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I think I'm Aro


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I have recently decided I'm Aro. I am totally new to this world and all of this. I would like some help.

I haven't told anyone yet and I would like to. How do I go about that?

I have had crushes in my early years but didn't actually care it was just something people did, but I haven't had one for a while. I don't want to be in a relationship, I don't understand romanticism very well. I care about my friends and family but I would not like anything more than that.

I just want some advice about this kind of stuff. Know more about Aro, what challenges I might face.

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its better to visit aurea for this kind of stuff. its basically a website for aromanticism with a variety of information that you might find helpful. heres a thread on arocalypse abt misconception regarding aromanticism as for the difficulties you might face coming out and such and thats pretty much all the info i have

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What I find difficult about coming out advice is that coming out is, unfortunately, a lifelong process. How, why, when, and for what reason you come out can vary so wildly even just in your personal life for a variety of reasons (what kind of relationship you have with the person, why you're coming out, how old you are, how many times you've come out before, etc.).

The basic advice of coming out stands as:

  • A lot of people will give you the opposite advice, and I absolutely hate it. Let your coming out be about you. You come out when you're ready. You come out when you want to. You come out in whatever way is safest and/or most comfortable for you (in person? through a letter? through a phone call? through a text?).
  • The best time to have potentially hard conversations like this is a neutral time when everyone's needs have been met (ie, everyone is reasonably well rested and has eaten recently enough because things like fatigue and hunger can make people impulsive, anxious, moody, easily frustrated, etc.).
  • Be prepared to explain what your identity means. You can include some resources for the other person/people to use to learn more but they are most likely going to rely on you for their understanding of the label. It's too much pressure, not to mention impossible, to represent an entire community. So your explanation should be a basic definition of what the label means. Anything further, answer/explain based off of your own feelings/observations.
  • Aim to be concise. Coming out can be a shock to people and many won't hear past the basic coming out (what you're coming out as and what that means). Coming out is often a series of conversations, so be prepared to leave a lot out that you might want to come back to and explain later. (For example, the first conversation might be about the fact that you're aromantic and this means you won't be dating. If you're open to a queerplatonic relationship, then explaining what a qpp is will probably happen later down the line after people have had time to process you being aromantic.)
  • Set boundaries. People may ask inappropriate or offensive or upsetting questions. Remember that you are not obligated to answer any question you don't want to, aren't comfortable, or just aren't sure how to answer. It's also okay if you don't know how to answer right away - but do want to answer - and let the other person know that you'll come back to it. People are not obligated to an answer to their question just because they asked it, though. People may also make inappropriate/offensive/upsetting statements. You are not obligated to sit there and be berated or talked down to.
  • Have some after self-care planned out. This may be some time alone to reset, it may be cuddle time with a pet, it may be time with a friend. Coming out is exhausting even when it goes well, so take care of yourself.
  • Plan ahead and think about your safety. Is there any chance, however slim, that people you're coming out to may withhold financial support, kick you out, disown you, verbally assault you, and/or escalate to physical violence? If so, plan around that. This may mean not coming out until you're financially independent. It may mean coming out over email and blocking them for a few weeks to months to give them time to process. It may mean coming out in a public place so there are witnesses around if they become violent.

If you want more specific advice, I'd need more details on who you're coming out to, if you're a minor or adult, the kind of relationship you have with each of these folk, etc.

I'll tell you the story of how I came out as asexual the very first time, which was to my mom, for some context.

I was in late high school. I had just found the term and immediately connected with it. I knew it was me. So, I was pretty immediately ready to come out. My father was never emotionally a part of our lives, so I didn't care about coming out to him. Only to my mother. So, one night when it was just the two of us, and she was prepping dinner, I pulled out some chips and salsa (a comfort food and something to keep my hands occupied and stop me from rambling). I just came out and told her that I had something to say. I was asexual and that meant I didn't experience sexual attraction and it explained why I'd been so uninterested in dating or anything like that. I think I was so nervous as coming out as asexual that I actually forgot to come out as panromantic. She had some basic questions and made some basic comments ("just know it's okay to change your mind later" ugh), and that was that. It was nerve-wracking but overall went smoothly and as well as I could expect.

There's no big secret to it not being kinda awkward and nerve-wracking. You just...say what you need to say.

Typical range of negative responses you might prepare for:

  • So you've never been in love then? How sad!
  • You're probably just a late bloomer. Don't worry; it'll come when you meet the right person!
  • Wow, that seems really lonely. [general expressions of condolences rather than congratulations]
  • Are you sure? You've probably had a crush before and just didn't realize/are afraid of commitment.
  • I can't personally relate, so that must not be a thing. Have you thought about seeing a doctor/therapist?

In general, though, I honestly suggest not focusing on the potentially negative reactions. Plan for your safety, yes, but remember why you want to share this about yourself, which probably includes some aspect of finally understanding who you are and realizing you're not broken/aren't the only one who feels this way! If you focus too much on the potential negative, ime, it will make you tend towards the defensive, which will make aromanticism seem like something you need be defending. Be happy and share your happiness with others. People who aren't totally the worst will follow your lead and be happy for you.

Finally, here's a specific post AUREA wrote up on Coming Out as Aromantic.

Good luck!

Edited by hemogoblin
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