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UncommonNonsense

What issues effect you the most as an aro person?

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On 6/26/2016 at 10:38 PM, nock said:
  • That the most important people in my life would forget me for the sake of romance and sex or both. 

 

I have literally been thinking this, almost word for word. The highest relationship I'm capable of forming is a close friendship or maybe a quasi-platonic relationship, and those are considered in this society to be secondary and inferior to romantic relationships, which I am incapable of forming. 

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I think aphobia comes from misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, so the biggest aro issues that affect me are:

 

1) slut shaming, because of misogyny/sexism because women are shamed for having sex outside of romantic relationships in ways that men aren't

(caps cw)

2) cissexism based on the assumption that I'm strictly a woman and that my body requires me to act a certain way because BIOLOGY and GENDER ROLES and YOU HAVE TO HAVE ROMANTIC ATTRACTION BECAUSE VAGINA

 

3) ableism, specifically anti autistic ableism because autistic people are infantilized and told we're broken for processing social input, including romance, differently than neurotypicals do and this affects autistic aros severely

 

4) general misogyny, homophobia, and compulsory heterosexuality - the assumption that a woman's life is incomplete unless she's in a relationship with a man

 

5) general homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and misogynistic hypersexualization and dehumanization

 

6) homophobia from the aro community itself, and being tone policed and told that I'm being "aggressive" for calling it out. Being blocked and cut off from other aros for calling out homophobia in the aro community. Het aros, especially cishet aros, thinking they can "opt out" of their privilege over me. Non-LGBQP aros and aces pretending to care about "ALL aros and aces" but immediately throwing tantrums when LGBQP aces and aros aren't completely sweet and docile when we talk about feeling unsafe in the ace/aro community specifically due to homophobia.

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What affects me, personally, as an aro person is:

 

1) Being invisible to others each time when a group of persons I am part of discusses romantic relationships, marriage, children etc. 

2) Being excluded from social gatherings which are organised along coupled participants, i.e. double dates, dancing courses (I know, I could go with a friend, but they are coupled as well...)

3) Being neglected as a friend as soon as a person is in a romantic relationship, for these are seen as more important relationships

4) Being financially disadvantaged for not being married and arguable never marrying. While I see the point in tax reductions for people who care for dependend persons, e.g. children, I refuse to see the point why this should be linked to marriage status. 

5) Feeling compelled to defend my romantic orientation each time when people want to convince my that "I haven't met the right one yet", "will change my mind", "they have gone through the phase as well" etc.

6) Being confronted with negative stereotypes and prejudices against (older) single women.

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I know this isn't really a problem but it's so darn annoying. Watching other girls squeal and giggle at clichéd, crappy, badly timed romantic subplots and asuming that you're silly for not liking them.

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On 6 July 2016 at 1:55 AM, timidcat said:

I know this isn't really a problem but it's so darn annoying. Watching other girls squeal and giggle at clichéd, crappy, badly timed romantic subplots and asuming that you're silly for not liking them.

That sort of behaviour gives me second hand embarrassment haha

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Another one that gets me is how people get so very impatient (and at times hostile) when I make any comment about unnecessary romantic subplots and sex scenes/sexual language in TV shows and movies.  

It's like they absolutely must defend romance and (especially) sex regardless of the situation.  Like anyone who dares to make any critical view of their pet interests has to be shut down.  The strange thing is that even people who have expressed a dislike of too much sex on TV/in movies themselves and have stated that they didn't really care for sex (but still identify as being sexually-oriented) will do this.  It's like, my being aro and ace makes me absolutely forbidden to make any critical comment about romance or (especially) sex in the minds of most people. 

Imagine if other groups were treated this way... if Black people were forbidden from making any comment on racism in our culture, or gay people forbidden to comment on homophobia in straight society... there'd be a huge outcry of epic proportions.  But because it's aces/aros... well, it's okay to discount us, ignore us, and shut us down...

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On 25 June 2016 at 3:34 AM, Midnightrune said:

• The automatic assumption that everyone wants romance

 

 Tell me about it ! I get that from work mates.  They think i should have a women in my life and that, "it would be good for me" ! 

 

And also the fact that i do not have much of a sex life, sometimes i feel like i am less than because i have not had loads of sex.

