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So am I?!

Guest Jim

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I’ve recently (last two years or so) come round to the idea that I may be aromantic. 

Some context:

When I was a kid I was a bit of a wild romantic! I’d fall in love a lot, but it would be very Disney-fied ‘sweep them off their feet’ sort of love. In my teenage years, I had relationships that I was invested in, but there was a level of intimacy, beyond physical, that I really struggled with. By the time I was an adult, I really struggled to invest in relationships. Often I would feel depressed and trapped, and the poor women I dated, who were so lovely and, on the face of it, perfect for me, were ultimately left short because I couldn’t connect with them on the level they deserved. My last relationship ended when I was 30 (six years ago). It seemed perfect - we were very alike - but we fell into comfortable patterns quite quickly and soon lost the spark. When she broke it off, I was upset, but she was like ‘what’s the point? We’ll never move in together etc.’ She was totally right. 

I’m totally not intimate - it doesn’t do it for me at all. My attitude to sex is fairly transactional and unhealthy. I really respect women, and don’t like the idea of using anyone, so my sex life is pretty limited. I certainly don’t want to give the impression of a romantic relationship if there’s no chance of it happening.

Outside of dating, I am highly social. I get on really well with everyone I meet and have really meaningful friendships, although I am still (through choice) often solitary. I go on holidays alone etc. I am really capable of meaningful connections and friendships, but romance and intimacy just aren’t for me.

I’ve considered the fact that it could be a sexuality issue, but after some exploration, I know it’s not. Intimacy with a man is even more off putting and there’s no sexual attraction there. 

I do think I’m aro, especially after typing all this. But I still want companionship in my life; I like the idea of being in a relationship with a woman who is ambitious and has her own life, where the relationship is about mutual respect and fulfilling some of the practical duties of a long term relationship (security, kids, companionship). The best example of romance in movies from my perspective is in House of Cards, when Frank and Claire are both working really hard in their jobs, and come home really late and share a cigarette on the balcony before going to bed. There’s a real strength there. 

Anyway, thoughts and advice appreciated. 

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The best way to figure out is to learn more about other aros experience. When it comes to relationships maybe should try dating polyamorous people or relationship anarchists. They're going to be more open to different ideas of companionship.

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