It’s harder for me to figure out my romantic orientation…

I think I’ve known on some level that I am asexual and aromantic from a very young age (let’s say 10 years old), though it’s taken more than a decade to actually start identifying that way.

Identifying as aromantic happened later than identifying as asexual. In fact, I think I’ve only started labelling myself as ‘aromantic’ this year (last year I was still in the questioning phase).

I think it’s because there more discourse around sexual orientation than romantic orientation. There are simply a lot more clearly articulated ideas about sexual orientation that are readily accessible. This makes it much easier to frame my own thoughts and compare with other people’s experiences. The later is quite important – I think having an understanding of people with both different and similar experiences is necessary because orientation is relevant primarily because it affects our interactions with other people.

It’s much easier to find examples of people describing their asexual experiences than their aromantic experiences. So it was harder for me to figure out that I could, for example, enjoy tales of fictional romance and be aromantic.

And now I think my aromantic orientation has a greater impact on my life than my asexual orientation.

Non-romantic sex, as least for white middle-class female adults, is not expected, so the discovery that I don’t have non-romantic-sex doesn’t change the way people behave towards me. However, such adults are expected to pursue romance, so the discovery that I am *not* pursuing romance definitely changes the way most people react to me.

Perhaps if I had been engaging in romance, my asexuality would have affected my relationships to a greater degree, since sex is expected of romantic relationships. But I haven’t gone there.

And I definitely haven’t finished defining myself. Sometimes I think I am more asexual than I am aromantic, sometimes I feel I am more aromantic than asexual (today, for example, I am definitely leaning towards ‘aromantic’). This might because my ratio of fundamental aromanticism vs. fundamental asexuality does change, or maybe it is only my understanding of it which changes.

This post less coherent and more wandering that most posts here. This is a reflection of the fact that I still haven’t come to a conclusion. The lack of discourse around romantic orientation means it takes me more time to arrive at conclusions.

Aromanticism is harder for me to figure out than asexuality.

9 thoughts on “It’s harder for me to figure out my romantic orientation…

  1. This is definitely a difficult discovery for us. I have been having a difficult time with this too. Sometimes I think it is necessary to take a step back and go away from the issue for a while. But when taking it on headfirst, always be mindful of your emotions and how that influences your actions.

  2. It’s funny, when I first found out about asexuality and realised that I was ace myself, I kind of automatically thought I would be homoromantic. In hindsight, it seemed a it easier, you know? Not quite as drastic. But soon after I realised that I really was quite aromantic as well. If I have to separate my asexuality out from my aromanticism, I guess the aromanticism is a little more defining, maybe. Either way, thanks for sharing this!

      • For me personally, I’d been identifying as gay before I realised I was asexual, so that familiarity was part of it. But I also felt like it was easier for me to do the whole ‘Still want to have romantic relationships like the rest of the world!’ thing than the ‘yeah, don’t really get/do romance either’ thing. If that makes sense?

  3. Pingback: Linkspam: January 18th, 2013 | The Asexual Agenda

    • To be honest, I don’t have a definition per se of ‘aromantic’, at least not the kind that can be put in a dictionary.

      However, I think there is a point, when I observe the stories that are being told about romance, and the way that other people feel that romance is an important part of their lives … that I realized that it was not something I felt particularly interested in pursuing myself and that I have never met somebody that I had a compelling urge to form a romantic bond with. There was a time when I thought being ‘asexual’ was enough to describe this situation, but eventually I figured out that it is more than a lack of sexual attraction.

      Perhaps an aromantic is someone who thinks of themselves in a romantic relationship more in terms of cool, deliberate thought than in flurries of high emotion (but I actually don’t like that definition, because I think romantic people also have the capacity to think about their romantic relationships in terms of cool, deliberate thought).

      I would say, if someone feels that that the experiences of ‘aromantic’ people are more like their own than the experiences of ‘romantic’ people, that person is quite likely aromantic.

  4. Pingback: An Aromantic Reader and Fictional Romances | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

  5. Pingback: Aro Community, Ace Community | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.