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Posts posted by Queasy_Attention

  1. Ooh, I love the idea of having a crush and getting together with someone, lol! It's the actual relationship part that I really don't want. I adore the butterflies in the stomach and the will-they-won't-they tension and the gossiping with other people about it part. 

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  2. I struggle with this a lot. Part of the problem for me was that much of the media I consumed (books, shows, but movies in particular) was  made by very large and established businesses. And a side-effect of that is that the creative team was probably stunted in what, exactly, they were allowed to explicitly show, because of a whole host of complicated legal/political/monetary reasons, etc etc. And of course it's not right, and of course it's ridiculous that it's 2020 and Disney/etc is just now putting one (1) gay character into their kid's show, etc etc-- and at the same time, that's the reality, that's how it just is. It's tough to accept it. Things are changing. They're also not changing fast enough. A lot of mainstream stuff might appeal to me in genre or tone or general story, but the lack of queer content honestly makes it less interesting to me. 

    So I've been shying away from more big name franchises, because they just don't cater to what I'm looking for in my entertainment. I've been turning more to genre fiction that is explicitly queer for my reading. I find shows that I know have queer characters in them, and I research them first to see what kind of characters they are and what kind of rep they get-- and then I watch from there. Same with films. It's a lot more satisfying to watch something and know that I'm going to see what I want to see. 

  3. Hi, welcome! 

    For me, it was a relieving revelation. I'd always felt insecure about the way I experienced relationships. I could understand them in theory, but whenever I was in one I always felt blank and confused, like I was supposed to feel a certain way, or supposed to want certain things-- but I couldn't make myself feel or want them. Finding the aro label helped me look back and understand that I just... didn't feel or want those things. I didn't have to feel or want them, and I don't have to now. It really helped me find peace with my younger self. 

    Personally I don't gel well at all with the idea of a monogamous relationship. I'd like something distant maybe, with a few people, but I don't want anyone tied too close to my life. I'd like having some tight knit friends and being able to rely on them and my relationships with them, but that's as close as I think I'm comfortable getting. 

    It's always so interesting to see the diversity in people's experiences, and see how aromanticicm manifests in others' lives! Welcome to the forum, hope to catch you around! :)

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  4. Hey! Welcome to the forum, and welcome to the aro community! We're all happy to have you :)

    Hmm, let's see. You're right on the money with separating asexuality and aromanticism-- I'm aromantic but allosexual, aroallo! (Being one but not the other kind of makes it hard to pin down, lol.) There are also a whole list of other non-standard (non-alloromantic) romantic labels out there, if you're interested in pinning your identity down even further. This is a good list of them-- some of them mirror sexuality terms such as demisexual --> demiromantic, and some of them are unique to romanticicm. The possibilities are endless. (In case it's a lot and you find yourself confused, "grey-romantic" or "grey-ro" is a helpful catch-all term for "I'm some form of aromantic, and I'm not sure which one yet.") 

    I don't personally feel the need to label myself beyond "aromantic." I totally get why microlabels like that can help people find peace with themselves and find a likeminded community-- and it's also not really the thing for me. I like being a little fluid with my label and letting it have room to breathe and change if it needs. Label yourself however you feel most comfortable! 

    Hm, what else-- it's easy to feel conflicted about the media you consume! A lot of aros experience romance repulsion both in media and in real life- you see this a lot in aro memes on reddit. This might be true of you, and this might not be. For instance, in real life I have a pretty strong aversion to most stereotypical romantic things. And I also really like trashy romance novels! I don't like unnecessary romance subplots in my movies/shows, and I can still find them engaging if they're written in a way I can connect to. It's all up in the air-- you can like to read about/watch/etc whatever you like! Your aromanticism is only dependent on what you want with your own life and your own relationships. 

    There's so much other stuff, but off the bat that's some stuff I think I'd have found helpful to know at the start of my aro identity journey. The discussion boards are also great for this stuff, you can always just post a question or a rant about something and folks will jump on the thread and start talking. Everyone I've met on here so far has been very nice :) Hope to catch you around the forums!

