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Romance goes beyond relationships


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I've been aro for 4 decades.  That's a while.  


In this time, I didn't even know the condition existed until a few weeks ago.  Now though, in retrospect, I am seeing that romance has been missing from my set of conceivable human experiences since I was a toddler.   For me, being aromantic means that I am still open to heterosexual relationships (and seek them out) but I recoil from the romance part of them.  Romance, to me, is the distorting of these relationships and the people in them beyond the "logical".  Its no longer - that girl is cute, its - she is everything, she is better than all the rest, I want to die with her in my arms (or is it the other ay around... I don't want either).   Remarkably, that lack of romantic sentiment has applied to things and situations as well as people throughout my life.  Here's how:



Being a certain religion, being from a certain race, language group etc etc.  has never really made me feel as special as it clearly does to others.  To me, I am happy to be from where I'm from - but its a mixed bag, we have a lot of room for improvement in some areas so I don't really wax lyrical or get on my high horse about it.  I get upset about the way "my people" are treated by some people and institutions, of course.  But I'm not convinced of any special properties or dignity or whatever that makes me obligated to be proud of my skin color or race or something like that.  To me that's hokey and ridiculous.  



I appreciate people's inventions or clever business ideas - but not beyond the basics of their usefulness or their application to real people in the real world.  Many "entrepreneurs" are insulted by my meh response to their mad passionate appeals for agreement that their idea is the dogs bullocks. See how I put the word entrepreneur in quotes.  Stuff like that really upsets them.



As a parent, I love my kids like a bear loves its cubs.  Man, that's my offspring winning that medal or talking for the first time.  Emotionally that is amazing and I feel all the passion needed to play the daddy role.  I only fall short in one area.  The part where people say " its the most amazing experience in the world being a dad".  Is it really?  A bit preachy though right?  What about all the b------t parents have to deal with?  What about the totally negative impact it has on the relationship that made being a parent possible in the first place.  To me, romanticizing parenting (fathering or whatever) beyond what it actually is doesn't reflect reality and once again is hokey and seems disingenuous.  



As an aro (who may or may not be in the military ;-)), I'd still be 100% willing to deal with the worse stuff should it come to having to defend my country - and remain steadfast in the face of enemy interrogation.  


Yet, no heartstrings are being pulled when I hear the "proud to be an American" song.  I'm actually proud to be an American - but that's because I actually think we've done some cool stuff and I like having some of that rub off like its something I'm part of.  But I'm also ashamed of some of the stuff we've done and know that stuff rubs off on me too.  I think we have stuff to learn from others.  We're flawed humans like everyone else.  Fighting is disgraceful and no amount of romanticism makes stuff like landmines, nuclear bombs and flamethrowers or the people who happen to use them somehow more honorable than those who don't.  As for the symbols: the flag could be white, green and black (see what I did there?), we could wear tutus into battle and call ourselves the clown force and I would probably not feel much different about it than I do now. Pretty much not swayed by the aesthetics when life and death is at stake. (Okay maybe I'd write a polite letter about the tutus...)


Of course, I can still feel attachments, love, be dedicated, make and keep promises, enjoy a day out with someone special, have special people in my life and feel allegiances to teams and groups.  I just don't have a romanticized soft-filter view or expectations of those things.  At all. 


To sum it up, being an aro means I "keep it real".  Both with relationships between people and with the way I see my nationality, race, roles, religious background and the other labels that define me to others.  Is this the same for other aros out there? Do romantic descriptions of nationality, soldiery, religious piety, family relationships, dedication to job duty etc irk you like they do me?  


Would love to hear what all this means to you.






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Well, I can certainly get behind the logic - "keep it real" - part. I used to study psychology. Even got a Bachelors Degree in it. The science part of the field, as well as the techniques part was easy enough, because it had a logical basis. I failed, though, miserably in empathy. Don't get me wrong, I could emphasize with people. I could get how they felt and could imagine myself in their position, even with romantic feelings, but it never went beyond that. I could get how they felt in "that situation they just described". I could see were they came from and what made them think in a certain way, but I could never ever follow that thread.

After realizing, what made them feel like that in the first place, my mind would auto-pilot to - "keep it real" - find direct solutions. That's not how therapy works though. As a  shrink, the point of view of your patient is the only thing that matters. If that means to diverge from what "really happen" or what might "help right now", then you better do that, because otherwise you'll never be able to give them the necessary tools they need to fight on their own. Which is one of the reasons that I quit. I might have made a good shrink for some people, but it certainly wouldn't have been an overall good profession for my mindset.


(Even friends told me, that they usually don't come to me for comfort, when they are feeling down, they come to me for approaches, new perspectives and solutions...)


Since I'm not hetero in anyway and don't desire kids, I can't really say much about that, but I do like to keep my own and other peoples perspectives "real", with all the salt and sugar life has to offer. I do entertain though-experiments, but if solutions aren't practical, I'll probably lose interest or get angry, if someone forces me to debate anyway... It's something I'm working on, though.

I do not care much for any religion and my background means little to me. I'm neither proud nor do I feel oppressed about being born female. Nothing, really, is black and white. everything is pretty much all shades of grey.


I don't think this concerns all aro's though. 

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Speaking from the perspective of being greyro and capable of feeling romantic, I would like to make a distinction between romance and romanticizing. Romance is when you love people in their entirety, that is, when you love people with the understanding that they have flaws and that's okay. Romanticizing is when you love the idea of people, when you think that they are The One(s), when you refuse to see that they have flaws. I feel like this post was more about how there's been a lack of romanticizing in your life, rather than a lack of romance, but again, that may just be my personal definition.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm the same way... I don't get overly excited or attached to things/concepts either.


If someone comes up to me and tells me about their SUPER DUPER AWESOME new thing they just did... I'm like "oh yeah, that's cool"... trying really hard to look excited or happy for them, but it just feels so fake. Same with groups identifying with some common thing. "We" this, we that.. I'm just over here trying not to stand out too much because I'm just not feeling that whole group connection thing.


Not sure if it's really an aro thing, but I can totally relate to that lack of being able to relate... haha.

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