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Soft romo?


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So, I have never felt romantic attraction in my life save for one person when I was very young.  I am pretty certain of this.  However, I came across this one person last year who has made me question this a little bit.  What I felt for him definitely wasn't romantic.  However, I would have felt comfortable with him kissing me on the cheek (and vice versa), us giving each other pecks on the lips, and even him kissing my neck and collarbone and giving me hickeys (although sex with him didn't appeal).  I also would have loved to cuddle with him.  Our relationship is now over, so I can't tell him about this or explore any of these things with him.

Does this make me grayromantic?  I know the community says labels are all about attraction, and I felt no romantic attraction to him.  However, to a degree, attraction is also about what you want, and I kinda wanted a soft romo relationship with him.  Am I grayromantic now?

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I think I had a person like that when I was younger too, except my idea of a romantic relationship was very different back then and I would have been fine with some of that stuff like kissing and hugging, though I also ran into this person once again recently and felt nothing towards them. I feel like it was just me trying to feel normal and wanting to do stuff like play video games with this person instead of actually feeling attraction. I would consider myself Aroace givin my experiences. If you feel like the term greyromantic describes you and you are comfortable using it, then use it. Anyways hope this helped in some way.

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19 hours ago, alto said:

Does this make me grayromantic?

Been trying to figure out the best way to word this, and I'm still struggling. But there's no one action or desire that "makes" you anything. Your feelings are your feelings. Your experiences are your experiences. The label you use is A) always going to be an oversimplification of complex human feelings, and B) your choice. 

Are you drawn to the grayro label? Does it feel useful to you? Do you want to try it out and see if you like it? Then do so! There is no test you can take, no equation you can plug your feelings into, and get the "right" answer. There is no right answer. There is no wrong answer. It's about what is useful to you in the moment. 

Grayro is just a specific term for "arospec". Anything and everything that doesn't fit neatly into "alloro" that you want to designate beyond "aro".

These labels are typically about attraction but certainly don't have to be. If you want to ID as grayro to hint that you might be open to some form of semi/quasi-romantic relationship, that's 100% valid. I stopped colloquially defining it as such for ease, but when needed, I like to expand that aromantic is rare or no romantic attraction, romantic attraction only under very specific conditions, or or no/low interest in a stereotypical romantic relationship. I'll have to see if I can track it down on desktop later, but there's a great post on Tumblr about how aromantic is a personal identity but also a political one (probably true in many aspects for all identities) that feels relevant to share here. 

tl;dr what "makes" you grayro is identifying as grayro. 

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23 hours ago, hemogoblin said:

I'll have to see if I can track it down on desktop later, but there's a great post on Tumblr about how aromantic is a personal identity but also a political one (probably true in many aspects for all identities) that feels relevant to share here. 

Found it!


From glimblshanks:

I don't know how much this has actually been discussed in online spaces, but when I talk to other aros irl it's pretty widely agreed apon that being aromantic is both an orientation and a political identity. By which I mean that being aromantic requires a massive shift in world view, including the dismantling of amatonormativity, the deconstruction of what the word 'love' even means, and the realization that you have control over what your important relationships look like.

All of those things can have a major impact on your political outlooks, social outlooks, and simply the way you view the world. I've said before that even if I did experience romantic attraction some day I would still identify as aro because being aromantic has shifted my view of what relationships even are to such a degree that like... romantic relationships barely make sense as a category to apply to myself anymore.

Everyone I know who identified as aro or questioned if they were aro before experiencing attraction and identifying as allo has ended up poly for what I suspect is this exact reason. Polyamory is one of the only relationship models out there currently that allows for romantic relationships outside of the typical amatonormative model and once you've done some work dismantling how society views relationships slotting right back into traditional monogamy doesn't have a lot of appeal.

So anyways op, I know a lot of folks in the notes are taking this to simply mean 'not wanting to date' (which is fine, that is still a radical notion in our society that I'm glad the aro community can make space for) but I think your tags are absolutely right about pushing amatonormativity out of our spaces as an aro value that people can (and should!) believe in and benefit from even if they're not aro.

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Have you heard of queerromantic?

It's a type of attraction and relationship closer to and similar to romantic, but distinct to it. It's both different from romantic attraction/relationships, while still having romantic aspects. If queerplatonic is the queering of platonic attraction/relationships; queerromantic is the queering of romantic attraction/relationships.

Actions by itself aren't specific to any type of attraction. It's how we view them that make them sexual, romantic, sensual, platonic, etc. If you feel that your relationship and feelings for him were kinda romantic but, at the same time, felt no romantic attraction, I'd say no, you aren't greyromantic (At least not in the strict sense). But you could be greyqueerromantic.

Soft romo relationships and appromours can develop from queerromantic attraction.

But again, only you can decide how to categorise your feelings.

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As a very affectionate aromantic person: Perhaps it was just affection? I am tbh someone who really loves being affectionate towards everyone, I'm above average intimate with my friends, really like cuddling with people when we watch some movies for example and I am comfortable with a lot of things considered romantic simply because they have no meaning to me and I like being affectionate with people. Just the feeling of wanting to be close to someone like you described doesn't have to be related to romantic attraction at all, at least that's how it is for me. The fact that this guy was a single case certainly makes it more complicated, yes, but maybe I could help you think about this a little.

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