What does it feel like to be aromantic and asexual?
It feels normal. An aromantic is a person who does not experience romantic attraction and an asexual is someone who does not have the desire for sex with a partner. Sucks to be me? Now and then I ponder about love, romance and lust. How are they all interrelated with each other and is it possible to experience all three at once? I believe it is.
As a child, love to me was what I saw between couples in movies. The three magical words ‘I Love You’ were something special for sure. When the hero proposes to her girlfriend with these magical words, out of nowhere the scene changes to a song and people start dancing in colourful dresses. Classic Bollywood. In school, you needed guts to say these three words to the opposite gender. Even more guts to the teacher you liked.
The other day I was watching the animated movie ‘Frozen’ (I’m a grown ass man, I know) and was quite engrossed in it. The movie explains true love. Which is of course something that is unconditional and a general broad term for affection. I have a feeling the movie was some sort of an awareness campaign for young teenagers to understand what true love is and not to fall prey to the crap that media portrays these days.
Love is of different kinds. Who says I haven’t fallen in love?
- Eros: Sexual and passionate madness struck upon by Cupid’s arrow. Set everything on fire! I must admit that I am curious to experience this. But it never happens.
- Philia: A gesture of goodwill. Friendship is founded in this kind of love. I feel this is the best kind of love (so does Plato). Hence the term platonic – friendship.
- Storge: Family love. The kind of love between parents and children. Or with siblings. We all have experienced this. Sibling rivalry is also love. We always had each other’s back no matter what the fight.
- Agape: Universal love and humanity. The love of a Samaritan perhaps. Could be out of compassion. To a homeless person or even towards a dog in misery. In my case towards cakes as well.
- Ludus: Uncommitted love. Playful and flirtatious. Kind of common these days! This is a type of love I haven’t been in.
- Pragma: Love that is developed for a long-term interest. Arranged marriage maybe? Love for the greater good. Even political relations. Not for me I guess.
- Philautia: Self love. This could be healthy in moderation and unhealthy if obsessed with. I love myself to keep me motivated and boost my self-confidence. But I don’t love myself enough to take 100 selfies per day.
Many people have asked me how is it possible to not fall in love (romantically) with someone. I have no answer, I just say, “I am as confused as you” and awkward blank stare continues. It was only recently that I discovered all about aromanticism and asexuality. And slowly it all made sense.
How does it feel to not fall in love? Must be miserable?
Not at all. You’re only miserable if you can’t find love when you’re looking for it or are not loved back. Falling in love romantically is something I’ve not experienced. That is all. It doesn’t bother me. Imagine talking to a friend who went skydiving and is sharing the experience with you. You know what he’s talking about. But you won’t know how it feels unless you skydive. Shitty anology. But it is kind of the same for me with love. I know all about the glory of falling in love. How everything is magical, how all the love songs start making sense and the butterflies in your stomach. But I cannot experience it.
I am not repulsed by romance. I sometimes find it cute (that’s a really weird word). Never been a fan of Rom-Coms but there are certain love stories that have made me cry. This is why I am curious to understand what it feels like to fall in love. Just curious, not obsessed. I also blame the media for over-hyping romance. There’s so much pressure to fall in love and the need for being loved.
Some common myths about aromantics are:
- We are heartless.
Are you kidding me? Run a background check on me. I’ve loved a lot of people throughout my life. My family, friends, pets and even my comic book collection. How can you be so heartless to say such a thing?
- We have a psychological problem. A mental block.
If that was the case, we’d have trouble functioning in today’s sexually and sensationalized society. We are just doing fine and not even whining. I’m not interested in finding a romantic partner, so I have a psychological disorder? Seriously? What next? We all are crazy if we can’t find water on Mars?
- We are afraid of being committed to a partner.
I don’t think so. Infact it’s the opposite for me. I form a strong emotional bond or sacred connection with people I like, I doubt that I’d be afraid to have commitment issues if I were to have a romantic partner.
- You just haven’t fallen in love yet. Or haven’t found the right person.
I am not going to live in denial. So yes. This one might be right. It’s good to keep an open mind and be less restricted towards things. Who knows? I might fall in love tomorrow. Cupid better not miss his shot this time. But for those who haven’t fallen in love, maybe they are just not interested.
And to conclude, I’d just want to say that being aromantic is okay. We are normal people and we are completely okay with loneliness and don’t need all the romantic jazz to live a fulfilled life. We understand love. We just don’t understand the nitty-gritty of a romantic relationships. That’s just another mystery and we intend to keep it that way. Because mysterious things are intriguing and nice.