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About eatingcroutons

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  1. To be honest, it sounds like you're the one with the insecurity here. A lot of aromantic people feel this way about relationships: we don't like the idea that any one person should be more important than everyone else in our lives. To make this relationship work, you may have to find a way to accept that she will always value her friends just as much as she values you. If it's a dealbreaker for you that you need to feel more valued than everyone else in her life, you might want to discuss with her whether that's something she can realistically do for you.
  2. I don't know how common it is statistically, but I've had quite a few relationships like this with friends. At the moment I've got at least a couple of friends that I could message if I wanted to hook up tonight. Obviously I wouldn't have sex with a friend who was in an exclusive sexual relationship with someone else, though. So yeah, in several cases I've stopped having sex with a friend once they got into such a relationship.
  3. 🎉🎉🎉 I've been reading the books in the meantime and they're really fantastic - definitely worth picking up if you enjoy the show!
  4. I know there's been a fair bit of research done on how portrayals of love in the media distort expectations, e.g.: https://hyrmina.com/paper/77580c7344e348268a031bf742ff5671 http://web.archive.org/web/20120210050418/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3776923/Romantic-comedies-make-us-unrealistic-about-relationships-claim-scientists.html This kind of research isn't strictly about aromanticism, but it does give plenty of evidence about the pervasive and powerful impact of media on our concepts of what love is, and what kinds of relationships society tells us everybody should be striving towards. I think it'd be pretty reasonable to speculate in your paper that this pressure to have a movie-like romance hits people who don't want relationships at all even harder.
  5. Given how poorly-written most romance is, is it really surprising that "they're hot" often becomes the most compelling reason to care about characters' relationships? 😂
  6. One hundred percent. And that's absolutely nothing to feel guilty about! There's nothing at all wrong with thinking hey, those two characters are hot, it'd be even hotter if they boned. I can appreciate a romance plot when it's genuinely well-written, and is believable and important to the characters. The problem is, most romance sub-plots in media are about as deep as he was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it any more obvious? And that's just lazy. I have a hard time believing that two characters will fall in love just because they're a straight man and a straight woman in the same place at the same time. And yet a lot of media seems to take it as given that any such situation will inevitably lead to romance, and therefore that there's no need to do anything to show or convince the audience why it happens.
  7. Yeah, that's what made it sound like you thought it was a funny anecdote (or compliment?!) that some of the guys you've had sex with told you after the fact that it felt like rape, rather than that you'd engaged in previously-negotiated consent play. There was nothing else in your posts to suggest that any of your one night stands had involved any kind of kink negotiation. You called them "fleeting", described them as involving very little conversation, and even said "I have never really been bothered about them getting off". That really doesn't give the impression you sat down with several of guys you've hooked up with and had serious discussions about fulfilling their kinks or fantasies. So the sudden several-guys-told-me-they-felt-like-I-was-raping-them-lol non sequitur sounded extremely disturbing. I'm not fraysexual myself but it does seem like it would be hard for someone who is to have a long-term sexual relationship. Maybe you could look around for some discussions (here, on AVEN, or elsewhere) about fraysexuality, to see if your experiences match those of others who identify as fraysexual, and find out how those people deal with that problem?
  8. Yeah uhh you might want to make that clearer if you're telling this story in future. "A guy told me he felt like I was raping him" is a very different thing to "we agreed to role-play a guy's rape fantasy". Even in role-play scenarios nobody should ever feel like they're actually being raped. What you're describing here sounds a lot like fraysexuality, have you looked into that?
  9. Woah dude. If anyone ever told me, "I felt like you were raping me," I would be absolutely horrified. That's not something I would ever, ever want another person to feel because of me. (Not unless it was part of an intentional and pre-negotiated fantasy/role-play scenario.) What comes across from your posts here is that for you, "people I fuck" and "people I like/respect" are mutually exclusive categories. That is, once someone's moved into the category of "people I like/respect" you can't see them as part of the "people I fuck" category. If that's how you see sex and you're happy with that then hey, as long as everyone's consenting there's no reason not to continue keeping "people I like" and "people I fuck" as separate categories. If you're not happy seeing sex that way then I think you're doing the right thing by seeing a sex therapist, and you should talk to them more about why you see those two categories of people as mutually exclusive. That's kind of a separate question to whether you're aromantic; many aros (myself included) like and are friends with at least some of the people we have sex with. As for the FOMO: A lot of aros feel like we're missing out on the experience of a romantic relationship, and have concerns about what that will mean for us later in life. I feel that myself to some extent. But not having a romantic relationship doesn't mean the end of the world - and if you know you don't want one, it's not too difficult to work with that fact. I find other ways to make sure my needs are met: I have a bunch of friends for companionship and emotional support, I have sex with some of them sometimes, and sometimes I have sex with strangers. And I plan my career and life with the expectation that I won't be sharing it with any long-term partner.
