This blog will focus on answering questions about Queerplatonic relationships, Queerplatonic partners, and the aromantic spectrum. The contributors are a group of young adults who are also within the spectrum, have a partner, or simply understand the issues surrounding these topics. Please feel free to send an ask or submit a question.
(none of us are, or claim to be, experts. We are simply in the aromantic spectrum and want to contribute to the community)
Personally I think romance IS, at least in part, emotional attraction? But again, people define these things differently.
Do know that some aromantic people DO experience the desire for romantic relationships. They might enjoy romantic-themed things. There’s no law saying “THOU MUST NOT LOVE VALENTINES DAY” or “THOU MUST NOT DESIRE TO GIVE YOUR PARTNER ANNIVERSARY GIFTS”. You can still lack emotional/romantic attraction to people and want to act out romantic relationships without the romance actually in your heart. (That sounds colder than I intended, sorry.)
The same way, some aromantic people enjoy kissing. Some aromantic people want to get married to their platonic partner. Some aromantic people like cuddling, holding hands, and being in a relationship with a romantic person.
So, really… as you know… it’s up to you? :)
If you don’t experience romantic attraction, you don’t experience romantic attraction. You can be a penguin and still want to fly. You can be a penguin and own a plane and fly in the plane. You can be a penguin and still enjoy flying in the plane, even though you do not experience flight first-hand. Does that kind of make sense? :3
I want to add a different perspective here, though I very much agree with Chekov’s answer to the overall question.
However, I think it’s very possible to want romance or experience romantic attraction without having emotional attraction or an emotional connection, since it really depends on how you define romance. You may also want the romantic actions, but without that deep emotional connection. I think that the two get grouped together because they generally go hand in hand, much like sex and romance, but that they don’t necessarily have to. If I can experience emotional attraction, or want an emotional connection, without romantic attraction or romance, I don’t see why the converse can’t be true.
I’d definitely put that on the aromantic spectrum - perhaps with wtfromantic? - regardless. You get to define the terms of your relationships though, not labels or other people.
Any other contributors are more than welcomed to weigh in.
In my opinion, yes, of course. Some QPR’s are sexual in nature (Though I do know not all kink is in an sexual nature). The only difference being that romance is not typically involved with in the QPR. Which is just fine since sex does not equal romance for a lot of people. To some, sex is sex, kink is kink, romance is romance. You define your QPR. No one else does. Do what you and your partner(s) are comfortable with. That is what matters.
I just wanted to add that you can practice kinks even without a QPR or romantic relationship - further showing that they can be dependent or independent of one another, and of romance, sex, etc. You can combine in any way that fits you and makes you feel good.
Everyone can add their responses here.
I have been in romantic relationships, yes. I have been in two. At the time I was unaware that there was such a thing as aromantic. I knew I didn’t have the typical romantic urges that the people around me seemed to have. I faked crushes, etc. How ever, my first romantic relationship took place when I was 16-17. It was very typical. We went on what she called romantic dates. Called her my girlfriend. We had sex (I didn’t even know that I was in the asexual spectrum). It slowly turned into something far more complicated and confusing. She was falling in love with me and I wasn’t falling in love with her in the same fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I did love her. But now I know it was platonic love that I was experiencing. We broke up a year later and it honestly took a lot for me to recover.
I then entered a relationship with another genderqueer person. I did think at the time that something was wrong with me. That something was evil and bad just because I didn’t seem to experience love in the same way that my partners did. It ended quite the same way. But I distanced myself in order not to hurt them.
Of course there was good with the bad. These people were great. The only difference between us was that my love was platonic and there’s wasn’t.
I haven’t been in any romantic relationships, so I’m no help here, I’m afraid. I have experienced a few what might have been crushes, years ago, but I never did anything about it.
I also have not been in any romantic relationships, but my way of getting to 21 and without has been rather an adventure. I’ve had what I thought were crushes that didn’t pan out - both times the guy ended up dating a close friend of mine. I was, of course, hurt. Reflecting back on these two moments more recently though, I realized that on both occasions, it was not that I didn’t get the guy that upset me - it was that my friends knowingly went behind my back and began dating them. It was these feelings that helped me realize that I was aromantic, and that the feelings I had for the guys were of a more platonic nature - I simply wanted to know them and be friends with them, but pressures from society and from my friends made me believe otherwise.
Incidentally, one of those guys later began chasing after me, and it actually caused a few panic attacks on my part, since the interest was unwelcome - another hint to me, in retrospect, that I’ve always been aromantic.
I’ve been in two - the first one was before I realized I was aromantic. It was just a completely strange experience - the guy whom I had been good friends with became, within the course of a year, a person who tormented me into breaking up with him. Actually, he didn’t torment me at all. He kissed me, he held my hand, he called me cute nicknames, he bought me ice-cream. To me, this was torture. Every romantic moment was nails on the chalkboard.
The second one is technically not romantic in nature - or maybe it is. I don’t know. I am with a person I consider to be the equivalent of a QPP, but she’s romantic. It’s kinda weird at times, but we talk it out.
Asexual and aromantic folks are perfectly capable of engaging in and keeping up a healthy, happy relationship (or relationships!!)
We are still living beings with emotions and feelings and are as capable of love as anyone else.
