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 How do you know you are aromantic?

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TSD



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Join date : 2010-08-23

PostSubject: How do you know you are aromantic?   Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:29 am

How does one know they have an absence of something? In the case of asexuality, I see/hear people talk about sex in ways I don't understand, and the idea that they have some kind of compelling and strange "sexual attraction" seems to explain that, so identifying as asexual seems to make sense.

With romantic attraction it doesn't seem quite so clear to me. I think a lot of this is because I still enjoy people's company, sometimes to the point where I get excited at the thought of seeing them again, or where they are on my mind far more often than seems logical. If that feeling was stronger, I could see it leading to all the behaviors that romantic attraction supposedly causes. Because of this, I wonder if some of my more intense friendships aren't really romantic feelings.

When I ask romantic (and usually sexual) people about how they know whether they are feeling love or "just" strong friendship, they almost always respond "you just know". Since I obviously have a lot of doubt as to whether or not I've felt love, by their logic I must be aromantic.

What about all of you? Why do you identify as aromantic? How do you know other people feel some kind of "romantic" attraction that you do not? (And if you are romantic, how do you know whether you are in love or really strong friendship?)
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Isaac



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:43 pm

For sexual attraction, I realized that there must be something in most people urging them to have sexual relations. Something on top of libido, since libido is fully satisfied by masturbation, and on top of attractiveness, since this attracted not only their look, but their whole body to mate. What is required to do for having sex is so unattractive by itself that there must be something more which I lack. The same holds for romantic attraction, and even more clear in my case. Not only what is needed for having a romance is unattractive, but the very romance is, for me. So there must be something urging people to have romance (a romance drive?) and a kind of attraction urging them to date specific people. At the beginning I thought that romance was only a cover for sex, but sincere talk with close friends taught me that true romance exists. I knew that sexual attraction may happen without the romantic one, and in AVEN I learned that the converse holds too. So they are independent attractions, and I lack both.
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Melorian



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:20 am

I don't understand attraction. Sexual or romantic. And it is by my lack of understanding that I can assume that I am aromantic. My sexual friend tried to explain attraction to me. She fully understands the separation between romantic and sexual attraction and has felt both. In both cases she has said that if you have experienced either, then you know you have experienced it. By this logic I can say that I have never felt either kind of attraction. I've never felt a deep bond with anyone - friends or even family members. I am afairly anti-social person who finds it difficult to like people. I don't know whether this is a cause of or a result of my aromanticism, but I can safely say that I definately know that I am aromantic. And I am very glad I am.
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Almagest

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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:43 pm

Melorian wrote:
I don't understand attraction. Sexual or romantic. And it is by my lack of understanding that I can assume that I am aromantic. My sexual friend tried to explain attraction to me. She fully understands the separation between romantic and sexual attraction and has felt both. In both cases she has said that if you have experienced either, then you know you have experienced it. By this logic I can say that I have never felt either kind of attraction.

Took the words right out of my mouth Smile
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Verp

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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:53 pm

From what I can make of it, being in a relationship is a lot about being attached and committed to someone. It's about supporting each other, liking each other a lot, and sharing things.

Well, I don't want any of that. I cannot deduce what use or delight would commitment bring to me, what someone could share with me that I would want but can't have without a significant other, or what kind of support I would need from a significant other that I can't get from others. Also, I'm simply not attached to people the same way others seem to be. There are some people who are a lot nicer than others, but I'm hardly ever dead set on keeping them around. Some just stick, which is great, but even then I'm not willing to give up anything of particular importance just to be with them.
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Melorian



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:49 pm

Verp: Reading your post was like reading about myself! I have had few friends all my life and the reason why now only one of those friends is still around is becuase I just don't feel enough about them to put in the effort into keeping them my friends. I never felt particulary bothered about other people. I don't feel attached to them.

If I can't keep platonic friendships, and don't even want them all that much, then following on from that, why on earth would I want a romantic relationship, which from my understanding involves a lot more committment and responsibility than an ordinary friendship?

So that's another reason how I know I'm aromantic - not to do with attraction this time, but more about my personality I suppose.
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Aiko



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:08 am

Melorian wrote:
I don't understand attraction. Sexual or romantic. And it is by my lack of understanding that I can assume that I am aromantic.

