There Are Those Who Don’t Feel Romantic Attraction. I Am One of Them.

Posted: February 14, 2023 in Uncategorized
The aromantic flag. Yes, we have a flag.

“We walk among you.”

This is a line from the movie Transamerica, about a transgender woman traveling cross-country with her son who was conceived when she was still living as a man. It’s said at a gender pride party where most of the attendees are trans. The son is talking to a transgender man and says he wouldn’t be able to tell, to which that line is said. I sometimes think of this line and how much it can apply to just about any minority or group that most people don’t see, including a lesser-known segment of the LGBT community.*

This is the aromantic community, or aro for short. A community to which I belong to. And no, we’re not smelly or constantly giving off some fragrance or another. It’s a-romantic. As in, we don’t feel romantic attraction, or we only feel it under very specific circumstances.

This is very different than being asexual, though some aro individuals are asexual as well (as many of you are aware, I’m openly bisexual). We just don’t feel romantic attraction or feel our lives are incomplete unless we have a romantic partner. Some of us don’t even understand romantic attraction, let alone understand when other people feel it. It’s not the same for every person. Like I said, some of us are asexual, while others feel sexual attraction towards one or both genders. And like sexuality and gender, aromantics fall on a spectrum, where some only feel attraction under special circumstances or depending on if a prospective partner is attracted to them as well.

For me, I may feel sexual attraction or think someone is cute, and I may enjoy being close to someone who makes my heart flutter a little. But I don’t think I’ve ever felt real romantic love before, and I started to realize this in high school. Of course, our society is kind of obsessed with love and being in relationships, so I kind of denied it for a while. But at this point in my life, I’m comfortable with it. And from the fact that I wrote this blog post, I felt it was important enough to talk about. Maybe spread a little awareness.

“But wait,” someone may ask, “aren’t you worried about being lonely for the rest of your life?” No, I’m not. I have friendships and people I am close to. I feel platonic love and familial love. I spend time with people and get to retreat afterwards into a comfortable solitude. For me, that’s enough.

“But surely there’s someone out there for you!” Maybe. Almost nothing is impossible. But remember, I’m bisexual. That means that one person just for me, male, female, or nonbinary, is just one in over seven billion. I have a better chance of winning the Powerball, which is about one in two-hundred and ninety-two million. But I’m not going to go out of my way on the off-chance I beat the odds and win the Powerball, let alone find some hypothetical soulmate.

Besides, I’m happy. I have a good job and a good home, I write stories that I am passionate about and that people love, and I have hobbies that I can share and gush about with people. Someday I may be able to write full-time, which I would love. I get to travel on occasion, and I’ve made so many good memories. What more could I want?

“But don’t you write romantic storylines in your stories?” Yes, I do. But not every aromantic individual is unable to understand romantic attraction. I don’t feel it or experience it, but I understand it. It’s not the first or last thing I’ve ever written about that I have no firsthand experience with (for example, I know no plant/human hybrids). I just tend to approach romantic storylines with a bit more realism. I have an outsider’s perspective, so I see signs of people getting too wrapped up in ideas of romance or true love, or how much a relationship of this sort requires a ton of work, or a hundred other things. And so far, no one’s complained how my relationships seem hokey or silly. On the contrary, all I’ve heard is how well done my fictional relationships are portrayed.

And in the future, I hope I can put more aromantic characters into my work (as well as more Jewish characters). I’m all for representation in my fiction, after all.

Anyway, was there a particular reason I decided to release a post about this on the day that people feel pressured to show how much they love their partner, be romantic, on a date, or otherwise showing they’re not lonely or single? The timing just seemed right, if I’m being honest. That, and for the sake of education. Both for the more romantically able, and for those who may be like me and may not realize they’re not alone or there’s nothing wrong with them.

On the contrary, you’re just the way you’re intended to be. Whether you feel romantic attraction or not. Remember, we walk among the crowds. And despite all appearances, we are never truly alone.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody. If you are with someone today, I hope you’re having a good time. And in the meantime, if you’re curious about aromanticism and want to learn more, I’ll leave some resource links down below. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares.

*And yes, the aro community is part of the LGBT community. In fact, the “A” in LGBTQIA+ can sometimes mean aromantic.


Aromantic-spectrum Union for Recognition, Education and Advocacy

Very Well Mind — What Does it Mean to be Aromantic?

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Comments
  1. It’s a fascinating subject, Rami. I’m definitely not aromantic. I had the giggly girl crushes when I was a teenager and all that, and the hubster’s still my Valentine. But I can understand how someone can lead a life of contentment and completion without a romantic interest.

  2. Rabbi Ungar says:

    Nice explanation. Love you, Rami.

  3. I am always impressed by the way you are able to share yourself with others. I wish I had the same courage.

  4. Iā€™m not aromatic, but this is a validating and informative post. I can see how a person could be happy and fulfilled without a romantic partner. There is a great deal of pressure to be coupled on Valentineā€™s Day and in society in general. Hallmark holidays and religious holidays are difficult times for so many who donā€™t fit into religious or societal constructs. Your post emphasizes the importance of inclusion. Would be great to include aromantic and Jewish characters or aromatic Jewish characters into your work.

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