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Do you ever wish you had found out earlier?


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I found out about the idea of aromanticism whenn I was heading into my mid twenties and looking back, there is a bit of me that wishes I had just known that this was a thing back through my teens. Even if I never told anyone just to have some understanding of what I was experiencing.

Anyone else here feeling the same? or wish you could go back and tell your younger self about aromanticism?

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Oh yeah. I think about this all the time. If I knew I was aro to begin with it probably would've saved me a heck of a lot of trouble. My unawareness of my inherent aromanticism contributed to a lot of internalized biphobia as a matter of fact, as, since I didn't have a good way of differentiating my sexuality from romantic attraction, I was constantly sent into a questioning spiral of doom. Do I really like this person? Am I really attracted to them? Am I faking? etc etc etc. Very anxiety inducing to be sure. Knowing ahead of time that aromanticism was a thing, and that it was possible to be both aro & allosexual, might've mitigated this at least a little bit.

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I came across aromanticism for the first time at around 18-19ish, which is relatively young, but there was so little information on it that I kind of just dismissed it for some time until my mid-20s when there was more information out there which helped me better realize I was aro and come to terms with it. So I suppose rather than finding out earlier, I wish I had more resources available to me earlier to better help me because then maybe I'd have established that with myself earlier.

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5 hours ago, Erederyn said:

I came across aromanticism for the first time at around 18-19ish, which is relatively young, but there was so little information on it that I kind of just dismissed it for some time until my mid-20s when there was more information out there

I did the same thing haha. I remember reading "aromantic means you lack romantic attraction" and not connecting that to "hey you've never liked anyone ever". When I first learnt about it - I think I was also around 19 - there was so little information beyond that. Then two years later I think?? I read some story with an aro character explaining what aromantic meant and was like as an experience and suddenly I could relate. 

For those two years I was IDing as panromantic. For the classic reason lots of aros do lol "I feel the same way about everyone therefore it's all and not nothing". There’s just no room in any narratives for no attraction or no romance. It would have been nice to know sooner bc panromantic is such an inaccurate description of me. I would have known myself and what I wanted out of life sooner.

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having grown up allo and only recently at the point of embracing and exploring aro feelings, i definitely wish i knew sooner. i think i kind of just expected myself to be allo and that it was almost a requirement, if that makes sense, to date. like a very conditioned thing. in a lot of ways, i think dating was a sense of safety for me from the rejection i faced from my own family - in the form of expectations i never met, appearances i felt i had to keep. if i had know about aro sooner, i think i would've been able to ease the gas and not feel the pressure to date like i now realize i did.

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I'm not sure I would have accepted it when I was younger. It took me some experience with dating and romantic relationships to be sure it wasn't for me. However if aromanticism and asexuality would have been more commonly known I might have had an easier time accepting them.

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On 1/20/2021 at 8:10 PM, Erederyn said:

I kind of just dismissed it for some time until my mid-20s when there was more information out there which helped me better realize I was aro

ah, that is something I completely hadn't thought of. I just found out about aromanticism after there was quite a lot of info around so never considered it would be something people would find but dismiss.

 

15 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I'm not sure I would have accepted it when I was younger. It took me some experience with dating and romantic relationships to be sure it wasn't for me.

fair enough. I guess that is something that can't really be solved by just finding out earlier, the experience is useful.

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Not really. Probably because I never tried to be in couple or whatever.

But I admit that if I found out earlier, it would have prevent me to lose time watching pictures of people, or exciting scenes in movies, trying to feel attraction (though it was more an asexual thing here).

I also would have spent less time wondering what is my orientation... though I'm not sure I would have accept it so easily when I was younger.

 

Something strange : as other people here I remember that I have seen the word aromantic and even more asexual before, but it never come to my mind as something that applied to me. Maybe I confused asexual with "not having sex", but most of all the only times I see the word was in people jokes about friendship between boy and girl (responding too people who say it doesn't exist because attraction, that asexual can be friend with everyone). That was probably not serious enough for my mind to understand.

 

For aromantic this is worse : I saw it used in a way that made me think aromantic = psychopath... Not something I would identify with.

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I am sort of conflicted, It would have been great to know all the aro stuff I know now back when I was 16-17 (which is when I first heard of asexual) rather than 26. However, it is a community much richer with connections, platforms, and vocabulary now than what it was. So even if I knew I would have still felt isolated and vaguely threatened, like ....the only duck on the shooting range.

.........actually knowing in highschool would probably have been much worse for me because knowing about aromanticism has made me more sensitive to microagressions and aphobia. And it just happens my ex-bestfriend is/was very aphobic among other things...

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As someone who had a pretty lonely childhood and had "romantic relationships are the best" shoved in my face constantly, I think knowing a lot sooner would have helped prevent me from getting into horrible situations. Trying to force yourself to feel things that you don't feel can be very confusing and pretty damaging, at least for me it was. I remember going into my new classroom everyday since Elementary and basically picking one person at random to decide to have a crush on (mainly boys) because I just assumed thats how everyone else did it?

