It happens almost once a week. My mom stands behind me, as I wash a pile of grease-covered dishes, and encourages me to seek romance. She reassures me of my good looks, reminds me of my charm and sense of humor, and tells me any guy would be lucky to date me. She’s a single mom with a single child, so it seems to me like she’s trying hard to give me a normal childhood — one that includes a first love.
But I’m not sure she’s going to get that last part.
When it comes to romantic relationships, I don’t have any interest in pursuing them. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been on an awkward date — or five — but after having someone try to put their sweaty palm to mine and not feeling butterflies in my stomach, I started examining what I was really thinking and feeling.
I wondered if this lack of romantic interest was a reaction to witnessing my friends’ relationships end badly. Was I just super insecure about actually finding someone to be with? Or was I just trying to reject romantic norms and be alternative?
Then I went online. I discovered a whole community of people who who feel little or no romantic attraction to others. They call themselves Aromantics. I thought I’d finally found an identity that clicked. There’s even a tumblr called “Ask an Aromantic” where people explore some of the same questions I had.
Just because I’ve never felt a romantic attraction to someone before, doesn’t mean I won’t feel that urge someday. I’m definitely open to the possibility of finding that person I enjoy cuddling with at the movies, or that special someone who knows exactly how I like my coffee. And even if that doesn’t make sense to me right now, I know that discovering different parts of myself is just part of growing up.