Inspired by the last ask I answered, I want to address a folktale that’s common for aromantic people to hear, and also for people with non-heterosexual heteroromantic orientations of any type to hear.
Right Person is a guy or gal (depending on your gender - and they will always be the binary gender that is not what you identify or are read as) you might be familiar with. they are the person who will come down from heaven and make you normal. They are heterosexual, alloromantic, allosexual, monogamous, vanilla, and want a typical whitebread marriage and 2.5 children. Anything that’s ‘wrong’ (read: not normative) about your orientation or desires, they will magically fix. It’s not that you will meet them and perhaps realize you were bisexual instead of gay or gray-romantic instead of aromantic; no, instead they will transform you completely, so that any trace of “weird” is completely blotted out. People who are heteroromantic heterosexuals with desires society deems ‘acceptable’ never have to hear this folk tale.
You’ll often hear about Right Person at family dinners, or from your (usually heterosexual heteroromantic, though not always) friends. It goes like this: “Oh, when you meet Right Person, you’ll change your mind.”
The problem with Right Person is, like most folk tale characters, they don’t appear. Or they don’t appear in the way that the person telling you this tale imagines them to, anyway. Maybe you will find a person that makes you rethink how you previously thought of your orientation, but in most cases you won’t do a complete 180 with your orientation. Maybe you’ll start identifying as bisexual instead of gay, or demiromantic instead of aromantic, but in the majority of cases most people don’t completely change their orientation. It happens, but it’s rare.
And even though it happens, it’s still an incredibly cruel thing to say to someone, because it implies that that person’s orientation is not real. It implies they don’t know themselves, and that once Right Person comes along, they will realize how ridiculous they were. It implies that the person telling this folk tale has a kind of authority when it comes to the person they’re telling it to’s orientation, and makes them feel discounted.
What happens is a lot of aromantic spectrum people (or people who are not heteroromantic heterosexual, but I’m speaking specifically to aromantic spectrum people since this is an aro blog) end up believing it. They end up really waiting for the Right Person. So they wait, and wait, and wait. And in most cases, that person doesn’t come, because it isn’t a case of having not met Right Person; it’s a case of being aromantic spectrum. And even when they do come, it’s not in the way that society wants them to.
What I’m saying is: Right Person isn’t real. Right Person is a fairy tale character. Know that you know yourself better than anyone else. If someone does come along that makes you rethink your orientation labels, by all means change it. But don’t hold out for Right Person.
(And note that I’m not saying no one ever has the experience of finding the ‘right person’ that makes them rethink identifying as aromantic. I think there is a difference between finding that and the folk tale character of Right Person.)
good. Please read.