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Fear of Missing Out? (Am I really Aromantic?)

Guest Johnathan

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Guest Johnathan

Hello, my name is Johnathan, I am on the autistic spectrum (Asperger Syndrome) and I recently started to question my orientation.

I already know and accepted that I am pansexual, and that I am not asexual, and I am proud to be both of those things. Although recently, I started to wonder if I may be aromantic. It all started after my third try at love. On my three attempts at "finding love", I met and hung out with three people that I thought I could start a relationship. But in the end, all those three attempt ended up with the same feeling: I'd rather just be friend with that person. I don't mind making new friends and meeting new people.

But all my adventures got me thinking: am I even capable of loving? At first, I took a more scientific outlook on it. I am autistic, it's a reality I cannot escape and a mental handicap that I constantly have to live with. I know that it can cause me many difficulties, specially in the social aspect. Maybe my autism is preventing me from having the feeling of love, I have a different way of loving people, which looks more platonic and friendly. Maybe that's how one could consider me "aromantic".

Maybe I just haven't found the one. I love all of my friends, but not so much that I would spend the rest of my life with them. Sometimes, I am craving for a tight, loving hug. Other times, I just want to have some times with myself and be antisocial.

Part of me also feels... jealousy, envy, craving. Most of my friends have found happiness, a significant other, a to-be-together-forever. I keep hearing those love songs, saying how love is a beautiful thing, romantic movies portraying love as this powerful thing, almost as strong as a drug. I feel like I'm missing out on something beautiful. I know from experience that looking for love will only lead to disappointment and sadness, that you shouldn't expect to love, it has to be something that just happens... but what if it would never happen to me? Should I just accept a life with no romance? Should I accept the fact that there isn't "the one", that I should be happy all by myself?

A thousand questions running through my head, and so little answers. So I would like to have a few pointers, or even some guidance. What are questions I should ask myself to figure out if I am aromantic or not? And can people change?

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I'm autistic as well. Studies have shown that autistic people are disproportionately likely to identify as LGBTQ, and there are theories for why that is. But so far as I know, nothing conclusive. It could be because we care less about fitting in overall, or it could be something in our brains or DNA.

Aromanticism is usually defined as not experiencing romantic attraction. But pinpointing what that is, is kinda hard. It's an emotional experience, and emotions can be very subtle. I identify as (dark grey) aromantic because I have no interest in dating anyone at all ever. But some aromantic people do want to date and just don't feel the special feelings.

There are different kinds of attraction besides romantic or sexual, as well. Sensual, aesthetic, platonic, etc.

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I'm also autistic struggling with much the same things you are. Almost 1 for 1 worries and doubts that you mentioned. I am bi/pan sexual and constantly worried i'm making the wrong choice. Its comforting to know that I'm not the only one struggling with these emotions and worries.


I think all either of us can do is try and be true to ourselves. It'll be ok. I wouldn't resign yourself to life without romance, you're feelings and emotions could well shift in the future. As you are now you won't be in a year from now just as you aren't the same you as you were a year ago. 


I've been toying around with an alternative form of a relationship to help satisfy emotional and physical needs similar to what you've described. I've been imagining it as something similar to "friends with benefits" or a standard romantic relationship without the romance. Two people would be together, occasionally sleep and cuddle in the same bed, sex if desired, etc. but they'd also both be independent, having their own rooms and space. I'm not sure how else to describe it. They'd emotionally support each other to the extent each needs it while recognizing that they aren't romantically involved? I'm not sure if this makes sense at all. 

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