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DavidMS703

Social isolation

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Does anyone else feel like they can't really form meaningful connections with other people? I feel like that's a big issue for me, in large part because most of the people I've gotten along with best have romantic relationships that are their top priority and that limits how close I can get to them without it being seen as an "emotional affair" or something of the sort, as well as because I don't feel that well understood by people who aren't different from what's seen as the norm in terms of romanticism/sexuality. I've felt especially isolated this semester and am sort of feeling like it's not likely to get that much better ever.

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I feel very isolated too. That being said, to only peoples i could call my friends… i don't see the very often. But yeah, peoples rarely understand me. 

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I think a lot of us can relate a lot to you. I hear from aros all the time about how they feel abandoned by some friends sometimes (especially when they get into romantic relationships), and there's a guilt that comes with being both happy for our friends and sad that they've left us behind.

 

I currently also have this issue, magnified by the fact that all my most significant relationships are online.

 

I'm thankful to have a couple of friends who do not up and abandon me and who give just as much as I do to our relationship, so there is hope! People out there exist and it's a shame there don't seem to be more of them. I hope a culture of building stronger friendships is something we'll see in our lifetime.

 

I don't have much advice since I haven't solved this problem for myself. Focusing on my hobbies and interests has been a way of distraction that has been rewarding so that's an idea. I also send lots of virtual hugs your way. It will get better; not to say that you're not suffering now, because I feel you, but holding out hope that one day our friends will understand what we mean when we talk to them about this stuff keeps me going.

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I do still feel hope. I think what would be best for me is to have a zucchini (or a few of them) who are also aromantic, but I'm not even sure how to meet other aromantics. I find one thing that helps me is YouTube personalities who sort of seem like friends even though they don't actually know me, and I have good communities of people online, just not offline currently. I also go to a pretty small community college; I think I'll be at a bigger college next year though I'm not sure how much difference that will make.

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These forums do have a little Meetups section, and that could be a way of finding aros on here to meet up with in real life in your area. There also might be aro or generally a-spec communities and organizations in your area, if you have enough confidence to try attending those. In my experience, the first meeting I went to was always nerve-wrecking, but really well worth it. People are generally quite nice. :) The move to a bigger college might mean more luck finding clubs like these - sometimes they're advertised or listed online on the college's website.

 

Media personalities have definitely helped me before too, so I'm glad you're making do with what you have!

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I never seemed to have problems amassing 'friends' during school and university, some of them were pretty close, but the fact that there are comparatively so few now that I contact shows that they couldn't have been particularly meaningful relationships to either of us. (this is going to be a downer) but trying to be friendly to lots of people will probably catch you some 'friends', which of course is easier when there are larger groups of people around. But even from that there will be few meaningful connections that will survive, so focus on the people you like best to forge relationships. It seems the woe of aro-specs to be left behind when they get partners but as partnerships go on long-term things 'settle' and there is usually more time for friends. The whole emotional affair thing would depend on how controlling/jealous their partner is, so friending more liberal people might side-step around some of these issues as they might be more open to non-standard relationship dividers.  

(again, sorry for the downer comment)

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I think what would help most is trying to find people who are either aromantic or poly. I kind of feel like my family and counselors I have talked to sometimes seem to think just finding more people who belong to romantic couples to be friends with would solve all my problems, like they don't get that whether or not the other person is in a monogamous romantic relationship makes a difference in what I can get out of a relationship.

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55 minutes ago, DavidMS703 said:

either aromantic or poly

or relationship anarchist or some one who prescribes to 'no-boundry/unfenced' relationships. 

I know I have read some good articles on why single people make better friends but I can't seem to find them my search skills fail but if your family or counsellors can't conceptualise the difference when you explain it I don't know if random internet articles would help anyway. Maybe when you go to the bigger college it might have some more 'aware' people you can connect with...

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4 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

or relationship anarchist or some one who prescribes to 'no-boundry/unfenced' relationships. 

I know I have read some good articles on why single people make better friends but I can't seem to find them 

Maybe something from this list

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@Mark wow, that is a goldmine! there are definitely articles there that are better than the one I was thinking about (which had one cringe worthy mention  of menstruation).

Though the one titled  Men and women as friends – when one is gay or lesbian was way off the mark from my own experience.

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