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Am I aromantic? How can I find someone to be intimate with without misleading them?


jb88
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Hello everybody,

 

I think I may be aromantic. But I am unsure and wanted to hear what people here might have to say about it.

 

  • I have never felt a crush and I think I have never been in love either.
  • I do have sexual desires and feel sexual attraction. I have had a few sexual encounters and a friends with benefits kind of relationship.
  • I do feel a desire to be intimate with people, e.g., cuddling, kissing or just close contact.
  • I am not repulsed by romantic scenes in movies or other people being romantic. I like watching romance or flirting, but I think it is more my need for intimacy then actual romantic interest. A bit confused about this.
  • I am unsure if I want a long term-relationship. I like the thought of always having someone to be intimate with, but I don't think I'd like their need to be my center of attention and I don't think I could always make them my center of attention either.

 

My questions:

 

  1. Where on the aromantic spectrum am I? Can you give me a more precise term then "somewhat" aromantic?
  2. How/where can I find a person to be intimate with? I know this sound like a cheap hookup request, but I am looking for an actual friend I can trust. I want to avoid misleading anybody about my feeling or pulling them into a one-sided relationship. Most dating sites are a setup to find romantic partners...
  3. Anything I should consider or think about?

 

Best regards!

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3 hours ago, jb88 said:

I have never felt a crush and I think I have never been in love either.

This is really the only deciding factor. Everything else doesn't matter. Based on this I'd say you're aromantic. Although, I'm not you so I can't tell that you are definitely 100% aromantic. It's ok to have doubts. If you don't feel comfortable calling yourself aromantic, then don't. But based on this it is likely that you are aromantic.

 

3 hours ago, jb88 said:

Anything I should consider or think about?

If you think you might be aromantic, I'd definitely recommend hanging around here for a while, reading what other people have to say. One of the best ways to figure out if a label is right for you is by hearing the experiences people who use that label for themselves. So read the forums and ask questions.

 

I can't help you with your second question sorry.

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Hi there, welcome to the forum :icecream::aropride:

I hope you have a great time, make some friends and maybe find some relatable things here.

 

So, I'll try quickly answering your questions the best I can.

 

5 hours ago, jb88 said:
  • Where on the aromantic spectrum am I? Can you give me a more precise term then "somewhat" aromantic?
  • I am not repulsed by romantic scenes in movies or other people being romantic. I like watching romance or flirting, but I think it is more my need for intimacy then actual romantic interest. A bit confused about this.

 

 Its really up to you to decide what you feel more comfortable with, what matches your experience. Somewhat aromantic would be more precisely 'aromantic spectrum', and then there are different orientations and terms to specify different things. You maybe want to look up definitions for aromantic, grey romantic, lithromantic, frayromantic, demiromantic, etc.

Liking romance in the media is not necessarily related to one's orientation. People like stories, quite often about something they aren't familiar with, because its a way to experience something different. Maybe have a look here, or here?

 

Quote
  • How/where can I find a person to be intimate with? I know this sound like a cheap hookup request, but I am looking for an actual friend I can trust. I want to avoid misleading anybody about my feeling or pulling them into a one-sided relationship. Most dating sites are a setup to find romantic partners...

 

This is pretty much a relatively new territory, but maybe have a look around here, or have a look around on tumblr as well, there are some aro meetup blogs there you can find new friends. Or as you said, there are the dating sites, and if you say what you are looking for, you aren't misleading anybody.

 

Quote
  • I do have sexual desires and feel sexual attraction. I have had a few sexual encounters and a friends with benefits kind of relationship.
  • I do feel a desire to be intimate with people, e.g., cuddling, kissing or just close contact.

This, this or this thread?

 

Quote
  • I am unsure if I want a long term-relationship. I like the thought of always having someone to be intimate with, but I don't think I'd like their need to be my center of attention and I don't think I could always make them my center of attention either.

And many aros would like/already have long term relationships, and what you have described does not sound unusual in aro spaces. Have a look around, we have a couple of threads on this subject, such as this, this, this or this.

