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I'm pretty sure I'm aro but there is something bothering me


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Okay so when I was like 11 years old I had this big crush on a boy in my class. I'm pretty sure we liked each other but we were just kids and we didn't take it further than hugging a couple of times. 

thing is, this boy has been my only crush in my hole life. I'm 21 now and there have been times when I thought that I had a crush but it was a squish in the end or it was just sexual attraction (I'm aceflux, on that I'm pretty confident). of course, the crush on this boy faded a looong time ago

thing is, for my hole life I have been enamoured with the idea of having an epic romance with a prince charming (later on also included princess charming lol), I really liked romance stories since I was little and that hasn't changed. so I had this crush at 11 years old and then I waited and it just... never happened again. I thought at first I was picky but when someone was interested in having a romantic relationship with me I became anxious because deep down I knew that I wouldn't develop that kind of feelings for them. 

right now, having my own romance story feels like more of a fantasy than anything else and I am very sure I'm aromantic, but at times I think about this crush when I was a kid and I became confused. is this like, a thing that has happened to anyone? at first I thought I'm aroflux (partly to match with my sexual orientation), but I'm not sure anymore where on the aromantic spectrum I fall

what do you guys think?

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One of the beautiful things about this community is the variety of experiences, and none of those make any of us any less aro. I remember having "crushes" as a kid and a preteen, that I know recognise as just admiration mixed with my intense desire to take part in what everyone else deemed the basic human experience. They were mostly based on fantasy and they felt like a game I had to play. Later in my life I spent three years trying to categorise every single relationship and feeling I had ever felt for other people, and it only made me more confused about where I stood in the aromantic spectrum, which I was already pretty sure I was part of. Compulsory heteronormativity is super difficult to recognise, and sometimes our brain fabricates a fantasy in which we do play along to it. I obviously don't know much about what you felt for that crush when you were 11, but have in mind even most allos agree that their crushes at that age weren't "the real deal" (whatever that even means). It's really difficult to look back and categorise what you felt such a long time ago, because time warps memories and if you had that crush as your blueprint for what you were supposed to wait for it's very probable that your brain fabricated how real it was over time.

I also believe whatever your experience and relationship to romantic attraction are right now, that's what should dictate where you stand in the spectrum. Past experiences are cool to understand yourself better, but if nothing similar has happened in ten years then...

 PS: When I was like 12 I convinced myself I had a crush on a guy I knew was interested in me, and as soon as this "crush" developed into a relationship I freaked out and realised I had made that up completely, I didn't feel that way at all. I think that has been my biggest lesson on how credible the fantasies your brain fabricates can be.

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I have had a couple crushes in the past, which is why I identify as grey-aromantic/probably demiromantic. I also used to think about having a romantic partner, but I never had a longing for it. I did at one point find the idea of a marriage and family and children appealing, but it was not a strong desire.
That said, aro's come in all shapes and sizes! Some like the idea of a romantic relationship despite lacking those feelings, some hate the whole shebang. If you haven't had romantic attraction since that one crush, I think you can call yourself aromantic or, if you like, grey-aromantic.

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First off, being grey-aro/aroflux is totally a valid thing. Having had a crush before doesn't mean you can't be aro even if it was an intense one.

Secondly, and tbh this might just be semantics and not that relevant but it feels like like I should mention it: It wasn't actually until I got on this forum (a whole.. week or so ago) that I realized some people view "crushes" as romantic. I've considered myself as having crushes on a lot of people (granted not any irl since I was young) because I always saw a "crush" as finding someone attractive consistently? Like I have never been around someone I had a crush on and been like "hmm I'd like to date them" except maybe when I Was younger and didn't realize that wasn't the same thing. it was more "hmm they are attractive and I like looking at them/find them hot/sexually attractive". And talking to one of my alloromantic friends, he also agreed that most of his crushes are not romantic in nature.

Also, funny enough, I was really Not into romance media/love stories when I was young, but as I've gotten older I've found I also actually do really enjoy them. Like give me a good epic romance story any day of the week. I just know that I just enjoy the fantasy of it, it's not something I would want personally for myself irl.
(also I've found one of the things I really like stories in gen is characters who become like, super close, go full Ride or Die for each other. soulmates? in a way. And it just so happens that romance/shipping stuff is typically where you find that. but I am just as into, if not more, into that trope when it's platonic you just don't see it as much)

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