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sunny

Apathy and Aromanticism.

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i'm unsure if it's a sign of the times, something just being seriously wrong with me, or any number of factors buzzing around in my brain, but i've sort of lost touch with my passions over the course of the past few weeks in particular. i feel like, in embracing this side of my identity, i have gained a degree of apathy or, repulsion toward other people. but i love other people. i love my friends, i love my family. but currently the thought of even being cared for, by people who i love and care for, makes me uncomfortable. i've always been the caretaker. i've always been empathetic and feel and worry and care for my friends. i try to help where i can. that's how i've always been, but lately not focusing on myself is almost too easy. i'm starting not to feel anything, just a heavy detachment from where i am and what i'm doing. and it's scaring me a lot.

 

maybe it's just a coincidence. but i've found that in my acceptance of this aromantic side of me, i've lost one of my closest connections with other people: feeling like i actually connect with them like they can connect with me.

 

it's just really isolating. and i was wondering if anyone had grounding tips, ways to still feel connected to people despite lacking... that certain jenesaisquoi. thanks.

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Feeling detached and losing interest and enjoyment in things that have always been fun/important to you is a classic symptom of depression - if this has been a consistent thing for many weeks then it's worth getting that checked out with a doctor. 

 

That said, assuming most of your existing relationships with other people are NOT romantic... why should being aromantic mean those relationships have to change? You can still connect to them in exactly the ways you have in the past, and they can still connect with you in exactly the ways they have in the past. 

 

Maybe think about some of your favourite activities to do with friends, and see if you can organise to do some of those to remind yourself of why you enjoy them, and enjoy doing them with other people? 

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15 hours ago, eatingcroutons said:

Feeling detached and losing interest and enjoyment in things that have always been fun/important to you is a classic symptom of depression - if this has been a consistent thing for many weeks then it's worth getting that checked out with a doctor. 

 

That said, assuming most of your existing relationships with other people are NOT romantic... why should being aromantic mean those relationships have to change? You can still connect to them in exactly the ways you have in the past, and they can still connect with you in exactly the ways they have in the past. 

 

Maybe think about some of your favourite activities to do with friends, and see if you can organise to do some of those to remind yourself of why you enjoy them, and enjoy doing them with other people? 

 

I'm aware of the signs, and I appreciate the concern. It's something I'll lean into if it persists. This is the real only major change occurring in my life at the moment. Just the correlation is really succinct to me? Just I began to accept this part of me, and my emotions just sort of plummeted. I experienced such immense relief (even with tension around the family, until they came around, tmi I suppose) when I came out as trans to my family. When it's come to accepting myself, there's always been this degree of "oh thank god" because I'm acting on how I want to live. 

 

It's just come as a big surprise, how I've responded to even attempting to feel better about myself. The disconnect I'm getting via loved ones is a little more complex I suppose? I've spent a long time trying to relate to people talking about their relationships and crushes and their sexcapades. That's not the singular way I am connecting to them, sure, but suddenly there's this feeling of being... almost two steps further from them. There's this brand new disconnect as not feeling in line with the rest. These things don't matter in friendships and family, I know, but every time they talk about romantic love I'm left just, unable to pretend like I get it anymore. I thought they were like me, you know? And suddenly I'm not like them. There shouldn't be an "us" and "them" but for simplicity's sake and trying to pick apart myself, I think that's how I ought to put it.

 

Even so, thanks for hearing me out and replying. Voicing it helps. I'll try to do those things in the future.

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On 1/11/2019 at 9:47 PM, sunny said:

I'm aware of the signs, and I appreciate the concern. It's something I'll lean into if it persists.

I'm glad to hear it ❤️ I'm sure you also know that major depression can be triggered by real-world events, so it's not impossible that you could have depression as a reaction to this one major change in your life.

 

On 1/11/2019 at 9:47 PM, sunny said:

The disconnect I'm getting via loved ones is a little more complex I suppose? I've spent a long time trying to relate to people talking about their relationships and crushes and their sexcapades. That's not the singular way I am connecting to them, sure, but suddenly there's this feeling of being... almost two steps further from them. There's this brand new disconnect as not feeling in line with the rest. These things don't matter in friendships and family, I know, but every time they talk about romantic love I'm left just, unable to pretend like I get it anymore. I thought they were like me, you know? And suddenly I'm not like them. There shouldn't be an "us" and "them" but for simplicity's sake and trying to pick apart myself, I think that's how I ought to put it.

Ahh okay, I think I get what you mean a bit more now and yeah that does make sense. If romance is a big part of their lives, and you've made the switch from trying to pretend you can relate to that, to accepting that you can't relate to that, then yeah I can see how that would cause a disconnect. 

 

I would say though that personally, even though I don't "get" romantic love and have no desire to be part of it, that's far from the only way my friends are not "like me". Some of my friends are sexually into women, which I don't understand or relate to either. Some of them are obsessed with the Great British Bake-Off and I'm just like  and totally tune out of those conversations when they happen. Sometimes I'm just like, I love you man, but some of the things you care about are fucking weird.

 

And that's okay! If my friends were "like me" in every way then I'd be bored to death by them. I like hearing about what's important to them and why, and how their experiences are different to mine. And of course, not being interested in romance myself doesn't mean I can't be sympathetic and supportive when my friends are suffering because of romantic problems. Just like I can be sympathetic and supportive when a friend's favourite football team loses an important match, even though I don't care about or support their team.

 

A shared interest in romance is emphatically NOT the only way to connect with people. Being different to your friends in this way absolutely does not mean you can't relate to them ever again. You're obviously going through a tough period of re-adjustment right now, and I don't want to diminish that at all - it is tough. But I'm sure that romance isn't the only thing that has ever been important in your friends' lives. I'm sure there are plenty of other shared activities, interests, and values that your friendships are founded on. So my advice would again be to try to focus on what those things are, and focus on the ways that you do relate to the people you care about.

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