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Queerplatonic connection


420.seven
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Hm...I have been reflecting on a situation I was in...

and I really have NO one to talk to... 

 

Has anyone ever been in a queerplatonic relationship that was also sexual but didn't realize it could have been a queerplatonic connection/relationship until after separation from the person?

I now realize that it would have maybe helped this person and I deal with things better and talk about it if we would have known it was maybe a queerplatonic connection with sexual attraction.

 

Everything just happened so naturally but it was very intense and I can only speak for myself but I didn't really understand what it was and based off what the person said they had no idea either. But... through separation, I am realizing many things...

 

 

EDIT:

everything we chose to do was based on the connection we felt towards each other. 

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3 hours ago, 420.seven said:

Hm...I have been reflecting on a situation I was in...

and I really have NO one to talk to... 

 

Has anyone ever been in a queerplatonic relationship that was also sexual but didn't realize it could have been a queerplatonic connection/relationship until after separation from the person?

I now realize that it would have maybe helped this person and I deal with things better and talk about it if we would have known it was maybe a queerplatonic connection with sexual attraction.

 

Everything just happened so naturally but it was very intense and I can only speak for myself but I didn't really understand what it was and based off what the person said they had no idea either. But... through separation, I am realizing many things...

I'm probably not someone who can help but I have some questions if you can answer them.

Was the relationship between you experimenting?

Was it a straight relationship?

What's your sexuality?(or are you not sure)

My best guess is that you to were together only cause you were sexually attracted to each other and neither of you wanted a commitment so it was platonic with sexual means sounds like you were in one of those experimenting relationships.

 

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I think @Prismatangle has talked about something like this before. I forget where, but she's mentioned that her relationship with her (aromantic) partner might have proceeded differently if they had approached it as a queerplatonic relationship at the beginning, instead of understanding it as romantic relationship. Can message her or try to dig up the relevant blogpost if you're interested. 

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18 hours ago, Bri said:

I'm probably not someone who can help but I have some questions if you can answer them.

Was the relationship between you experimenting? no - we just connected and enjoyed our time together. it wasn't about commitment. I enjoyed having him in my life we had a connection and we talked about how we are okay with having sex with other people. So it was not an experimentation thing. It just happened naturally and because we felt a connection to each other. 

Was it a straight relationship? no - I am straight and he was bi 

What's your sexuality?(or are you not sure) - I am straight 

My best guess is that you to were together only cause you were sexually attracted to each other and neither of you wanted a commitment so it was platonic with sexual means sounds like you were in one of those experimenting relationships.

 

 

17 hours ago, Coyote said:

I think @Prismatangle has talked about something like this before. I forget where, but she's mentioned that her relationship with her (aromantic) partner might have proceeded differently if they had approached it as a queerplatonic relationship at the beginning, instead of understanding it as romantic relationship. Can message her or try to dig up the relevant blogpost if you're interested. 

Yes, that would be really helpful. 

19 hours ago, Bri said:

I'm probably not someone who can help but I have some questions if you can answer them.

Was the relationship between you experimenting?

Was it a straight relationship?

What's your sexuality?(or are you not sure)

My best guess is that you to were together only cause you were sexually attracted to each other and neither of you wanted a commitment so it was platonic with sexual means sounds like you were in one of those experimenting relationships.

 

- No the relationship was not experimenting - we met and he just connection - it felt natural. But we talked about being able to see other people. During our time together I was the only one that slept with other people.

- No, I am straightish and he is bi (so I guess maybe it was a straight relationships idk)

- straightish -demisexual/demiromantic. 

 

I am still discovering things about myself but...yea

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@420.seven Found the post I was thinking of -- it was Updating the Map: Romantic Attraction and Friendship vs. Romance . Here's a quote from it (bolding added).

 

Quote

These days, C and I are comfortable defining ourselves as each other’s family. We’re not married and not planning to be in the near future, although we’ve been engaged and then not-engaged and then engaged again several times. But others kinda view us as spouses anyway. It’s usually easier for us to just present ourselves that way to the rest of the world, even though our bond is decidedly more companionate than romantic. The thing is, since romance typically fades into companionate love anyway, that’s not unusual among couples who have been married a long time, so our relationship now is not so significantly different from a spousal relationship to make that much of a difference.

 

But in the beginning? It really would have made a big difference if we could have conceptualized our relationship differently. I hope that by posting this, I can make that an option for people who might find themselves in the same situation as we did seven years ago. I hope that the map we’ve come up with and continue to update together provides an alternative scenario for someone else.

