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  1. Hello. I can't really say if you're aro or not. It isn't easy to say, and might possibly be to early to tell. You might be. What I can say for sure, as someone who is herself prone to analysis paralysis, is this: You are definitely overthinking x) There is a lot to go through here, and I am trying to curb my own tendency to write paragraph upon paragraph of comparing your experience to mine. I'm trying to formulate my thoughts into something useful. I want to compare figuring out your orientation with scientific theories. Bear with me. In science, you don't usually talk about proven facts, as much as you talk about theories. A scientific theory is formed with evidence. Some are really set at this point, and not likely to be disproved. Like gravity. But the whole point of science and theories is that we need to be willing to change our minds, if new evidence comes in, that are at odds with the current ruling theory. Your research into your orientation is a young field of study. New research is going to come in all the time. It is no wonder it is difficult to form a cohesive theory in those circumstances. Even if you do form a solid theory, from which you can make your calculations, you could still run into a paradigm shift. Exiting, but also annoying. I am over twice your age. I have had to take in new evidence for a long time, so I can use that as example. Hypothesis at age 7: love is dumb, and for losers. Later revised to: love is not for me. Evidence at age 13: Has never fallen in love. Got really invested in a love story for the first time at 17. Interesting. Age 22: evaluating aromaticism. Starting to have some form of feelings for a friend. Reevaluating aromaticism. Got into a relationship with said friend and immediately hated it. Aromanticism seems like a solid theory. And so on. I had a solid theory for asexuality a little earlier, but there still were evidence that had to be considered there too. Now, having 15 more years that you to conduct this research, my chances of running into a paradigm-shift is smaller. But I have found some peace in accepting that in regards to something as hard to define as 'romance', you don't really have to know for absolute sure. I can just apply the theory that is the best fit. Trust your feelings in regards to what you want (sounds like a qpr setups sounds good to you right now? That is a good thing to know) and also trust your feelings in regards to what you don't want. And if your feelings change, well, that's your new evidence coming in. And also what I mean is, you might have to get used to being confused for a while yet, because, I don't know if you've heard this, but word on the street is that teenagers are prone to go through changes. I have lost my train of though, but this is getting into a long post, and I am not going to rewrite it again. I hope you find something useful in there.
  2. I came here to talk about the blood-brothers thing too. It is a well known concept, though aged, I feel like. It shows up in old tales and norse mythology, things like that. I never encountered it as a schoolyard thing, like skittles have. And it is also my impression, that a lot of cultures have had similar things. Usually as a symbolic brotherhood thing, and sometimes specifically for battle-reasons, but if we want to apply the concept in a modern age, we can always update those parts. It probably would be a slightly strange to be blood-brothers today, in an actually serious way, but I think it is comforting to know anyway. Because it means that, as humans, in the past, we have felt that need to bond ourselves to individuals in a non-romantic way. It's just fallen out of use in our culture, but the desire for that type of bond is nothing new. It isn't unreasonable that it could become a thing again.
  3. Scalding. Unless the temperature outside is way too hot already, then I go for lukewarm. I heard that if you want to cool yourself down, lukewarm is better than super cold. Something about how if you shower real cold, your pores will close and your body doesn't cool itself down as effectively when you come out. But lukewarm suits me better anyway, real cold showers are uncomfortable.
  4. My goto method, which I don't know how well it will work for you, is to be honest and casual. A lot of the time, people pick up on the investment level of the other person in the conversation. We are a very social species, and have a lot of adaptations like that. I would go something like "I don't have any plans of doing that." I think that's direct enough to not be an invitation for matchmaking, but also without being harsh. "It will NEVER happen" invites people to argue about how you don't really knooooow if it will happen and then it will be a whole thing. A noncommittal "nah, not feeling that." And then a subject change like "I am really focused on doing [interesting thing] right now" or reflecting the question back to the asker, if appropriate. Like, if it is one of your or your sisters friends just making smalltalk, you can just go "how about you?" and then the focus is on their lovelife instead. Now, I have not really been in a situation like this where it is fraught, or people have been really pushy, so this response is more tailored for people who are either just making smalltalk or are regular levels of nosy.
  5. Oh yes, I am touch averse as well. It is interesting, because even in cases where it's good for me and I am specifically asking, like, "mom can you rub my shoulders? I think I did something weird with this muscle" I still feel some level of discomfort being touched, even though it's actively helping me. My parents adapted to this early on, since I was like this as a child as well, and once I got my aspergers diagnosis, a lot of boundaries like that where specifically brought up and discussed. I had to specifically tell my grandmother, who is naturally more inclined to touch people casually. I got some push-back there at first, but she's adapted now, and remembers not to touch me. Similarly to you, I am ok with hugs in certain circumstances, and one good thing that came out of specifically telling people I don't like being touched, is that they now ask my permission to hug me. And just being given a choice and a moments warning makes a huge difference for me, so I am way more inclined to actually give someone a hug, once this was established. So now my friends and grandmother get the occasional hug after all x) I really do think it is good to stick with the boundaries, even if it feels weird in the moment. People around you will adapt eventually, and then you will be able to find a much more comfortable dynamic.
