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Anything_but_allo

Need advice- I think I’m becoming to emotionally attached to my parents/family, is this due to my aromanticism?

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Hey everyone, I’m doing another one of these vent type things, it’s slightly off topic but I do think it does relate to possibly my aromanticism. So to start off, I’m honestly very thankful that I have such an awesome family, I really am. They’ve always supported me, loved me no matter what, and they always have my back. But the bad thing is: I rely on them to much. I often feel like my family and parents are the only ones that truly care about me, I feel like they’re the only ones in the world that care sometimes. I love my friends to pieces, but that’s the thing: they often times don’t love me the same way. Yes, they do love and care about me, and they enjoy talking to me and some genuinely miss me when I’m gone, but I often feel like they don’t really care as much and they don’t have the same emotional connection like I have with my family. Which is why it can be dangerous sometimes, I become very clingy to certain people in my family, usually my dad, mom, or brothers, and I rely on them for emotional support and to be compeltely honest I socialize with them the most, because they are often the ones that I feel really get me. The main issue here is when it comes to my future, moving out, starting my own life etc. I really want to become independent and move out on my own, yet I have this deep, sharp pain in my heart at the thought of not really being around my parents anymore. Of course I know I’ll still be able to visit them, hang out with them, call them and many more. I’ve kinda made my family members my best friends and while that’s a great thing, it can also greatly effect your life and hold you back from going out into the real world and meeting new people. And I’m sure many of you are worried that I may have fake friends or bad friends, but I really don’t. They’re all very supportive of me, and we joke around a lot and have pleasant conversations, I jsut feel as if I could not rely on them as much and that without my family in my life I would feel so unbearably lost. Does this have to do with my aromanticism and feta of being lonely, possibly? Is this because my aromanticism isn’t really acknowledged in the real world and my family seems to be the only ones that support me? I want some advice on how I can deal with this, and how I can better myself in the future. Thank you all so much for your support and help, I’m thankful for each and every one of you. Have a wonderful day 💚

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Hi there,

 

I think I understand where you're coming from. I'm very close with my family too and know I either wouldn't want them to move far away, or if they did I'd have to visit/call them regularly. A truly great family is a special connection with it having so many years of history, and I don't think wanting to hold onto that, on principle, is a bad thing (hence the calls and visits). But in regards to feeling like no one else cares as much as they do, I could see how aromanticism could be a factor. If you think about it, society tells us that the two greatest connections are familial and romantic - and those are the relationships you see portrayed as really...loyal? Deep? Like, they stick with you through anything, where you go they go. Friendships are expected to be loyal/supportive to a certain extent too of course, but not the same amount. So maybe you're looking for that kind of deeper connection that isn't broadly applied to friends? But without the romance because aro, and not part of your family since you're moving out (or well planning to at some point). So even though your friends a great friends - and that is very important! - they simply aren't in that kind of relationship with you. Of course cultivating that kind of relationship, especially without romance, takes time and effort, but it can be done. (I guess what I'm describing is a bit like a non-romance coded qpr? I think? If so that might be something to look into). So I guess my hesitant advice would be to think about what would make you feel more cared about by friends/people in general, and seek those relationships out so that when you move out you have a bigger support network you feel really connected to. Likely you'll miss your family somewhat when you move out, especially at first (though, strictly speaking, one doesn't have to move out if it doesn't move their happiness forward at all; in a lot of cultures staying with your parents is the norm), but if you stay in contact and also have other close contacts it may be more bearable.

 

Hopefully this helps somewhat, if not I don't mind discussing it further. :)

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I don't have a direct advice but maybe you can still benefit by reading about my own experiences:
I observed a tendency to rely on my parents for emotional support/comfort too. I don't live with them anymore, not even in the same place.
But I clearly remember the time I still lived in my birthplace (own apartment) and thought "nobody truly cares for me but them".
My living situation and mental health has changed to the better since then but I can empathize with your emotions regardless.

I think there is no shame in living together with one's parents as adult and it's admirable and a wonderful thing to have solid relationships with people in your family.
I approached the issue a bit like @Autumn suggested: I tried to find people who are as emotional available as I am in a friendship.
Which isn't an easy task, but not impossible. I set myself out there, met new people and then decided if I wanted to be closer, only talk casually or part ways entirely.
I mainly used the Internet which went down surprisingly well - met my roommate through it,  many acquaintances and even someone I could almost call a soulmate. 
Though the most important thing isn't the count of people but a similar set of values when it comes to friendship.
And then being able to communicate openly about your own principles.
There are still people out there who are willing to stick through thick and thin with their friends.
I purposely deepened my emotional bonds with people who feel the same way and saved my energy with people who view friendship as something shallow/steppingstone for romance.
I fear people who get you completely are still rarer since I also have friendships where we joke, talk and have a good time together but a deeper level of connection is missing - the "serious part", where I'm able to show someone my vulnerability and demons and still feel accepted and loved. That's the case with maybe 3 or 4 people (beside my parents).
I can only feel at home, secure and not alone when this is possible. My parents almost know everything about me, they know me since birth. So, it's no miracle I'd turn to them (probably the same with you).

