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A baby Aro is born!

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Hi everyone,

I decided to go with somewhat of a unique thread topic title because it reflects how I feel about myself as a newly identified aromantic. For years now this identity was unconsciously cooking within me, except the first slivers of it often seemed like minuscule and very minor things I thought, when I was younger, that they were just quirks I had developed based on the volatile and sometimes unstable family dynamics I grew up with that led me to have a severe disinterest in finding romantic love and pursuing the mainstream human obsession with finding a romantic partner and getting married (I now know the term for this, amatonormativity). I am still unsure if my experiences really did influence me. Perhaps they did, but I'm an adult now (34 cisgendered female) and of course I've had time in my adult life to explore friendships and platonic relationships. I've never dated or gone on a date and honestly never felt curious about doing so. All the times I've hung out with the opposite gender and/or same gendered people have been platonic in my perspective. 

The parts, in recent years, that have left me confused and unsure is my sometimes repulsion towards romantically coded things. Until I started reading Ace and Aro Journeys: A Guide to Embracing Your Asexual or Aromantic Identity by The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project, I had absolutely no vocabulary for the things I was feeling or any understanding that what I was experiencing had actual terms to describe them. Platonic hugs, depending on the person, make me uncomfortable but I'm okay being hugged and giving hugs to people I have an emotional attachment towards. Romantic hugs, which I have never given or received, make my stomach curl just thinking about. I'm equally disgusted imagining being on the receiving end of grand gestures like receiving flowers or chocolates or having someone do a performance gesture for me in public to "show their love" (e.g. confessing in public, buying out a whole restaurant so we're the only two people who are dining in). Other romantically coded things that bother me are holding hands, cuddling, and even a verbal "I love you" might be too much for me. The google definition of aromantic was also hugely wrong. It's not just about people not wanting to be in a romantic relationship, but that some of have little to no romantic attraction towards others and/or the attraction can fluctuate (e.g. demiromantics, who are only attracted to those after they form a deep attachment with them). For now, I feel the term grayromantic/greyromantic defines me as I might have felt romantic attraction in the past under limited circumstances but they did not feel very strong.

Based on my experiences with people so far, it sometimes seems like I have levels of mild sexual attraction to others but this too I am not completely sure if it is sexual attraction, so I also don't know at this point where, if anywhere, on the ace spectrum I fit... It's embarrassing to admit, but I have had moments of intense LIKE for someone feels platonic and I really want to be their friend and at times that feeling can overlap into a sexual curiosity where I might find the person sexually attractive, too. The feeling can be quite intense, particularly because I also have social anxiety. However, I wonder if my situation is particularly out of the norm because even when I find the person sexually attractive, I have no desire to pursue things to see if the person might reciprocate. It's almost the same when I like someone platonically, where I feel what I feel but I don't make it a goal or anything in my mind to get the person to also like me. The best way I can describe this is I'll like the person but not feel like it's an obligation for the person to also like me back? 

Anyway, I think I've written enough for now. I'm nervous and excited to have found this community and hope I can grow with you all along the way.

Edited by Raininspring
Some minor edits to what I originally wrote
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