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Aromantic or scared?

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So basically I've thought that I might be aromantic for awhile now but I'm really unsure. I have crushes and really want a romantic relationship but I always destroy those feelings before it can get anywhere. Once I realize I like someone I just shove the feelings away and then convince myself I never liked them. The closest I've got to a relationship was a QPP that turned into a romantic partner, who is my best friend, and when I saw him the other day (for the first time in awhile) I just didn't want to hold his hand or kiss him or anything. All of that felt wrong and weird. My family has a history of toxic relationships and I think that I just don't want to get hurt so I stop liking people but at the same time the idea of being romantic with someone does make me feel weird. I'm really confused and don't have anyone to talk to about it. I'm wondering if its just a normal phase people go through or if I'm actually aromantic? I feel broken and I don't know anyone else like me. Thanks for listening.

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Hi @PizzaSauceShoes :aroicecream:


On the one hand, you might have an overgeneralised fear based on your family history. I saw you wrote in another thread that "Relationships all end toxically or unhealthily and I'm scared of them". My experience is that the first half of that statement isn't true; some relationships end that way, for sure, but some can be very positive and fulfilling for the people involved, even over their entire lives (which is not to say that a similar relationship type would work or be desirable for everyone). But it's definitely possible if it's something you want in your life - I've seen it actually happen!


On the other hand, it totally makes sense to be cautious and not want to repeat destructive patterns from your family history. But I think a better approach, in your case, than avoiding (romantic) relationships entirely (given that you say you want them) could be to try and analyse what your family members did that caused the relationship to become 'toxic' in the first place and then identify any opposite factors that would contribute towards rendering it healthy (e.g. did they tend to more-often-than-not point out negative things their partners did and omit to acknowledge positive things? Then you can make a deliberate effort to do the opposite. Etc.). Or, do you know anyone else (a friend?) who is in a relationship that seems healthy? Can you ask them what they do to maintain it like that?


Being honest about your family history and your fears around it with your partner - and maybe knowing about your attachment style (and your partners) - might also help?  I think that breaking out of self-destructive  habitual patterns is really, really hard work (it's something I'm working on myself at the moment) but the key things are to be very carefully observant of what you are doing and note honestly what the effects were afterwards (good, bad, or some mix, depending whether you followed a habit or tried a different behaviour). Also, identify triggers/cues for negative habits and any new behaviours that you might substitute (in place of just letting the habit run its course) that could have a similar short term benefit without the long term 'side-effects'.


Just some thoughts, hope some of it helps. My family history is quite 'healthy' so I'm pretty sure that my aromanticism (and fear of intimate relationships, potentially) doesn't stem from that. Hopefully there is someone else on here that can relate more directly to your specific circumstances; although I doubt if any of them will be in healthy romantic relationships :P (and therefore in a position to advise on how to engineer such a thing given adverse family history)


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