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Hi, I'm so confused lol


DramaQueen
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Hi everybody,

 

I'm Mag, I make music, I love to write and small pleasures and details are my favorite things!

I don't really know how I would define myself. I'm 26, grew up in a very heteronomative context and managed to find my way out of it, and only then I started doubt about romantic love. This was some years ago, but I never dared to defy romantic relationships.
I'm a very loving person and I love to be loved and I need deep connexions with people. I've never found romantic love really comforting even when it was actually going well with my partners. I saw (and lived) the limites of it personally and it seemed to me like an illusion that sucked me in, making me feel like I needed those things that I actually find cheesy.
I want to detach myself from romantic love, to be able to love people other ways, which is very puzzling because I'm confronted to the unknown, and I feel very lonely with it.
I am sexual and I currently feel a really deep connection with this another human being who claims he never fell in love and never will. I've found him absolutely amazing since the first time we talked and I know that it's the same for him, but not in a romantic way. I have strong feelings for him, I really love him and don't want to change him, but at the same time I have so many doubts and questions to ask you all...I think romantic love is not true, but at the same time I have no examples of a truer form of love, especially in my situation: I have this good friend that I LOVE, we have sex together and we really like eachother but we are not in couple and everyone around me belittling this relationship that is so valuable to me, hurt me.

I'm not comfortable with names and definitions and I'm very ignorant of the subject, so please excuse me in advance if I offend someone with my poorly chosen words.

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Welcome, Mag!

 

It's fine if you don't want to find words for it. Ignorance of our aromantic cultural vocabulary isn't the end of the world either, but it may help you better explain yourself to others. You'll find plenty of material discussing the intricacies of relationships like yours here. 

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3 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

I have this good friend that I LOVE, we have sex together and we really like eachother but we are not in couple and everyone around me belittling this relationship that is so valuable to me, hurt me.

people not understanding any sort of connection that isn't romantic, or basically the monogamous romantic couple relationship (as polyamory multi-partner romantic relationships are also generally not understood), is a fairly common problem. The people belittling your relationship don't understand, and maybe don't want to understand as they are certain their world view of one true love exclusive romantic partner is the ultimate goal in life (which I think is fairly sad). You can try to explain how you feel towards your relationship which doesn't guarantee understanding, or better yet you could just tell them how much it hurts you when they say or do the things that hurt you. Real friends and family should not be trying to hurt you so just telling them when they do could help your situation. 

 

Sorry my advice is written in a bit of a mess of words, but welcome! and I'm glad you have found a connection to someone that understands :aropride:

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22 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

I have this good friend that I LOVE, we have sex together and we really like eachother but we are not in couple

Sounds good to me! I hope you don't mind me asking some personal questions, but how did you manage to find this type of relationship in the first place and how long has it been going on for? Did you start out as friends then become sexual partners, or vice-versa? Sorry for my nosiness :P  (and please don't feel obliged to answer anything personal unless you want to) It just sounds nice and I think I'd like to find something similar. But I'm not really sure how...

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10 hours ago, NullVector said:

Sounds good to me! I hope you don't mind me asking some personal questions, but how did you manage to find this type of relationship in the first place and how long has it been going on for? Did you start out as friends then become sexual partners, or vice-versa? Sorry for my nosiness :P  (and please don't feel obliged to answer anything personal unless you want to) It just sounds nice and I think I'd like to find something similar. But I'm not really sure how...

 

