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Hello. I've been thinking that I'm probably aromantic except that I've been feeling guilty using that identity because my experiences don't seem to match up with anyone else's? 

Because a lot of people talk about how they never had any crushes but I thought I did until people actually started getting together and I was confused as to why they wanted to.

It took me a night researching different types of attraction and months stewing over it to realise that just wanting to talk to someone and wanting to date them were in fact two different things.

And I've always liked shippy stuff and reading fanfiction but it's taken a long time to figure out that I don't want it for myself.

Actually now that I'm thinking of it, I've got a ton of memories of trying to convince myself that I was attracted to people.

I don't really know what I'm asking, I just wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar experience?

 

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Yeah, I can relate to this a lot actually. I don't have a clear answer for what that all means, I really wish I did. I had similar experiences with thinking you had crushes and then being confused when other people actually dated, and realizing that wanting to get to know someone was actually entirely different from having a crush. As well as liking romance in media and trying to convince myself that I'm attracted to people. I don't totally resonate with all the common experiences of aro people either, but when it comes down to it I fit the definition of aromantic or at least I'm pretty sure I do. I don't think these are entirely uncommon experiences though, and often I realize that the reason I don't resonate with a lot of aromantic experiences is because I don't let myself. Perhaps you're feeling the same? If anything I've learned in the past year that the pervasiveness of amatonormativity has influenced me and many other people in extreme ways. I don't know what you're feeling, but I just hope that you can find comfort and maybe even freedom in the aromantic label if you choose to use it.

I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I just hope knowing someone feels similarly provides an ounce of comfort.

Edited by candlewax
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Your experience is certainly something I have seen people talk about before. The idea of thinking you are having crushes when what you actually have is a desire to be friends with someone is quite common in aromanticism.

I have memories which come up now and then which make me think I might have in the past experienced romantic attraction but when I look back they all weren't.

There's a whole thread on this site dedicated to shipping, 

this thread has many responses of people talking about their interest.

So if it helps, you are definitely not alone in your experiences.

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Yes I can relate. I never mind romance in fiction (except for the really cheesy one, and I since I know I'm aro I think I pay more attention to the quality). I don't go crazy about ships but I can pair character together and think they would make a great couple.

I tried to feel attraction and I thought I had crushes, but in fact it was just picking guys and think they would make a great husband because they were pretty, nice and intelligent. (and why pretty matters why because I wanted some of their physical trait for my future chidren, I should have noticed it had nothing to do with attraction 🤣).

That's why figuring out my aromanticism was more difficult for me than figuring my asexuality. I always wanted to get married, I am not romance-repulsed, and it took time to realize the reason I wanted a husband was because I wanted a family (society taught you romance is necessary for the children) and that I enjoy kissing and all but only if I am not involved in it.

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Everybody has different experiences anon ^^. But I can relate to your experience in some ways. I love a good fanfic if its well written even if it has kissing or any other romance.

 Also, do not feel ashamed of who you are or what you are, society wants to police everything and put rules to all parts of life. I know it takes time however, if you feel like you are in aro-spec, then that is all you need to use the label if you want. Only you can put a label to yourself.

I agree with @nonmerci, I did not know it until quite recently but I too chose people based on how likely I could make an intelligent conversation. I thought i had crushes but they where squishes or me trying to make myself part of the "norm". 

But yeah, all are different beings with similar experiences that make us make sense of the world or whats left of it.

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