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am i aromantic or scared of intimacy?

Am i Aro?  

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Hello! 
 
I think I might be aromantic, I've been in one relationship in the past and I'm currently in one. The first one ended badly because I completely shut down at the end and didn't want to see or be intimate with the person (hug/hand holding). Obviously the relationship itself had some issues and we weren't that compatible. I remember her telling me how in love she was with me and how she felt breathless every time I walked into a room and in my mind all I could think was "how can someone feel that way, thats so strong and like weird?". I never had a "crush" on her and when she asked me out I said yes because I just did. I guess its was because i hadn't been in a relationship before and all my friends were in one and we got along well as friends so why not? I was happy as friends but i said yes. I once had a nightmare about this girl where she repeatedly tried to force me into doing romantic things (it was literally only hugging) and i woke up scared and terrified.
 
 
Throughout my childhood I never had crushes and would makeup crushes when my friends always asked. I would pick a random boy and say I liked him. I thought this was because I was a lesbian and had girl crushes I thought were friend crushes and that was why I didn't have any boy crushes. But I never really had any girl crushes even after I came out. I can recognise when a girl is like aesthetically and psychically attractive and men I guess. I think I feel sexual attraction to women. (?)
 
 
So as I mentioned I'm currently dating someone. I'm pretty sure I liked her beforehand, but looking back it may have just been intense platonic feelings. I daydreamed about moving in together and having an apartment. When she said she liked me I was happy and I asked her out. We've been together for 5 months now but soon after to 2nd month or so when we started to get more psychical I felt my stress and anxiety rising. Shes started hinting at I love you and I don't think I can say that because I just don't feel that way, what is love?? How can people be in love like those couples and in movies. I don't understand it. I've started hating psychical affection with her like my past relationship, not wanting to hangout with her because I don't want her to kiss me or try romantic things like hand holding. It makes me uncomfortable. We used to hug and hold hands when we were just friends and I was mostly okay with that and really didn't mind. Its reached the point where ive started turning down hangout sessions and stuff. 
 
 
When I watch movies and see couples that are "in love" I wonder how they can be so happy and perfect and love each other? Disney movies or movies filled mainly by romance mostly seem unimportant to me and all of my boy obsessed friends seem crazy and weird to me. Love at first sight seems outrageous and confusing how can... just what? 
 
 
Im starting to think I might be aromantic, I'm scared for my future. Everyone excepts me to fall in love and live with a partner. I think I would just prefer this in a platonic way, I do want kids and would be willing to adopt and coparent with a platonic partner but I don't think I want to be romantically with someone. 
 
 
Thinking about being with someone and kissing them, holding hands. PDA and that makes me feel weird and not in a good way. I'm not sure and I'm highly confused. Maybe im just saying it as a reason as to why my relationship isnt working. But ive noticed a trend in my relationships where at first its just like being friends then being more intense friends and then it enters romance and thats when i start to get uncomfortable. In my head can think about romance and the possibility but as soon as it happens to me i hate it and completely 'nope out' of the situation.
 
 
1.So here comes my question am I aromantic or just have a fear of intimacy? 
 
2. How can I go about explaining this to my girlfriend and breaking it off with her in a polite way while maintaining our friendship? 
 
 
I'm so scared and confused right now and would really appreciate your response. Thanks for reading this I hope it makes sense, it was written in a semi panic.

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hey, i've been there.  relationship, confusion, discomfort, semi-panic, and all.  i can't tell you what the case is for you personally but i can offer some ideas.

 

1. sounds aro to me.  the main indicator is that you didn't seem to mind platonic intimacy.  also, speaking just of the romantic sort, i understand 'fear of intimacy' to mean you desire it but have difficulty engaging in it--there's a sort of conflict--whereas in your case you don't seem to desire it in the first place, and when engaging in it or seeing it you seem more uncomfortable and confused than anything else.  that's me for sure.  i like to make the same distinction when people think aros are just afraid of commitment.  first of all, my best friend and i have been friends since we were 6 and have promised to be for life--that seems pretty committed.  second, if we're talking about romantic relationships, it's not that i want to commit to one but struggle to--i simply don't want one, committed or otherwise.  

 

2. pretty much just tell her how you feel.  if you have decided to identify as aromantic, i would suggest saying so and explaining the meaning.  even if you're not sure, i suppose.  then talk about what that means for you specifically, like what you're uncomfortable with.  most importantly, assure her you do like her and want to be friends, it's just your orientation and feelings about romantic relationships in general.  this is what i did when i told my boyfriend at the time--actually, we continued dating for a couple months after (idk man, it was a complicated time), and when we broke up, i reiterated that it wasn't specifically him i didn't want to date, it was everyone--anyway, i think it was good.  as good as it could have been.  if your girlfriend does indeed love and care about you she'll appreciate your honesty, respect your orientation and feelings, and want to maintain your friendship.  i definitely think it's best to be honest, and to do it sooner rather than later.

 

good luck.

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I told her! It went okay, she said she still wants to be friends and accepts me. She just needs some time to recover from the pain of heartbreak. I dont really understand heartbreak because i dont understand love tbh. But i understand that it must hurt alot and i kinda feel guilty for causing that pain.

When i did it i felt so liberated and freed, i finally feel like i belong and im not alone. Like im not broken and weird. So thankyou for your response it cemented my thoughts and gave me the encouragement needed.

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i'm glad it went well and that you feel better.  i remember feeling similarly--relief is the first word which comes to mind--and i cried.  my mom thought it was from sadness.  well, i'm glad i could help.  don't feel too badly for her; it's not your fault.

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