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treepod

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About treepod

  • Rank
    Newbie

Personal Information

  • Gender
    male
  • Pronouns
    he/him
  • Romanticism
    greyaro
  • Sexuality
    ace

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  1. I've had all kinds of people assume I'm either gay or straight, so personally I feel like worrying about appearances isn't very productive. Plus no one should get in the way of you dressing in the way that is most self-expressive for you. As for how to deal with people in the moment, my personal strategy is to laugh and act like what they're saying is absurd to me. Ex: if someone asked, "Who's your celebrity crush right now?" I'd frown, scoff/laugh, and say something like "yeah I don't get those man." If you make yourself look confident enough, people may be taken aback, but hopefully they're more likely to take you seriously. I try to make it clear that not only am I specifically not gay/not straight, I'm not into anyone period. With acquaintances/people who probably won't know what being aro-ace means, I focus on giving them the definitions instead of the words. Also, if someone's flirting with you and you express discomfort, that person should come to a complete stop, no questions, and no matter if they think you're just closeted. Heck, let them think you're being frigid even. That's their problem. I totally sympathize with feeling caught up in other people's perceptions and having mixed emotions about seeming gay though. It can be super jarring and make me want to shrink away from the situation, but it's possible to take that feeling of indignation turn it into a comeback.
  2. Going off of that, I think there’s a desire not to think of aromanticism as a lack of something because “defining against” is something that’s looked down on. It’s a bad thing when you’re speaking about politics or culture/ethnocentrism etc. But there’s no harm in saying aromanticism is a lack of romantic attraction just like it makes sense to say a blind person lacks eyesight. A blind person might also argue that their sense of hearing is heightened, but that’s a personal identification in addition to the basic definition of blindness. So you can go ahead and say being aromantic makes you more focused on your friends or your career, but I think that’s a very individual choice.
  3. Quick note: I know people already touched on this but instead of saying more than friends you can say it’s “on a different level.” Key word “different” and not “more.” In a situation like yours, it is important to keep asking yourself what it is you would like to have happen with this person, even though you aren’t sure. Try different scenarios out in your mind and see how they feel. That may help your confusion. For example, I’m greyaromantic, meaning for me that I experience some romantic attraction, just only on rare occasions. So I can sort of give you an idea. I can tell when I’m feeling romantic attraction because it excites me not just to be friends with someone but also to become physically close to them as in kissing/cuddling. If that’s something I actively want then I consider it romantic. And I definitely feel a difference between thinking someone is good-looking (what we call aesthetic attraction, which is like thinking a painting is beautiful) and thinking someone is physically attractive in a romantic sense. If I’m romantically attracted to someone, even conventionally unattractive things about them or things I wouldn’t normally notice are really appealing to me, pleasing in an exciting way. But all this is just how I define my own experience. Other people might not consider kissing/cuddling necessarily romantic at all, for instance. It’s all about what is a useful distinction to you. Don’t worry, you’ll work it out!
  4. My gosh, all I can think is this girl should really be in therapy, for everyone's sake. People don't get that way for no reason, and I'm guessing her relationship history might have something to do with it. (so if there's any way to suggest that to her in a kind and nonchalant way, that might be the only productive thing you can do for her) I hope the other friends in your life are lifting you up out of this. You deserve to have your identity and boundaries respected. And none of this is on your shoulders to solve in any way. I'm so sorry it's been so long now. Im sure at this point it feels like a worn out and pointless saying, but all things pass. I've been out of high school and in university at a large school for two whole years now, and this made me realize how much I now take for granted how easily I can ghost people if I need to. But I used to live in a small town with one school system surrounded by people I'd known since kindergarten; I understand how trapped you must feel. If you need someone to help bring you out of that space mentally once in a while, I'm here. And I'm sure everyone else on this site would say the same
