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6Unmentionable9

Does infatuation count as romantic attraction?

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6Unmentionable9

I've never actually been in love with a person, but I've been infatuated with them. But does this make me not aromantic?

Love for me is feeling a need to be in a committed relationship with someone, to want to take care of them, but I've never felt that?? But infatuation for me is a feeling of intense affection and it's what I usually feel, and has put me into romantic relationships even if I didn't actually love the person. thoughts?

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Star Bit

Yah, infatuation/intense affection is RA. By definition, yes, that's not Aro. You don't need to want a relationship or typical things for it to be romantic attraction (RA); it's an emotion experienced in a vast array of ways. RA and love are two different things; being in-love happens later.

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Star Bit

Romantic attraction - an emotion; so it doesn't translate well into words, but it can be inadequately put as soft/warm/fuzzy feelings with some degree of fixation (at least in comparison to one's normality with others). This is the base requirement, but some people also have a physical reaction to the feeling and others don’t (i.e. butterflies in their stomach, heart rate increase, blushing, etc. [though those can also be symptoms of platonic nervousness]). Others may react mentally with a dreamy mindset, anxious euphoria, infatuation, romantic fantasies, etc. And others may feel it light enough (compared to the norm) that there is no clear line between crushes and wanting emotional closeness (so if a squish aka friend crush doesn’t go away after the desired bond is reached or sexual/non-platonic desires are present it’s a crush).

 

If someone doesn't react well to a partner's (physical, verbal, emotional) romantic expressions then they either just have low-key relationship preferences (reacting as such to over-reciprocation is normal), don't have a crush on them and are mistaking platonic feelings for romantic (which is a normal reaction to unreciprocation), or are Lithromantic (which may have to do with a negative self-perspective and therapy can help). Partners having different romantic feelings/desires can be a breaking point for many, but it does not mean the low-key person does not feel romantically.

 

But what romantic attraction is NOT is simply having a pull to look at someone due to their beauty and/or mannerisms, wanting a certain level of friendship with someone, thinking their personality is admirable/cool, or thinking "if i was romantic i think i could consent to a relationship with this person [and maybe thinking of how that relationship would function]"

 

Platonic attraction - (aka squish; a play on the romantic word crush, or colloquially known as a friend crush) is the impulse to further know or befriend someone specific. The desired bond can vary from being friends, to close friends, to best friends. It may include nervousness or admirance, and once the desired bond is reached the squish goes away.

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TheAngel(of)Peace
43 minutes ago, Star Bit said:

Romantic attraction - an emotion; so it doesn't translate well into words, but it can be inadequately put as soft/warm/fuzzy feelings with some degree of fixation (at least in comparison to one's normality with others). This is the base requirement, but some people also have a physical reaction to the feeling and others don’t (i.e. butterflies in their stomach, heart rate increase, blushing, etc. [though those can also be symptoms of platonic nervousness]). Others may react mentally with a dreamy mindset, anxious euphoria, infatuation, romantic fantasies, etc.

Would you say romantic attraction requires you to desire a romantic relationship? Because I relate to all of this, but I don't consider myself fully romantic because I don't think I desire a romantic relationship with the object of my affections.

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Sally

Yes, it does.   

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Star Bit

@TheAngel(of)Peace No. Wanting a relationship is separate from romantic attraction; both can exist solo. Some people go "ew, brain, why are you crushing on her/him, they're a B**/[insert other negative quality]". It's still fully a crush. Others go "brain, why aren't you crushing on anyone, i really wanna be in a relationship." Both are romantic people. As i said, all of this comes in a vast variety both emotionally and relationship wise. Some romantics feel this and that, others don't; some romantics want this and that in a relationship, others don't. Some people DO define romantic attraction as wanting a relationship with someone, but I've normally seen this on sites that also include aromanticism, so what they're really doing is reverse-engendering their own definitions and saying Aros can't desire a relationship nor get crushes. Wanting a relationship that has low intensity and no high expectations doesn't mean it's not a relationship. Not wanting a relationship IRL doesn't mean it's not a crush, etc, etc. Though getting crushes and finding it unwanted to ever be in a relationship would fall under Gray-aromantic (virtually being Aro not by choice). Being indifferent of acting on your crush is a different matter and can fall under Gray-romantic (because they can be in a relationship).

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Apathetic Echidna

I agree with everything Star Bit has said. One little thing I feel I should point out is infatuation can be mixed up with possessive obsession. I'm not saying you aren't feeling infatuated, just that there is a similar feeling with a darker tone for lack of a better term but aromantics can feel possessively obsessed, though normally towards something different rather than other people. Everyone, including all the aro-spectrum to Über-romantics not technical term, can experience possessive obsession. 

 

My current favourite definitions of romantic attraction and love are (said by Ice Queen over on Arocalypse):

Romance is attraction. It can happen anywhere, anytime, with anyone. It is spontaneous, random, out of control. It is all about euphoria, adrenaline rush. It is shallow. It ends just under the same circumstances as it can start. Out of the blue.

 

Love is a bond. Born out of friendship. It doesn't "happen", it grows. Over time. It comes out of knowing the person well. Out of knowing that the person deserves it. It never ends. 

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TheAngel(of)Peace
6 hours ago, Star Bit said:

so what they're really doing is reverse-engendering their own definitions and saying Aros can't desire a relationship nor get crushes.

I thought aros didn't desire a romantic relationship? Sure, they can desire a QPR, but that's not really the same thing.

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Star Bit

@TheAngel(of)Peace When most people say relationship they don't mean platonic. Is "Aros can't desire non-platonic partnerships or get crushes" better wording?

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TheAngel(of)Peace
1 hour ago, Star Bit said:

@TheAngel(of)Peace When most people say relationship they don't mean platonic. Is "Aros can't desire non-platonic partnerships or get crushes" better wording?

Wait, I'm confused. Do you think aros can desire romantic relationships and get crushes, or not?

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Star Bit

No. Aros can not desire/feel those things. Aros can only desire platonic partnerships; friends, close friends, best friends, QPR aka bromance.

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Apathetic Echidna
6 hours ago, Star Bit said:

Aros can only desire platonic partnerships

uhhh, I would change this to Aros only desire non-romantic partnerships. Platonic is generally seen as the opposite to sexual rather than the opposite to romantic, and there are plenty of aros who want sexual relationships.

 

@TheAngel(of)Peace When it was said

18 hours ago, Star Bit said:

Some people DO define romantic attraction as wanting a relationship with someone, but I've normally seen this on sites that also include aromanticism, so what they're really doing is reverse-engendering their own definitions and saying Aros can't desire a relationship nor get crushes. 

this is a bad fundamental generalisation of those 'some people' who are making assumptions about understandings of words and believing desiring something in the abstract changes their orientation. If they are out there seeking and acting upon their desire that is different. This is an example of people getting it wrong, because if we expand the concept of wanting a relationship as being romantic attraction these 'some people' have no friends as they are all romantic interests, all career networking connections are also labelled as romantic attraction, any distant or estranged family members that these people want to start a relationship with would also fall under romantic attraction because their general definition is so vague. 

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