Now with these 3 or 4 people in my life, I've found people who have a similar understanding and acceptance of me as my parents (in 2 special cases even higher) and I know I can rely on others.
I'm pretty sure it isn't uncommon for aromantics though I can't speak for everyone. Many still wish for a deeper connection, just without the romance part.
I guess the whole issue is the reason why the "found family" trope appeals so much to me (and others in the forum). Friends can feel and be like family but everyone has got to be on the same page. Also, I've briefly mentioned my grandma here - we weren't biologically related but she felt more like family than my parents and relatives together.
It is definitely possible to find emotional support and understanding outside our biological family.
Just a few words about my parents at last: I call them weekly, see them in the holidays and I enjoy the time I get to spend with them very much.
In my opinion, living on your own takes time to acclimate anyway; whether you are on good terms or not. Take your time.

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I'm not sure about your experiences, but just reading some of the posts on the forum can make you start feeling a little wary of friends and the possibility of them dropping you because of their romantic interests, while family don't seem to do that (maybe they spend less time with you but they don't drop contact like friends can). Personally my attachment to my family comes with a feeling of certainty and continuance.

I used to have a few friends that felt like family to me but one has dropped me (I am suspicious it is because their long-term partner doesn't like me) so I learnt the hard way that most friends only ever stay friends. 

Anyway...

The pain you feel thinking about leaving your parents might be fear of becoming a visitor, which is highly unlikely to happen. A active social life with friends can also replace much of the day to day interactions you would have with parents so you won't really feel like you are alone, but it will be different.

Also, moving out is not the be all and end all. One of my friends has moved out 4 or 5 times but keeps moving home depending on the logistics of how to get to where he was working at the time. If you are used to living with people it might not be a good idea to suddenly live alone, moving in with a friend or cousin can be a good step in becoming independent without feeling like you are isolated. You never know, you could be like me and have serious issues with living alone (I just can't do it) so you will always be happier sharing a house -and really as long as everyone is happy what does it matter if you are living with family or friends or flatmates you met through room for rent articles? 

Last year I read a great article about a lady in her 60s who shares house with 3 or 4 flatmates in Bondi, sometimes one of her flatmates is her daughter and sometimes they are all foreign exchange students, but the house is always full of life. Who knows, if you move into a share house you might find a pseudo-extra-relative

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8 hours ago, Autumn said:

Of course cultivating that kind of relationship, especially without romance, takes time and effort, but it can be done. (I guess what I'm describing is a bit like a non-romance coded qpr? I think? If so that might be something to look into). So I guess my hesitant advice would be to think about what would make you feel more cared about by friends/people in general, and seek those relationships out so that when you move out you have a bigger support network you feel really connected to. Likely you'll miss your family somewhat when you move out, especially at first (though, strictly speaking, one doesn't have to move out if it doesn't move their happiness forward at all; in a lot of cultures staying with your parents is the norm), but if you stay in contact and also have other close contacts it may be more bearable.

 

Hopefully this helps somewhat, if not I don't mind discussing it further. :)

Thank you for your help and understanding 💚 and yea, I think that’s kinda where I struggle the most. I seem to have a difficult time forming those relationships with my friends, it sometimes seems like it can’t be done or like they just aren’t interested enough in trying. That’s why I often stay close to a lot of people online, they often are close to me, it’s just real life friends seem to be the ones where it’s difficult to form those relationship. But I do know that it can happen and work, it will just take time. And yea, actually one of my male friends I was hoping I could live with him one day in a non romance coded qpr kinda thing, but I honestly don’t know if he would be down for that. And yea, I do realize living with your parents is perfectly fine, and I was actually thinking that the best thing to do would to move out with a friend our cousin first. Thanks again for your support 💚

5 hours ago, NotHeartless said:


Now with these 3 or 4 people in my life, I've found people who have a similar understanding and acceptance of me as my parents (in 2 special cases even higher) and I know I can rely on others.
I'm pretty sure it isn't uncommon for aromantics though I can't speak for everyone. Many still wish for a deeper connection, just without the romance part.
I guess the whole issue is the reason why the "found family" trope appeals so much to me (and others in the forum). Friends can feel and be like family but everyone has got to be on the same page. Also, I've briefly mentioned my grandma here - we weren't biologically related but she felt more like family than my parents and relatives together.
It is definitely possible to find emotional support and understanding outside our biological family.
Just a few words about my parents at last: I call them weekly, see them in the holidays and I enjoy the time I get to spend with them very much.
In my opinion, living on your own takes time to acclimate anyway; whether you are on good terms or not. Take your time.

