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Romantically-coded activities?


Erederyn
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An allo friend was trying to explain to me what romantic attraction is and she was mostly just listing a bunch of things she considers romantic, which I found very entertaining because many of those things I consider potentially platonic (or at least not exclusively romantic). 

I personally enjoy many activities that are typically deemed "romantically-coded" even though I'm romance-indifferent/repulsed, but I also don't necessarily consider them "romantically-coded" in the first place. I think what is considered romantically-coded or not can also just be personal and vary per individual, and for me, it's also about the intention behind it. Of course, at the society level, there are things that people typically consider romantic. So I was curious about other aros. Do you enjoy any typically romantically-coded activities? Do you even consider them romantically-coded yourself? Do you find that your view on romance (romance-favorable, indifferent, repulsed) plays a factor into whether you enjoy romantically-coded activities or not? 

Some things my friend considered romantic were holdings hands, dancing together (as in closer, slow dancing), extended periods of physical contact (sitting in each other's laps or cuddling in bed), tight full-bodied embraces, celebrating anniversaries, going on dates... This link also lists some typically romantically-coded activities/behaviors: https://arospecawarenessweek.tumblr.com/post/112348254497/a-previous-anon-thanks-for-the-comic-but-ok

Some things that are typically considered romance-coded (or so I've been told) that I enjoy: I personally can be quite physically affectionate (so I like hugging/full embraces, dancing, cuddling, holdings hands), I like to "display" my care and love for people (telling them regularly that I love them, having a trinket/object that symbolizes our friendship), and I find it important to have one-on-one/alone time with a close friend (including going on a holiday together or weekend away). I'd also plan my schedule and life around/with a close friend if we're committed to each other to that degree.

Edited by Erederyn
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I don't think I'd be comfortable with saying "I love you", because of its romantic connotation. Also, making out just seems... kind of,, awkward, even? To me. I do think I'd enjoy things like holding hands and hugging though, and I think those can be totally platonic! I'd like to have a qpr sometime, though I don't feel really in need of one I guess, if I had a partner that would respect my boundaries yet display affection. I think calling that person a close friend versus s.o. versus general 'partner' would be something we'd have to think about though.

Again, this is all hypothetical, and my opinion on stuff like this could change? Glad this is a topic though. How would you describe your romance repulsion? I don't know if I'm romance repulsed or not. 

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I like romantically coded things! I don't see any reason why things like chocolates and flowers and candlelit dinners have to always be romantic, but I can understand why some people consider them that way. I also date nonromantically.

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I like some of romantically-coded activities, but only toward a person who is very close to me. I don’t consider hugs, holding hands or kisses as romantic but if someone would have an intention to place romantic feelings while hugging or kissing me, I wouldn’t like it, I think it’d be uncomfortable to me.

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i like hugging friends and receiving flowers just because i like flowers.  when my best friend and i go out to eat or whatever, if one of us were a guy, people might say it looked like a date.  we occasionally sleep in the same bed.  i don't consider any of this necessarily romantic.  but if the other person considered it romantic/was romantically attracted to me, i'd be super uncomfortable.  and there are certain things i wouldn't like in any case, like cuddling, regular kissing (i like making out because i consider it sexual), holding hands, or that freaky thing where they just look at you weirdly.  ahh or my guy friend who doesn't know i'm aro asked whether i'd like a guy to hug me from behind and kiss my neck, and i shuddered, like that legit triggered my romance repulsion.  i'm sure there's lots more.

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21 hours ago, Guest Guest said:

How would you describe your romance repulsion? I don't know if I'm romance repulsed or not. 

My romance repulsion tends to be triggered. So my base "setting" is romance indifference, but if someone pushes me into romantic situations or if someone is being blatantly amatonormative, for example, I can become romance repulsed. Depending on how strong it is, I can feel annoyance/irritation, cringe, disgust or even anger. I can sometimes even become romance-negative/anti-romance. I won't stand seeing or hearing about romance, which means I'll avoid any romance in media and I'd avoid listening to my friends talk about their romantic relationships. 

 

10 hours ago, Rony said:

...if someone would have an intention to place romantic feelings while hugging or kissing me, I wouldn’t like it, I think it’d be uncomfortable to me.

 

6 hours ago, aro_elise said:

... but if the other person considered it romantic/was romantically attracted to me, i'd be super uncomfortable..

I feel the same way about the intention, Rony and aro_elise. Intention behind the actions can definitely influence how comfortable I am with something, and if someone is doing it with romantic feelings, I also feel super uncomfortable. I could hold hands with a friend totally fine, for example, but if they do it in a romantic way, I c a n n o t stand it.

