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at what age did you discover yourself as aro??


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19 minutes ago, Guest - aro? said:

One of the things I hear people talking about a lot on here is that they didn't understand romantic attraction and acted accordingly, but I don't know if this fits me. Whenever I would, say, watch some romantic movie with a friend, I wouldn't love it but I wouldn't hate it? I just viewed it as something different, something somewhat fictional (dramatized for effect), something that didn't involve me. 

Personally, I do enjoy romance in fiction (of written well, bit like everything I watch if I can say). A lot of aros don't like it yes, because they can't relate I guess (if not repulsed), but that's not an obligation to identify as aro. 😄

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I’m 37 and I’m in the process trying to figure things out. I’ve just recently, this month in December read about asexuality and aromanticism in the books “the invisible orientation” by Julie Sondra De

mid twenties now and discovered it a few months ago. I feel a bit old now.

I discovered when I was 23. (can't believe it's been three years already!)

22 minutes ago, Guest - aro? said:

I dont... think I've ever had feelings for anyone, like that. Tbh it's hard to remember clearly, but I think I'd know if I had? I remember mentioning to my parents that I never wanted to get married, when I was little, and one of them laughing in the 'oh, you'll change your mind' kind of way. What with celebrity crushes, pretty certain that's a no. 

One side of myself is saying that I've never liked anyone because I never really payed attention to the opposite gender, since everyone would assume I had a crush on them if I was remotely friendly with them... But (not to say that's what I am,) I've heard lesbians say that growing up, a sign had been of their lack of interest in boys. If I don't like any gender, really, wouldn't I just hang out with those that are the norm to, with those who are easiest to? The same gender, that is. So in this way, my lack of general interaction with the opposite gender can be a sign or a blow to the labels I toss around. 

One of the things I hear people talking about a lot on here is that they didn't understand romantic attraction and acted accordingly, but I don't know if this fits me. Whenever I would, say, watch some romantic movie with a friend, I wouldn't love it but I wouldn't hate it? I just viewed it as something different, something somewhat fictional (dramatized for effect), something that didn't involve me. 

Thank you for replying, means a lot. 

Sadly the "you'll change your mind" continues into adulthood too, at least in my experience. But yeah, that's a whole another can of topic how you are expected to "change your mind" on that even if you've been firm on your lack of desire for marriage (and/or having kids, thanks heteronormativity).

And well... Friend groups doesn't necessarily have to do with sexuality, I would say? It would be also linked to what interests you had and other things that might play a factor in who you "got along with" (Ie. as someone on autistic spectrum, I always had one female friend I would latch onto and learn to emulate the attitude of while as an aro, I definitely did not feel at home with most other "normal" girls) so that's only something you can answer by thinking back and keeping an eye out for if you have feelings for same gender? That's also a possibility, of course.

And like @nonmercisays, I actually do like romance in fiction too- Or rather, in my case I often like writing it for the drama and emotional hurt/comfort chance that brings, as well as fandom spaces are so shaped by people's preferences in ships that I essentially tend to find two characters I'm interested in exploring the characters of enough and find someone who is also down to spend months hyperfixating over them with me if I'm lucky, and focus on it, so I would say there are definitely aros who can enjoy it and/or be actively curious about what romantic feelings even are like my confused teen self lol

Also on the topic of attraction to the same gender- that's always a bit funny of a topic to me, mainly because while I was identifying as pan, two out of three people I online dated were girls I very much cared about and thought were amazing people, but once I actually started to date with them, it didn't... feel as natural to do nice things for them? As in, I was talking about making music sheet origami roses to one for being a musician, bc I like making origami gifts for friends, with no real romantic intention behind it besides knowing she liked that sort of cheesy romance stuff a lot, and when we were "officially" dating, I found it felt really forced and... wrong in a way I can't quite explain.

That and also my "asking out" to her was asking her how crushes even feel and if what I felt for her was a crush bc I had coined the term "admiration crush" without knowing squish was a thing to essentially describe it as "short intense bursts where I really get obsessed with wanting to get close to one person bc I think so highly of them and want to be close and important to them, however it fades once I'm close enough without a desire for 'more'." so.