 

If it comes along then great, but in all honesty, i just do not have a desire to go out looking for it, not having sex does not really bother me..  

 

And the pressure from society to conform and be in a relationship and have kids ect..

 

But the more i learn about myself the more i am starting to realise that it is okay for me not to want those things..  

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The idea that romantic relationships are the only ones with emotional depth and value.

My experiences of both incredibly positive relationships and dysfunctional and abusive ones are both devalued and not taken seriously, since they're nonromantic.

The fear of losing those relationships due to their prioritization of romance. 

The fact that the world is designed for a romantic couple, not a group of friends.

Trying to resign myself to a life of celibacy because of the stigmatization of nonromantic sex, despite wanting it so much and being afraid that my desires will get worse as I get older.

Feeling alone in this.

Not seeing a future for myself.

 

Not to even mention the way that gender roles play into all of this...

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Definitely slut shaming. Lots of it.

 

And I tried to come out to a gay friend of mine, and I thought it would be chill (I'm 32, wtf am I doing coming out), and before I could, it was "dumb kids slapping Latin and Greek prefixes on romance and sex, bloo bloo special snowflakes." 

 

So that sucked. 

 

And just....plain not knowing. Not knowing my feelings weren't just a fucking character flaw.

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On 04/07/2016 at 9:05 AM, Lume said:

What affects me, personally, as an aro person is:

 

1) Being invisible to others each time when a group of persons I am part of discusses romantic relationships, marriage, children etc. 

2) Being excluded from social gatherings which are organised along coupled participants, i.e. double dates, dancing courses (I know, I could go with a friend, but they are coupled as well...)

3) Being neglected as a friend as soon as a person is in a romantic relationship, for these are seen as more important relationships

4) Being financially disadvantaged for not being married and arguable never marrying. While I see the point in tax reductions for people who care for dependend persons, e.g. children, I refuse to see the point why this should be linked to marriage status. 

5) Feeling compelled to defend my romantic orientation each time when people want to convince my that "I haven't met the right one yet", "will change my mind", "they have gone through the phase as well" etc.

6) Being confronted with negative stereotypes and prejudices against (older) single women.

 

1) It's hard to be a part of a discussion where you have little "common ground". I have no interest in romantic relationships. Outside of aromantic, solo poly and relationship anarchy forums it's virtually impossible for me to discuss the kind of relationships I'm interested in. Never been interested in being married or having children.
2) Even without a "couples only" rule I've found events where the vast majority of the attendees are in couples to be awkward, even intimidating. There have been cases where I have had to walk out of workshops because I was unpartnered and thus sidelined.
3) Even when that romantic partner is someone they have just met :(
4) When it comes to issues like "gay" (or "poly") marriage my opinion is that "straight" (or "mono") marriage should be abolished as a legal concept. Where someone is caring for someone else (including a child) transferable tax allowances would be an obvious alternative method.
5) There's also "there's someone for everyone". What makes it most difficult is that those who say these kind of things honestly think they are being helpful and supportive. Yet they just don't get that romantic orientation works much the same way as sexual orientation. A romantic relationship would no more suit me than a heterosexual relationship would suit a lesbian. Far more people get the latter though.
6) Plenty of prejudices go with being non-binary...

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Ah... the issue I've had to deal with most is feeling guilty that I can't reciprocate romantic feelings no matter how much I don't want to upset the other person. They might be the nicest person ever, but I'll still end up upsetting them in the end. It sucks.

On the other hand, I've almost never experienced jealousy of any kind, which is a good thing I suppose.

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Before Transition it was that every time I tried to become friends with boys, soon they started to confess their feelings for me and tell me that they had a crush on me. Ugh. Not only that I wasn't the girl they thought I am but also "I was looking for a bro, not a lover!" I always then told them that I wasn't romantically interested and they said they understand but still kept making comments and so, so I had to break up with the friendship :(

 

Another odd situation was when one of my friends (who I haven't come out as aro yet) was djing one night and then said into the crowd but kinda was looking at me: "If you don't have a date for Valentine's Day don't give up, you will find someone." I was there just like "Ugh. But I DON'T want to."