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  5. This sounds a lot like my experiences. I've had a few relationships, and after I did some mental digging on them, I realized that that combination of attractions you talk about (physical and platonic) was really all I felt for them. I liked them as people and liked being around them. I liked knowing they liked me. I liked how they looked and I found them attractive (I'm aroallo so I do feel sexual/physical attraction towards others, and in this case I was feeling it towards these people.) 

    In one case, the relationship fell apart because the platonic attraction faded away-- I realized he wasn't as cool of a guy as I thought he was at first. In another case, I really liked the person I was seeing, they were my best friend. But I ended up getting too dependent and clingy, and eventually they let me go. That was incredibly rough to go through, and I realized pretty soon after it happened-- way before I even knew I was aro-- that what I was really mourning was the loss of my best friend. I had no grief for the potential relationship or life together we might have had, what I missed was having that person as a friend, and it really, truly broke my heart when we parted. 

    Your story resonates really closely with mine. One of the things that helped me the most when I was conflicted about whether or not I felt romantic attraction (because logically it felt like I didn't, but some stuff seemed to contradict that) was this: 

    I figured out what types of attraction I was really feeling (platonic and physical), and I figured out what actions and impulses those attractions brought up in me. What did I typically find myself doing when I found someone for whom I felt strong platonic attraction? What would I usually think or feel when I saw someone physically attractive? The point here is that a lot of these things overlap with traditionally "romantic" tropes, like wanting to spend time with someone, going out of your way to help them, maybe blushing or feeling nervous around them, etc. Pinpointing the source of those impulses (physical and platonic attraction) helped me realize that whenever I found myself doing or feeling traditionally "romantic" things, they were pretty much always driven by the desire to be friends and/or be intimate with someone, not to enter a romantic relationship with them.

    Hopefully this helps!! Keep in mind that your identity doesn't have to take first priority. You might even want to take a break from trying to put a label on what you feel and what you want, and instead focus on figuring out exactly what you feel and what you want. Take some time to think about it, what kind of a relationship with other people is the most appealing to you? What would make you feel the most comfortable? You might not even know right away, you might need to spend some time just thinking about it and letting it sit in the back of your mind. But I believe the best method for this is figuring out what's going on and being honest with yourself, first and foremost.

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  6. Hmm. I'm biased to (edit: empathize) with your friend because I also feel awkward when people share sensitive information about themselves with me. I never know what to say or how to act, and I'll often literally stop listening when they're talking to me-- I'm working on being a more invested listener (most of that is very internal work and has to do with pinpointing certain thoughts or beliefs I have about myself or the others around me, and then working to understand where those thoughts come from and either accepting or working to change them, depending on the situation.) So if a friend of mine, close or not, shared a piece of their identity with me, even though I am very invested and active in queer spaces, I think I would still feel uncomfortable in that situation even if I did, in fact, support them.

    So insofar as that initial message, I would give your friend the benefit of the doubt-- maybe they're going through issues of their own and simply don't have the mental energy to spend on other people. That might be unfortunate if you want or need that energy and support, and it's valid to feel frustrated or upset if they're unable to give it to you. It's also not an inherently bad thing and it doesn't make them a bad person. It might just be bad timing.

    The last part of your story really strikes me too. It sounds like this friend of yours is still trying to reach out and connect, and it's in a way that unfortunately makes you uncomfortable. I can definitely see how telling them point blank that what they're doing makes you unhappy might hurt their feelings and make them defensive, that's a natural reaction. Your friend was being vulnerable by reaching out to you, and they probably felt a little attacked when you rejected them.

    You have the right to stand up for yourself and put a boundary up if that's what's going to make you the most comfortable, and I've definitely had to do that with people in my past. However, sometimes in these situations you need to figure out where your priorities lie: do you value this relationship? Do you value your own safety and comfort? You don't need to decide that one is more important than the other, but you do need to figure out what is important to you. If the relationship with your friend is important and your goal is to keep it, then an important part of this process is considering their feelings in this situation as well, and responding to those with compassion and an attempt to understand.

