Jump to content
NullVector

Aromanticism and attachment styles

Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, NullVector said:

So, a few people here mentioned that their attachment style seems to vary a lot depending on whether they are considering family, friends or romantic partners when answering the 'quiz' questions. 

 

So, I did a bit more googling around and found a quiz that aims to look into these differences :

 

http://www.yourpersonality.net/relstructures/

 

It'd be interesting to see what results people get and whether there are any typical 'aro' patterns there :) 

 

Nice!

Here's my results:

your mother or mother-like figure - anxiety 6.33, avoidance 1.00

your father or father-like figure - anxiety 6.33, avoidance 1.33

your romantic partner - anxiety 3.33, avoidance 6.50

your best friend - anxiety 6.33, avoidance 4.83

 

Yeah. Only one where the avoidance was higher than anxiety was romantic. (I answered based on what I imagine a relationship with any of the guys who have actually shown interest would have been like.) 

 

General score was anxiety 7, avoidance 2.33. It says I'm preoccupied attachment style. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, NullVector said:

So, a few people here mentioned that their attachment style seems to vary a lot depending on whether they are considering family, friends or romantic partners when answering the 'quiz' questions. 

 

So, I did a bit more googling around and found a quiz that aims to look into these differences :

 

http://www.yourpersonality.net/relstructures/

 

It'd be interesting to see what results people get and whether there are any typical 'aro' patterns there :) 

Name Anxiety Score Avoidance Score
your mother or mother-like figure 1.67 5.83
your father or father-like figure 1.00 5.83
your romantic partner 4.00 4.50
your best friend 6.00 1.50

 

So, dismissive (non-anxious but avoidant) with the parents, a little avoidant but mostly right in the middle for the idea of a romantic partner, and preoccupied (very anxious but also very non-avoidant) with my QPP. Seems right to me. ^_^

 

Global attatchement style was preoccupied:

Your general anxiety score was 7.00 and your general avoidance score was 3.67 (on a scale ranging from 1=low to 7=high).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice test... My global attachment style is fearful. Sounds about right. General anxiety and avoidance both 7. lol

 

Name Anxiety Score Avoidance Score
your mother or mother-like figure 1.00 5.00
your father or father-like figure 1.00 4.67
your romantic partner 3.67 5.00
your best friend 6.67 4.17

 

I don't technically have a 'best friend' really, but I kind of combined traits from the 2 people I most recently felt the closest to, even though I'm not close to the one at all anymore, and the other I haven't even known that long... I suppose this in itself is telling. I don't think I've ever felt entirely secure with another human being, even if I can logically deduct that they're trustworthy... which is also pretty hard.

 

On a related note, I've been reading a lot about social anxiety lately, and while I can relate to a lot of those things, I don't really "feel" anxious much... which makes me think I don't have social anxiety. But, on the other hand, I probably do...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Name Anxiety Score Avoidance Score
your mother or mother-like figure 3.33 2.67
your father or father-like figure 1.00 6.33
your romantic partner 3.00 2.67
your best friend 2.33 2.00

 

Your general anxiety score was 4.00 and your general avoidance score was 3.83

Well, not surprised about the result for my dad at least, but I thought I'd get a higher avoidance score for my ex. I did answer differently than the questions about mum. Best friend seems about right, though. My global attachment style is preoccupied, kind of makes sense given I prefer to do my own thing and hang out with others once in a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SoulWolf said:

I don't technically have a 'best friend' really

 

I'm much the same. For most of my life I never got super close with anyone I met because people thought I was too weird (despite often trying to tone down the weirdness!) and I thought they were too normal. I didn't find myself compatible with anyone, friend wise; until year 12 and since then I've made a few real friends.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got secure attachment style (low anxiety, low avoidance) for parents, fearful (high anxiety, high avoidance) for friends and dismissive (low anxiety, high avoidance) for (hypothetical, lol) romantic partners.

 

On 1/26/2017 at 9:47 PM, NullVector said:

It'd be interesting to see what results people get and whether there are any typical 'aro' patterns there :) 

 

My observation so far is that a lot of us seem to be getting high avoidance scores for romantic relationships and high anxiety scores for friendships. Which fits in with something @SoulWolf said earlier.

