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how the hell do I tell my partner that I am aro?


Arsenic
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So, I recently found I am aro, but I am in a romantic relationship. I love my partner in a lot of ways but I feel no romantic attraction for her, and I don't want to hurt her for not feeling the same way she feels for me. I don't want to end up our relationship since I am not romance adverse, I still want to be with her, but sometimes it is awkward when she says romantic things because I feel nothing towards it. Sometimes it feels weird to kiss her, but I still want to give her cuddles.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to hurt her, she is very important for me and she also is my best friend, but I neither can remain silent about the way I feel. Any advice?

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Before I give any advice, just want to say I have never been in this kind of situation. Now with that said, I have got some thoughts on this dilemma. 

First of all each person takes surprises like this differently. It may take her some adjusting time to feel ok with the fact that you are Aro. All I am saying is don’t expect to be able to deliver the perfect coming out confession without making her feel bad, or confused. You may say put what you say in the best way possible, and even then, how she reacts is something you cannot entirely control.

Remember Andy Bernard from the office after anger management therapy, “I can’t control what other people do, I can only control what I do.” Yes random quote, but I think it fits. 

Now to focus on what you can do, and can control, how you come out of the closet.

(Phase 1) [Talk about Aro stuff in an indirect curious way]

Give small hints, no need to dump the ice water on her head all at once. Talk about Aro stuff with her. For example you can talk to her about how Aro people have very little representation, or about what amatonormativity is. You can say that you have been spending some time researching aro subjects out of curiosity. You can talk to her about how aro’s see the world, and how everything around them prioritizes romantic feeling above all else. 

(Phase 2) [Hint at it] 

After you have done this, you can talk to her about some of the romantic things you find awkward. You don’t have to say directly that they are awkward, perhaps just joke about the little romantic things you find funny or strange. If your not a funny person, then find jokes about romance, or dating. Jerry Seinfeld is funny, take some of his jokes. On this stage you are on the verge of coming out but not yet. All this hinting stuff is so she isn’t completely surprised by the fact you say you are Aromantic later on. You gave her plenty of clues, which will make sense once you actually come out.

[Why Phase 1 and 2 are important]

Again on this stage I would not recommend just saying I am aromantic as you shudder and have a panic attack. Another factor which makes the, (nice and easy does it) way of coming out great is simply this. It can make you feel more comfortable as you get to actually coming out by hinting at it. Also, you can see how she reacts to aro things, and take note of these reactions. Also see what she thinks of some of the jokes you tell, or observations you have on romantic things like buying flowers during first date, ect. 

( Final Phase ) [Actually coming out]

Since she already knows at this phase that you have been interested or curious about aromantic people, and their experience. You have implied that you find romantic gestures quite silly, and you have lessened the shock just a little. It is now time for the first bit of transparency. Simply say this, during my research on aro people, and how they see the world, I have found myself actually relating to their experience. Talk about how you relate to aro people, and after all that finally tell her, I am aromantic. 

Then you can talk about how you are not romantically averse, and you don’t want to end your relationship. 

The key to what I am trying to say is this, slowly build up to the point where you finally come out. Once she hears you are aromantic it won’t seem completely out of left field. 

Well that is all Ive got to say...

 

 

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17 hours ago, Ikarus said:

 

The key to what I am trying to say is this, slowly build up to the point where you finally come out. Once she hears you are aromantic it won’t seem completely out of left field. 

I am writing a book with my partner and one of the main characters is aroace, I think that I could talk about this character and in some point say that I relate to his experiences in that way... I guess it could work, thanks for the advice!

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5 minutes ago, ArseNick said:

I am writing a book with my partner and one of the main characters is aroace, I think that I could talk about this character and in some point say that I relate to his experiences in that way... I guess it could work, thanks for the advice!

Good luck! Did you realize this because you were researching your book character?

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17 hours ago, Holmbo said:

Good luck! Did you realize this because you were researching your book character?

Naahh... I knew he was aroace even before I knew I was, I just didn't see him falling in love, or desiring to have sex with another human being. I knew the meaning of aromantic and asexual and thought that those labels fit him, but I didn't think about the possibility of myself being aroace.

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A bit late to the party here, but hopefully it'll still help:

First of all, my sympathies. I was in a similar position just over 2 years ago and it's a stressful thing to have to deal with, and I found it was next to impossible to find any advice on how to come out as aro to a romantic partner--even in aro spaces.

I wish I had good advice on how, specifically to do it or how to build up the nerve, but really, there's not much you can do besides bite the bullet and do your best to be as tactful and clear as you can. I found writing out what I wanted to say ahead of time really helped, as it let me make sure I was being clear and gentle and saying exactly what I meant, and in the end, I wound up sending the exact thing I'd written to my ex (though whether that works is really dependent on whether you have a relationship where it's okay to drop bombshells over text--we'd gone to a LDR at that point and I've always been much, much better at expressing myself in writing than speech, so it was the right choice for me, but your mileage may vary). I also made sure I had a trusted friend who I was out to on call for encouragement and emotional support in case things went poorly, and that made a world of difference and helped a ton with working up the courage to say what I needed to say. Ultimately, it went much much better than I'd ever imagined and it wound up being a net good for the both of us, and I sincerely hope it goes as well for you as it did for me. I would say, be prepared for things to change between you two or be a bit weird for a while. People often need some time to process and adjust to things, and to evaluate what their own wants and needs really are, and sometimes you just need to give them the space to do so.

I'd also recommend setting aside some blocks of time for general self-care before and after you tell her. It should make things a little less stressful and give you the space you need to deal with the stress that's inevitably involved (even if it goes wonderfully!) and the possibility of it going poorly. It's a pretty basic thing, but it's something that I find I tend to really neglect when it comes to breaking big, uncomfortable news to people.

You've got this, and I wish you the best.

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On 12/23/2021 at 9:31 PM, Rook on the Hook said:

You've got this, and I wish you the best.

Thanks for the help, my friend. I am also better at writing than at talking, so it is possible that I come out the same way as you did. For now, I think that I will wait a bit to tell her, so I can clear up my own ideas...  

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