Jump to content
dmw115

I feel like I'm missing something, but I'm not sure what?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I want to thank all those that take the time to read and answer this. I apologize beforehand for any misspelling and grammar mistakes, I read things 3 or 4 times and still don't see things until after it's been posted. I'm pretty sure that I'm aromantic at this point but I'm not sure what I'm missing exactly, just that I am missing something

 

For a little backstory (sorry if this rambles), I was a very shy and introverted child so I didn't necessarily have that many friends. I had plenty of people that I talked to during school hours and hung out with, so it's not like I sat in a corner by myself (most of the time). I liked their personalities and antics but I didn't exchange phone numbers or spend time with them outside of a school setting. However, the majority of these people I was around was in band with me which meant we spent a lot of time after school and at competitions, so there was still enough time for bonding. I never really noticed other people in a romantic way as I grew up. Sure, I saw when other girls started to develop "crushes" on boys and thought it was about good looks. So I picked a couple of good looking boys and said those two were my crushes. Now, I realize that was aesthetic attraction and wasn't the same thing that they were talking about, but at the time that's what I thought. I think I wanted them to be an equivalent to a squish but they didn't want to be friends with me, which hurt a little but I shrugged my shoulders and moved on. 

 

Honestly, it didn't really bother me that much when my friends were talking about their boyfriends/girlfriends or why they had them. I just knew that they did and I didn't, and that was fine with me. It only started to really bother me when I was in 11th grade and my father would make comments (rather often) about how I "need to go get a boyfriend". I didn't want one, I've told my parents and friends that before but they didn't seem to understand that. I was left feeling a bit frustrated but since I could make excuses about focusing on academics and band, no one really pursued the topic too much.

 

Then there was one boy in band that I talked to. I didn't talk to him any more than I did other people, so I never really thought of him as anything other than a friend nor had any idea he thought differently. He asked me out and I panicked a bit but said yes. I mean, this is what everyone talks about right? This is what my father wanted too so, even if I wasn't entirely comfortable with the situation, I could at least try it. So I did. We went out, he took me to dinner, we walked a nature trail, and went to the movies. He was a total gentleman and I know he'll make someone happy someday. But while I was there, I hated being with him. Especially when we went to the movies and he wanted to hold my hand. He didn't push it, but it was obvious that's what he wanted. Just the thought of doing that was unbearable. I couldn't do it and was so relieved when the night was over. He wanted to go on a second date but I couldn't. I refused and then proceeded to avoid him. I couldn't talk to him like I did before which was rather unfortunate. He was good company but it was soured at that point. This is the only "dating" experience that I've had and happened when I was 17.

 

Though my mom did revealed to me (she was a teacher at the school) that I had many other suitors. This was years ago, I haven't been in high school for 4 years, but I completely missed that other people had any interest in me back then. It was a surprise to me when she mentioned it just a couple of months ago at my younger brother's birthday party. The topic had somehow gotten onto her and her friend's (fellow teacher) passed boyfriends and inevitably turned to my lack thereof. I told her that no one approached me so I never knew that there were others interested. Her response wasn't encouraging though, "you would have noticed them if you just payed attention". 

 

Now, I don't have that many friends since I've gone to college. I go to class and work and that's mostly it. My only two friends would be my roommates that I met. We all got along great and it was definitely a learning experience, because I'd never shared a room with others before. I found I loved sitting in our room, just working quietly on  school work without really talking or sometimes we could talk for hours about everything and nothing. There was no pressure and it was comfortable. There were still moments I didn't understand something that they talked about, which, as you guessed, was romance. One of my roommates was flighty, but nice, and had people crawling out of the woodwork for her. Some she dated, others she turned down, but she was always excited about someone's interest. The other roommate had a boyfriend who they've been together since high school. At this point, it's been over 6 years for them and they're going to get married sometime soon. She loved talking about him (which was fine, he and I have a lot in common so it didn't bother me) but she had to see him constantly. If she went without seeing him for 3-4 days, she had "withdrawal". To me, this sounds suffocating but they obviously like it. But whenever my roommates were absent to be with boyfriends, it made me feel depressed. I didn't want a boyfriend, I didn't feel jealous of any of them, but I didn't want to sit in my room alone either. Something was just missing, and I can't understand what.