Being asexual or aromantic is as much as a choice as any and all of the other orientations and sexualities out there. It is not about giving someone a chance. It is not about “not having enough experience” or “being scared” or “being immature”. It is nothing we can help or choose to be, or not to be.
Please respect us.
And ‘relationship’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘romantic relationship’, either.
And if you don’t want a primary relationship, that’s okay too!
However you want to spend your life, with or without a committed partner, is so okay. Even if other people tell you otherwise, please don’t listen to them. It is absolutely okay!!! Don’t let people guilt you in to relationships that you don’t want. If you’re happy, then that’s what is most important.
If you’re certain that you don’t want to be in a QPR with them - or anyone, ever - then don’t feel obligated to do so. It is, of course, difficult to tell them this without hurting their feelings, but it’s important that you talk to them about it. Even though it might hurt them to hear it, it will hurt less than skirting around the subject or, worse, being in a QPR that one party is not committed to. Be open about your feelings about them - that it does not make them less important to you, but that you just don’t share those feelings to that connection. Communicating about it is definitely key, and will hopefully allow you to retain your friendship with them.
However, if it does hurt their feelings to the point that they don’t think they can pursue a further relationship with you - either out of being unable to set those feelings aside, or because they’re offended, etc., it may not necessarily be a terrible outcome in the long run. Friendships with one party wanting more and the other not reciprocating can be extremely tricky and possible caustic over a long period of time, and that leaves both parties unhappy.
I hope that that’s not the case though, and that you can honestly tell them how you feel and retain your friendship as it stands, or perhaps even in a stronger, if slightly modified form, in however you choose to approach the situation.
I think a good way to clear up this confusion is by being confident in your statements. I know it can be hard to find the balance between platonic affection (verbal or otherwise) and romantic affection. Especially when others do not know the difference themselves. If you are comfortable, you can say a variety of things. One of them can be “I know sometimes it may seem as though I have romantic intentions, but I really don’t. What I feel is completely platonic”.
Again, if you are comfortable, maybe offer to answer some questions. Of course, as aromantic, you do not owe anyone an explanation for who you are. But a lot of confusion can be cleared up just by creating an opportunity to discuss things like “Do you have a crush on me?” “What does platonic really mean?”. It starts a discussion. And through this discussion you, and the person you are speaking to, can both become better educated on how you’re feeling and your intentions. Also shows you there intentions as well. It closes that communication barrier I seem so fond of speaking of.
I know it can be a tricky thing to clear up. You obviously do not want to hurt anyone or make them believe that what you’re feeling is the opposite of what you are honestly feeling.
I hope this helps at least a bit! Let us know if there is anything else.
Ah, the “not sure if it’s reciprocated” place in a friendship can be fairly tricky… even when you ARE sure it’s reciprocated. I guess my first question is, have you talked to this friend about your stance on relationships, whatever that might be? Since you refer to it as a squish, I’m going to assume that regardless of your romantic orientation, your interest is not romantic in nature.
The only way to discover if your feelings are reciprocated is, very simply, to talk to them about it. It can be really uncomfortable to do, especially since you don’t want to mess up a good thing, but communication is very important. It doesn’t have to be, like, a really serious “we need to talk” kind of situation. It can be just while you’re hanging out and watching TV, or over some coffee, or while you’re just lounging about. If they don’t know about your romantic orientation (I guess, should it be something besides hetero/homo, if they’re not GSM-savvy), you could perhaps start there, and make your feelings clear. It can even be done over multiple conversations to kind of ease the tension a bit. Then perhaps start to talk about how you feel about them, and what it means to you.
If they feel the same way, this conversation should be easier than it feels, because they might have been struggling with the same confusion as you. If they don’t, it’s a good opportunity to at least sort it out, both for yourself and for them, so you don’t end up with some very weird, uncomfortable feelings between the two of you, which could in fact strengthen your friendship in a different way.
It really just depends on what you’re comfortable with doing, and when it seems right. However, it’s never going to be more than a guessing game if you don’t communicate with them about it, and that guessing game can often lead to much more stress than is necessary. In both situations, though, there is always the chance that it won’t go your way - but at least if you find this out by talking about it, you have a better understanding of the situation, and can make informed decisions about it without having the unknowns making you nervous.
I hope everything goes well for you, whatever you decide to do~
Hello, new followers. Thank you for following this blog!
We hope to contribute to the queerplatonic/aromantic communities and also hope to increase visibility and clarity to these subjects.
If you have any questions/need advice, do not hesitate contacting us through our askbox.
I am sorry to hear that this is causing a problem. It can be a hard thing to discuss, especially when a sense of worry is involved.
I think a good place to start this conversation is by explaining that sex and romance are not inextricably bound for everyone. Some people are capable of being sexual beings without any romantic attachments or feelings. You are proof of this. And there is nothing wrong with that. But your partner may believe just that. Society has a rather large influence on such thinking.
Once this is discussed, I would suggest bringing in the idea of monogamy. Your partner may not have said it, but sometimes these things are assumed. Not all QP relationships are monogamous. But she may feel as though your relationship may be. She may be feeling especially uneasy if this idea has not been expressed before.
I know it can be a tricky slope. But it is so important to discuss the things that may be bothering us or our partner(s).
I hope this all becomes easier and worked out. If there is anything else you need, feel free to send another message. We will do our best to help.