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Aromanticism, friends, and "found families" in media


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I am generally not a very crying-prone, or emotion-prone in general, person. But I've noticed that whenever there's a "found family" type group of friends in media, it just hits me right in the feels and crying will almost certainly happen. I guess it's because it's one of the few examples of really strong nonromantic love that people will actually accept and not belittle as not being important enough to have a really significant effect on someone's life. The idea of people finding each other and building that kind of life and support structure together is just something that resonates with me a lot, because I wish so often that I could just live with all of my friends and we could have a happy life together. Maybe that's my family issues or my geographical distance from my QPP or my general feeling of uneasiness about the instability and chaos of the world at large talking, but whatever the reason, this is just something I feel surprisingly strongly about, and I was wondering if anybody else could relate to that.

 

In case you were wondering what specifically prompted this (Undertale pacifist run spoilers):

I cried through the whole final boss fight of the Undertale pacifist run. When everyone showed up to stand together, it was the purest and most heart-wrenchingly good thing, and then having to call them back from Asriel's hive mind thing, and then calling Asriel back from the hive mind thing, and his and Frisk's friendship, and then afterwards when everyone is waiting to leave for the surface, and then when they actually get to the surface and everyone is so happy and they stick together and you couldn't have done it without each and every one of them, and...yeah. This gave me way too many feelings. 



(This may be partially due to the fact that I did all of this at like 6am after doing the entire run in one go, and I still haven't actually slept yet, and I've noticed that when I don't sleep I have way too many feelings about everything. But especially this.) 

 

Also, other things in which this has happened: Welcome to Night Vale episode 67, Barakomon, basically every piece of fiction that I will ever write

 

(...hey, there's an idea! If you've got any favorite examples of this, feel free to share!)

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Yes! I've always wanted the same thing as well. It's the reason why my college years were so amazing to me - a bunch of friends all living together in the same building, hanging out every day, eating together... everything. So when we graduated and went our seperate ways, I always held onto the hope that someday we'd all put together enough money and do something similar again. Either live in the same building, or start a company/business together, or something like that... but I was really surprised (and sad) to learn that they didn't really want that, or couldn't be bothered with it, or just didn't think it was more important than their jobs and girlfriends and whatever else they were doing. I actually moved away from home to be closer to these people... aaand then I felt stupid.

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@Dodecahedron314 The other day, I was at Hot Topic when I found a button on sale that said, "Family don't end with blood." I was completely unaware that this was a Supernatural fandom button. I was drawn to the button because the slogan resonated with me, for reasons similar to yours. My family and I have a very tension-fraught relationship, so I've only been able to find support outside, through friends--who I can't see very often due to parents not letting me out, or geographical distance. If anything, though, the fact that I can't see my friends often just makes my friendships stronger, because my friends and I have to work extra hard to maintain our companionship, in order to make up for lack of in-person contact. So I have great respect and appreciation for bonds that are built from scratch with other people, which is what found families are all about.

 

@SoulWolf Okay, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets the urge to live with their friend(s). I met my mutual squish at a summer camp, where we got to room together, and I really miss waking up to her. Not in the sexual sense, or like, "we slept in the same bed" sense, but I mean like, walk into the dining room and be able to eat breakfast with her. There's a certain level of intimacy you get to, with a person, when they're living in the same space as you for a long time--you get to see them at their messiest, most honest, most vulnerable. It's probably one of the most intimate ways you can get to know a person, platonically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I absolutely LOVE "found familes" in media. I find that in any book, movie, TV show, or what have you, my favorite character relationships are almost always found families or other really close friendships. I don't know, that dynamic just really resonates with me?

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know if this counts, but there's this one comic on Webtoons called Super Secret that has a idea similar to "chosen family" in Ep. 17. I think that was the moment I really started to get emotionally involved with the character in question; it just felt good to stumble upon it and see something that represented my own feelings irl. :')

 

Link for the comic episode list on mobile device: http://m.webtoons.com/en/romance/super-secret/list?title_no=666

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1 hour ago, Tumblrweed said:

I don't know if this counts, but there's this one comic on Webtoons called Super Secret that has a idea similar to "chosen family" in Ep. 17. I think that was the moment I really started to get emotionally involved with the character in question; it just felt good to stumble upon it and see something that represented my own feelings irl. :')

 

Link for the comic episode list on mobile device: http://m.webtoons.com/en/romance/super-secret/list?title_no=666

I stayed away from that one cuz it's labelled 'romance'! But I'll check it out if you say it's good!

 

I've found that a bunch of the manhwa on Webtoons starts out really well, as action or comedy or whatever, but then it always devolves into some horrible romance. Like New Normal: Class 8, which was an AWESOME friendship comic before it got super shitty and just pure romance.

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 5:25 PM, Dodgypotato said:

I stayed away from that one cuz it's labelled 'romance'! But I'll check it out if you say it's good!

 

I've found that a bunch of the manhwa on Webtoons starts out really well, as action or comedy or whatever, but then it always devolves into some horrible romance. Like New Normal: Class 8, which was an AWESOME friendship comic before it got super shitty and just pure romance.

I'm still concerned that the comic is going to end up being a bait-and-switch romance, but the comic involves a few people in romantic pairs, so I'm hoping that's the reason it got labelled "romance" rather than "fantasy". As it stands now I'm ecstatic to find that the author was able to portray a character who reads like they're aro!

