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  1. i understand this a lot words like romantic just confuse me so much. it feels like a restrictive kind of label that’s been put on loving someone and being close in each other’s lives (and comes with a bunch of weird pressures too like dates and marriage and what not). I feel lonely too sometimes and want an intimate emotional bond with someone who i wouldn’t mind kissing/doing stuff with, but is it romantic? I have no idea! i don’t know how it would feel different than just being close friends. Just like you said, platonic and sexual but not romantic. Even in the case that romantic relationships are normally a higher priority, can’t a platonic relationship also be your highest priority relationship/person in your life? but then sometimes i feel like i’m lying to myself because if i want to prioritize a relationship over all my others and i want to be emotionally close with that person and do things like kiss and hold hands then that’s literally a romantic relationship.... right? i don’t know but i’ve been trying to let myself exist outside of the word romantic. I tried finding a specific label that worked but aro-spec covers what i want to communicate about myself. And in terms of relationships i focus less on what the thing means and more what it is. If i want to commit to someone and kiss them and be their number one then i’m going to do that. If i’m just a weird person who doesn’t experience this weird special romantic type of love or attraction i’m not going to stop myself from partaking in what makes me happy. And if what i experience is exactly what everyone else experiences and i just don’t feel comfortable with certain words or labels put on how i feel then i guess that’s just how things are going to be. i don’t know if this was useful at all, i just tried to write down some of my own thoughts about the matter. Honestly i find this helpful to talk about so please feel free to respond to try and get more clarity about what you’re feeling.
  2. yeah, the reason i asked is because i too think that even after i lost my feelings for someone, if i enjoyed them as a person then a romantic relationship could still work. I don’t mind doing romantic activities i just don’t experience them in a romantic way so feasibly my romantic relationship could LOOK perfectly normal i would just be kind of play acting the romance bit of it. I would obviously want them to know that i was experiencing a strong platonic emotional attachment but not a romantic one as to not mislead them or end up with problems later on but how the hell do you bring that up? similar to you, i’m very private, so how do you agree to date someone and also tell them that you are incapable of romantic attraction and will be faking everything. like, if they’re not also aro-spec they’ll probably not want to date you anymore. And if you don’t tell them then you’re kind of leading them on and you don’t want to lie to someone that you’re supposed to be close with. So while i think i could be happy in a romantic relationship i don’t think i actually would be able to be in one unless i solve this conundrum. And it would be so much simpler to just spurn all romance and look for a QPR you know? ugh why is it all so complicated
  3. Defiantly! when people confess a crush on me it makes me feel sick to my stomach and almost feels like an invasive thing. Like i thought we were just friends but you had these other ulterior motives. It’s just kind of yucky. Plus if you’re friends then it makes things super awkward after.
  4. This exactly. I’m so glad that you get what i mean. Once someone becomes a friend it’s impossible for me to have a crush on them because my feelings just go away whether i like it or not. Now that i know this about myself though, i just avoid getting to know people i crush on bc i can just enjoy getting shy/excited like you said and not ruin it by trying to talk with them and it just becoming a normal friendship. Just a question for you since we experience similar things, have you ever been in a romantic relationship? or would you in the future? just wondering i don’t know if i should classify myself as aromantic because I do get crushes which is not an aro experience but also i don’t think i could ever be in a romantic relationship bc obviously you’ve got to be close to someone to date them and i would never be able to be romantically interested in someone if we got close i’d just want to be really good friends (or id want to be in a QPR).
  5. i experience this exact thing all the time but specifically with male friends. (I’m a girl) and i found it so frustrating that if i was friends with a guy and did things that would be normal in a girl friendship it was somehow automatically romantic. Like i have to keep my male friends at this really weird distance because anything beyond that would be seen as me being flirty or liking them and since i’m aromantic i don’t want them to get the wrong idea and be lead on when i don’t feel that way. It’s extremely frustrating that i literally can’t be close friends with like half the population without them thinking it’s romantic or everyone else thinking it’s romantic! and like you, i don’t want to have to hold my self back but when i haven’t before there were consequences. my closest male friend developed feelings for me and i was super thrown off and it kind of ruined our relationship for a whole summer and how i reacted to it was probably the worst mistake i’ve made in my life so far but now i’m afraid that’s going to happen every single time i try and breakdown the weird boundaries and what guy/girl friends can do.
  6. 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) sooo.... 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
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