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Everything posted by Eklinaar

  1. It does kind of sound like she's hinting that she's interested in one. I'd suggest asking her to be explicit about how she feels and what she wants. And then if you decide to start a QPR with each other, make sure you discuss in detail what you both want that to look like, what kind of assumptions and expectations you have about it, how you feel about each other, what boundaries you want to have, and so on. If you're concerned about her lack of understanding of queer theory and identities and all that, maybe talk about that, too, and why it's important to you that she understand those things. Just be honest and nurturing and make it clear that you want to work all this out and be close (assuming that is what you want).
  2. You don't have to feel romantic attraction to be in a romantic relationship, but honesty is important in intimate relationships. Hopefully she'll understand that you don't want the relationship to change, you just want to be clear about your feelings, and she'll appreciate that.
  3. Yeah, alterous is a term that refers to an experience of attraction or a relationship that is neither primarily romantic nor platonic, and what I'm trying to come up with is a term that means aros who have a strong preference or need for deep intimacy, because I feel like that need shapes being aromantic in a particular way.
  4. You're definitely not the only one. I've heard plenty of other aros feel a kind of heartbreak at realizing their friends feel very differently about them compared to how they feel about their friends. It's easy to assume that aros don't experience heartbreak, but many of us do.
  5. I can relate to some of this, since I have also been questioning whether or not I'm demisexual or allosexual. I don't fully fit the definition of demisexual because I am sexually attracted to strangers, but everything else about demisexuality sounds like me. It's like, if the base potential for sexual attraction for demisexual people starts at 0 and then slowly increases to 10 as they form an emotional connection, mine starts at 2 and slowly increases to 10 as I form an emotional connection. I think you have to decide what you are for yourself unfortunately.
  6. I feel like a core part of my aromantic identity is that I'm very affectionate, I want lots of affection in all my close relationships, and the way I experience affection is fundamentally different from allos. My desire for affection in general and affection within my established relationships is a core part of my identity. A lot of the affection I enjoy is culturally coded as romantic, but I experience intimate affection as neither romantic nor platonic. My friendships that don't feature hugging, kissing, cuddling, and other kinds of intimacy feel "incomplete" to me, and the boundaries that allos set between romance and platonic friendship seem bizarre and arbitrary to me. My affinity for affection also sets me apart in some ways from other aros who are disinterested in affection, so that we have very different experiences of being aromantic, but I still feel far more kinship with them than I do with allos, even affectionate allos. I'd like to coin a term for this since I've met several other aros who feel similarly. I started with the term "amorous aromantic" but folks in our Discord server pointed out that using "amorous" as an identity label conflicts with the established usage of "nonamorous" as a relationship model, and they mean different things. So, anyone have any ideas for words or roots that could mean "aromantic people who have a strong affinity for affection" as an identity label?
  7. It took me a while to realize this, but part of the reason why my hair and beard are so unkempt is because I don't want people to find me conventionally attractive. I feel like they don't really appreciate me for who I am as soon as they put me in the box of "potential romantic/sexual partner". But much more than that, I don't want to be seen as conventionally attractive in a masculine way, because I'm nonbinary and that makes me very dysphoric.
  8. This is, as the kids say, a big mood. I was in a similar situation a few years ago. I was living with my closest friend, and she had been looking for a new boyfriend, and I offered for us to just keep living together indefinitely and take care of each other, and that I'd be fine with her also pursuing romantic relationships with other people in that situation, but she turned me down. She made it clear that she loves me and that our friendship is important, but still, it was very hard knowing that she didn't see our relationship the way I did, or return my feelings of it being something besides the socially acceptable version of friendship. I had to let myself grieve for a while, because what I was experiencing was basically the aromantic version of heartbreak. I've tried to just focus on the parts of our relationship that work for both of us, but it's still hard sometimes. I don't really have any advice besides let yourself grieve if you need to grieve, and try to focus on what works well in your relationship. Reaching out to communities of a-spec people who will understand your feelings can also be very helpful.
  9. I don't experience a distinction between platonic and romantic love at all, which is the core of my aro experience. So, I guess I'm saying, the fact that I can't answer your question is what makes me aro. Maybe that helps? Maybe not. Hopefully other people have different answers.
  10. No, you're definitely not the only one. Once again I can strongly relate to what you have to say. That kind of relationship seems incredibly unhealthy to me. Friendships are important and people shouldn't ignore them just because they have a romantic partner. I feel so betrayed by my friends who stopped spending time with me after they got married.
  11. Whew, you may not realize it, but you've stumbled into a hot topic. I haven't seen it discussed much on this forum, but I have seen it discussed on Tumblr. If I find any particularly relevant blog posts, I'll share them here. The short answer is no, you're not being over-sensitive. And yes, there are people who criticize us as a "lesser" or "less oppressed" orientation and ask us to speak less so that "more important" queer people can speak more. Those people are wrong and their attempts to silence us are a kind of anti-queer oppression, coming from queer people who should be supporting us. We call them exclusionists, because they want to exclude anyone who doesn't fit their narrow definitions of queer from queer communities. They also usually say "queer is a slur so don't say it" which is also wrong. Aromantic people belong in queer communities just as much as anyone else, and we deserve the support of queer communities just as much as anyone else. Aromantic is a queer identity. Regarding how your friends responded to you, yes, a lot of us have experienced that kind of thing. People who love us don't understand what aromantic is, so they just say nothing. No support, no criticism, no excitement, no questions, just nothing at all. It happens quite a lot. It's very frustrating. But it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't want to support you. You might need to have some more conversations about your experience of being aromantic, or maybe even outline ways they could show support for you. Maybe send them articles or blog posts that you might find particularly relevant. It sucks that we sometimes have to train our friends how to be good allies, but sometimes they really are willing to learn. Also, plenty of people can probably relate to your story. I know I can. I eventually left a friend group I'd been a part of for 10 years because of their utter silence regarding my identity when I came out as nonbinary. A lot of aro blogs on Tumblr frequently talk about how little support we get from other queer communities, so you can find plenty of solidarity there if that's what you want. We're here for you, and there are plenty of people here who will share your excitement about discovering your identity. Hopefully your friends will come around, too.
