Trying to figure out if you’re ace or aro can be so goddamn hard because it’s like, trying to find the absence of something. Imagine you’re at a pond and you want to know if there are any turtles, or fish. Say you find a turtle and you’re like “great! Now I know there are turtles.” Or a fish, now you know for sure there are fish. Or you find both, and now you know for a fact there are both turtles and fish in the pond.
But like, if you don’t find any turtles it might be that there are no turtles or maybe you’re just really shitty at looking for turtles and maybe you THINK you saw a turtle over there or maybe it was just a stick. Maybe there are only a few turtles. Maybe you need to do something special to find the turtles. Maybe a bunch of these rocks are actually turtles but you couldn’t tell them apart. Maybe there are no turtles. You have no idea. Meanwhile some people are saying “Oh there have to be turtles! You’ll find them eventually ;)” or “How many turtles have you found in your pond?” or “Try planting some vegetables at the shore to attract the turtles.” Or “Oh no! What disaster happened to your pond that there are no turtles?” And you’re just standing there wet with an empty net and a tired expression.
But whatever because whether there are turtles or fish or not your pond’s
ecology works just fine without them because that’s what eco-communities do
they form a system around what they have. You aren’t missing anything if you
don’t have turtles you just have a pond system without turtles. If someone
tried to change you by pouring a bunch of turtles into your pond it would
probably fuck something up.
So you don’t have to be entirely sure. You don’t have to search every inch of the damn pond before you can decide there are probably no turtles. If you want to take the aro or ace label because you think it fits go for it. And if you do find your turtles you can rename the pond. That’s fine.