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rain of arrows

Being asked out on a date as an aro

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There's this distinct and utter panic I feel every time I'm asked out on a date by someone I thought was just a friend. I think I wouldn't have such a hard time turning them down if they were just a stranger, but with friends I often feel almost betrayed (?) when I'm asked out. I'm not out to many of my friends, just my closest ones, and they're all people that are a) already taken, or b) gay guys and heteroromantic girls (I'm a cis female).

 

For example, I recently reconnected with one of my friends from elementary school, and we immediately hit it off. I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, what an awesome guy. I really hope this friendship works out." Eventually, about a couple months later we arranged a meet up to go out to the movies, and I honestly didn't think about the romantic implications of it all. So when he asked me out a couple of days later, I was completely blindsided. I panicked for hours, analyzing our every interaction for the supposed romantic subtext I missed. There was this like sinking feeling in my gut, because when I eventually rejected him a day later, he accused me of leading him on and I felt like such a jerk. It made me feel like I should be analyzing everything I do with all of my alloromantic friends just to make sure I'm not hurting anyone, which is something I never want to do. Does that make sense? Is this even something that's really specific to aros? This has happened so many times now that I feel like I really should be looking for this stuff, but it never occurs to me to look at my interactions with people I firmly consider platonic friends (and ONLY platonic friends) and analyze them for potential unwanted romantic feelings.

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Oh, I hear ya! Especially what you said about not registering the romantic subtext. I can be pretty uh, enthusiastic, with my love for my friends, and I love getting to know new people on a deeper level and helping them feel good about themselves. So I guess all that can mislead some folks... but I don’t think you or I are really to blame for those incidents. You just wanted something different out of that relationship than he did. It’s not your fault he assumed you were interested in him romantically. Stuff like that can happen to alloromantic people too, I think, because unrequited love happens all the time. People with crushes are the real blind ones; they only see what they want to see because they want the relationship to happen so bad.

 

And I don’t think you can really equip yourself with a set of signs that your friends might have a crush on you. Everyone handles things differently. Believe me, I know the paranoia because I lost a friend to this kind of situation once. With most of my friends, I don’t have to worry because they either aren’t attracted to men or are already in relationships. But recently I made a new friend who is bi, single, and seemed to taking a special interest in me. At least, that was what I was afraid of because it was giving me deja vu with the afore mentioned friend that I lost. I could feel the paranoia I was getting was creating a lot of anxiety for me and was making me want to distance myself from her. So to do away with that awful feeling, I just decided to come out to her via text shortly after we exchanged numbers and went home. And in this case at least, things worked out totally fine! We still get together often, and I really appreciate her as a friend who is also super enthusiastic and loves to hang out with people one-on-one. And she’s like that with everyone, really; it’s not just that she’s lying to me about her feelings for my sake. 

 

So what I’m trying to say is it’s better if you can find a way to be more generally open and casual about your orientation. I know I used to think it was something really private that only I needed to

deal with, but being able to come out to people regularly, as awkward and scary as it may seem, is definitely better than being paranoid or creating a misunderstanding. At least then you know whatever happens on their end, you won’t feel guilty about it.

 

 

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i get it, i would hate to lose a friend that way.  i actually had this friend, i'd told him i was aro at some point (it just came up randomly), and several months later he told me he was "interested in [me]" and asked me on a date, saying that he understood i wouldn't feel the same way.  so we went on the date, which was just like a dinner between friends, and then kept being friends.  now he has a girlfriend and i've moved to a different building and we've pretty much drifted apart.  more recently, i complimented a random girl on campus on her band hoodie (always a good thing to bond over, imo) and we started talking and exchanged numbers.  partway through, i got the impression that she was flirting with me but hoped i was just paranoid (but the signs were pretty clear).  she later texted me asking if i wanted to "go out or hang out," even suggesting a gay bar, and i wildly improvised a lie about having a boyfriend, for some reason, but agreed to get coffee with her.  i was a bit disappointed because i'd hoped we could be friends.  so i worry, when i try to strike up friendships or even casual conversations, that i might inadvertently give someone the wrong impression.  and yeah, what with allos developing romantic attraction over longer periods of time in some cases, it's not like i can relax or whatever once a platonic relationship has been well established, even if i am out to them--see anecdote 1.  it kinda sucks, tbh.

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oh I feel your words. 

