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dealing with internalized arophobia


sol
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cw // internalized arophobia, internalized amatonormativity

I've accepted the fact that I'm aromantic a long time ago, and most of the time I'm okay with it, even proud. But sometimes, when I'm watching a movie or reading a book, I see characters being deeply in love and the thought that "I may never experience something like that" crosses my mind.

It's frustrating to catch myself having such thoughts when I should be comfortable with my aroness by now. Obviously, that has to do with the fact that the romanticization of romance was very strong in my education. (and of course, the lack of aro representation in media doesn't help)

There are times I feel like the only way I can have a deep relationship is by having a romantic partner, because friendships are supposed to be more "casual", and my mind goes on a melancholic loop. I can't help but think that "is that how my entire life is going to be? Having casual friends to casually meet and have casual fun?", even though I'm usually comfortable being alone.

So yeah... Amatonormativity sucks, what's new.

(sorry for the rambling)

Do you feel like that sometimes too? And if so, how do you deal with those intruding thoughts? Would love to read what you guys have to say!

Edited by sol
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Yeah I feel that sometimes, certainly the idea that friendships are not seen as deep relationships in the way romantic ones are is something many people around me believe.

A few things that I do to try and deal with them, firstly I try to find examples of other sorts of relationships which are not romantic but clearly are deep, meaningful and lasting. a few friendships I know that have lasted for years. Knowing it is possible to form those relationships is helpful for me (although not for everyone and some people do not want those sorts of relationships).

Another thing I remember is that time doesn't magically make people comfortable with how they are. Sometimes dealing with something over a long period of time makes it easier to manage through practice, or through finding new methods, or through thinking things through. However simply believing that I should be fine with something because I have known for a while is not something I agree with. Sometimes I am going to be unhappy about how I am and that is probably something I will deal with all my life.

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Most friendships will probably be casual, but that's not to say all your friendships will be. As with any kind of relationship, it takes time, effort and a willing partner to go from a casual friendship to a deep one. I was where you are now, sol, when I was in my early thirties. Looking for deep connections, and I thought those could only be found in a romantic partner (it's also why it took me ages to realize I'm aro...) And then I met two wonderful friends, we hit it off in no time and the friendship deepened over time. We had the same intentions of wanting a strong connection and one of them was also missing friends in her life. Took me a while to notice that that hole I always felt and thought only a romantic partner could fill was taken up by those two friends. We've become family.

Will we always be friends? Again, as with all relationships there aren't guarantees. But the intent is there. We're not letting each other go.

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  • 3 months later...

i understand how you feel, i find myself more often than not looking at other couples and thinking that maybe i would be happier if i was in a romantic relationship, i just recently discovered what it means to be aromantic for, me at least, and i'm still having a hard time being okay with it and dealing with my internalized arophobia because all my life, i thought that i was going to meet the love of my life and get married and just be happy, and then suddenly finding out than i can't have that because i'm aromantic and romance repulsed was devastating.

i think that it's normal to have those thoughts form time to time because of how deeply rooted amatonormativity is, but at the end of the day that's who we are, but i don't think friendships have to be "casual", my best friend and i have a relationship that is in no way even near to romantic, but i still think of her as one of the most important people in my life and the one that is absolutely always there for me no matter what, she's my number one and i wouldn't trade what i have with her for anything, so i don't think that for a relationship to be deep and meaningful it has to be romantic. 

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