It’s Aro-Spec awareness week. And in the three to four years since I realized I was on the aromantic spectrum, I have jumped from one term to the next. I can list off every term I have identified with on this scale in those three years, and I can bounce back and forth between them. And I could sit here and try to explain them all day. Or I can write them in a more entertaining fashion.
First there was the Quoiromantic
This was a Nat which was just discovering the spectrum of Aromanticism. A girl who still questioned feelings she felt for years while talking to someone. A girl who was only recently discovering she was asexual. Someone who was so confused by her emotions that she felt as if she should just lock them away.
Then there was the Aromantic
Her intentions were set. No more confusing feelings. If she felt romantic attractions to people before, she could never tell. She could not tell if she felt anything near the spark that was projected from the movies and books she choked down.
Sometimes she wanted the romance. Sometimes she needed something to make her feel more normal. Then she would try to digest some romantic stories. They were boring. They were disgusting. She put the books down in annoyance. She realized she never wanted love.
Then things became Messy
She asked others about love. She saw her sister date and break up a few times. Confusion clouded her mind with every start and end to those relationships. Her best friend would turn and ask her for relationship advice. The only advice this mess could give was “break it off.” But somewhere inside of her was something itching to tell her friend to just say no to romance and to live with this mess for the rest of their lives. She felt guilty because of it. She also wondered if that’s what romance felt like.
She considered the term gray-romantic. It seemed logical, only feeling something after years of knowing someone. It would explain the feelings of the quoiromantic and still validate the complete coldness of the aromantic. Sometimes it made sense.
That was until she would try to look at things from a romantic perspective. Then she would get sick. She would shy away from the ideas of romance and the feelings felt alien to her. The term aromantic became a blanket, cozy and warm to the coldness she felt when things around her became too romance-heavy. She could curl up and hibernate for a long time.
Her friend turned to her for advice more and more. And she found herself being angry by the mere thought of romance and the problems that come with it. Sometimes she’d get a feeling in her chest that one day her friend would find someone they would love and turn away from her. It scared her. The fear of losing her closest ally. Words were lost trying to explain it.
She decided to stick with the identification she had discovered. She was an aro-ace who had a confusing couple of years. She knew that more was coming. But she found something that fit and she would stick with it until it no longer fit.
This is my Aro-spec chronicles. It is an ongoing thing that impacts every day of my life. And I couldn’t be more comfortable in how I’ve grown into it in three years since first hearing the terms.
If you have any questions about what this means to me, or more about my discovery process, feel free to leave a comment below. Or contact me via tumblr.