Even if I was given the opportunity to fall in love with someone romantically, I wouldn’t take it.
If I was given the chance to stop being aromantic, and begin experiencing romantic feelings like most people do, I would not take it.
Even though it would mean that I wouldn’t have to deal with all…
But how? For 18 years I have waited to fall in love to find the right person, to be “happy” the special kind of happy only other people can give you. When I found out about asexuality I was relieved and happy. I found a label, a community! I didn’t have to have sex one day, an experience I was dreading. But you don’t usually find asexual without aromantic, and I had a pit in my stomach. I said, “that’s not me, I want a significant other!” but the more I learned about asexuals, the more I learned about aromantics. Until finally I realized with a heavy heart, that I was aromantic, and I would never fall in love the same way they did in the movies or even the same way my friends did. How can you be so unapologetically happy about it? I so badly want to see someone and think about what a great partner they might be, but after all the waiting I haven’t even felt a smidgen of romantic attraction. I want to be truly happy with who I’ve grown to be, but I’m afraid I’ll never stop wanting that magic feeling that everyone talks about while I still sit clueless thinking about cake.
I felt that way for a long time, too. I felt troubled and empty inside when I realized I was aromantic, and it took months for me to start feeling okay with it. I spent many years of my life before that point hoping to find someone I could fall in love with, and it hurt to realize that it would never happen.
This is very common among aromantics. I’ve gotten so many messages from aro folks who felt depressed, scared or defective after realizing they were aro. Amatonormativity is so deeply embedded in our culture that, for many of us, our reaction to realizing we’re aromantic isn’t relief, or joy, but unhappiness. We’ve been conditioned into seeing non-romantic life as something sad and worthless, and when we realize it applies to us, we feel like we are sad and worthless. You’re not alone in feeling this way.
I am defiantly, unapologetically aromantic now, and I actively reject romance, because I am not willing to be the sad, lonely little aro that society thinks I should be. I am determined to be happy about being aromantic, because I want every person in the world to stop thinking that romantic people are superior. I want other aromantic folks to know that it’s possible for them to be happy. And I want alloromantic folks to see me as an equal, not as an object of pity or contempt.
In a world that is determined to make you feel like shit, being proud of what you are is an act of defiance.
It’s hard, I know. I can understand that you’re still hurting, and I sympathize. It still hurts me sometimes, too.
But whenever it hurts me, I remind myself that I am not the problem. Being aromantic is not the problem. The real problem is that we live in a world that has taught us from birth that there is only one narrow path to happiness, and that this path is closed off to us.
The other problem is that it’s hard to throw away all the biases and lies that we grew up taking for granted. It takes time to work through all this, and figure out something new that will make your life fulfilling. But I promise that it is possible. You are strong enough to do it.
It’s okay to feel hurt, or lonely, or as if you’ve lost something. Take as long as you need to deal with this. But don’t give up hope that you can be happy with who you are, and that you can have a great and fulfilling life.