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The Aromantic thread


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#1 Doctor Azo

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 08:33 AM

I'm creating this thread in hope that it would be stickied so all us aromantics of any type can have somewhere to stick to ('scuse the pun) when hanging out with fellow aromantics, as well as somewhere for others to study, ask questions, etc. Everyone is welcome and sub-topics are allowed! ;)

I was torn between two forums when deciding where to post this, but the musirants won since I know Zeal promised to sticky this if it was posted here. Of course, you mods and admins can move this later. ;)

What is "aromanticality"?

Akin to asexuality, aromance in my terms means a lack of romantic attraction. Some people who identify as asexual can be romantic of any sort, while some can be aromantic of any sort. Some people who identify as sexual can be romantic of any sort, while some can be aromantic of any sort. Although aromance is generally more common in asexuality than sexuality, they don't necessarily include each other and are certainly not the same.

Aromantics may still experience some other form of attachment or admiration, mostly platonically. Contrary to popular belief, aromantics can still be as emotional as romantics and need just as much empathetic support. What we don't have is romantic attraction, we're indifferent or repulsed by romance towards any gender.

That's more or less my definition, I could be wrong. But that's what this thread is for - discuss aromance and anything alike. :P

Most of us aromantics here are asexual (most regular members here are asexual of some sort anyway), but we could come under just as much (if not more) scrutiny because of false impressions, misunderstandings, plain ignorance and stereo-typing. Also we may come under pressure from those who wish to engage us in a romantic relationship, but with little or no experience, desire and drive as well as no attraction, we often find it difficult and highly stressful. We also like to let others know that we are more or less satisfied with our life-styles and there is more to life than romance.

Am I aromantic?

You might want to dig around first and discuss here, but (for example) I call myself aromantic because I have never been in any romantic relationship before nor actively desire one. I also don't feel romantically attracted towards anyone. I still see beauty and whatnot in others and admire some, but I don't want to whip them away to some candle lit romantic dinner or kiss and cuddle with red hearts flying everywhere. Cuddling pets or your favourite family members can be compared to deep platonic relationships, since it wouldn't be romantic now would it? If you have been in a romantic relationship before but didn't feel comfortable and didn't felt 'attracted' to the idea, then yes you could still be aromantic. Ultimately it's up to you to decide though.

So discuss, befriend, teach, learn, debate, etc here. (And of course, eat lots and lots of cake) :cake:

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#2 dora

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 10:17 AM

So this thread has finally been created! Yay! You deserve a lot of cake for this :cake: :cake: :cake: .
I'll be sure to stick around when others join in.

#3 Tanwen

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:14 PM

This is what I was talking about - a well written post that gives me the information I need to begin to understand. Thank you for starting it off.

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#4 Sciatrix

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:27 PM

Actually, if I remember the biggest poll results correctly, aromantic asexuals are a lot less common on AVEN than romantic asexuals. Food for thought. So aromanticism might be more common within asexuality than in the general population--unfortunately there's really no data to follow up on that--but we're not the majority here, either.

Other than that, it's a pretty good first post. I'm not quite sure a consensus on the definition of aromanticism has been reached, but your definition matches mine pretty well, so I'd be pleased to see it take off.

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#5 Naskweeky

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:41 PM

That was well written. I agree with that definition as well. :cake:
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#6 Gho St Ory Qwan

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:55 PM

EHH??? But-but-but, by that brief definition I might be aromantic!

My deep relationships are kinda like how I am with my beloved pets aha XD Wow... but they seem romantic to me. I hate traditional romantic stuff like the awkward, showy displays of affection. I like cuddling under a blanket watching a film or something or walking holding hands... That seems romantic to me, low key romantic maybe but... is that something some of you identifying as aromantics feel or is mine different?
wow
I want a relationship though. Just not a stupid, showy one. But... when I really love people, I love them very much like how I love my amazing cute little adorable Fegy (hamster) and amazingly awesome little Kitten hehe
XD How strange. I'm going to follow this thread, I was already in need of enlightenment as to what aromantism signified.
Thanks for creating this well needed thread D! :cake: :cake: :cake:
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#7 Guest_fridayoak_*

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:11 PM

You might want to dig around first and discuss here, but (for example) I call myself aromantic because I have never been in any romantic relationship before nor actively desire one. I also don't feel romantically attracted towards anyone. I still see beauty and whatnot in others and admire some, but I don't want to whip them away to some candle lit romantic dinner or kiss and cuddle with red hearts flying everywhere. Cuddling pets or your favourite family members can be compared to deep platonic relationships, since it wouldn't be romantic now would it? If you have been in a romantic relationship before but didn't feel comfortable and didn't felt 'attracted' to the idea, then yes you could still be aromantic. Ultimately it's up to you to decide though.


