OK, so I really meant to get this published quicker, but my Mom is starting a family business and things have been very busy. But finally, here's my interview with Untamed Heart about her identity as lithromantic. What do you identify as? Lithromantic , greyromantic.
What does lithromantic mean to you?
I find it very difficult to maintain romantic feelings, especially when reciprocated, and there's never a tangible reason for that. I've felt weird about romance since I was about 15, and that's got stronger as I've got older. It's become something fairly important to me over the last few months, because until I found out, nobody could understand what I meant when I tried to explain how I felt about crushes/relationships, and I wondered why I only felt insane and even ill when I "liked" someone or was involved with them, but was totally fine being single. Finding out I wasn't alone - or insane - was a relief, it explained a lot of my past feelings, and hopefully I can now approach my future with more positivity and self understanding.
Does lithromantic have any synonyms or overlapping terms? What umbrella terms include lithromantic?
Frayromantic is similar in that feelings fade in what I'd consider a non-typical way when looking at romantic relationships in a broader sense - I don't think most people would expect you to lose feelings for someone as you got to know them better, on a consistent basis, nor would they expect you to lose feelings when they're reciprocated. Lithromantic has a few synonyms as it was considered appropriative of lesbian culture. One of the ones I really like is Akoiromantic, as it makes me think of koi carps (mostly because they're very colourful fish and you can even find them in colours that match the lithro/akoi flag). This can also be spelt akoineromantic.
I also consider it part of the grey romantic umbrella as there is initial attraction involved (which an aro person wouldn't experience), but it fades or becomes uncomfortable if reciprocated.
Why do you identify as lithromantic rather than as a synonym or umbrella term?
Because my symptoms seem quite specific and more or less consistent, and I found I can relate to what other lithromantics have experienced. I've noticed that I get strong crushes on people sometimes, but if I've got with them, I stop feeling so attracted and start wondering what I do feel and where those feelings went. I wonder if I really like the other person enough to be with them, after only a few days or even hours, even though nothing's actually changed in between being asked out and agreeing to date them.
Are you out as lithromantic? How did you come out, and what response have you gotten?
I'm out to a small group of people who matter to me and who knew about my last boyfriend - as they were surprised I'd let him go - and the response has been generally positive. I told them in privately, in person.
What would your ideal relationship look like?
I prefer to be single as I'm introverted and quite independent, but if I wanted a relationship in future, I think I'd like a 'more than friends but not quite lovers' type thing, or maybe me being the romantic partner with an aromantic person, if we had the right dynamics. Monogamy/exclusivity would be strongly preferred, and I need a fair amount of time/space to myself.
Have you ever had sexual, romantic or queerplatonic relationships, and how did being lithromantic affect them?
I've had a number of romantic relationships, with only my last one being also sexual. My very first relationship was actually the longest, and I've now put it down to us being more like passionate best friends, and long distance. We did meet once, and I'm sure if we'd been able to date in person it would have been different for me.
Other boyfriends since then seem to have noticed the weird disconnect between us, even though I tried to hide how I felt, thinking the whole "ugh-ness" would eventually lift, but I have experienced guys cutting contact without explaining why a few times.
I can sometimes feel like I'm saying things I don't truly mean, or performing 'fake' actions towards the other person, almost like carrying out instructions in a movie script.
I was more honest about how I felt with my last boyfriend, though I still didn't understand why I felt so bad. Towards the end it got really difficult to even pack a bag to go to the art group we'd met at, and I had a few instances of romance repulsion out of the blue. I ended up feeling really distant, wishing I could just feel something like I had before.
Do you experience any romantic attraction? What does romantic attraction mean to you?
I do, but rarely. The last two people I fancied before my ex were over 5 and 8 years ago! I enjoy it sometimes, but there's usually a limited window before I either feel uncomfortable or need to do something about it, if I know the person is attainable. If it looks like they're definitely off the table (gay, married, another girl is interested - because I really don't want to fight for them), that kind of helps for me.
I think it's meant to be an indicator for potentially appropriate/compatible mates, but I'm an absolute crazy mess when it comes to romantic feelings in general so I wish I never felt it.
Would you be open to questions about being lithromantic?