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Queasy_Attention

Finding my Aro identity has totally shifted my perspectives

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I posted this on reddit yesterday and figured hey, why not post it here too? This isn't a call to action or anything, I'm was just excited about all the little discoveries about myself I've been making in the past three or four months, and I wanted to write them down somewhere. If yall have anything like this-- something that realizing you're aro brought to light-- then I'd love to hear your stories too!

  • I learned why I'm really picky about what kind of romance I like to read. I like reading about couples if their platonic or physical relationships are interesting, because as an aroallo I can empathize with and relate to both platonic and physical attraction. If a couple doesn't have either of those, blup bee doo they're boring. Gimme something with enemies forced to work together, or queer historical fiction where they're not allowed to find each other attractive (but they dooooooo).
  • I learned what my crushes really were, and that they weren't really fueled by romantic attraction. I just wanted to feel like I was part of the crowd, and "having a crush on someone" was a way to get other people's positive attention. My favorite part of crushes was gossiping with other people, not actually, yknow, experiencing the crush. I always had to make myself do that part. I felt genuine giddy crush-like excitement whenever I "had" a crush, but it was never because of the person, it was always because of the context. Looking back it's so clear, but I really had no idea for so long.
  • I learned why my past relationships didn't work. They were built on platonic and physical attraction only, nothing else. One case fell apart when I realized the guy wasn't as cool as I thought he was, and the platonic attraction faded away. One was built on dependent platonic attraction on my part, and I didn't realize how unhealthy it was until they ended it. And it feels really freeing to finally have a reason why things fell apart, and to know that it wasn't just because I was a bad person. I wasn't a bad person. And I'm not a bad person.
  • Ooh ooh I learned why I hate reading the trope of "character who's determined not to fall in love at the beginning of the story" and just knowing that by the end they'll have found someone ~special~ enough to make them want a relationship-- because I start off relating to the character and end up feeling completely distanced. It's infuriating!!
  • I look back at almost every single character I've written and I see bits and pieces of my aroallo identity scattered around. I knew who I was all along, even if I didn't have the words for it or the self-worth to realize it about myself. Everything I've felt comfortable writing about is everything I would feel comfortable having for myself. And sometimes when I doubt my aromanticism, looking back at all this stuff reminds me that this is my truth.
Edited by Queasy_Attention
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omg welcome!! i'm so glad you've figured yourself out a bit more, isn't it an amazing feeling?

15 minutes ago, Queasy_Attention said:

I learned what my crushes really were, and that they weren't really fueled by romantic attraction.

i'm not allosexual, but holy shit (almost) same hat! i never actually had crushes, but they were so the norm to chat about and everyone expected everyone else to have, or have had, a crush, i just made them up and assumed that's what everyone else did too. and i always picked a boy too, because yayy heteronormativitiy... Honestly, when i realised that most people DON'T actually just pick whoever is kinda nice and cool and declare them their crush, i found it incredibly funny. i rage about amatonormativitiy a lot, but to me this bit is just hilarious. i just made them up!! like wow @ self :'D

 

19 minutes ago, Queasy_Attention said:

I look back at almost every single character I've written and I see bits and pieces of my aroallo identity scattered around.

BIG same!! I remember looking over my characters and realising oh.... these are all aro huh. not all of them are ace, but the aroness just shone through. i've actively tried making non-aro characters since, but the protags of my stories are almost always aro, or just disinterested in romance.

some other things i realised!

  • i LOVE romance stories. i don't read or watch a lot of them though, because i have very particular tastes. mostly romcoms are boring, but there are a couple i adore. Pride and Prejudice (2005) is among my top 3 films. Four Weddings and a Funeral is high up there, but i find Hugh Grant's character and love plotline incredibly boring lol. i think like you, i value a deep connection and platonic relationship more than the pure romance stuff of it. Pride and Prejudice I adore because 1) it's just a marvel of a film, from a craft standpoint, and 2) no insta love!! (and 3) that HAND TOUCHING SCENE). the idea of romance really appeals to me, but i'm very happy for it to remain an idea. kinda like folks who love horror but obviously would never want a horror story to happen irl*
  • a tiny gremlin in my head doesn't believe in romantic attraction. like at all. a slightly more sensible gremlin, but still a gremlin, thinks a lot of the more dramatic points of romantic love is vastly exaggerated, and people half fake, half believe it because it's so entrenched in culture. i try not to say this out loud in allo spaces because it's a little too close to invalidation for my tastes - i don't know people's inner lives anymore than they know mine. but there's still a gremlin there and honestly i kinda wish i could have philosophical convos about this with my allo friends, without them potentially becoming upset and defensive (and like, i wouldn't blame them for it if they did) (THIS READS MORE SAD THAN I MEANT IT TO LMAO).
  • i love being by myself! not like all the time, but living alone, having my own time, not sharing my whole life with someone. for a bit i tried really hard to find a QPR, before i realised i was using it as a replacement for a romantic relationship, and i would be about as happy in a QPR as in a romantic one (which is, not at all). and being at peace and happy with being by myself for the foreseeable future is so nice!