Yeah I think this might be quite misleading, as I'm romantic but I've never been into the lovey-dovey candles, chocolates, hearts and red roses stuff (and none of my friends are like this too I think). Romance is more a feeling than a way of acting to me, well certainly it's not acting in those stereotypical ways mentioned.

Also most of the time I'm not looking for a relationship, so that complicates things even more but still I wouldn't describe myself as aromantic.

#8 Gho St Ory Qwan

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:23 PM

You're right Fridayoak. Besides it's mostly identification. I look for romance I imagine, just a different type.
Aha that or I'm a romantic Aromantic. Anything goes when you're artist; that's my motto. >.<
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#9 *killer*queen*

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:25 PM

Perhaps a better definition would be that an aromantic does not desire anything more than a platonic relationship with people? That's how I ended up defining it for myself when there wasn't much to go on.
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#10 Lazuli

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:08 PM

I'm very much an aromantic and thanks for this thread. :) I've never been in nor desired to be in any really romantic relationships; the few times I've dated, I've shied away from hugs. ^^; I like the aesthetic beauty in people and things around me, for example: A girl can be amazing creative and beautiful, but I'm not interested in dating or any romantic feelings. I'm more drawn to the effect she has on people around her and how she lives life.
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#11 sonofzeal

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:35 PM

Stickied by request. Let's rock this joint!

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#12 Oro

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 06:30 PM

I am delighted to see this thread! :3 I'm still figuring myself out and probably will be for the forseeable future, but it's looking likely that I'm aromantic *nods*

I haven't ever been in a romantic relationship and can't really envision myself in one. I love my friends, I don't mind personal space invasions, and hugs are an important part of my communication. XD But as Maineiac said, anything beyond platonic... is something I usually don't even think about. <3 I'm not against a romantic involvement, per say, but unless it comes walking over to me and buys me dinner and has the requisite nerd qualities I'm not going hunt it out. Just not my thing. XD

Nice to see that other people have similar experiences! :D
As a 21-year-old I was beginning to feel very self conscious that I hadn't dated anyone (ignoring the self conscious "haven't had sex with anyone" feeling too...). This site has really helped me understand that that's not only okay, but that there are people out there like me! :D

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#13 Doctor Azo

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 07:11 PM

Thanks all, and extra thanks to Zeal since it was his idea - http://www.asexualit...antic-subforum/ :D

If I gain sufficient and more solid/proven information (and enough poking to remind me), I'll update the first post where and when necessary. :cake:

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#14 Verp

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 07:28 PM

Any other people who are downright repulsed by romance and romantic gestures? I am, more so than by purely sex or sexual gestures. Or violence, gore, or messing around with feces, or, well, you get the point. I would rather be raped than forced to act "lovingly" or be the target of intimate "loving" gestures.

Sometimes it feels like romance is a big fat elephant in the room and I'm the only one who notices it. Furthermore, I have very little to address the problems it causes, or even describe it with. With sex, it's easy: if you want to criticise sex, sexual behaviour, erotic media and its effects on young impressionable minds, you name it, you bet you have friends in high places that have already said it better than you have and scientists that have dug into the phenomenon or at least are going to in the near future. With romance? Love? No such luck. I know it exists and it's suffocating, but it's a series of feelings that I don't have, gestures that seem pointless, rules that everyone except me seems to know, and things that are just hard to even describe so other people understand what my gripe with them is. It's breathing down my neck but it feels out of my reach.

