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Negativity towards aromanticism


meesemouse
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So today was a rough day, and I didn't see any forums that really covered this topic, so I figured, hey I'll go out on a limb here and start one up.

Earlier today, I went shopping with my two of my friends that I haven't seen in a while, but I am super close to. We hung out for a while, and then I finally decided this would be a good time to tell them that I think I'm aromantic. I started explaining myself to them and they practically laughed it off, telling me that with the few examples I quickly gave them were not legitamate at all. I am 15, so I can understand their hesitancy in believing me, but they didn't give me a chance to explain myself, they just treated it as if I was delusional and thus my idea was a phase. Additionally, it was the day after their homecoming dance, so in addition to the both of them being boy crazy, all they kept doing is talking about guys and who was grinding on who and were no joke snapchatting and texting 5 different guys between the two of them during the day. It was sickening. They weren't deliberately mean to me, but their ignorance and immediate dismission of what was such an important thing to me hurt so badly. I'm not one for having a ton of fake friends either; I prefer to have a few close friends I can confide in. This seriously left me feeling doubtful and invalid, and as a person with crippling anxiety (yay!), what I once was excited to tell a few of my other close friends, I am now afraid to for fear of rejection or dismissal. Any advice, I guess? Anyone with similar experiences? Feel free to comment this stuff so we can spread love and advice like a contagious disease! :hugs:

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I think I understand, once I found out what aromanticism is I instaly knew I was an Aro. The way I came out (well sorta) was I drew the flag on my hand and asked them if they knew what it was, no one knew so once I explained and told them I was Aromantic they sorta just looked at me and said ok, I knew that look it was the I don't believe you but won't tell you look/the I don't understand look/the I don't care look. I never told my parents/don't plan to since they would just say I'm too young, having a family is so nice, you'll change your mind, ect. I can see where they get the idea and so I started to doubt I was Aromantic and thought they were right, but one thing I notice was that I was ahead on the puberty train by like 2 years then most at my school and they all had a least some kind of crush when they were younger or now, and I found it weird that I still never had a crush that's when I confirmed I was Aromantic, so i just ignore what my friends and family say and sorta just let it be (sorry if I rambled).

 

What I'm trying to say is don't be afraid to tell them it's okay if they don't give you the reaction you want and don't understand, this is why I joined the community, so I have people to talk to, to understand me, and to help me. We are here if something happens, you can always talk to us and we'll try to understand the best way we can. I hope this helps and sorry if it didn't. :D:aropride:

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I told a good friend of mine that I was lithromantic and she told me "I needed help." Two of my other friends have said "maybe you're just jaded" and "I'm sure you're still going to find someone someday."

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In general, we like to take the easy route, as a species. In this case, the easy route is thinking of everyone as heterosexual, heteromantic, and cisgender. It takes more brainpower and other faculties to process and submit that maybe Person X isn't one of those things.

 

Take me: I'm (unwillingly) out as aro to my mum. While she understands what it means on an intellectual level (in the same way that she understands gay people), she doesn't respect it on an emotional one. When I get to a computer I'll link to my aro bingo card, but suffice it to say that she's always saying "when you get a girlfriend..." (though the other day she at least acknowledged that I might not be heteromantic by including partner, which she explained as a boyfriend or someone NB). And my my brother is just all kinds of stupid when it comes to labelling things. 

 

On the other hand, the one friend from uni I've come out to as aro ace has completely accepted it, as has my other friend who is aro ace himself (though admittedly I'm being very selective in who I tell offline). 

 

You're not alone. Good luck, and have some 🍦 

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All of my coming out experiences have been good up until now (which I feel very lucky for) but talking to people on okcupid recently was completely different.

 

I was on there looking for new queer friends and hopefully a qpr, explicitly stating that I'm aro ace (as well as a decent definition of both) on my profile.

 

The first person I talked to was Demi/pan so they completely understood. Within a day they were messaging me all the time and by the second day they were adding xo's to their goodnight messages, which was enough for me to stop talking to them. They showed all the signs of romantic interest (I prefer to call it romantic smothering) and I knew it wouldn't work.

 

The second person I talked to understood too, but after a while she was asking if maybe I could be demiromantic and about giving romantic relationships a try with which I responded that I'm definitely aro, I have tried and I hate romantic relationships.

 

Maybe it was my fault for going to an explicitly romantic/sexual dating site but where else was I supposed to go? The asexual dating sites don't have enough traction for there to be anyone from Perth, and there aren't any groups or meet ups here either.

