Explaining stuff to people is hard work.
So, most of the time, I don’t do it.
It’s hard for me to put my thoughts and feelings into words (this may be related to alexithymia or autism or both), so I prefer to do it in writing, where I have a lot of time to think about how I want to phrase stuff. This means, however, that most of the people I see regularly face to face have almost no clue that I’m aro (more specifically, quoiromantic). I’ve brought it up with a couple of people, but I just said something like “I have no idea how romance works or why people like it”. And the one person was like “ok, cool!” and just accepted it, and it just never really came up again. Another person I told took a lot longer to accept it, for quite some time he was acting like I never told him.
That’s it. Nobody else who sees me face to face even knows. Most of the time, it doesn’t come up, because it’s not really relevant to whatever else we’re doing.
I tend to just let people assume whatever they want about me because it’s the path of least resistance. People assume I have a boyfriend? Sure, fine, I’ll cringe or give them a dirty look but whatever, I won’t correct them. I have in the past, though, and that’s why I don’t normally do it nowadays. There was this one person in particular that kept asking so many questions. Not in a relationship with my friend he saw me with? That’s sad! Surely I must be looking for someone else then? Nope. Not into guys. No problem, you must be into girls then, I actually know a lesbian in this other group of people I see regularly, I’ll introdu… Nope, not into girls either. (He looked quite confused).
I’ll only bother trying to explain stuff to people I’m close to and if I particularly want them to understand me, and if I think they can understand me. By that I mean, is this person a good listener? Can they give me the time to gather my thoughts and make sentences without interrupting me? In my experience, that is very, very rare. People seem to love talking about themselves. Like, they’ll listen to someone only long enough so that they can talk again. Often by interrupting. It’s like they’re chasing “talking points”, and the longer they spend listening, the less points they’re earning. Maybe they think that if I’m taking too long to respond, they should “help” me by asking more questions. (This does not help at all, it just distracts me and makes it even harder to think.) Maybe they’re uncomfortable with silence and feel some strong urge to fill it with words all the time. I don’t know.
It’s not just about being aro, though. People make all sorts of other incorrect assumptions about me. The most common one is probably referring to me as a woman in some way. I mean, they don’t know I’m actually genderless, fine. But why does everyone have to force gender into everything all the time anyway? Why isn’t being a person the default, instead of being either a woman or a man?
If I had to actually take the energy to correct people every single time they assumed anything incorrect about me, I’d be dead tired. It’d be a full time job. I just literally don’t have the time or the energy for that. I’m a walking anomaly in so many ways I wouldn’t even know where to start. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my anomalies, and I learn more about them every day. It’s just the assumptions that other people make that bother me. They assume I’m like them, or like other people they’ve met, and 99% of the time, I am not even close. If I could change just one thing about other people, I’d make them stop making assumptions.
With people online however, it’s fine. I’ll gladly tell them stuff, because it’s easy to just paste them a link. I love links. They are amazing. So convenient. I wish they existed in face to face conversations. I guess they kinda do, I could probably just say to someone “I’m quiromantic, Google it”. I’ll even type it into the search bar on their phone for them. Maybe I’ll do that next time, lol.