It's especially frustrating because a lot of the time people seem to think that aromantic asexuals "don't have problems". I wouldn't have gone close to being a total mental case if I hadn't had problems and yes, I think me being an aromantic asexual was an integral part of the process that lead to that point. I lacked support and the proper tools to express myself when I was in my teens and I was bullied to the point where I started to not care about humanity in general. I've learned a lot since, but I find that while aromanticism is a strong part of my identity, it's one of the things about me that are least welcome.

I guess what I'm trying to describe here is the feeling of being powerless. When people I know fall prey to poor logic thanks to being intoxicated by a crush or whatever, you're expected to understand. When they rearrange their priorities and something you've agreed on falls by a few steps, you're supposed to accept it because it's love or some crap. When a person you know seems to be voluntarily exposing themselves to hurt and disappointment and then go for another helping, you're supposed to be supportive. And heavens help if you actually want to express a distaste of something to do with this thing people call "love" or point out what seems to be the obvious when someone's headed for a doomed relationship -- then you're just being mean. You're automatically someone who's bitter, emotionally impaired, too cynical, or just someone who doesn't know any better. So it's better to just shut up about the things you observe.

Of course, you learn to cope with a lot of things and you learn to accept them too, but sometimes I wonder: why must I? I mean, it seems that the obsession with being super emotional, marrying out of "true love", being very sensitive and open towards everything, putting big assloads of thought into courtship, and caring so damn much about whether the apple of your eye wuvs you back the way you wuv them is a rather new addition to the western society. A lot of cultures seem to have managed pretty well without it, and so did ours until someone decided to glorify the hell out of courting.

End of rant for now.
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Posted 07 August 2010 - 11:58 PM

So we've seen anti-sexuality on Aven, is anti-romance the new craze?

#16 Gho St Ory Qwan

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 12:09 AM

So we've seen anti-sexuality on Aven, is anti-romance the new craze?

For everything loved there's going to be people hating it. That's natural. Isn't it rude to say that? I mean, I know AVENites like a good argument at the best of times... ^-^'
I knew an aromantic who didn't like love, kind words, hugs, kisses, hand shakes; any physical contact in fact. :blink: He felt he didn't belong on Aven because people got funny when he said it. >.<
It must be hard. I mean a lot of romantic asexuals moan about being out-casted...
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#17 Guest_fridayoak_*

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 12:20 AM

You're probably right Qwan, I'm drunk ignore me. But it seems like there was a lot of anit-love (for want of a better word) in Verps post ("love or some crap" etc) and to be honest if I slagged off aromantics in that way I'd probabaly get a warning. I don't mind aromanticism but if it crosses the line into anti-romance then I think that'd cause problems.

#18 Cilas

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:43 AM

But it seems like there was a lot of anit-love (for want of a better word) in Verps post ("love or some crap" etc) and to be honest if I slagged off aromantics in that way I'd probabaly get a warning. I don't mind aromanticism but if it crosses the line into anti-romance then I think that'd cause problems.

Perhaps what will be said can come across as anti- romance, but I think that people have to understand that this, not unlike the response people get from sex continually flaunted in our faces, is a response to people , tv, fiction, everywhere, shoving romance left right and centre as the normal human experience.

Though in my opinion, the difference is, whilst explicit sex can be avoided on tv/normal conversation, romance? - ALOT more difficult to avoid.

Maybe I'm going to sound bitter, maybe I'm going to soun resentful, that's probably because I am.. It continually frustrates me that there are few characters in fiction on tv that I can relate too. It continually frustrates me that there is this seemingly ubuiquitous notion that people need to perform certain rituals and behavioural protocols to be thought of as human (sound familiar?) It frustrates me that people who do not perform said protocols are thought of as losers, as immature, as incomplete, as people needing to be 'fixed'. and it frustrates me that anybody, anybody who so much as even dares try to question romance, who attempts to be objective, who wants to question and thinks that romance has the potential to create rigid gender roles/other related issues which are problematic for everybody involved is immedietely dismissed, and always end up being wrong, punished somehow.

