Are aromantics heartless? Are we incapable of love? Are we some kind of psychopath who just can’t feel the love that everybody else enjoys in their lives?
Thankfully, the answer to each of those questions is a big, juicy NO. We are capable of so much deep love, we just don’t point it in a romantic direction. But our friends? Our families (including chosen families)? Our favourite artists and writers and scientists? Our beloved pets?
We. Love. Them.
We love deeply, where it is deserved. We may find no appeal in the one kind of love that typifies romance, but there are many different types of love and nowhere near enough words for them in the English language!
Collins suggests the following, and it still feels inadequate:
- care for
- be devoted to
- be attached to
- be in love with
- dote on
- hold dear
- think the world of
- feel affection for
- have affection for
They had hundreds more suggestions, check them out here. Maybe meditate on a few and consider which words you would use to describe your feelings for different people in your life.
If somebody has made you feel like being aromantic must mean you have no love inside you, you will see that it is not the case. You are not heartless.
Many aromantic people also have things called squishes, which are like crushes, but not for romantic partners. Instead, they might describe the feelings you have for – or the relationship you want with – somebody you’d love to have as a best friend or sleepover buddy. This can include cuddles, meals out and cosy Netflix nights in. There will be more on squishes on this site soon. (If you have anything you’d like to say about them, or anything else related to aromanticism, contact me about a guest blog spot).
Something else that can make aromantic people feel heartless is if they have to turn someone down who asks them on a date. It’s never an enjoyable task and, if you have to do it repeatedly (because you resolutely don’t want to be dating), it can have an impact on your self-esteem as well as being a bummer for the dumpee.
Remind yourself that you are taking care of yourself, and that you are entitled to turn as many people down as you want to. No means no, and it doesn’t even require an explanation.