Navigating relationships as aromantic

This is my contribution for the August 2019 edition of the Carnival of Aros.

Aromantic, squish, queerplatonic… some words that have resonated with me when I learnt of them. A squish is an instance of platonic attraction that I could describe as different from crushes, so that I could develop relationships outside of the sexual or romantic framework. Queerplatonic was a term I learnt after my first relationship of this kind ended, but it helped me to speak about it again outside of the sexual or romantic framework. These words have helped me a lot.

Some time ago, I wrote some posts on the tetrachotomy romantic/platonic/social/acquaintance versus the trichotomy romantic/friend/acquaintance and an analogy with 3-level vs. 4-level vowel systems. I find more useful the tetrachotomy for my thinking, but I am aware that the general society uses the trichotomy, so I must be aware of the phonological issues that may arise. For instance, when I speak of the platonic sphere, I may be lumped with the romantic or with the social, depending on how is listening. The asexual community tends to romanticize platonic stuff, while the rest of society goes the opposite way.

So, being platonic aromantic, and aware of it, has impacted greatly on the relationships I have formed and especially on the relationships I have not formed. Not falling in love prevented me from entering romantic relationships, and being aware of a squish allowed me to forge a friendship of the queerplatonic kind. All this would have not been possible without the terminology developed by the incipient aromantic community, although then still inside the asexual community.

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