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m4rble

Definition of aromanticism

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What is the definition of "romantic" and likewise "aromantic"? I just want to get opinions on this website, some of you may have seen me on Aven.

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30 minutes ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

definitions are things that discard the subjectivity of emotion and personal perspective, and pretends that logic and descriptions are idols to worship. 

This is the only response I got. . . great.

I found this page: http://www.arocalypse.com/index/

It's very general though. What I was really wondering was how much people thought about the issue. The faq is useful though. 

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With every identity comes a variety of definitions and personal interpretations of them but I'll give it a go.

 

Aromantics do not experience romantic attraction (a desire for traditional romantic relationships with a specific person) and greyromantics experience romantic attraction extremely rarely and/or under specific circumstances.

 

And romantic attraction is often called a crush or a desire aimed at a specific person that makes you want to engage in romantic activities and/or a romantic relationship with them.

 

The problem here is the definition of a romantic relationship, and I often think of it as a relationship where those involved have romantic feelings and intentions for each other. The problem with this is that all the definitions just go around in a circle and nothing is achieved by them.

 

Perhaps that's why no one's answering your question?

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13 minutes ago, aussiekirkland said:

With every identity comes a variety of definitions and personal interpretations of them but I'll give it a go.

 

Aromantics do not experience romantic attraction (a desire for traditional romantic relationships with a specific person) and greyromantics experience romantic attraction extremely rarely and/or under specific circumstances.

 

And romantic attraction is often called a crush or a desire aimed at a specific person that makes you want to engage in romantic activities and/or a romantic relationship with them.

 

The problem here is the definition of a romantic relationship, and I often think of it as a relationship where those involved have romantic feelings and intentions for each other. The problem with this is that all the definitions just go around in a circle and nothing is achieved by them.

 

Perhaps that's why no one's answering your question?

Yeah, from the index I linked it seems like my feelings fall much more under the "squish" category than the "crush" category but I'm not certain what this means, if anything.

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Yeah, it's hard for me to pin down 'what is romance?' other than the classic "I know it when I see it".

 

And by know it, I mean 'feel really uncomfortable with the idea of it involving me', which makes for lots of fun with stuff that I read as romantic but others don't.

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The main purpose of a definition is not to declare precisely what a thing is, but rather to set up a meaningful example of what it usually means.

Culture is the real determinant of what words mean.

let me give it a shot. sorry about my first post, I was irritated from threads on another forum, I should have put off posting for later... 

 

Romance is -

fanciful or idealized love, and the expression thereof; usually involving courtship, affectionate interactions, or emotional expression purely for the sake of sharing this love. Often there is an interest in or desire for togetherness for the sake of wholeness and completion, two people becoming as one.

 

the adjective "romantic" would then mean, describing something that involves or is related to romance. 


 

Naturally some of these things might be argued to exist in other areas, especially when it comes to physical touch or verbal reassurance of love and appreciation - usually in friendship and family relationships. This would mean that these areas between the more obvious forms of romance and the more obvious platonic relationships, would be a controversial area. As such, it is up to each individual person to determine for themselves whether or not they are romantic, grey, or aro.

 

It is said that a romantic person experiences romantic attraction as well as desire for a romantic relationship. I would say what makes a person romantic in orientation is when they either want to receive or provide romance as I described in their relationships, or if they seek romantic partnership or polyamoury. Simple flattery or personal touch and closeness is not quite what is romantic - but it can be, if the individual's emotional experience or desire relating to the interaction is romantic. 

 

I would say that a person who both [experiences romantic attraction] and [desire for romance in their relationship(s)] is a romantic person, and a person who checks off "no" to both is aromantic. I would say that someone who experiences one or the other, or who feels less driven by these, or feels they don't feel these as powerfully as the average person does, would be in the grey area.

 

I would say that enjoying romance when it does exist and appreciating observing romance, isn't necessarily part of romantic orientation, although for a person who is romantic in orientation, they certainly would consider it a part of their romantic experience. 

