Are you aromantic? Are you unsure? Have you never heard of the term aromanticism but are searching for what your romantic identity means to you?
The term aromantic refers to a person who has little to no romantic attraction to others. Aromantics thrive upon having deep friendships and nonsexual connections and emotional needs are met in a platonic fashion. This is not a sexual orientation. People who identify as aromantic can be of any sexual orientation: homosexual, heterosexual, pansexual, bisexual, etc. Aromantic is also not synonymous with asexual orientation. Asexual refers to a person who is not sexually attracted to others. The difference here is that aromantic people can have sexual urges and attractions but generally don’t have romantic interests.
Now that we got all of that background information out of the way, how can you identify whether or not you are aromantic? First, everyone experiences aromanticism differently, so one’s aromantic experiences depends on where she falls on the spectrum. If you’re wondering about your romantic identity, here are some feeler questions to ask yourself.
- Do You Experience Sexual Attraction?
As stated above, asexuality is different than aromanticism, but this could be an easy place to start. By asking yourself this question, you might be able to differentiate whether you are asexual or aromantic. If you answer “yes,” you could lean closer to aromantic.
2. Do You Experience Romantic Attraction?
Aromantic people generally do not experience romantic attraction and can instead be fulfilled by significant connections and relationships with friends, family members, or squishes.
3. How Do You Feel About Physical Affection?
Generally, though the experience differs for everybody, aromantic people don’t feel compelled by physical touch. While this doesn’t hold true for everyone, if you are turned off by the idea of holding hands, being touched, or getting close to someone, this could be an indicator.
4. Can You Identify a ‘Squish’ in Your Life?
A squish is a person who is more than a friend but is not defined by a sexual or romantic attraction. Instead, it is someone for which a person has deep love for (not romantic love). If you read this description and can think of people in your life who do not quite fit the friend or lover bill, you may be aromantic. Additionally, does the idea of a squish make sense to you? If it does, it might fill in some parts of your life and past relationships you have questioned but never knew how to recognize.
5. Have You Doubted the Existence of Love or Crushes?
While it’s quite normal for any person to go through a breakup and feel as if they’ll never find love again, you might have experienced a similar sentiment on a more intense scale. Have you ever doubted that love exists? On a lesser scale, have you doubted that crushes even exist? If you are aromantic, you may have noticed from a very young age that crushes didn’t mean the same thing to you that they meant to your classmates and friends. In fact, you might have consciously “picked” a celebrity or fellow classmate to have a “crush” on, without really feeling anything for them.
6. Do You Have Trouble to Relating to Others’ Experiences or Stories About Love?
When your friends tell their personal anecdotes about falling in love, how do you feel? If you fall on the aromantic spectrum, you may feel as though you have trouble relating to these stories. If you find yourself not knowing what to say in return or experiencing difficulty empathizing, it may be an indicator of your romantic identity.
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