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What were you thinking when you first realized you were aro?


DreamSeeker

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For me, I used to think I was romantic, and I figured out I was ace first. So then I did some research and I found out that being aromantic was a thing, and that being asexual and aromantic sometimes came together. It took me a bit before I finally accepted that I was aromantic, mainly because I’m stubborn and I always thought I’d fall in love. Some people feel like something clicked inside of them when they first saw the word “aromantic” but it was kind of the opposite for me. I was really surprised when I finally figured out I was also aromantic. Anyway, what were you thinking when you found out?

Edited by DreamSeeker
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I’ve somewhat covered this in other Topics so I’ll put smthn else here. After I got home from a campout almost two years back (ppl were using a lot of lgbtq terms) I had had about the community b4 but didn’t know much so decided to do research. I found a yt vid explaining diff sexualities and genders and thought “just for fun let’s see which one I’m the closest too.”. When watching the vid the term asexual showed up and I went like “woah that’s kind of like me, because I don’t really want to get married or have sex.”. Somehow I was too much of a dumbass at the time to realize the truth (don’t worry like 3 months after that I realized I was asexual, then a bit later aromantic.). 

I’m pretty sure I got the term aro from the Jaiden animations coming out vid bc I was looking for some ace content online to help with self doubt and imposter syndrome (the usual) and that altogether helped me figure out that I was Aroace.

Edited by Kira-
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I was sitting in the middle of a Spanish class when I realized I was AroAce.  I think I was bored.  I think I also got some (very suspect) strawberry horchata afterwards.

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When I found out, I thought "thank god". No way am I gonna deal with all the drama and problems that come with romance lol, I've got more important shit going on. This was my mum's exact reaction when I told her as well, she just said "Oh, good, I won't have to worry about all that".

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I kind of always knew I wasn't alloromantic, I never had crushes like my classmate did, and even when I was a little child and received the typical "is he/she your boy/girlfriend" after interaction with a kid of the "opposite sex" (a.k.a with a different agab as me), me answer was always something on the lines of "don't be ridiculous, I'm too young for that". But I never stopped being "too young for that", I never started viewing others as potential romantic partners.

In 2009 I entered in contact through facebook with the Asexual and Aromantic organisation of my country. My life changed! Not only there was a term (several indeed) for what I was experiencing; there were other people like me out there, I wasn't the only one out there that didn't ever stop being "too young" to develop romantic feelings.

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Getting a boyfriend made me realize… whoops 😭
 

I genuinely feel bad that I had to date someone in order to figure out my feelings. I knew I was asexual before dating him, but he’s asexual too, so I thought, “this is going to be great!” It turns out that I just wanted someone to be close with, and that I felt a really strong platonic attraction towards him.

About a month into the relationship, I started to feel suffocated. Every time he would express how romantically attractive I am, I would avoid accepting the compliment or I would try to change the subject…( not good 😭). It just made me extremely uncomfortable to think that someone was ACTUALLY attracted to me and it wasn’t just a hypothetical. I didn’t really understand my feelings though, and I thought there was just something wrong with me. I blames it on my depression and not being able to see him enough. So, I stayed with him for another 2 months until I finally realized that I’m not just asexual! At first I thought I might be demiromantic (because I’ve only dated / “liked” my best friends) and I identified like that in the middle of dating him, but in the end that label didn’t really fit. It sucks that he didn’t want to stay friends after dating because he’s such a sweet person but I understand I guess :( 
 

As for learning I’m asexual… that one was pretty easy. As soon as I found out about asexuality I just said “wow that really sounds like me” and that was it 😭. I’ve never understood what’s so appealing about sex… and I would never want to have it. I’m pretty sex repulsed. It still took a while to REALLY accept it, but I’ve identified as aspec ever since finding out about it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I cant remember what i was thinking 5 minutes ago so not much chance I can recall that moment.

 

In the long run, probably a while after hearing aboout the idea a slow realisation of 'ah fuck, that fits doesnt it' happened and then i guess i just had to deal with it.

 

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I am no crazy and was just struggling to differentiate between romantic and platonic attraction. Good to know.

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On 12/21/2023 at 7:32 PM, DreamSeeker said:

For me, I used to think I was romantic, and I figured out I was ace first. So then I did some research and I found out that being aromantic was a thing, and that being asexual and aromantic sometimes came together. It took me a bit before I finally accepted that I was aromantic, mainly because I’m stubborn and I always thought I’d fall in love. Some people feel like something clicked inside of them when they first saw the word “aromantic” but it was kind of the opposite for me. I was really surprised when I finally figured out I was also aromantic. Anyway, what were you thinking when you found out?

Same, I feel like it's easier to tell if u are asexual bc of the confusion with sensual/platonic/aesthetic attraction that could be confused as romantic.