  5. Yes. To me it defines the difference between a passive thought and an active draw toward someone for any reason. For me personally, since I identify as greyaro, that distinction is very important in discerning whether I'm experiencing one of the rare times I'm romantically attracted to someone or just thinking hypothetically. Kinda? Insofar as it applies directly to a squish, I guess. To me a squish is being drawn to someone because I admire them in some way or get excited about something we have in common to the point of going out of my way to interact with them, but not wanting it to go any "further" than friendship. I guess technically that's both platonic and a form of attraction so definitionally it's platonic attraction. But it's not a term I'd use much. I'm more likely to just say I have a squish on them. A feeling is something experienced in the body, not to do with logic, but still mental in a way, mixed with a physical sensation. Attraction is a feeling combined with a desire to take some kind of action towards a person in order to become closer to them. Maybe in terms of "platonic attraction" I'd see this as the difference between a friend of convenience/a friend I'm not deeply emotionally bonded with, and a friend with whom I'm fostering a strong connection, someone I'd miss when they're not around.
  6. Interesting! Thanks for sharing that post. In the past I considered identifying as demiromantic, but it didn’t fit because it didn’t seem like any special emotional bond had to be formed for me to experience romantic attraction, but there is something else that goes along with it and I think it might be sensual like you said, physical but not sexual. I think maybe for me it might have to be a combination of sensual attraction in addition to the usual feelings that go with a squish (friendship compatibility). These feelings don’t necessarily lead to anything romantic though because I think they’ve happened to me briefly or vaguely before, in instances where they come up but romantic attraction does not occur. I definitely used to jump on those instances when I was a kid, like “ah-ha! a crush!” but then later I’d realize I was just trying to force myself to feel romantically about them because I wanted what other people had/to be normal. Sooo maybe some variation of that micro-label might apply to me too? Idk where I’d feel the need to use it though, unless I was getting into a deep discussion like this one.
  7. Identifying as greyaro (sp?) can be really useful precisely because it is so vague, making it applicable to a lot of different experiences and even changes in understanding of oneself. With that in mind, I'm curious, if you identify your romantic orientation this way, what led you to do so? I'd love to hear other people's musings about it, and don't worry, I'm not trying to create a cohesive definition where there is none. For myself personally, I have a variety of reasons: -I tend to feel totally aromantic like 90% of the time. I find it useful to tell people that I'm just not interested in anyone "that way," because the odds are overwhelmingly not in anyone's favor. I feel like the stars have to be aligned, the wind has to be going at 5.7 mph, and someone in the next room has to sneeze, but it can happen. lol -When I do feel romantically attracted to someone, it almost always seems pretty minimal, or unreliable, compared to most people. I can easily brush it off if there's a condemning factor like the person already being in a relationship, or not attracted to guys, etc. (I count this within the 90% aro part because it's all very logic-based). Also, I've had a lot of "crushes" turn out to be squishes, and being real close friends with someone is completely satisfying to me, no real need to go any further. -The other 10% accounts for maybe just a couple of instances in my whole life, where I've been completely gobsmacked. I know there's a difference because I have no control over it logically like I normally do and there's an obvious physical element (though not what I'd call sexual). Still, it's hard to tell what I really want (a romantic relationship? a QPR? something in between?) Please, whether you have a similar or different personal definition, I want to hear about it!
  8. Alright I got a silly one So one of my friends has a birthday less than a week before mine, and last time since it wasn’t over spring break we decided to have a joint birthday party. Afterward we hung out just the two of us and she thought it’d be fun to do my birth chart. I’m an Aries, although I don’t really pay that kind of stuff any mind. So when she started reading about what my Venus was (that’s the love/sex one, also in Aries for me), and it talked about how flirty, romantic, and saucy I’m supposed to be, I just started laughing hysterically. She was like “oh hey, I don’t think you ever mentioned to me what your orientation is” and when I was like I’m aro/ace lmao, she started losing it too and we were both howling as she tried to read the rest of it
  9. What the absolute heck. I give up. I give up!!
  10. treepod

