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Help please... am I aro?

Guest Noob_1234

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Guest Noob_1234

I’ve struggled with labels for a long time, but after reading this forum I’m pretty sure I’m aro and just repressing it hardcore. Here’s what makes me unsure:

1) I’ve been in a couple of (rather terrible) long-term hetero relationships, and managed to convince myself I was feeling something. Looking back, the feelings could be best described as: sad, loyal, protective, self-negating. When I have sex with someone repeatedly, I tend to feel somewhat protective toward them, which I assumed was the basis of romantic love. 

2) I’ve had various feelings toward seemingly random individuals at different times. Sometimes sexual, sometimes not. I’m pretty sure these could be best described as friend-crushes or squishes(?) caused by anything from, ‘I like their aesthetic and confidence’ to ‘woah they own a house’ to ‘I can almost imagine them getting it’. Usually I don’t care enough to act on these feelings.

I sense there is something atypical about me romantically, but it’s never been as simple as orientation. I totally relate to having pretend crushes as a kid, being completely bored by romantic plotlines, and doing all kinds of unhealthy mental gymnastics to try to convince myself I’m feeling ‘that thing’ when I’m not.

On the other hand, I do really enjoy the feeling of taking care of my friends/ partners, doing favours, cooking for them, etc. I enjoy deep conversations occasionally, but these don’t seem to provoke romance. I’d like to have some kind of family or closer friend group, but it’s also important to me to retain my internal mental space where I feel in control. 

So, internet, does it sound like I might be aromantic? Are these things in line with what others in this community feel?

(i guess i kind of want to be, so I can stop guilt-tripping myself for not seeking it out)


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It totally sounds like you could be!

On 8/29/2020 at 5:03 AM, Guest Noob_1234 said:

sad, loyal, protective, self-negating

What a mood, this pretty much sums up my past relationships as well.
In my experience, it's really common for aros to mistake their squishes or sexual feelings for romantic attraction, which can play a large part in why we generally take so long to find out that we don't feel it. Pretending to have crushes, jumping through hoops to convince yourself you're feeling something you're not, being disinterested in romantic plot lines, simply feeling different, are also all common discussion topics in aro spaces. That you enjoy taking care of the people you care for has nothing to do with your potential aromanticisim, since these actions have nothing to do with romance. There are plenty or aros who want to have close relationships with others, just as there are plenty of aros who don't.

Ultimately, as I'm sure you know, we can't decide for you, but it definitely seems like you're on the right track.

Edited by Oatpunk
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Having never been in a relationship, I can't really help there, but I can give some pointers on things that worked for me:

Try playing around with labels. Try calling yourself aromantic, or arospec, or whatever else you want to start with. If it feels right, you can keep it. You can also change your label as time goes on.

Try to imagine if the feelings you saw as romantic can also be applied to your friendships or other things that you love.

What about past crushes? Can you identify wanting anything other than a platonic or FWB relationship?

Watch videos. Look up "am I aromantic". Hearing and seeing real people talk about their experiences can be very helpful.

A lot of people will say that they doubt that they are aromantic because its really hard to identify the lack of a feeling. So it can be helpful, if you find that you are on the aromantic spectrum to continue to participate in the community.

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