 

On 1/22/2017 at 6:02 PM, SoulWolf said:

I would say I'm dismissively avoiding romantic relationships (because I know I don't need any of that)... and actually I'm somewhat fearful-avoidant of potential close friendships due to past experiences, and afraid of losing them because people don't take friendship seriously. It has been really hard for me to get myself to trust people, even when I'm 99% sure their intentions are good.

 

For me, finishing university and being uprooted from all the friendships and communities that had developed over several years was rough :( 

I'd expect an experience like that to be typically less impactful for an allo-romantic person in a stable romantic relationship, as those types of relationship aren't scattered to the winds as readily as friendships typically are in the advent of major life transitions (at least in a romantic relationship there's only one other person involved - and there's also the cultural expectation that you'll be more willing to follow that other person around).

 

Those sorts of experiences surrounding the way modern living typically works (e.g. young people being expected to relocate a lot for careers) could be enough to make pretty much anyone develop a fearful attachment style around forming new friendship communities (feelings like, what's the point, when it will all be taken away again in a year or two's time, would seem pretty understandable to me). But especially for aros, who would tend to place a lot of importance on friendships. Also, fear of abandonment (being 'abandoned' by friends for romantic partners - at least in the sense of them typically having a lot less time to spend with you after finding romantic partners) could be a big deal for aros - and could quite plausibly lead to them developing a fearful attachment style around friendships.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Name                                    Anxiety Score    Avoidance Score
your mother or mother-like figure        1.00    1.17
your father or father-like figure            1.00    1.33
your romantic partner                          1.00    5.83
your best friend                                    1.00    1.00
 

From the original test, "According to your questionnaire responses, your attachment-related anxiety score is 1.89, on a scale ranging from 1 (low anxiety) to 7 (high anxiety). Your attachment-related avoidance score is 5.83, on a scale ranging from 1 (low avoidance) to 7 (high avoidance)."

 

I guess this just confirms the fact that I don't really care much about romantic relationships, especially not enough to worry about them leaving me. I do have so much anxiety that they don't measure in the test that comes out me feeling like a bad person or suffocated. I'm not really shocked, but I'm pleasantly surprised I have pretty good security in other areas. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/6/2017 at 8:40 PM, princessyuuji said:

I do have so much anxiety that they don't measure in the test that comes out me feeling like a bad person or suffocated

 

What is it that makes you feel like a "bad person" - if you don't mind my asking? Is it not feeling able to reciprocate other people's (romantic) feelings, or something else?

You could totally characterize feeling suffocated as anxiety. But it usually gets characterized as an avoidant trait, for the purposes of these tests, as it would make you tend to avoid getting 'closer' to someone (because doing so would make you feel suffocated). Incidentally, 'suffocated' is a word I've heard used by a lot of people here, to describe how typical romantic behaviors by partners made them feel. Like a strong, impulsive fear around being pressured to surrender too much personal autonomy too quickly; merging yourself into some portmanteau super-entity in the name of 'romance' (We Are the Borg! You Will be Assimilated! Resistance is Futile!)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@NullVector No worries. 

 

It's definitely linked to not being able to reciprocate feelings because it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I'm aromantic. The problem for me was mostly that people fell for me really quickly, like a week after meeting me and ridiculous things like that, when I didn't have time to figure out my own emotions. The people I dated were all really fascinating and great people I liked a lot and every time I left them heartbroken, when I was totally fine, I felt like I should have know it would be the same or I was manipulating and playing with them. On top of that, I would end up feeling internal resentment or repulsion to them because I felt so uncomfortably anxious in relationships, which I know they didn't deserve.

To be honest, I'm still dealing with a bit of guilt that if I had just admitted it earlier it would have spared a lot of people.

 

The test did come with the assumption that you're part of the 'assimilated' masses ahahaha so I'm not sure how far it can speak for the aromantic.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2017 at 11:56 PM, princessyuuji said:

To be honest, I'm still dealing with a bit of guilt that if I had just admitted it earlier it would have spared a lot of people.

 

I think it's made super hard to recognize and admit to though. Since a) aromanticism has such low visibility as a thing in general and b) we're very much socialized to regard romance as essential to our happiness. So don't be too hard on yourself :) 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2017 at 10:10 AM, DeltaV said:

 

My thoughts about this are:

 

Do you know the “strange stories test” for autism spectrum disorders? Stories that involve jokes, white lies, sarcasm, figures of speech, bluffs, etc. Neurotypicals “get them”, but people with ASD don't.

