I thought about what I’m going to write here for a long time, and planned to wait for Aro-spec Awareness Week. I also understand the need for separate weeks for asexuality and aromanticity. Nevertheless, in light of some events, which most of have happened recently, I felt relieved when I found out one of the days of Asexual Awareness Week was dedicated to aromantic communities.
I’ve been encountered, especially recently, with the perception of aromantic people as loveless people, and with the comparison between aromantic people and robots (which is also said about asexuals), or with the question why do I look for the relationship I’m looking for. Let me answer with another question: How about love?
I’m an aromantic person who wants a relationship who friends who live together and love each other no less than in a romantic relationship, only for me, at least (I don’t mind being with someone who isn’t aromantic), the emotion I’ll experience will be platonic love, from the same kind of love I experience for the rest of my friends. The difference, for me, is that it is not a relationship that can be talked about in terms like “girlfriend” or “boyfriend”. I think about this relationship in terms of companionship and partnership, like romantic relationships can be, but without terms that are related to romantic feelings and relationships. After I’ve finally found the community, I found the term “queerplatonic relationship”, or another one, that I found recently and like better: “aromates”, and those are terms that I believe can fit, even though I don’t feel the need for a word to describe the relationship. To me, the difference between this relationship and the usual friendships are that with time, I hope to move in together and adopt, and I believe many shared experiences will make this relationship exceptional.
And yet, I’m uncomfortable with phrases like “just friends”, or with the common correlation between the words “love” or “relationship” and “romantic love” or “romantic relationship”, as well as the common assumption that “intimacy” necessarily includes physical closeness. Assumptions as such makes me feel like platonic friendships are necessarily less than romantic relationships, when, in reality, there are many types or relationships in the word. Most people don’t have all of them and every one of them has the potential of being meaningful.
For example, familial relationships. There’s a connection between a children and their parents, which in unlike the connection between parents and their children. So are the relations between grandparents and their grandchildren, or uncles and aunts with their nephews or nieces. Or siblings: some are twins, some are born with a small age gap between them and some have gaps of many years. Some are more similar to the relationship of friends than the others’. There are relationships of tutors or teachers to their students, and the emotions teachers feel for their students is different from the emotions students feel for their teachers. Actually, every friendship is different. Even when it’s from the same kind and on the same level of acquaintance, every emotion is different, and each one has the potential to be as strong and meaningful as romantic emotions.
Therefore, and without the glass ceiling that accompanies the assumption that a romantic relationship is necessarily stronger and more meaningful than the other ones, why is it assumed that aromantic people, no matter if they want a romantic relationship or one that parallels that, is a cold robot who can’t feel love?