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About NullVector

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
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    male ones
  • Romanticism
    probably aro
  • Sexuality

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  1. Oh, I agree that when you unpack it logically like this, it's total nonsense! I mean, it makes no sense to say that you're "selfish" just for expressing a particular preference about relationships (expecting people to only satisfy your preferences, without you accommodating theirs, is different; that would actually be selfish, but also has nothing to do with what you specifically prefer per se). Might as well say that we're both 'selfish' for sexually preferring women to men and thereby excluding men from the list of sexual partners we'd consider! Equally nonsensical argument (and not one that most people would even think of making). But romantic preferences don't get the same consideration as sexual ones for some reason (amatonormativity is what Elizabeth Brake calls this). Problem is that this "shaming" of aromantic sexual relationships can become so normalised in the culture that you may not even realise that you're doing it to yourself (internalizing it). So logic never gets the opportunity to be applied here, given that logic is a conscious (not subconscious) process. I think I went for years without noticing what I was doing and without really acknowledging my own sexual and (lack of) romantic desires.
  2. I'm afraid it's not a very interesting story! I basically just never felt sufficiently motivated to seek out romantic relationships. I was waiting for the motivation to arrive, but it never did. I wanted to try sex, but I grew up in contexts where that wasn't really done by people I knew and respected outside of conventional heterosexual (in my case) romantic relationships. To be honest, I think I was a bit ashamed of, and afraid to admit to, my own sexual preferences here (which would probably be along the lines of the "friends with benefits" scenario you described). I'm working on that. It's all too easy to self-shame here, I think, and take on the idea that we really are just "shallow and self-interested" "assholes" for having this type of preference (ego-dystonic is a word that @DeltaV taught me and it fits perfectly in this context).
  3. Yeah, language is tricky! Please don't sabotage your relationship on my account. To be honest, I'd probably make a complete mess of it if I was in your situation and tried what I originally suggested (I'm not exactly the best at communicating my feelings in a way that avoids misunderstandings of intent either) And the word "love" is especially problematic, I find (and it's something that's come up quite a few times in these forums, incidentally, so we aren't alone here!) It would make me uncomfortable using that word, for fear of being misunderstood. To me, it would mean wanting what's genuinely best for them, committing to helping them to reach their important life goals, etc. But not "freaking flying bugs" in my intestines Hah, I'm a bit like this too. Plus I find unconventional ideas interesting, so in my imagination I can entertain living all sorts of wild, Bohemian lifestyles. But in practice, I would probably find them too disorienting. No need to justify yourself or anything like that, I was just being nosy
  4. Obligatory introduction thing...

    Welcome @mythlady and good luck figuring yourself out. Don't be in too much of a rush, it will take roughly one human lifetime to do ("yourself" is a tricky thing to figure out once and for all, since it's constantly changing)
  5. QPRs

    My impression is that a QPR is not really functionally any different from an important long-term friendship (which may or may not involve sex) but that people wanted a separate word here because most of us these days tend to associate friendship with something rather disposable, where people would not make explicit commitments to one another (e.g. living together long term, adopting children together, etc.). It also strikes me that a QPR, as I understand the term, isn't really functionally different from how a long-term happily married couple might operate. Given that the initial strong romantic infatuation wouldn't be there anymore in the latter case, but the friendship and affectionate feelings would remain and strengthen over time. If only there was a way for aros interested in QPRs with allos to skip those problematic initial steps
  6. Hey @Kat Not 100% sure if I'm aromatic either, but I relate strongly to everything you wrote, in case that helps! Yeah, I think I have basically the same checklist: Are they interesting to talk to? Do I want to grope them? (as you put it! ) Other stuff people seem to add to that checklist mostly confuses me For this: and this: Maybe communicate this to your current partner? I think people tend to assume (especially when their orientation is ' normal'?) that other people operate similarly to them and that other people's external behaviours are resulting from the same internal processes or intentions (drivers, let's say) as their own. So, if you don't explicitly communicate your internal behaviour drivers (romantic orientation in this case) she might assume that the absence of romantic displays from you, and/or displaying discomfort around these from her, means that you just aren't 'into her' specifically (as that would probably be the internal driver of this external behaviour in her case). Whereas, if you explain that it's like this for you with everyone, your internal 'drivers' are quite different to hers, and it's not a commentary on how you (don't) feel about her compared to similar past relationships, she might relax a bit and there might be less pressure and expectations placed on you to display your affection towards her (or react to her affection towards you) in traditionally 'romantic ' ways? Perhaps a good rule of thumb here is to never assume anything about what another person's behaviour 'means'! Instead, talk to them about it. Describe feelings (I said/did X because I was feeling Y) Why would it need to be exclusive? Just curious, given that you've said you don't really get jealous or posessive. Answering that might tell you some more about your orientation? Anyway, hope that helps and wasn't too abstract/analytical (I tend to write this way - like people are machines running different operating systems and programs or something, haha). Good luck with your relationship and figuring out your romantic orientation .
  7. Is it worst after 30 yo?