 

I would fail a similar test for romantic relationships (RRs) abysmally, if I had not memorized RR rules and learned to apply them mechanically. I am like having an ASD, but only in the context of RRs. When people complain about their RR problems to me and I would give them my honest opinion, it would probably sound extremely cynical and jaded for them.

 

Friend: “It's now three month and X still won't commit blah blah”
Me (applying rules mechanically): “I think that this is too long and I would write X now that you want something serious blah blah and you will continue to search for it elsewhere. If X has real feelings for you, I think, ze will fight for you and blah blah...”
Me (honest answer): “Why do you even care? X wasting a substantive on you or not
has no legal consequences! And why, of all people, do you ask me?”

 

But hey, society says RRs are the greatest thing in life ever! And if you don't have them, you must feel sad and lonely.

  • extreme societal pressure
  • fear of being a loser
  • feeling of being abnormal, RRs seem bizarre to you

= best ingredients for a phobia to develop.

 

Now, I think that the phobia, the repulsion for RR is something which is learned behavior and could go away with sufficient “exposure”. Though I had “flings”, which were not nice and made it worse.

 

But even without the phobia, I still wouldn't suddenly “get” RRs or want them. They still would feel like an alien ritual to me. And I doubt anything can be done about this.

Fascinating thoughts. I do wonder what causes romance-repulsion. I don't know if it's just because I'm sex-repulsed and not romance-repulsed, but sex-repulsion makes a lot more sense to me (sex is gross, and sexual arousal, for most people, turns off the capacity for disgust). I do wonder what mechanism causes romance repulsion. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Results:

Name Anxiety Score Avoidance Score
your mother or mother-like figure 1.00 7.00
your father or father-like figure 1.00 4.33
your romantic partner 1.33 1.83
your best friend 1.00 1.00

 

Globally, I'm a secure attachment, which was the same result for the original test that only considered "romantic partner" (I answered the questions for my current QPF)--but only because the people who are currently in my life are trustworthy. I have a tendency towards fearful, but therapy, and learning how to communicate with my friends better, have helped move me towards a more secure attachment style. This is just my opinion, but I don't think correlation implies causation, and I think attachment styles ultimately have more to do with your personality, rather than your orientation. I know I tend to be very formulaic in the way I view social interactions, and I believe that all relationships can work out, so long as everyone involved is following the same set of rules. I don't tend to second-guess anything unless people have given me proof beyond reasonable doubt, and I tend to assume that people mean *exactly* what they say--because I mean exactly what I say. And if they can't follow the basic rule of being honest, that's their issue.

 

6 hours ago, Ettina said:

Fascinating thoughts. I do wonder what causes romance-repulsion. I don't know if it's just because I'm sex-repulsed and not romance-repulsed, but sex-repulsion makes a lot more sense to me (sex is gross, and sexual arousal, for most people, turns off the capacity for disgust). I do wonder what mechanism causes romance repulsion. 

 

 

Alloromantics. Alloromantics cause romance-repulsion.

 

Naaaah, I'm just being hella snarky. :) Why must there be a "reason" for romance-repulsion? It's a component of one's orientation. It doesn't need to be explained by a "reason." To me, trying to find a reason for romance-repulsion, implies that the existence of romance-repulsion needs to be justified, when it doesn't.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ettina said:

Fascinating thoughts. I do wonder what causes romance-repulsion. I don't know if it's just because I'm sex-repulsed and not romance-repulsed, but sex-repulsion makes a lot more sense to me (sex is gross, and sexual arousal, for most people, turns off the capacity for disgust). I do wonder what mechanism causes romance repulsion. 

Here is what I find repulsive about romantic relationships.
The script known as the "relationship escalator". Which seems very restrictive of individuality.
That the end goal appears to be to somehow "merge". This also seems  very anti-individual.
The couple bubble concept. As someone who struggles with social interaction creating extra barriers seems counter productive.
The whole couple concept. Why two, rather than some other number?
Doing everything, including nothing, together. Why, even if it's a two person thing always with the same person makes little sense?
Not doing things with others who are willing, able and consenting. Why? (The kind of falls out of the previous two points.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, omitef said:

Why must there be a "reason" for romance-repulsion? It's a component of one's orientation. It doesn't need to be explained by a "reason." To me, trying to find a reason for romance-repulsion, implies that the existence of romance-repulsion needs to be justified, when it doesn't.

