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Trouble accepting my aromanticism


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I realised I was aro a bit over a month ago and I'm finding it kind of difficult to accept and deal with the fact that i am probably never going to be in a romantic relationship. I'm a teenager, and it's pretty much expected of me to date and have crushes on people and stuff, and not wanting that makes me feel really alone and abnormal. Another thing that makes me sad is that im not asexual and I've never had sex. It worries me how I am going to have sex for the first time if im not in a relationship since I cant just walk up to someone and be like "Hey, wanna have sex with me?". I dont even know what I want to say with this post, but im just feeling kinda lost and I'm hoping someone could tell me about their experiences and hopefully tell me something that will make me feel better about myself. 

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Hey! I'm a teenager too and I can relate to what your going through mostly, the only difference being that I'm asexual. So I've had a pretty rough time accepting my aro-ness and I can't say I've become completely happy with it yet but I'm getting better at least. So I was confronted with the "problem" that a boy in my class liked me and when I tried to picture any romantic future with him I was immediately quite repulsed by the idea (my level of repulsion surprised me actually) and I realised how happy I am to have platonic relationships rather than romantic ones. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that because if the ridiculous world we live in kids at our age are expected to date and such which kind of throws us aro kids to the kerb and makes us feel really invalid and all that jaz. I tried to look at it from this perspective. The reason I'm feeling invalid is because I'm not doing what it feels like everyone wants me to do. But that pressure that's telling teens to date is the same pressure that tells us that women must have clean shaven legs and that men can't show any signs of femininity other wise they're not manly enough (which to me is pretty ridiculous). So I try to look at it like that and think that despite what everyone says you don't need romance to be happy and all the friendships you have are just as valid. I can't help you much in the "sex" part sorry! 

I don't know if that made much sense but good luck!

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it took me several months to accept some of the things about myself when I first realized it, often I even would deny it. even after I came to accept that I was as such, it was still a full year before I could say that I felt comfortable with the knowledge. 

 

I am not sure how to say this next bit, so sorry if it comes off poorly. but a relationship generally isn't something that is romantic. a friendship is a relationship, a sibling is a relationship, a teacher, a classmate, a waitress, a cab driver. so actually, yes, having sex with someone does involve a relationship. maybe it's one that gets discarded after a short while, maybe it is a long-term close bonding between good friends or partners. but no, you won't ever have sex with someone without a relationship. merely interacting with another human sexually could be called as such. 

 

maybe it seems silly to use the term relationship so loosely, but the meaning I'm trying to convey is that being aromantic doesn't make a person non-interactive with others, and doesn't remove their ability to care about people, be cared about, and bond with people over time. 

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I understand firsthand about the peer pressure of partnering up. It's bad in high school, and unfortunately it doesn't get any easier.

 

First, you need to shatter this idea that everyone is supposed to pair up. It simply isn't true. If you are happy being single then do what makes you happy. It is far better to be considered the odd one out than to enter into a relationship you don't want. That being said, if someone does make you feel romantic attraction then follow your heart.

 

Second, you need to learn how to deal with any negativity directed at you. You may get mocked or insulted because you have never paired up. Realize that this is misdirected and stems from the ideals you have had to shatter (amatonormativity). It takes a thick skin, but the more you practice not caring about insults, the easier it gets. Surround yourself with people who care and support you. If you are comfortable tell a few friends how you feel. You don't have to use the A word, just describe it in general terms. Some will understand you and they will be your best allies. Others will try to change your mind, and you don't have to bring it up with them anymore. You don't need to waste your energy trying to convince anybody else about the way you feel.

 

I hope that helps!

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Its so hard to separate your own wishes from other people's expectations. Sometimes you just think you want something, sit down to think about it, only to realise you don't actually want the thing but you heard it so often you should want it, you don't even question it anymore.

 

No, unfortunately it does not really get better in my experience either. But fortunately, you get tougher. You get used to looking people in the eye and telling them to back off. You get used to defending yourself. You can find people who appreciate what you can give, and who you are.  You can find a community where you feel accepted and normal.

I'm just entering the "so when are you getting married?" or "do you have a husband? no? a wife?" or "time waits for no-one you know, you should live now" age group, and its just as annoying as the high school peer pressure. For women its more like coercing instead of bullying.

