Post by you*hear*but*do*you*listen on Oct 22, 2010 10:55:23 GMT -5
Sometimes I have trouble explaining exactly what romantic attraction is. I've said in the past "a strong emotional connection to another person that feels different from friendship or familial love and often results in behavior that society would deem romantic." But that includes behavior in the definition, which has some potential HUGE problems...so here is my silly, probably overly complicated definition of romantic attraction from a glossary I made of asexy terms:
Romantic attraction: 1) noun extremely powerful emotional connection to another individual that often involves strong desire to be near said individual, consideration or concern for the individual’s well-being, or desire to be in a romantic relationship with the individual 2) noun an attraction to another individual such that the one who experiences the attraction chooses to label it “romantic”
Thoughts? How do you guys define romantic attraction?
If I could define it... well, frankly I wouldn't identify as aromantic. I've been trying to operationally define the difference between a romantic relationship and a nonromantic one for ages now, with rather limited success.
Labelling can't be the only difference, can it? Or does the entire thing boil down to a cultural construct?
Post by you*hear*but*do*you*listen on Oct 23, 2010 20:33:05 GMT -5
I don't think the entire thing boils down to a social construct. The powerful things I feel for my fiancee can't all be explained by society's expectations, especially because I've never paid a damn bit of attention to such things. I think that people tend to be more physically affectionate with romantic partners than friends, and also are more comfortable sharing intimate details and opinions with romantic partners than friends. But there's a difference in the actual feelings too, and that's the part that's damn near impossible to define because it's so subjective.
"Anything can be a weapon if you're holding it right." --Ludo
Right, right, that was what I was trying to imply--not that the whole thing is a social construct, but that identification can't be the only measure of whether it's romantic attraction or not.
It just seems to be a feeling that I don't experience, or at least if I experience it I can't differentiate it from other forms of close affection. So... I don't know, I really want to see a definition that explains what the difference in feeling is like so I can tell what it is for sure, but obviously I can't write that myself! Like some sexual people have done on AVEN for sexual attraction.
I am also curious how one would define this. For myself, although I have virtually no experience beyond the abstract, I would describe it as a close friendship, but with a sort of long-term connection and an extra closeness. Taking it that much farther. It may seem vague, but as I am not super close with even my closest friends, it's simple for me to imagine the increased degree of emotional and intellectual closeness being the defining factor. The wish to be closer, and the ability, the feeling that I can dare to be that much closer. It's what puts actual meaning in the phrase "more than just friends" for me.
Does that make sense? But again, since I've never really experienced it, I may be entirely wrong!
I can't figure it out either, but then I'm aromantic. Since I experience neither romantic nor sexual attraction, I would have no idea how to separate the two. However, I think it makes perfect sense for them to be different things, since you can apparently have sexual attraction without romantic and a romantic bond does at least appear to be something different from a close platonic friendship.
I have extremely close platonic relationships with friends, but I wouldn't consider them romantic. ...Unless you're an Alternian Troll, in which case moirallegiance might fit the bill.
Last Edit: Nov 1, 2010 15:03:30 GMT -5 by goldfish
At my first ace meetup, I tried to explain troll relationships to David Jay, but I think I just sounded like a total geek. Homestuck makes me geek out!
I advocate some sort of social construction theory of romantic attraction. Attraction is a whole set of experiences, and those experiences are real. But the categorization is not real, in the same sense that weather is not a real category. We put temperature, precipitation, and sunshine all into one category, but there's no fundamental reason for it, just extremely pragmatic ones.
We put all these experiences into a single category, "attraction", because it is useful to do so. It's useful because the experiences tend to mix together, they're difficult to distinguish from one another, and they all have similar consequences.
Romantic attraction is just a subcategory that is particularly useful to romantic asexuals. This is presumably because they have a set of experiences which are useful to categorize together, and to categorize separately from other experiences.
To continue with siggy's thought, what makes it hard to define the categories is that different people have different ideas of what should be included. My category for romantic attraction may cover fewer experiences than a "more" romantic person, with experiences that are included in their definition under a totally different one in mine, for example platonic or aesthetic attraction.
Which would make romantic attraction a set of concrete experiences, frequently common between individuals, but that can be grouped into more personal combinations.
(That's just me processing and typing at the same time, feel free to disregard)
Post by ocelotofdoom on Nov 6, 2010 22:00:30 GMT -5
Yay, other Homestuck geeks!
I'm more or less with Sciatrix on this one - I find it hard to define romantic attraction because (in my case) I either haven't felt it or don't experience it as incredibly different than friendship. I'm definitely one of those who's experienced something like moirallegiance (to continue with the Homestuck theme), but not the traditional romantic feelings.
Going off murray's post, kind of - there does seem to be a certain set of experiences or feelings that go with romance (the "more than a friend" feeling toward someone, the aesthetic attraction and the want for physical contact), but I'm wondering if those actually define romance or are just the way most people experience it.
"Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you." -Tyrion Lannister, A Song of Ice and Fire.
I'd say that these common factors are the way most people experience it, because undoubtedly there are romantic relationships that are experienced differently, and I'm sure there are some who experience these factors without calling it romance.
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