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On 12/21/2023 at 7:32 PM, DreamSeeker said:

For me, I used to think I was romantic, and I figured out I was ace first. So then I did some research and I found out that being aromantic was a thing, and that being asexual and aromantic sometimes came together. It took me a bit before I finally accepted that I was aromantic, mainly because I’m stubborn and I always thought I’d fall in love. Some people feel like something clicked inside of them when they first saw the word “aromantic” but it was kind of the opposite for me. I was really surprised when I finally figured out I was also aromantic. Anyway, what were you thinking when you found out?

For real the discovery of my aceness was very easy because I am a bit sex repulsed. Discovering I was idemromantic took forever because I did not know a sign of being arospec was struggling to differentiate romantic from platonic attraction I am also romance favorable which added to my confusion.

7 hours ago, Milly said:

Same, I feel like it's easier to tell if u are asexual bc of the confusion with sensual/platonic/aesthetic attraction that could be confused as romantic.

Upvote.

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  • 5 weeks later...

When I first found out I was aromantic, I honestly-to-any-creator thought to myself, "I'm a monster." The thing is, I didn't feel disgusted by or thought this about other aromantics, but when it came to applying that to me, I laughed it off. I couldn't ever conceive myself as aromantic, despite feeling so heavily connected to the community and literally wishing I could be a part of it; but because I thought I was an alloromantic who just didn't want a relationship, I didn't think I could belong. When I found the identity orchidromantic, I used it, because I was still clinging onto the last shred of hope that I could still experience romantic attraction. This is and was not a healthy way of going about this line of questioning, and I inadvertently disrespected orchidromantics by furthering the narrative associated with that identity - that they only identified as orchidromantic because they were in some type of denial.

I remember seriously thinking, "I haven't had a crush in years. Am I .... aromantic?" And I immediately shut myself down. When I did start thinking that maybe I could actually be aro, I started questioning if I ever actually experienced crushes at all when I was younger, and found that I didn't. And it caused me immense distress, because then I thought about how all of this would make my mom feel. I felt like I was letting her down.

It took a long while to quell these thoughts, but sometimes a little internalized arophobia still slips in, when I end up thinking, "Are aromantics actually real?" Answer: we are. I stopped believing I was letting my mom down when I finally had a conversation with her about, not me being aro, but about me not wanting romantic relationships. She said that that was valid, and it felt like a weight was lifted off of me. I know I didn't need her approval, and sometimes she still brings up me being potentially in a relationship in the future, but it felt great in hearing her still accepting that maybe, in some distant future, I'll be alone and I'll be okay with that.

And it's honestly the most that I could ask from her.

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1 hour ago, The Newest Fabled Creature said:

not me being aro, but about me not wanting romantic relationships

I’ve used this before too. I guess I just knew that they wouldn’t approve of me being aromantic so I didn’t tell them that, and just told them that I wasn’t that interested in romantic relationships. 

 

On 1/4/2024 at 1:56 AM, CoolK said:

just struggling to differentiate between romantic and platonic attraction.

Same for me.

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This is essentially what happened. Before this I called myself "Very Happy to be a Single Pringle"

10yo Me: *was asked what harry potter house i was in*
*finding a quiz website*
*taking a lot of quizzes just for fun*

Computer: What sexuality are you? Take this quiz to find out!

Me: *takes quiz*

Computer: Asexual!

Me: Ooh this looks like fun
*proceeds to do something no normal 10yo would do: research*
*finds lgbtqia+ wiki*
*self discovery round 1 = Asexual, Aromantic*

11yo Me: Hey, my friend might be aro too
*finds aurea*
*tells friend*
*they agree*
*self discovery round 2 = Anattractional*

Me, now 12: *self discovery round 3 = Nominalgender*
*finds arocalypse and immediately creates account*
*also immediately forgets about it*
*remembers this exists*
And now im here :)

Yeah thats a lot of stuff isn't it?

Edited by N1GHTM4R3
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Quite honestly, this is going to sound very sad, but my first impression was that there might be something "wrong" with me, in the sense I was wired differently or maybe I got fucked up from my early childhood experiences. But actually there is nothing wrong with me! I think my brain automatically jumped to this notion because I didn't have any other exposure to understanding I wasn't totally alone in how I perceive other people and not having romantic attraction as a constant focal point of my every day life.

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I knew since teenage years that I wasn't interested in romance, and it was one of the things that made me feel really disconnected from the modern/ Western-centric world. Because I was at the other side of the metaphorical wall from my peer group who had internalized the Western amatonormative values, and of course I saw the romance-centeredness of contemporary media, and also saw the contrast of it with both the traditional culture of my country and religion (which isn't amatonormative) and with the mentality of my family (apparently the Soviet culture where my parents grew up wasn't amatonormative either, they always were of the opinion that my peers looking down on me for the absence of boyfriend are acting stupid). So I thought that I just happened to be born in a wrong kind of era. And that if I meet any actual Western people I'd need to hide my lack of romance (together with a bunch of other supposedly "outdated" characteristics) the best I can, to avoid being humiliated or punished in some way for being "not progressive enough". Learning more about fandom culture made me even more sure of that. 