    If you want to keep this friend, I'd suggest having an open conversation with them. It helps to practice what you want to say in advance. There's a therapy exercise I've used several times before called DEAR MAN that I think might be useful here! I've used it with my family members, my friends, and even one of my bosses. It's really helpful and the structure is nice to fall back on if you feel lost. Explain to them what the problem is (their specific words and actions that make you uncomfortable), explain how that problem is affecting you (how it makes you feel), explain to them what you want (to remain friends, etc), and explain what they get out of that solution (aka. remind them that you're thinking about their feelings and point of view in this situation too, not just your own.) 

    [EDIT: If your priority is more with your self-worth and the goal to feel comfortable and safe... well, if you have to lose this friend, that might be the solution. I don't know anything about your past relationship with this person, and even if I did I couldn't tell you whether or not you "should" break ties with them. But if that's what will ultimately make you feel the most safe and comfortable, and that's your ultimate goal, then letting go of this person is okay.]

    I truly don't think your friend is trying to hurt you here. They might even recognize that the way they're acting is harmful, and they may already feel bad about it. They may not. You don't and you can't know what they're really thinking-- all you can do is be honest with them about yourself and ask them to work towards a solution for the both of you.

    I'm really sorry that you have to go through this. It feels awful to be invalidated, and even more so to be invalidated by people who are close to you. And when I say "invalidated" I mean being told or shown that the way you feel isn't justified or deserved. So I'll say here that I think it's fantastic that you discovered this part of yourself! I know nothing about your home life, but I can imagine that it might have been difficult to pinpoint the way you feel, and it's genuinely really cool and inspiring that you managed to figure it out and found this space. I hope things turn out for the better ❤️

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  7. Listen, I know, but sometimes a girl just needs some cheesy YA to make her brain go "buuuuuhhhhh" for a little while, okay? There's a global pandemic, don't judge me.

    But anyway, oh my god I haven't read this book since I was maybe fourteen, and I remember that I really liked the beginning part and then my interest tapered off towards the end. I thought it might have been because I had a short attention span, or maybe I'd picked up something that I liked better and just dropped it-- but rereading it now, I totally get it. The second Bella and Edward actually become a couple, my investment just TANKED. 

    Seriously, I get so into the beginning part with the weird stares and the "does he like me or hate me", and even the "ohh noooo every boy in school is asking me out, whatever shall I do" because let's be honest, wish fulfillment fiction is popular for a reason, and right now it's kind of nice to imagine just going to highschool in a small town where your biggest worry is "what if I trip over my own feet during gym????" and "does the Hot Boy really hate me?? why does he stare at me all the time??? uwu" 

    And then the second that the focus of the story turns from "will the boy like me" to "the boy likes me and how will our relationship work", I'm zoned out and looking for something else. And it's fascinating because that mirrors how I view my relationships in real life!! I'm addicted to that buildup of crushing on someone, being all nervous about whether or not they like me, and gossiping about it with other people-- and then the moment an actual relationship has the potential to happen I'm like nope, no thanks, I have no interest in this. 

    I feel kind of flaky about it. It almost feels like I'm not aro enough because I do have an interest in and a history with behaviors like this, and traditional romantic stereotypes. And then I also feel like I'm not a normal alloromantic because I get so weird about relationships (aka I don't want them, I feel uncomfortable in them, and I find them boring to read about when you get past the initial buzz of "will it happen or not".) So frustrating!!! Why can't I just be a Normal Aro lmfao!

  8. 1 hour ago, Neon Green Packing Peanut said:

    To this point, the characters who are like "we won't fall in love with each other for x reason" and for seemmingly no reason the unwanted relationship is a major plot point. Whenever I read/watch things like that, I tend to think "don't then, its not that hard."

    Ha, I actually kind of like this trope! The annoying part to me is if the character doesn't want a relationship at all, and ends up having feeeeelings. If they're neutral/positive towards relationships, and it's the other person that they resist (and eventually end up falling for), I'll dig that. To each their own lol! But I love the mental image of, like, sitting in a chair reading a book and saying "well, don't then, it's not that hard" to the main character. lmfaooo

  9. Welcome!! I'm so glad you found the community and that it makes you feel welcome and accepted! 

    I totally get what you mean about feeling trapped when people say "I love you". The first guy I dated said it all the time and I never felt comfortable saying it to him (I think because he was kind of a jerk in the end, ha.) And then when I had a girlfriend, even though I really did like their company and liked them as a person, I still felt weird when they said "I love you" and I struggled to say it back. It's hard!

