arotr Posted March 21 Share Posted March 21 Hello everyone, long time, no see. Bear with me here as I get a little overly personal, lol. I've been aware of ace/aro stuff for over a decade at this point and previously identified as aroace at one point before abandoning that label at age 17. I had a very complicated relationship with my sexuality and gender due to various reasons, and I unfortunately fell into the reactionary "exclu" camp for years, something I do regret a lot now that I am almost 25. I came back to ace/aro spaces last year when some problems emerged between my boyfriend and I. My boyfriend is very strongly romantically-inclined, and he desires this emotional intimacy with me that I, at the time, felt incapable of providing, and I turned to here for help. I talked to him about my activities online, so he knew about it and was willing to work with me. At the end of the summer the emotional impasse finally ended, and we are still together and in a much better place than we ever have been. I stopped frequenting these forums because I decided I wasn't ace/aro after all and that our difficulties were the result of other emotional factors, but I still really appreciated the warmth and perspectives I encountered as I struggled through that. However, I am back, this time in a much better mental space. I saw a silly prompt on Twitter about the longest crush you've ever had on somebody, and once again just found myself very outside of the norm. I was finally able to articulate my issues, which is that I do sometimes feel attracted to people, but the attraction is basically exclusively sexual in nature. The idea of a romantic relationship does not particularly thrill me or disgust me. I'd say I feel neutral about it for sure. However, I'd also feel that after having the relationship I've had with my boyfriend, I would definitely crave that level of intimacy again if I didn't have him. But is that interest linked to romantic attraction, or lack thereof? I've always felt confused about romantic attraction as a separate category of attraction, especially when you start digging into the concept of romance and realize that it is a pretty new concept in the grand scheme of things. Not that people have never felt romantically drawn to people before a certain point in time, but that the societal obsession with it is newer. When I initially called myself aro, I felt that it was silly to even dictate romantic attraction as a thing separate from sexual or platonic attraction. I recognize now there is an emotional element to romantic attraction that is absent in other kinds of attraction, but what I've realized is that I am incapable of feeling it independently of sex. I don't even mean that in a way where I'm an allosexual alloromantic, but in the sense where I just genuinely do not feel this infatuation with people where I want to engage with them "romantically." All romantic feelings I've ever had with my boyfriend happen almost exclusively within the context of having sex with him, although more recently they do occur outside of that. But even with that, I only feel it after literal years of being with him. Does anyone feel anything similar to this? Or is their a word for such a thing, if such a word is even necessary? Is this "aromantic" (or "grayromantic")? Is it just the consequence of my own personality + life experiences? It doesn't really matter much to me if I'm aro or not so I'm not asking for validation or reassurance. It's more that the aro crowd has a certain kind of intellectual nuance about romantic attraction and relationships that provides interesting insights not found elsewhere. I don't know if this is just the way alloromantic allosexuals feel and I'm overthinking it or if my sensation that I differ from most people is based in a real observation and worth discussing. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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