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Do you think I need an "aroace experience" to call myself aroace ?


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Hey there!


Sooo, I started to relate to the idea of being aroace about 3-4 years ago when I was about 19 (even before learning the terms and all). But I keep thinking "how do I actually know I'm aromantic ? Maybe I've just never met the right one etc" (also some people have told me that). I've read in this forum that this tend to be a common issue for some aromantic people, because I guess we can never exclude the possibility of meeting someone that would be "the right one".


But I have these thoughts even more persistently, because I've never had a "proof" that I was aroace. Actually, I think I'm aroace because of the absence of proof that I'm romantic and sexual (because I never felt any attraction of this kind)... But the absence of proof is never a proof of anything, mathematically speaking XD And I've read tons of posts of people that realised they were aroace because of an experience or because something happened, for example where it felt consistently wrong to be in a sexual or romantic relationship.

So a part of my brain keeps telling me that I can't know if I'm aroace if I never "tried", just like someone can't know if they don't like carrots if they never tried eating carrots? What if I'm not aroace, and I'm just to introverted or whatever to have ever come close enough to the kind of situation where these feelings occurs ? If that makes sense XD

I know it's ok not to be sure, and it's ok to change, it's ok not to feel aromantic forever etc. But at the same time, for the peace of my own brain, I kinda need to know, and need to feel sure about it (at least for now, I'm not speaking about forever), so I can stop invalidating myself and I can leave that unstable status I've created for myself.

 

So, do you think feeling aroace without an experience to "prove" it, is valid ? Do we need an experience to be kind of sure about it? Did you ever felt like you were aro and/or ace, then had some kind of experience or situation and then been like "oh maybe I'm not then" ? XDD


Thanks for reading this far, have a great day/night/whatever <3 (and sorry for the mistakes, English is not my 1rst language oopsi)

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33 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

??? You think you need a tragic backstory to have an orientation?

No I do not think that, that's not what i meant, and I'm quite sure that's not what I wrote either haha

Where did you find that "tragic backstory" in the word "experience", I'm curious? XD

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12 minutes ago, Dobby said:

No I do not think that, that's not what i meant, and I'm quite sure that's not what I wrote either haha

Where did you find that "tragic backstory" in the word "experience", I'm curious? XD

Well it seems you're under the impression that in order to identify as aroace, something has to Happen to you that justifies it. Just comes across to me as the old "10 years ago my brother killed my entire clan" type deal. What's the point?

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4 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Well it seems you're under the impression that in order to identify as aroace, something has to Happen to you that justifies it. Just comes across to me as the old "10 years ago my brother killed my entire clan" type deal. What's the point?

Ah no, I didn't meant "something happening" like that, I meant it like an experience in general. Like for example romantic relationships that didn't felt right repeatedly, or an interaction that made you think "no, that's definitely not for me". Not something dramatic, just something, you know what I mean ? Like just any interaction or situation or whatever

And also I didn't mean it as a justification, but more as a way to be more sure about it 

I don't know if you see what I mean ? And I'm sorry if I phrased my opinion and questions poorly, and sorry also if that was hurtful in any way

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1 hour ago, Dobby said:

But I keep thinking "how do I actually know I'm aromantic ? Maybe I've just never met the right one etc" (also some people have told me that)

Blame the utter stupidity coming from those who say that. Imagine saying the same thing to a straight person: "maybe you just haven't met 'the one' who's of your gender." 

A lot of things people say to non romantic and non sexual people wouldn't be said to anyone else because too many people hold the belief that everyone wants a relationship and would be happier in one.

 

Personally I believe that there isn't a point in humouring that idea as long as you are happy the way you are. Why waste time thinking about it when it doesn't matter? There's nothing wrong with not being interested in a relationship.

The only issue is with those who feel upset over not having a relationship. Personally I don't believe those people should wallow in self pity for believing that they are aromantic because they're likely just psyching themselves out and convinced by media that portrays romance as some supernatural mind blowing experience. They're expecting all these fantastical feelings and believe they'll die alone and sad because they don't have that. In that case, exploring the idea that they may not be aromantic is worth it because they are clearly unhappy and I don't think people simply saying "it's okay to be aro" helps their situation. 

You're the only person who knows how you feel and what you think, so if you are comfortable the way you are, there's no reason to wonder so much about whether you are "actually" aromantic. 

 

For some of us, it is easy to know because our wants in life and our innate feelings of self match up very clearly. I don't experience attraction and I have no interest in engaging in any relationships that are not platonic or familial. This is how I am and I am comfortable that way. Having to reject people and get them to understand that I am not and would not be interested in a romantic relationship with them is not a necessary step in identifying who I am. 

