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  1. This is so hard to explain, but I am going to try. The role of 'girlfriend' was part of it. It was like being a girlfriend was a concept that was superimposed on me, and suddenly I was expected to have certain opinions and behave in certain ways because of that 'girlfriend' status, even though I had never been a thing before. It was subtle enough that I can barely give any examples, but it was kind of always there. I had started questioning aromaticism before starting the relationship, I was honest about it, and I was willing to give it a try. I mean, we are people who like eachother, and we can acknowledge that we are important to one another. I thought we could continue as normal with a stronger bond, but no. It was kind of like, even friends I had known for years were like "this is now someones girlfriend, and this is how girlfriends work" as a thing entirely separate from my actual personality. It was weird. Now, that sounds like it is all stuff outside of the relationship, which wouldn't be fair to judge a relationship on. But the same thing applied inside the relationship also, to an even greater extent. While I had tried to be honest about my aromantic uncertainty, this was a romantic relationship as far as my boyfriend (it feels so weird to call him that) was concerned. He was giddy-exited, and it was clear to me that the changes to our relationship was just what seemed natural to him, but to me it felt like I had been suddenly given a role in a play to act out, but I was just trying to live my life and not trying to act in a play at all? There were other things to, but again, hard to put a finger on, because sometimes, I didn't even admit to myself that I was uncomfortable. I mean, not much had changed technically, he knew I was ace and was fine with it, no big expectations there. We still hung out and did the same things as we did before. It's fine. Right? But I looked back at some pictures I have of us hugging, and remembered how uncomfortable I was when they were taken. And like, if I felt like that why didn't I say anything? Well, because I hadn't admitted that there was a problem yet. But what was the source of the discomfort that I didn't admit that I felt? Hard to say. The above things about having a role that just didn't fit me is what I have the words to explain.
  2. See, the trap with this kind of people pleasing is that honesty or a boundary is far kinder than silently seething until you are forced to cut all contact for your own mental health. Of course your friend is gonna be hurt if you tell here that there will be no more lip kissing from now on, sorry. But probably far less hurt than if you leave forever without any prior indication that something was wrong. I have mostly been on the other side, as a person with less-than-perfect social skills who sometimes have to be told when I have overstepped. And that is never fun and I don't always react well. But it is for the better. It is better to be told when I have overstepped, than to unknowingly grate on my friends. I am kind of reminded about this captain awkward letter. I'm sure it is hard to set that boundary in the moment, especially when you get pushback, or people are sad, but really, if you are considering leaving this friendship behind anyway, it could be good practice to stand up for yourself in the moment first. To practice going "No kissing" next time she asks and explain why only if you get pushback on it. That way, maybe it will be easier to do these things in the future, without ending up in the same situation again. Listen, maybe they feel sad in the moment if you don't want to hang with them. That is their problem. I also feel sad sometimes when my friends don't have time for me, but it is far better to be able to trust that my friends actually want to hang out when we do hang out, than it would be to have someone do everything I ask and secretly hating me for it. That's a social anxiety nightmare. Offer these people the kindness of being honest with them. On a positive note: I don't like being hugged. When I started asking my family not to hug me, some (especially my grandmother) didn't like it and felt rejected. But guess what? She adapted, got used to it. I am appreciated for what I do, and not touched without my permission. Even when someone is disappointed in the moment, it isn't the end.
  3. Interesting. I am not a native englishspeaker either, so my opinions should be taken with some salt. My thought was that in the context of "He isn't into women." The added "or anyone for that matter" would be indication of that he is aromantic rather than gay, and I don't see how it could be interpreted as being just momentary absence of crushes. I can see how just "isn't into anyone" on its own would seem like that though.
  4. This is generally my preference too. I don't think you need to go through a detailed description about what aromanticism is unless you are specifically trying to educate. I like representation the best when it is people with different experiences living their lives. Only think I reacted to is that "isn't into any gender" seems a little stiff, it could just say "isn't into anyone". In my opinion "isn't into anyone" or "isn't into any gender" sums up being aroace perfectly well. My guess is that would be even easier to understand for someone who's never heard of aromanticism than a discussion about attraction would be.
  5. Maybe, but it doesn't quite fit for me personally. I know I was very uncomfortable the one time I was in a romantic relationship. Averse is usually the word I usually go with. That discomfort is not there while roleplaying or writing a character in a romantic relationship though. If it isn't me the person, there isn't a problem.
  6. I do a lot of roleplaying, and generally my characters are not aromantic. Some are, but not the majority anymore. When I was younger, it was much more, because I felt like I had to constantly fight back against the ever prevalent romance in everything and tried to remove it from as much of my own stories as possible, but that isn't the case any longer. To me, roleplaying is a good place to explore things that are outside of my actual experience. Romance and sexuality are in there, but so are other less obvious things like religion or being really big. Creating a character that is different from me and experiencing the world from their perspective is one of the great joys of roleplaying. I tend to have a hard time with a lot of romance in media, but if I get to write at least parts of it myself I can have a great time with romance. So really, in direct roleplaying with people, in roleplaying video games and even in shipping to some extent I have an easier time to connect with it.
  7. It is a little intense, but not by much. It is not a necessary step to soften the statement, but if you like this person and would like for further friendship to be as smooth as possible, I think it is a good idea to leave space for some face-saving. So, all your answers are good and I'd lead with the first ones. You like rollercoasters and do like to go to amusement parks at times that are not this saturday. Then you can continue with: Gotta ask though, is this a date? Because I want to be up front about this, I'm aromantic. That means I just don't do romance and romantic relationships. At all. Does that change anything on your end? I think leading softer works because that way you're not assuming its a date, and it allows your friend to pretend it was not intended that way, even if it was. Saving face. Honestly, I think your idea of ending with a question is very smart. Because that way you are kind of forcing him to stop and think and answer. Sometimes it is easy for people to have selective hearing and just miss the part of the information they don't like. By expecting an answer about it, you kind of force him to actually think of what you said.