Trust me, look around. See how many characters are allowed to say that they have no interest in looking for a romantic partner, or looking for romance period for whatever reason? 9 times out of 10? They usually end up the following

1. She/he was just out of a bad relationship
2. She/he is just immature and hasn't found the 'right one' yet
3. she/he is just mean/bitter and will never ever be happy with his/her life
4. she/he is just dense/oblivious to her/his own feelings and doesn't know what he/she is talking about.
5. Something is obviously wrong with him/her (i.e traumatic past) and needs to be 'fixed' and learn all the glories of romance

and personally, because of romance, I resent the fact that other relationships between men and women are subsequenlty considered inferior, invalid and illegitimate, because I would love to be able to form the same bond with other guys as well as other women. I find it incredibly disempowering
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#19 corduroyjackalope

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:56 AM

Oh goody! Other aromantics! Hello. I do not like touching of any kind. I rarely enjoy a hug, but I'll do it because everyone else seems to like it. I also think kissing is almost as gross as sex, especially with toung (which I have never done or will ever do!). And holding hands seems restricting. Like you are stuck right there. I do like to be with people, but my brain did not come with the romance software. Or any of that relationship software that goes beyond good friends. Any fantasy about an actor is having a conversation over a cup of coffee. :D The only one I ever cuddle with is my cat!

I don't mind seeing it. One of my favorite pics is that sailor and nurse one. I find some romance in movies even sweet (but I don't like chick flix) The same goes for sex scenes. Some situations can get pretty funny. But about doing anything, I'm repulsed.

So here is a repulsed aromantic repulsed asexual. I am happy to be your friend, but nothing beyond.

Has anyone else tried something romantic (like holding hands) because they thought they wanted to, but then found out that they really did not like it?
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#20 theDC-Ronin

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 07:02 AM

I'm probably an extreme example. I even find the idea of platonic friendship sort of alien. Most of my friendships are on a cerebral, non-emotional level. It's rare for me to have anyone I just like to "hang out" with. I dislike any physical contact (even high fives and handshakes bug me) and a romantic relationships is so completely out of the question it might as well be from another planet. Still, I recognize that I'm the alien here. The vast majority of human beings seem to do just fine with their romantic, sexual, and platonic lives.

I think it's interesting to note that the idea of romantic and sexual orientation not neccesarily being in line is something that sexuals experience too. I know someone who identifes as homosexual and biromantic; he is romantically (but not sexually) attracted to women and both sexually and romantically attracted to men. In that context, being a romantic asexual makes sense, or any combination of sexual or romantic orientations.

But for me: no thanks, and no thanks.
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#21 Sciatrix

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 01:29 PM

It is definitely really, really hard to find media that doesn't involve romance in some way or another, even when a romance isn't actually useful to the story's plot. It's especially bad about movies and music. I am not "repulsed aromantic" at all, and actually enjoy some forms of specifically romance-centered media, but it does get tiring sometimes to have romantic relationships held up as the highest form of social connection all the time. And that perception is everywhere in Western culture, particularly if you're younger.

I've noticed also that when it comes to portrayals of asexuals in popular media, aromantic asexuals seem to be more commonly tagged as "inhuman" in some way than the very, very few romantic asexuals I have seen. That is, the characters I have seen who are often held up as aromantic asexual tend to be aliens (the Doctor, from what I hear), or portrayed as deeply strange, broken, or abnormal in other ways (Sheldon Cooper, early Dexter). Romantic asexuals are much less common, with only a few presented in the text, but they tend to get a more nuanced portrayal. Possibly this is because writers working with romantic asexual characters are more likely to have encountered an asexual community?

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#22 Gho St Ory Qwan

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 02:20 PM

I believe Sheldon is actually meant to be on the autistic spectrum judging by his inability to read hints, or get some figurative terms. So that's slightly different. Doesn't change the fact aromantics asexuals are severely under-represented.
I can't stand romance in films in the (now) traditional sense (like romcoms and crap like that). And you're right, they squidge it into absolutely everything. If a dude goes to space and finds alien blob-like creatures I bet either he falls in love with one of them, one loves him or there's a blob romance for no bloody reason. >.<
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#23 Oka-sama

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 02:29 PM

*gasp* you made a thread! Yay!

At first I called myself heteroromantic because I wanted to cling to the last bit of heteronormalty I had left after discovering I was asexual. But nah, I think I'll just stick with living with my dog. So. ^_^

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#24 Lazuli

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 05:26 PM

Aromantics are definitely not broken in any sense, although as someone pointed out, a lot of media portrayal shows us as such. D: I don't get hints very easily (not even normal ones :D) and romantic ones fly right over my head. Doesn't make me broken, I guess it just is like... my brain simply can't process it. It's not even so much a want or a desire as how the way I am.