 

I think that's quite a large chunk of information to process, I don't want to overwhelm you. 

 

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Hi JB, welcome to the forum :D:icecream:

 

So, I can relate to your post. I'm male, hetero and currently questioning if/where I belong on this aromantic spectrum. I put a bit more about my background in my intro post. I also think I'm looking for something similar to you, relationship-wise (I tried to articulate more what that something might be here, if you're interested). I'm also generally pretty confused as to what the concept of 'romance' actually concretely means. More on that here.

 

I was intrigued by this comment of yours:

16 hours ago, jb88 said:

I am not repulsed by romantic scenes in movies or other people being romantic. I like watching romance or flirting, but I think it is more my need for intimacy then actual romantic interest. A bit confused about this.

 

One question you might want to ask yourself is: if/when you've fantasied about being involved in relationships, what form have those fantasies taken? What sorts of things did you imagine doing together? When I think back, most of my 'romantic' fantasies have been along the lines of very intense close friendships; ones where we would constantly challenge one another emotionally and intellectually and have really cool and interesting conversations (for me this is where my "need for intimacy" gets fulfilled - how many people can you actually get beyond the everyday politeness/banalities with and have conversation that cuts through all that down to the heart and bone of something that is raw and real and what you actually need, on a deeper level, to be talking about and working out with them in that moment? For me, that doesn't happen with very many people...) And we also have sex xD.

But my fantasies never focused along the lines of us going on dates, moving in together, getting married, raising a family together, or really engaging at all in any of the more traditional romantic-couple-coded things. Also, as you mention you've actually been in relationships of some form before (you have an advantage over me there!) what sort of things have you done/wanted to do with the other person whilst in them? That may help you answer your question #1. Good luck! :) 

 

16 hours ago, jb88 said:

How/where can I find a person to be intimate with? I know this sound like a cheap hookup request, but I am looking for an actual friend I can trust. I want to avoid misleading anybody about my feeling or pulling them into a one-sided relationship. Most dating sites are a setup to find romantic partners...

 

I'm wondering this too. So, I'm afraid I don't really have any advice for you here! :(. One thing that I really struggle with is that there is nobody in my life right now that I can point to as a positive role model here - i.e. living, breathing examples of people doing relationships 'a bit differently' - and in a fully ethical way, such that all of the people involved in the relationship are happy with it and it makes their lives better in various ways (my friends and family are all coming from a very 'heteronormative' and 'amatonormative' place, which is potentially a handicap for us straight people? I guess if you've been actively involved in LGBTQ+ circles from early adulthood onwards, on account of your (non hetero-)sexuality naturally propelling you into that social mileau, then you've had much more scope to encounter unconventional and self-defined relationship choices - and actual concrete examples of people pursuing those choices in healthy and fulfilling ways?)

 

You might be interested in exploring the concept of "amatonormativity" though. That helped me a lot in crystallizing my sense of what social expectations I was uncomfortable with, or ones that I was (often subconsciusly/implicitly, rather than consciously/explicitly) rejecting. I put some links about it (and Relationship Anarchy (RA) - also worth a look IMO) in this post.

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I have questioned my strong desire for intimacy lately as well as my aesthetic attractions so I can relate to what you're saying.

 

Regardless, these things don't make me any less aromantic and they don't have to make you less aromantic either. Everyone experiences attractions differently (which is why a lot of people have mixed orientations) and all that matters is how they identify their feelings. So you can still have sexual attractions (or any other attractions) but if you don't have crushes you're probably aromantic :).

 

Another thing I want to mention is that liking romantic scenes in movies or shipping characters has no bearing on your orientations and in fact a lot of us (but not everyone) here do the same.

 

And having a long term relationship as an aromantic is still possible, if you can find a partner that's compatible with you. The main reason you might feel smothered is if they have unrequited romantic feelings for you. This is why QPR's (queer/quasi platonic relationships) are so great, cause they can be serious relationships that aren't romantic but the boundaries are defined by those in it (which can also include sex).

 

I hope this helped?

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