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I can't know for sure, can I?

Guest Nemo


Being introspective is a serious hassle. Especially with regards to identity/emotion it feels like a diagnosis, but unlike an actual diagnosis, something that only YOU can do.

And I still don't feel qualified. It feels presumptuous to ask other people to do that deciding for me, not having the base of self-knowledge I do. But also it is a damn challenge, I have always been very indecisive, and that is kind of manifesting itself in my current self-examination.

Since hearing about the term/identity I pretty much immediately felt it connected with myself. I distinctly remember throughout elementary school being asked by classmates who I had a crush on, and truthfully answering 'no one' to the complete distrust of every classmate. In my head I sorta felt like we were all too young to have proper crushes, and that they were trying to be...special or something, I don't know. I also remember being pretty confused at the idea of fictional crushes. Like yeah, I got the concept and that they were fairly common, but it was so alien to me it felt like how could I even feel that for someone fictional.

There was a period where I felt an intense pressure that because of never having a relationship let alone a crush that I was lagging behind, was I at the right moment in my life? Eventually I kind of talked myself out of that and kind of accepted that what would come, would come and vice versa. It was a challenge to acknowledge because as a little kid I was very emotional and emotionally open, writing notes about whatever I was feeling whether it was sadness of love for my parents. I also had a variety of the common excuses: no one here is good enough; switching schools so often made it impossible to connect; etc. I have never, I think, known romantic love or anything close to it, but I have always loved love songs and soul music, and had a grand fascination and love for humanity and just the universe (it is really amazing to be alive and to see everything that exists how it does), and obviously familial love and affection.

Due to not being very outgoing in any capacity (likely an autism thing) and aforementioned school moving, and on some level being a guy, I have never had exceptionally close friends, not that I wouldn't like to, there are a lot of factors including a sometimes alienating level of maturity, that has led to that. I think that broadly these excuses are just that and serve nothing beyond placating my anxiety related to self discovery and feeling a minority of what most do. I'm lucky that my parents are very accommodating, and never push or anything, and would (probably) be fine with it after a while. A sibling came out as gay when they were young as well and no problems there.

Unfortunately being alloromantic has a lot of expectations with it, and those are difficult to buck generally. I also didn't want this to change the way people close to me see me, although I guess that's inevitable, at least for a while. It has been just part of my personality, nothing special, 'I haven't changed, my actions haven't changed, so why should the way people look at me change?' is the kind of naive process I had. At some point I had realized I was some level of bisexual but 'coming out' about that felt probably easier than aro, yet also I felt I couldn't due it without 'leading on' my family members into my 'love life'.  From there I told myself I wanted to 'be sure' about it before saying anything, but I know that's really impossible. I want to sort of be true to myself, whatever that may mean, before leaving for college.

I accept the fact that I'm young and a bit stupid, but I'm glad to be doing some introspection rather than pushing it aside til my early/mid twenties.

I'm not even really here for convincing, more so for affirmation bias, I know that knowing for sure is impossible.

Also I fell for the forum cliche of both writing an essay and making it my life story, so apologies. It did feel good to write though.

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hi! im not sure how much i can help, but i can offer my own experience. i feel some kinship with your experience here, although maybe in a slightly different way. i totally get the hassle of introspection, and feeling unqualified to identify your experiences into a label. i had a very similar experience to that, except more so with my gender rather than aromanticism. i was also extremely indecisive which didn’t help anything. basically from my ~late middle school to mid high school years, questioning and doubting and questioning my gender again was a big chunk of my internal existence. and it felt debilitating at times. however, it gets easier. i promise. i’m a young adult now, and i’ve never felt more confident and at peace with my identity. all the doubts i used to have are, the vast majority of the time, gone. 

something that might help you that definitely helped me loads is journaling. it helped me get my thoughts and feelings out, and also, after a few years i was able to look back on my entries and realize i still felt the same way. looking back like that really affirmed for me that what i was experiencing was real. realizing i had felt that way for so long confirmed to me that i was indeed trans. it might help you with your questioning! 

while no one can tell you what you are, i will say that the experiences you have listed do sound very aromantic, and some relatable to me as an aro. being aromantic is about a lack of romantic attraction to others. that’s about it. you can be aro and still love love songs and have a love for humanity, i think that’s amazing actually! hold onto that fascination! 

you say that since you heard the term, you felt connected to it, yes? that alone is a perfectly good reason to identify with it! personally i had questioning if i was aro for a couple years prior to fully embracing the label (although not near to the extent of questioning my gender, it was still in the back of my mind), and i remember the day i decided i was going to embrace the label, it felt so incredibly freeing and amazing. and just remember, it is totally okay to change your mind later. exploring labels and identity, including changing your mind, is all part of being human and there is no harm done by it! the aro community will welcome you all the same :)

as for the expectations of alloromanticism, that is an unfortunate truth of being aromantic in today’s world. and i totally get that it can be scary and confusing. remember you have a community here if you ever need to let it out! 

i hope you don’t mind me writing my own essay haha, and i hope i was able to help even if just a little bit! 

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