amatonormativity

Love Is A Spectrum

Love Is A Spectrum: Why You Should Hold Onto Your Own Definition Of Love

Lovely article from a woman who has never been in romantic love but acknowledges that you can be in love in  many different ways and it doesn’t not have to meet society’s traditional model

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A Letter to M

Dear M,

It was never love at first sight. When I had first laid eyes on you I never took any special liking to you. After all, you were two school years below me and I had always known you as “S’ little brother”. That’s all you were to me. The circumstances provided no way for us to develop any sort of relationship with each other. Though in such close proximity within a small educational institution, we belonged to two separate worlds. I knew of your existence but I never gave you much thought. After 2014, everything changed. Your best friend became romantically attracted to me so you started coming around. Then, you and my best friend become romantically attracted to each other as well which led to us spending more time together. These circumstances caused our relationship grow from just mere acquaintances to people who communicate, though not intimately, but regularly. But even then I still felt no unusual attraction towards you. You were my casual friend, my boyfriend’s best-friend and my best-friend’s romantic interest. However, I did begin to notice that you were a cool person and even an awesome person at that.

Then I was informed about what you went through, how it changed your outlook on life and made your soul become darker, I discovered that you did not have the perfect life, nothing was handed to you, you had to work hard to survive and you’re still working hard to make a name for yourself. That is when I first became attracted to you. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever felt. I felt that I could relate to you. I wanted to become close to you. I wanted to be there for you. I wanted to love you. I came to realize more and more what a dark beautiful soul you were and how much I wanted to love that dark soul of yours with every fiber of my being. There was not anything you asked me to do or to give that I would refuse to do or give once I was able to. I wanted to love you the very way that Christ commanded me to love my neighbour.

Unconditionally.

Despite my desire to form a close, loving, intimate relationship with you and despite me trying to show you through my actions that I cared deeply for you, our relationship  remained a distant, casual one for months. But I guess you knew I cared somehow but you just weren’t ready to open up yet. So in the shadows I stood, cheering you on from the sidelines, desiring for you to win, desiring for you to be happy.

And then something happened. Our conversations became longer. You shared a tiny bit more information with me. But still we weren’t there.

Then my birthday came and you messaged me. You held a conversation. We talked for the whole day, our conversations became deep and this continued throughout the summer. Finally we were close friends and I was able to tell you how I feel about you, how I was drawn to you and felt the need to be by your side, caring for you and supporting you. My love for you drew stronger and more intense, you became my top priority and could even be considered my guy best-friend. But at the height of our friendship we were now separated, you went to 6th form (A-levels) and I had just left 6th form at our Alma Mater to attend the University of the West Indies so we had to wait a few months until school had ended to see each other again. We were no longer hanging out as a group but as a trio (me and your best-friend broke up but you and my best-friend were still infatuated with each other after a whole year) and we met up at her house. For the first time, I really held you. After months of being emotionally intimate, we were now also physically close. I felt so safe and peaceful with you. I have never felt more joy and euphoria when lying in someone’s arms as I have felt while in yours. You make me feel alive.

I felt torn between you and my best-friend because you two both wanted different things and I knew you both can only be happy apart from each other. It was hard to please both of you. My best-friend decided she was going to stop waiting for you and move on. And you were left with only me by your side.The same way I was left with only you by my side after your best-friend broke up with me. Maybe we were meant to be constant. So I’ll be here as your queerplatonic partner, as your anime marathon buddy, your cuddle buddy and whatever you need me to be (except your smash buddy lol…unless we talking Super Mario Bros).

I want to do life with you. I want to live with you in a nice little house, somewhere quiet, so I can see you and be with you everyday. Luckily, you agreed to this idea. Me and you, in a committed, non-romantic partnership. And the struggle with being both aromantic sexual and Christian is that in order to fulfill my desire for sex, I need to get married. But my love for you even has me thinking that I should remain celibate, because getting married in an amatonormative culture can really mess with our arrangement.

I’m in love with you. And you don’t have to be alarmed at me saying this because you know what I mean. For me, there is no experience of romantic love, I’m aromantic. For me, love is love, there is no romantic vs platonic love. For me, love is unconditional, love is an action, love is a choice. And I choose to be by your side forever. I love you M and no matter what I always will.

Yours sincerely,

Your nonromantic love

& possibly 1st girl to have a squish on you

 

 

Loving You…In the Least Romantic Way Possible

So yesterday, I decided to send my friends a photo expressing my love for them, and one guy replied that telling him “I love you nonromantically” was a contradiction because love is romance to which I responded “Wow, you’re very amatonormative”. He also went on further to equate sex with love. I pointed him to Google to look up the definition of amatonormativity and this guy totally defends it by saying that all humans want love and I just view it differently because I’m religious.