  10. This was pretty much exactly my experience. I had plenty of sex in my young adult years without finding someone I wanted a committed relationship with, and that was normal. In my late twenties I kept having sex, and did occasionally think it was odd that everyone I knew seemed to have found multiple people to try out relationships with, and I hadn't yet found any - but I figured I was just picky. It was only because I spent so much time involved in fandoms online that I happened to stumble across the word "aromantic" in my early thirties - at about the same time my mother shifted from saying, "Don't ever settle for a relationship just because you think you should!" to worrying about my lack of a love life and "missing out" on having children. If I hadn't found a community of people who agree that it's perfectly acceptable to be single forever, I may well have started to think there was something wrong with my attitude to relationships. I know I've used religion as an analogy before, but I still remember the moment in my late teens when I was like, wait, there are people who genuinely take all this stuff about god(s) seriously? Like, no shade on anyone who does - I was just honestly unaware there were people who are genuinely religious until my late teens. Until that point I'd assumed that everyone participated in religion purely as a historical/cultural practice like I did, not because they actually believed it was true. I wonder how many people are out there going through the motions of "romance" because it's a historical/cultural practice, assuming that everyone else feels the same way? People who, if asked whether they genuinely feel romance the way movies and love songs and poetry describe it, would be like, "Obviously not - nobody actually feels that way!" People who would be shocked to discover that there are people who do actually feel that way about romance - and who, once they discover that fact, might come to identify as on the aro spectrum?
  11. My understanding of "emotional vulnerability" is being in a position where your emotional state depends to some extent on another person, or other people. Is saying or doing things which put your emotional state at risk, depending on how others respond. So yeah - if you're not worried at all about how others see or feel about you, you're probably not going to feel emotionally vulnerable no matter how open and honest you are.
  12. Obligatory mention of Bella DePaulo's work as a starting point, but there's plenty more out there if you have a search. I'm on a business trip right now but can dig up some more links when I get home, if you're still struggling.
  13. I'm really sorry. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to find out that you haven't actually been loved in the way you thought you were loved, for so many years. I think it's a completely understandable emotional reaction to feel devastated by that. I'm also frankly pretty disappointed by the replies from @NullVector and @Jot-Aro Kujo here. It's pretty tone deaf to tell someone who's obviously hurting that they should be celebrating instead of feeling the way they do. Nothing @Inez said came close to implying she thinks her relationship "never meant anything"; the very fact that she cares enough to come and seek advice about understanding aromanticism, and working through this situation with her husband, shows that she does value their relationship. Does it seem irrational to me, as an aromantic person, to be bothered by whether someone loves me romantically or platonically? Sure. But that's because romantic attraction doesn't matter to me. It clearly does to @Inez , and simply telling her it shouldn't isn't helpful. Emotions aren't rational. Calling someone "narrow-minded" for seeking help with a completely understandable emotional reaction is significantly less than helpful. Again, I'm sorry that this has caused so much difficulty in your relationship, and that it's taken so long to figure out the cause of the disconnect between how you and your husband have experienced your marriage. It sounds like you've done a fantastic job at trying to make things work as well as you can, and hopefully now that you have the context and language to discuss what the disconnect between the two of you is, you can work on better understanding how you relate to each other. I think it's a great sign that your husband has started "reacting in a romantic way" by sending hearts and kisses - it sounds like he's willing to put in the effort to meet you halfway on this. It might be worth trying to figure out what specific aspects of romance would help you to feel more fulfilled in your relationship, and then have a talk with your husband about where the two of you might be able to compromise on those. That said, it sounds like the biggest difficulty for you is that you have a need to feel romantically loved. And that could be a tricky one to work out, because it also sounds like that's not something your husband is able to give you. But the fact that he isn't in love with you doesn't mean he doesn't love you deeply. Think about the love you have for your children: you're not in love with them, but I'm sure the love you have for them is still incredibly powerful and important. Maybe talking to your husband about ways that he can express his genuine love for you - even if that love is more like the love of an old friend than romantic love - might help to fulfil your needs?
  14. You can add me to the list of people who used to think this way - it seems it's a pretty common aro experience to think that "romance" just means "good friends who have sex"! I also started to see the flaws in that definition when I learned about asexuality and the fact that many aces have romantic relationships. My understanding now is that what people call "romantic attraction" is (probably) part physiological phenomena, part subjective conscious experience of physiology, and part social framing of subjective conscious experience.
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