 

*(not to compare romantic attraction to horror, oh dear)

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23 minutes ago, nisse said:

Pride and Prejudice (2005) is among my top 3 films.

HA P&P has to be one of my favorite books! I've never seen the film or the show before, but I've always had it on the list of "stuff I think I should probably watch because I'd like it, but I won't watch for a long time for reasons unknown until the end of time." Yknow the feeling. Uggghhh it's so gooooood, because relationships in that setting are more based around, like, political gain rather than actual attraction, and you're lucky if you wind up with someone you can actually get along with and like-- and the whole thing is all about their social relationships between one another as well as their individual relationship together, and there's misunderstandings and ugghhh it's so goooood

25 minutes ago, nisse said:

i love being by myself! not like all the time, but living alone, having my own time, not sharing my whole life with someone

god, THIS. Growing up I used to, like, lie awake and worry about how someday I'd have to sleep in the same bed as someone else and share a living space with them, and then I'd calm myself down by being like well that's not happening yet, and I've got a lot of time until it does, so I should just enjoy being alone while I still can. Jump cut to now, lol. 

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9 hours ago, Queasy_Attention said:

"stuff I think I should probably watch because I'd like it, but I won't watch for a long time for reasons unknown until the end of time." Yknow the feeling.

i do very much hahaha, i have QUITE the long list of these kinda movies and books :') i did recently listen to P&P on audiobook though, and it's really good! Austen was such a good writer, it's amazing how her little pokes at and observation of a society from 200 years ago is still relatable and funny. 

I heartily recommend the film. Most folks who are fans of the book first prefer the BBC series, but as a former film student, the film is better. the BBC series is more faithful, to be sure, but the film is better at humanising people who lived in the 18th c, and it is incredibly well made. They've mashed up some characters, cut others, and switched the roles of some, but that's just the nature of adapting a story into a film. The show had more time, so they could be more faithful in the adaption (it's very good! i don't want to bash on it, because it's not bad at all. but i saw it once and was happy with that, while the film i can rewatch over and over).

9 hours ago, Queasy_Attention said:

Jump cut to now, lol.

SERIOUSLY hahahaha figuring out some big stuff about myself ALWAYS makes me look back at younger me and go oooooooh i see

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17 hours ago, Queasy_Attention said:

Ooh ooh I learned why I hate reading the trope of "character who's determined not to fall in love at the beginning of the story" and just knowing that by the end they'll have found someone ~special~ enough to make them want a relationship-- because I start off relating to the character and end up feeling completely distanced. It's infuriating!!

Same! Recently I read the story of a friend when it didn't happen, the character was revealed as aro, and I was so happy! Because the trope of "not interested until the one comes and changes everything" is so annoying and hurtful.

On the same note, when a character finally gets the job he/she always wanted but gives it up at the end of the movie, because romance is the only thing that really makes you happy. What kind of moral is that : give up your dream to get married?

 

17 hours ago, Queasy_Attention said:

I look back at almost every single character I've written and I see bits and pieces of my aroallo identity scattered around. I knew who I was all along, even if I didn't have the words for it or the self-worth to realize it about myself. Everything I've felt comfortable writing about is everything I would feel comfortable having for myself. And sometimes when I doubt my aromanticism, looking back at all this stuff reminds me that this is my truth.

Same. Well, not all my characters, I've got a lot of allos because I like romance... but some of the characters that are the most like me have strong aro vibes. I remember writing the first crush of my main character while thinking "this is bullshit, that never happens in real life". Also, I wrote a QPR without knowing it : I wanted to write a strong friendship to prove boys ans girls can be friends and very close without any romantic feeling involved. When I read the definition of QPP, it was totally them!

And there is this character, he was so aro ace that I wonder how I couldn't have notice he was. Even if I didn't know it existed back then, it was so obvious.

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3 hours ago, nonmerci said:

On the same note, when a character finally gets the job he/she always wanted but gives it up at the end of the movie, because romance is the only thing that really makes you happy.

