Inspired off of @void_mermaid 's topic, About aces, here, I too am thinking of adding an aromantic to the game I’m working on, and having them be a “romance” path. I understand that, uh. This sounds confusing/counterintuitive/straight up conflicting, but bear with me
So, assuming that this is an exclusive relationship if you so wished it to be, would you want to do a path with an aromantic character? Would you find that uncomfortable, knowing they don’t feel about you the same way you do about them (assuming you aren’t also aromantic)? How do you feel about an aro character who dislikes acts of romantic affection (Ie; kisses, etc.), but still wishes to pursue a deeper relationship with you? An aro character who loves those acts, but very explicitly doesn’t feel any romantic feelings whilst doing so— would it be uncomfortable? Do you prefer that a relationship is referred to as a romance, and that the status of the relationship is secure and knowable (partner, QPR, etc.?), or are you okay with more fluid terms (Ie; the “RO”/the MC not knowing how to define the relationship/what the parameters might be, but knowing one is desired.)
Obviously, this would all be talked through and there would be conversations about preferences, but would you want to do the path of an Aro character in the first place?
Calling it a path makes it sound like the one certainty in the uncertain about it. That it is, and while the emotional disparity will exist, the concept of it being a set and certain relationship will not have that same disparity. There’s no drama unless the reader engages with it.
It kinda sounds to me like you have an epic¹ romance in mind. The ‘why does it need to be said’ kind, that might not be all that serious in reality, but could be construed as deep philosophically. I could get behind a reading experience like that, since it wouldn’t be the trope-y, teen tier penny dreadful I see on shelves for kids 13 and up. It might not describe the actual angle you’ll be going for, but I’m not put off by the idea depending on the execution.
From what I’ve seen on the forum, people don’t tend to be very receptive to relationships that are more precarious/have the potential to not do well despite work put into them (which is understandable, as it can feel like being cheated out of what you were pursuing), so, for that audience, I wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t going to be a fruitless endeavour. I’m mostly just trying to gauge whether or not the fact of being aromantic would be uncomfortable for people, and I don’t want to get too ahead of myself
Not… necessarily? I mean, that is one kind of relationship I was envisioning, but I’m just as equally thinking about an aromantic “RO” who’s fun and flighty and, while they might desire an emotional closeness, they are just as happy with a casual, distant, platonic relationship with maybe a few kisses.
I mean, not if the aro is into it. I know plenty of aros who are in relationships with another who feels romantic towards them, and the aro doesn’t reciprocate that, but does desire the same level of emotional/physical closeness, and still loves and cares about the other a whole bunch (and they’re both happy with it!) Aros aren’t always strictly against romance, yknow? Just like you can be indifferent about italian food but enjoy going to Olive Garden with a specific person. Heck, I’d date someone if I really liked em’ enough, even though I wouldn’t feel romantic attraction towards them.
Also, who says the MC has to be the one to make the first move? Generally, we tend not to, sure (because it’s not really something we require,) but you can have a flirty aro!
Wouldn’t want to “romance” them as an MC hung up on the character because that could easily feel uncomfortable. But as platonic life partners? Yes, I would – if the character in question intrigues me enough.
I am not aromantic but have heard from people who have enjoyed Gonzalez’s route in Crème de la Crème (an aro-ace character with whom you can have a close relationship and get engaged/make long-term plans that include each other, without kisses or sexual intimacy). I have also heard from people who really liked Florin’s route in the same game, which is an optionally physical relationship without the romantic elements encountered with other characters in the game. And that people generally enjoyed the opportunities in Creme and Royal Affairs to get engaged to a close friend, and in Noblesse Oblige to have non-romantic relationships with the characters while still being close with and potentially having physical relationships with them. Sooo… although it is not the overall norm, there are plenty of people who would be into it.
It sounds like you are aware of the general desire for unambiguous romance - some players may also feel disgruntled if they assumed it was going to be an alloromantic “person afraid of commitment ends up committing to the right person” story. But that is not a reason not to do it - it’s great to see varied kinds of relationships portrayed and valued! As I mentioned on your poll the other week, I found the relationship with Tesla in War of the Currents really moving and interesting.
One thing I dislike in many of these games is the imbalance that is ultimately present between the MC and RO/LI–even when the RO/LI will eventually return the MC’s feelings (or perhaps already feel that way, but pretend they aren’t or intentionally avoid the MC because they don’t want to be with them for whatever reason), there is typically a huge power imbalance, with the LI/RO holding all the cards until they decide to “give in” and be with the MC. So you play almost the entirety of the game with the MC acting desperate for the LI’s love and affection then get “rewarded” with it near the end. That’s neither comfortable nor fun, in most cases.
Throw in a LI who truly has no interest in anything with the MC except friendship, and if the MC is forced into being head-over-heels for them, it would get squicky very quickly. If it’s just a fuckbuddy relationship (if the aro likes sex) or a good friends thing that will never grow past the friends type of intimacy, fine. I’m up for a good friend path. But I wouldn’t like it if it was sold to me as a romance without a warning that there’s not really in romance in it.
Really? I can’t say I’ve noticed this much in the games that I play, but that may just be because I’m picky with what I play in the first place .
