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Amatonormativity …..


Elin W
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I’m starting to understand more and more how heavy this norm is and how hard it is to go against it…. 
 

Its hard because it’s so subtle. Not many people think of it being a norm in the first place, right? They simply take it naturally, that everyone falls in love or wants to fall in love. 
 

im 38 years old now, and in the beginning of this year I realised I was aromantic and also asexual. It was liberating for me - I didn’t have to pressure myself anymore, there’s nothing wrong with me, there are others who feel the same! And there are other ways to form meaningful relationships, you just have to think outside the amatonormativity box. 
 

But even if I know those things it’s still hard. Because the rest of the society and the ones I know - in my workplace, my family (especially my mom) and friends don’t know about aromanticism. They’d still think there’s something wrong with me, that my life is sad without love and so on. 
 

I guess it’s hard to re-think one’s life for yourself too? I still can feel an emptiness inside of me when I’m thinking of my future being single and without family. I don’t have a strong desire to have kids of my own so that’s not a big issue in itself BUT the issue is the way I’m thinking of my life - the society norm is so strong that children and family life is what makes a life meaningful, that it really gets to me when my mom asks questions like “Aren’t you going to have children? What are you going to fill your life with?” 
 

I can’t tell her about the year I’ve had, going through an identity crisis, making new friends, thinking of lgtqia+, learning new things because she’s against everything lgtbqia+ and pride. Therefore when I tell her about this year being tough she doesn’t understand me, of course. She probably thinks it’s tough because I’m single 😌 It’s very complicated. 

 

Thanks for reading my rant 😅 I hope maybe somebody can relate to all this. 
 

I also have a lot of feelings of empowerment and liberation thinking about breaking norms and so on, I guess this week I’m just tired and it feels very heavy to stand outside the amatonormativity. To not fit in. 

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Honestly, I think it's very similar to how people of other orientations have to deal with heteronormativity.  There's this sense of trying to live in a world that wasn't built with people like you in mind.

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It's hard when anyone expects you to be different than who you are.

I know this isn't the same thing, but I wear a headscarf and i've had friends and family try to get me to take it off in the past.  They try to do it either in a subtle way or in a more obvious way.  And it is really annoying.

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23 hours ago, alto said:

It's hard when anyone expects you to be different than who you are.

I know this isn't the same thing, but I wear a headscarf and i've had friends and family try to get me to take it off in the past.  They try to do it either in a subtle way or in a more obvious way.  And it is really annoying.

I can understand that it’s very annoying and hurtful 💕

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I relate to what you're writing. In our society romantic partner and biological children fills so many functions. It becomes difficult to find separate things to replace them.

 

I remember before the pandemic I felt this strong urge to "put down my roots". I wanted to settle somewhere and really feel it was for the long term. And I don't mean settle physically but rather emotionally. To feel like I was in something for the long run. I imagine for most people this feeling would cause them to seek out a long term romantic partner, or to decide to have a child. But since I don't want either of those things I couldn't see any obvious action for me to take. 

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On 11/8/2021 at 12:38 AM, Elin W said:

 

But even if I know those things it’s still hard. Because the rest of the society and the ones I know - in my workplace, my family (especially my mom) and friends don’t know about aromanticism. They’d still think there’s something wrong with me, that my life is sad without love and so on. 
 

 

Amatonormativity is such a problem because unlike the problems other orientations face, like heteronormativity, Aromantics are completely unknown and society acts like Aros are in some phase.

At least people actually have a basic understanding about what the words gay, and lesbian mean, because of all the media representation. Aro characters on the other hand are hard to come by unless you are already aromantic, and actively looking for them. 

Aromantics suffer from a special pain, complete lack of societal awareness. On top of being an invisible orientation, Aros are invalidated constantly by movie characters who may have aro elements to them, but it turns out they where just going through a phase, and they had to open their heart back to love, blablabla, Yuck!! This is what happened to what’s his name, the guy who wears the crown, old 50s comic with a tv show adaptation, oh I forget, Jughead? 

Anyway, Invisibility, and your just going through a phase, but don’t worry you will find love (meaning marriage)... Thanks a lot for that sentiment, I know you mean it with good intentions, but no thanks... HAhaha

On 11/12/2021 at 7:59 AM, Holmbo said:

I remember before the pandemic I felt this strong urge to "put down my roots". I wanted to settle somewhere and really feel it was for the long term. And I don't mean settle physically but rather emotionally. To feel like I was in something for the long run. I imagine for most people this feeling would cause them to seek out a long term romantic partner, or to decide to have a child. But since I don't want either of those things I couldn't see any obvious action for me to take. 

You are totally not alone, I have this urge as well, a lot of us here do. It is probably the most common urge among us fellow aros, think about it. We move out of our family houses, our siblings or older brothers and sisters get married. Our friends go off to different colleges, or they are preoccupied with romantic partners. We end up finding everyone else moving away from us, and life makes us move along with it, except we end up alone, or without roots.