Duuuude, fuck this trope. I will admit to loving Kate and Leopold (maybe just for the butter monologue), but the ending cheeses me every time. Sure, give up your corporate ladder job that you've worked for for YEARS, sure, throw away the now interesting professional relationship you have with your boss who hit on you but now respects you as a person, sure, go back to a time where you can't even VOTE. Hugh Jackman's good, but he's not that good, sister.

3 hours ago, nonmerci said:

Same. Well, not all my characters, I've got a lot of allos because I like romance... but some of the characters that are the most like me have strong aro vibes

Bruhhhh even the characters I write in romances are, like, pretty fuckin' aro. For a while I was like well ok I guess the wacky side quip characters are definitely aro, because they stay out of the way and don't want romance for themselves, but still root for their friends to get together. But then I look back at all the characters in relationships too and I'm like ohhhhh. Ohhhhhh. 

9 hours ago, nisse said:

SERIOUSLY hahahaha figuring out some big stuff about myself ALWAYS makes me look back at younger me and go oooooooh i see

I think that's the best part of finding this identity-- looking back and realizing OH SHIT, OH THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE

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3 hours ago, nonmerci said:

On the same note, when a character finally gets the job he/she always wanted but gives it up at the end of the movie, because romance is the only thing that really makes you happy. What kind of moral is that : give up your dream to get married?

yessss oh my god.... how can they not realise the difference between giving up a job because you've never been happy in it, and giving up a job FOR another person??

kinda similarly, i saw a show recently where one person said to their significant other "you've given up so much for me, it's time for me to sacrifice something for you" (i think it was about moving cities and giving up careers/moving away from family or smth?) and i was kinda baffled like damn, y'all sacrifice your dreams for each other in a kind of equal exchange system? no compromising or talking stuff out beforehand??

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47 minutes ago, nisse said:

kinda similarly, i saw a show recently where one person said to their significant other "you've given up so much for me, it's time for me to sacrifice something for you" (i think it was about moving cities and giving up careers/moving away from family or smth?) and i was kinda baffled like damn, y'all sacrifice your dreams for each other in a kind of equal exchange system? no compromising or talking stuff out beforehand?

That's supposed to be "romantic". But I just think it so strange. Maybe, if you have to sacrifice all you love for one person, you shouldn't be together...? I mean, that may not be always true, maybe the person makes you happy more thatn what you sacrifice... But then this is what should be shown, instead of just value the notion of sacrifice as something you have to do, even if you love that.

 

59 minutes ago, Queasy_Attention said:

Bruhhhh even the characters I write in romances are, like, pretty fuckin' aro. For a while I was like well ok I guess the wacky side quip characters are definitely aro, because they stay out of the way and don't want romance for themselves, but still root for their friends to get together. But then I look back at all the characters in relationships too and I'm like ohhhhh. Ohhhhhh. 

 

Once I wrote a kiss scene. I wanted to detail a bit as it was the first one of the main couple. And I had to make researches because I never kissed anyone and didn't know how it feels like, or what people find nice in it. I don't know if it's an aro or an ace thing, but that was something. And in this relationship, sometimes I look back and think : "are they romantic enough"? I have no clue.

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On 8/15/2020 at 1:19 AM, Queasy_Attention said:

god, THIS. Growing up I used to, like, lie awake and worry about how someday I'd have to sleep in the same bed as someone else and share a living space with them, and then I'd calm myself down by being like well that's not happening yet, and I've got a lot of time until it does, so I should just enjoy being alone while I still can. Jump cut to now, lol. 

Yes THIS. Wondering how to have a relationship where you have to sleep in the same bed in the same room was my ultimate nightmare (pun intended). I even tried it once years before aromanticism became a known thing for me, and it went about as well as you'd expect... Now I'm looking forward to having my house to myself for the rest of my life.

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On 8/14/2020 at 4:01 PM, Queasy_Attention said:

Ooh ooh I learned why I hate reading the trope of "character who's determined not to fall in love at the beginning of the story" and just knowing that by the end they'll have found someone ~special~ enough to make them want a relationship-- because I start off relating to the character and end up feeling completely distanced. It's infuriating!!

To this point, the characters who are like "we won't fall in love with each other for x reason" and for seemmingly no reason the unwanted relationship is a major plot point. Whenever I read/watch things like that, I tend to think "don't then, its not that hard."

