My name is James and I turned 23 years old today. I'm very new to this whole aromantics thing. I literally just signed up to this site. I am very confused on whether I am aromantic and I am curious if people here can relate to my story. Writing this out for the first time, so bear with me:
I enjoy seeing rom-coms and romantic stories, but I have never been in love. I've had a few crushes and those feelings always went away after a short time. My crushes were superficial, I was attracted to somebody's looks or charisma, but as soon as I got to know them on a deep level the crush would fade. I love going out on dates and I started dating a lot of people as a teenager. Girls at first, then I accepted I am gay and started dating guys. I dated a different guy every month, because of how quickly I got tired of them. I am a people person, I have no problem spending lots of time with my friends and family. When it comes to romantic relationships I'm completely different. I have the hardest time being vulnerable with my partner and I also don't enjoy romantic stuff like cuddling. I like giving hugs and kisses, but I see no appeal in cuddling at all. It just bores the hell out of me. This makes relationships very hard for me. I tell the other person I don't want to cuddle (because communication is key and all that) but I can tell my boyfriends are always disappointed. What also happened with three of my boyfriends is that they wanted me to move in with them and that SCARED me so much!! I straight up panicked and broke up with them. Breaking up with people is the worst, it makes me feel like a jerk when I look them in the eye and tell them I don't love them back. After a few months of dating they have often fallen deeply in love and I'm like 'Nah let's be friends'. It's honest but harsh.
My friends know that for years I never shut up about meeting the man of my dreams and the wedding we would have (and I mean I've even thought out DETAILS of my wedding lmao). Yet commitment has always been an issue with me. I never date a guy for more than a few months, usually no longer than 2/3 months, and then I break up with him. Because I get scared of being vulnerable and committing to something I don't want. I always thought I'm scared because my dad abandoned me as a child (I'm not kidding lol I have some real daddy issues), but lately I have been thinking I am just not capable of romantic love. Platonic relationships can be equally as meaningful and powerful and with the love of my friends I don't feel like I am missing out. It's just my environment expects me to be in a long term relationship with a partner. Everyone I know craves a romantic partner, but I just don't. I went on dates because I like meeting new people and having fun, not because I was looking for romance. Now I am realizing other people are looking for romance and apparently that's the normal thing to want. And that makes me feel like there is something wrong with me.
Just last April I broke up with a lovely guy whom I dated for 9 months, my longest relationship yet. My friends and family liked him a lot. I also liked him a lot, he was cute and he made me laugh. During our relationship, however, I was experiencing major anxiety. It was so bad I developed tummy aches. The stress got worse, because I had never been in a relationship this long. So the longer it went on, the more nervous I got. The day I broke up with this guy, I got some texts of men I know who asked me out because I was now single (these people waste no time!). This time I didn't say go out with them like I usually do. I turned them all down. I am TERRIFIED. I really thought I wanted to be in a relationship and get married even. But now I'm thinking I fell in love with the idea of a romantic relationship, but I don't actually want one. I just get so stressed and scared whenever I am in one. The thought of having a romantic partner gets less and less appealing as I grow older. Am I aromantic? Is this what it means to be aromantic? I just don't know. Now having my 23rd birthday today, I've made the decision to not date anyone for a while until I have this stuff figured out.
What do you guys think? Can you relate? Do my feelings make any sense at all?