Attraction is a very tough subject to explore because it’s so heavily dependent on individual experiences. However, it’s also a subject that’s being brought up more and more as people are getting more in touch with who they are and what they want out of the people and world around them.
One of the biggest questions about aromantic asexuals, in particular, seems to be how we know when we’re in love with someone and how those feelings differ from simple friendship.
Today, I’d really like to see if I can explain how I, as an aro ace, feel when I’m attracted to people and what other forms of attraction can be felt outside of romantic or sexual feelings.
As an aromantic asexual, I don’t feel sexual or romantic attraction. For me personally, this means that the majority of my relationships develop from emotional attraction.
Emotional attraction is the desire to get to know someone, usually due to their personality or personal traits. This is the type of attraction that draws people together into friendships and is present even in romantic or sexual relationships both during and after the initial ‘spark’ or ‘chemistry’ dies out.
For me, I find people who are intensely ‘interesting’ to me. Unlike regular friends, who are fun to hang out with, these ‘interesting’ friends immediately take precedence in my mind. I like how our two personalities mix and enjoy being around these ‘interesting’ people. I spend extra time with them, get them gifts, and do what I can to make them happy or help them out. We often share one-on-one activities; such as co-writing stories, sparring, or watching certain TV shows that I won’t watch with anyone else.
In actual practice, emotional attraction for aromantic-identified people is similar to a crush, except that it’s completely platonic, rather than romantically motivated. Often, when aromantic-identified people talk about having a ‘squish’, it’s this type of relationship.
Emotional attraction doesn’t have to be combined with any other form of attraction.Rather than escalating into a new form of relationship, as in the case of a romantic (partner) or sexual (friends with benefits) attraction, emotional attraction can deepen into an increasingly intimate platonic relationship in its own right. Some people describe their romantic and sexual attraction as a quickening or a ‘rush’ when they’re around their special person. Emotional attraction, at least for me, is slightly different. Rather than a rush, a fulfilled emotional attraction between two people is a deep feeling of contentment and trust, like soaking up to your chin in a warm bath after a hard day.
Although this article is only able to cover one type of attraction that aromantics feel, there’s a lot of different ways for people to be drawn to one another without feeling romantic attraction.
What does emotional attraction feel like to you? Tell me about it in the comments!