 

You can also have some fun flipping the question around. What's the "reason" for most people being so drawn to romance?  Y'know, despite its being so bizarre and creepy and all :P (I kid, I kid. Kinda xD).  Despite the often perilous and/or life-wrecking potential consequences. Like moths drawn to a flame, some allo-romantics seem to me (and you arguably see those same 'life-wrecking potential consequences' somewhat celebrated and fetishised in popular culture - like you almost aren't doing the thing 'right' if it doesn't end in the most gigantic mess!)

Looking from the outside in, it's all rather strange! But no, I don't think I'd expect somebody to give me a "reason" for their experience (or not) of strong romantic feelings/infatuation. It's just one of those things that (some, not all) humans empirically seem to experience. I guess there is no more "reason" for it than that.

 

I liked what Astrid said to Niska in season 2 episode 1 of Humans:

Quote

Niska When did you know you liked Women?

Astrid Ah, okay. When I was nine. Flora Holtzmann

Niska So you were made that way?

Astrid It's hard enough to know what you want. If you have to know why you want it too...

 

 

15 hours ago, Mark said:

Here is what I find repulsive about romantic relationships.
The script known as the "relationship escalator". Which seems very restrictive of individuality.
That the end goal appears to be to somehow "merge". This also seems  very anti-individual.
The couple bubble concept. As someone who struggles with social interaction creating extra barriers seems counter productive.
The whole couple concept. Why two, rather than some other number?
Doing everything, including nothing, together. Why, even if it's a two person thing always with the same person makes little sense?
Not doing things with others who are willing, able and consenting. Why? (The kind of falls out of the previous two points.)

 

Something I find odd about romantic relationships is:

This preference or desire to have pretty much all of your day-to-day needs (emotional, intellectual, care, support, friendship, companionship, domestic, organisational, practical, etc.) met by just one personal relationship (I am exaggerating a bit, perhaps, but the tendency toward this does seem to be there...)

To me that seems a) pretty downright bizarre and b) a lot of pressure to put just one person under (and yourself under as well - to need to find that one 'perfect' person).

Seems to me like different people have different qualities, different things to offer one another; and so having many different sorts of people and relationship archetypes in your life - without privileging one above the other and creating hierarchies of importance between them - would be the way to go.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/20/2017 at 8:45 PM, omitef said:

Naaaah, I'm just being hella snarky. :) Why must there be a "reason" for romance-repulsion? It's a component of one's orientation. It doesn't need to be explained by a "reason." To me, trying to find a reason for romance-repulsion, implies that the existence of romance-repulsion needs to be justified, when it doesn't.

 

Cause I'm an incorrigibly curious person. I want to know why people are gay or trans or ace or anything that makes up the diversity of people. It's why I'm a psych major.

So don't be offended. I don't think it needs to be justified, it just makes me curious. Especially since I'm not romance repulsed myself, and the thought of someone else being different from me makes me want to try to figure out why we're different.    

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, NullVector said:

Something I find odd about romantic relationships is:

This preference or desire to have pretty much all of your day-to-day needs (emotional, intellectual, care, support, friendship, companionship, domestic, organisational, practical, etc.) met by just one personal relationship (I am exaggerating a bit, perhaps, but the tendency toward this does seem to be there...)

To me that seems a) pretty downright bizarre and b) a lot of pressure to put just one person under (and yourself under as well - to need to find that one 'perfect' person).

I've always found this very strange. Especially how it's fairly common for alloromantics to dump their friends, even family, when getting into a romantic relationship.

 

19 hours ago, NullVector said:

Seems to me like different people have different qualities, different things to offer one another; and so having many different sorts of people and relationship archetypes in your life - without privileging one above the other and creating hierarchies of importance between them - would be the way to go.

This worldview appears to be considerably more common amongst aromantics in comparison with the general population.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ettina said:

Cause I'm an incorrigibly curious person. I want to know why people are gay or trans or ace or anything that makes up the diversity of people. It's why I'm a psych major.

