It's funny how the smallest things can lead to the biggest changes in perspective. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought there was any connection between my aromanticism and my gender identity, I would have said no. And yet, somehow, a single Tumblr post helped me to look at things from a slightly different angle and realize there was so much more depth in my personal experience than I thought.
My relationship with love is deeply influenced by my asexuality and aromanticism, resulting in a complicated, confusing, contradictory mess. It means both a lot and a little to me; I like and dislike considering my thoughts, feelings, and experiences to be love; and outside of aspec spaces I'm rarely included in conversations about love that allow me to fully express myself. Where do I even begin?
I think about aromanticism a lot. I think about how being aromantic influences my behavior, how it informs my perspectives on media, how it affects where I fit in the world. The question I don't think about as often is where aromanticism fits in the world, especially when it comes to where other people place it (or more specifically, where they don't). Here are two cases where the answer left me wishing for something better, and two possible solutions.
I was talking recently with a friend about the distinction I make between relationships and partnerships to explain why I don't want a queerplatonic relationship, and one of the differences we discussed was the idea of leaning, which invariably led to a lot of existential questions about aloneness.