Mmh it's a long story.
We first met 5 years ago around a common interest and I asked him out just to drink a beer, chat and smoke in a park. We talked the night through and we met again three times, doing things like talking a lot about stuff, watching cartoons and go to a party. I wanted a sexual thing but I also enjoyed spending time with him just messing around and laughing and talking because he's very interesting and clever (that's what I usually call a match and that's what make me fall in love with someone).
So I ended up to ask him to have sex with me because it was quite obvious that he wanted that but was too shy to talk about it. We had sex, it was delightful and then he ghosted me. He just disappeared and I was furious and disappointed and sad because I didn't understand. We went to the same parties in town and he did not say hello when he came across me, I was furious. It was disrespectful but somehow so weird that I thought there was a real problem in his thinking.
He actually managed to say sorry one year later and we became good friends. I was in a romantic relationship with a friend of him for 4 years.
Last year, I called him and complained that we did not see each other for almost a year and I missed him, and he invited me to drink a beer at his workplace. When I came, he offered me a job there (that I took) and from then, we see each other everyday. He helped me out when my relationship was falling apart, he talked to me a lot and make me understand that he believes in me and he has no doubt that I am a good person.
When my ex boyfriend finally kicked me out of his life brutally litterally breaking my heart, my Friend was there to soothe my pain with beers, smoke, hugs, etc.
Then one night he tried to get sexual with me again and I accepted and then it was started again.
I knew he never fell in love, I knew he didn't want a romantic relationship, I knew how he is, because I've been knowing him for 5 years, but I cannot controll it. I really like him since the beginning and I can't help loving him. He is honest, always been, and once, he decided to end the sex part of our relationship because I was too hurt by his lack of romantic intentions and he didn't want to hurt me. He told me once, from nowhere "I really like you, Mag", and I could not understand WHY you tell someone that and at the same time don't want a romantic relationship with them.
We had sex for 5 months until we decided both to have a break because I was so confused about relationships. People around me pushed to know WHAT EXACTLY we were defining ourself and I didn't have the vocabulary to answer them. Not in couple, Not in love, In an Exclusive Sexual Relationship, Friends who fuck, I don't know, it sounded so belittling to me and I started feeling bad because I realized that the idea of Romantic Love is what is most valuable to me (WHY?!) and I sincerely didn't understand why he didn't love me back.
At the same time, I'm sick of romantic love dynamics and I want to unlearn them or to control them. I think that my love for him is sincere and I want to be able to enjoy this beautiful friendship with sex without wanting an artificial romance to go with it. He said that when I am able to do it without suffering, he wants to continue seeing me, but for the moment, if he has to chose between my non sexual friendship or having me just as a sexual relationship, he prefers me as a non sexual friend. "I really like you" he keeps telling, "but I won't give you what you need, because I can't. It's not you, it's me. I'll never be like this".

 

So, I digged on the internet and discovered the aromantic community. I showed him an interview and he was so surprised to identify with it. He told me that he would have gave the same answers word by word. So, he thinks he is aromantic.

So, I'm trying to manage my romantic self and to love him in another way because this person and the relationship I have with him are more important and true than a social construction. But how? How can I get rid of the romantic heritage?
I mean, is it possible for a romantic to be happy with an aro?
 

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Wow Mag, you wrote a lot of stuff! Thanks for doing that :)

So, I don't know your guy, but I'm going to structure my reply on the assumption that he's a good guy and means the things he says. With that in mind...

12 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

He said that when I am able to do it without suffering, he wants to continue seeing me, but for the moment, if he has to chose between my non sexual friendship or having me just as a sexual relationship, he prefers me as a non sexual friend. "I really like you" he keeps telling, "but I won't give you what you need, because I can't. It's not you, it's me. I'll never be like this"

 

Now this I can really, really feel. I've never actively pursued romantic relationships my whole life, which has (by-and-large) resulted in me never having been in any*. A big part of the reason I haven't ever 'pursued' is that, even before I was reading about aromantic identities, I kind of intuitively knew that what I wanted wasn't what most people wanted and also the corollary: that what I was going to be offering instead likely wouldn't be satisfying for most people. And I was extremely paranoid about hurting other people just to satisfy my own (strong) sexual urges (strong urges in general make me a bit wary). So, as I said, I can really, really feel your guy on this. I also suspect it's why he "ghosted" you initially (and that he may have hurt somebody else in the past by not being able to give them what they wanted and still feels guilty about it?)

 

12 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

People around me pushed to know WHAT EXACTLY we were defining ourself and I didn't have the vocabulary to answer them. Not in couple, Not in love, In an Exclusive Sexual Relationship, Friends who fuck, I don't know, it sounded so belittling to me

 

Yeah, this one really grinds my gears! Why isn't there a nice, fluffy, respectful term for friends who also have sex? "Fuck buddies" just sounds kind of degrading and disrespectful to me ("fuck" is too harsh and "buddies" is too light for somebody you value as one of the central relationships in your life). I also don't like that when most people think of "sexual friendship" they would generally see the friendship aspect as coming a distant second to the sex (not to mention the two being in a state of constant conflict/tension). Why? :/. Friendship makes sense to me. Sex makes sense to me. Romance doesn't. And, honestly, when it comes to other people pressuring me to label myself or conform to a particular social norm against my wishes, I have very much a "fuck off and mind your own business" kind of attitude! (of course I'm far too polite to actually say this - but rest assured it's what I'm thinking :D)

 

When it comes to other people pressuring you to act a particular way that you don't want to act, I would say: completely ignore them! All that matters in this context is if you and your partner are happy in the relationship you're in - whatever label you do (or don't) like to use for it (and no label whatsoever is absolutely fine). When it comes to you and your partner being happy in the relationship you're in, I'd say: communication, communication, communication! It'll probably be important if you want to keep "seeing" this guy to "check in" and "update" him regularly on how you're finding things. Are you still having your needs met? Etc. Maybe it'll be a bit weird and a new experience to need to be this communicative. But it'll probably help enormously with his paranoia about you  not getting your needs met by him. Well, I'd appreciate that sort of thing, anyhow, and I think I can relate to where your guy is coming from. And if there comes a time when you really aren't getting your needs met anymore, I'd encourage you to be honest with him about that and maybe go back to the "non sexual friends" arrangement - for both your sakes. If you both set up that "emotional contract" from the outset and stick to it, then I'm thinking everything should be okay.