This and Verp's post. I actually never knew and still don't know what 'love' is, sure I see it in the movies but I just don't get it. Actually I asked someone today and she was like 'well I just knew, I wanted to be with her!' ... eh? I tried being someone's girlfriend and it was horrible.

edit;
I know I only tried once but whenever a guy mentions or really plays captain obvious, my world seems to collapse. I do not want to share my life with someone, I do not want to be kissed or hugged or even want to be with someone 24/7 . I just can't stand it at all. Its like my life suddenly becomes meaningless and the plans I had fade away to be replaced by this feeling of 'being owned' by someone. So no, I have made no attempts to date in all my life, that once was an exception and I still regret it.


I do want friends tho ...
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amyb



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:33 am

As a teenager, I didn't know about asexuality or aromanticism. So when I would meet a guy who seemed nice and seemed good looking, my friends would urge me to date him. I didn't know there were other options; it seemed like that was the right thing to do. I mistook my platonic feelings for romance because I didn't know any better. After some failed relationships, I decided I just didn't have it in me to be romantic. I could fake sexual attraction to an extent, but faking romantic feelings is impossible for me. And I liked the guys, I just didn't like them that way.

So in my 20s I totally stopped dating or even looking to date or anything, since the whole thing does nothing for me. All I want are some friends, and not even many of those. The whole idea of romance is unnerving and appalling to me. I like my personal space, and I hate sharing stuff that much with people. Space, time, feelings... I like to keep to myself. I don't thrive on trying to get this emotional connection that romantic partners seem to have, it just doesn't work for me and I don't even want it.

For a long time I thought I was mentally ill or something, but then I realized I enjoy being this way and would not want to change. Romance seems like such a hassle and I'm glad it's not part of my life. This fact freaks out a lot of people I know, because they can't understand it, but I'm over that. If they can't accept it, that doesn't bother me anymore.
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feather

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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:37 am

I just realized over time that what I thought was romance was just friendship. It was simply friendship that I desired. I looked up some stuff on the internet and came to my conclusions.
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Yulia



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:51 am

amyb wrote:
The whole idea of romance is unnerving and appalling to me. I like my personal space, and I hate sharing stuff that much with people. Space, time, feelings... I like to keep to myself. I don't thrive on trying to get this emotional connection that romantic partners seem to have, it just doesn't work for me and I don't even want it.

For a long time I thought I was mentally ill or something, but then I realized I enjoy being this way and would not want to change.

I believe one can have one's personal time and space and still be in a romantic or even sexual relationship (e.g. traditionally be married, if a husband and a wife have 2 rooms for themselves). As for feelings, a nice 'significant other' won't ask you about them if you don't like such things. It seems to me, only too young or mentally non-mature persons will disturb each other when they have a special relationship.

Why, does anybody here really suppose that a person who needs solitude for one's work or just for the joy of being alone cannot have a serious (=long-time) romantic and/or sexual relationship, e.g. be married? Do you think EVERYBODY around us is a sexual maniac, or a talkative maniac, and a calm person cannot possibly find a mate? Or do you think a relationship is over when you stopped thinking about another person and turned to some business of your own?
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akolnoix



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PostSubject: Re: How do you know you are aromantic?   Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:29 pm

I actually enjoy romance . When watching movies, I have a desire for characters to get together and experience joy when they do (at least, i do when it's portrayed realistically, and I actually like the characters). And in real life, I believe that a relationship of that nature can be very rewarding and worth having.

Not for me, though. I have absolutely no desire to be in a relationship. In sixth grade, there was this boy who was really nice and (relatively) good looking. I remember thinking to myself "I probably should have a crush on him, but I don't." It was like I had some sort of knowledge as to what I should look for in a relationship, but none of the desire to pursue it.

It wasn't until pretty recently that I came upon the terms asexual and aromantic, and as soon as I read the definitions (which was today, interestingly enough), I knew that I was both. It was like the storm clouds had parted, and my life finally made sense. I always had acknowledged that my absence of "crushes" and lack of desire to date was abnormal, but it was a relief to know that it wasn't unnatural or wrong; just uncommon.
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