 

It just made me feel incredibly frustrated because people will happily accept that I'm asexual, but try to get around my being aromantic. My identity is a package deal and it can't be split or compromised. It also made me feel kind of hopeless about finding the sort of intimate platonic relationship that I'm looking for.

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7 hours ago, BowlerhatPuff said:

I knew that look it was the I don't believe you but won't tell you look/the I don't understand look/the I don't care look. I never told my parents/don't plan to since they would just say I'm too young, having a family is so nice, you'll change your mind, ect. I can see where they get the idea and so I started to doubt I was Aromantic and thought they were right, but one thing I notice was that I was ahead on the puberty train by like 2 years then most at my school and they all had a least some kind of crush when they were younger or now, and I found it weird that I still never had a crush that's when I confirmed I was Aromantic, so i just ignore what my friends and family say and sorta just let it be 

 

I can relate to everything you said here. I dont plan on coming out to my parents about this, at least not for a really long time, because I don't feel like they would take it seriously and exactly what you said say I was too young. I feel like the worst thing about having people not believe me is how it left me unsure of if I was really aromantic. How it just really crushed all this stuff that I had taken so long and went through a lot of self realization. But I know that this is me. As you said, you just have to ignore what other people said I guess. Sorry for a sort of ramble back, but I loved everything you said and just had to comment on it ^_^

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@aussiekirkland It sucks that people don't take it seriously, but I guess life's like that sometimes. I'm just hoping to make it out of my education experience in one piece, and at that point decide if I want some sort of qpr. I can't be one speak too much on this, as i am rather inexperienced with the aro community and people's attitude towards it, but, I can see the difficulty in so few people being interested in that kind of relationship, especially when the world is so romantically inclined. I really hope you have better luck in the future with this! 

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One of my friends thought I was joking at first and wouldn't take me seriously, but now they're super accepting.

 

Romance is such a huge part of the lives of some people, that they literally just can not comprehend life without it.

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8 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

Maybe it was my fault for going to an explicitly romantic/sexual dating site but where else was I supposed to go? The asexual dating sites don't have enough traction for there to be anyone from Perth, and there aren't any groups or meet ups here either.

I though that asexual dating sites tended to be aimed at alloromantic asexuals.
Mainstream "dating sites" do have a secondary option of platonic friendship. But this may not be much use when it comes to finding queer platonic friendship(s).

 

8 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

It just made me feel incredibly frustrated because people will happily accept that I'm asexual, but try to get around my being aromantic. My identity is a package deal and it can't be split or compromised. It also made me feel kind of hopeless about finding the sort of intimate platonic relationship that I'm looking for.

Since romance is so normative within many cultures there often appears to be little awareness or understanding of aromantic people. Nor is there anything equivalent to sexual abstinence in relation to romance.

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It's a little tricky, as some of my close friends seem to doubt my aroness a bit. However, I've found support in the two aces I know, along with a pan girl and her girlfriend. Glad I've got some support, although I wish I knew another aro in real life.

4 hours ago, Dodgypotato said:

Romance is such a huge part of the lives of some people, that they literally just can not comprehend life without it.

I can't comprehend life with it! On the rare occasion it shows up and sticks around, anyway.

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I had a conversation with someone (while I was questioning whether I was aro or not) and I got some of the classic phrases. I even have screenshots!

ToU95DF.png

NXqg8Y7.png

There's more but I'd have to go back a while to get more screenshots and I can't be bothered.

 

I also don't like when people have their romantic partner in their profile picture ¬¬

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One of my friends in school is gay, so I thought that if someone would be able to undestand me it would be him. When I came out to him and when I talk about being aro he just goes quiet and I don't know why. It makes me feel like he doesn't support me. It could just be that he doesn't know much about it whatever, but it still kinda worries me/makes me a bit sad. 

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18 hours ago, Zemaddog said:

I had a conversation with someone (while I was questioning whether I was aro or not) and I got some of the classic phrases. I even have screenshots!

ToU95DF.png

NXqg8Y7.png

There's more but I'd have to go back a while to get more screenshots and I can't be bothered.

 

I also don't like when people have their romantic partner in their profile picture ¬¬

I remember you showing me those, that's just classic bingo material. xDD Sorry I wasn't in physics yesterday btw (tuesday), I had to go and take some observations of the Sun.

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2 hours ago, Kaiger Pufflehugs IV said:

Same. For one, having 2 people in the picture defeats the point in the picture being used to identify someone (as is the point in a profile picture).