Also I'm glad it was some help 💚

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honestly, the signs that i was aromantic were all the way back in middle school. i just... didn't recognize them for what they were. once you've hit puberty it's... probably just gate-keeping when people tell you you're too young to decide. i don't think that is really valid anyway since people — especially kids — should be allowed and will change their identities. at the flip of a coin? absolutely. so, like, go wild honestly. y'all valid lmao

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34 minutes ago, cyancat said:

honestly, the signs that i was aromantic were all the way back in middle school. i just... didn't recognize them for what they were. once you've hit puberty it's... probably just gate-keeping when people tell you you're too young to decide. i don't think that is really valid anyway since people — especially kids — should be allowed and will change their identities. at the flip of a coin? absolutely. so, like, go wild honestly. y'all valid lmao

haha thanks, you too (are valid). 

 

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I’m 37 and I’m in the process trying to figure things out. I’ve just recently, this month in December read about asexuality and aromanticism in the books “the invisible orientation” by Julie Sondra Decker and “ace” by Angela Chen. 
 

If has a been very mind blowing and emotional read. I wanted to learn more because I want to learn more about every lgtbq+ Orientation of course. I’m Christian and work in church (I’m swedish) I don’t work much with lgtbq+ including work at the moment but I really want to, so I need to learn more. And I’m always interested learning about different people on a personal level too of course. 
 

I found out about the ace and aro community and was absolutely in love with this from the start. I love when people dare to break norms in society, and the norm of sex and romanticism is a really strong one. 
 

I was also curious about asexuality because during these last years of course I’ve been wondering about why I never meet someone and fall in love as my friends of my age. People around me of my age are settling down and having families, but I’m single as always with a non existing sex life. This has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety, but I’ve realised when thinking about it that it’s not necessary that I actually miss having a partner that’s stressful - is that pressure of love being something that is considered as bringing meaning to life, being a part of growing up and so on. I’ve been afraid of missing out something very important and I’ve been worried that I wouldn’t be happy and content with life if I wouldn’t experience love. 
 

I know I’ve even been thinking that “if I only I could just have one of those shitty heartbreaking love affairs that won’t end well, but at least then I can say that I’ve experienced life “ - which is totally crazy of course. I don’t want to be with someone I don’t like just to be able to say “been there done that” 🤣😂 

 

I’ve realised a lot of things while reading those books. I’ve recognized myself and it has been overwhelming and I’ve been feeling very emotional, vulnerable and like being out of my comfort zone. I’m used to listening to friends talking about their love life and and sexuality. Me, I have had hard time talking about that because I don’t feel the same feelings of course, and also because I’ve been feeling odd , that I can’t really relate to what they seem to experience. These couple of weeks I’ve been messaging with people on the AVEN site and also with an online friend and I’ve found myself discussing sexuality in a new way, like I can put words on things I haven’t been able to talk about with friends before. Maybe you recognize this: me telling friends “you know, I might not be capable of feeling things like romance “ and they reacting like I’m saying the most depressing thing in the world and saying “oh noooo you WILL find someone some day, it will come” It will come? I’m 37 years old :P 

 

I am writing a long message here, but I guess I have such the need of putting my experiences and feelings into words to see how others would react and start interacting with people. I’ve read about this. Next step is to get in touch with others, I think, to try and see if I really fit in here. I feel very humble. The aces and aros, you all are amazing people to me and I’m just grateful if I can get in touch with any of you to be able to figure things out about myself (I hope). 
 

I’d be so grateful if anyone would message me to exchange personal experiences and talk, would mean so much to me. So feel free to contact me 😊

 

and thanks for being such a welcoming forum! 

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There wasn't really a set point in time where I figured it out, since I had been questioning my (at the time) panromantic label for a few weeks before. I had considered that I might be aro at the same time I thought I might be ace, but the fact that I still was interested in relationship with people kind of threw me off. It felt like it described me, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn't romantic attraction that I felt, it was more like queerplatonic attraction than anything.

There was a specific moment that I finally accepted the aromantic label though. It was the first snow of the year and seeing it outside my window was pretty inspirational, so I decided to write up a song. I generally do a lot of absent thinking while I write songs, and I had been debating whether I was aro or not the night before, but by the time I finished that song, I was sure that I was. And I just remember feeling so satisfied with that conclusion, more than I ever had with thinking I was panro. 

Edited by Skylord
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I have no idea of the exact age that I was, but it was sometime during 2015 I think, which was when I was about 17-18. I know that when I joined these forums I was firmly identifying as aro so it was definitely at least a few months before then.

It's amazing how far I've come in those past 5 years tbh. I was so far inside my own shell back then; I barely talked online at all, and I never felt like I belonged anywhere. This forum helped me feel like I belonged for the first time in my life, and also helped me realise a lot more about myself that would have taken a lot longer for me if this forum never existed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Found out a few months ago (I am 22, going on 23), although I've been very strongly aro for, well, all of my life. Still very much new to the whole thing, but the aro community so far has been super chill and super helpful in my figuring things out. I'm glad this place exists to be honest-- I hope it sticks around for the other aros out there who've yet to find it.