 

21 hours ago, El011 said:

I don't see any reason why things like chocolates and flowers and candlelit dinners have to always be romantic, but I can understand why some people consider them that way. 

I agree! I see those as ways to express my care or even celebrate a friendship, and why shouldn't we do that? I do get that not everyone would be comfortable with that, but I think there could be some more normalization of doing these nice things with/for friends.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also generally think that many actions and activities that are often "romantically-coded" can be done outside of that context with family or friends. Though, personally I don't like having physical contact, besides hugging human pillows...I mean people I'm very close with. I definitely enjoy other activities like eating out or sth as long as its just that.  Its like enjoying the plain cake, but not liking the "romantic" sugar coating on it.

I do think that my view on romantically-coded activities is influenced by my repulsion for it. For romantic people its a beautiful expression of their love, but to me its just like watching one of those weirdly funny videos about courtship dances of birds. 

What is important is probably making sure that the other person also interprets the action the same way, otherwise it may become awkward. For example, I once met a  foreign guy on the train. He was really nice and as a student in cultural studies I'm always interested in getting to know people in terms of their dispositions and cultural experiences etc. So we decided to meet each other again in an Ice-cream Café. Aro-me thought we would be meeting as friends, but he gave me a self-made bracelet as a gift and he paid for the ice cream (which I still interpreted as him just being really nice ?). Afterwards we went for a walk and he always wanted to hold my hand. That's when it finally dawned on me that he actually viewed this as a date...And here probably comes the aversion to romance into play. From the perspective of a date, this made me feel very repulsed and I'm still getting a chill down the spine just thinking about it. All the things he did might look sweet in the eyes of a romantic person, but to me it just makes me feel weirded out. Its the same situation, but in different context it yields different results. We might have become friends, but with the "romantic-coding" in it, I could only take flight and make sure to never meet again... This experience has made me more cautious, because my actions might get misunderstood.

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17 hours ago, Black Sesame said:

What is important is probably making sure that the other person also interprets the action the same way, otherwise it may become awkward. For example, I once met a  foreign guy on the train. He was really nice and as a student in cultural studies I'm always interested in getting to know people in terms of their dispositions and cultural experiences etc. So we decided to meet each other again in an Ice-cream Café. Aro-me thought we would be meeting as friends, but he gave me a self-made bracelet as a gift and he paid for the ice cream (which I still interpreted as him just being really nice ?). Afterwards we went for a walk and he always wanted to hold my hand. That's when it finally dawned on me that he actually viewed this as a date...And here probably comes the aversion to romance into play. From the perspective of a date, this made me feel very repulsed and I'm still getting a chill down the spine just thinking about it. All the things he did might look sweet in the eyes of a romantic person, but to me it just makes me feel weirded out. Its the same situation, but in different context it yields different results. We might have become friends, but with the "romantic-coding" in it, I could only take flight and make sure to never meet again... This experience has made me more cautious, because my actions might get misunderstood.

For sure, there can be so much misunderstanding! Unless people know I'm aromantic, I can feel very uncomfortable being affectionate with people or doing things like going on nice dinners one-on-one with them because I'm afraid they might get the wrong idea. I get that feeling of "yikes" when someone misconstrues something I did as romantic and they try to reciprocate. So it's definitely important that people are on the same page to avoid any awkwardness. Funny how we can be so bad at something so important as clear communication sometimes ? But cultural differences certainly adds a layer of complication! 

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54 minutes ago, Erederyn said:

 Funny how we can be so bad at something so important as clear communication sometimes

So true. I often take things at face-value and fail to notice the underlying sexual/romantic context of it. Like, watching a movie together is really just that. It's sometimes difficult having to always pay attention to something that you yourself don't care about or can't even feel. Like having to differenciate colours while being colour blind.

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On 12/5/2020 at 11:14 AM, Guest Guest said:

I don't think I'd be comfortable with saying "I love you", because of its romantic connotation.

this is why i say 'i wuv you' instead of 'i love you' because the latter is too serious in its romantic connotation alsdfj;;;;;

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1 hour ago, cyancat said:

this is why i say 'i wuv you' instead of 'i love you' because the latter is too serious in its romantic connotation alsdfj;;;;;

 

Ahgg yess, or just <3 at most for mee... 

Something about saying 'I love you' in a bordering on romantic way feels almost suffocating, I don't really know whyy ;-;;

 

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It depends. I hate them if they happen without warning, and/or the intention is unclear. Even reading romantic coded scenes can make me uncomfortable if there's too much of it. But if I'm asked, and I know it's platonic, I can really enjoy them (depending on the activity).

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