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Crimson

Alterous asexuals?

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Crimson

Hey everybody, just wondering if there are any other alterous people here?

For those who haven't heard of it, alterous attraction is a sort of gray area between platonic and romantic attraction. It's defined as "described as wanting emotional closeness without necessarily being (at all or entirely) platonic &/or romantic". You can have a romantic or platonic orientation and be alterous. For example, I'm grey-romantic but pan-alterous.

For me, being alterous means that when I meet someone new, I don't necessarily have the "oh you're cool, let's be friends" reaction. It's more of a "oh wow, I feel this super cool emotional connection with you, can I get to know you more and make that stronger?". All of my friendships are really emotions-based and deeper in a lot of ways than typical friendships. I guess it's sort of like the emotional closeness of a romantic relationship, but with the physical aspects of a platonic one.

So what about you? Are you alterous? And if so, what's your experience with it? I've never met another alterous person, and there's not a super big internet community for us, and I guess I'd just really like to meet someone else who understands what I feel.

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Amy Ghost

Hulloo!

Yup, I am, or at least it fits me most in my view. Poly-Alterous. And my experience with it? Well, it can be rather confusing, more so when I'm limited in some feelings departments. It's like if i meet someone special, which happens very rarely, the emotional closeness is most important to me and I want it most and really cherrish it. As for the physical side, well, that is different, and it doesn't help that I'm touch averse, but even so, it's not that important, not to me. And it's confusing because even now I'm sometimes asking myself what it is I really want, though less than before. And it may fluctuate, like it goes more to the aromantic side. For now I think maybe a QPR may be the best for me, if I ever will find someone I'd like a relationship. So yea, the emotinal part is the most important and want it to be deep, like in the past once. Though it also doesn't helo to be so naive XD Oh well. So yea, hope this makes sense, I'm not good at explaining my feelings one bit.

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AlwaysADreamer

I've been thinking that I'm pan-alterous for a while now, I just haven't seen much about it to fully see if I identify with it. Some sort of close relationship is definitely desirable (though I'd also be fine without one), and I would be happy with it being platonic, romantic, or somewhere in between. Does that sound alterous?

For me, being alterous means that when I meet someone new, I don't necessarily have the "oh you're cool, let's be friends" reaction. It's more of a "oh wow, I feel this super cool emotional connection with you, can I get to know you more and make that stronger?".

I totally get that. If I meet someone who I feel there is an emotional connection to, I could spend hours just talking to them and getting to know them. I've only done this a couple of times though, because I don't get that feeling often and I'm quite shy anyway, but there have been a few people who I literally just met and I stay up all night talking to - which is a big deal because I'm shy (like I said) and I value my sleep :P

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Qutenkuddly

For those who haven't heard of it, alterous attraction is a sort of gray area between platonic and romantic attraction. It's defined as "described as wanting emotional closeness without necessarily being (at all or entirely) platonic &/or romantic".

For my understanding, what would be the precise difference between an alterous relationship and, say, a strong friendship?

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Amy Ghost

For those who haven't heard of it, alterous attraction is a sort of gray area between platonic and romantic attraction. It's defined as "described as wanting emotional closeness without necessarily being (at all or entirely) platonic &/or romantic".

For my understanding, what would be the precise difference between an alterous relationship and, say, a strong friendship?

Not a strong one, but a fully romantic/platonic one. If you're alterous you can't say you're fully romantic/platonic, it doesn't seem right, you don't feel it that way.

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Crimson

I've been thinking that I'm pan-alterous for a while now, I just haven't seen much about it to fully see if I identify with it. Some sort of close relationship is definitely desirable (though I'd also be fine without one), and I would be happy with it being platonic, romantic, or somewhere in between. Does that sound alterous?

For me, being alterous means that when I meet someone new, I don't necessarily have the "oh you're cool, let's be friends" reaction. It's more of a "oh wow, I feel this super cool emotional connection with you, can I get to know you more and make that stronger?".

I totally get that. If I meet someone who I feel there is an emotional connection to, I could spend hours just talking to them and getting to know them. I've only done this a couple of times though, because I don't get that feeling often and I'm quite shy anyway, but there have been a few people who I literally just met and I stay up all night talking to - which is a big deal because I'm shy (like I said) and I value my sleep :P

I understand where you're coming from. I haven't really seen a lot of information on alterous attraction either. From your second description though, I'd say you sound sort of like how I feel. When I feel that connection, it's like this nervousness I had about meeting new people instantly stops. If you feel like identifying as alterous fits you best, then go for it!

For my understanding, what would be the precise difference between an alterous relationship and, say, a strong friendship?

Not a strong one, but a fully romantic/platonic one. If you're alterous you can't say you're fully romantic/platonic, it doesn't seem right, you don't feel it that way.