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My whole life I was kind of just procrastinating figuring out my sexuality. I was always "I'll date later" and now I'm 25 and realized that now is "later" and I still don't really understand dating nor feel ready for it. I came across the term Aro a few years ago and while it seemed like it might fit, I didn't want it to. I was clinging onto hope that I was actually just demi because the idea of romance sounded so nice. I love romantic stories and shipping fictional characters. But now at 25 and after reading "Loveless" by Alice Oseman and relating to it on unprecedented levels, I couldn't ignore the signs any longer. I like the idea of romance, but I just can't feel romantic feelings for people (or at least I haven't in 25 years). I've been working on coming to terms with my aro identity and accepting that I will just not experience "romance" and that's ok. Society makes it seem like it is such a big deal and it feels a little like giving up to just accept that I'm aro. But in the end the relief and freedom, I felt when I deleted all dating apps was huge and I'm much happier now just living my life not worrying about dating.

 

 

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I’m still unsure about my place on the aro spectrum but just recently I found that I relate to a lot of ace/aro experiences and feelings and looking through those experiences I felt kind of...seen? I just turned 17 lmao

 

I’ve had a few crushes but only one lasted long because we’re already close friends. The other ones kinda faded after a few months and I generally didn’t like thinking about it. Those few crushes are also usually with people I’m technically friends with and already know for a few months or so. So from that I concluded that I might be demiromantic. This also applies to fictional crushes because I usually have a strong attachment to them.

 

Edited by cassssssss
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This is kind of an old forum but *shrug*

I should have realised in school but I hadn't heard of the term 'aromantic' ten years ago. When I was in my late teens/early twenties I thought I was but then I found myself talking myself out of that label and feeling almost stupid for having those feelings as it wasn't normal. It's actually only in the last couple of days, when I was talking to someone who was interested in dating me, that I realised that it's not stupid and this was actually me.

I don't need or want someone romantically in my life - I actually like to be alone (which people find weird but screw them). I've been looking into adoption since I was a teen (which really should have been another sign) and now since I'm in my later twenties have looked into adopting when I'm in my mid thirties and actually found myself excited for the future for once. 

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I thought I was straight up aro at around seventeen, when I discovered QPRs and squishes.  However, I now think I am more aro-spectrum.

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well i'm still figuring it out. i know i'm definitely on the arospec (somewhere) but i have experienced two very extreme romantic? crushes? on two different girls. one is trans (and i love her so much). but these also both came with strong sexual and platonic attraction. to make matters worse i generally have a super hard time distinguishing different types of attraction. i think i experience way more platonic and sexual attraction than romantic. i rarely have any sort of romantic desire at all. and the "romantic attaction" i have experienced is extremely limited (and strangely very extreme). but i could be mistaking romantic attraction for something else. also, the thing is i generally like (or at least am indifferent to) "romantic" actions. but for me, i feel like they could also be considered either platonic or sexual. like holding hands - platonic, and kissing - sexual 

if anyone would be willing to help me out/give advice, etc i'd really appreciate it :]

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On 11/28/2020 at 5:03 PM, cyancat said:

i'm a teen too.

i only realized i was aro when a friend started having feelings for me and while i thought i returned those feelings (and in one way, i guess i do? idk its complicated but it doesn't feel like it's quite in a romantic sense - more like a general 'love and care' for a close friend) i've kinda realized that their feelings are... pretty different from mine. i'm not necessarily opposed to a romantic relationship with them since i'm quite touch-starved so i kinda want the physical contact that goes into it? but i also don't see it as necessarily a romantic relationship so much as a close... for lack of better words, friendship.

honestly tho,,, realizing i'm aro has been more distressing for me than anything else. i try not to think about it too much, but i've fallen so hard in love with the idea of being in love i guess? i mean, i've mostly made my peace with the fact that i'll never experience romantic feelings. or, more accurately, when i think about my relationship with said close friend, i realize that i feel satisfied/happy/content with what i currently feel? but romance is so idealized that there's just a part of me that wants to wallow over the fact that i'll never experience it (or at least not to the extent as others do).

on the upside, i no longer spiral in attempting to convince myself that i absolutely have a crush on 'x' because that was shit i used to do for... some reason? much to my own consternation, i always wanted to be in love with someone. never managed truly managed though, but man was i living in that denial for a long time

I relate to this so much. I used to basically pick someone in my friend group and try to have a crush on them fake-it-till-ya-make-it style but it wasn't what I wanted. I'm starting to figure out what kinda relationships I wanna have for the rest of my life (physical affection, yes please) but it's hard when you're surrounded by a society that believes romantic love is the end-all, be-all. 