On 8/14/2020 at 4:53 PM, nisse said:

a tiny gremlin in my head doesn't believe in romantic attraction. like at all. a slightly more sensible gremlin, but still a gremlin, thinks a lot of the more dramatic points of romantic love is vastly exaggerated, and people half fake, half believe it because it's so entrenched in culture. i try not to say this out loud in allo spaces because it's a little too close to invalidation for my tastes - i don't know people's inner lives anymore than they know mine. but there's still a gremlin there and honestly i kinda wish i could have philosophical convos about this with my allo friends, without them potentially becoming upset and defensive (and like, i wouldn't blame them for it if they did) (THIS READS MORE SAD THAN I MEANT IT TO LMAO).

I spent years claiming that romantic love was fake and an illusion (and hoping I wouldn't succumb to said illusion) and my peers had been brainwashed by society. And I still don't completely think that I'm wrong. I guess there must be something that qualifies as romantic attraction, but I think that most of it is a person thinking they should feel a certain way, to the point where they do feel that way. In other words, I agree with the gremlin.

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1 hour ago, Neon Green Packing Peanut said:

To this point, the characters who are like "we won't fall in love with each other for x reason" and for seemmingly no reason the unwanted relationship is a major plot point. Whenever I read/watch things like that, I tend to think "don't then, its not that hard."

Ha, I actually kind of like this trope! The annoying part to me is if the character doesn't want a relationship at all, and ends up having feeeeelings. If they're neutral/positive towards relationships, and it's the other person that they resist (and eventually end up falling for), I'll dig that. To each their own lol! But I love the mental image of, like, sitting in a chair reading a book and saying "well, don't then, it's not that hard" to the main character. lmfaooo

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On 8/14/2020 at 5:19 PM, Queasy_Attention said:

HA P&P has to be one of my favorite books! I've never seen the film or the show before, but I've always had it on the list of "stuff I think I should probably watch because I'd like it, but I won't watch for a long time for reasons unknown until the end of time." Yknow the feeling. Uggghhh it's so gooooood, because relationships in that setting are more based around, like, political gain rather than actual attraction, and you're lucky if you wind up with someone you can actually get along with and like-- and the whole thing is all about their social relationships between one another as well as their individual relationship together, and there's misunderstandings and ugghhh it's so goooood

 

Pride and Prejudice was good, just not my thing. However, I would like to propose Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an exact copy of the original with zombie fight scenes added in. It also go a film adaptation, which I haven't seen.

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On 8/14/2020 at 11:53 PM, nisse said:

a tiny gremlin in my head doesn't believe in romantic attraction. like at all. a slightly more sensible gremlin, but still a gremlin, thinks a lot of the more dramatic points of romantic love is vastly exaggerated, and people half fake, half believe it because it's so entrenched in culture. i try not to say this out loud in allo spaces because it's a little too close to invalidation for my tastes - i don't know people's inner lives anymore than they know mine. but there's still a gremlin there and honestly i kinda wish i could have philosophical convos about this with my allo friends, without them potentially becoming upset and defensive (and like, i wouldn't blame them for it if they did)

Same! I've expressed it to close friends before, when they have crushes on people an my mind is blown a little bit. Until I'm totally confronted with romantic attraction, I forget it's a real thing that people feel, not just a nice storyline.

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You know... I'm a weird person.

I can like or learn to enjoy romantic movies (as long as they aren't flat cheesy lovey dovey things), specially because my mom is super romantic and I watched a lot of those with her; but all feels icky to me.

For example, I love fictional ships, I like to experiment how two or more characters (any gender) could interact in certain situations, their dynamics and, of course, physical contact + affection. Buuuut, I'm not really sure I see them in a romantic light. The thing is that romantic people sees physical affection and even sex always with pink colored glasses ''if you copulate/kiss/hug, etc you must be a couple''. Same irl, I like to meet new people, I enjoy emotional closeness and physical affection and I can start finding you sexually attractive, but as long as the thing changes to romantic territory (together forever, you are mine, I can't live without you, excessive praise, things going too fast, people accusing me of being uncaring because I like my own space and it's very very extended) I get repulsed and stuff. I'm not disgusted at the person, because they can't control it, but I just go ''no, slow down, I don't want this''.

The thing is, romance looks interesting on paper and on fantasy, but not in real life.

For years I thought I was broken, because I thought I shouldn't prefer to be by myself to date/flirting. For me romantic love was and still is ''very close friendship with sex as a combo'' and I tended to think this was an universal fact, but apparently it's another sentiment for most of humanity. I wish I could understand it.

Edited by Uxhio

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For me it's not so much the aromanticism itself, more my decision that I don't want a life partner or children. Because of this my life feels more free, although sometimes I feel like I'm drifting and kinda miss the idea of having the standard life goals to head for.

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