The point of this thread is kind of that one of the people (whether it be the LI or the MC) wants it to be something that’s not necessarily friendship/wanting to pursue a friendship that’s not really conventional and whether or not that’s something people want to see, so the LI would absolutely be interested/curious if the MC brought it up- I wouldn’t want to put the MC in a position where they have to try to like… “convince” them, haha. (Also, I 100% agree with the latter part; hate hate HATE the MC being made to want/chase after LI’s)
Oh, no, the fact that the character is Aro would be very clearly stated; that one isn’t something to worry about
Honestly, yeah, that sounds like a great time. I know most people wouldn’t go for that option, and that’s fine of course, but this would actually be something I prefer.
This is ideal. I’m ace and I also dislike most of those form of affection, so having a route where I don’t have to read about physical/romantic affection constantly sounds great. As for an aro character who does like those acts, I’m not comfortable with it, but that’s not because they’re aro, it’s because I personally am not a fan of that kind of affection. Even if they weren’t aro, I still wouldn’t be comfortable.
I prefer more fluid terms. This might just be me, but I feel like adding any sort of label creates unnecessary expectations in a relationship. Of course, some people may not think those expectations are unnecessary, or may even disagree that labels place expectations in the first place, but that’s just my personal opinion.
I’d be super down for an aro path where physical affection isn’t the only way to show closeness. Or an aro path where the MC and the RO are closer than most people would think friends are, but without it having to be romantic. Maybe I’m just tired of how much emphasis is placed on romance in media (especially IF), but this sounds like a super refreshing change of pace to me.
You must be damn picky, because from what I’ve seen, that’s the norm! And that’s with games claiming to be all about the romances!
I think if it were the LI approaching the MC about it, it could actually be fun. I can’t see playing an MC who would try to bring it up to someone who has clearly stated they aren’t interested in romance or relationships like that, though.
I mean, I’m the kind of person where, if I showed interest and someone put up a stop sign (or even a yellow light), I was done showing interest and moved on (and no, I don’t mean like humping their leg or asking them to be with me, I just mean flirty kinda things). I may have pined for someone when I was like 12 or 13, but after that? Nope.
And it pains me to RP a MC who pines for someone who is clearly not interested in her (or won’t be till the end of the game/series), so having the LI be the one to initiate that talk would be about the only way I would play it. If the LI is interesting, it would be fun, so long as they took that step instead of my MC (or, like, if my MC didn’t know at first they were aro and flirted, then they said so, let my MC back the hell off and leave it to the LI to take the next step, if there is one).
Yet I can only think of a couple of demos where the MC isn’t forced to do just that. Released games? Maybe Their Majesties’ Pleasure? And Blood Moon (kind of, anyway, the MC still had to chase, just not as much as most games).
Sounds cool then, as long as it’s not on my MC to initiate whatever thing they end up developing with the LI. Let them come to my MC, and then the two of them can figure it out and I’d play it.
Me personally I’d be fine with it as this would be different for everybody but I’m not huge on romantic contact (hand holding, kissing) I do enjoy those things but I’m not exactly a touchy person.
What I find a relationship with an aromantic person to be is somebody to bond with in a relationship just talking to the other person and enjoying their company is all you need just like that support shoulder to lean on when you need it well that’s all you really need and love when it’s available just in a different form not physically but mentally with small meaningful gestures as it’s a relationship not a hookup.
“It’s like a bad love language only it’s their reality they live it just like with a love language you don’t feel anything with and wouldn’t care for that’s how an aromantic goes throughout the dating world”
(Just thought of this but it definitely gets the message across from others saying isn’t it harassment? No it isn’t if you are doing what the other person is comfortable with and aren’t pushing it then it’s not exactly harassment just a different “Love language” to any other romances one may usually have.)
Harassment is when your doing something the other person doesn’t want to do so don’t make those options available to the player and make meaningful dialogue and minimal contact as possible that the character would be comfortable with.
So I definitely could see it working as I don’t even really crave romantic contact all that much to begin with but many others may think differently
as romance can just be showing the other person that you care about them in the first place that’s real love.
More of why people fall in love with others they just connect to if you make the character extremely likable where people can relate or like them then they’ll romance them no matter what their preferences are.
I’m demisexual and think I’m a lesbian but still questioning at the moment but even I enjoy all types of Ros I can get attached to characters I enjoy you make em interesting enough I’ll pay you money just to romance em.
I like being chased not chasing my Ros though and that’s why I’m struggling with a lot of choice games I enjoy because I want to be important to somebody to want to see me that’s the most romantic thing I could ever think of to be their most important ear to listen to or for them just to want to listen to me.
To make an Aro character is to understand how actual romance works the good and the bad not just the easy parts but I would applaud anybody for giving me a good one.
I would worry if this wouldn’t just be considered harassment towards the person, but from what I can read here that’s not the idea. There is many love languages and ways to show you care, I hold some very deep affection towards completely platonic friends myself and spend years living together with one, because we enjoyed one another’s company.
In a sense I guess that was more room mates? But we showed kindness and affection other ways, remembering weaknesses and covering for one another. So I would find this a very interesting idea if nothing else. If both are ARO it seems like it would become a story of platonic, the term escapes me, life mates? Ultimately I think you should give it a shot, if you feel it!
Because different ways of feeling love doesn’t mean that love isn’t there, and that a relationship can’t exist. You can feel romantic attraction towards an aro partner, who can be fine with that, and want a relationship with you because you’re important to them-- don’t worry, it wouldn’t be chasing after someone who doesn’t ever reciprocate a desire for something closer,
EYYYY!! I tend to consider myself Indifferent, just to make things easier to explain, but in my heart of hearts I’m a sappy romantic djfnhksjdfns. Exploring something I don’t feel is just so… interesting? Idk. I love looking at love.