 

maybe the simplest answer is, romance is being intimate regarding love :lol: 

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1 hour ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

 

The main purpose of a definition is not to declare precisely what a thing is, but rather to set up a meaningful example of what it usually means.

 

Agreed. People working from the "definition is precise" idea is what causes the endless definition debates over on AVEN. I hope we can stay away from the nasty end of those here. I'd hate to have to be modly. That being said (and as pre-emptive warning, and in no way is this directed at you, @cute kitty Meow! Mewo! or any other person who has posted here so far), when discussing the definition of aromanticism and aromantic, please keep in mind the ToS. Particularly the part about disrespecting others' identities:

 

Quote

b. Personal insults
Personally insulting other users in any way is unacceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, using a person's race, sex, gender identity or expression, creed, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation as a way to insult any member.

 

Thank you.

 

To return to the question, I would say that the definitions of "romantic" and "aromantic" are up to the people who identify with them, After all, romanticism is a spectrum. As @Confidential_Con, I would say that romance is something that I know when I see (and quickly run away from if I can). Other than that, I'm not sure.

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No matter how to formulate a definition, it will be too general anyway... isn't it easier to handle requests for romance on a case-by-case basis as they appear, e.g. if someone wants to kiss (cuddle / cohabit / whatever you don't wish), explain to them that you don't do this particular stuff with anyone and the fact that you don't wish to do this with them doesn't mean you don't value them.

 

The stuff that you're willing to do may be changing over time, too. It looks like my identity has made a 180-degree turn over the last 2 years, haha.

 

Or maybe this approach works well only for asocial people like me who hardly ever get such requests and hardly ever have this topic raised in convos anyway :D

 

To my relatives, I just tell without fancy terms that I'm not going to cohabit with anyone, and this already gives them all the necessary info.  

 

The exact definition of aromanticism will be an open question for long because different people and cultures have different views on what is romantic.

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To use sexuality as an example, I could coin a term like 'acoitality' for my unwillingness to have intercourse (whereas my attitude to other types of sex is unknown as I've never found myself in a situation where I'd really have to give it a thought), but I'm sure hardly anyone would adopt such a term.

 

The same goes for romance - a good example of a QPP request form is very detailed and, for many possible combinations of affectionate activities listed there, there are likely people who wish to do that but not anything else.

 

And it's quite similar to other habits and hobbies - while people are getting to know each other, they learn what they can do together and what the partner doesn't like them doing. The incompatibilities that are total deal-breakers for some (like kissing, gifts or dancing) pop up quite fast anyway, plus you can warn a potential partner about them if you're expecting such things from them as per your local culture.

 

If they become insulted by your unwillingness to do 'standard' things, then they're not worth your time anyway as they wouldn't tolerate your finer peculiarities later on. And you should be able to assert in a convo that, in the free modern society, you're a person in your own right and don't owe any of those things to anyone. Aka, 'the relationship is free and provided 'as is' with no warranty or liability for damages'.

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I don't think I need romance at this point in my life, that's all I need to know for now. 

Thanks for all the replies.

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I think its really hard to define something you have never felt, especially if this thing is a subjective experience.  We can try to trace the outline of the space where the thing was supposed to be, but about that's how far we are going to get. Especially that many of us are actively avoiding romance.

 

Therefore my advice would be to go back to AVEN and ask people who are in the unique position to have first hand experienced the feeling and can clearly separate it from sexual desire, as they don't experience the former. 

 

But, I think this thread might be useful.

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1 hour ago, Cassiopeia said:

Therefore my advice would be to go back to AVEN and ask people who are in the unique position to have first hand experienced the feeling and can clearly separate it from sexual desire, as they don't experience the former. 

When I ask about this on Aven I often find the answers kind of confusing tbh. 

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16 hours ago, m4rble said:

When I ask about this on Aven I often find the answers kind of confusing tbh. 

 

I find it confusing as well, and having no frame of reference doesn't help either. But at the end of the day, its a personal experience. We can't expect people to have the same feelings and describe them the same way.

 

If you have a look, when allosexual aros talk about sexuality (x), we also have a quite diverse range of experiences, feelings, attitudes etc.

