Apprehension towards aromantics

Rachel Laventure, Staff Writer

Today’s society seems to revolve around romance and love. There is a day literally dedicated to romantic love and stores advertising various trinkets, all themed around the message of love. Hollywood pumps out romcom after romcom, all containing the message that finding love is the answer to all of our problems, that having that very special someone should be the end goal of our lives. With quotes like “Love is life, if you miss love, you miss life” or “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” that seem to be plastered on every billboard or said in every online dating commercial, our society advertises that everyone should want to have a romantic partner. Living in a society centered on romantic love, people who are aromantic experience discrimination and marginalization every day, because of their lack of representation and the negative attitudes to those who do not experience romantic love.

The term “aromantic” is defined as a person who does not experience romantic attraction.This does not mean that an aromantic person does not experience love in general; they merely do not experience romantic love. It also does not mean that an aromantic person does not experience sexual attraction; that’s called asexuality. There labels and stereotypes about aromantic people, including being called “robots” or “broken”. They are “reassured” that they’ll find the right person eventually; that they don’t need to “give up” on love. Even people who are also part of the LGBT+ community marginalize these people and even agree with the misconceptions about aromantic people. This includes telling them that they aren’t a real part of the community, because they do not experience the same level of discrimination that their peers do. Aromantic people are outcasts from mainstream society to the community that proclaims to be accepting of all romantic and sexual attractions.

Especially in a world where romance and romantic love is revered, someone who is aromantic may feel as if they are missing a part of themselves that society demands them to have. This is especially true for young people who may not know what being aromantic is, as it is a relatively unheard of part of the LGBTQIA+ community. With no representation and lack of resources, aromantic people may attempt to force themselves to feel something they don’t. It remains relatively unheard of because there is no representation for aromantic people in mainstream media, and even in the LGBTQIA+ community, which lacks resources for people who are under the ace spectrum. However, just because people who are aromantic are not part of mainstream media, it does not mean they do not exist. According to the 2014 Asexual Community Census, 14,275,076 aromantic people are currently living in the United States. With such a large community, a question arises as to why there is no representation for aromantic people? Unfortunately, the answer is that people are simply unaware that aromantic people exist.

Aromantic people experience a heavy amount of marginalization, discrimination and lack of representation from almost every community. It’s unfair, seeing that there are so many aromantic people around us. The only way to fix this issue is to bring awareness to the community, to provide resources for aromantic people to feel safe and comfortable in their own skin. Support your peers for whomever they love or don’t love, and know that people who do not experience romantic love are not broken. They are not robots. They are normal human beings, just like the rest of us.