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Allan Müller

Do you think familial environment can impact the romantic attraction ?

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Allan Müller

Hey bros, I posted a topic in the welcome area to explain a part of my story and why I think I'm aromantic but there are another elements that I'm questioning on.

 

To make it simple, I never had an example of romantic relationship in my family. My parents divorced when I was 4/5 years old, and none of them ever had a companion after that. I never saw them loving someone. So I wonder if it could have impacted my vision of (a)romance, what do you think ?

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Lucy in the sky

Interesting theory... :)

My parents got divorced when I was 14, but in truth, they never showed much affection towards one another either (things were not right between them since I was born, in fact).

I am an aro ace and I've often wondered about this. I think it could be a possible factor, but perhaps more along the lines of being a trigger/catalyst. I think such family situations could strengthen one's inclination to aromanticism and other 'less common' romantic and sexual orientations.

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Jackninja5

It kinda depends on what your views on relationships are afterwards. Some people grow up thinking of having no one because that's how their parents were while some decide to not let it get in the way of finding someone out there.

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Jade Cross

I wouldnt say its a direct cause per se, but it might definitely help mold the view one may have of relationships.

 

I know my parent's relationship was superficial and only for the purpose of keeping up an image, similar to how I see way too many relationships out there to be the same. So Im not really a believer on the "love" portion that people rave about when it comes to the subject.

 

 

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Allan Müller

I also think it's definitely not the only "cause". I'm really interested on how my parents' divorce impacted on me, and this came to my mind, I was so young so I can't remember our life when they were married. And when I was maybe 8 or 9 I told my mother "I will never get married because if I want to divorce the paperwork is too annoying", I had no idea that marriage was actually meant to be a good thing haha.

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Homer

Short answer: No.

 

Slightly longer answer: I don't think that it has an influence on your orientation as such. It's called "to be attracted", which is a passive term for a reason :D you really can't help who you (don't) fall for.

 

However, your upbringing can have a lot of influence on how you deal with your feelings. Do you recognize them in the first place, are you open to the idea of a relationship (or just the idea of falling in love), are you willing to explore what you feel... it could be that feelings get kind of buried if the circumstances to act on them aren't right. Yet that's different from not having these feelings at all.

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Allan Müller
6 minutes ago, Homer said:

I don't think that it has an influence on your orientation as such. It's called "to be attracted", which is a passive term for a reason :D you really can't help who you (don't) fall for.

Thank you for your reply.  I see what you mean, but if I take my example : I'm sexually attracted to girl, and nothing "caused" that; but I'm impermeable to love, not really a question of attraction but of feeling. Nothing caused my orientation, but maybe never having a model of romantic relationship didn't really helped me in understanding what a romantic relation can be, and always seeing my parents hating each other unconsciously taught me that it's not a good thing.

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cinary

My parents divorced when I was one and i don't have contact with my father ever since but my mom dated and still do. I can't say that I saw her fall in love but I saw her in a relationship a few times. And most of my friends parents are dovorced, too so I haven't seen a lot of good romantic relationships in my life. But no, I don't think that my parents divorce influenced in any way my sexual or romantic orientation. 

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Allan Müller

I'm pretty sure my parents' relation had an influence on me, but surely it's not the only thing that made me like I am. It's interesting to see that it's not the case of everyone.

Thank you all for your replies, having different points of view is always a good thing when you're searching an answer (:

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Homer
35 minutes ago, Allan Müller said:

but I'm impermeable to love, not really a question of attraction but of feeling. Nothing caused my orientation, but maybe never having a model of romantic relationship didn't really helped me in understanding what a romantic relation can be, and always seeing my parents hating each other unconsciously taught me that it's not a good thing.

Do you still live with your parents?

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Allan Müller

I live with my mom, I see my dad during holidays. But this is normally my last year living with my family.

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Homer

You'll develop your own ways once you move out. You might stick to the things you know and which you are used to until you've settled in, but then you'll start to really explore and figure out how this life thing actually works best for you. You'll keep some habits which you know from home and you'll find that some things your family did were utter nonsense :D 

 

I see a fair chance that someone might come along and show you a way to love and be loved that you actually like and want. (Of course it's also possible that nothing like that will ever happen. I just wouldn't rule anything out at this point :))

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The_Reluctant_Dragon

I don't think that can happen since, my parents divorced when I was 1, and, both my mom and my sister constantly have boyfriends, one after the other. But, this theory can affect someone in some way, just not everyone.

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chair jockey

My parents married one year before I was born, so their wedding was some time in 1964. They remained married until my mother passed away in 2011, so they were steadily married, with no separations, for more than 48 years. The only time they were apart was when my father left our East European home in the early 1970s to live in Denmark for about six months and then continued on to Canada and worked and lived here for about two years. Then he returned to live with us for about a year, and then, in 1975, one week after my 10th birthday, we all immigrated to Canada legally as landed immigrants--a rarity for people from Communist East Europe back then!

 

My father never told me he was leaving the country for two years. We were close, much closer than I was to my mother, until he got in a car with my uncle telling me he would be right back, and then didn't return until two of my birthdays had passed. Minutes after his departure I went to the woodshed and wept. I knew he was gone. And he really WAS gone, because, when he came back, it felt like he was a stranger. The distance between us remains to this day.