You shouldn't have to analyse anything because then you start double guessing and questioning things you never thought about before and it can completely undermine your self-esteem (I have a friend doing this right now and from a small issue it has grown and she now tortures herself over it. So don't let it grow)

 

Basically that guy was a jerk to blame you for 'leading him on'. He never stated his intentions until that point so how were you to really understand? does he assume everyone can read his mind? BAH! I wouldn't say it is specific to aros...I have friends who go though periods of personal uncertainty in the event of jerks being jerks. I'm sorry your friendship was assassinated by him, and if this scenario is repeating itself for you I have one piece of advice: a good emotional defence is having an offence. Get offended when people ask you out. 

"What? You only hung out with me because of random brain chemistry imbalances you have?" or "Why are you ruining our friendship?" 

(Extra note: don't do this if they are semi-unstable or are trapping you physically with them in some way or alone in the middle of the night or if you are dependant on them for transport. Be safe) 

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Guest Chandrakirti

It would be so much better if there wasn't so much subtext to life and a visit to the movies remained just that.

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@rain of arrows

Well, consider this a lesson learnt. What I'd do is that next time someone asks you to go to the movies with them, be clear that you're not romantically interested in them and that there will be no romantic undertone with the encounter.

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Guest Chandrakirti

I have a friend who is cis het, they were standing in an art gallery looking at a picture when someone came up to them and started talking about how beautiful the picture was...

 

They took one look, assessed the situation and said ' so you like me? We can go for a coffee here too!'

 

After a few months they were married...😆

 

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dude i feel you so much, that's happened to me twice, but you shouldn't feel like a jerk just because the guy claimed you "led him on". For me, I'd made friends with this guy really quickly and started treating him the way I treat my other best friends, which is with a lot of love and kind of physical affection, and I know that sinking feeling of realizing all along what was going on. I was so excited to have another friend who was on the same page as me, but I feel I should've seen it coming when he tried to literally get in bed with me lol it was so weird to me. But yeah, it's not your fault that people have to put subtext in everything like that. And you definitely should not feel guilty, wtf the nerve of that guy, people aren't mindreaders. Maybe to help this, you could find a way to be open about how you aren't interested in romantic relationships?

 

Like if you were watching a tv show with some friends who weren't aware and you wanted to make it clear you're aro, if you see anything romantic on tv be like "booo no more, get back to the plot" or something lol that's what I do sometimes.

Good luck my friend, it'll be okay!  

 

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On 5/29/2019 at 4:33 AM, Chandrakirti said:

They took one look, assessed the situation and said ' so you like me? We can go for a coffee here too!'

 

After a few months they were married...😆

 

What the absolute heck. I give up. I give up!!

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Guest Chandrakirti
3 hours ago, treepod said:

What the absolute heck. I give up. I give up!!

Haha! @treepod....my very unusual friend was a Zen Buddhist...he used to just cut away all the layers and get straight to the point. He says life's too short to not grasp every opportunity!😆

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that's an awful situation, im sorry that happened :(

I hate when people ask me out; or think i'll date them. like,,, a) i don't like dating, and b) if you ask me out you clearly know nothing about me, why would i wanna go on a date with you?
I met 2 people on a tram heading back from a convention, chatted with them, and the next day the guy of the pair came up to me while I was volunteering at the convention and asked for my number so we could keep in contact; he and the girl seemed nice; i like nerdy friends, so i gave it to him.
Later while texting him, he said he told his mum he had something serious to tell her and his sister told her he "hit it off" with "a girl named Ori" and its like,,, i was equally interested in his sister (maybe a little more interested tbh) and im not a girl!! We havent hit it off!! You dont even know my gender!! Or my orientation!! we're not dating!!

anyway this is a long way of saying its an awful and uncomfortable experience and i feel you.

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On 5/21/2019 at 3:44 PM, treepod said:

So what I’m trying to say is it’s better if you can find a way to be more generally open and casual about your orientation. I know I used to think it was something really private that only I needed to

deal with, but being able to come out to people regularly, as awkward and scary as it may seem, is definitely better than being paranoid or creating a misunderstanding. At least then you know whatever happens on their end, you won’t feel guilty about it.

 

 

I think this is good advice. I've been trying to be more open about my disinterest in dating and relationships. It's difficult though because it's a topic I have long tried to avoid. I'm trying to get used to asking people if they have a gf/bf and then when they ask the same I can explain that I don't date.

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