And then there was sexual attraction which made things MUCH more confusing dating wise. I would feel sexual attraction in middle/highschool and just...assumed thats what love was? Wanting to bone? Thats how the media portrayed it at least (love at first sight or whatever).

 

Sorry for the ramble but, this thread just got me thinking a lot about how I tried to force myself to be romantic as a substitute for happiness and belonging.

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  • 6 months later...

definitely, i'm still pretty young and i bless the internet for making sense of what i was experiencing, but i think that finding out sooner would have avoided a lot of talks with myself trying to find out why the idea of taking part in romantic activities and relationships was so physically sickening, and maybe i could have avoided forcing myself to take part in things that i wasn't completely comfortable in just because that was expected from me, because everyone around talked about how being in a relationship felt so amazing and i just couldn't understand why i couldn't feel like that. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

it would have been nice. only more recently have i decided to push past internalized aphobia and fully identify with ace and aro labels. i still fight with myself over the aro one, since i'm a bit more on the romance-favorable side of things.

but anyway. if i had known earlier it would have saved me a bit more from a 6 year relationship that i ended.

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man I wish I knew my orientation when I was younger for sure. But just knowing that these orientations existed wouldn't have actually changed anything, I feel ulterous attraction and pretty strongly so I would've mistaken it for sexual and romantic attraction for sure. I would have needed someone to tell me, you don't feel sexual attraction, you rarely feel romantic attraction, but you do feel alterous attraction. This means you like people lots, but don't desire sex or romance with them. So you basically want to be their friend, but would totally be down to date if they did want that. And that would have saved me a lot of trouble. 

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  • 1 month later...

Looking back I never explained why I wish I had known, guess I had a brainfart back then as per usual.

Firstly not forcing myself into trying romantic relationships would have been useful. But more than that I was a young nerd with the social awareness of a rock. My cultural references were that the reason I wasn't having a satisfying love life was because people like me were losers who didn't deserve that. Their job was to be awkward and terrible at love so all the normal people can laugh at them.

Being able to tell myself that I was alright and that it wasn't something wrong with me that I just couldn't get my head around this idea of romance would have been really useful.

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I discovered aromanticism existed a few months ago (I'm on my late 20s) and I would have loved to know it earlier.

I'm alloaro so I thought romantic feelings were a mix of wanting to be someone's friend and sexual attraction. Knowing I was aromantic would have helped me not to get into romantic relationships that were destined to fail, not only for my sake (romantic relationships make me feel trapped) but also because I hurt some of my exboyfriends since they thought I didn't like them.

I also realized that I was never bisexual, I was hetero but had squishes on both men and women, which was confusing because I thought I had a crush on my best friend (I wanted to be in a relationship with her but I could saw her as cute, not sexualy attractive).

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Before I discovered aromanticism and asexuality, I thought nothing of my lack of attraction. I thought I was "straight by default", and until sophomore or junior year of high school, I thought others were kidding with the whole "couples" practice. 

I learned of aromanticism and asexuality during my senior year of high school. It wouldn't have hurt or helped me to have known of the terms sooner. I didn't need to know them sooner. Discovering the terms gave me no revelations and it solved no problems (since there were none to begin with). I discovered each term in perfect timing.

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On 1/28/2021 at 8:13 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I am sort of conflicted, It would have been great to know all the aro stuff I know now back when I was 16-17 (which is when I first heard of asexual) rather than 26. However, it is a community much richer with connections, platforms, and vocabulary now than what it was. So even if I knew I would have still felt isolated and vaguely threatened, like ....the only duck on the shooting range.

.........actually knowing in highschool would probably have been much worse for me because knowing about aromanticism has made me more sensitive to microagressions and aphobia. And it just happens my ex-bestfriend is/was very aphobic among other things...

That's a good point. I think it might have made me more isolated knowing I was aro. As a teen I assumed I would eventually fall in love. Sure I made some mistakes trying to force myself to feel romantic attraction, but making mistakes is part of being a teen. If I would have known from the start I was aro I might just have written it all of instead of learning sort of my limits for what I like.

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  • 2 months later...

To some extent yes. I think it would've saved me a lot of anxiety in dealing with realizing I was aro like 5 years into a relationship that had always been a little bit uncomfortable to begin through no fault of my partner's, and if I wasn't as romance repulsed as I am I think I might've easily gotten into some bad situations, but ultimately, I learned a lot of valuable things from those experiences, and it wasn't like I was unaware of aromanticism being a thing (I was quite lucky in that regard). I was just in denial, and I think I needed the time it took for me to come to terms with and embrace my aro identity, and ultimately benefited from that self-exploration.

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No. Not really. Honest to Zarquan, I don't think I was ready/had the psychological full-functioning brain for the past 9 years to realize it.

Doesn't invalidate me–I don't think.

Forced The Feels™ once on a boy named Bronte in the third grade but even then knew it was bull.

Edited by -Veet-Voojagig
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