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  1. When I was younger I attempted to date a few times for various reasons - e.g. "I like my friend, therefore I must be romantically interested, right?" and "my friend professed romantic feelings for me, I should at least try and see what happens." Worst of all was guilt-dating, in which a friend went out of their way to help me/etc and I ended up feeling obligated to be interested in them in return. It was like I was trying to coerce myself into having feelings, and it was awful. I was also afraid of losing my friends or causing drama if I rejected them. None of these "relationship attempts" actually made it to what I would consider an official relationship (describing the other person as your gf/bf/so, wanting to integrate the person into your life [step 2>3 of the relationship escalator]). The other person would invariably start flooding me with expectations - upset that I didn't want to spend more time with them, upset that I didn't reciprocate their romantic gestures, upset that I didn't prioritize them above my other friends. I assume "romantic attraction" is what drives people to want and enjoy doing those things, but to me it only ever seemed like chores that the other person had no right to demand of me. I felt trapped and repulsed. I was always the one to end it. This was all before I started reading into aromanticism, and the relationship attempts lasted anywhere from 3 days ~ 6 months (depending on how clingy/needy the other person was.)
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