Like Amy said. For me, I'd say I have a few alterous relationships with members of my sorority family. They're definitely not romantic, and I couldn't think of them in a romantic way if I tried. But they're incredibly emotionally close, and when I'm apart from them, I miss them so much it drives me crazy. There's this level of commitment I have to them that I don't have with most of my other friends. It's like how I hear romantic partners feel, at least emotionally, about each other, even though my relationships with them are in no way romantic.

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Qutenkuddly

I'm afraid I'm still unclear as to what the difference between an alterous relationship and strong friendship would be.

In other news, as this thread appears to be discussing a possible orientation, I am moving it from Intersectionality to Romantica and Aromantic Orientations.

Qutenkuddly

Intersectionality Moderator

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Miav-desu

is it the same as being wtf romantic??

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Crimson

I'm afraid I'm still unclear as to what the difference between an alterous relationship and strong friendship would be.

I'm not exactly an expert on this, since I'm rather new and there's not a lot of information, but I'd say the difference between a strong friendship and an alterous relationship is that a strong friendship does not need to have the level of emotional closeness that many alterous people feel. I know many people who have strong friendships without a necessarily close emotional bond. Also, the difference being that for an alterous person, calling their alterous relationships merely strong friendships just feels inadequate. My alterous relationships do not feel well defined by calling those people "my best friends". Because they're more than that.

is it the same as being wtf romantic??

No. While there may be alterous individuals who are wtf romantic, it is not a prerequisite. I can tell the difference between platonic and romantic attraction, but I also have a third attraction, alterous attraction. This attraction for me is an "I want to know you. I want you to be someone I can depend on, share my feelings with and keep in my life, and I want you to feel comfortable to do the same with me".

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Goldfinch

I've never heard the term alterous but I think I might be one. :)

Just for clarification, it means you want to be emotionally close to someone? As in you want to get to know someone inside and out, but not necessarily date them or do other romantic things with them?

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Crimson

I've never heard the term alterous but I think I might be one. :)

Just for clarification, it means you want to be emotionally close to someone? As in you want to get to know someone inside and out, but not necessarily date them or do other romantic things with them?

That's been my experience with it ^_^

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Miav-desu

I'm afraid I'm still unclear as to what the difference between an alterous relationship and strong friendship would be.

is it the same as being wtf romantic??

No. While there may be alterous individuals who are wtf romantic, it is not a prerequisite. I can tell the difference between platonic and romantic attraction, but I also have a third attraction, alterous attraction. This attraction for me is an "I want to know you. I want you to be someone I can depend on, share my feelings with and keep in my life, and I want you to feel comfortable to do the same with me".

So its like attraction to be emotionally close with people or be comitted to people or both in one?

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FoxEars

OH MY GOD THERE'S A WORD FOR IT :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D this is so exciting

^ FoxEars ^

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Goldfinch

I've never heard the term alterous but I think I might be one. :)

Just for clarification, it means you want to be emotionally close to someone? As in you want to get to know someone inside and out, but not necessarily date them or do other romantic things with them?

That's been my experience with it ^_^

Ok cool! I'm so excited that there's actually a word for it! :D

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Wonderfulthings

I stil think it sounds like close, committed relationships or best friends. My mum had this friend - they also lived together as students - where she said that "apart from no sexual attraction it was almost like being in love". This friend is also the only person who used to send me birthday greetings every year until she died, as if she was my relative. My younger sister has a bond to another girl - they have called themselves friends, sisters, partners - that is very close, they bought an appartment together and very often socialize together. But sure, there should be a seperate word for those very close friendships.

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Crimson

I'm afraid I'm still unclear as to what the difference between an alterous relationship and strong friendship would be.

is it the same as being wtf romantic??

No. While there may be alterous individuals who are wtf romantic, it is not a prerequisite. I can tell the difference between platonic and romantic attraction, but I also have a third attraction, alterous attraction. This attraction for me is an "I want to know you. I want you to be someone I can depend on, share my feelings with and keep in my life, and I want you to feel comfortable to do the same with me".

So its like attraction to be emotionally close with people or be comitted to people or both in one?

It's an attraction where you want to be emotionally close to the person. You can be committed in any relationship, just as you can be uncommitted in any relationship. Whether the relationship is platonic, romantic or alterous doesn't really determine how committed those involved are to each other.

I stil think it sounds like close, committed relationships or best friends. My mum had this friend - they also lived together as students - where she said that "apart from no sexual attraction it was almost like being in love". This friend is also the only person who used to send me birthday greetings every year until she died, as if she was my relative. My younger sister has a bond to another girl - they have called themselves friends, sisters, partners - that is very close, they bought an appartment together and very often socialize together. But sure, there should be a seperate word for those very close friendships.

