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Phobe

[strums guitar] Anyway, here's Wonderwall

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Hey. So. You can call me Pho. This is all very new to me, as in I had an epiphany two days ago and have been having a minor crisis of identity since. 

I'm 26, and hadn't had a relationship since high school. This bothered me for a long time, because I thought a romantic relationship was something I wanted. However, when I've had the opportunity to enter relationships I've been pretty put-off by the idea and escaped asap. When I have crushes on people, I can never tell whether it's a legitimate crush or just lust. When a crush returns my feelings, I lose them immediately. But I agreed to a poly relationship with two men earlier this year, despite not having feelings for them. The further along the relationship goes, the more romance-repulsed I become despite them being exceptionally great people. It occurred to me that I am at my happiest and my most fulfilled when I have an intimate friendship with someone, and that that's probably what I ultimately want. A QPR sounds amazing to me. 

Looking back on the last decade and taking into account that I've likely been mislabelling lust + friendship as romantic feelings and not actually desiring a romantic relationship, I came to the realization I might be aro. 

 

Aside from this hot mess, I am heavily involved in the Leather community in my spare time. I live alone with my cat, I enjoy tea, get up to furry fandom shenanigans every now and then, like watching let's players despite not being a gamer myself, and would live off chicken fingers gladly. 

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Welcome! super big welcome with ice-cream :aroicecream:

Mega big welcome! because...

3 hours ago, Phobe said:

I'm 26, and hadn't had a relationship since high school.

Ditto

3 hours ago, Phobe said:

when I've had the opportunity to enter relationships I've been pretty put-off by the idea and escaped asap.

Same

3 hours ago, Phobe said:

It occurred to me that I am at my happiest and my most fulfilled when I have an intimate friendship with someone, and that that's probably what I ultimately want.

Definitely

3 hours ago, Phobe said:

I enjoy tea

who doesn't?

3 hours ago, Phobe said:

like watching let's players despite not being a gamer myself, and would live off chicken fingers gladly. 

watching is fun! and they are a major food group all by themselves!

 

Interesting about the poly relationship. Do you get double the romance sent your way or can you sort of opt out and let them get their romance from each other?

Do you do lots of leather handicraft making, altering or fixing? if you do +10 respect from me! I have always wanted to try handcrafting something substantial in leather -but more like a saddle to reminisces about my horse riding days. 

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14 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Do you get double the romance sent your way or can you sort of opt out and let them get their romance from each other?

One of my partners is more aloof. His love is subtle, and I can handle being around it more so than the other partner. Said other partner is very expressive about his love, which I think would be great for someone who wasn't arospec. 

Sometimes when they're being demonstrative in a romantic sense, I encourage them to go spend time with each other rather than me. This unfortunately has the effect of making them both pretty sad. 

 

I believe I'll need to break up with them in the New Year. I don't want to hurt them over the holidays, but I do need to tell them what I've discovered about myself and that pretending to be in love isn't going to work for me. This is going to be doubly hard because I enjoy the friendship portion of our dynamic. 

 

14 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Do you do lots of leather handicraft making, altering or fixing?

More on the fixing/care side! I keep people's leathers looking spick and span, and make repairs when needed. I'm looking to get into the crafting side of things within the next few years :)  

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7 hours ago, Phobe said:

I do need to tell them what I've discovered about myself

Depending on how much time you anticipate spending together over these holidays it may be better to explain about being aro-spectrum now. It gives them time to try and understand it along with you and then they might understand some of your reactions rather than being sad and confused about you pulling away. 

I think the main point you should focus on when you do decide to discuss it with them is that the friendship bond is the most important connection for most aromantics. You love people, but just from a slightly different perspective. It is not a less important or less 'real' feeling of connection.

 

With leather I have heard that hand stitching is 5x more durable, but that is a whole set of techniques different from normal sewing. 

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I had a two and a half hour phone call with my best friend last night about all this. He's happy I know myself a little better, and has also encouraged me to be open about being aro sooner rather than later with my partners. I have a wine and cheese party scheduled with another friend tomorrow, and I plan to open up to him as well and get his advice. I'd appreciate it if I could get him to go with me to see my partners, as I don't drive myself and will more than likely need to give them space afterwards. 

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To update people who may be keen on my relationship drama: The split happened on the 11th. It was amicable, but still heartbreaking. My exes are doing well, and I myself am looking forward to a life where I'm more honest with myself and with what I want. 

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Being aro was a recent discovery for you so just spending some time on introspection can help you feel more balanced and have a better idea of what you might want. 

I'm glad you are all dealing well even through the pain. 

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