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I was talking with an old friend of mine about not enjoying events where you are expected to go as a couple. In his case it was a school prom where at the time he was single and was very unhappy that his options seemed to be to either beg some girl he barely knew or be seen as a loser (his phrasing not mine).

Luckily for me I don't remember any events I have had to be at where the expectation was that blunt. A school prom as a major social event wasn't really a thing where I was as a kid. I got thinking how glad I was that I hadn't had to deal with that. I have been in places where it was clear you were expected to be in a monogamous romantic relationship and I don't think I ever dealt with that well, I tried to avoid those places and if I ended up at one I just looked awkward and didn't know what to do.

So I was wondering whether other people here have experienced something similar, and if you have what advice would you give to make it bearable.

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I think if this was a movie where some wise advice was given, it'd be "Don't care about others' opinions of you (i.e loser)" But obviously that's way easier said than done. If possible, I would recommend going with a friend who is in the same boat just to be like '"F! you!" to the pressures of having to go with a romantic partner.

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My tuppence :

  1. in France, only in certain circles are these "prom" events held, so... it's your cultural problem; [shrugs]
  2. when invited by British friends to bring a "significant other" (I've been told this, them not knowing whether I'm straight, gay, or anything else... in French we would hear "tu peux venir accompagn√©"), well, I'm my own significant self and don't need to "draft" anyone for the sake of appearances ūü¶Ā
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9 hours ago, vinniebandit said:

in France, only in certain circles are these "prom" events held, so... it's your cultural problem; [shrugs]

Agreed. As I say, I'm lucky I got away without needing to deal with this. 

9 hours ago, vinniebandit said:

I'm my own significant self and don't need to "draft" anyone for the sake of appearances

That's a really good line, I might take that next time I am asked.

 

16 hours ago, boba said:

I would recommend going with a friend who is in the same boat just to be like '"F! you!"

Yeah this seems like a decent way of dealing with things as well, I might try that in the future.

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How did I deal with Prom in high school? I'll tell you.

When I was a sophomore, I wasn't even allowed to go to Prom, since I was an underclassman (I didn't care, since I had no interest in going, anyway).

When I was a junior, I was officially considered an upperclassman, so I was allowed to go, but I still had no interest (no one pressured me, thankfully).

When I was a senior, it was a whole different paradigm. Not only was I "allowed" to go to Prom, but some folks tried to pressure me into going. A bloke in my grade level said that I should attend Prom in a tuxedo and have a girl accompany me (spoiler: their attempts to pressure me into going to Prom were rendered futile, and I ended up not going -- on Prom night, I stayed at home and did homework [what a nerd I was/am!] and laundry). The whole process was quite amusing for me; I fancied it a "psychological warfare" of sorts (a war which I WON!!!). Every time I reflect on these experiences, I recount the memories with fondness.

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When I was a senior in high school, I attended prom with a group of friends.  Only one of my friends was dating someone but it's kinda funny, cause she broke up with him pretty soon after prom so she's always like "I should have went with you guys." Um we stayed in the corner and ate chips until my friends went to dance with each other cause we were bored as hell.  But honestly I really enjoyed it.

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48 minutes ago, roboticanary said:

she really should have went with you, sounds great

Yeah my prom was a lot of fun. One guy threw up on his date's shoes and she slapped him. 

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As a French, when I see prom in American movies or shows, I always thought "sound like a fun way to en high school". Then I notice that people only care about is dating. And I am glad we don't have it here.

 

More seriously though, I don't think m we should care about people who think they are losers for going alone, in particular if you are aro. Those people probably don't know who you are or they would know you were alone by choic, or at least because you didn't care if you are not out.

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Luckily, at my school it was not socially expected to go to prom with a date. I'd say around 40% of people were there with a date, 60% with friends.

Unfortunately it was still a letdown for me because a couple of my close friends decided not to go at all, and a couple other close friends were really only interested in the event itself, rather than any sort of before or after party. I can't blame them because I was also not interested in the big parties (ex. there was one that literally everyone in the grade was invited to at someone's house in the countryside). However, it would have been fun to have a chill hang out with friends before or after, but none of my close friends were doing those things. In hindsight, maybe I should've tried harder to organize something fun with them - I honestly can't remember why I didn't.

I ended going to a girl's house to get ready with herself and some others who I would consider my friends, but not super close friends. We took a limo to prom and back afterwards. Overall it was disappointing and made me feel a bit sad that something which could've been so fun was just blah for me. I am still super grateful that the "going with a date" expectation wasn't there at my school.

 

Oh and the day after prom, most people went on a grad trip to a beachside party town...I am SO glad I didn't go. Not my scene at all. Also the days they were there, THREE people got stabbed at parties in that city (not anyone from my school fortunately).

^Oh and I forgot to say what my takeaway from that was...try not to put too much weight on events like prom. I know it's hard because society tells you it should be soooo important and that you have to have fun in a certain way. Take the event and participate in it in whatever way you think will be fun for you (maybe take more initiative than I did to make that happen, lol)

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I went with friends. I think most of them didn't have a date. I honestly can barely remember bc I didn't really care who had dates ūüėā but we all went to a restaurant together and then just hung out and danced at the prom. I don't remember feeling a lot of pressure to have a date and I wasn't looking for one. I was more interested in a chance to dress up, eat out, and dance

My advice would be to find others who want the fun friend group experience and do what you enjoy. Even if it's not what others are doing.

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I ended up going to prom all by myself because I wanted to get all dressed up and have the experience. I met up with friends at the event and during the more upbeat songs it was really great dancing and spending time with them. It did get a bit awkward when they paired off during the slow songs. I tried not to think about it too much, I was still in the phase of thinking I just hadn't met the right person to have a romantic relationship, but it will happen someday.  This was obviously long before I knew about the existence of  aromanticism.  

Edited by FragileDear
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