It's these recent several years when I did a lot of self-discovery and self-acceptance on a bunch of different layers, including my aromanticism. I was surprised and relieved to learn that in the Western world there's a whole valid self-identificator label for people like me, they don't feel "lost in time" (because history of Western culture and ideas was different altogether) and the progressive ethics actually are supposed to defend us too. 

8 hours ago, Raininspring said:

Quite honestly, this is going to sound very sad, but my first impression was that there might be something "wrong" with me, in the sense I was wired differently or maybe I got fucked up from my early childhood experiences. But actually there is nothing wrong with me! I think my brain automatically jumped to this notion because I didn't have any other exposure to understanding I wasn't totally alone in how I perceive other people and not having romantic attraction as a constant focal point of my every day life.

Sending hugs if you don't mind them 🫂 Hope you're feeling better about yourself now 💚

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8 hours ago, Ekaterina said:

Sending hugs if you don't mind them 🫂 Hope you're feeling better about yourself now 💚

Thank you so much. 💚 Coming to the recent realization that the label aromantic has profound meaning to me has given me a greater perspective on myself and other people. It's not that I think I'm better than amatonormative people or that I have it easier than some of them who focus so much on romance and a life long partner as one of their life goals. For anything, I can see how both sides have flaws and challenges. It is somewhat of a death. I'm grieving the loss of the heteronormative conditioning I got as a child that stayed with me as I developed into an adult because it was conditioning that made me believe I had to want a husband and two children and be a wife and mother to have emotional and mental stability in my life. Or that if I am not able to have those things, I'd at least have to have a romantic partner or I'd "die alone". I'm grieving the fact I can't ever be the things my own family keeps hoping I'll have one day, and the frustration that I probably will never be able to explain in any way to my own parents what aromanticism is because they don't speak English very well and they still live in the old world of heteronormativity and people pairing off and having a bunch of kids. It's not particularly important to me that they know the whole truth. They don't pressure me to find a partner or have children although I certainly feel that pressure whenever they talk about their friends' children and comment on why so and so isn't married yet or when so and so is going to have children. Even before I knew what aromanticism was, I was already asserting to them that I liked my independence and going as I pleased, so they have some semblance of understanding that I am not lonely and I enjoy my solitude.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I first discovered the term Aromantic I felt a massive sense of relief that my experiences could be encapsulated and subsequently validated by one word. Next I found several aro sub reddits and to my surprise there where a lot more aromantic people then I expected. It was a breath of fresh air to be free from the isolating world of amatonormativity. It was a little unnerving but ultimately delightful how much I related to all the memes I found there. 

Having the word aro gives me confidence and a sense of community knowing I will never be alone with my lack of attraction towards this ridiculous romance thing everyone seems to be into.  

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I was still ace but knew what aromantic meant. I used to have platonic attraction but mistook it for romantic which is why I believed I was ace but not aro. One night I was watching ace tiktoks and sorta wandered into the aro side and started relating to them and that was sorta my "Oh, shit" moment. But this happened over the course of a few months when I was still working out my different attractions.

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i didnt really realize i was aro, as much as i realized everyone else wasnt, i always assumed atraction was something you would unlock when you turned 18 or whatever. when i found out that wasnt the case i just thought, neet, im probably aro-ace then. 

ive never had any internal problems with beeing aromantic, its just having to explain it to others that suck, especially when they hit you with the "but it might change"

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I coudn't tell for a long time that romantic love was a different feeling from platonic love. Like I thought on some level that married people were just "super special best friends" or something... And when I realized that wasn't case, it clicked for me.

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On 2/20/2024 at 5:34 PM, Armored frog said:

i didnt really realize i was aro, as much as i realized everyone else wasnt, i always assumed atraction was something you would unlock when you turned 18 or whatever. when i found out that wasnt the case i just thought, neet, im probably aro-ace then. 

ive never had any internal problems with beeing aromantic, its just having to explain it to others that suck, especially when they hit you with the "but it might change"

I love the idea of attraction unlocking, like a level up. - You hit Level 18, Romance Unlocked! Round 2 - Dating!

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On 2/25/2024 at 6:11 PM, Sili said:

I love the idea of attraction unlocking, like a level up. - You hit Level 18, Romance Unlocked! Round 2 - Dating!

no because it made so much sense to me, like i didnt understand when people in my class asked me wich boy i liked best, in my head i was like, we're not old enough to know that stuff yet...

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