The other day I found out that aromantics have their own writing month with two prompts for each week. This week is freedom and music (you can guess which one I am writing about). This month is meant to help amplify the voices of aromantics, which is a community that not many people recognize. For those that do not know, aromantics are individuals who do not feel romantic attraction. But there is of course a level of spectrum for this community, which makes the term more like an umbrella. There exists akoiromantics (they love romance in theory and can feel some romantic attraction, but when their feelings are reciprocated, their attraction fades), apothiromantics (those that are repulsed by romanticism), and Demiromantics (they feel romantic attraction after having developed a bond). There are more types of aromanticism, which can be explained fabulously here.
My aromantic journey begun a year ago in my Intersectional Feminism course. While learning about identities within the LGBTQ+ community, I came across a story about akoiromanticism. It described my journey with relationships in the past. After reading the story, I did more research about the aspectrum, including the asexual community. It was here that I also learned how romantic and sexual attraction is two different entities that individuals face. For a long time, I had assumed that one came out of the other.
Finding information on the aspectrum community, it was as though I finally had a group of people who understood my struggles. Within the heteronormative culture, we are fed this understanding of what it means for a man and a woman to love each other. The stories can differ, but the essence is always the same. This is a deep issue for individuals who love the same sex. However, as the media continues evolving to include gay, lesbian, and trans individuals, the issue continues to exist for the aromantic community. Why? Because of amatonaormativity (the assumption that everyone is looking for an exclusive and long-term relationship).
This causes a huge issue for those of us that have a difficult time with romantic attraction. Sometimes we are just led to believe that there is something wrong with us. Often times we are told that everything will change when we have met the “one.” Well, I still don’t know how I would be able to recognize the “one” at this point. Therefore, with these romance focused thoughts, the aromantic individual can become lost and uncertain. Without a community of others who feel the same, who is to say that we aren’t broken? We come stuck within the rigidness of the majority.
Community is a freeing human invention. It allows you to know that you are not alone. For a lot of us, it helps create a sense of identity. However, some people also view identity as rigid. It can be because it draws a border between you and another individual, which those borders come with negative side effects. At the same time, however, it allows you to be connected with similar individuals, creating a support system and eventually a family. Through this family, you can fight against the negative side effects of living against what others consider the “norm.”
When I found the aromantic community, I felt free to be who I was. No longer was I trying to fit into a mold that I didn’t belong. Still to this day, I struggle with romanticism because of my attraction to it in theory. The best part is that love is also fluid. Currently, identify as aromantic makes sense and it helps me understand my relationship amongst the amatonormative culture. If it were to ever change in the future, it will not be because I was romantic, to begin with. It will be because we are not confined by borders, they are seams meant to be crossed.
The month a February is home to Aromantic-Spectrum Awareness Week held between February 21st - 27th, 2021.
Alive Vibe would love to hear your aromantic story! You can submit yours here.