8 People Share Their Stories Of How They Realized They Were Aromantic

As Aromantic Awareness Week Starts, How Did People Realize They Were Aromantic?

A photograph of a white person at pride, wearing a green patterned shirt, with a painting of the aromantic flag on their face. Anna Fedorova_it / Shutterstock.com

For those who don’t know, this week, from February 19th to the 24th, celebrates Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. This is a week dedicated to celebrating and spreading awareness about aromantic people’s experiences, lives, and communities. What does it mean to be aromantic?

For those who have never heard of this term, no worries! Allow me to explain.

Aromanticism, as defined by AUREA, an aromantic visibility network, is a romantic orientation, which most commonly describes people who experience little to no romantic attraction to others.


Aromantic people are generally thought to take up about only 1% of the world’s population, but that doesn’t stop them from creating communities and sharing their stories! Especially their stories about how they first realized they were aromantic. After all, nobody is born knowing their sexuality, there has to be a lightbulb moment somewhere.

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So, without further ado, here are several first-hand stories of how different people realized they were aromantic.

1. That sounds fake, but okay

A Reddit thread shared this week in honor of ASAW saw several aros explaining how they realized they were aromantic.


“I thought romance was fake, like fantasy movies,” one user told the Reddit community. “I felt like I was an actor just trying to copying things I've seen from romance movies.”

The user described being uncomfortable with touch or kisses, to the point where they would flinch. When their boyfriend eventually broke up with them, they felt nothing but relief.

“I kept dating thinking this was normal, until 2020 and I was on TikTok and stumbled on Aro TikTok and it just clicked.”

2. Too touchy

Another story comes from YouTuber bmud.angel, about her first real relationship, freshman year of high school with a boy.

She had pursued a boy who was a hopeless romantic, and had a lot of fun pursuing the relationship, but once it became clear that he liked her back, and a relationship was now a reality, the fantasy died.


She stayed in the relationship for almost three weeks, trying to make it work due to the encouragement of her friends, but eventually, it got to be too much. She was uncomfortable with his physical advances, and was constantly stressed by the approaching social expectation of a first kiss, and had to break off the relationship.

“After I finished dating him, I was like ‘I’m no longer dating someone that I don’t have true feelings for,” she said. “... and then I never dated again, because I never had feelings for someone like that. Which is eventually when I realized, oh, I’m aromantic.”

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3. Keeping it simple!

One user told the r/aromantic thread on Reddit: “Man, everyone has such interesting stories, while I just came across the term aromanticism and was like "Oh, I'm aromantic, cool.”

Another user agreed, explaining that coming across a Wikipedia page had been enough to convince them without much else.

4. Self Discovery through a YouTube celebrity

Over eight individual Redditors traced their self-discovery directly to one relatively popular YouTuber: Jaiden Animations.

This YouTuber grew her fame with a lovable art style, animating clips from video games, musicals, life stories, and more. Almost a year ago, she released a coming-out video on YouTube, describing her experience with being aromantic and asexual.


One commenter described watching the video four times in a row because: “I realized there was something about this that resonated with and slowly put the puzzle pieces together. A few hours later when my thoughts were clearer I took a very long walk thinking about the fact that I might be aromantic and all the stuff that would explain.”

Others agreed, praising her for being open about her identity and leading them to introspection about themselves.

RELATED: The Common Sexual Orientation You Might Have (But Not Know About)

5. WDYM you can be friends with the other gender?

One story, submitted to YouTuber Lynn Saga, discusses a humorous path to self-acceptance.


“Long before I knew I was aro, I massively misunderstood what it meant to have a crush,” the story reads.

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The writer explains how they used to pick one person at a time to have a crush on, until one day, when it seemed to happen naturally. They then quickly realized, however, that it wasn’t quite romance.


“I… didn’t realize you can be friends with the opposite gender without having a crush on them, and I was just super excited about my new friend.”

6. Anxiety attack

Another user submitted a story to Lynn Saga and described how anxiety led them to understand their view of romance was different from the norm.

“I was 16 when I had a crush on my best friend, so I asked her out and she felt the same way,” the story reads. “However, one week after we started dating, I started to feel really anxious just thinking about doing anything romantic with her.”

The anxiety eventually became unbearable, and the couple had to break up.

The user reflects that they probably could have saved the relationship if they had communicated more about the issue, but they had been so confused at the time, it hadn’t worked out. They are still friends with each other, and now realize that they just had a big platonic crush on their best friend.


7. Help from a friend

Other Redditors shared stories about friends or family suggesting the topic of aromanticism to them.

“When I was 18, almost a year ago, I heard the term aromantic explained by my sister,” one user shared. Another user was swapping stories with their best friend, when they mentioned that they had never had a crush on anyone.

The best friend then explained what it meant to be aro, and that they also identified as aromantic.

“This was about a year ago and I’ve never looked back,” The commenter continues. “The aro community is awesome and I’m proud to be here!”


8. Sleepless nights

Another user described how hard it was for them to realize what they were.

“I remember asking myself from time to time what it really means to love someone romantically, because I never experienced that desire for myself. Regardless I lived my life thinking that I was 'normal' and that maybe I just hadn't found someone who connected with me. I ended up feeling like there was something wrong with me for a long time, because I was really uncomfortable with romantic intimacy.”

The user describes struggling with self-loathing and sleeplessness, feeling like they weren’t enough.

Now, however, they have found a new comfort and acceptance within life.


“Now I'm almost 26, and this year is probably the first year where I've actually felt confident about my romantic/sexual identity, and I have this sub to thank for part of the discovery!”

For some, the journey to self-realization is paved with awkward misunderstandings, failed dates, and confused nights on the web. For others, it involves long nights and hard times. For some, it can be as simple as a Google search.

Every story has value in its own right, and no two stories are the same.

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Hawthorn Martin is a news and entertainment writer living in Texas. They focus on social justice, pop culture, and human interest stories.