Jump to content
cruelapril

Platonic/Romantic love. This is probably common, but help. Please.

Recommended Posts

So, I'm confused and frustrated. I think I may be aro, or else there's something wrong with my brain? I don't get love. At all. From what I've figured out, love is basically the evolutionary solution to the prisoner's dilemma. Love makes you feel good to be around and with a person as a biochemical reward for co-operation. This explains how you can love someone, but not like them--you're already operantly conditioned to enjoy co-operating with them, but they make co-operation difficult and stressful, often choosing to betray for the higher reward instead. This is also why everyone stresses the importance of trust and communication in relationships: those are crippling to the divisive tactics inherent in a prisoner's dilemma situation, where the environment is formulated precisely to make you betray rather than co-operate, and thus to make you lose. (In this case, the game is life.) That's all I've got. Elaboration would be helpful.
Next problem, platonic and romantic love. The existence of people with non-aligned sexual and romantic orientations necessitates some distinguishing characteristic of romantic love that is not sexual attraction. Love for a sibling is different from love for a partner, and it's not sex that differentiates it. How?
My problem, basically, is that I don't think I've ever loved anyone romantically. I'm not sure I've even had a crush. The concept of dating seems odd to me, and people haven't managed to explain why or how they like it--the closest someone's gotten is that they date someone they like to be around generally, even when they aren't doing or talking about anything, which is a concept that partially lead to the above approximation of love. This sounds like a really strong friendship to me. I don't like to be around people generally. I genuinely prefer to be alone 80% of the time, but I'm friends with people that make me feel good when I'm in their presence for that remaining 20% of the time, which I assume is the biochemical reward kicking in. This may be platonic love? In which case, I fall in platonic love fast and hard. I also like to be physically affectionate with people I like, but I get nervous when I think they want to date me; this is awkward, and probably related to how I seem to flirt accidentally.
Additionally, I don't get platonic love, either, which has made familial relationships hard. You can't really explain to your parents that you're emotionally distant because you can't decide whether or not you love them. The closest feeling I've personally gotten to identifying is that I'd be sad if they died, which I don't think is the precise indicator that they'd be hoping for. I'm pretty sure that this is related to my idiomatic fucked-up neuro-chemistry and stellar emotional repression and denial circuits, but that still doesn't help me with definition or identification.
It's a huge problem to be unable to understand what seems to be a central concept of the human experience. I think I can fake understanding, but ultimately that's not actually helping me. Would someone please help? Explain any of this--even some commiseration would be amazing. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound quite Aro, but romantic attraction is very hard to work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/7/2018 at 4:31 AM, cruelapril said:

You can't really explain to your parents that you're emotionally distant because you can't decide whether or not you love them. The closest feeling I've personally gotten to identifying is that I'd be sad if they died, which I don't think is the precise indicator that they'd be hoping for. I'm pretty sure that this is related to my idiomatic fucked-up neuro-chemistry and stellar emotional repression and denial circuits, but that still doesn't help me with definition or identification.

Heyyy, this sounds like me! Growing up I used to think I might be a psychopath because people kept saying people love their parents and other family members, and I was just sitting there wondering how that works. Is it automatic? If so, I don't seem to have that function. I mean I kinda like some family members, but I just don't feel that 'love' thing for them really. Dunno how to.

 

Which is strange, because it's really easy for me to love animals. I love pretty much all of them automatically, but that same function doesn't apply to 90% of humans for some reason.

 

My theory about why this is (for me, at least), is that animals are always truly themselves. Humans tend to 'act' and hide behind masks, and they don't project their true feelings a lot of the time. That makes it hard for me to connect with them, because I can't really even see who they are. The few humans that I do love are ones who are more open and true to themselves, and don't do the mask thing that much. Even they do it as a defense mechanism sometimes, I think, because around many people it just isn't safe to open up... but the point is that they are at least open enough that I can connect with them, and they hopefully see me as a safe person, and then drop the mask around me.

 

I also think I have alexithymia and probably Asperger's, so those might be worth looking into as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×