 

Maybe you could also have a read about the concept of Relationship Anarchy? As if you're  trying something relation-shippy that falls well outside the usual guidelines of vanilla monogamous heterosexual romance then it's probably a bit intimidating and you may be feeling a bit adrift? All the more reason to try and work on clearer and more explicit communication (I think otherwise you tend to just fall back to following assumed social defaults) and read about how others have followed unconventional relationship patterns. Also @SoulWolf recommended me this website. It has a big section on navigating romance/romantic relationships,as well as other things.

 

So, for what it's worth, there you go: some random thoughts on romantic relationships and sex, coming to you from somebody with zero experience of either xD

 

 

*aside: since I'm male, I pretty much have to actively pursue relationships to get into them, given how heterosexual gender roles work for the most part.  The most I've ever had from women was some hints that they might be receptive to me attempting to 'pursue' them. Which I didn't do. Somewhat to my surprise at the time - some of them I was even quite attracted to! But I made up various (what I now see as) flimsy or nonsense rationalizations to not follow anything up 9_9)

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Thank you your words are of huge help! I will definitely read about Relationship Anarchy!!

it was quite shocking to realize that Romance is mostly a lie and That often romantic relationship are not based on love but limerence. My socialisation was quite traditional and it is hard to consider How much I still need to deconstruct to get to the Love-thing core. This makes me think about Butler's Gender Trouble: our idea of what Love is is just performance! Gestures and attitudes and actions and discourse that we learn and repeat collectively to make something exist and continue to exist. Romantic love is just a code, a very strict and normative code. What is surprising to me is that I accepted very easily the fact of being pansexual, but I was completely out of my mind and really felt like "Who the fuck am I and what my life has been until now?" when I realized romantic love is an illusion and a construction. 

My friend but also some female friends told me that they never fell in love in their life and I was like "what? I don't know what it is!" But That was because I was unconsciously thinking of romantic love as the only possible kind of love. I was confused about they telling me they did not love because these people are very caring and loving friends, I remember I thought:"you must have lived some major trauma and now you're stuck but u can work on it and one day you'll be able to fall in love with someone" but now I see and I get that: no! These people are already able to love! It's just NON-romantic. This somehow makes me less anxious about relationships, because romance forced me to play games with people! Shit-games like hide and seek, be there but not too much, do this to get that, like there are rules and a code and u have to respect the code otherwise you lose. But Love is not a game, romance is! Just thinking about this is so liberating. 

Thank you again!

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31 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

Thank you your words are of huge help!

You're very welcome :) (I'm mostly just glad it wasn't all completely useless, coming from a place of abstract observation as opposed to direct experience!)

 

31 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

Romantic love is just a code, a very strict and normative code

Yes. Along with the "very strict and normative" mutually reinforcing gender roles that it typically goes along with in the case of heterosexual romantic love (why, for example, is it still extremely unusual for a girl to "ask out" a guy? why doesn't it happen 50% of the time? etc.)

 

31 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

when I realized romantic love is an illusion and a construction.

I think that's probably going a bit far. There's undoubtedly a big element of social construction there, but I think two people in limerance are feeling something on a physiological level that goes beyond pure "illusion and a construction".

 

31 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

I was confused about they telling me they did not love because these people are very caring and loving friends, I remember I thought:"you must have lived some major trauma and now you're stuck but u can work on it and one day you'll be able to fall in love with someone" but now I see and I get that: no! These people are already able to love! It's just NON-romantic.

Yes, you get it! I actually was going to respond with something like this (but forgot to) when you wrote further up that "and I sincerely didn't understand why he didn't love me back." I was going to encourage you to add the word "romantically" to the end of that sentence. As I think he may very well love you. Just "NON-romantic[ally]". But looks like there's no need for that "scolding" now! :P

 

31 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

This somehow makes me less anxious about relationships, because romance forced me to play games with people! Shit-games like hide and seek, be there but not too much, do this to get that, like there are rules and a code and u have to respect the code otherwise you lose.

Thanks for acknowledging this. So it's not just me! I absolutely LOATHE this aspect of romance and it's a big part of the reason I've wanted nothing to do with it.

 

31 minutes ago, DramaQueen said:

Thank you again!

Again, you're very welcome :)

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