i’ve been thinking that we’re all a bit different aros, and it’s not just because some of us have varying acceptance towards romance or some are amorous and some nonamorous. despite the official definition of “little to no romantic attraction”, i think that we can intuitively understand being aro differently. for me for example, it’s tied to not falling in love and not getting crushes and not wanting partnered relationships and i’ve seen people who are aro and for example fall in alterous love or have maybe crushes, maybe squishes. there are also questioning people, who may have crushes, but they don’t want a romantic relationship – some relationship, yeah, but just not what constitutes as romantic.
in my opinion what
constitutes as romantic is at the core of the fact we can understand aromanticism a bit differently. one way you can see romance is as this special, transcendent passion, coming with a script of a relationship too, another is understanding romance as all partnered relationships, especially (not arranged) marriages. this would be important at the very first stage, when you’re only just realizing you’re aro. the process of realization is subjective and a lot of it is comparing yourself to your friends or looking at the expectations you face in the environment you’re in.
the realization that you’re aro and the concept of romance (and, tied to it, the concept of aromanticism) is going to look one way if all your peers are almost constantly talking about crushes, relationships, soulmates, trying to date and your family is also expecting you to prioritize romantic, passionate love above
else (even if they’d rather you focused on education, the expectation that you’re gonna be prioritizing romance can be there). it can be easy to notice you don’t think the way they do, though it can turn into aromantic identity that is about rejecting all partnered relationships or specifically the passionate romantic relationships that everyone seems to be having/talking about/wanting. the concept of aromanticism you have may also form in another way and be understood differently if your environment is more focused on other things, for example career or education and while partnering up is something expected, there isn’t so much emphasis on it being the most important goal in your life. i wonder if aros who grow up in environments like those start to identify as aro because of their nonamory. maybe not though, because right now it’s much harder to escape (mostly) western notions of romance as sold in media. it’s also interesting how romance repulsion or being romance positive can be a factor in creating the understanding of romance and aromanticism too.