Edge of Everywhere

Year In Review, Part I: Romance Is Dead

Posted on: September 26, 2009

When discovered my asexuality a year ago, I saw the word heteroromantic and figured it must apply to me; after all, I have occasionally felt attracted to guys over the course of my life and have been in a long-term relationship with one. And I figured that even though I didn’t ever want to have sex with anyone, I would still want romance at some point, and be forced to navigate the pursuit of it–a complex thing for asexuals in a sexual world.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized romance wasn’t actually a goal of mine. While it may be intriguing and dramatic and fun, I see it as being unsustainable and separate from the types of relationships I really want in the long run. In my experience, romance is the butterflies and excitement and flattering mutual admiration at the beginning of a relationship (or the beginning of something that never goes anywhere), but it’s not a characteristic that I see as necessary or even possible (for me, at least) in a long-term relationship of any kind.

I have learned that the distinguishing characteristic of the relationships I seek (whether friendships or partnerships) is commitment. Not commitment that requires a ring or a vow or even an explicit declaration, but a mutual and unshakable feeling of being committed to each other’s happiness. It’s about a feeling of “I care about you. I will always be there. I won’t abandon this.” So I’ve reached the point where I know that I won’t be too disappointed if I go the rest of my life without having any romantic interludes, as entertaining and ego-boosting as they may be, because if I can have the less flashy but safer comfort of true understanding and companionship, that’s enough for me.

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3 Responses to "Year In Review, Part I: Romance Is Dead"

I usually equate intellectual or psychedelic banter to “really good sex”. What you’ve articulated here resounds with a recurring experience: the best part is the part before we realize “this really isn’t going anywhere,” a common endpoint of most of my conversation romances.

On relationships and commitent:
“I won’t abandon this.”
“a mutual and unshakable feeling of being committed to each other’s happiness.”

I love the way you defined this. Thank you.

Perfect…

I really dislike the “romantic-way-of-life”

This is so true, the shallow fun and drama of romance is definitely destablising for me. Trust and honesty are much higher on my list!

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