  12. Yes, we met in an online aro community, and learned we live near each other, and then met in person. It was really great to chat with someone who has that shared experience of being aro. I don't know if I'd write a book about it since it can be rather personal and some people might not be comfortable with those experiences being shared publicly. I just want to form relationships that don't require hours of defining basic terminology, and the local queer communities aren't really cutting it in that regard.
  13. I've never heard of specifically aro groups anywhere in the world, but there are several ace and aro groups in a few places, if you're lucky enough to live there. I hear there's one in Germany that's very good. You can certainly try finding aros IRL where you live, but just be prepared to come up empty-handed. We seem to be very rare. I've been involved in queer communities for several years, with mixed results, but even the best groups mainly just support my other queer identities, not my aro identity. I've never met an aro person at the LGBT centers where I live. People from the more marginalized queer identities tend to be supportive of aro people, but most more mainstream queer people I meet don't know what aromantic means. The only aro communities I've ever been involved in are online communities. There are a lot of aro bloggers on Tumblr, and several aro chat servers on Discord. Participating in some of those has been very satisfying for me, and I've made some long-distance friends that way. I did recently meet up for coffee with an aro person who lived in a nearby city, which was nice. My long-term goal is to save money to travel and spend more time with aros I've met online. I'm close to your age if you wanna try chatting with me? There are a few of us in our mid-30s here. Reading through people's old posts can give you a good idea of what they're like and if you might enjoy talking with them. My inbox is always open. I hope you find the kind of community and support you're looking for.
  14. I'd say that if you were going strictly by the definition of aromantic, then no, aromantic people can't fall in love, because that phrase means romantic love. However, that's a prescriptive answer to your question, not a descriptive answer, and I'm making it just so I can follow up with what I'm saying next. So even with a prescriptive answer, it doesn't mean that an aromantic person's love is incompatible with someone who does feel romantic love, or less valid. I have deeply loved some of my romantic partners, but my love was not romantic. But I don't care for prescriptive labels. Labels are just tools, and are often imprecise or inaccurate, both in terms of not always being perfect labels for an individual, and that actual lived experience is often far messier than our labels on their own would indicate. So I would answer, yes, an aromantic can fall in love, because people aren't labels and labels are imprecise. But the label is intended largely to represent people who do not fall in love, and by being so do not follow the normative models of our society, so focusing on "yes aromantic people can fall in love" is undermining the label. But, both of those points considered, your individual experience matters, so go with what works for you. If you are an aromantic who can fall in love, fine, you do you. If you are an aromantic who can't fall in love, same.
  15. Welcome! Have you looked around the rest of the forums? Your story is not dissimilar from many other aromantic experiences. Maybe reading about other people's experiences would help you pinpoint how you feel. This in particular is something I think a lot of people here can relate to. This is really common for aros. I have a very hard time noticing when someone is attracted to me, even though I read people's emotions pretty keenly most of the time. Yes! I have a hard time relating to this kind of thing. The things most people want from romance sound so miserable to me. I can relate. I'm in my mid-30s and I'm staunchly opposed to ever marrying or having kids. My parents only recently got over this. You said you don't feel sex-repulsed, but do you want sex? Most people who enjoy sex want it, but of course, this is a land of uncommon experiences. It's certainly possible to enjoy sex without particularly desiring it, but I have no idea how one would discover that about oneself. In my experience, masturbation and sex are very different things and aren't good indicators of each other. What you described doesn't sound like touch starvation. Usually touch starvation is accompanied by wanting touch. But again, this is a land of uncommon experiences, so it's entirely possible that you are touch starved but don't feel any particularly strong desire for it, and that you would feel better if you were touched. However, experimenting with that can be very unpleasant for some people. Maybe there's some other kind of intimacy you want? Do you just want to be emotionally affectionate, not physically? Do you want someone who you spend time with, but with few expectations and no pressure? Is there anything you fantasize about? Any relationships or experiences that you daydream about and can say "Yeah, I'd like to do that!"? I don't really know what more advice to give you. You sound like you've got your own feelings figured out pretty well to me. You seem pretty happy with friendship, with just having your friends around, like when your roommates are around. Is that what you want? Or do you think there are other kinds of intimacy you would like? I've heard a lot of people here say that they are able to explore what might or might not work for them by daydreaming about it and watching to see how they respond emotionally. Maybe some people will chime in with some tips about how to explore all this. I wouldn't recommend exploring the way I did, which was "be in denial for the entirety of my 20s and date anyway even though I was miserable and then wonder why I was starting to develop trauma responses".
  16. As an aro who has dated a good bit, I can say that romantic relationships totally can work. All of mine were before I came out, and I'm really not sure I want to have romantic relationships again (I'm not cupioromantic at all), but if you just communicate well it can work. I find that I relate to a lot of personal stories about polyamory because of the communication required about people's inner experiences and feelings. I haven't actually accomplished it since coming out, but I think I could have a relationship with an alloromantic if we communicated about our feelings and boundaries like that. That said, I don't think I've ever seen cupioromantic content, but surely someone's made a cupioromantic blog somewhere.
  17. The commonly used distinctions between types of attraction aren't particularly clear to me when I try to apply them to my own inner experience. For example, I'm pretty sure I don't experience aesthetic attraction at all, and I see very little difference between a squish, a friend-crush, and sensual attraction in my own feelings. If I like someone enough to be their friend, I pretty much always want to touch them, so a friend crush and sensual attraction are basically the same thing to me. Sometimes I might experience one of these kinds of attraction particularly clearly, but most of the time I don't. I also think I experience kinds of attraction that I've never heard anyone else describe before. But it hasn't mattered all that much to me to find words for these feelings. Usually I know how I feel and I know how I want to act on those feelings, and the other person usually feels completely differently so it won't work out anyway and it's irrelevant. But I'm glad other aros find these terms really useful because having language to discuss commonly shared experiences is very important. But in general, I think yes, aromantics are more able to distinguish between different types of attraction (and other things, like toxic behavior in relationships is a lot more apparent to many of us) because our experiences do not match with the commonly shared cultural narratives of how relationships are supposed to work. Since we don't have these social scripts to follow, we have to figure things out on our own, so we spend more time examining our own feelings. Queer people have very similar experiences, like the details of how gender constructs actually work are far more apparent to trans people than to cis people. Being outside the norm makes the norm a lot easier to examine.
  18. Your posts are all very relatable to me and I appreciate how you share your experiences.  Thank you.