:) I like being this way and I can't imagine being any other way. I've never even been able to imagine marriage for myself, my mind blanks out and stuff that's really fantasy-stuff is more easy for me to picture.
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#25 MorbidNerd

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 06:24 PM

I'm fairly new to this site and I am unsure if I would be considered romantic or aromantic, perhaps someone can enlighten me further? I can experience physical attraction (though much less than the average person) even crushes/squishes (not sure which they are actually) and on a rare occassion a desire to get touchy feely (not in a groping sort of way but more like running your hands up their arms feeling their skin, or something like that) . I do not however have any desire for sex, kissing, holding hands, and cannot stand people doting on me. I also really fail to understand the whole ritualized paying for dinner, buying gifts, complementing the other person etc. and have no desire whatsoever to ever get married. But I have been told that I can act a bit flirtatious with the occasional girl that I am attracted to (though my natural nervousness/awkwardness around people sometimes gets mistaken for that also). I hate the amount of romance in films, books and the media, but am not opposed to moderate amounts if it is an integral part of the plot.

#26 AFlyingPiglet

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 06:33 PM

At last - the Aromantic thread. A tiny bit of sanity in a mad mad world.

I've been in several relationships, but I just don't experience romantic attraction - so it's been a little pointless as you always end up living a lie.

As time goes on, I feel more and more that I am viewed as a freak by those who don't understand about aromanticism.

Its nice to see a thread like this just to keep me a little more sane.
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#27 Lunamoth

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 06:38 PM

So we've seen anti-sexuality on Aven, is anti-romance the new craze?


I hope you are not confusing aromantic with anti-romantic. Because I'm aromantic. What the hell is wrong with that?!

I have congratulated Avenites when they find romance and get engaged, married, whateverz. If that's what makes them happy, then cool. I just don't feel romantic towards anyone. I've never fallen in love. Sometimes I wish I could be more romantic, but I don't even know how. If I had a boyfriend I wouldn't know what to do with him. But at least I don't have to deal with the drama and the compromising in relationships, so that's a plus. Yay!
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#28 Guest_fridayoak_*

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 06:57 PM


So we've seen anti-sexuality on Aven, is anti-romance the new craze?


I hope you are not confusing aromantic with anti-romantic. Because I'm aromantic. What the hell is wrong with that?!

nothing at all, I was referring to Verp's post (I just didn't bother quoting). Maybe you should ask Verp the same question.

#29 Haunted Trolley

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 06:57 PM

I am aromantic, due largely to the fact that I've never had any crushes at all. Period. Naturally, loneliness has never been an issue. That alone makes me feel like a FAR more powerful person than just about anyone. 8)
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#30 Cicero

Cicero

    The Atrix Has You

  • AVEN Members
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  • Location:London
  • A/Sexuality:Aromantic Asexual

Posted 08 August 2010 - 07:37 PM

Ooh, aromantics! *waves*

*gasp* you made a thread! Yay!

At first I called myself heteroromantic because I wanted to cling to the last bit of heteronormalty I had left after discovering I was asexual. But nah, I think I'll just stick with living with my dog. So. ^_^

Yeah, that's kind of what I did. I originally identified as heteroromantic when I found AVEN. I'm not repulsed at all (give me a good rom-com any day), and always assumed one day I'd get married and have a family, but while it was a nice idea I realised I'm just not attracted to anyone in that way, just like I'm not attracted to anybody sexually.

The definition of aromanticism in the first post seems pretty accurate to me, though obviously for asexuals (or perhaps I should say it's more easily observable in asexuals) there's a lot more confusion over where the line is between a platonic and a romantic relationship.

I am aromantic, due largely to the fact that I've never had any crushes at all. Period. Naturally, loneliness has never been an issue. That alone makes me feel like a FAR more powerful person than just about anyone. 8)


I wouldn't say loneliness isn't an issue. I don't feel the need for a romantic relationship but I definitely need platonic ones. I know I found it lonely sometimes when I moved to the city I'm currently in for my job, living on my own and not knowing anybody.
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