That's what's bothers me most: Every time I come out as aro, I get seen as sick and broken. Or like I "choose" to be single and stay away from romantic relationships. Always this: "You will find the right one, one day." :facepalm:

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On 04/07/2016 at 2:19 AM, Rebekah said:

The highest relationship I'm capable of forming is a close friendship or maybe a quasi-platonic relationship, and those are considered in this society to be secondary and inferior to romantic relationships, which I am incapable of forming.

IME the vast majority of people don't even acknowlage the existance of QP (or generally non romantic) relationships.
There also appears to be plenty of support available, both emotional and practical, to people seeking just romantic stuff.

Whereas if you desire anything else you can easily feel very alienated and lonely. Possibly even bafflement that the "inferior" QPR/FWB/etc is something you want.
Even if I were capable of forming a romantic relationship I doubt the few positives of having a sensual and sexual partner would be worth all the negatives...

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I recently read about humans needing touch, and "skin hunger", and oh gods, I've felt that. I really really would love (and probably benefit from) a sensual/sexual relationship, but I can't keep up the romance. So that gets in the way and it's the most frustrating feeling. 

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8 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

I recently read about humans needing touch, and "skin hunger", and oh gods, I've felt that.

An excellent term to describe it. For the last few weeks I've just wanted to be held, without any way to fulfil that

 

8 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

II've felt that. I really really would love (and probably benefit from) a sensual/sexual relationship, but I can't keep up the romance. So that gets in the way and it's the most frustrating feeling. 

It can be so frustrating living in a society where it's only acceptable to want anything sensual or sexual from a romantic partner.

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It's definitely an issue that is huge for me. I'm pretty sure it took me so long to realize I'm arospec not just because of low (to no) visibility, but also because I'm really very sensual, but to most people, that is so heavily conflated with romance, it's assumed that's what I want too. 

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1 hour ago, LunarSeas said:

It's definitely an issue that is huge for me. I'm pretty sure it took me so long to realize I'm arospec not just because of low (to no) visibility, but also because I'm really very sensual, but to most people, that is so heavily conflated with romance, it's assumed that's what I want too. 

I, also, like sensual things a lot. Including things like hand holding and kissing, which is highly "romantic coded".
Something that really confused me is that many aromantics appear to be repulsed by the idea of doing these at all with many alloromantics appearing repulsed by the idea of doing them with someone who isn't a romantic partner (especially a friend).

If I find someone attractive I will "instinctively" try to make friends with them. Even though I fully understand that it's likely to be futile. Since the vast majority of alloromantics don't appear to comprehend anything other than the "platonic friendship"/"romantic relationship" binary.


The way I worked out that I'm aromantic is that I have never wanted to be "coupled", married, co-habit, climb the relationship escalator or generally have anything to do with amantonormativity.

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I tried to live with "partners" and do all the expected amanormative stuff, but it definitely did not fit me. I hate the "romantic coding" of sensuality too, and how it's supposed to be exclusive and it ends up feeling so suffocating. 

I just thought I would get older and "settle down."  But no, it just sucks being locked into a system where reaching sexual or sensual connection is relegated to romantic relations. 

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17 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

I tried to live with "partners" and do all the expected amanormative stuff, but it definitely did not fit me. I hate the "romantic coding" of sensuality too, and how it's supposed to be exclusive and it ends up feeling so suffocating. 

I've always wanted something best described as "solo relationship anarachy", long before those terms were coined. But could never find even one other person vaguely interested. Eventually trying the standard stuff very much convinced me that it wasn't for me at all. As well as feeling like I was lowering my standards on the off chance I might like it.

 

17 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

I just thought I would get older and "settle down."  But no, it just sucks being locked into a system where reaching sexual or sensual connection is relegated to romantic relations. 

There is something of a stereotype about people becoming more inclined to amantonormativity as they get older. Even in terms like "settle down"...
I've actually found more the opposite in that I'm less inclined to "give it a try" than when I was younger.
Together with the problem that I'm very socially inept, so finding even a romantic relationship is very difficult for me. Something like a Queer Platonic, Friends With Benefits, even a One Night Stand being a virtual impossibility :(

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Being belittled by commenters on a FB post about Asexuality for mentioning being Aro and they treat you like you're back in kindergarten. 

