Aromanticism: Answering All The Questions You Probably Wanted To Ask But Didn’t.

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!]

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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? That’s sad.

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]

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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.

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If you noticed anything wrong in my terminology, please let me know!

Was this interesting? Do you have more questions? Do you relate to anything I’ve said? Do you know any aromantic characters (any favourites maybe)?

18 thoughts on “Aromanticism: Answering All The Questions You Probably Wanted To Ask But Didn’t.

  1. I honestly couldn’t think of any when you asked on Twitter 😦 But now that I’m reading this: What do you look for in aro-spec characters and book/ movies with them in? Good rep vs bad rep? (obviously the whole pity that they’ll never know love or never be happy because of that is bad)
    Loved your post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s okay! I think for writing aro rep there are a few things (for me) important:
      1. Feeling out of place when people talk about romance and boy/girlfriends and things like that
      2. Not being able to relate to people expressing romantic feelings/attraction
      3. Feeling that societal pressure to be romantic but don’t understanding why you don’t fit in that “normal” view. Like, asking yourself if you’re weird for not wanting romance and overall a lot of questioning and wondering haha
      4. Being very independent I think? But maybe that’s just me.
      5. Just overall having a different view on life, because if I think about the future, I don’t see the husband+wife+kids+dog kind of thing.
      I haven’t read any particularly bad rep yet so I don’t really know. The only thing that is done too much with aromantic (usually not openly or maybe even unconsciously aro) characters is to make them cold and unfeeling. Just because we’re not attracted to people, doesn’t make us cold unfeeling people 🙂
      I hope that cleared some things up!
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading this because I hate how society just jumps on people to be in relationships and when we’re not we’re automatically not happy. I’m perfectly happy being single, I have been for a long time. Like you, when I had my first (if you want to call it) “boyfriend” at 13 I backed out in three days because I couldn’t find the appeal in it. I’ve grown to find more of an appeal to it over the years, but at the same time I have no problem with it just being me. I just think it’s not for everyone, we’re all different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you feel the same way! Definitely, we’re all different and we should appreciate those differences instead of trying to straighten them out by “pushing” us to be the same as others.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m really happy you wrote this post. It’s true what you say, it seems like a lot of people think you are not ‘normal’ when you don’t want to be in a relationship. I’m seventeen, and I haven’t had a boyfriend. I am really okay with it, I’ve never felt ready or comfortable enough. I don’t need one to be happy, as well. I’m perfectly fine with my life at the moment. It’s true that society puts that kind of pressure on you, though. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely okay, I always hated that “you’re [some age], you should have had a boyfriend by now”-feeling, it’s so annoying because, no, you don’t need to have had a boyfriend by a certain age. If you’re not interested in relationships at any age, that’s okay. I’m glad you found it interesting! Thank you! Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! And yes, it’s so stupid that society makes you, having had a boyfriend, more interesting, apparantly. When I do get in a relationship, I at least want it to mean something. I can’t stand superficial relationships, it doesn’t to anyone any good, in my opinion 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhh I didn’t see anything on Twitter! I’m so annoyed, I would have commented or something!!
    But great post Lia, it was very interesting and engaging. I personally don’t know anything about aromanticism and you explained everything perfectly. It’s so disappointing how society always has to force this ideal on people that they need to be in a relationship/be in love to be happy, when it is not true at all.
    Also, I have never come across an aro character in a novel before and that’s so shameful. It’s disappointing that people are unable to see themselves in the pages of book. Without representation I would never have understood my own bisexuality. We need more representation in our media from the – I hate describing it like this – “lesser known” parts of the LGBTQ spectrum. It kind of feels like aro/ace people are not given as much space in the community. Do you feel like that?
    I went through your list on Goodreads and I’m glad to see 27 Hours is on that list! I have an ARC of that and I’m super excited to read it!! Also Tash Hearts Tolstoy looks amazing, I need to get my hands on a copy of that book!!
    I have one question even though you briefly touched on it, and feel free not to answer if you find it offensive, but what’s it like reading romance novels? Do you find them engaging or boring/annoying? It only just struck me now how much romance is saturated in YA novels. (I really hope my question doesn’t offend you, I spent like 5 mins trying to figure out how to word it properly but feel free to tell me to piss off if it does 😊)
    Great post!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holy moly what a long comment haha
      It’s okay that you didn’t see it, nothing you can do about that haha (unless you plan on stalking me on twitter now, please don’t do that).
