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Aro questioning

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Hello 👋🏼 I am new here. 
I would like to ask the opinion of others on something personal. I am a gayish/ bisexual man in my 40s and a friend has recently suggested I might be Aro. I have had sexual and romantic relationships in the past but they have mostly ended in abuse or just terribly. I haven’t had a relationship in over a decade now and I don’t miss it. 

I still love sex, but can’t always… perform … and anything romantic now repulses me. I know the theory of it but I don’t understand why the feelings are meant to be good. I don’t know if I’ve always felt this way or I just can’t remember. I remember that in relationships, I found it a very painful and intense experience without the joy it’s meant to have. 

I can imagine forming a relationship with another man at some point, but mainly as a sex thing / practicality of pooling resources, etc. I’m not lovey dovey at all though I can appreciate it in others. I want it but it makes me want to run a mile at the same time. 
my love for friends is deep and genuine and heartfelt but platonic, even if we have sex. 

Am I Aro? 

Thank you in advance. 

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If you feel comfortable with referring to yourself as aro, then go for it! It’s a very big and diverse spectrum, and everyone has different experiences with it, so if that identity feels right for you based on your own experiences then that means you are aro :)

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Since aromantic is the absence of romantic feelings it can be hard to define. If you're questioning the best way is probably to read around a bit.

Also even if you've not always felt this way aro might be the best description for your experience currently and that's also valid.

Additionally you might identify with other communities like single at hearth/ non partnered, which are for people who don't desire romantic relationships, regardless if they are aro or not.

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Have you talked to a therapist before about this, preferably one who is good with LGBT+ folks and is aware of aro/ace people? I know you said the relationships you had in the past hadn't ended well, and that romance "now repulses me" so if that's potentially a trauma-related issue, therapy might be a good idea! Could also help you sort out whether or not you'd felt like this before or if it's a result of bad experiences. 

If it helps, I would say my perspective towards romance as someone who is aromantic (which is a spectrum, of course, so it'd be good to read other aromantics' stories as well to see what, if anything, clicks with you) and grayace is that I like closeness in a platonic way, even reaching into a sexual way with the right person, but I don't like the idea of romance. For me it was a bit of a relief to figure out that someone can be aromantic. I never craved a romantic partner nor felt anything other than a squish (friend crush, essentially) though I've heard some aro folks say they are disappointed they won't experience these emotions. Amatonormativity also can play a part in this - aka the way society conditions us into romantic relationships as a stock standard thing everyone should desire. 

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