  6. Yes! I love stories like that. I shall copy over a thing I posted on AVEN once, which is about this: I was hanging out with my grandmother the other day, and she mentioned how her father-in-law was widowed relatively early, with a lot of children, and that he had a lot of help from his sister at this time. The sister, she described, had no family of her own, never married and lived with another unmarried brother. They had a nice garden, apparently. She was talking about this as if she did not think it was strange at all, even though she also likes to make "you just haven't met the right person" speeches when I suggest something like that might be relevant for me. So when I showed interest in this apparently being a valid option, even back in the day, she also told me about one of her own aunts, who worked at a hotel. She described her as, "very beautiful with dark hair and large brown eyes, but never married and liked it that way". The implication being that the aunt was hot enough she absolutely could have had any man she wanted. She just didn't want one x) I also have an uncle, who lives in an apartment with a good friends of his. They play a lot of D&D together, it sounds like a pretty good situation to me. Now, I don't have grounds to say that any of these people are or were ace/aro. In fact, I am pretty sure my uncle is straight, and all I know about my grandmother's relatives is that they chose to remain unmarried. There could have been all kinds of other reasons for that (I mean, if you were gay in that era, marrying your preferred partner was obviously off the table). But I sometimes see aromantics be worried about if they will be forever alone if they don't couple-up with someone, so I wanted to share some stories about non-coupled people who still seemed to have good, successful lives and not be considered strange. And that even in my great-grandparents generation, there were options. I just had that revelation, and I wanted to share it.
  7. The thing with QPRs is that they are, by design really, outside of the standard relationship types in our culture. Not really what you expect of a romantic relationship, and not really what you expect of a friendship. So when it comes questions like this, all bets are off really. If you are in a monogamous(which is generally the expectation unless specifically stated otherwise) romantic relationship, then having another romantic relationship on the side is super not accepted. That's cheating. But if someone in a romantic relationship demands their partner has no friends outside of the relationship, that's crazy controlling and also not acceptable. So where does that leave QPRs? There really are no set cultural rules for it, so it will have to be handled on a case by case basis. How does your partner view this QPR arrangement? Does he see it more like another term for a close friendship, or as a second relationship more related to what you have? Have you defined what each of your expectations are for the relationship you have with eachother? Do you want and expect the same things? There just is nothing for it but to sit down and talk it through.
  8. Dumbass goes to space. Learns magic. Is tasked with killing the the bad guy. Refuses.
  9. I am sorry that I can't be as understanding here as the people above me, but here is how I react: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH This is treating people like things, and no it isn't ok. I think these dynamics you describe, with this level of possessiveness can be alright in certain circumstances, I think there is a level of this is BDSM spaces but my understanding is that it always comes with an understanding that if someone gets uncomfortable and don't want to be possessed anymore, there is a safe way out. If you don't want to be evil, imo, the 'no takebacks' part is just out of the question. Since you are this way, it is likely that some other human on earth is like this as well, there are a lot of us, after all. It is completely possible that you can find someone else who is also this way and be happy together. But I think for most humans, a relationship like you describe it would be unhealthy to the point of being directly abusive. Even if that isn't your intention. I think this is the crux of it. There is no non-evil way of making sure a person is your possession forever and never leaves you, there just isn't. You can get the possession bit through kink communities, sure, but not the never leave part. Even if someone has the intention of staying with you forever, they can change. Just as marriages are entered with the intention of lasting forever and still can end up in divorce. And there is no way of keeping that person with you, if they want to leave, that is morally defensible. You have to be aware of that. You clearly don't mean to hurt anyone, and really, I am in over my head here too. We don't really understand eachothers mindsets, I think. This is all pretty big, so perhaps it would be worth it for you to bring this to some manner of psychology professional, as we are just random people on the internet, and I don't know how much help we can really be.
  10. To me, it isn't a secret, it is just not relevant to most people. My close friends and family know, but not relatives and acquaintances. But I perceive it differently I think. I don't think of it as a secret, but I don't feel any need to be vocal about it either. So I will never have a 'coming out' moment in that sense. My aromaticism and asexuality too I suppose, feels more like, just some stuff I am not interested in doing. It isn't information that most people around me need to know. I am always a bit nervous with talking about it, that people will think I am weird, but it is very much a social worry, if that makes sense. I never feared for my safety or anything. And everyone who's known me for a length of time have likely noticed my complete lack of dates and partners at least.