Aro’s social sphere looks pretty bleak if you subtract family, because you don’t get along with them, and you exclude romantic dates. Then you just got some friends which for a lot of aro people don’t feel like people which will stick around. After your friends marriage, you may just see them every other Christmas, and maybe a few weeks in June for summer if you’re lucky... Ooof

Society is set up to accommodate nuclear family units, not friends, polycules, or qprs. Society was made without our interests in mind, no wonder then that the way Aro’s find emotional security is uncertain. 

It would be cool if a bunch of Aro’s lived together, I would like to see a documentary on that maybe...

Thats all, and thanks for reading! 

 

 

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Amatonormativity is such a problem for us aros.

As already mentionned we are an invisible identity that nobody knows about and it makes things so much harder for us. People don't accept that we are not interested in having a relationship because for most people being in a relationship is related to being happy and we can't be happy without being in a relationship... They don't understand that people can be different about this norm even the lgbta+ people. Life has to be settling down with a partner with or without kids. 

As you konw, I found out about aromanticism recently too and try to find information about it, read about it, and I realised that not only it is invisible but it is not accepted by the society. Reading about it and learning can be helpful but make things worst sometimes. I have read several times that aromanticism is often related to autism or being a psychopathe. How can you live with the idea of people seeing you like this. I don't have autism and I am not a psychopathe I am just aromantic. It seems like if you don't feel romantic love it has to be because there is something wrong with you, that you are not normal. Here again the amatonormativity is hurting us.

It is also hard because a few people only knows about it and it is hard to talk about it with people who don't and don't accept it especially people who are close to us. If we can't talk to people we care about who can we talk to. I still think that if someone really loves you (I am talking about platonic love such as friendship and family) they will/should accept you the way we are.

I have to say that I am a very lonely person so the idea of spending my life alone don't scare me and I know how lucky I am about it. Maybe aros who have aros friends could share a flat when they will get older or I don't know what else but I am sure that things can be done for us. I don't know if society will ever accept aromanticism or not but we have to be here for each other to go through bad times even if we don't live in the same country there is the phone, video calls with zoom or whatsapp or even instagram or facebook messenger...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nessa said:

I have read several times that aromanticism is often related to autism or being a psychopathe.

First times I saw the term I thought it was meant to mean psychopath, and that the people involved really thought it meant that... The fact I saw the term used to say how characters like Voldemort and Light only cares for themselves and are willing to sacrifice anyone because "they can't love" didn't help at all.

And I remember a tv show that talked about it... only to say that aro people are just people who fear commitment. Thanks you television.

 

I've seen people arguing that romance is not a norm, that there is only a cis-hetero norm, but I disagree. Amatonormativity is real and is a big problem in our societies, and even more for us aro people. But at least we have a fantastique community and we can be there for each other.

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On 11/15/2021 at 5:39 AM, Ikarus said:

 

Amatonormativity is such a problem because unlike the problems other orientations face, like heteronormativity, Aromantics are completely unknown and society acts like Aros are in some phase.

At least people actually have a basic understanding about what the words gay, and lesbian mean, because of all the media representation. Aro characters on the other hand are hard to come by unless you are already aromantic, and actively looking for them. 

Aromantics suffer from a special pain, complete lack of societal awareness. On top of being an invisible orientation, Aros are invalidated constantly by movie characters who may have aro elements to them, but it turns out they where just going through a phase, and they had to open their heart back to love, blablabla, Yuck!! This is what happened to what’s his name, the guy who wears the crown, old 50s comic with a tv show adaptation, oh I forget, Jughead? 

Anyway, Invisibility, and your just going through a phase, but don’t worry you will find love (meaning marriage)... Thanks a lot for that sentiment, I know you mean it with good intentions, but no thanks... HAhaha

You are totally not alone, I have this urge as well, a lot of us here do. It is probably the most common urge among us fellow aros, think about it. We move out of our family houses, our siblings or older brothers and sisters get married. Our friends go off to different colleges, or they are preoccupied with romantic partners. We end up finding everyone else moving away from us, and life makes us move along with it, except we end up alone, or without roots.

Aro’s social sphere looks pretty bleak if you subtract family, because you don’t get along with them, and you exclude romantic dates. Then you just got some friends which for a lot of aro people don’t feel like people which will stick around. After your friends marriage, you may just see them every other Christmas, and maybe a few weeks in June for summer if you’re lucky... Ooof

Society is set up to accommodate nuclear family units, not friends, polycules, or qprs. Society was made without our interests in mind, no wonder then that the way Aro’s find emotional security is uncertain. 

It would be cool if a bunch of Aro’s lived together, I would like to see a documentary on that maybe...

Thats all, and thanks for reading! 

 

 

Thanks for everything you wrote! I can relate to this very much. 😌 I feel so validated when I’m able to express my feelings and thoughts and realise now - when I know about aromanticism - that others can understand me and also relate to what I’m experiencing. That’s so empowering. 

 

Representation matters SO much. I’ve only been out for about a year and already I understand what other aros mean about the heavy burden of trying to explain your identity to everyone. Even if people are respectful and want to listen it’s a lot of work, I realize! 😅 

and yeah, Jughead, so sad that he got paired up in that new version. I’ve only heard about it….. but so sad when he seems to have been a great aro character if he could stay as he was in the original comics. 😌

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