The Discovery Of My Aromantic Nature

I wish I had known earlier. It would have saved me some suffering.

I’ve discovered recently that I’m aromantic. Much like the discovery of my autism, it has been a tremendous relief. I’m not broken. I’m just different. Let me explain.

I now describe myself in the following fashion. I’m aromantic. However, I can definitely love, and I can be affectionate, besides just being sexual, towards someone. However, I’m baffled by the “romantic gestures.” Here is a non-comprehensive list of such gestures:

  • Giving flowers.
  • Giving jewelry.
  • Socially mandated gift giving.
  • General gift giving, like getting knickknacks at the store when I’m shopping for food.
  • Leaving notes telling you I love you here and there.
  • Greeting cards.
  • Proposing. The proposal to my ex-wife was me turning my head towards her on the couch and saying, “Let’s get married.”
  • Marriage. The marriage to my ex-wife was not an elaborate affair.
  • Etc.

Now, I can do some of the above, sometimes. I did leave a voice mail to my ex-wife singing I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder. However, this happened only once. I can also give gifts. However, my gift-giving is more contextual than what social niceties require. I see a need and I fulfill it. For instance, I’ve freely given sex toys to my partners.

Now, I don’t see the gestures above as a sign of love. Actually, a lot of those actions leave me cold, if I’m being honest with you. Even the proposal and the marriage. Yes, love is a prerequisite for proposal and marriage, in my book. However, they are not proof of love. I should also point out that I included them above mostly as a record of what has happened in the past. I’m not looking for proposal and marriage now.

Moreover, I’d say that the gestures above are what Hollywood thinks romance has to be. Hollywood corrupts everything it touches. Autistic representation in Hollywood is abysmal, with few exceptions. Hollywood also distorts technology. I can tell because I’m a computer engineer. It moreover distorts the law. I can tell due to my interest in the law. I can tell you that trial by ambush is not a thing, in the USA at least.

This is where things can get very askew. If you have one partner who is like I am, and another partner who sees these gestures as required to show that you love them, you start running into problems. This was the situation between me and my ex-wife. She wanted me to perform those gestures. However, I had a hard time performing them. Our common assessment was that I was “broken” and needed to change my behavior.

Haha. You might as well try to extract water from a rock.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it is possible to change. However, some changes are impossible. I cannot see a glare. End of story. There is no amount of training that will make me see a glare. If you hope that, someday, I’m going to realize that you are glaring at me, you’re in for disappointment. In the same way, I am aromantic in the way that I’ve described above. If you hope that, someday, I’ll become full on romantic, you’re in for disappointment.

This is why the discovery that I’m aromantic, much like the discovery that I’m autistic, is such a relief. It is the discovery that there is nothing to fix, and that there is nothing to change. I’m wired the way I am wired. I don’t have to blame myself anymore for not fitting into the notion of romance peddled by Hollywood. No, what I am is wonderfully quirky! Teehee!

Consequently, I now put a shorter explanation of what I mentioned above in my dating profile. My latest boyfriend has seen this in my profile. He accepts it. How wonderful!


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One response to “The Discovery Of My Aromantic Nature”

  1. FrightenedRat 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Avatar

    @yourautisticlife
    My terminology would be: I'm not into romantic *gestures*.

    To me having romantic feelings or ideation is separate from performing gestures. So I'm confused as to why a distaste for the gestures would imply an Aro identity. But we are all free to choose our own labels.

    The gestures are a formulaic way of communicating feelings/intent. I guess if a partner needed that sort of reassurance to feel valued, I'd try to oblige. I wouldn't feel bad about not wanting to, though.

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