Or maybe they do lack individual identities.

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@meesemouse, sorry to hear about your experience. Try not to be shy about coming out to more of your friends. If you find just one who is accepting of your identity, it will all be worth it.

 

Also, their lack of trusting you is their problem, not yours. Perhaps some day they will finally resolve that problem, and understand you. It's very easy to fall into a particular line of thinking until experiencing contradictory information. After years of you showing no interest in dating, they'll have to believe you.

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yeah agreed with blue phoe. if they do not understand what you are saying and do not listen, that is not something you can force to change. it sucks! but at least you can ignore it knowing that it's just the way it is I guess? 

 

I am glad that when I reminded my mom I was aro, she said "I know some people like that" but it didn't really feel right anyway. she didn't apologize for telling me that I would have people falling for me, which is the reason I spoke up. having people fall for me is the last thing I want. 

 

talking with others is hard :( *hides under the chair*

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On 10/10/2016 at 5:14 AM, meesemouse said:

So today was a rough day, and I didn't see any forums that really covered this topic, so I figured, hey I'll go out on a limb here and start one up.

Earlier today, I went shopping with my two of my friends that I haven't seen in a while, but I am super close to. We hung out for a while, and then I finally decided this would be a good time to tell them that I think I'm aromantic. I started explaining myself to them and they practically laughed it off, telling me that with the few examples I quickly gave them were not legitamate at all. I am 15, so I can understand their hesitancy in believing me, but they didn't give me a chance to explain myself, they just treated it as if I was delusional and thus my idea was a phase. Additionally, it was the day after their homecoming dance, so in addition to the both of them being boy crazy, all they kept doing is talking about guys and who was grinding on who and were no joke snapchatting and texting 5 different guys between the two of them during the day. It was sickening. They weren't deliberately mean to me, but their ignorance and immediate dismission of what was such an important thing to me hurt so badly. I'm not one for having a ton of fake friends either; I prefer to have a few close friends I can confide in. This seriously left me feeling doubtful and invalid, and as a person with crippling anxiety (yay!), what I once was excited to tell a few of my other close friends, I am now afraid to for fear of rejection or dismissal. Any advice, I guess? Anyone with similar experiences? Feel free to comment this stuff so we can spread love and advice like a contagious disease! :hugs:

 

i'm sorry this happent to you. for me. I have came out to multiply people and the respond have been very different both good and bad. I do feel the worst type of respond tend to be "no respond" or simple "rufusing" like one of the people I know kept saying like "oh but you may change your mind" even when I said to him at least 3 times I didnt want to get marriage in one sentence.

its really hard.. if it helps I can say that I also had good response from some so even thought there are those who simple dont understand there may also be people who do.

some of the first people I came out to was pretty negative experience. one just thought I needed to mastrubate more "not sure why" another person said "it must be easy not to have feelings" (arg!) after this experience I didnt really felt like comming out to other people but now I had and while im not out to everyone I have a network of friends who was fine with it.

 

for advice I felt it helps comming out after you had giving the person a certain level of information. 

I did make a presentation about aromanticism not long ago where I talked in depth about myths misunderstanding, what aromanticism was and so on and I think it spared me for alot of bad comments. one of my friends I also came out to I didnt just came out once but when I did I wrote ALOT and I do think it helps sorta.. still you can never be 100% sure of the reaction, thats how it is with comming out, either people are cool or they are not cool. you can also try testing the water by educating them on the topic but without involding yourself like "oh I just learned about romantic orientations and lack theirof bla bla bla" 

 

 

 

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@Blue Phoenix Ace @Natkat @cute kitty Meow! Mewo! Thanks, this definitely helps a lot^_^ There really is nothing I can do to change others opinions at this point, so I just got to be stick it out and prove to them that this is legitimate. And I'll definitely take your advice when coming out to friends in the future. I always feel better when I have planned out what I want to say before anyway, because i swear I am just incapable of organizing my thoughts sometimes on the spot!

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When I began to tell people I am autistic, I got some of this shit... including a coworker who accused me of lying, said there was no way I was autistic, and then becoming nasty and verbally abusive toward me until I left that job a few years later.  Nice to know she'd gotten her medical degree, become a neurologist, and specialized in autism spectrum disorders, just like the people who diagnosed me (sarcasm).  Bitch. 