    1. Ice Queen

      Ice Queen

      Glad to hear this! :) 

  19. I don't think I'm demisexual, but I've questioned whether I am for quite some time because my sexuality behaves somewhat like this. I'm usually, but not always, only attracted to someone I've been friends with for a while. My sex drive doesn't fade completely when there's no one reciprocating my interest, but it does fade significantly. Being with someone else doesn't gross me out, but I'm polyamorous so that might explain that part. But like you, having reciprocal sexual interest on top of an emotional bond is for me such a different and far more intense experience from simply being horny that I'm not sure they're even the same kind of phenomenon. I understand feeling heartbroken and wanting to be affectionate. I'm sorry you're going through that. It's tough. I hope you two will be able to work out something more satisfying in the future.
  20. Ah yes, I started a thread about this service a while ago, but it was little more than a tech beta back then. I'm curious to hear what people's experiences are with this. This is not the first attempt at a platonic relationship app, and the others all failed quickly after launch.
  21. Thank you for sharing your story. I know all too well how hard it is to go through decades not understanding my own identity and not enjoying relationships. Welcome to this community. There aren't many of us older aros, but you're definitely not the only one.
  22. I'm kinda the opposite in that I'm very open about my identity and I enjoy queer culture in a lot of ways, but I totally understand that queer culture is not for everyone. I know you aren't the only person who thinks being queer just isn't a big deal and doesn't want to talk about it. I've met plenty of people like this.
  23. Welcome. For years I only ever heard people talk about aromantic experiences in combination with being asexual, so I assumed being aromantic was something only asexuals experienced, and I'm definitely not asexual. It took me a pretty long time to realize I'm aro, too. So, I relate to a lot of what you said. There's a good number of people here like you, so I hope you can make connections.
  24. Lol, that explains why those are my favorite books. I take long, slow walks and take time to identify and admire and photograph plants. I'm also into TNG. Hit me up any time you want to talk about those things. I'm not a birder myself but there are several here.
  25. Hey, welcome. Thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate the way you write about yourself. I feel you on a lot of stuff. I don't have any kids myself, but all my friends are married or otherwise paired off and they ignore our friendship and it's really disheartening. I'm pretty badly touch-starved, myself, and I know others in the community are, too. I don't really have any way to seek satisfaction in that way. My sex drive is relatively average but I crave a lot of non-sexual affection, and people often are much less interested in that than in sexual affection. I've also dated quite a bit and just felt uncomfortable and vaguely unsatisfied in those relationships. I'm glad you found this community and I hope you can make friends here. I know others will relate to your experiences, too. And if your username is any indication of your hobbies, then there are some others here who may be interested in talking with you.
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