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windasla

My journey through the aromantic spectrum!

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windasla

So, I decided to write about my experience with aromantic orientations! For some reason. I was never confused about my sexuality, I always just KNEW I'm ace. It really stuck with me. But figuring out my romantic orientation proved to be more difficult. Hopefully, my experience can help someone who's as confused now as I was mere months ago.

 

In May of 2016 I began to identify as an asexual. At this point, there was nothing more to it, but later I discovered the split-attraction model and after some thought, started calling myself asexual and biromantic. My thought process was: I think I had a crush on that one guy in middle school who also played minecraft (ūü§£) and now (high school) I have a crush on that cool girl in my group. A typical bi-romo situation, if you ask me. And that was my identity for a couple of years, until the beginning of 2019.

 

In the first months of 2019 I began to question my romantic orientation again. I finally saw how repulsed I was by romance in media and in fandom: i hated shipping and shippers in general, especially those that insisted their ship was canon, i dislike watching romantic  movies and animated films, much preferring to watch something about platonic love or familial love or literally any other type of love! I read about the aromantic experience and related to it on a very personal level. And what about those two crushes I mentioned earlier? I now saw them as a platonic crush, since I never wanted to kiss them or do anything romantic with them. Only hug and hang out. And so, from that point, I proudly called myself an aroace.

 

What went wrong then? What the hell happened next? Well, this summer and, perhaps, even earlier I started to feel romantic feelings towards my best female friend. And they were intense and it was the first (and as of me writing this post, last) time I felt like this in my entire life! Of course, I was as much confused as any aro, so I made some reddit posts in the r/asexuality and r/actuallesbians asking if my feelings were indeed romantic. And, of course they were. I imagined us kissing, holding hands, cuddling and even having sex. I didn't know what to do with those feelings, it was my first time! So I also decided to talk it out with my therapist, and she helped me a lot. Later I confessed my feelings, so that I wouldn't bottle them up. My friend took it very well. After some thoughts, though, she declined because we live in different countries and she wasn't ready for an LDR. Now, I'm sure I wasn't ready for that, too. But even after I heard her "No" I wasn't that disappointed. We were still friends! Our friendship hasn't suffered because of my feelings at all! What did suffer, however, is how I view myself.

 

Even if I experience what people call "romantic attraction", I was still to scared to call myself an ace lesbian. After all, it was only once on my life and that's it. But calling myself aro-ace wouldn't be entirely correct, either. For now, I decided to settle on the greyromantic-lesbian label. It still is a part of the aro spectrum, which I have become very familiar with and share many struggles with, and it still represents my romantic attraction towards women.
Perhaps,  it's a little bit to specific, and some would even call me a snowflake for this, but it makes me content for now. Knowing that after an entire year of struggling with my identity I found something that suits me! Although, I would still continue to call myself an aroace or an ace-lesbian in most situations, since it's much easier.

 

Well. that's my journey for now! I hoped it could help you in some way or another.
Tell me your stories with the aro spectrum in the comments! I would love to read them!

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frostboot

You always knew you were ace? Sounds like a dream!
I grew up believing that I was within the normal range of feeling both sexual and romantic attraction, and even came to the conclusion that I was bisexual, since I wasn't more into one gender over another. I think the aro wake-up call came when I was around 16-17 and I had a best friend who was very gay. Like he could see a dude on the street and and just fall instantly and miserably in love, and it blew my mind to see how torn-up he could get over someone he had never even met before. I realize that this isn't the norm, even for many romantic people, but it just really put into perspective how crazy different we were. I didn't understand how quickly people seemed able to form relationships and fall in love, and if someone developed feelings for me I was always very uncomfortable. People are so quick to throw romantic love on the table, it blows my mind! Like, we've known each other for a month, do you even know my favorite color?
A bit later I learnt that I am capable of romantic attraction, under certain circumstances that I have yet to figure out since I feel it so rarely and still have a hard time understanding what constitutes it. But I still don't crave a relationship in the same way that most other people seem to. It all seems exhausting to me, I just want the intimacy, trust and friendship without the other stuff around it. 

Don't worry about the people calling you a snowflake, there's no such thing as "too specific" when it comes to labelling yourself. Labels have power and can be both very comforting and strengthening! I'm glad you were able to find one that you feel fits after such a short period of time, many of us spend years and years searching for the right terminology. 

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