 

With some people, the ones who'd only heard of autism via movies like 'Rain Man', the fact that I didn't act like Dustin Hoffman's character was enough to make them disbelieve my diagnosis.  So what I did with them was print out short articles that described a more up-to-date definition and description of autism and autistic people and handed those articles to the people whose concept of autism was stick in the 1950s-1980s.  Once they realized that autism had a huge range of abilities/disabilities, differing levels of social interaction, and varying IQs depending on each, individual autistic person, they finally accepted that I fit that profile.  Some of them thought I couldn't be autistic because I was able to speak, did interact with people, and wasn't 'retarded' (cognitively impaired), since the only characterization they'd seen of autistic people was a totally withdrawn, mute, mentally disabled person living in some sort of institution.  Like I said - stuck in the 1950s-1980s.  They had a tiny bit of very outdated information, and that's what they based their opinion on.

 

For us aros, it could be that the only exposure they've had to aromantics is a TV show with a character who is supposed to be aro, but is written and acted more like a sociopathic personality, remote, cold, emotionless, heartless.  And since you're not cold, remote, emotionless, or heartless, you don't fit the profile they've created in their minds of what an aromantic person should be like.  Ergo, to them, you can't be aro.  They have a tiny piece of inaccurate information upon which they're basing their entire concept of aromantic people.

Of course, they may also have no clue what an aromantic person is, just taking for granted that the way they interact with romance is the only way anyone should, the only right way.  It may blow their tiny mental cogs that there's someone out there who doesn't experience romance the way they do, since they have never thought that there might be an alternate perception of romance out there.  

 

So maybe printing out a few short articles on what aromanticism really is, what aro people are really like (in our own words) would be helpful to get less enlightened friends to understand and accept you and your aromanticism.  All you can do is keep trying!

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3 hours ago, UncommonNonsense said:

With some people, the ones who'd only heard of autism via movies like 'Rain Man', the fact that I didn't act like Dustin Hoffman's character was enough to make them disbelieve my diagnosis.  So what I did with them was print out short articles that described a more up-to-date definition and description of autism and autistic people and handed those articles to the people whose concept of autism was stick in the 1950s-1980s.  Once they realized that autism had a huge range of abilities/disabilities, differing levels of social interaction, and varying IQs depending on each, individual autistic person, they finally accepted that I fit that profile.  Some of them thought I couldn't be autistic because I was able to speak, did interact with people, and wasn't 'retarded' (cognitively impaired), since the only characterization they'd seen of autistic people was a totally withdrawn, mute, mentally disabled person living in some sort of institution.  Like I said - stuck in the 1950s-1980s.  They had a tiny bit of very outdated information, and that's what they based their opinion on.

I cannot relate enough. I hate to watch depictions of autism spectrum because it's not me, it's something else. I guess that's because it's such a varied thing and you just have to treat people like anyone else but be aware of their differences (which is even easier than it sounds)

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3 hours ago, aussiekirkland said:

@Natkat i wish some people understood that just like being gay, being aromantic isn't a choice

There appears very little understanding of
a) the existance of romantic orientation.
b) that this is distinct from sexual orientation. (Even for people who arn't varioriented.)

It's interesting to compare how unacceptable it is to say "You just need to meet the right Member of the Opposite Sex" to someone who is  gay vs saying "you just need to meet the right person" to someone who is aro. Even though in both cases it's denial and erasure of their orientation and identity.

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16 hours ago, UncommonNonsense said:

For us aros, it could be that the only exposure they've had to aromantics is a TV show with a character who is supposed to be aro, but is written and acted more like a sociopathic personality, remote, cold, emotionless, heartless.  And since you're not cold, remote, emotionless, or heartless, you don't fit the profile they've created in their minds of what an aromantic person should be like.  Ergo, to them, you can't be aro.  They have a tiny piece of inaccurate information upon which they're basing their entire concept of aromantic people.

That's assuming that you can even find depictions of aromantic people in popular culture.

Other obvious ways in which aros can not fit expectations is by not being ace or haphephobic.
Additionally many aros are interested in and/or enjoy romantic coded activities.

 

16 hours ago, UncommonNonsense said:

Of course, they may also have no clue what an aromantic person is, just taking for granted that the way they interact with romance is the only way anyone should, the only right way.  It may blow their tiny mental cogs that there's someone out there who doesn't experience romance the way they do, since they have never thought that there might be an alternate perception of romance out there.

As well as taking the view that romance (and amantonormativity) is "natural"...
It seems to be the case that aros view "friendship" differently from allos. Including aros seeking QP relationships. Maybe in some cases with the same degree of passion that some allos seek romantic relationships.

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