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Labels before aro?


Arsenic
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A few time ago I read in a instagram post that aro and/or ace people used a lot of different labels before identifying as aro and/or ace. For me, I went through straight, bi, lesbian, bi again, pan, bi again, gray-asexual and demiromantic, before using aroace. What about you? Did you start labelling yourself as aro or did you start with another and completely different label?

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None. I had always been told that aromanticism was a type of asexuality. My sexual attraction meant I clearly wasn't ace, but my lack of crushes also meant I clearly wasn't straight, gay, bi, or pan. So I assumed I was nothing, and that there was something wrong with me, up until I was about 18 or so.

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Initially I just kind of clung to the assumption that I was straight and labelled myself as such, even whilst having every identity my ace friend mentioned resonate way more with me. After a while I went "Well okay there's probably something to that but no way I'm ace right? I must be demi and hetero. Duh. That makes more sense than me just being straight therefore it is absolutely correct!" That went on for a frankly comical amount of time, where it got to the point where it's like "Okay if I'm demisexual I am EXTREMELY demisexual..." before I eventually just accepted that...yeah no. I'm just plain asexual. That made me question the assumption that I was heteroromantic, but, between assuming that the strong platonic love I felt for people must have been romantic because surely love that strong couldn't be for people who were jUsT fRiEnDs and really not wanting to reckon with what being aro might mean for my relationship, I came to the conclusion that because gender didn't make any difference to me, I must be panromantic. Flash forward a few years of feeling more and more trapped in my perfectly healthy and enjoyable relationship and feeling unreasonably weird and uncomfortable every time he started talking about the future and I decided to finally do some serious research into what being aro was like, and lo and behold it was all the story of my life.

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Short version: started at "I don't know" or "I don't care," then went through lesbian, asexual, aromantic asexual, grayromantic asexual, to finally settle with aromantic asexual.

Detailed version: I think I never really thought I was straight, I just didn't care about my sexuality for a long time. I started to care a little, and then I noticed I didn't like boys, so I just assumed I was a lesbian. When I heard about the term asexual, I thought it meant not liking anyone, so I went by that for a while until I found out about aromanticism a few months later. I labeled myself as aromantic asexual from 2017 to 2020, when I had my first intense squish and confused my feelings for romantic attraction, so I thought I was grayromantic for about four months. At that time, I joined Apocalypse, learned about squishes and other types of attraction that felt more fitting to what I was feeling for that person, and started using aromantic asexual again.

Edited by sol
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short: bi, ace biromantic, ace panromantic, aroace, ace & arospec pan, ace/arospec sapphic, aroace oriented sapphic

i don't think i ever thought about my sexuality up until this girl i was friends with said something along the lines of "you're cute when you blush" and then i immediately went through this second of "oh wait im bi" and just,,,, went from there. i labelled as ace biromantic, then panromantic (as the person who i liked began identifying as enby. eventually i was like "wait i dont like anyone maybe im arospec" and then i realized that oh, i like someone else. and then i began adding greyromantic and eventually demiromantic too, in addition to identifying as panromantic. eventually realized i liked girls or feminine people only and stuck sapphic on instead of pan. and im probably just very strongly demi, but aroace fits better, so here we are. 

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I'm questioning right now, but I've wondered if I was straight, bi,pan, aego, grey, and agno, in thet order more-or less. Currently I'm thinking I may be aro or greyro- those very specific microlabels are descripive,but not well enough known!
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well, being heterosexual, i figured i was just straight, as in, also heteroromantic, and then i found out about aromanticism, and went through the thrillingly slow journey from denial to tentative acceptance to embracing it.  slow but direct--never had any feelings which led me to even consider any other possibilities.

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Identified as bi for a while. When I started learning about a-spec terms, I identified as gray-aroace and bi, because I felt like I was in between allo and aro/ace. Now I think I'm a lot closer to "just aro" because the "crushes" I've had have been weak and/or short lived and probably confused with just really liking someone platonically, so that's how I label myself. Jury's still out on my sexuality, though.

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I never labeled myself as anything else but I did go on a date with a woman to try it.

If I had known about different labels it probably would have gone something like: demisexual, homosexual ... aromantic, gray sexual, asexual.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well it first started as me ID as Straight cause I want to hold boys' hands(turns out it was just Sensual/Touch). Then, I identified as Bi cause I confused me admiring girls' and boys' beauty and mannerisms as Romantic attraction. Then back to Straight because little ole' me thought "Well I don't imagine myself holding hands with girls so I must be Straight". Then 2 years later here I am, finally ID as Aromantic.

So in short, Heteroromantic, Biromantic, back to Heteroromantic, then finally Aromantic.

Edited by Aya
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I don't know that I even had a label other than just, "Not interested." If pressed for a 'reason' I'd just add something stupid like, "Because you have cooties." That was usually enough to make people think I was nuts & leave me alone XD

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Short: straight->demi->straight->ace?->straight->ace+heteroromantic->ace+grayheteroromantic->either aro+ace or graypanromantic+ace+poly<->aro, ace

Well, at first I thought I was straight, because I didn't like women that way (never thought of questioning whether I like men that way, very smart =))))... then, a few years ago, I remember I've stumbled on asexuality in the search of understanding myself better, but I thought I was demisexual, then thought most of the people are demi (because people around me wouldn't talk much about sex and sexuality due to shame or the conservative mentality in the place where I was living, so I thought most people are like me). Then a few years later I've stumbled again over asexuality, someone dismissed I could be one (I don't know on what basis, esp. as I was a 24 y.o. who never has been in a relationship), then forgot again about it. Then a few months later I've found about asexuality again (and it took me another few months to figure out i've stumbled over it before =))) Went from heteroromantic to gray-heteroromantic to aro and ace. Sometimes I'm still questioning whether I am aro ace or poly and panromantic and gray, but usually I end up with aro ace, as it feels the best way to describe that intrinsically, I'm not really into the idea of being in a romantic relationship.

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I always thought I was straight but as I had never been interested in having a relationship, never fell in love or whatever, I just thought that I was a lonely person who wanted to be on her own. My aesthetical attraction for male made me think that I had crushes (or squishes not really sure actually). Then last year I heard about aromanticism and read a bit about it and then I knew that I was aro all that long but just didn't know it as I never heard of it before and now I identify as aro. I never questioned either my sexual attraction I never really had one but I have libido even if only occasionnaly so I am actually aroace.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I identified as straight for the longest time, purely because I never thought about attraction or romantic relationships. After being further introduced to the queer community by my friends, I identified as questioning for another long period in my life and because I never experienced attraction, I was so unsure of my sexuality. I actively looked at people and asked "am i attracted to them?" and always came up empty. later on, i had my first squish on someone (at the time i thought it was a crush) and my desperate self started using the bisexual label. I stumbled on asexual shortly after and researched it and used the biromantic asexual label. found aromanticism about a year after using the biromantic asexual label, and thought i was just aroace because these thoughts of "attraction" weren't like what I had heard others talking about. finally reached the bi-oriented aroace label and have been using it for a while now.

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