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deadarant

am i destined for a life of solitude

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i think i'm finally coming to terms that i'm aromantic.  i've been in a relationship that ended horribly, but i actually felt relieved because every moment i was with her just made me uncomfortable. it's been a few years since then and nothing has changed for me. i hoped that maybe i'm just socially inapt or socially awkward even though i'm perfectly fine with a group of friends. i hoped and still hope that maybe something would change. i still hope that maybe something is holding me back from loving someone, but i don't remember ever feeling attracted to anyone or ever having a crush. am i too young? am i socially awkward? am i depressed? or am i just aromantic? being aromantic is hard to accept. i don't want to feel alone all the time, i want to feel love, to have someone to make me feel better, but i can't. i don't even have a good friend to lean on, it's like i'm incapable of anything intimate. the thought of being aromantic scares me. will i ever feel love? and if not, how do i cope with being alone? 

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Hi there,

 

While I can't tell you what label fits you best, since that is entirely personal, I can say that not having crushes is a very common aro experience (since being aromantic is just not feeling romantic attraction), and that the label is open to be used regardless of age, social prowess, or level of mental health. Like other labels, it also doesn't have to be set in stone. Possibly someday you'll experience romantic attraction, and possibly you won't, either way the best you can do is seek what makes you happy/comfortable with your current understanding of yourself.

 

I know that with society set up as it is, realizing that romance might not be for you can be scary, and it certainly does add some more layers and potential difficulties to maneuvering it. But if love is something you want, there are many other forms it can take, and there are people out there receptive to different kinds of affection, even if they're harder to find. Friendships deeper than the often casual relationship associated with the term can take just as much work as a romantic relationships, but if both sides put in the effort it can work out. 

 

As far as coping with being alone goes, it depends somewhat what you want out of life. Some people can find happiness focusing on a career or hobby, while others need some kind of social outlet as the focus of their life even if it isn't a romantic or intimate one (finding a club/community/circle of friends you regularly interact with, doing volunteer work to feel generally involved with other people, etc.), so what works best for you might be different than what would work best for others. 

 

Regardless, know you aren't alone in this struggle. I've seen so many people in the aro community, both people only just coming to grips with their identity and people who have id'd as aro a long time, try to find ways of maneuvering a very romance-centric society. We're all here for each other, and if you need more help/have more questions or anything else, absolutely feel free to reach out to us. Hopefully this helps somewhat!

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If it's something you want then it's solitude, if not then it's loneliness.

There's another thread here.

 

Something I think which can be a factor for many aros is that social opportunities in amantonormative societies can be either purely platonic or romantic (plus sexual, sensual and other "romantic coded"). Effectively a false dichotomy which happens to suit many allos. This is something I think the AUREA FAQ along with terms like "satisfied with friendship" overlook.

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