 

I have IDed as aro for several years now, and even though it feels right, sometimes that first shock creeps back, and I feel lonely and alienated and inadequate and abnormal and all my hopes and dreams seem so unlikely to come true.

I very consciously try to interact with fellow aro people here and elsewhere, to recharge myself.

 

Try surrounding yourself with positivity. Put energy and time into your friendships, talk to the people who are close to you. I know, its kind of silly and sounds like a self-help book, but people do these awareness weeks, pride marches and post your selfie days for a reason.

Also I try to keep a distance from the people who would pressure me to do things I don't really want to do. Slowly, but I'm learning to say no. No, I don't want to watch a romantic comedy. No, I'm not going to discuss my personal life with this very conservative and very nosy coworker. Accepting and respecting your own boundaries is a form of self respect.

 

Actually I do know people who had their sexual debut with a friend and I don't think that's a bad thing. It can be fantastic. If you have someone who you trust, you can totally ask them if they would be interested. As long as you feel safe with the person, you have good communication, you feel ready and its consensual on both sides, its a pretty good start.

Your identity should not feel like a prison, its not a sentence. It may feel very heavy sometimes, and you may hate the whole thing and feel really isolated. But there is no rule that would tell you to live your life this or that way because you experience or don't experience this or that attraction.  Actions don't define orientations, you get to do what you would like.

 

So yeah, I would say have some time for yourself and your thoughts, and try to figure out what you want. Think about your previous experiences. When where you the happiest so far? What kind of people, what activities, living situation you had back then? Or if you read a book, do you have a character you  feel close to? Why? Try to get to know your needs and limits.

And don't force yourself into something you don't want just because it seems inevitable.

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These comments all have terrific advice, and there really isn't much more I can add. But I understand how you feel, it took me a while to come to terms with being aromantic. Especially in understanding that what other people want for me isn't necessarily what I want. I'm already happy with the relationships I have and I don't need romance to be happy. Taking your time to accept yourself is perfectly okay, and you shouldn't feel bad about not leaping with pride the second you figure out your identity.

 

As someone who didn't realise they were aromantic until I had just finished school, I feel like the whole teenage experience would have been a lot easier for me if I had just known who I was and what I wanted. I know it's hard now, but I personally think it will be easier to navigate the school environment with a stronger sense of self and a set of boundaries, things that a lot of people at that age haven't figured out yet.

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Ooh I know that feeling. Yeah it's all so daunting: romance is scary and a lack of it is incomprehensible but I guess over time people will get used to you and worry about their own trivial problems more (and a strong friendship is more unbreakable than a rushed lovey dovey honeymoon stage).

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/29/2016 at 11:24 AM, Josie said:

I realised I was aro a bit over a month ago and I'm finding it kind of difficult to accept and deal with the fact that i am probably never going to be in a romantic relationship. I'm a teenager, and it's pretty much expected of me to date and have crushes on people and stuff, and not wanting that makes me feel really alone and abnormal. Another thing that makes me sad is that im not asexual and I've never had sex. It worries me how I am going to have sex for the first time if im not in a relationship since I cant just walk up to someone and be like "Hey, wanna have sex with me?". I dont even know what I want to say with this post, but im just feeling kinda lost and I'm hoping someone could tell me about their experiences and hopefully tell me something that will make me feel better about myself. 

Hey! I'm sixteen and totally get you.

I identify as cupioromantic, which means though I do not feel romantic attraction I still want a romantic relationship. Could this be what you are feeling?

Anyway, being aromantic only means you do not feel romantic attraction, which can be pretty cool if you think about it. You don't have to worry about losing control and feeling all those scary things I've heard from people who experience those feelings. You get to "decide" who you like. And you get the advantage of seeing things from a logical perspective when it comes to dating!

 

Hope I helped somehow...

Best of luck, gurl ❤️

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m also going through the same thing. I’m a teenager who just realized that I’m aro and asexual and I’m upset that I won’t ever be in a romantic/sexual relationship. I’m also dealing with people who expect me to date and I’m afraid of disappointing them by coming out. I think it would be easier to come out if I was gay because my parents are okay with gay people, but they might no understand that I’m not attracted to anyone. 

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