  11. I get this, kind of. There is definitely an experience there that I will not have. But really, I think that is true of a lot of things, we humans just don't have the same experiences. For example, I have a very vivid imagination, and people who don't have that are missing out on experiences that are very natural to me. Or say for example that one person likes bungie-jumping, that's an experience. But another person is horribly afraid of heights. So even if they made themself try it anyway, they'd probably hate it. And it wouldn't be the same experience at all, as it would be for the person who loves bungie-jumping. In some sense the person who is afraid of heights 'miss out' on something, but I think that is true for so many things if we consider ourselves 'missing out' on things that we don't want, that other people do. So yeah, maybe we are 'missing out' on something being aromantic, but it doesn't bother me. I was not wired for this particular experience, I have others.
  12. I have no idea what kind of music you like so, I'm just gonna go with what I have in my own playlists. The first thing I added to my Cheer Up! playlist was Pole, by Poeta Magica. Always picks me right up. No lyrics. The rest of that playlist is mostly powermetal, like Dragonforce. Those are usually about glory, rather than romance x) Lets see what else I have. Vottikaalina is in finnish, I have no idea what it is about. Also have some irish drinking songs about bandits, pretty upbeat. I have saved "I won't let the sun go down on me" that one is in english but I still don't really know what it's about. I think it fits the bill though. Obviously I have no idea if any of those is your thing or the kind of 'feel good' that you're looking for, but I think I'll leave it here for now ^^
  13. I was scared of a lot of odd things as I child. The first thing I thought of for this was the dead-Mufasa's-head-in-the-clouds scene from Lion King. It scared the shit out of both my brother and I. We would run and hide when that scene came up, and then take turns to check if it was over. I still think that scene is really powerful, and it is possible that some of that power comes from the fact that it scared me as a child. Reading this thread and watching some of the videos also reminded me of other things that frightened me. Snow White was mentioned previously, but what scared me with that was the hunter, who comes to kill her and fails, followed by the scene in the forest, where the trees have fingers that grab at her. I was even (allegedly, it was very early and I don't have that strong memories of the time) scared of a friend of the family, who had similar facial hair as the hunter in Snow White. A sweet man who did not at all mean to scare small children, and yet I freaked out when I saw him. And oh my lord, that Pingu dream sequence brought up in one of the linked videos. I had forgotten about that, but it was horrifically scary. The snorting laugh, the way it ate the bed. And oh god, the Brave Little Toaster. I had that movie. It had some moments. One scene that was not brought up in the video is one where, I think, they are all swept away by a river, except the vacuum cleaner, who is left alone, thinking all the others are dead.
  14. I can't really see a line at all, which confused me for a long time. But apparently, there is a line, because being in a romantic relationship made me super uncomfortable. Even long distance when touching (something I know makes me uncomfortable) wasn't an issue. So, I guess it's there, I just have no idea where. I suppose one specific things that bothered me was the identity of being a girlfriend, and some vague, unspoken expectations that seemed to come with that. It was a role that did not fit me. But what acts are romantic and platonic? I mean, I can make generalizations, but it really it depends on the feelings of the people involved. Example, kissing is romantic. Unless it is a parent kissing a child goodnight, that's not. Or it is a medieval knight kissing the kings hand, that's not romantic either. Or the french just hanging out. I could say lip-kissing is romantic, but that is part of some peoples regular greeting rituals as well, even if not as common. And some people kiss eachothers cheeks and hands and it is super romantic for them, it just depends on their feelings about it. And where is the line between a platonic feeling and a romantic feeling? Hell if I know 🤷‍♀️ I mean it is there somewhere but I can't define it.
  15. Difficult poll that forces me to analyze exactly what my dreams are. POW regularly changes from first person to third person during dreams. Weather or not I am me really depends on how strictly we want to define 'me'. Sometimes I am pretty much exactly me, other times, I am a character. It usually still feels like me, I mean, it is my feelings and everything. But there are some very key differences like 'In this dream, I am an elven man and that's just who I am now' or 'In this dream I am Luke Skywalker, specifically.' I still experience the dream like that's me, and (sometimes) see through the characters eyes, but I can't really argue that I AM Luke Skywalker. Sometimes I change POW character in the middle of a dream. First I am Luke Skywaker, then I zoom out and what him from outside, and I am me, as an observing presence, and then I switch to being someone else in the same story. I have no idea what my senses are doing in dreams. I think I have them when they're relevant? Man, I can't remember
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