It's up to whoever is in those relationships to determine how they want to label them. Both those bonds sound absolutely awesome, and I'm glad those people could find so much joy in one another, whatever term they used. For some, best friends describes them well, for others, they choose alterous relationships, still others use queerplatonic relationship, and there's probably others who don't feel their relationship is described best by any of these. Using the term "alterous relationship" is just an attempt for some people to put a word to what they're already experiencing.

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Dodecahedron314

Hmm...still not sure what the difference is between this and a QP relationship, because those seem similar to me, at least from my own personal QP experience. The way I see it is this: When I see someone and want to become friends with them because they seem like an interesting person, that's platonic attraction. But not every friendship has the end goal of a QPR, so what about wanting a QPR with someone as opposed to "just" friendship (ugh I hate that terminology, but anyway)? That seems more like the definition of alterous attraction that's being used here, although again, I'd like to add a massive disclaimer that this is based solely upon my experiences being in a QPR. I understand that these definitions vary from person to person, as pointed out in the previous post, but I'm just trying to ascertain whether or not this could have a certain level of redundancy (note: that's not in any way intended to offend anyone who experiences alterous attraction and/or is in an alterous relationship--if you are, good for you!--this is just genuine curiosity and perhaps trying to figure out a little bit more about myself).

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SpeckledAngel

Alterous hasn't been much discussed on the web - mostly it's just this definition, repeated or slightly reinterpreted, and people who identify with it answering as authorities: ​

Alterous: experiences attraction that can only be described as a desire for emotional closeness because neither romantic or platonic attraction is accurate, is intended to be used in place of romantic or platonic.* for example someone may identify as bi-alterous, poly-alterous, homo-alterous, etc. (*note: a person who IDs this way may experience varying degrees of attraction that is identifiable as romantic or platonic but ultimately feel discomfort / unease / or just a sense of inaccuracy in calling it wholly romantic or platonic)

I've seen it described as wanting to know someone's soul or desiring a QPR with them. I see it as one type of QP attraction :)

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Crimson

Hmm...still not sure what the difference is between this and a QP relationship, because those seem similar to me, at least from my own personal QP experience.

I do believe they're very similar. I think the underlying difference is not in what the relationship looks like on the outside, but rather in what sort of underlying attraction the relationship is based on.

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Zorc

I am indeed familiar with this 'alterous'. By definition it's what I feel for my favourite human.

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Purnkin Spurce

I would say I am grey alterous? I have been looking for a name for those feelings for a while now. I tend to want/develop emotional closeness with friends and crave it for future relationships. With friendships I crave emotional connection but no necessarily showing/receiving physical affection.

I experience this more with platonic friends only once in my life have I had real feelings for someone that goes beyond platonic and it's the real deal romantic love and sensual attraction.

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Star Bit

(warning, i am not mad at the OP, i am mad that everyone keeps finding the need to lable every little thing when pointless things are my pet peeve; next thing you know there's going to be an orientation for straight women who fap to gay porn)

What you described has already had a title since the beginning of time. It's called a close friend. What is described as alterous is just a squish/platonic attraction, google it. So what if you have close friends; that's great and all and i do too, but we don't need an orientation title for something as common as a best/close friend. Everyone has their own differing closeness with friends; some people prefer to only have close friends and that's perfectly normal. Not to mention every time i see alterous used I'm seeing people stretch its meaning even more. The creator said it was to be used in equivalence with crushes, so it would not apply to simply wanting close relationships with most/all of your friends.

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ChillaKilla

I am one of the most label-positive people in my group of friends (if not THE most), but this seems like an unnecessary term.

I don't think you need a term to say you want an emotional connection with somebody. Just say it. It's not like this is something that few people experience, most everybody does.

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aeronaut

So.. is this just another word for queerplatonic? Except this describes an attraction that motivates wanting a queerplatonic relationship, whereas queerplatonic describes the relationship itself? I'm pretty sure there already was some other word for that invented somewhere, but I can't remember.

Either way, I do sort of identify with this kind of attraction, but personally I'll stick to identifying as greyromantic, as for me, experiencing attraction that is not quite platonic but not quite romantic either played a huge part in identifying as greyro.

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Rising Sun

I don't see how QP and "alterous" are the same. QP is still 100% platonic, even when it doesn't always look platonic from the outside. "Alterous" can cover unconventional romance, or cases where people feel too uncomfortable to call their attraction "romantic", or cases where there is some romance but not enough to call the relationship fully romantic. But not QP.

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Star Bit

Then that's just called a relationship anarchist; if i understand the term correctly. Secondly, no, it's not to describe a romantic relationship, it's to describe a desire for emotional closeness; strictly an emotion, with someone specific while they aren't comfortable calling it romantic or platonic (for whatever reason).

Not to mention altrois's definition is virtually the same thing as the first type of QPR; a closeness with someone or holding an importance for someone above the best friend norm.