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On 12/17/2020 at 3:32 PM, Confused Artist said:

When hearing the age you guys figured out your romantic association, it feels like I found out to early. I'm only I'm middle school, and most of you are older, or in high school. So now I have the question, is it to early to decide. I think that even if I did have some sort or romantic feelings, I would still be on the Aromantic spectrum. What do you think?

I don't think it's too early! From what I understand, everyone's always figuring out more about it and becoming more sure/accepting/confident in their own identity. I started identifying as ace in seventh grade and spent a few years going through various definitions and experiences as I became more comfortable with it. Now I'm doing the same thing with aromanticism. 

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I started thinking about it last year, when I was 18. I'd been identifying as ace since I was 13 and spent the next few years paying so much attention to being ace and figuring that out that I thought not having crushes or ever really looking at someone that way was just a part of it. I'm starting to work through accepting it and figuring out what it means for me and how I want to exist in friendships as I'm learning that. 

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On 1/25/2021 at 7:10 AM, ScarfOfSexualPreference said:

on AVEN. It clicked immediately, which had never happened to me before!

Ditto! I was questioning (again) and while trawling through AVEN labels I found the Aromantic stuff and it clicked immediately!

I was a few weeks from my 26th birthday, but I'd been questioning on and off (with no answers) since I was around 16. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/28/2020 at 4:03 PM, cyancat said:

i only realized i was aro when a friend started having feelings for me and while i thought i returned those feelings (and in one way, i guess i do? idk its complicated but it doesn't feel like it's quite in a romantic sense - more like a general 'love and care' for a close friend)

I just realized I was aro a few months ago(I'm a teen) and this really sums up what happened. I just thought I reciprocated the feelings that he had but I just had care for a friend kind of love. 

And it kinda sucks now because he likes me again and he knows and was supportive but he still does 😐

On 12/17/2020 at 2:32 PM, Spark_TheDemiboyRat said:

When hearing the age you guys figured out your romantic association, it feels like I found out to early. I'm only I'm middle school, and most of you are older, or in high school. So now I have the question, is it to early to decide. I think that even if I did have some sort or romantic feelings, I would still be on the Aromantic spectrum. What do you think?

I don't think you found out too early lol because you helped me (also in middle school) find out I am aro. 

I don't think that it is ever too early to decide but that no matter what age you are, how you feel comfortable labeling or identifying yourself is what's important. 

I watched a video about how this 7 yr old girl(born a gendered girl) was allowed to pick their gender and wasn't influenced by anybody. Their family supported them fully as well, they were the ones to leave it up to the child. Of course I watched it a little bit ago(6 months I think) so I can't remember what they were so, sorry 😐

This just goes to show that it's important to your health and state to recognize what you identify as.

Edited by DivineCyst
Ahh sorry for the long post, it was two separate ones... 😐
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  • 3 weeks later...

Last week or so, when I found the AUREA FAQ page and read the list under "How do I know if I'm aromantic?" and an awful lot of things on that list had me going, "YEAH! THAT! That's it EXACTLY!" For a year or so before that, it's been, "I'm probably somewhere on the aromantic spectrum, but I haven't figured out where yet." I kept looking at all these variations on romantic orientations, and nothing quite fit. But I was certain I COULDN'T be aromantic, because I have felt what I THOUGHT was romantic attraction... I kept looking for a label that meant "I feel romantic attraction to people who tell me they're attracted to me," and I couldn't find anything. But look, right there on the list in the FAQs: "Some aromantic people may develop romantic interest in someone only when they tell them they’re in love with them or have a crush on them." There were a lot of other items on the list that were great big checkmarks, but that one was the most exciting find. There's also a lot on the list that I DON'T relate to, but considering some of them contradict each other, I'm pretty sure you're not required to check EVERY box to qualify.

As for what AGE I was at the time? About a week and a half shy of turning 32.

All you teenagers in this thread amaze me. 

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I noticed that I wasn't into dating and romance when I was 10 or 11, but it took me more than 10 years after that to learn that there was a name for it.

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Only last year (20/21) but I haven’t thought a lot about it before, I was too busy questioning my sexuality^^
and if I think back there were a lot of signs. So probably I could have known it much earlier

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