 

I'm 21 now, and I haven't kissed nor held anyone's hand at this point. This is something that still bothers my father. He sees things such as T-shirts or mugs that have Grandfather written on them, and makes comments like "well, we know that's not going to happen until I'm dead". I don't think he's being mean on purpose, it's a jest, but it still feels painful. I don't want them to be disappointed in me, but I don't want marriage and kids. I don't often touch most people casually. I haven't kissed my parents in years and rarely hug people. I don't shy away from them if they do, friends and family have hugged me, but only if they initiate it first. I don't just walk up to people (even if I know them) and want to hug all over them. In fact, I touch people so rarely that when someone does so much as brush my hand (on accident), my nerves become hyper aware that someone's touching me. However, I don't think I'm sex-repulsed either. I've never been in the situation where it's been relevant (with another person anyways) so I can't be entirely sure, but the thought doesn't gross me out either. And I have "experimented" with masturbation. It was more that I was interested in what the hype was about then due to any real desire. It felt nice but I've only done it a handful of times. Very sporadically really, and I don't think I've ever "finished" before I lost interest again. I'm not sure if I'm touched starved, or if I want a squish, or what exactly is going on with me. I just know that there is something I want, but I can't figure it out what it could be. 

 

Sorry about the length of that, I doubt anyone really wanted my life story. I just thought it might help give some insight. It turned out a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. Maybe I'm just obtuse and it is rather apparent but I would appreciate it if someone could please help point it out. Or at least, give advice. I can't thank you all enough. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! I read it. I didn't spot any grammar or spelling mistakes ;)

 

I think it's okay to take your time to figure things out (and maybe we can help a little if you stick around? :aropride:). I dunno, maybe just have a bit more self belief that you intuitively know what's right for you? You shouldn't have to feel guilty for not living in a way that other people do, if it doesn't feel right for you. That's the general vibe I'm getting, that you're just a bit lacking in confidence that what you feel is right for you now is really 'okay' and is a valid choice.

 

And regarding this sort of thing: 

1 hour ago, dmw115 said:

I'm 21 now, and I haven't kissed nor held anyone's hand at this point. This is something that still bothers my father. He sees things such as T-shirts or mugs that have Grandfather written on them, and makes comments like "well, we know that's not going to happen until I'm dead". I don't think he's being mean on purpose, it's a jest, but it still feels painful.

I think at this point it's totally fine to say to your father something like, "it makes me really uncomfortable when you say things like that, please can you stop". 

 

1 hour ago, dmw115 said:

I'm not sure what I'm missing exactly, just that I am missing something

Aha, yes, what you are actually missing... is ICE CREAM :D :aroicecream::aroicecream::aroicecream:

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for replying! :) Maybe your right, though I won't be able to tell yet. I'll see if I can stop with guilt trips but it'll be a work in progress. You've definitely given me some food for thought...and made me hungry for ice cream. :aroicecream:🥄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

Then there was one boy in band that I talked to. I didn't talk to him any more than I did other people, so I never really thought of him as anything other than a friend nor had any idea he thought differently. He asked me out and I panicked a bit but said yes. I mean, this is what everyone talks about right? This is what my father wanted too so, even if I wasn't entirely comfortable with the situation, I could at least try it. So I did. We went out, he took me to dinner, we walked a nature trail, and went to the movies. He was a total gentleman and I know he'll make someone happy someday. But while I was there, I hated being with him. Especially when we went to the movies and he wanted to hold my hand. He didn't push it, but it was obvious that's what he wanted. Just the thought of doing that was unbearable. I couldn't do it and was so relieved when the night was over. He wanted to go on a second date but I couldn't. I refused and then proceeded to avoid him. I couldn't talk to him like I did before which was rather unfortunate. He was good company but it was soured at that point. This is the only "dating" experience that I've had and happened when I was 17.

 

This in particular is something I think a lot of people here can relate to.

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

Though my mom did revealed to me (she was a teacher at the school) that I had many other suitors. This was years ago, I haven't been in high school for 4 years, but I completely missed that other people had any interest in me back then. It was a surprise to me when she mentioned it just a couple of months ago at my younger brother's birthday party. The topic had somehow gotten onto her and her friend's (fellow teacher) passed boyfriends and inevitably turned to my lack thereof. I told her that no one approached me so I never knew that there were others interested. Her response wasn't encouraging though, "you would have noticed them if you just payed attention". 

 

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.

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

The other roommate had a boyfriend who they've been together since high school. At this point, it's been over 6 years for them and they're going to get married sometime soon. She loved talking about him (which was fine, he and I have a lot in common so it didn't bother me) but she had to see him constantly. If she went without seeing him for 3-4 days, she had "withdrawal". To me, this sounds suffocating but they obviously like it.

 

Yes!  I have a hard time relating to this kind of thing.  The things most people want from romance sound so miserable to me.

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

I'm 21 now, and I haven't kissed nor held anyone's hand at this point. This is something that still bothers my father. He sees things such as T-shirts or mugs that have Grandfather written on them, and makes comments like "well, we know that's not going to happen until I'm dead". I don't think he's being mean on purpose, it's a jest, but it still feels painful. I don't want them to be disappointed in me, but I don't want marriage and kids.