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I define romantic attraction as feeling limerence towards someone. I guess a romantic relationship would be "the kind of relationship a limerent person craves" but I don't know exactly what the dividing line is there.

 

In fact, before I discovered the concept of limerence, I didn't believe romantic attraction existed at all. I argued that it was just touch hunger, expressed in a society that disapproved of cuddling friends:

 

http://abnormaldiversity.blogspot.ca/2012/12/romantic-asexual-or-touch-hunger.html

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@cute kitty Meow! Mewo!'s post is right on the money. I couldn't have written it better myself.

 

The reason this is so difficult to define versus asexuality is that sex is a physical act and romance is driven entirely by emotion. Sex is manipulation of another person's genitals. If you want it, then you aren't asexual. But romance is this big ball of lovey dovey.... Stuff.

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On 12/13/2016 at 5:50 AM, Ettina said:

I define romantic attraction as feeling limerence towards someone. I guess a romantic relationship would be "the kind of relationship a limerent person craves" but I don't know exactly what the dividing line is there.

 

In fact, before I discovered the concept of limerence, I didn't believe romantic attraction existed at all. I argued that it was just touch hunger, expressed in a society that disapproved of cuddling friends:

 

http://abnormaldiversity.blogspot.ca/2012/12/romantic-asexual-or-touch-hunger.html

Do we really know it exists for most people? Most people don't have discussions like this so for all we know 30% could just experience "touch hunger" as opposed to limerence. 

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limerance, crushes, I think they're pretty common really. technically, "touch hunger" could be called limerance.

but, I do agree that not every romantic person - that some might not feel limerance. I would say limerance is primary romantic desire, while some romantic people might only experience secondary romantic desire. I gues something along the line of, say, appreciating romantic gestures, and responding to romantic courtship by providing their own courting habits of whatever kind. 

 

wherase a limerant person would experience romantic feelings without a need for courtship. 

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22 hours ago, m4rble said:

Do we really know it exists for most people? Most people don't have discussions like this so for all we know 30% could just experience "touch hunger" as opposed to limerence. 

 

Sure, maybe. I'd say that just means aromantic is more common than we thought.

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On 01/12/2016 at 5:21 AM, aussiekirkland said:

Aromantics do not experience romantic attraction (a desire for traditional romantic relationships with a specific person) and greyromantics experience romantic attraction extremely rarely and/or under specific circumstances.

It being "traditional romantic relationships" which appears to have the most clear definition here.
 

On 01/12/2016 at 5:21 AM, aussiekirkland said:

And romantic attraction is often called a crush or a desire aimed at a specific person that makes you want to engage in romantic activities and/or a romantic relationship with them.

 

The problem here is the definition of a romantic relationship, and I often think of it as a relationship where those involved have romantic feelings and intentions for each other. The problem with this is that all the definitions just go around in a circle and nothing is achieved by them.

Where it gets even more complicated is that activities and behaviours are rather distinct from feelings, intentions or motivations.

 

On 01/12/2016 at 5:53 AM, Confidential_Con said:

Yeah, it's hard for me to pin down 'what is romance?' other than the classic "I know it when I see it".

 

And by know it, I mean 'feel really uncomfortable with the idea of it involving me', which makes for lots of fun with stuff that I read as romantic but others don't.

It can be just as much "fun" to like stuff which others read as romantic, but you don't...

 

On 02/12/2016 at 4:43 PM, Cassiopeia said:

I find it confusing as well, and having no frame of reference doesn't help either. But at the end of the day, its a personal experience. We can't expect people to have the same feelings and describe them the same way.

It's not like there is anything akin to Ishihara plates to measure romantic attraction.
 

On 15/12/2016 at 3:35 AM, m4rble said:

Do we really know it exists for most people? Most people don't have discussions like this so for all we know 30% could just experience "touch hunger" as opposed to limerence. 

How would they distinguish the two? In the same way that any strong attraction is assumed to be a "crush" rather than "squish", "lush" or other non romantic thing.
As well as the most socially acceptable way to address touch hunger being within a romantic relationship.

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