You are the only person who gets to decide if you’re aromantic or not. You get to decide what that means for you. If describing yourself as aromantic helps you understand yourself, explain yourself to others, and feel more comfortable, then I say go ahead and use it! Also, you don’t have to be 100% sure you’re aromantic before using the label. You can try it on, see how it fits and take it off any time you’d like to.
Figuring out if you’re aromantic or not can be challenging. After all, how are you supposed to know if you haven’t experienced romantic attraction? Below is a list of common aromantic experiences that aren’t only about attraction to help you along.
You might be aromantic if…
Here’s a list of experiences common to aromantic folks before or in the early days of identifying as aromantic. Relating to any of these doesn’t make you aromantic and not relating to them doesn’t mean you’re not aro.
Imagining your future
- Marriage/a long term romantic relationship feels more like an obligation rather than something you want and are excited for.
- Feeling like your ideal future involves living with friends (or alone) with no romantic partner in sight.
- You imagine what it would be like to have someone be in love with you, but never what it would be like for you to feel that way for that person.
- Your “fantasies” of future romantic relationships, if you have them, aren’t really fleshed out or detailed at all.
- You assume you will be in a romantic relationship someday but aren’t excited for it.
- If you imagine a future partner, you struggle to picture details about them.
- Friends with benefits seems like the ideal relationship to you.
- You hated romantic subplots in children cartoons/stories.
- You loved friendship arcs in children cartoons/stories.
- You’re favorite characters growing up never had romance as a major aspect of their character.
- You love reading romantic stories/fan-fiction, but have no interest in actively pursuing one yourself.
- You’re generally disinterested in romance stories.
- You assumed that crushes and romantic drama were made up for soap operas and romcoms.
Being in romantic relationships
- You’ve been in romantic relationships, but you’ve always felt like you were acting or playing a role in them.
- You’ve felt uncomfortable and suffocated in romantic relationships even though those relationships were seemingly healthy and happy.
- You accidentally said yes to a date because you thought your friend was asking to hang out.
Understanding others crushes and romance
- You’ve looked up what a crush is supposed to feel like.
- Once you learnt about asexuals who are romantic you got super confused thinking “isn’t romance just friendship + sex?”.
- Once you learn about polyamory you got confused because you thought romance was defined by some sort of exclusivity.
- Romantic relationships seem constructed of arbitrary rules you could never understand.
- You’ve never understood the difference between a best friend and a romantic partner.
- Celebrity crushes make no sense to you.
- When you realized people actually want to act on their crushes you were shocked.
- Whenever people described a crush it sounded like discomfort or a panic attack to you.
- You never understood people being sad about unrequited feelings. After all, couldn’t they just flip their crush feelings off?
- You never understood the trope of friends with benefits vowing not to develop feelings and then the drama when one of them seemingly inevitably does.
- You think you’ve had a crush on every single one of your friends.
- You frequently thought you might have crushes on people you actually were uncomfortable around.
- You *theoretically* wanted a romantic partner but anytime anyone showed interest in you you would avoid them.
- You’ve only ever had feelings for someone if they showed interest in you first.
- You’ve only ever had crushes on celebrities, fictional characters or otherwise unattainable people that you knew could never actually turn into relationships.
- When asked about your crush you would randomly and arbitrarily pick a person.
- You came up with a list of things you would probably like in a partner and then found someone who fit those criteria and decided to have a crush on them.
- You’re oblivious to people flirting with you.
- You’ve been told you were flirting with someone when you thought you were just being friendly.
Understanding and explaining yourself
- You thought you were bisexual/pansexual because there was no difference in how you felt about people, so you assume you’re romantically feeling the same for everyone.
- When someone asks you why you don’t date, you reply that you have more important things to concentrate on.
- You thought the reason you’ve never had a crush or fallen in love was because you had super high standards.
- You thought you were a late bloomer and that eventually you’d experience some inkling romance long after most of your peers have started dating.