 

While he was away, my mother kept pestering me to write him letters until I got sick of writing them. She didn't tell me the reason because people never tell me the reason when they manipulate me for their own purposes, but she was afraid that my father would find "a better woman" in this overseas paradise called Canada and she'd be stuck raising me alone. Just as she later spearheaded the assumption that I'd attend university at a time when only 20% of high school graduates even applied for university, so that I'd have enough of an income to care for my parents when they got old. She didn't mention any of those manipulative calculations to me until toward the end of her life. But it definitely had an effect on how I perceive women--and so did how other girls and women treated me back when I mattered at all, which wasn't much different from how my mother treated me.

 

Okay, YOU tell me whether all that adds up to the conditions needed to express the "asexuality gene" I was born with. If you do that, I'll tell you whether what you've said about yourself is enough to trigger the expression of YOUR "asexuality gene."

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Perilous Poozer

Nature vs nurture? My parents have been married 42 years, although I did see them go through and sort out some epic issues. Yet here I am. My younger sister was sexually actively from her teens, just never kicked in for me. From reading the anecdotes above, perhaps if you're in an environment where relationships are continually changing or questioned, you may be more sensitive to them and more likely to reflect on your own? Perhaps this is in part why it took me so long to identify!

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shirokumo

I grew up in a family environment where it's common for my mother to act cold/uninterested towards my father and there was absolutely no PDA ever. Then when I was older I developed crushes on people of the opposite sex, but my natural response was to act as if I hated them. Last time it happens is when I was 18 years old. I haven't felt any romantic attraction towards anyone ever since. My queerplatonic attractions towards a person of the same sex are normally expressed in a more natural and positive way. 

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chair jockey
13 minutes ago, shirokumo said:

I grew up in a family environment where it's common for my mother to act cold/uninterested towards my father and there was absolutely no PDA ever. Then when I was older I developed crushes on people of the opposite sex, but my natural response was to act as if I hated them. Last time it happens is when I was 18 years old. I haven't felt any romantic attraction towards anyone ever since. My queerplatonic attractions towards a person of the same sex are normally expressed in a more natural and positive way. 

Interesting. Over the past little while, the perception that someone might be trying to express romantic or sexual interest in me IRL actually makes me angry at them. I then disregard them in a strident and definitive way. That involves avoiding looking at them or hearing what they might say to someone else, or in rare cases walking away from them in silence as soon as I can disengage from them. When I've gotten away from them I stop being angry and rarely think about them again except as random mind-flitting that briefly touches on all kinds of different memories. I never considered that there could be a name for that, but we might fit the same name.

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shirokumo
41 minutes ago, chair jockey said:

Interesting. Over the past little while, the perception that someone might be trying to express romantic or sexual interest in me IRL actually makes me angry at them. I then disregard them in a strident and definitive way. That involves avoiding looking at them or hearing what they might say to someone else, or in rare cases walking away from them in silence as soon as I can disengage from them. When I've gotten away from them I stop being angry and rarely think about them again except as random mind-flitting that briefly touches on all kinds of different memories. I never considered that there could be a name for that, but we might fit the same name.

fandom call it Tsundere...

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chair jockey
1 minute ago, shirokumo said:

fandom call it Tsundere...

I googled that and it's not what I'm talking about. I never warm up to the other person. I just walk away from them and put them out of my mind.

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Moonchaser

I doubt the childhood environment has much effect on one's romantic orientation, though it could certainly have a big impact on how one views the "need" for a traditional relationship. I'm extremely romantic, and though my mom was also, I think, very romantic, I think my dad's display of romantic behavior was just for show, to please her and impress others. (I have sometimes wondered if my mom was also asexual, but by the time I learned what it was, they were both deceased.) So my example, with my mom being quite reserved and introverted and therefore not that demonstrative - though she read romance novels, and considered love relationships important - and my dad's blustery behavior, I doubt that either had any effect on my romantic orientation. They were married a long time, though, so I'm sure that affected my ideas about long term relationships.

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Apathetic Echidna

Maybe without the continued/constant romantic relationship of the people surrounding you, either parents or siblings, you may put less expectations on yourself to develop those feelings. But apart from a possibly lessened drive to fake it until you make it I don't think it really has an effect unless you come from a particularly traumatic home, in that case there would be more issues around social connectivity than romantic orientation 

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Nylocke

My parents are older and while they are married still, they're not very affectionate to each other. They're very old school so they don't believe in PDA or any of that. I don't know to say that it affects whatever my romantic affairs are but I know one thing, I've been chastised a lot of my line of affection and that could also do with the fact that they're very religious too. Like my mom got mad that my boyfriend 1 kissed me in the store and 2 picked me up(like the princess carry or whatever) outside of church. She said that both acts are far beneath her expectations of me and that she raised me better then that. She also said that the picking up thing was wrong because I'm "letting a man get too familiar with my body that I'm not married to". Although I can't ever say I've seen dad lift mom like that so I don't know.

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Gloomy

My parents divorced when I was 7. My mom has been with the same person for 14 years since I was 12(longer than she and and my were married), but my dad still hasn't settled down with anyone. Both sets of my grandparents were also divorced when my parents were young themselves. I learned from a young age that life isn't always like a fairytale where you fall in love with one person and live happily ever after, though I don't think that alone made me aromantic. Plus my sister who was even younger than me when our parents divorced isn't aromantic.

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