    Hope to see you around the forums! 

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  10. 10 hours ago, Neon Green Packing Peanut said:

    As far as I know, thats the only ship I've actually liked

    I feel the same! Not specifically with the Office, but with other relationships in TV/movies too. For Dwight and Angela I think it's because their personalities and their platonic relationship is actually interesting and well written. They fall into the Michael Schur "background relationship" category, of the two minor characters with really wacky personalities somehow fitting together. In the Office it's Dwight and Angela (and Kelly and Ryan), in Parks & Rec it's April and Andy (and Chris and Ann), in B99 it's a few different relationships (Gina and Boyle, Holt and Kevin, Rosa and Pimento), and in The Good Place it's the whole Jason/Tahani/Janet trio. They're all engaging to me because they're based more around their actual personalities and them finding a friend/kindred spirit rather than just specifically romance, like a lot of the main pairings. 

  11. Ha, COVID was the reason I had time to meditate on my aromantic identity too! Silver linings, lol. I also totally relate to that feeling of looking this up and feeling a huge wave of affirmation, it's amazing. Welcome to the forum!! As you've probably seen, folks around here are pretty chill as far as I can tell :) Hope to see you around!

  12. Hmm, you could have a side character or a reference to an off-screen character who's ace but alloromantic? Folks seem to understand that asexual = no sex, and that loving relationships can exist without sex. And then you can have your protagonist compared to that identity, and specify that they don't want a romantic relationship at all (either by having side characters gossiping, or having your protagonist exposit it upfront.)

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  13. 9 hours ago, Oatpunk said:

    OOoooh, that's so nice to hear!

    I had a queer coworker once who almost seemed to instinctually understand my aroness and it was such a great feeling, since I never talk about it with anyone but my closest friends. I didn't even realize how much it was wearing me down to be in the closet and deal with alloro bullshit until I felt the relief of being actually seen and validated.

    Yeah! I'm not even under pressure from my family/friends/circle of folks to start dating or anything, so I didn't think of myself as really being "in the closet" about being aro. But you're right, it's such a change to be able to  talk about it with someone who just gets it.

  14. I posted this on reddit but I wanted to share it here too! 

    Like it says on the tin. I wasn't really planning on it but it came up, and I admitted to them that I don't think I feel romantic attraction to anyone. They told me something along the lines of "you're valid as fuck," which I took to be a good sign. They're very out and open about being some shade of genderqueer/non-straight/etc so I wasn't worried they'd take it badly or anything-- but still, there was a moment of worry right after I said it, and a moment of relief when they validated me.

    A while ago I was happy to keep this totally to myself unless it came up in a personal situation where I'd have to explain what kind of relationships I would and wouldn't be comfortable with-- but now I realize it's... kinda nice to just talk about it. This feels like when I first realized I was bi and I found the circle of queer folks around my HS, and it was like this cool circle of people I could talk to about queer stuff without feeling out of place. It's really nice to find someone that I know I won't have to explain all of this to, even if we're not close friends. I can just say "I think I'm aromantic" and they'll be like "cool" and that's all we have to say.

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  15. On the younger side here, I'm 23. I'm really happy to have found this place-- I don't always feel comfortable in spaces specifically made for younger folks. I joined the Discord server listed on the r/aromantic subreddit a while ago and it just really wasn't for me. Most of the people there were in their teens, most weren't adults, and I ended up just leaving. I really like this forum!!

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  16. 10 hours ago, dyychotomy said:

    also i'll definitely be sure to check out walker's work!!

    lol "Patsy Walker aka Hellcat" is the name of the comic. The Leth and Williams run is really good. (plus it's only 3 volumes so it's pretty short, the storyline is easy to understand even for folks like me who aren't really up-to-date with whatever overarching story marvel's got going on atm, the art style is wonderful, and it HAS GAYS!!!)

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