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Old 05-06-2012, 10:58 PM
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River River is offline
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"Aromanticism," it seems to me, is FAR to vague about what "romantic" means to have its not-romantic in order.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:25 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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River, romantic, aromantic, heteroromantic, homoromantic, biromantic, panromantic, etc are the emotional equivalent of the "-sexual" words.

So instead of whether the person is sexually attracted to people, it's about whether they're emotionally attracted to people. In other words, who they fall in love with. Aromantic means no falling in love. Doesn't mean other strong bonds don't exist and some do pair up or marry for other reasons (the advantage of raising a kid together for instance, or having each other's financial support, or many other options), but it's not what we traditionally think of as a relationship (of course on this forum, not much is traditional :P)

It has little to do with whether you give someone chocolates or flowers.

Grey-a people are people who are not quite asexual but not as sexual either, in that they only develop a sexual attraction to people they are in love with. As a result I imagine they can't be aromantic.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:21 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Thank you, Tonberry. And the bumping comment wasn't meant to refer to aros only.

A-romantic people, as said, do not experience romantic attractions to other people. Fictional depictions of aromantic people include Sherlock Holmes, Dexter and arguably, Doctor Who. Of course in these pop culture references, aromanticism is due to other extraordinary features of the characters, such as abnormally high intelligence, sociopathy or being an alien from outer space. So they are very stereotypical depictions of aro people as a 'breed apart' or a psychopathological segment of the population. Also, in the above examples, the characters are also asexual or near enough, but this is not a trait shared by all aros.

Aro people can wish to have a circle of friends and family they want to be close to, be content alone, or want to have a special close friend above all others. The special friend can be referred to as a zucchini, queerplatonic partner, hetero lifemate, a companion, what have you.

To oversimplify a complex phenomenon, aro people don't want to date. Anyone. (Exceptions occur, and they are a bitch).

A good tumblr on the (a)romantic spectrum is http://aromanticaardvark.tumblr.com/.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:35 PM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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To me poly is all about commitment. I have committed to my partners and they to me. Commitment means freedom for me as I have people who love me and will support me in my life yet I am free to be me and live my life as I see fit. Commitment does not equal being trapped and owned or succumbing to some form of cultural norm in terms of monogamy. It means that I don't float in a sea of people alone. It means I am not associated with people who have their own best interests in mind and care nothing of mine. Commitment breeds empathy and connection far more than anything I have ever known. Its the cement of the love I have for my partners, family and friends. Without it the foundation of everything in my life would eventually topple.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:57 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I have said this before but I think asking how to know if one is poly or not could be a waste of time. The more important questions, as I see it anyway, are:
What kinds of relationships do I want in my life?

How do I go about creating them?

What brings me fulfillment in relationships?

What effect do I have on the people I love and care about?

How can I live my life so that my relationships are the best possible expression of who I am and how I love?
Compared to those, I think "Am I poly?" is like asking "Am I blonde?" No matter the answer, it doesn't really amount to much without also asking some of the above.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:03 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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I think when someone is questioning whether or not they're poly nycindie's Questions #1 and #5 are automatically involved. Generally something has happened where they or a partner want more than one romantic relationship, so that gets Question #1 going. And then Question #5 is looking at the "Am I someone that needs to be poly (or mono)? Or can I be happy either way and get to choose?" part.

Lots of people new to poly aren't going to know what they want and how they would be happiest until they give multiple relationships an honest try. I know no one wants to be someone's "poly experiment", but it's not experimenting in a callous or disrespectful way to say, "I really care about you and would like to have a relationship with you, but I'm hesitant for *fill in the blank* reasons. If we give this a try, can we move slowly and see how it goes?" The keys, as usual, are communication and honesty, and avoiding charging ahead at full speed just because there's something new and shiny on the horizon. That's how train wrecks happen.
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:55 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I was actually having a version of this conversation with my dad this weekend. I was having a hard time explaining how it's optional for me. (well, it used to be, I dunno, I maybe can't go back. I know I can't go back to just one of these two, but if one of them chooses otherwise, I'm not sure what I'd do)

Bisexual doesn't define whether I choose men or women for relationship. It just means that it's possible for me to be with either one. Recognizing that I'm capable of more than one love doesn't mean I'm always going to seek it. I love who I love, and that I'm fortunate enough to have two people that are okay with me loving them both is AWESOME. But should they be taken away by aliens tomorrow (something I think they both might love), I wouldn't stop loving. I would still want people to share my life. I can't say for certain I would or wouldn't seek multiple; but I can't say for certain I could stay in a dyad only. To me, this means OPTIONAL.
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:43 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
I think when someone is questioning whether or not they're poly nycindie's Questions #1 and #5 are automatically involved.
Hahaha! Perhaps in some cases. I would hope it is true in most cases. But lots of people ask "Am I poly?" because they want an excuse to fuck anything that moves, and they are worlds away from contemplating how they can create loving relationships to be the best possible expression of who they are.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:

Last edited by nycindie; 05-11-2012 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:29 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
The OP probably isn't with us anymore, and most people probably know this already, but I wanted to say it anyway (it keeps me distracted from what I should be doing, which is reason enough):

There's nothing bad about fearing commitment, or not wanting to commit to a partner, if that's what everyone's on board with.

Some reasons why people might not want to commit to romantic relationships, other than being afraid of commitment or being indecisive:
1) Youth. Not wanting to commit to a romantic partnership at the age of 25 doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.
2) Been there, done that. If you just got out of a 20 year marriage, it's okay not to want to get into another right off the bat.
3) Relationship anarchy. You are allergic to labels and defining your relationships.
4) Sleeping around. Self-explanatory.
5) Aromanticism. Plenty of aro people want a relationship that's not romantic that involves commitment, but not everyone does.
6) You just don't want to.

Not wanting to commit to romantic partnerships is not the same thing as being damaged goods or leading people on or being afraid of feelings and of growing up. If you are kind enough to let people you bump into know that you have no plans to make this bumping a regular thing and don't expect them to commit to bumping into you, you are good to go a-bumping imho.
Thanks for posting this, BlackUnicorn. You pretty much captured all the reasons why I cringe at the thought of getting into a deeply committed relationship, yet do not feel I have an unhealthy fear of commitment.

"Aromanticism." Never heard that till today, but I'm so glad that's a thing! Maybe it's the identity I've been looking for.

But the abbreviation "aro" irritates me. I see that it's used by the (very new) National Coalition for Aromantic Visibility, but it looks weird spelled out, is not obvious how it's pronounced, and seems to generate more confusion rather than less. The purpose of labels should be to simplify, clarify, and facilitate communication. When people go too far with abbreviations, it creates more of a secret lingo understood only by the community, rather than an easy shorthand for explaining oneself to others.

(For the same reason, I don't really like the terms "mono" and "poly." Outside the poly community, mono is the kissing disease. And to my engineer brother, poly refers to polymer materials or something.)

Thanks, BlackUnicorn, for bringing aromanticism to my attention. I feel kind of relieved that at least a few other people have thought of the concept!
Single, straight, female, solo, non-monogamous.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:27 PM
whatifwetried whatifwetried is offline
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Default Is this a reason to try polyamory?


I am new to this forum and to concept of polyamory.

I have been in several mono relationships, and am currently in one with a guy who is very different from myself, almost polar opposites. Due to differing perspectives and values and personal processes, I often find my emotional needs unmet.

I'm wondering if this is a reason to consider going poly? I love him and want to be with him, but want to experience certain ways of expressing and receiving love that just aren't his style, and I dont want to force anything onto him or put on unfair expectations

What are your thoughts on this?

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