Aromanticism – How it is different from asexuality and how I deal with it

When I tell people about me being aromantic, they are often confused and do not really know what I mean. When I try to explain myself, they often misunderstand and start asking questions about asexuality and do not understand that these words mean something completely different. So as I feel there is not enough aromantic representation online, I decided to give a short explanation and write about my experiences with being aromantic in today's society.

I'm not going to lie, when I was growing up and came to terms with my sexuality (I identify as gay) I was pretty scared due to the lack of representation of the LGBTQ+ Community in modern media. Therefore, people were not really talking about it so I did not really know how they'd deal with me being gay. I figured it out on my own eventually through a few different TV Shows that dealt with those topics and when I came out as gay last year to my parents and my closest friends there was barely any negativity coming my way and I knew I'd be fine.

What I did not really tell all of them was that I identify as aromantic as well. One night I was just lying in my bed and thinking about how I never really developed a crush or any romantic feelings for anyone in my 18 years of existence, so I got on the internet and dug myself through various websites and videos to find out why exactly that was. When I came across the word that perfectly described how I felt, I started to more and more feel comfortable with myself and was extremely excited at the same time to now call myself an aromantic.

But what does being an aromantic exactly mean, you may ask? While asexuality describes the lack of someone's sexual attraction towards others, people who identify as aromantic never or barely feel any romantic attraction to other people. It does not always mean that they do not want to fall in love, it just does not happen at all or not that easily. Like asexuality, it has nothing to do with one’s sexual preferences (For example one can be straight and aromantic or gay and aromantic) and can be different to anyone since there is an aromantic spectrum as well.

I definitely had some problems adjusting to finding out what was going on with me since ‘crush culture’ appears to be everywhere nowadays. I asked myself questions like 'Why me?' or 'Will I ever be loved by anyone?' but after thinking about it for some time, over the last year I learned that my happiness does not depend on me finding love. It depends on my mindset. I learned that if I pity myself for things that are out of my control, I'll be unhappy forever. So, I guess that, even if it sounds cringey, self-acceptance is the key to achieve true happiness.


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