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aeronaut

I don't see how QP and "alterous" are the same. QP is still 100% platonic, even when it doesn't always look platonic from the outside. "Alterous" can cover unconventional romance, or cases where people feel too uncomfortable to call their attraction "romantic", or cases where there is some romance but not enough to call the relationship fully romantic. But not QP.

There are people in QPR's who describe their relationship in the same ways as you describe alterous relationships. It's up to the people in the relationship what to call it and what their relationship consists of. QPR's are definitely not always 100% platonic, not in the behaviour nor in the involved attractions. It covers a wide range of different relationships, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to apply such a strict definition to it.

Also, since alterous is a pretty new term I'm not even sure if there are any people out there who define their relationship as alterous, so for now I don't think it makes sense to come up with a description of alterous relationships yet.

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Rising Sun

There are people in QPR's who describe their relationship in the same ways as you describe alterous relationships. It's up to the people in the relationship what to call it and what their relationship consists of. QPR's are definitely not always 100% platonic, not in the behaviour nor in the involved attractions. It covers a wide range of different relationships, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to apply such a strict definition to it.

The definition you give is much more recent than mine. The definition I give was the definition used 2 or 3 years ago. After, if some people (usually from Tumblr) want to have another personal definition of the word, they can, but it's sad to see how their definition manages to spread and ruin what "QP" originally meant. If there are romantic feelings in a "QP", I'd prefer seeing people using "alterous" or even better "romantic friendship" ("romantic friendship" exists for a very long time, so it would be the best choice of words IMO) to seeing them using another word that didn't have the same meaning at the start.

After, personally, I don't know if "alterous" is really useful, as it's the same as "romantic friendship".

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aeronaut

There are people in QPR's who describe their relationship in the same ways as you describe alterous relationships. It's up to the people in the relationship what to call it and what their relationship consists of. QPR's are definitely not always 100% platonic, not in the behaviour nor in the involved attractions. It covers a wide range of different relationships, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to apply such a strict definition to it.

The definition you give is much more recent than mine. The definition I give was the definition used 2 or 3 years ago. After, if some people (usually from Tumblr) want to have another personal definition of the word, they can, but it's sad to see how their definition manages to spread and ruin what "QP" originally meant. If there are romantic feelings in a "QP", I'd prefer seeing people using "alterous" or even better "romantic friendship" ("romantic friendship" exists for a very long time, so it would be the best choice of words IMO) to seeing them using another word that didn't have the same meaning at the start.

After, personally, I don't know if "alterous" is really useful, as it's the same as "romantic friendship".

I am not even giving a definition though... I don't think it makes much sense to apply very strict definitions to all these terms, since they are all still very new and people in QPR's are mostly just figuring everything out for themselves instead of having a certain narrative to follow. So honestly, there is no "original meaning" of a QPR, it's just what people make it out to be. As long as for them, "romantic relationship" doesn't apply, they're free to call it a queerplatonic relationship. Examples of QPR's where romantic feelings are involved, would be, among others, when one partner has romantic feelings and another does not; they're quoiromantic; they're aroflux; they're somewhere else on the greyro spectrum. And it's up to those people whether they want to call it romantic anyway, or queerplatonic, or alterous, or nothing at all.

Words in general don't have very strict definitions, anyway. I mean, you might for example describe a bird as a living creature with two legs, wings and feathers that can fly. However, there are also birds that can't fly, so they don't fit that definition you'd generally think of when you think of a bird, but they're still a bird. Or take a tomato, for example. Some people would classify it as a vegetable, others as a fruit. And these are all nouns that are generally easily to understand, yet they have vague boundaries. Words like asexual or queerplatonic etc. are much more abstract, so the boundaries of these words are gonna be even fuzzier. (That obviously doesn't mean there is not a point where you clearly are not within the boundaries, though. It just means that there are plenty of cases where it isn't all that clear where you fall. And that goes for plenty of words and categories).

In other words: definitions are mostly descriptive, not prescriptive. (also, I hope this is still understandable. It's very clear to me as a linguist, but sometimes I'm not very good at explaining what I mean).

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Rising Sun

As you said, if "romantic relationship" doesn't apply, it can be queerplatonic. The problem is that some people call relationships where romantic feelings are weaker "queerplatonic" and try to differentiate them from other platonic relationships emotionally. If there is some romance in the relationship, as strong or as weak as these romantic feelings can be, by definition it isn't platonic, and queerplatonic is 100% platonic emotionally speaking.

Something platonic is something where romance is excluded. If it's romantic, no matter how ambiguously or not, it isn't platonic ; if it's platonic, it isn't romantic at all.

Otherwise, if there is some tolerance for romance in platonic relationships, then aromantics who don't want romance have no word to define what kind of relationship they want. And it's a problem then. It's better that people who experience relationships "in between" use their own words (romantic friendship, alterous, etc.)

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