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Has being aro affected you at work?


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Following that post about being aro affecting you during school I was wondering if people have stories of aromanticism affecting them at work.

In my case, compared to a school life where romance was talked about a lot I found it really freeing to just get on with things. Romance was mentioned a few times and there was the usual blokes chat about women but all the little jobs I have ever done have had very little.

Also a lot of my trouble with romance in school was a pressure for romance in order to be seen as respectable in a place known for being a bit scummy. This was something that I could easily get away from at work because why would they care about that. They weren't raising me.

However all my jobs have been fairly alone jobs, or at least working in small teams and I have never had to deal with interacting with the public (stage hire when I was younger, then PhD). I'm wondering if people who had different sorts of work than me had a different experience.

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It's funny because my experience is the opposite.

At school, I faced that a bit, but I have always be friends with single people who didn't talk a lot about their crushes. Sometimes when I talked to a larger group of people I felt more pression, with girls usually who wanted me to dress differently (I assume to be more attractive (I am also a girl)).

However, at work (which is, ironically, also at school), I felt the difference more. I have to say that I am also more aware of it, as I didn't know I was aro before I was 23. At work I don't felt pressure in the sense "oh so who are your crush! you have to have one!", but I can feel how the type of life I want is different from the others. They often talk about their children (which is also a generation thing, I guess, as I am usually one of the youngest people here), sometimes their partners (though less often), and it is hard to fit in such a conversation. I had remarks like "you are still young" or "maybe you haven't find the one yet". As I am at an age when people expect me to leave my parents's home and I sometimes express the desire, people usually say something like "yeah, you have to want to make your live with somebody", as if having a boyfriend or a girlfriend were the only reason one's leave their parents. No people, I just want independence.

In other words, I think people are less... vocal about it that they can be in school, but I still feel that I am different from other people at work.

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In school I actually dated a bit because I didn't understand that it meant something to people and I found it briefly entertaining. After those few months, although I heard about people's relationship problems a lot, it never felt like I was expected to date. 

Very different at work. It seems like the majority of working adults center their social life and weekends around their significant others, so its all they talk about and all they want to know about from others. Basically every job I've had, has involved people asking me about my romantic life within the first week. And people tend to be open if they find it odd that I'm not dating. 

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7 hours ago, nonmerci said:

At work I don't felt pressure in the sense "oh so who are your crush! you have to have one!", but I can feel how the type of life I want is different from the others.

Yeah, this is the main thing for me. That, plus the fact that there are certain Life Events where it's standard practice for everyone in the office to pitch in for a gift and a card, and those are all related to the typical amatonormative life path: Engagement, marriage, childbirth, etc. I have nothing against doing this! I'm just sad that I'm never going to get a present from my colleagues like that 🙁

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9 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

Yeah, this is the main thing for me. That, plus the fact that there are certain Life Events where it's standard practice for everyone in the office to pitch in for a gift and a card, and those are all related to the typical amatonormative life path: Engagement, marriage, childbirth, etc. I have nothing against doing this! I'm just sad that I'm never going to get a present from my colleagues like that 🙁

Possibly it depends on the cost of the gift.
Even if it's small, it can still feel uncomfortable subsidising privileged people's lifestyles.

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15 hours ago, Mark said:

Even if it's small, it can still feel uncomfortable subsidising privileged people's lifestyles.

I don't think of it that way. I am genuinely happy for my coworkers who are getting married, and having or adopting kids. I think those things should be celebrated, and I'm happy to contribute to gifts for them. I just wish there were more things that were culturally accepted as things to be universally celebrated in the workplace. Maybe moving or buying a house? Getting promoted? Milestone birthdays?

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  • 2 weeks later...

i work at a place ( ice cream shop ) where a lot of high-schoolers work, so 95% of my co-workers are like me, a few years out of high school, or younger. a lot of them are also women, who afaik are also mostly straight. i see a lot of the boy-crazy stuff from them.

one of my co-workers had told me about how she couldn't stand to be away from her boyfriend for even a day. she was distraught by being grounded by her parents and being unable to see her boyfriend for a period of time. more of my co-workers created a "code phrase" to signal to everyone else that there was a cute boy who came in. once i was asked if i had a boyfriend — or a girlfriend. luckily my answer of disinterest was taken well.

it's weirdly sort of alienating. only one of my co-workers knows i'm aro — she's also ace. but honestly i don't mind as much, since it doesn't actually affect my working relationships with them. it feels more like an odd quirk, if anything.

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  • 1 month later...

The only way it's ever affected me was feeling too awkward to go to company events where everyone else would be bringing their spouse/partner. But then the pandemic happened, the office closed, and company events are no more. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/6/2021 at 1:59 AM, eatingcroutons said:

plus the fact that there are certain Life Events where it's standard practice for everyone in the office to pitch in for a gift and a card, and those are all related to the typical amatonormative life path:

One of the luckiest things about my work has been that our way of celebrating these events has always been to go out for a drink. So not great for everyone but for me I don't have any complaints because its as much for the rest of us as it is for them.

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