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Jaide

frayromantic?

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alright so i’ve been trying to figure myself out and i thought it would be helpful if i could just debrief it all here and maybe get some feedback (i’m a relatively private person and talking with other people about this sort of stuff really ain’t my thing)

 

 

sooo....

i was talking with a friend recently about our experiences crushing on people and she was describing her crushes as a relatively painful experience where she feels deeply about someone she’s close with and it isn’t a very happy thing. and I was like, dude chill out, i always enjoy crushing on someone cause i get to admire this person from afar and just get really excited and nervous around them and feel happy because this person exists. And then she was like, but what if you’re friends with them doesn’t that sort of mess it up and make things weird or bad and then i was like... i’ve never had a crush on someone i’m also friends with. And then she said she thought that i was lucky and then i realized that the crushes i did have (both male and female) disappeared the moment i started to get familiar with the person at all. I mentioned this to her and she was like, well how’s that gonna work out for you. If you never like anyone you actually know or talk to. And i was like you’re right how is that going to work out.

 

So that night out of curiosity i googled it (i’m familiar with the lbgtq+ community cause i already knew i was bi) and i knew about people who were demi so i searched for demiromantic.... but like the exact opposite of that. I found a lot of things including lithromantic (which i know i’m not, my feelings go away just getting to know a person not at all about whether they reciprocate) and i also found fray romantic and in my head i kind of went !!!!!!! that’s me!!!!! that’s it!!!!!!

 

because i was excited about this new part of myself i had discovered i tried to find a community online based around it and because it is a very obscure label i mostly found forum discourse about it being fake or things that were just aromantic in general but not fray. some of these general posts were pretty cool and fray is under the aro umbrella so technically it applies but a lot of them were about never liking anyone and having zero crushes and finding romance annoying. I think it’s so rad that people feel like this but it just didn’t apply to me because i do like people sometimes. 

 

in in an attempt to make myself fit into a more common box i tried to ask myself if the crushes i’ve had were actually just squishes that i had misdiagnosed but this just didn’t feel right to me. (I personally don’t find kissing, hand holding, cuddling, or emotional intimacy inherent romantic or not romantic btw it’s all about the feelings behind these actions). The most fitting word i could put my emotions under would be infatuation. It doesn’t fit the squish description of “wanting to be closer” or be better friends because i know that if i get closer with someone then my feelings will go away. So anyways i do still think they were crushes where i would get nervous and think about kissing them and think about them all the time and i don’t call them squishes.

 

despite having crushes, i do not think i could ever feel romantic attachment (different from attraction) to someone which is why i feel comfortable putting myself under the aro umbrella. it just seems kind of... fake to me. Like i know i could play the game of romance and enjoy it or find it fun but it wouldn’t be real to me in the same way other people find it.  When friends have told me that they like me it always feels like a betrayal that they want to be something different than friends.

 

And i think the biggest thing i realized is that i can’t combine emotional stuff and romance. Like i would love to kiss and make out and i would find it totally romantic (in theory lol haven’t tried it) but if i knew the person and we’re emotionally close then i couldn’t find it romantic. Because i do have a friend who everyone thinks i’m dating and we do go out to get dinner together and hold hands all the time but it just doesn’t feel romantic and i feel like it would be impossible for it to feel romantic. (I’m a little bit worried that she thinks it is romo and i’m like hey not like that). 

 

Im really glad i found this other word, alterous, which basically describes the emotional part of the attraction, attachment, or relationship that romance normally has  but where it doesn’t feel romantic. I would love a partner, qpp, or i wouldn’t even mind calling them a girlfriend (as long as they knew i didn’t actually experience any romantic feelings towards them) and have an alterous relationship (emotionally close relationship, basically a QPR) and also do the “romantic” things of kissing, holding hands, cuddling, going on dates. So basically it mimics a romantic relationship but i just know i wouldn’t feel any romantic feelings and i think that’s okay.

 

i don’t know how people feel about alterous bc it’s also kind of obscure but i think if i felt like micro labeling myself (and i always feel like micro labeling my self) it would be:

 

Romantic: Bi Fray Gray-ro (only have liked three people in my life which is why i put gray)

Alterous: Bi and very willing please i just want someone to be vulnerable with

Sexual: Bi and also who the hell knows

Relationship Desires: QPR or any emotionally close committed but open non romantic relationship 

 

Anyone with similar experiences or identities? what do you think of fray or alterous or any of my other weird obscure labels? these are just words i vibe with so let me know how you feel about them by hopefully in a nice way. just want to yearn over wanting a non-romantic partner? please go ahead i will join you

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I think that's all pretty cool, and I'm happy for you that you found a label!

I also like micro labeling myself and it frustrates me when I can't find the exact word for me, so I'm happy for you!

 

For me I had actually been mistaking other things for crushes (after actually discussing with different people what their crushes were like, I realized I've never had a crush in my life).

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On 12/27/2019 at 9:48 PM, Jaide said:

the crushes i did have (both male and female) disappeared the moment i started to get familiar with the person

 

On 12/27/2019 at 9:48 PM, Jaide said:

if i get closer with someone then my feelings will go away

 

Huh, I think you've worded what I've been struggling with with my past relationships and crushes/squishes. Every time I broke up with someone with the reason that I just didn't feel it anymore, it always sounded so bad. They would ask if I even felt anything for them in the first place (I did, but I stopped feeling things quickly), and asked what they did wrong to make me feel less attracted (very, very guilt-trippy). I just say that it's me and not them, but that line is a bit too cliche and unbelievable. 

