amatonormativity masterpost


amatonormativity definition:

-privileging or valuing romantic relationships as fundamental

-the assumption that all humans pursue romance, especially by means of a monogamous, long term relationship

related definition: heteronormativity

-belief that people fall into distinct and complementary genders, with natural roles in life

-the assumption that heterosexuality is the norm or default sexual orientation and that sexual and marital relations are most fitting between people who have a vagina and people who have a penis

why it’s bad:

-further marginalises certain groups of people, such as those not seeking long term, romantic, or monogamous relationships

-lays basis for toxic relationships (the idea that marriage, children, living together, sharing beds/rooms, etc, is a must for romantic relationships, even when the people involved do not want to get married/have children, etc.)

-excludes those who don’t value romantic relationships as the most important type of relationship, and places a hierarchy on the importance of relationships, for example “more that friends”, and “just friends”

-in ‘shipping’ characters, a common theme is “they’re too close to be just friends”, which further stigmatises physically close non-romantic relationships

links with heteronormativity:

-linking in with the idea of romance being placed on a pedestal, heteronormativity brings in the concept that a man and woman cannot be friends without sexual or romantic undertones (in fiction), or assumptions that they are dating/flirting (in reality)

examples of amatonormativity in everyday life:

“just friends“, “more than friends“

-”he hasn’t found the right one yet” –> implication that there is a “one” and it’s not plausible to have multiple partners; implication that there isn’t a choice in romantic relationships and they will happen no matter what (”yet”)

-cohabiting with siblings, friends, multiple partners, living alone, or living with pets (”crazy” cat lady) after you’ve left uni or reached a certain age is frowned down on, being seen as a sign that someone isn’t “ready” to settle down (as though you cannot chose to not) and that they aren’t “mature” enough (as though your personal relationships indicate maturity) 

-a woman and a man living together and not in a romantic relationship will lead people to believe they’re “in denial”, as though it isn’t possible for two people to knowingly reject a romantic relationship

-two friends raising a child together is seen as weird; idea that two people must be romantically involved and/or married to have a child; the idea that a child must be raised by romantically “loving parents”, dismissing other types of love, and the fact that you don’t have to want romance to be a good parent

-more than two people raising a child together (poly relationships, groups of friends, siblings) isn’t “normal” –>idea that relationships must be monogamous and romantic to raise a child

-single parents (by choice), see above points

-idea that only two romantically involved people can raise a child also links back to heteronormativity, idea that two people of the same gender are inherently bad parents

-forms of physical intimacy between friends are interpretted as romantic or “ew”, ie, friends holding hands, kissing on the lips, having sex