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lonelyace

relationship anxiety

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I have suspected that I was aromantic, or at least on the aromantic spectrum for a while now. I've spent my entire life asking others what a crush/romantic attraction is supposed to feel like and getting frustrated at the vague yet common response of "you just know." I don't get butterflies in my stomach whenever I'm around any one person. I don't obsess completely over a person. I don't fantasize

about kissing, and since I'm asexual, I don't fantasize about sex either.

 

It all seems very aromantic, and yet I am in continuous denial about the fact that I could be aro. See, I very much value how much others value me, probably too much, but thats another discussion. It is important to me to have a person or people care about me. I don't want a life alone, I want a life with other people. I want somebody(s) that live with me and care about me and want a life with me, not just to be friends who see each other once in a while. It seems to me that the only way to achieve that is via a romantic relationship. I've had queerplatonic relationships before and I never felt like I mattered nearly as much to them as they did/do to me. They've all been both allosexual and alloromantic, so a platonic partnership like I'm offering is just not their end goal. It's a side note. I understand that they need romance and sex in their lives, and I've made peace with the fact that they will and should pursue that with other people. And yet they say things like "I'm forever alone" and put me off for the pursuit of romance. I feel like I am just a placeholder until they can find the "real thing" when I am in a queerplatonic relationship.

 

I am now three years into college and I am in my first romantic relationship aside from a few one off dates. I do really like my girlfriend. There aren't a lot of people that I'm willing to be physically intimate, that is to hold hands and cuddle with, but she is one of them. She's given me the closest thing I've ever felt to whatever the hell butterflies in the stomach are supposed to be. I figured out that she liked me before she actually told me, and it made me really happy. When I heard that she liked someone else I was very upset and even cried. And yet I am not comfortable with using pet names. I am not comfortable with saying I love you; I never have been in any context from familial to platonic to romantic, and I don't know why. I wouldn't know where to begin with romantic gestures like she does for me. I feel like I'm forcing to reciprocate when all I really want to do is just be with her.

 

Another thing that I'm considering is that I still cannot differentiate between romantic and platonic. I know that there are some people that I care about differently than others. People that I more want to be around, want to be more physically intimate with, people that I want to build a life with. But I can't say that it feels inherently romantic. So my relationship with my girlfriend feels more like an expanded friendship than something with a distinctly romantic quality, at least on my part. I worry that entering into a relationship with her is just me going deeper into denial. But for the first time ever, I'm someone's favorite person, and I don't know if I can let go of that. I don't want to hurt her or lead her on. I do really care about her, I just don't know if it's the "right" way. I don't know if I am emotionally capable of letting the relationship go if I don't love her the "right" way, but it also wouldn't be fair of me to keep dating her if that turns out to be true.

 

I don't know what I am, what I feel, or what I should do, and I don't handle not knowing well at all.

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Have you talked with her about these partifcular feelings?
I don't have a concrete solution for your situation but know you are understood.
The thoughts about you wanting somebody(s) to truly care about you are very understandable to me.
I think it's the most important thing to talk with her about your emotions and maybe things turn out differently than you expect.
The times I was in such a situation it always turned out bad because I communicated too little and got my head caught up in societal expectations - without actually knowing the expectations of my opposite. For example, maybe your girlfriend is cool with not using pet names (all the time) or is okay that she calls you in a specific way but you don't have to.
There are times where it's important to step back and just observe before you put yourself in different categories even if it's hard for you to endure.
I think it's very natural you feel happy someone cares about you in a deeper way and doesn't throw you away just like that (that's not okay at all). I see this independent of romance because many people feel better when they know they can really count on someone else - we are social creatures after all.

It's a question of "what does each of us need to feel happy and comfortable?" and then you have to look if you can come together and compromise - or not.
I understand you don't want to lose the feeling of being someone's most important person in life but you don't want to hurt her either so it's important you guys talk about what you want.

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