I blocked them within minutes and told the person who runs the page (who sided with me.) 

 

Being AroAce outside of Aven and here can be so trying at times. 

From that happening, I have some new material to write :)

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I agree with the general issue of devaluation of non-romantic relationships.

As an aroace who wants kids, there's also the challenge of navigating becoming a single parent by choice. That's something that gets a lot of negativity from certain segments of the population, and I worry about how some of the older members of my parents' church will react. Plus the material challenge of trying to look after the kid - though luckily I'll have my parents helping out.   

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Being told I'm selfish for wanting to be single - I honestly don't care if someone's pissed that I won't date them. It can be annoying at best, at worst bad stuff can happen if the other person decides to act on their own selfish desires.

People making assumptions about me (mostly just in high school, thank god. Most people I've met have been mature enough to respect my general disinterest in romance) - I was apparently 'too ugly' or 'stupid' to get in/understand relationships, I didn't understand the "facts of life" (because I wore my skirt longer than the other girls, who rolled their waistbands up?! Even if I had been interested in sex, we were 15 or 16 at the oldest, for crying out loud) and the guys who did show some kind of interest in me were "desperate"... 

Spoiler for creepy idiot triggers.

Spoiler

A couple of really creepy guys thinking there's something wrong with me that having sex with someone else will fix. They never told me why they thought they was something wrong with me, or what they thought was off (I think it was general low confidence/self esteem at the time, but wth does that have to do with sex??), but it honestly grossed me out and angered me. One of them was someone I was helping to look after (about 12 years ago), who didn't seem to understand or care that we're not allowed to talk about it with clients for professional reasons.

 

 

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The lingering thought that even at my age (19), my time for deep friendship is pretty much over. :/

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I have a few things that bug me, but those are mostly small annoyances.
The real issue I am most affected by is forming meaningful connections and the constant threat of loneliness in old age. I'm 27 and I'm fine with being alone/living in flat sharing arrangements and focusing on my career right now. In fact, I've been completely content with being alone and only having close friends for the majority of my life, but I doubt it'll stay that way. The older I get the more uncertain my future becomes. Friends move away. I have to move because of job opportunities. Kids take priority. New friendships will be harder and harder to come by. Free time in between work hours will be limited...
I can't imagine my life leading to any form of cohabitation with other people in a family-manner... I'll have an uncertain job, I might have to move a lot when times get tough. Other's will have stable jobs, they can't just move with me, since we're not "in that kind of a relationship", no matter how you frame it. No matter how I try to look at it, in the end, I'll probably be on my own. Does that mean that, in the end, it really might be impossible for me to live a fulfilling life?

 

Old age loneliness is a really prevalent thing, even among people with spouses and kids. What chances do I have of escaping that if I definitely won't have either...? 

TL;DR
A lot of people said it already, but yeah, the stuff that keeps me up at night is 

  •  the fact that the world is build for couples
  • being unable to see a future for myself, and fearing that uncertainties and loneliness will get worse and worse with age, which is scary
  • feeling alone in this and having zero hope of that changing.... ever....
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2 hours ago, Kojote said:

I have a few things that bug me, but those are mostly small annoyances.
The real issue I am most affected by is forming meaningful connections and the constant threat of loneliness in old age. I'm 27 and I'm fine with being alone/living in flat sharing arrangements and focusing on my career right now. In fact, I've been completely content with being alone and only having close friends for the majority of my life, but I doubt it'll stay that way.

I certainly found it easier to worry less about being alone and focus on work when I was around your age. The last few years has been about as bad as when I was a late teenager...

 

2 hours ago, Kojote said:

I can't imagine my life leading to any form of cohabitation with other people in a family-manner...

I've never wanted to do the cohabitation thing anyway.

 

3 hours ago, Kojote said:

A lot of people said it already, but yeah, the stuff that keeps me up at night is 

 the fact that the world is build for couples

Which can also make it harder in terms of making friends. Since lots of social activities can be set up on the assumption that people are or want to be in couples.

 

3 hours ago, Kojote said:

feeling alone in this and having zero hope of that changing.... ever....

Something which is bothering me a lot right now is just not knowing anyone who has a similar worldview and experience. Certainly not when it comes to the "real world".

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