessed about a guy but never fantasized about romance with him, I just thought about his nice forearms and long lashes and sense of humour, and it evaporated very quickly when I discovered a friend was actually with him. In 2010, I may have sort of had a crush on a brief fling? I remember lying on the couch thinking about her afterwards, but I didn't have to "get over" her either lol. When I saw her just days after we had a fallout, I had a physical reaction, I almost stumbled and like a heavy weight dropped into my stomach? It was quite unpleasant. I never had butterflies in the belly or anything like that with her. And I think that's it? I can't remember other possible crushes lol.

I guess what I'm asking is, do grey-aros usually know when they have a crush? I kind of feel like grey-aro is an anti-freedom term bc then it's like, I could have a crush and therefore be hindered in my life? Like I'm not opposed to a romantic relationship, I just don't seem to feel romantically, and grey-aro feels like the limitations of a romantic relationship about to happen. Nonsense, it's not even in the definition...

But I'm also vary of identifying too much with being totally aro so I don't accidentally block myself from feelings if by some miracle those might happen some day lol.

I realize those sentiments clash hardcore, lol. I'm confused, I guess, lol!

 (I'm definitely not demi, I was in a romantic relationship for 5 and a half years and never developed romantic feelings for him. Or for anyone else after knowing them.)

Thank you for any comments!

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Hi and welcome Wildlife!

I thought that I was in love in the past. I was probably just confusing romantic attraction with aesthetic attraction and intellectual fascination (for romance and for the other person's charisma). I never really wanted to stay with these crushes for long nor build a relationship. I may have felt posessive at times but I would not miss them when not seeing them. It felt quite cold, like a kid sulking, unable to catch a butterfly, then moving on to the next bug. While I actually feel dedicated and attached to my close friends, family and pets. So that did not seem romantic to me.

I identify as aromantic but I could be wrong. You can always ditch your label if a label no longer fits your evolution.


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Gray-aro can refer to a variety of experiences, including crushes without desire to "follow up" on them, but also including : experiencing (romantic) attraction rarely, experiencing attraction ambiguously/uncertainly, experiencing attraction at a low intensity, experiencing an attraction that is very fleeting/short lived....It can describe a lot of things. 

The fact that you are wondering if you've ever had a crush kind of indicates that you may be on the aro-spectrum, as romantic attraction tends to be described as a gut feeling that is very obvious. It also sounds like you've spent very little time thinking about or pursuing romance in general, and for someone in their 30s, that tends to be considered non-normative. 

At the end of the day the choice is up to you. You could identify as aro-spec or gray-ro, which can act as ambiguous catch-all terms. You could identify as aro. You could identify as questioning. Lurking around sites like this will give you more of an idea of what the aromantic experience is like and may help you decide.

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On 6/15/2020 at 10:33 PM, Wildlife said:

But I'm also vary of identifying too much with being totally aro so I don't accidentally block myself from feelings if by some miracle those might happen some day lol.

This is very common! Many people struggle with identifying on the aromantic spectrum. There is a whole label (Cupioromantic) that allows that sidestep of being open to possible romantic future while acknowledging that no attraction has happened (so far). It is a big messy bunch of internal, internalised, and external influences, ideals, and life goals that make it all so complicated. 

I agree with @aro-fae that greyaromantic is more of a general catch-all term for a vast variety of experiences than the definition you give it. Simply because you don't wish to use Aro is a good enough reason not to use it. Labels are all about identifying with something. If you read about more greyromantic, or even just grey-a experiences, you might feel more comfortable with it, or you may stumble upon a microlabel that you fall in love with (like I did.....and then mostly decide not to use it, like I did!)

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