    Are you referring to your introduction thread? I read it now, to get a better idea where you are coming from. Hmm, that's a really good point. I'm sorry . When I write advice on here, I try to write something that's helpful. It's based on my own experiences and what has helped me, but that experience is quite limited. Sometimes I forget that other people's experiences are different to mine. I've not had to deal with trauma, so I don't know from personal experience what works to overcome it. I'll try and choose my words more carefully next time.
  8. Is it worst after 30 yo?

    Yeah, agreed. And sure, I picked an extreme example; but it was mostly to suggest that the personal consequences of social disapproval are generally less severe in practice than what we can build them up to be in our imagination (and can sometimes happen in practice as well; but very rarely and probably not to us). But I suppose our somewhat paranoid imagination vis-a-vis the consequences of 'not fitting in' makes sense from an evolutionary perspective? For a social primate, being ostracized by your community quite probably would mean death, so it makes sense as a thing to be (often unrealistically?) afraid of. Agree with this too. I've noticed a sort of 'anxiety baseline ' in myself and that could well be the source of it! But I also think you can do things to train yourself to feel less of that stress/anxiety than you otherwise might
  9. Is it worst after 30 yo?

    Yes! And just to add to this, if I may: practice listening attentively to yourself, if that makes sense, and you'll get better at discerning what is your own authentic desire vs. social conditioning about what you "ought" to want. You can then better identify and amplify that 'signal' hiding in amongst the 'noise'.
  10. Is it worst after 30 yo?

    Hey @Costati I'm 32. Things change as you get older, I guess. Some change is good and some less so. I miss the amount of spontaneous interaction with big groups of friends I had when I was youger. As your friends get older, they do tend to disperse, pair off, start families, and other things like work pressures also eat up that 'spontaneous' time. So that sucks a bit (but hey, as @Apathetic Echidna pointed out, there's always the possibility of making a totally new set of friends!) On the plus side, as you get older, I think it becomes easier to make peace with having a different set of priorities to most people and to care less what they might think about yours. Which segues nicely into... Someone at the meditation place I go to once described one of the goals or benefits of the activity as "finding a secure place inside". If you've got that, from meditation, or whatever, it doesn't really matter what other people say or think about your lifestyle (within reason; I don't mean to trivialize the contexts where social disapproval can actually get people - women in particular - killed, but I'd hope and assume you'd not at risk of that?). I mean, realistically, what is the worst that people who disapprove of your choices can do? (Tut loudly?! ) And how likely would they be to actually do so? If you consider those questions, you may find that your fears are being exaggerated in your imagination? So I'm kind of a hard-core stoic in that sense . Here's some advice from Epictetus for you (more here) Oh, and welcome to the forums, since I don't think we've met so far
  11. Early signs that you were aro

    I thought the exact same thing! I assumed they were just copying what they'd seen adults do, or seen in movies, without there being much of an intrinsic drive behind it. It all seemed very silly
  12. Im unsure where i fit...

    You don't sound like an idiot Being a human is pretty confusing in my experience, hah. Yeah, you might not be 100% aromantic, maybe? Don't worry, it's not an arocalypse membership requirement . I might have experienced this 'fluttering' feeling one time myself, but it could've just been anticipation built up around a "more sexually motivated" crush, as you put it. I must say though that this, to me, screams "somewhere on aro spectrum": (it's just the way you felt the need to write CONSTANTLY in all-caps ) Well, one thing that caught my attention from your post was: Are there physical things you do like? Such as, um, sex (sorry for the very personal question ). I'm just trying to establish if it's the association of the physical things with romantic undertones that is putting you off. Now, I'm not suggesting you rush out and have experimental no-strings casual sex, or anything like that (!) but maybe, if you happen to have done so in the past, and it felt okay (or even enjoyable, no discomfort involved) then that might help you to isolate what it is about the physical interactions you described that is specifically making you uncomfortable?
  13. 2018 New Years Resolutions

    Make sure you stick to this one (I watched it recently and thought it was excellent)
  14. How fast can you type?

    Haha. When I've had occasion to try and read Java code, it has often felt like hacking ones way through a wild and overgrown forest of abstraction layers, in search of the elusive rare orchid of logical implementation
  15. I dunno though, I've wondered, how can you even quantify the strength of your sex-drive relative to other people's, given that it's only your own that you actually experience? (I don't inhabit somebody else's body, so I don't know how their experience of sexual attraction feels; similarly for the experience of pain) My intrinsic/baseline sex-drive could be weak, average, or strong relative to other guys - I have literally no idea! I just choose not to act on it . Wheras they do (and maybe stronger tends to incapacitate rather than enable anyway - how would we know?) I agree I'm probably close to 0 on the romantic side though . That seems easier to quantify somehow, but I'm not sure why it should be any easier than sex-drive would be? (maybe because it's more obviously coded in terms of the external behaviours that overtly express it? Or because overt displays of romantic attraction are seen as more socially palatable than the corresponding sexual ones? So the former is more a shared external experience, wheras the latter is more of an individual, internalised experience? I dunno, it's all so confusing! )