For real though, some tips on writing aromantic characters, since… I guess if I’m going to complain about lack of representation so much I might as well try to steer people in the right direction. Keep in mind that this is all just my opinion and I am only one aro, so take it with a grain of salt
- The definition of aromantic is that you don’t experience romantic attraction. So basically, to put it simply, you don’t get crushes. That’s literally it. Of course like all orientations it’s a bit more nuanced than that and experiences differ from person to person, but it’s important to keep in mind that basic definition.
- It’s important to remember that aromantic people are just that: people. “Aromantic” is an orientation, not a personality trait. An aro person could be Ken the loudmouthed delinquent skater dudebro, or your overly affectionate friend Misty who wears pastel colors and loves cartoons and shoujo anime, or Goth Loli-chan in accounting. Literally anyone could be aro, so write aro characters as people first and foremost, aro second.
- “But how can aromantic people be caring?” “Won’t you be lonely?” “How can you ever love anyone?” Friendship exists. Seriously. The spectrum of human emotions is not confined to romance, and platonic love is very much a thing. Think about the Elric brothers, or hell, even Spongebob and Patrick are a good example of a strong platonic relationship. (And before someone comes in here like “Lol but I ship them though”- fuckin good for you that’s not what this is about.)
- Try to avoid stereotypes such as aromantic people being emotionless, lonely/reclusive, children, having some sort of superiority complex over non-aro people (Seriously we don’t hate people who aren’t aro??), or being some sort of sex demons. I would recommend staying away from overly stoic or cold characters.
“But wait! Aren’t you constantly advocating for aromantic Jotaro Kujo, who is the very definition of stoic and rude?” Yes, because I relate to him a lot, and see in him- a pre-existing character who was not created to be aro- traits I associate with my own aromanticism. There is a big difference between me, an aro person, seeing myself in a character as opposed to a non-aromantic person being like “This character is aromantic, so I’ll make them emotionally distant” or “This character is a jerk who has no friends so they must be aromantic”. Don’t do that.
- Some aromantics may hate the very idea of romance, and become uncomfortable or irrationally angry when exposed to it. (This does not make them bad people, you fuckheads.) Some may not care, and some may love the idea of romance, ship a lot, love Valentine’s Day, etc.
- Being aromantic and not asexual does not necessarily make someone sexually promiscuous. You can be an aromantic who’s not asexual and still be a total virgin. As stated before, literally all aromantic means is that you don’t experience romantic attraction. It does not mean everything is automatically wild partying and one-night stands. I mean, sure, there are aromantic people like that out there, but it’s not the default.
- Yes, there are many different ways to be aromantic. You can be aromantic and not asexual. Some aromantic people may be willing to go on dates or may have been in previous romantic relationships. Some aromantic people may even occasionally experience romantic attraction. HOWEVER, this does NOT mean you should use this as an excuse to write them as part of your ship anyway.
Think about it: If an aromantic person wants to read a ship fic, or smut, there are thousands they could choose from. There are a lot less gen fic, even less good gen fic, and barely any fics that explicitly feature aromantic characters. We do not need more fics about romance. We DO need more fics featuring aromantic characters, you know, not being involved in romance.
- Seriously, try to write aromantic characters in stories that don’t involve too much romance. I mean sure, you can have them in a story that also happens to include a romantic relationship NOT as the main focus, but please don’t include an aromantic character as a third wheel or whatever in your OTP fic and then be all “Look guys! I made aro representation!” As an aromantic person surrounded by romance, I really don’t want to have to sit through ANOTHER ship fic just for the one line where someone’s like “Ew you guys are gross”.
And especially don’t write fics that are just about someone falling in love with an aromantic character and oh, woe is me, they can never return my love! I’ve been rejected! Alack! Alay! My love has a heart of stone! Yeah, don’t do that. Like most of us don’t feel bad enough about being aro already. Please, don’t.
- I’m serious, I just really want to see aro characters in fics that don’t focus on romance. Also, do NOT pull the whole “____ had never had a crush and felt like they could never love anyone! …Until _____ came along, and they knew what love was!” That’s really pretty hurtful tbh.