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Forming Intimate Friendships


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As I didn't want to go off-topic on another matter I decided to make a new topic. @Mark was the one to give me this thought by saying 

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I think what causes problems is that many aros want to romantic coded things outside of romantic relationships often with friends. Which does require challenging concepts like "I don't kiss/have sex with/hold hands with/date/snuggle/share certain thoughts/etc with friends. I'll only do those with my (potential) partner/fiancée/spouse."

I know it is possible to form friendships that allow for these behaviours. I created a few intimate friendships while going through my education when I was meeting lots of people still working out what a friendship is and their friends were the constant while romantic partners were a fluctuating factor. I also know some aspects of the friendships will change over time as my friends settle for someone and/or have children. 

I have heard it said that it becomes harder to make good friends as you grow older, and the friends you do make already tend to have a preconceived notion of friendship that they can be quite inflexible about (so they are less likely to embrace romance coded behaviours in a non-romantic way).

Going through my twenties I have noticed a drop off in casual intimacy in social situation as more people are in relationships and fear being accused of cheating or to avoid their partner feeling jealous. 

 

So asking the older members here, are friends really harder to make? and are your teens to twenties the only time you really have to form intimate friendships (unless you are really lucky, like QPR level lucky)?

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22 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

So asking the older members here, are friends really harder to make? and are your teens to twenties the only time you really have to form intimate friendships (unless you are really lucky, like QPR level lucky)?

I couldn't even when I was that age whilst I wanted "non platonic friendship" nobody else appeared to even understand the concept.
Also whilst I was open to casual intimacy nobody was even open to even a fun date with me, never mind a snuggle or ONS.
Certainly being a shy genderqueer autistic person made it difficult for me to even follow the norms. Being any kind of pioneer in breaking them would have been impossible.

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30 minutes ago, Mark said:

a fun date with me, never mind a snuggle or ONS.

I think there may also be a gender discrepancy. Possibly the open intimacy between females is more socially acceptable, so it isn't really questioned when there is a 'girls night out' or 'girls night in'. No one's parents ever had an issues with us sharing beds though our teen years. 

~ actually me sharing a bed with my male friend was only questioned once, and that was when there was another guy in the bed that night. Maybe the people I grew up around were all once hippies.  

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On 2017-11-18 at 8:22 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

 

I have heard it said that it becomes harder to make good friends as you grow older, and the friends you do make already tend to have a preconceived notion of friendship that they can be quite inflexible about (so they are less likely to embrace romance coded behaviours in a non-romantic way).

Going through my twenties I have noticed a drop off in casual intimacy in social situation as more people are in relationships and fear being accused of cheating or to avoid their partner feeling jealous.

 

Sometimes I feel like allos only like romantic coded stuff with friends as a substitute for having a romantic relationship. As soon as they have a romantic partner they don't "need it" anymore. But I'm not the best judge of this since I don't desire that much romantic stuff. The main thing I want from friendship is shared interests and I feel like I'm getting more picky with that as I grow older. Maybe it can be that one-self is less flexible too, not just other people. I think the best way to get good friendships is to look specifically for people who does not want standard romantic relationships.

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On 19/11/2017 at 11:19 AM, Holmbo said:

Sometimes I feel like allos only like romantic coded stuff with friends as a substitute for having a romantic relationship. As soon as they have a romantic partner they don't "need it" anymore.

Often without realising how hurtful this can be to aros. With it being likely that mutual friends will be "cheerleading" their new romantic relationship. Whilst seeing the ending of "just a (weird) friendship" as inconsequential.

 

On 19/11/2017 at 11:19 AM, Holmbo said:

I think the best way to get good friendships is to look specifically for people who does not want standard romantic relationships.

Easier said than done.
People who want romantic relationships or  purely platonic are quite obvious. With huge industries to help anyone looking for either of these two things.
It's far from obvious where to even look for people even vaguely interested in anything else.

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On 19/11/2017 at 9:49 PM, Holmbo said:

Maybe it can be that one-self is less flexible too, not just other people.

Good point with that. My comment before did seem very 'other people only', but we do change as well as we are those 'other people' to basically everyone else. 

On 19/11/2017 at 8:11 PM, Zorcodtoa said:

being stung too many times or others just leaving me "for greener grass"....it's too tiring to bother anymore.

Maybe this is the key. Everyone has bad experiences and becomes somewhat jaded. All the other people are (also) too tired to bother anymore, which is why they get picky about what they want in a friend, weeding out the things in friends they had issues with in the past. 

 

On 19/11/2017 at 9:49 PM, Holmbo said:

Sometimes I feel like allos only like romantic coded stuff with friends as a substitute for having a romantic relationship.

I still feel some of the intimacy that drops off when they get a romantic partner is based in the feelings that the partner should now receive these intimacies exclusively, otherwise it is 'cheating'. Is this amatonormativity raising it's head again or are they just examples of controlling people making a relationship bad? The relationships I know this from never lasted more than about 18 months so now I generally see the withdrawing of intimacy with friends as the sign of a doomed relationship. Though when the romantic partners move in together and the couple become a 'single unit', with the other person always there, some things get much harder to do.  

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On 2017-11-21 at 12:16 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I still feel some of the intimacy that drops off when they get a romantic partner is based in the feelings that the partner should now receive these intimacies exclusively, otherwise it is 'cheating'. Is this amatonormativity raising it's head again or are they just examples of controlling people making a relationship bad? The relationships I know this from never lasted more than about 18 months so now I generally see the withdrawing of intimacy with friends as the sign of a doomed relationship. Though when the romantic partners move in together and the couple become a 'single unit', with the other person always there, some things get much harder to do.  

 

That might be true. For me, most of the people I've been physically intimate with have been people I haven't know that well but become very close to in a short amount of time. It's like they've been longing for a intense relationship and we happen to meet at the right time.

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On 2017-11-20 at 1:24 PM, Mark said:

 

Easier said than done.
People who want romantic relationships or  purely platonic are quite obvious. With huge industries to help anyone looking for either of these two things.
It's far from obvious where to even look for people even vaguely interested in anything else.

 

I think peoples personality can be an indicator. Not necessarily to if they identify as aromantic but in how interested they are in pursuing a romantic relationship. People who are more introverted and perhaps break social norms in some way are more open to non-standard relationship in my experience.

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