    mistake

    mistake, oops. I can't figure out how this works
  11. I Am the Winter _ The Family Crest (reminds me of what it's like to let someone down who wanted to date me, very pretty melody too) Love Song _ Sara Bareilles (very sassy, I've loved this one ever since I heard it on the radio as a kid lol) Crush Culture _ Conan Gray (watch the music video for this one omg it's so cathartic) The One _ Jukebox the Ghost (doesn't fit perfectly but I feel like it speaks to the anxiety of dealing with someone who's attracted to you) Best Friend _ Rex Orange County (trying to convince someone to stay platonic with you, I guess) Good Friend _ Cloud Cult (a nice reminder of the goodness of love between friends )
  12. I got so sick of all the love songs I’ve had to listen to at my work that I made a cleanse playlist of songs I actually relate to that are aro-sounding (and ace). Now I gotta listen to it every time I get off my shift
  13. Sorry I should have been more clear there. What I meant was that the therapist should recongnize that they are the ones who need to broaden their understanding, and if the patient makes it clear that the therapist’s opinion is a real issue, than the therapist should make an effort to change. I only approached it from this angle because they mentioned that they’ve seen this therapist for quite some time and so dropping her might not be the preferable option. But yeah if the therapist refuses to budge, than obviously choosing not to see them anymore is very understandable. I just wanted to explain how a good therapist should respond.
  14. Oh, I hear ya! Especially what you said about not registering the romantic subtext. I can be pretty uh, enthusiastic, with my love for my friends, and I love getting to know new people on a deeper level and helping them feel good about themselves. So I guess all that can mislead some folks... but I don’t think you or I are really to blame for those incidents. You just wanted something different out of that relationship than he did. It’s not your fault he assumed you were interested in him romantically. Stuff like that can happen to alloromantic people too, I think, because unrequited love happens all the time. People with crushes are the real blind ones; they only see what they want to see because they want the relationship to happen so bad. And I don’t think you can really equip yourself with a set of signs that your friends might have a crush on you. Everyone handles things differently. Believe me, I know the paranoia because I lost a friend to this kind of situation once. With most of my friends, I don’t have to worry because they either aren’t attracted to men or are already in relationships. But recently I made a new friend who is bi, single, and seemed to taking a special interest in me. At least, that was what I was afraid of because it was giving me deja vu with the afore mentioned friend that I lost. I could feel the paranoia I was getting was creating a lot of anxiety for me and was making me want to distance myself from her. So to do away with that awful feeling, I just decided to come out to her via text shortly after we exchanged numbers and went home. And in this case at least, things worked out totally fine! We still get together often, and I really appreciate her as a friend who is also super enthusiastic and loves to hang out with people one-on-one. And she’s like that with everyone, really; it’s not just that she’s lying to me about her feelings for my sake. So what I’m trying to say is it’s better if you can find a way to be more generally open and casual about your orientation. I know I used to think it was something really private that only I needed to deal with, but being able to come out to people regularly, as awkward and scary as it may seem, is definitely better than being paranoid or creating a misunderstanding. At least then you know whatever happens on their end, you won’t feel guilty about it.
  15. Sorry to interject, but I have a little bit of experience with this. (please don't let this scare you, but I think it's worth being prepared) My therapist flat out assumed I was gay for whatever reason, and when I said "I'm not really attracted to anyone," he was all "Don't worry! One day you'll see an attractive young man walking down the street and you'll just know!" I'm not seeing this therapist anymore for a variety of other reasons, but anyway, just in case you encounter a similar opposition, I want you to know that this should not be the breaking point of your relationship to your therapists. Therapists are supposed to adapt to the individual needs of each of their patients, and especially to inform themselves about new subjects they do not have a personal understanding of. She's probably trained to recognize a disinterest in relationships/sex as a possible side effect of things like depression or trauma, and so she's just encouraging you to grow. When my therapist did this to me, I just brushed it off because I thought we had more important things to talk about, but ultimately it damaged my trust in him to leave it unresolved. To help bridge the gap, I would try to explain how the labels of asexual and (possibly) aromantic help you navigate your life and get in touch with your feelings. Good luck!
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