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)
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