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Feeling Down About Love In General


byye_ology
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Hey! I'm Lili. I'm 19. I'm new here and I'm new to forums in general :)

 

I discovered the aroace label a few months ago and I'm finally beginning to accept it. However, I feel like my repulsions + my personality have created one giant identity that makes it difficult for me to show love. I unconsciously grew up with this idea that, once I finally found my partner, I would become a fountain of love (lol do not ask me why I had this idea...hm amatonormativity is so strange, amirite). Accepting my aroaceness gave me a reality check. It came along with the discoveries that I was sex, romance, and touch repulsed & not actually interested in relationships (probably not even a qpr). I don't think I ever had trauma but the repulsions are so strong that they have affected my friendships for, like, ever...tbh I envy the aroaces who can cuddle their friends and all. [+ : I'm also pretty bad & often shy in articulating my affection...like saying I love you to family is even difficult. And I'm so easily drained from socializing, so it's tiring to have frequent/long-lasting hangouts. I kinda stay detached from most people to save my energy...keeping only a few friends at a time.]

 

Friendships have been the only relationships I really ever cared for, but my love languages seem to be too discrete or incompatible with others. Ex: As much as my repulsion allows, I like helping my friends with their relationship issues and I might even quickly hug them if they're really down. So.... It really hurts when friends (and squishes? I'm not sure on that yet) question if I really consider us good friends. It has happened too many times...even with someone I have mutually declared a best friend. Even family members, though they understand my expressions of love, have joked about how distant I keep my friends. I would just like to express platonic love in a properly communicable way because it makes me feel like a Bad Friend. I've looked into love languages for help, but it mostly made me more conflicted (quality time, I guess, but again I have a lower need for irl interactions than my more extroverted friends). I got a good amount of love...it's just not translating :/

 

Thanks for reading my whole vent :) I hope I didn't sound whiny or anything. if you have any advice/suggestions/comments, it would be appreciated! Maybe...about how to be more open in my words or feelings with my friends--cuz that's seriously hard for me, in writing or speech. Maybe.. that you relate. Or... whatever you find fit to say! I'm trying avoid the same sadness I just got over.  

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Hey and Welcome!

 

14 minutes ago, byye_ology said:

amatonormativity is so strange, amirite

amen to that!

 

Friendships are hard, especially when it seem many people have wildly different understandings of what a friendship is (like the mentor I had once who said we were friends and I had to say sure even though I low-key hated them and would have called our relationship a tolerably functional colleague-level working relationship), so even if you do put yourself out there, stretching the limits of what you are comfortable with, it is still possible you will get burned from their ignorance and assumptions (sorry for the downer).

 

The up side is that if you have/find someone where conversation flows easily it is not too hard to bring the  intimacy level up. You don't need to specifically dissect your feelings for your friends but finding common ground whenever and wherever you can is a great thing and sharing opinions! but the most important thing of all from all of this is remembering the details they tell you because bringing them up at a later date can show them you care. Using the same logic you can discover how dedicated to your friendship they are. This is the process I use with some of my friends, it is generally quite good but I have been burned by someone who doesn't really care but had very good memory recall. Who knows, you may do this already, it is just what I have found that helps me build relationships with reserved or touch-repulsed people. 

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Thanks for the welcome!

 

3 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

so even if you do put yourself out there, stretching the limits of what you are comfortable with, it is still possible you will get burned from their ignorance and assumptions (sorry for the downer).

 

No need to apologize. You're so right. I don't think that the things I feel deepen friendships are that significant to many of my friends. And tbh...I'm probably the opposite of your mentor, slow to declare friends, even if they started calling me a friend earlier.

 

4 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

The up side is that if you have/find someone where conversation flows easily it is not too hard to bring the  intimacy level up. 

Yeah... I guess it just takes me *much* longer and I have to do it in tiny bursts. I think I'm finally a bit more open with my friends of 6 years (! hm I don't blame them ever questioning the depth of our friendship). They were the only ones I felt mattered coming out to, so they're the only ones who I came out to, and when I let them know that, they were flattered/happy/surprised.

 

4 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

You don't need to specifically dissect your feelings for your friends but finding common ground whenever and wherever you can is a great thing and sharing opinions! but the most important thing of all from all of this is remembering the details they tell you because bringing them up at a later date can show them you care.

True... I realized that people appreciate these things. And they aren't too draining either. I can definitely try doing these more (esp sharing my opinions..I shouldn't wait until I'm asked so much. I can see how that can seem that I don't care). I think I do the detail thing often...it's possible I need to bring more of MYSELF into my friendships. I really appreciate this insight! Thx

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As yet another romance repulsed, sex repulsed, touch averse aroace who is fairly distant when it comes to emotions and such I've found that the best solution to this is to recognize what my own personal ways of showing affection for people are and communicating that to my friends so that they understand the intentions behind my actions. 

 

I don't tend to tell my friends that I love them, but I know exactly how all of my friends take their tea, and they all know that if I make tea for them without having to ask how they want it then that's a sign of affection. I've expressed that I wouldn't remember these things if I didn't care and they know that.

 

I don't like cuddling despite having very cuddly friends, but my friends and I all like star trek, so if I want to show physical affection I give them a Vulcan kiss (touching your index and middle finger to there's) because that's what I'm comfortable with and they get that. 

 

And if I hadn't explained these things to them they would probably find me to be very rigged and distant, but since I have explained it to them they totally understand what I'm trying to communicate. And tbh, that approach has been significantly better than trying to force myself to give more standard expressions of affection. I used to try and be more typically affectionate and the fact of the matter was that I didn't enjoy it and my friends could always tell it was forced and It was simply unfulfilling all the way around. Just saying "hey, I express my love for y'all in these ways as opposed to these other more typical ways" has been very helpful and I would recommend it.

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42 minutes ago, bananaslug said:

And if I hadn't explained these things to them they would probably find me to be very rigged and distant, but since I have explained it to them they totally understand what I'm trying to communicate. And tbh, that approach has been significantly better than trying to force myself to give more standard expressions of affection. I used to try and be more typically affectionate and the fact of the matter was that I didn't enjoy it and my friends could always tell it was forced and It was simply unfulfilling all the way around. Just saying "hey, I express my love for y'all in these ways as opposed to these other more typical ways" has been very helpful and I would recommend it.

Yeahhhh ok. This is so helpful. Trying to interpret how I show affection first (like all my natural inclimations). Then....I guess I'll get some guts and let them know. Really, thanks! I was hoping I wouldn't go into friendship burnout or something by how I was doing things. 

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