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BowlerhatPuff

How to explain?

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Okay so I was talking to some friends and they started talking about this romance novel game called mystic messenger and they knew I use to play (I stopped because it's way to addicting) but they started asking me why liked this game when I'm aromantic (or the way they put it hate romance) and I didn't know how to exactly to explain to them what aromantism is and that I can like romance novels even though I don't feel romantic attraction. Anyone got into a situation similar or anyway to deal with something like this again in the future (which is most likely going to happen).

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My sympathies... one of my very favourite stories is a very romantic one, after all.. but it's a distinct minority - I usually hate romantic fiction.  The only thing I can say is that the story caught in me for reasons entirely unrelated to the romantic plot.  In my case, it's because one of the main characters is a 'person' I think I could be very good friends with, if he were not fictional.  He's a character that a meddlesome ol' 'fixer' like me would want to help, because I feel bad for him and think he deserved better than he got in his fictional world.  

 

So, when people ask me why I love that story despite being a romance-indifferent/somewhat romance-avoidant aromantic ace, I just tell them that my love of the story has nothing to do with the romance - that there are other plotlines to the story, and those are strong enough to hold my interest despite the focus being mostly on the romantic plot.  Even romance stories (or shows, or games) aren't 100% romance 100% of the time.  There are always non-romantic subplots in even the most romantic of tales.  So just tell them about those sublots and why they interest you

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I'd think it could be comparable to how someone can enjoy violent video games while being opposed to actual violence in real life. Enjoying something in a fictional form is often a very different thing from enjoying the real thing, especially if the fictional version is very unrealistic.

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3 hours ago, EveryZig said:

I'd think it could be comparable to how someone can enjoy violent video games while being opposed to actual violence in real life. Enjoying something in a fictional form is often a very different thing from enjoying the real thing, especially if the fictional version is very unrealistic.

This is a great metaphor! I'll be sure to use it if I ever get put in this situation

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I agree with @EveryZig!

 

Another thing you could do is try to explain to them that orientation, and specifically being aromantic, is about attraction and not behavior. You don't have to be romantically attracted in order to appreciate romantic fiction; it's exactly that, fiction!

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The video game explanation is a good one.
Also that we as humans have empathy and can relate to how others feel without feeling the same ourself. So if we read about someone wanting to be with someone else romantically we can perhaps sympathies with their feelings even though we've never felt that way ourself.

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