Thank you for all your help. And yea, I’m really trying to search and hold onto those that understand me, and accept me and let me open up to them. It’s not easy, it hasn’t been easy. Like I mentioned above about one of my guy friends and me wanting to possibly be in a qpr (well, platonic relationship) with him, is because I found him to be relatable and once I actually opened up to him about a really personal issue, and he said “it’s ok, I know what you’re going through, you can talk to me about stuff whenever” and I told him I loved him, but he didn’t say anything back and he just smiled and nodded. Which is why I felt hurt, because I felt like although he may care, he doesn’t really have the same sense of love. But I think I’ll eventhally find those people, or form that bond with my friends overtime. And yea, I do know allo people seek the same thing. Found family is definitely something that appeals to me too, it’s just that I want to find them and I haven’t quite yet. Thank you again for the support, it means a lot 💚

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5 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I'm not sure about your experiences, but just reading some of the posts on the forum can make you start feeling a little wary of friends and the possibility of them dropping you because of their romantic interests, while family don't seem to do that (maybe they spend less time with you but they don't drop contact like friends can). Personally my attachment to my family comes with a feeling of certainty and continuance.

I used to have a few friends that felt like family to me but one has dropped me (I am suspicious it is because their long-term partner doesn't like me) so I learnt the hard way that most friends only ever stay friends. 

Anyway...

The pain you feel thinking about leaving your parents might be fear of becoming a visitor, which is highly unlikely to happen. A active social life with friends can also replace much of the day to day interactions you would have with parents so you won't really feel like you are alone, but it will be different.

Also, moving out is not the be all and end all. One of my friends has moved out 4 or 5 times but keeps moving home depending on the logistics of how to get to where he was working at the time. If you are used to living with people it might not be a good idea to suddenly live alone, moving in with a friend or cousin can be a good step in becoming independent without feeling like you are isolated. You never know, you could be like me and have serious issues with living alone (I just can't do it) so you will always be happier sharing a house -and really as long as everyone is happy what does it matter if you are living with family or friends or flatmates you met through room for rent articles? 

Last year I read a great article about a lady in her 60s who shares house with 3 or 4 flatmates in Bondi, sometimes one of her flatmates is her daughter and sometimes they are all foreign exchange students, but the house is always full of life. Who knows, if you move into a share house you might find a pseudo-extra-relative

Yea, I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Luckily my guy friend I’ve been talking about isn’t focused on that right now, but I fear he will be in the future and if I ask to be in a qpr or anything like that with him he may dismiss it as weird and tell me no, or if he ends up having a child and if I ask to help co parent he may think I am extremely strange and tell me no. And I’m really sorry your friend dropped you like that, I hope you’re able to still form a good relationship with your other friends :( and yea, that’s another thing I really need to work on. Becoming more social with my friends, I’m just very introverted. Ah yea, I’ve heard of a lot of kids doing that, moving out but moving back in. That could be a possible option one day if I feel the need for it. And it’s jdut so weird, cause like I really would love to live by myself and have a home to myself, yet when thinking about the reality of that makes me afraid, I believe I share the same fear you have. And that’s awesome! Doing something like that in the future would be absolutely amazing, I think I wouldn’t feel alone at all if that were to happen. Thank you so much for sharing, I hope all goes well for all of you! 💚

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21 hours ago, Anything_but_allo said:

Yea, I think you may have hit the nail on the head.

I'm glad. I just reread my post and I seem to be throwing lots of ideas at you, basically a new one for each sentence. 

Friends really do help when you are doing something that does scare you. I hope things work out well with your guy friend! (I've found that good friends tell you you are weird but still love you so I don't think you should be really scared about either of the situations you detail)

I detailed my issues with living alone somewhere but I can't remember if it was here or on Aven.....not to scare you but...I had the dream once to live by myself, preferably a little cottage in the suburbs, but then I tried it for real and turned into a raving crazy in under 4 months. It was like paranoid PMS to the maximum, plus without 'supervision' my shame controlled food choices became erratically horrible (basically with no one around I never thought "I should't" and there was no one around me to remind me when "I should")

Anyway I wish you luck, and that on your journey to living in a house all to yourself you only discover good things about yourself. 

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@Apathetic Echidna thank you, I think he does like me and cares about me, he jsut isn’t the type to really openly express that. And oh no I’m so sorry! That’s soudns awful I’m sorry you had to go through that :( I hope you’re doing better now 💚 thank you so much for the support, I’m really hoping I can learn more about myself and discover the world more 💚

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