 

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.

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

I don't often touch most people casually. I haven't kissed my parents in years and rarely hug people. I don't shy away from them if they do, friends and family have hugged me, but only if they initiate it first. I don't just walk up to people (even if I know them) and want to hug all over them. In fact, I touch people so rarely that when someone does so much as brush my hand (on accident), my nerves become hyper aware that someone's touching me. However, I don't think I'm sex-repulsed either. I've never been in the situation where it's been relevant (with another person anyways) so I can't be entirely sure, but the thought doesn't gross me out either. And I have "experimented" with masturbation. It was more that I was interested in what the hype was about then due to any real desire. It felt nice but I've only done it a handful of times. Very sporadically really, and I don't think I've ever "finished" before I lost interest again.

 

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.

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

I'm not sure if I'm touched starved, or if I want a squish, or what exactly is going on with me. I just know that there is something I want, but I can't figure it out what it could be. 

 

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!"?

 

14 hours ago, dmw115 said:

Sorry about the length of that, I doubt anyone really wanted my life story. I just thought it might help give some insight. It turned out a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. Maybe I'm just obtuse and it is rather apparent but I would appreciate it if someone could please help point it out. Or at least, give advice. I can't thank you all enough. 

 

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".

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can totally relate to a lot of what you said.  i'm 20, and i dated for the first and only time at 17 (and i haven't really had a sexual relationship).  i felt quite similarly uncomfortable.  in fact, despite what a great guy he was--our friendship predated our romantic relationship and still continues--it was one of the worst times of my life.  and yet, i, too, sometimes feel some wild desire for some sort of relationship, even another disastrous one like that, just to add some...drama to my life?  i don't know.  i think it's largely due to internalized arophobia; logically, there are many possible significant changes to my current lifestyle, most of which are more appealing than a romantic relationship, but it's hard not to think about it.  try not to be critical about the way you relate to your aromanticism, and know that it can change a lot--it has for me in the ~3 years since i started identifying as aro.  i'm not sure how well i actually responded to what you said, but if you have any more questions, don't hesitate.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2018 at 8:14 PM, dmw115 said:

Sure, I saw when other girls started to develop "crushes" on boys and thought it was about good looks. So I picked a couple of good looking boys and said those two were my crushes. Now, I realize that was aesthetic attraction and wasn't the same thing that they were talking about, but at the time that's what I thought. I think I wanted them to be an equivalent to a squish but they didn't want to be friends with me, which hurt a little but I shrugged my shoulders and moved on.

Human attraction is often complex and multi-faceted.
It can be common in mainstream society to call any intense attraction a "crush", even though it might be primarily aesthetic, sexual, etc. Similarly in aro circles you can get an "everthing's a squish" belief. I have encountered the term "lush" to describe a primarily sexual attraction, though there appears to be no equivalent term for primarily aesthetic attraction.

 

On 8/13/2018 at 8:14 PM, dmw115 said:

The other roommate had a boyfriend who they've been together since high school. At this point, it's been over 6 years for them and they're going to get married sometime soon. She loved talking about him (which was fine, he and I have a lot in common so it didn't bother me) but she had to see him constantly. If she went without seeing him for 3-4 days, she had "withdrawal". To me, this sounds suffocating but they obviously like it. But whenever my roommates were absent to be with boyfriends, it made me feel depressed. I didn't want a boyfriend, I didn't feel jealous of any of them, but I didn't want to sit in my room alone either. Something was just missing, and I can't understand what.

It sounds like you want company and companionship. In ways which are non romantic, even if romantic coded activities are involved.

 

On 8/13/2018 at 8:14 PM, dmw115 said:

I'm 21 now, and I haven't kissed nor held anyone's hand at this point.

Do you want to? If 'yes' in what kind of situation or context.

 

On 8/13/2018 at 8:14 PM, dmw115 said:

This is something that still bothers my father. He sees things such as T-shirts or mugs that have Grandfather written on them, and makes comments like "well, we know that's not going to happen until I'm dead". I don't think he's being mean on purpose, it's a jest, but it still feels painful. I don't want them to be disappointed in me, but I don't want marriage and kids.

Have you told your father the last bit?

 

On 8/13/2018 at 8:14 PM, dmw115 said:

I don't often touch most people casually. I haven't kissed my parents in years and rarely hug people. I don't shy away from them if they do, friends and family have hugged me, but only if they initiate it first. I don't just walk up to people (even if I know them) and want to hug all over them.

I really struggle with initiation of touch. Basically I'm terrified that it will be misinterpreted or unwelcome. So often only comfortable if I'm the person being approached or asked. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...