 

Back in highschool, I had a crush on someone in my friend group that I didn't know well. It was fun to imagine talking and hanging out, and whenever she got close (in proximity) I got excited and a little shy. My other friends, who knew about the crush, thought it fun to tease and do winky eyes when my squish talked to me. I mustered up the courage and just talked to her and got to know her a little more. Then suddenly, the crush feelings died and it felt like being with my other friends as usual. My other friends were so confused about my sudden lack of romantic interest in her but I didn't know how to explain it. That was when I explored the concept of asexuality (back when I didn't know about aromanticism). 

 

 

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On 1/2/2020 at 2:34 PM, honeypandan said:

It was fun to imagine talking and hanging out, and whenever she got close (in proximity) I got excited and a little shy. My other friends, who knew about the crush, thought it fun to tease and do winky eyes when my squish talked to me. I mustered up the courage and just talked to her and got to know her a little more. Then suddenly, the crush feelings died and it felt like being with my other friends as usual.

 

This exactly. I’m so glad that you get what i mean. Once someone becomes a friend it’s impossible for me to have a crush on them because my feelings just go away whether i like it or not. Now that i know this about myself though, i just avoid getting to know people i crush on bc i can just enjoy getting shy/excited like you said and not ruin it by trying to talk with them and it just becoming a normal friendship.

 

Just a question for you since we experience similar things, have you ever been in a romantic relationship? or would you in the future? just wondering

 

i don’t know if i should classify myself as aromantic because I do get crushes which is not an aro experience but also i don’t think i could ever be in a romantic relationship bc obviously you’ve got to be close to someone to date them and i would never be able to be romantically interested in someone if we got close i’d just want to be really good friends (or id want to be in a QPR).

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15 hours ago, Jaide said:

Just a question for you since we experience similar things, have you ever been in a romantic relationship? or would you in the future? just wondering

 

Yes, I’ve been in a few romantic relationships.

 

If I find someone attractive physically and intellectually, I would get a little crush on them and get those excited feelings. If we find that the feelings are mutual, then we set up a few dates to get to know each other more. Usually at this stage, any romantic feelings I have just die instantly (and we never talk again). For the rare few that I just genuinely enjoy talking and hanging out with, that’s when I decide a relationship could work. Because I think I’m in a state of constantly hoping I’ll retain the crush feeling with the right person (nope). That’s probably why I keep dating people. It takes a lot out of me though, so I’ve decided to chill out and not jump straight into stuff as soon as I like someone a little. 

 

The first few ones lasted around 3 months, while my most recent one lasted about 9 months before I broke up with them. They all ended pretty terribly (tried to be friends after, but it just got weird, and they couldn’t handle it). 

 

I never told them about being aro because it was something extremely personal that I am still questioning and figuring things out. Doesn’t help that I’m super private irl and don’t open up much. I’ve always wondered what would happen if they knew — would they understand and do a mutual breakup? Would they try to make the relationship between an aro and a romantic work? Or assume it’s a new way of breaking up with someone. 

 

Sorry, getting a bit rambly there. I am obviously not a great person for romantics to date. You might have a good point about being in a QPR instead — but what if it’s the same with squishes? I’m also wondering if I just have underlying commitment issues...

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1 hour ago, honeypandan said:

For the rare few that I just genuinely enjoy talking and hanging out with, that’s when I decide a relationship could work.

yeah, the reason i asked is because i too think that even after i lost my feelings for someone, if i enjoyed them as a person then a romantic relationship could still work. I don’t mind doing romantic activities i just don’t experience them in a romantic way so feasibly my romantic relationship could LOOK perfectly normal i would just be kind of play acting the romance bit of it. 

 

I would obviously want them to know that i was experiencing a strong platonic emotional attachment but not a romantic one as to not mislead them or end up with problems later on but how the hell do you bring that up? similar to you, i’m very private, so how do you agree to date someone and also tell them that you are incapable of romantic attraction and will be faking everything. like, if they’re not also aro-spec they’ll probably not want to date you anymore. And if you don’t tell them then you’re kind of leading them on and you don’t want to lie to someone that you’re supposed to be close with.

 

So while i think i could be happy in a romantic relationship i don’t think i actually would be able to be in one unless i solve this conundrum.

 

And it would be so much simpler to just spurn all romance and look for a QPR you know? ugh why is it all so complicated

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16 hours ago, Jaide said:

faking everything. like, if they’re not also aro-spec they’ll probably not want to date you anymore. And if you don’t tell them then you’re kind of leading them on and you don’t want to lie to someone that you’re supposed to be close with.

 

Yep, that was a huge ongoing issue that I had with each relationship. The more time passes when I don't mention it, the more guilt I feel, which makes me stressed and in turn, feel that continuing with the relationship isn't worth it anymore because of the stress/guilt. It's a vicious cycle that I could have prevented if I opened up. Relationships need communication after all. Maybe they just weren't a good fit for me because I didn't feel close enough to tell them about aromanticism. 

 

It's definitely hard for private people, especially if you're not good with words. The times I actually want to say something about it, I chicken out and just hope that I'll eventually develop feelings again. (not recommended or ethical).

 

17 hours ago, Jaide said:

ugh why is it all so complicated

 

Right... 😢

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