I pointed out:

  • Sex and love are two different and separate things.
  • Most people tend to have sex for mere pleasure.
  • Some people engage in romantic relationships, not even for romance or love but because they desire sex and view the fulfillment of this desire most appropriate within a romantic relationship. These relationships should however be specifically labelled as “romantic-sexual” relationships.
  • Sexual desire and the desire to be loved are also two different things. All humans may desire love in general, but not all humans want romantic love or to “fall in love” and not all humans experience romantic attraction or romantic love (the existence of aromantics prove this). All humans do not desire sex (partnered sex to be more specific) either and the existence of asexuals further proves this point. However, sexual people may not desire sex for other reasons and whatever reasons they are, all are valid and we have no right to say they are broken and need fixing. That’s up to them.
  • Romance can exist without sex. (Main proof- romantic asexuals)
  • Sex can exist without romance. (Main proof-aromantic sexuals)

He still did not get my point because he kept arguing that I will always have a different perspective because I’m religious. Yes, I personally believe that sex is for marriage but I understand those points I made above and with him being someone who is sex-crazed and having constant casual sex I expected he would too. But that’s just another example of romantic-sexual relationship hierarchy in society. He is still chasing the “one”.

Meanwhile, I’ll be taking a nap. See you soon.6358903275513744801868687840_tumblr_nirm5gdkuC1trefrto1_500

Lack of Romance Does Not Equate to Being Unloved

I’m very grateful for my friends and family. With all of the love, intimacy, support and physical affection I receive from you all I will never feel unloved, unworthy, lonely or miserable just because I don’t have a “boyfriend”. I could live my whole life being single and be even more fulfilled than people in romantic relationships because I have you.
But society has done a good job in making us believe that if no one is romantically interested in us or if we don’t have a romantic partner, that we are unloved or broken. It makes us believe that romantic love is superior to platonic love, that romantic relationships are greater than friendships and that only romantic relationships are worth investment and commitment. It leads us to limit love, physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, sensual touch (cuddling, kissing, hugging etc) and commitment to only romantic relationships. You see, these things are essential to humans. And because these things are deemed as inappropriate within friendships, we all feel the need to chase a romantic partner to have such things because society says you can only get these things from your romantic partner. Remove those amatonormative glasses from your eyes and start to experience real love. Focus on loving your friends and family and developing close, loving, intimate relationships with them. Stop chasing romance.

The Prioritization of Romantic Relationships Within Amatonormative Cultures

We live in a society where it is totally acceptable and expected for us to go long periods without speaking to our friends (notice I said ‘friend’, not acquaintance, which is a more casual superficial relationship) and brush it off as being “grown” and “busy” but when it comes to our romantic partners, we are expected to maintain steady, consistent contact and communication with these individuals and to invest a great deal of time in building intimacy, love etc no matter how busy we are. We are expected to sacrifice our friendships and familial relations at the drop of a hat to please our romantic partners. How often do you see a person leaving their hometown to follow their friend overseas because they don’t want to be without their friend? Rarely, but we do this for our romantic partners in order to maintain the relationship. Yes, I do acknowledge that we can have friends who we love dearly and go a certain amount of time without speaking with them but why don’t we view romantic relationships the same? Is it because society has this messed up idea that romantic relationships are worth more than friendships? We prioritize romance over friendship. Our romantic relationships are of a higher priority than our friendships because we all know when someone/something is a priority we make time for it no matter how busy we are. Simple! How often do you go without speaking to your “significant other” or someone you are romantically interested in? Because we are not romantically interested in our friends (let’s be honest, most people don’t have close, passionate, intimate friendships. Friends are just people they hang out with, share a few jokes and common interests with. They don’t have deep relationships with their friends, especially if they are of the gender which they are sexually and romantically attracted to) we don’t see it necessary to invest time in building an intimate, sensual, loving relationship with them because society says we only want to spend time with, touch and be emotionally close with someone out of romantic interest for them. It’s a society that tends to romanticize any emotionally intimate, physically affectionate or sensual, deep, meaningful friendship. It’s an amatonormative culture based on a romantic-sexual relationship hierarchy. Even if these close friendships are accepted, they are only viewed as appropriate during childhood/adolescence. Growing up means leaving friendships behind in pursuit of finding the “one” and any close friendship is viewed as having an “emotional affair” because we are only to be close with our romantic-sexual partner. A world where romance and love are not seen as equal, where sensuality and physical affection are not so closely linked with romance and sexuality is a more loving world for everyone.