Spoilers in the spoiler:

Spoiler

I'm always happy to see the scenes where someone questions the main character about his feelings for his childhood friend and he's always frustrated with them (relatable). He says it's like caring for family (relatable) and gets down when his friend starts going out with a guy who actively tries to prevent him from spending time with her (super relatable). Heck, even the description calls them "friends for life"! So far, he's as aro as I can imagine without claiming the label and without acting like he's confused, just frustrated at everyone else for questioning his friendship.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 01/10/2016 at 9:49 PM, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

yeah I loved college. totally wanna live like that again, cafeteria, open dorms. exactly as it was just can't happen again. but maybe living near friends might, friends who I chill with almost everyday. I hope so. 

I'd like to live closer to my friends. They all live in a similar area and I'd love to be able to just catch a bus to their houses and hang out at random.

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  • 1 month later...

The found family trope is the quickest way to get me invested in any media, it's always been something I've wished would happen for me. 

 

I'd love to live with certain close friends. My current housemate and I don't really interact with each other. I was meant to move in with two close friends, but their circumstances changed and they couldn't move anymore. For them it was just 'oh well, too bad' while I was quietly pretty devastated. 

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  • 9 months later...

I love found family! 

On 19/11/2016 at 2:54 PM, mostlyjustlucy said:

The found family trope is the quickest way to get me invested in any media

I have to agree with this. Seriously if a book or movie came out with a tag line of 'found family' I would be throwing money at it so fast. 

The tag search on Archive of Our Own makes it so easy to find found family fanfics. 

I have never really experienced anything like that, I guess the closest I have gotten was travelling overseas with friends who I don't actually have much in common with but we were still friends....

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  • 2 months later...

Friendship and found family are two of my favourite things ever. I am also really interested in media that features any form of them. And both are things i'm really interested in exploring through writing.

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On 11/12/2017 at 10:26 AM, byebyeshadowlands said:

i'm really interested in exploring through writing.

I will read it! 

One of my most favourite found family stories is a fanfic that for the most part is fairly sexualised (it is a stripper AU and it gets descriptive) but the found family feels are so beautifully written. I think self publishers and free platform writers do the best jobs at writing things like found family as they don't get boxed in with publishers focusing on what they know will sell. ~ which tends to be romantic absorption of a lonely character into an actual blood family environment.   

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42 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I think self publishers and free platform writers do the best jobs at writing things like found family as they don't get boxed in with publishers focusing on what they know will sell. ~ which tends to be romantic absorption of a lonely character into an actual blood family environment.   

 

Very true! An excellent point!

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3 minutes ago, byebyeshadowlands said:

Very true! An excellent point!

Someone tried to convince me Twilight was a financially successful book about found family when I said something before. Ha! no. It was basically all romantic absorption. 

I can't think of any found family's in mainstream media that don't also have a lot of romantic absorption as well. 

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7 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Someone tried to convince me Twilight was a financially successful book about found family when I said something before. Ha! no. It was basically all romantic absorption. 

I can't think of any found family's in mainstream media that don't also have a lot of romantic absorption as well. 

 

Stories about romantic absorption and/or people marrying into a family and finding somewhere to belong are valid, of course... but it's not the kind of found family I prefer reading about. I like the idea of different people finding out they fit well together, with no romance thrown in the mix. Like others said in posts above, it's something i wish would happen to me, and so i might be projecting a bit too much on this kind of story, haha. But it really is an excellent trope.

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  • 3 months later...

Person of Interest! A+ found family content, only minimal romance, definitely your thing if you like spy/agent against the system kind of stuff and a group of initially reluctant people coming to love each other platonically.

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Y'all might like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books. In the first book, these four best friends are about to spend their first summer apart, and they find this pair of jeans that, miraculously, fits all four of them perfectly (as anyone with a female body knows, this truly is a rare find). So they each keep the pants for 2 weeks over the summer and ship them to each other to feel closer together while they go on separate adventures. Some romantic subplots but definitely more about the power of friendship.

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On 2018-03-30 at 11:35 PM, Naegleria fowleri said:

Y'all might like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books. In the first book, these four best friends are about to spend their first summer apart, and they find this pair of jeans that, miraculously, fits all four of them perfectly (as anyone with a female body knows, this truly is a rare find). So they each keep the pants for 2 weeks over the summer and ship them to each other to feel closer together while they go on separate adventures. Some romantic subplots but definitely more about the power of friendship.


I agree. Even though each friend has at least one romantic plot in these four books (there's a fifth one too but I haven't read it) it's always clear that friendship comes first.

 

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17 hours ago, Holmbo said:

there's a fifth one too but I haven't read it

 

If you're curious, the fifth one is rather intense, compared to others, and takes place around ten years after the fourth book.

Spoiler

One of the friends dies. I won't tell you who.

 

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On 2018-04-02 at 3:39 AM, Naegleria fowleri said:

 

If you're curious, the fifth one is rather intense, compared to others, and takes place around ten years after the fourth book.

  Reveal hidden contents

One of the friends dies. I won't tell you who.

 

I know of the premise of the fifth one. I choose not to read it as I didn't want to read about them as adults.

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