      It’s definitely shameful, I think it would have really helped me come to terms with my sexuality and I think many teens can benefit from seeing themselves represented in books. It definitely is one of the “lesser known” parts of the LGBT+ spectrum and it really shouldn’t be. Hmm, I don’t know, I don’t really feel like I’m a part of the LGBT+ community. I don’t know whether that’s because they’re not really welcoming or anything or that it’s just me. I do feel like they should be more welcoming though to people who do really want to feel like they’re part of the community. I don’t really feel that need.
      I also have an ARC of 27 Hours and I’m reading it right now so I’m excited to see some ace rep!!!
      It’s not at all offensive! Firstly, I don’t read a lot of romance books, I pretty much avoid them. But when I do read about romance in books, I usually find it quite engaging, I don’t hate it. It’s just that I want there to be more than just romance. If there really is a connection between the characters (and not just attraction), I really can be into it! I also ship plenty of characters so yeah I don’t mind. I do really like it when a book does not involve romance, I love it when they don’t but I also like them when they do, you know? I hope that clarified some things…
      Thank you for your comment and thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for answering my question!! I totally get you on the romance in books!
        That’s very interesting on the LGBTQ community. I struggle to feel as though I’m a part of it at times, even though I know a lot of people are very welcoming.
        thank you again for clarifying Lia! 😊 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post! I didn’t know much about aromanticism, so this post was very helpful and very interesting! Like thebookcorps asks in the above comment, I’d also like to know what it’s like for you to read a book or see a movie with an element of romance and / or sex in it. If you don’t mind talking about that, that is. Because so many books and movies have those elements in them and unfortunately there isn’t a lot of aro and ace representation, I think there should be more. I’ve added City of Strife to my wishlist.
    It’s true that society puts a lot of pressure on people being more happy in a relationship. Just like it sometimes puts pressure on people having to have children, which is something I don’t want personally.
    You have me wondering if I might be demi-romantic, because I need to know a person a lot better before I can really like them as a romantic interest (if that’s the right way to word it). I’m currently in a wonderful relationship and have been for over ten years (I’m a woman in my thirties) and as a teenager I was in a relationship with my ex. In both cases I became friends with the guy first and spent a lot of time with them before I got romantically interested in them. I don’t have crushes and don’t understand why people can like someone if they’ve only seen them once or twice. I can’t imagine liking someone romantically without becoming friends with them first. I always thought this was just a weird quirck I had, but perhaps I’m not the only one that feels this way (at least, if I understand your post correctly). Do you think I might be demi-romantic? Also, do you know of a good website that explains different orientations? I mean, if you have any you could recommend me and it isn’t too much of an effort, I’d love to know.
    Thanks again for this post, I found it very informative and great to hear what your aromanticism means to you :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thank you! (Since you have the same question, I’m just going to copy the same answer I gave thebookcorps if you don’t mind) I don’t read a lot of romance books, I pretty much avoid them. But when I do read about romance in books, I usually find it quite engaging, I don’t hate it. It’s just that I want there to be more than just romance. If there really is a connection between the characters (and not just attraction), I really can be into it! I also ship plenty of characters so yeah I don’t mind. I do really like it when a book does not involve romance, I love it when they don’t but I also like them when they do, you know? I hope that clarified some things… I don’t know how I feel about sex in books and movies though, it always feels very unnecessary and kind of awkward to watch.
      I think there’s a good chance you’re demi-romantic, it certainly sounds like it! I used mainly this website: http://wiki.asexuality.org/Main_Page but it doesn’t have a lot of information on demiromantics, so if you want to read more about that, you might be interested in reading this article/post https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-for-someone-to-identify-as-demiromantic
      I hope you’ll find them useful and good luck on everything. Thank you so much!

      Like

  6. Great post, and thank you so much for those recommendations! The only book I can think of with an aro character i Truth or Dare by Non Pratt (one of the side characters is ace and aro) but I’d really like to read more. *nods* I’m still figuring out my sexuality — for a while now I’ve thought I might be grey-asexual, since I’ve never had a crush and I don’t really know if I’ve experienced attraction?? IT IS ALL VERY CONFUSING. OH WELL. I have time, and it’s cool if I don’t ever figure it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just got Truth or Dare and it’s really high up my tbr! Being aro/ace is so confusing! You have no idea how many times I’ve wondered and then changed my mind and then wondered again. It’s just so hard to be certain about anything, you know? I hope you figure it out in the end or at least get rid of that confusion!

      Liked by 1 person

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