  8. Welcome! Yes you can. And the first thing I would like to say is that what you feel is what you feel. Saying "it is impossible to feel like that" makes no sense. Humans are varied, and labels are used by us to describe what we feel. They're not some inherent truth of the universe we must abide by. I get that it can feel confusing, since outside of the asexual and aromantic communities people don't generally differentiate between sexual and romantic attraction. So in most contexts 'bisexual' (or any sexuality really) will refer to both sexual and romantic feelings, because to most people they go hand in hand. Once you come here though, it gets increasingly common that someone might feel just one or the other. Plenty of asexuals want romantic relationships just without the sexual aspect. Similarly, there are aros who still want to have sex, just not romantic relationships. (Those of us who want neither are called 'asexual aromantics'. The fact that both terms are used suggest that this is not everyone, or even the standard in these communities) So yes, someone might absolutely be bisexual as in meaning being sexually attracted to multiple genders, and aromantic, meaning not wanting romantic a romantic relationships. You've come to the right place^^
  9. The golden rule has some flaws, but it is a good guideline and I think it is applicable here. Imagine that someone you know, who you don't have any romantic interest in at all, developed feelings for you. How would you like them to handle it?
  10. I don't think you can actually forbid your mom from inviting people over. That doesn't make any sense to me. It sounds like the sort of thing that a parent might attempt to forbid a teenager from doing, and not very successfully. Perhaps you can negotiate a new system where she lets you know well in advance if she is going to have someone over and for how long? So that you know, and you can plan to be somewhere else, or lock yourself in your room or something for that period of time, if you don't want to meet the person. There is limited information here, so I am presuming a lot. You may correct me if I am wrong, but I am guessing that your mom knows about your dislike for houseguests, possibly reacting strongly to the very idea, and she, being unwilling to give it up, decided that lying about it is the path of least resistance. And I am willing to bet that not knowing when there will be other people around is just gonna make it worse for you. It would for me. That is why you're going to have to renegotiate how you handle guests. Something like, you don't freak out whenever there is a guest, and she is honest about when there are guests and don't spring them on you suddenly or lie about it.
  11. There is no prefect, non awkward way of doing this. I think we are all going to have to accept that unrequited love will always be painful. And delivering the news that a love is unrequited is always going to be awkward. I think "I don't feel the same way, I'm sorry" or similar clear but gentle rejection is the best we can do. You will both survive the awkwardness. The first time someone confessed feelings for me I also panicked, by the way x) It was ages ago, I barely remember the conversation, and honestly I doubt he does either. So, take heart that even when it does get weird, it's perfectly survivable. There is also the option of being very open with being aromantic, and not interested in the whole dating-romance thing. I'm not really a person who specifically 'come out' but the topic of relationships come up with enough regularity that I have had the option of bringing it up naturally with most people I am close to. So most people know i am not actually available. It doesn't mean no one will ever develop feelings for you, and some people might still think asking is worth a shot, but having a baseline of "this person is probably not interested in anything" will at least set some expectations.
  12. This is so well put. (And very good advice) I have found myself trying to give this kind of advice many times but always struggle with how to phrase it.
  13. Jedi

    The Future

    I have a job now, and live in my own apartment. I have only lived here for a couple of months so I'm settled but not rooted. I have the good fortune to have a nice and sociable brother nearby, and have started hanging out more with him and his girlfriend since I moved here. There is a sense that while I live alone, I am not alone, since I have family nearby that I know I can trust, and friends online that I can always reach out to. I still do plan on getting my own house eventually with cats. Once I start dreaming, also horses. And I have been joking about getting a full on mansion and moving my friends into the wings, but that is more of a dream scenario than something I have a practical plan for x) Some other stories, as inspiration/real world examples just to know they're out there. I know at least it makes me feel better to know they're there x) I have an uncle that, while I can't say if he's aro, never got himself a partner, but lives an apartment shared with friend(s) (I don't understand exactly if there are two of them in one apartment and one in the one right next door, or something like that) Bottom line is, three dudes, in the same building, hangs out a lot and plays DnD. I feel like when this was spoken about, there was an undertone of them being losers. The nerds who never got wives. But the more I think about it, the more that life sounds amazing. Being a single nerd who plays a lot of DnD with friends sounds amazing. Also my grandmother, even while she is the one who still tells me I will "meet the right person someday" did tell me two stories of people who didn't live that traditional life, in a way that suggested she thought this was completely valid, albeit slightly unusual. One was her aunt-in-law. As her husband's mother had died early, her father-in-law had a lot of help raising his kids from his sister. This aunt-in-law had never married, but lived in a house with another of her brothers. They had a nice garden, and that is about all I know. The other story was of a friend of hers, maybe older I think. Who worked in a hotel (this was so long ago that 'the woman had a job' was a thing worth mentioning about her). She also never married, even though she was, according to my grandmother, very good looking with beautiful brown eyes (the implication being, she could have had any man, had she wanted one). Not immediately relevant, but I think it is interesting to bring up that these non-heteronormative lives were options, even a hundred years ago.
  14. I never heard of it before. Looked it up the word hikikomori on wikipedia, and I can't really see that much connection. Isolating yourself and refusing to participate in society seems to me entirely different from being uninterested in romantic partnership in particular. Of course, I don't know what was actually said in the podcast. Can you explain more about what parallels and common points stood out to you?
  15. I see no reason not to. Go for it. Godspeed.
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