Consider what you want in life and how you feel now, and you can address this at any time in the future. If there is no conflict with how you feel and what you want, why bother thinking about something that hasn't happened like catching feelings for someone?

Edited by Mult
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You definitely don't need any experience to 'prove' that you're aroace. I find it helpful to think of orientation labels as describing a pattern of attraction more than some rock solid, fixed box with a strict definition. If you haven't felt much attraction to people, then that sounds like a pattern of attraction that could fit under the aro umbrella. There are aros who like dating too, so 'but what if I enjoyed it if I tried it' doesn't really matter in terms of 'can I ID as aro or not'. And honestly 'not feeling the attraction/desire to try these things' is...an experience! You have experienced a lack of interest! And the consequential experiences of lacking it. If you really need to point to something as 'proof', I think that's definitely enough.

Also, I often see people say things like 'what if I'm not aro, I'm just introverted or have commitment issues or, or, or...' and like. These aren't mutually exclusive lol but also, aromanticism is only about the attraction you feel or don't feel, it has nothing to do with how much you pursue or feel comfortable around relationships of any kind. So I really don't think you need to worry about it! If you feel aroace is a useful label, then voila, you are 'officially' aroace until or unless you decide it is no longer useful.

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3 hours ago, Dobby said:

Ah no, I didn't meant "something happening" like that, I meant it like an experience in general. Like for example romantic relationships that didn't felt right repeatedly, or an interaction that made you think "no, that's definitely not for me". Not something dramatic, just something, you know what I mean ? Like just any interaction or situation or whatever

And also I didn't mean it as a justification, but more as a way to be more sure about it 

I don't know if you see what I mean ? And I'm sorry if I phrased my opinion and questions poorly, and sorry also if that was hurtful in any way

Ahhh ok, that makes more sense. Still, I don't think you really need anything like that to use a label. I mean I've never gone scuba diving but I know I wouldn't like it yknow?

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I agree with what others have said but also if you feel like you want to have some negatively proof moment there's nothing wrong with trying out dating. For me personally I realized I was aromantic after going out with a guy who seemed perfect on paper and there just wasn't anything there for me after about the second date. 

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I agree and even though I’ve never really had a super aroace experience there’s some things that tip me off like I was confused about crushes/didn’t really understand them. There was something that happened that’s still a bit traumatic that now makes me realize that I’m most likely ace but yeah. 👍  

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1 hour ago, organs and bone said:

Lol I actually listened to that episode yesterday... It has very relevant contents, I second @organs and bone on this one

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  • 2 weeks later...

still figuring out this website so apologies for any weird formatting

(in reply to Autumn) the "pattern of attraction" you describe is a really cool model. 

I imagine something similar, where being aromantic to me is less "do i technically romantic experience attraction or not" (because that's confusing as hell) and more about how i structure my life and behavior. i am uninterested in dating, marriage, kissing (VERY uninterested in kissing), hand-holding, or any other typically romance-coded activities. i know that IF i did feel 100% romantic attraction to someone (somehow) the relatonship wouldn't be worth it because of how much being in a relationship consists of things that make me uncomfortable. 

in a more straightforward way, I find it useful to think of the word as a way describe my behavioral preferences rather than trying to analyze whether I technically do or do not feel this elusive "romantic attraction".  "aromantic" frees me from the expectation to participate in romantic activities (at least, to myself) (aphobia disagrees but it can back off)

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Posted (edited)

I know this situation has been cleared up, but I just wanted to say that it is a tempting thing to think that you would need a defining moment in your life that pinpoints exactly what you are, or that you would need a moment you could look back on to prove you're this or that identity, but genuinely, you don't need to have those experiences or those moments to know yourself; to "prove" yourself to people that may not even be listening to you, anyway. And if you need those experiences or moments to prove to yourself that you're a certain identity, then you need to look into why you feel that way. You shouldn't have to have put yourself into situations that would've made you uncomfortable, even if you did so unconsciously. It's valid to know that something isn't for you, or that something like romantic and/or sexual attraction just cannot happen with you, without ever needing to date or have sex; without the part of trying to "prove yourself wrong," or trying to "fix yourself." You should only be dating, or having any kind of encounters with other people, because you simply want to. If allo alloro people know what they want and who they are before they even start dating or have any kind of encounters with other people, then how come aspec people can't know themselves already without doing any of that?

Edited by The Newest Fabled Creature
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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel I can relate, though for me it was the other way around that I had a relationship and it turns out I have different needs, often less and can't give my partner the I love you they need and so on.

The reason I am saying it is because it is different to additionally know from experience. Is it more valid? No. The only thing I can say is be confident in what you want or want not to experience and be gentle and be open about your identity because other people are involved and can come with normative expectations.

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