Because nobody sent me questions (I’m looking at you twitter folks. No hard feelings :P), I’m just going to answer all the questions I ask myself way too often and then answer them too (because why not). The reason for me doing this Q&A is because I think aromanticism is relatively unknown and though it is part of the LGBT+ spectrum, it gets little attention. When I asked whether people would be interested in reading this Q&A 28% did not even know what it was. So it is time!
[note: I am writing about what aromanticism means to me and if you experience it some other way, I am not devaluing that. This post is about my experiences, but feel free to let me know your experiences in the comments!]
What Is Aromanticism?
Aromanticism or being aromantic or for short aro, is the lack of romantic feelings or attraction towards any gender. Don’t confuse this with asexuality (shortened as ace), which is the lack of sexual attraction.
And if you are now wondering about all these types of attractions, let me explain it to you real quick. Romantic attraction is for most people hard to distinguish from sexual attraction, but overall, romantic attraction is when you want to be close to someone, to have a relationship with someone. Sexual attraction can be completely separate from this, and basically, you want to have sex with that person. There is also aesthetical attraction, which is that you’re attracted to the way someone looks. So like, you see someone on the street and think “whoa they look nice”.
What are grey romanticism and demi romanticism?
Both are two distinctions within the aromanticism spectrum. Grey romantic means that you experience romantic attraction but only very rarely. Demi romanticism means that before you can develop romantic feelings for someone, you have to be really close to that person. I don’t think I am either of them, at least not demi.
What do I experience? What’s my sexuality?
Since somewhere in the end of 2016, I have started to identify myself as aromantic/asexual. Meaning, I don’t experience sexual or romantic attraction. I have never ever had a crush on someone. I have never been in love. I have never wanted to be in a relationship, at least not seriously (you know when you’re 12 and all your friends have boyfriends and you just want to belong, back then I wanted a boyfriend).
You’re always expected to care about boys as a girl and I never did, you’re always expected to want to have a boyfriend (I’m not saying a girlfriend wasn’t an option, but that wasn’t really expected). For a while, the idea of a boyfriend was really something that I wanted, but then I mean it quite literally. THE IDEA. When I actually got a boyfriend, it freaked me out. I didn’t feel comfortable at all. I didn’t feel about him the same way he felt about me and I hated it, so I ended it really quick. Since then I have never wanted to be in a relationship again and I am very happily single, aromantic and asexual.
So, you’ll never fall in love?
NOPE NOPE NO (to the second part). I hate that the whole freaking world lives and breathes the idea that you need romantic love to be happy. It makes me feel like my feelings are not good enough. My happiness is equally valuable as the happiness of someone who is in love and wants to get married etc.
To people that think that “I just need to wait, because when I fall in love I’ll know”, I’m NOT BROKEN. I DON’T NEED TO BE FIXED (
sorry not sorry for yelling). Who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love in 5 years and want to live with them and have a relationship, but that seems at this point in my life very unlikely. Just because I identify as aromantic right now in my life, does not mean that it won’t change.
What is worst about this, is the insecurity. Can I identify as aromantic if I’m not 100% sure?? But you can never prove a negative (that’s logic, guys). If I have never experienced attraction, then how can I know for sure that I’ll never experience it in the future? You don’t. However, since I haven’t experienced it for the past 21 years, I’m pretty sure I won’t experience it, I wouldn’t say for the rest of my life, but for a long time.
Would you come out as aromantic to family and friends?
I’m not sure how common it is to come out as aromantic, but I feel that for me it isn’t really necessary. In the phase in my life, I am in now, having a relationship isn’t that important to a lot of people so nobody really questions it (I think). My friends kind of know about my feelings, but I haven’t really given it a name or anything. They just know I’m not interested in a relationship. My family is a different story. I’m not good at talking to them so I don’t think I’d be able to discuss such difficult topics with them.
How do you then feel about other people being in a relationship?
I really don’t mind. If one of my friends fall in love, I cheer for them because I’m a decent person and I am honestly happy for them. If being in a relationship makes someone a happier person, then good for them! As long as I don’t have to be in it 😛
The same holds for romance in books, only then it annoys me a little if the only thing that the relationship is built upon is attraction (because I cannot possibly relate). But if the romance is not the main focus of the book and it has chemistry and spark, I’m all up for it.
I also have nothing against people having sex. If they’re both consenting adults, then who am I to deny them something they like?
[sidenote: throughout typing this entire thing, Grammarly keeps telling me aromantic is not a word and it’s driving me crazy]
Recommendations of Aromanticism Representation in Fiction and TV
I think that were enough questions for now haha but if you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. If I get enough questions, I might do a part 2, and otherwise I can answer them in the comments 🙂
But before I go I want to give some recommendations for aro-spec characters in books and tv-shows/movies.
- Cal from Claudie Arsenault’s series City of Spires – Recommended by me
- Annie from RoAnna Sylver’s The Lifeline Signal – Recommended by Claudie Arsenault
- Arèn from Lynn E. O’Connacht’s A Promise Broken – Recommended by Claudie Arsenault
- Paks from Elizabeth Moon’s series The Deed of Paksenarrion – Recommended by Antitonic (@TrueAntitonic on twitter)
- Es from the webcomic Mistlands by Laya – Recommended by Elke (@madebyberoyal on twitter)
- Abed from the sitcom Community – Recommended by EE Falyss (@EmonEconomist on twitter)
- I’ve personally always thought Sun from the tv series Sense8 was aromantic but even though it’s not canon, I’m including it in this list anyway (since I take every opportunity I get to recommend Sense8!)
- I also have a short list of aromantic and asexual representation on goodreads, but most of the books on there I haven’t read yet.
If you noticed anything wrong in my terminology, please let me know!