Hello everyone! I want to thank all those that take the time to read and answer this. I apologize beforehand for any misspelling and grammar mistakes, I read things 3 or 4 times and still don't see things until after it's been posted. I'm pretty sure that I'm aromantic at this point but I'm not sure what I'm missing exactly, just that I am missing something.
For a little backstory (sorry if this rambles), I was a very shy and introverted child so I didn't necessarily have that many friends. I had plenty of people that I talked to during school hours and hung out with, so it's not like I sat in a corner by myself (most of the time). I liked their personalities and antics but I didn't exchange phone numbers or spend time with them outside of a school setting. However, the majority of these people I was around was in band with me which meant we spent a lot of time after school and at competitions, so there was still enough time for bonding. I never really noticed other people in a romantic way as I grew up. Sure, I saw when other girls started to develop "crushes" on boys and thought it was about good looks. So I picked a couple of good looking boys and said those two were my crushes. Now, I realize that was aesthetic attraction and wasn't the same thing that they were talking about, but at the time that's what I thought. I think I wanted them to be an equivalent to a squish but they didn't want to be friends with me, which hurt a little but I shrugged my shoulders and moved on.
Honestly, it didn't really bother me that much when my friends were talking about their boyfriends/girlfriends or why they had them. I just knew that they did and I didn't, and that was fine with me. It only started to really bother me when I was in 11th grade and my father would make comments (rather often) about how I "need to go get a boyfriend". I didn't want one, I've told my parents and friends that before but they didn't seem to understand that. I was left feeling a bit frustrated but since I could make excuses about focusing on academics and band, no one really pursued the topic too much.
Then there was one boy in band that I talked to. I didn't talk to him any more than I did other people, so I never really thought of him as anything other than a friend nor had any idea he thought differently. He asked me out and I panicked a bit but said yes. I mean, this is what everyone talks about right? This is what my father wanted too so, even if I wasn't entirely comfortable with the situation, I could at least try it. So I did. We went out, he took me to dinner, we walked a nature trail, and went to the movies. He was a total gentleman and I know he'll make someone happy someday. But while I was there, I hated being with him. Especially when we went to the movies and he wanted to hold my hand. He didn't push it, but it was obvious that's what he wanted. Just the thought of doing that was unbearable. I couldn't do it and was so relieved when the night was over. He wanted to go on a second date but I couldn't. I refused and then proceeded to avoid him. I couldn't talk to him like I did before which was rather unfortunate. He was good company but it was soured at that point. This is the only "dating" experience that I've had and happened when I was 17.
Though my mom did revealed to me (she was a teacher at the school) that I had many other suitors. This was years ago, I haven't been in high school for 4 years, but I completely missed that other people had any interest in me back then. It was a surprise to me when she mentioned it just a couple of months ago at my younger brother's birthday party. The topic had somehow gotten onto her and her friend's (fellow teacher) passed boyfriends and inevitably turned to my lack thereof. I told her that no one approached me so I never knew that there were others interested. Her response wasn't encouraging though, "you would have noticed them if you just payed attention".
Now, I don't have that many friends since I've gone to college. I go to class and work and that's mostly it. My only two friends would be my roommates that I met. We all got along great and it was definitely a learning experience, because I'd never shared a room with others before. I found I loved sitting in our room, just working quietly on school work without really talking or sometimes we could talk for hours about everything and nothing. There was no pressure and it was comfortable. There were still moments I didn't understand something that they talked about, which, as you guessed, was romance. One of my roommates was flighty, but nice, and had people crawling out of the woodwork for her. Some she dated, others she turned down, but she was always excited about someone's interest. The other roommate had a boyfriend who they've been together since high school. At this point, it's been over 6 years for them and they're going to get married sometime soon. She loved talking about him (which was fine, he and I have a lot in common so it didn't bother me) but she had to see him constantly. If she went without seeing him for 3-4 days, she had "withdrawal". To me, this sounds suffocating but they obviously like it. But whenever my roommates were absent to be with boyfriends, it made me feel depressed. I didn't want a boyfriend, I didn't feel jealous of any of them, but I didn't want to sit in my room alone either. Something was just missing, and I can't understand what.
I'm 21 now, and I haven't kissed nor held anyone's hand at this point. This is something that still bothers my father. He sees things such as T-shirts or mugs that have Grandfather written on them, and makes comments like "well, we know that's not going to happen until I'm dead". I don't think he's being mean on purpose, it's a jest, but it still feels painful. I don't want them to be disappointed in me, but I don't want marriage and kids. I don't often touch most people casually. I haven't kissed my parents in years and rarely hug people. I don't shy away from them if they do, friends and family have hugged me, but only if they initiate it first. I don't just walk up to people (even if I know them) and want to hug all over them. In fact, I touch people so rarely that when someone does so much as brush my hand (on accident), my nerves become hyper aware that someone's touching me. However, I don't think I'm sex-repulsed either. I've never been in the situation where it's been relevant (with another person anyways) so I can't be entirely sure, but the thought doesn't gross me out either. And I have "experimented" with masturbation. It was more that I was interested in what the hype was about then due to any real desire. It felt nice but I've only done it a handful of times. Very sporadically really, and I don't think I've ever "finished" before I lost interest again. I'm not sure if I'm touched starved, or if I want a squish, or what exactly is going on with me. I just know that there is something I want, but I can't figure it out what it could be.
Sorry about the length of that, I doubt anyone really wanted my life story. I just thought it might help give some insight. It turned out a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. Maybe I'm just obtuse and it is rather apparent but I would appreciate it if someone could please help point it out. Or at least, give advice. I can't thank you all enough.