Aromantic and Gray-romantic
In 2008, 15% of all books sold in the US were romance novels, and 25% of Americans had read at least one. Novels, movies, music, and most of all people; we are constantly told about the importance of romantic love. If you’re dating someone, people want to know when you’re getting married. If you’re not dating, then offers are made to set you up, or of the dating sight that so-and-so found useful, or reassurances that the right person is out there for you. Because if you’re not in love, you must be looking for it, right? If you’re not with someone romantically then either you just broke up, or you’re going to be with someone soon.
Someone who says they don’t want to be in love is looked upon as a Scrooge, most of the time. And someone who doesn’t feel romantic love because it’s not part of who they are isn’t even acknowledged in society. It’s never discussed as being a possibility, that people don’t feel it. There’s so many kinds of love, but more than any other it feels like romantic love is stressed as being ‘the’ love. It’s this quest to find it, this mythic journey.
But what about people who don’t feel it? Or rarely feel it? It doesn’t make you wrong, or broken, or a freak. A few hundred years ago making marriage decisions based on love would have been ridiculous, and yet now we’ve swung so far in the other direction that making relationship decisions based on anything other than romantic love is disdained.
How do you cope with a romantic based society when you’re aromantic (not feeling romantic love at all) or gray-romantic (feeling very little or for short intervals)?