Aromantic or Romantic LateBloomer

I have had four known crushes in my life between the ages of 7-13. Anything afterwards seemed like a blur. When I was 14, I had my first boyfriend and I did get involved in ‘relationships’ with guys afterwards. But these relationships never felt right to me. It seemed as if the feelings I had for these guys was merely that I felt for casual friends. But there were a few guys who I stayed with long enough to develop some emotional connection and looking back I think  what made me sad when we broke up was that I would no longer be given that sort of attention and ‘intimacy’. Hard to explain.But I never felt actual breakup pain until my last relationship ended. I was with a guy for 13 months and I think he is the first guy I probably liked because we were close and intimate with each other and it would hurt whenever he was being distant cause I really just wanted him to hold me and carry on a long deep conversation with me like he was my best friend. Then there was a guy I broke up with because I just could not find myself attracted to him. He was just like a friend to me. Though we did have a close friendship with each other which led to him developing feelings and asking me to be his gf and because he was a cool guy I saw no problem. I started to feel like something was wrong with me and a big problem I had was being unable to differentiate between whether I was ‘in love’ with someone or just loved them intensely as a friend. This first presented itself in a close friendship I developed with a guy when I was 16. I didn’t have a ‘squish’ on him from the beginning but I drew to love him a lot and started to question if I was ‘in love’ with him. But he was not the first guy I have loved immensely. The first guy was my best friend K. We would talk to each other for hours and make lists of stuff we wanted to do together like moving in an one bedroom apartment and going skinny dipping. There was nothing we couldn’t tell each other and we were very intimate both emotionally and physically. The entire school thought we were dating and I actually hang out with a group of guys and I still do as I find forming friendships with males easier and more fulfilling. I love guys! The end of our closeness was my first heartbreak and I have never experienced anything such then. We grew apart because he developed romantic feelings for a close friend and focused all of his attention on her instead. But he noticed how this had hurt our friendship and apologized but since then we were never able to get back to where we were. However, I have the same love for him and we still can tell each other everything it’s just we don’t talk frequently. But we still spent time together and share that physical intimacy (holding hands, cuddling, kissing). I actually share physical intimacy with majority of my friends even if I don’t have that emotional closeness, I’m still a very affectionate person and enjoy cuddling with and kissing my friends. I really love touch.

However, I developed my first squish on a guy known as M in late 2014. He was the best friend of my last boyfriend and my best female friend had a crush on him so we usually spent casual time together due to the circumstances. I actually only found out what a squish was and that the definition fit this strange feeling I got which I defined as being ‘platonically in love’ with someone about 3 days ago. I had this immense attraction to this guy and I wanted to play a great role in his life; I got jealous when I saw another girl refer to him as her best friend because that is what I wanted to be. I wanted to be very close and intimate with him. After some failed attempts in forming a close bond with him, our friendship blossomed quickly over the last 2 weeks of the summer (I was still in a ‘romantic relationship with his best male friend) and we became close friends. I revealed how I really felt about him. I really love this guy. N.B Both of us were in romantic relationships for the first few months of our friendship. After forming our close friendship I did not see him for 5 months until we met up at my best friend’s house on Boxing Day. The joy that can be felt just lying in the arms of a close friend and having that physical intimacy is like a touch of heaven. I can’t wait to see him again. A time at my house we were watching TV, he was lying in my arms and holding my hands and every once in while we would just stare into one another’s eyes…then he actually kissed me on the lips. Knowing the nature of our friendship, I thought nothing romantic of this gesture and I returned the kiss. He also almost gave me a hickey. Hilariously, he only remembered this act about two months later and was confused. I told him that our friendship is already so inappropriate when judged by society’s conventional standards that a kiss on the lips is nothing.  Next time. we meet I want to discuss the whole queerplatonic thing with him and see how he reacts.

I’ve developed a 2nd squish this year and it’s still a work in progress but my feelings for him aren’t as intense as they were at the beginning for M.

I never really understood the point of ‘falling in love’ and I could never see the difference between platonic love and  romantic love. I just saw love as love and as a sexual person told myself that actual love between a romantic couple was just the same love between friends but paired with sexual attraction. When asked if I would marry without being ‘in love’ I responded yes because I know that I can love someone intensely, be intimate emotionally, physically and sexually and spend my life growing with this person without being in love with them. N.B. As a sexual person I still want my sexual relations to be within a committed relationship. I just want that connection with someone because I love being close and intimate. Without this real love, the romantic relationship would just be based on chemical reactions in the brain and there would be no true love where you choose to love someone unconditionally and be there for them no matter what. Basically we are to love all people the same. People prioritizing romantic relationships over those they have with friends and family never made sense to me. My romantic homosexual brother keeps saying that he needs someone to love him and that he needs to find love etc…and all the other dumb amatonormative phrases and I’m annoyed to hear all of them. Why not focus on your friends and family? When I read The Thinking Aro’s post on relationship anarchy I realized I always felt that way.

When I learned about amatonormativity, aromanticism, queerplatonic relationships and relationship anarchy a few days ago I felt like something clicked and I’ve been conflicted within myself and asking myself questions everysince. I’m single right now for several reasons: I’m actually a Christian and I’m waiting to meet someone that sort of shares my beliefs to settle down with, I’m testing myself to see if I am capable of falling in love without any pressure or other factors screwing with my judgement. I don’t see a need for a romantic relationship if I can have this intimacy with a friend.

Hopefully I can learn more about who I am.