TheGreatUnstitched

Supporting Romantic Friends

6 posts in this topic

Hello! I'm not sure if this topic fits super well in this forum because I'm looking for advice on supporting alloromantic friends. But I feel like the advice of some alloromantic allies might come in real handy here.  I'm trying to help out a friend who's alloromantic and I'm not sure how to so I was hoping someone might have some advice. Basically they feel really lonely and sad that they aren't in a romantic relationship-like to the point where its affecting their mental/emotional state seriously and I don't know how to help them with it because I have no idea what it feels like to want to be in a romantic relationship so badly. They know I'm aromantic and are really great about it, but I still feel bad for not being able to understand their issue and help them with it. To make matters worse, one of our mutual friends just started dating someone and is talking about it a bunch in the group chat we're both in. Does anyone alloromantic have any ideas about what they'd like to hear if they were in my friend's situation? Or any aromantics have any advice on how to deal with this? I'm kind of flying blind here. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm romance-repulsed and aro. Before realising I was aro, I used to crave romantic relationships a lot--not knowing that I was actually craving queerplatonic relationships, and not knowing that my craving predominantly arose from my own insecurity. I felt like not being in a romantic relationship made me a social loser, a "beta male." I thought I was merely sad and lonely about not having a romantic partner, when I was in fact sad and lonely because I thought my mental illness and my body made me unattractive, and because I was caught up in the toxic masculinity of viewing romantic-sexual partners as essential status symbols. 

 

If your friend is having mental health problems due to craving romantic relationships, I'd question whether there are deeper reasons for their feelings of sadness and loneliness. Listen carefully to what they're saying when they talk about their sadness over not having romantic relationships. Do they view romantic relationships as symbols of their self-worth? Then focus on bringing up their self-worth by making them understand that they don't need to be romantically desired to be worthy. Do they think romantic relationships are supposed to solve their emotional problems? Then help them understand how much they're demanding from a potential romantic partner, and how making others responsible for your problems is unfair and unhealthy. If there truly is no deeper reason behind their sadness and loneliness over not having a romantic partner? Then ask them why romance must be at the center of their lives, and challenge them to embrace intimacy in non-romantic relationships--direct their attention to the joy that already surrounds them, and help them understand that they aren't lonely. 

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/04/2017 at 5:04 PM, omitef said:

I felt like not being in a romantic relationship made me a social loser, a "beta male."

Can definately relate to this

 

On 11/04/2017 at 5:04 PM, omitef said:

direct their attention to the joy that already surrounds them, and help them understand that they aren't lonely. 

^ This is wonderful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I felt better about not being in a romantic relationship when Aussiekirkland complained about them all the time, but that's probably not the best way to help your friend here :rofl:. But yeah it's good to know that you're not incomplete if you don't have a significant other. Omitef's advice is good stuff yo :yespapo:. Make sure your friend knows that lonliness can be solved by spending time with good company, just as well (if not more than) as spending time with a romantic partner. Plus there's always time. There's no rush to get in a relationship unless you're like really old or whatever (and by then you probably wouldn't care). I'd say the longer you take to find a partner, the more likely it is that your relationship will be successful, because you will have had time to mature and learn what you really want in a person. In fact, it's best to make friends first and see if you want to go in a romantic direction once you've gotten to know eachother. That's another thing; encourage them to meet new people, with the intention of making friends. I'm not saying make friends with everyone you meet, cause that's obviously not gonna work, but the more people you meet, the higher chance there is that you'll find someone that gets you.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember too that you are just their friend, not a therapist -- try not to feel guilty for not being able to solve your friend's problems. 

 

One of the best things about recently discovering I'm aro is that I have taken the pressure off myself to find a romantic partner. This is allowing me to realize that a lot of the reasons I thought I might want one were because of what seems normal in society. And then I realize that I'm actually quite content being single! Your advantage here in being aro is that you probably have a better idea of society's expectations of romanticism being different from intrinsic desires. Hopefully you can help your friend take some pressure off themselves if some of their desire for a romantic partner is coming from external pressures.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/04/2017 at 5:04 PM, omitef said:

I'm romance-repulsed and aro. Before realising I was aro, I used to crave romantic relationships a lot--not knowing that I was actually craving queerplatonic relationships, and not knowing that my craving predominantly arose from my own insecurity.

This. So hard. This was me

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now