Being Aromantic

I am aromantic. At least, I think I am. I’m at the questioning stage, to tell you the truth, but the more I think about it, the more the aromantic label seems to fit me, at least at this point in my life. I’ve been in two romantic relationships, and I’ve found no happiness or fulfillment in either of them. Not that I really needed that experience to prove anything. I just… prefer to be alone. I am like that in all aspects of my life. I am very much an introvert, and I prefer the company of myself over the company of almost anyone else.

I don’t know if my introversion, or my social anxiety disorder, for that matter, has anything at all to do with the fact that I may be aromantic. Both my introversion and my social anxiety are such a deep part of me, that it is difficult if not impossible to separate them from other aspects of my life. So I can’t really say whether or not it does. But does that really matter? It’s all a part of me, of my life and my experiences, and of course it will influence my romantic orientation.

Now, just because I am aromantic and asexual doesn’t mean that I don’t crave human contact, or companionship. I’d be very open to a queerplatonic relationship. In fact, I would love one. But I’m not going to go actively searching for something like that, I don’t think, not at this point in my life. If I’m lucky enough to find someone, then that would be wonderful. If not, well, I don’t think that I’ll be too crushed.

The hardest part for me, regarding aromanticism and asexuality, is the pressure I feel by society. I feel like I’m not supposed to feel this way. I feel like I’m meant to be in a romantic relationship, and to have sex, and all that stuff I’m not interested in. And as much as I like to think of myself as a nonconformist, I still have the urge to fit in with society in some ways. And it is difficult to know that, in this regard, I never will.

I don’t want to compare the experiences of an asexual and/or aromantic person to that of anyone else on the GSM spectrum. After all, as an aromantic asexual I don’t experience systematic oppression and discrimination, and I’m well aware of that fact. But, for example, being gay is something that is accepted as a sexual orientation, in the United States at large. Whether you think it is a choice or not, whether you think it is wrong or not, people generally recognize that gay people exist. The same cannot be said of aromantic or asexual people.

Once again, my intention is not to compare the two. Quite the opposite, I wish to illustrate the difference between being asexual or aromantic and Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual. I don’t want to say that one is worse than the other, that isn’t my place to say. My point is simply that, as an asexual and aromantic person, I am considered abnormal even by those that accept LGBT folks.

And that’s a hard thing to swallow.

Sometimes I’ve even felt the urge to fake being a sexual, romantic person, and have a relationship and such, just to fit in. But in the end, I want to be true to myself, and if that means that I am considered a freak, well, I can live with that.

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