So don't be offended. I don't think it needs to be justified, it just makes me curious. Especially since I'm not romance repulsed myself, and the thought of someone else being different from me makes me want to try to figure out why we're different.    

I'm kind of the same - above all, I'd really like to know why people (i.e. people like myself) can be OK, or at least not as uncomfortable, having a crush on someone, but not being comfortable actually dating them and why the shift from being OK to not OK is so rapid. I went to a counsellor to talk about my feelings a few weeks ago, and didn't really come to any solid conclusions, aside from maybe I'm too independent/picky/put too many barriers up/there was something about them that put me off. All plausible and reasonable explanations, but somehow don't feel like the right explanation for me. How can I like someone so much, then as soon as it's official, stop knowing how I feel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Untamed Heart Sounds like lithromanticism to me. I have the same issue, although I no longer identify as lithromantic due to the fact that the only genuine romantic feeling I've ever had towards someone was alterous.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/20/2017 at 8:51 PM, Ettina said:

Fascinating thoughts. I do wonder what causes romance-repulsion. I don't know if it's just because I'm sex-repulsed and not romance-repulsed, but sex-repulsion makes a lot more sense to me (sex is gross, and sexual arousal, for most people, turns off the capacity for disgust). I do wonder what mechanism causes romance repulsion.

It's true that sex repulsion is intellectually easier to comprehend exactly for this reason. I would love to give a convincing explanation for romance repulsion... especially because romance is seen as much more innocent than sex...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

It's true that sex repulsion is intellectually easier to comprehend exactly for this reason. I would love to give a convincing explanation for romance repulsion... especially because romance is seen as much more innocent than sex...

 

I feel like society views romance as "innocent," but there's actually a lot of violent, creepy behaviour that's "justified" in the name of romance--like going through messages on your partner's phone, following your partner around to everything, making a point of being possessive...

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 22/02/2017 at 0:59 PM, omitef said:

I feel like society views romance as "innocent," but there's actually a lot of violent, creepy behaviour that's "justified" in the name of romance--like going through messages on your partner's phone, following your partner around to everything, making a point of being possessive...

There you go being all Thinking Aro again... Please stop that. :)

I definitely agree with the point you`re making though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, omitef said:

I feel like society views romance as "innocent," but there's actually a lot of violent, creepy behaviour that's "justified" in the name of romance--like going through messages on your partner's phone, following your partner around to everything, making a point of being possessive...

Yes, that's true. But I didn't claim that it is innocent, only that it's seen that way and changing those attitudes into something more realistic would be a very difficult task.

 

 

I meet strange people in the train late at night. For example:

  1. A nice-looking teen couple obviously very, very much in love with each other and engaging in a bit too overt PDA (for allo-standards).
  2. Two punks, male and female. They are both drunk and smelly, loudly say stupid things and take up a lot of space. No romo-stuff, but he makes a blatantly sexual remark to her at one point.

What if I tell somebody I was more annoyed by 1. ...? That would be seen as warped, like a depressed, jaded middle-aged allo who had tons of bad relationships and just finalized the divorce of his third marriage. So it would be nice to make romance repulsion a bit more understandable.

 

One thing I especially hate about romantic attraction directed at me is being seen through rose-tinted glasses. So creepy. Why would you wanted your flaws twisted into something positive and your strength super-exaggerated by someone?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, omitef said:

 

I feel like society views romance as "innocent," but there's actually a lot of violent, creepy behaviour that's "justified" in the name of romance--like going through messages on your partner's phone, following your partner around to everything, making a point of being possessive...

There can be an "ends justify the means" type meme here. Most obvious example being the E L James novels.
There's also this YouTube video.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Screw Amatonormativity What do you mean I'm "going Thinking Aro" again?

 

@DeltaV Yes--and I should've clarified that I wasn't implying you meant that romance was innocent--sorry. I actually don't think that allos would react negatively if you told them that you were more disgusted by 1--because quite a lot of allos don't like PDA either, not from a romance-repulsion standpoint, but from a privacy standpoint--sex is seen as an act that should be done privately. Hence the allo saying, "go get a room" as applied to people behaving sexually towards each other.

 

@Mark EL James more like hELLNO SHAME also I've seen that video before, it's really funny

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...