 

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@Coyote So is this person saying that knowing in the start would have helped. I don't know if he even knows about how it can be a whole spectrum. I told him I was demiromantic and he didn't know what it was although he identified at aromantic - maybe a lot of it has to do with the fact that many of the resources are in English. I am American and he is German. When I realized I wanted him in my life I started researching on my own. I think knowing things would have helped but there were many other factors that could have influenced our separation. Such as unhappiness with current life path (both of us)

 

I will share what I wrong in another post about the situation. It was a post about mental illness and aromanticism 

I wrote this "

Yes - I have been wondering this as well. I had a person in my life who identified as ARO. But also suffered from childhood neglect and he described himself as emotionally unstable and not being able to feel his emotions (happiness, sadness, excitement) and if he did he said he did feel it in a normal way.

 

I personally don't think this side of him has to do with being aro because romantic people can also be emotionally unstable but... 

I haven't seen many places where it is talked about. I know romantic people can have fears of being emotionally close and intimate with people/vulnerability (friends/family/ etc..)

So I wonder if it could be the same for an ARO person when they have a queerplatonic relationship/connection?

 

I am asking this because he told me that the way he feels his emotions and how he generally doesn't feel things has affected his relationships with people including his friends. To me, it seems like there was a little alexithymia there but...I feel that could be completely independent of being aro...

 

I just think all humans can problems with being vulnerable and emotional closeness.

 

Outcome:

He ended up pushing me away because he couldn't handle/wasn't ready the connection between us.

He shut down/stop communication and out of my care for him I gave him what he said he wanted and I walked away.

But I feel like...

I lost a friend."

 

Please let me know if you are open to talking about it."

 

So maybe us knowing about queerplatonic COULD have helped but those relationships still offer a connection and a form of emotional intimacy that.... in the end, it seems like he couldn't deal. 

 

@Coyote also feel free to message me - I am new to all of this and I don't really have anyone to talk to about my situation because usually, I would talk to him about it. But I am giving it the same and time that it needs because it is the right thing to do.

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I cant read all this so...... HELLO!!  =3 

If this means stuff abourpt queer cool!

I use to think i was bi then i thought i was strait THEN i thought i was queer THEN i thought i am asexual... now im thinking.. what is the anser to life? Do i even belong here? And so i googled it and the anser to life is 42... help meeeeeeee

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Hi, I'm the one who wrote that blog post Coy linked!

 

1 hour ago, 420.seven said:

@Coyote So is this person saying that knowing in the start would have helped.

 

More or less, yeah, that's what I was saying. Basically, neither one of us realized we were on the aromantic spectrum at the start of our relationship, and we went into it with the assumption that we were doing a... basically "normal" (whatever that means) romantic relationship. So, we kinda just did a lot of stuff that we thought we were supposed to do, rather than what we actually wanted to do, with neither one of us realizing that the other one didn't (necessarily) want to do that, or have the "romantic attraction" (whatever that is, neither one of us knows) to match.

 

What's funny is that, I guess she was kinda copying a lot of stuff that she saw in movies/TV/etc. and it resulted in her moving the relationship forward REALLY FAST, at a pace similar to how you'd see it compressed in movies. Like, faster than both of us were comfortable with. Because of this and a crappy situation with where I was living at the time, we moved in together way too soon. Which resulted in us breaking up about a year in, and then getting back together 2-3 weeks later, after she moved out. We are still together now, but for the past 3-4 years we've started considering our relationship to be a QPR instead of romantic.

 

 

[Cw for next 2 paragraphs: abuse, sexual violence, coercion, curative violence]

 

Anyway... I wish I had other things to link you to, but unfortunately I haven't seen anyone else write about this kind of situation much. The only other thing I can think of that might have something relevant is the Rotten Zucchinis zines, but those focus more on QP relationships that were harmful/ended up being abusive, rather than just ending with one partner pulling away as you described. You may still relate to some of the stuff in there about breakups though?

 

Tbh, your situation as you described it reminds me more of my situation with my ex, rather than my situation with my current partner. Except, my ex was very abusive, so I don't want to suggest that it's a close comparison. It's just that, my relationship with him was... very much not-romantic, but it was sexual (although I didn't necessarily want it to be, at least definitely not in the way that he wanted it—ftr, I am asexual but okay with sex under some circumstances, just not the ones he actually offered, because he refused to accept my asexuality/tried to "prove" that I'm not asexual). It was just... kind of this undefined connection. I think that he was probably aro-spec. But this was in 2007-08, so the words "queerplatonic" and "zucchini" hadn't been invented yet. If they had been, that's what I probably would have said is what I was looking for from that relationship. I doubt that's what he would have wanted from it though, I think what he wanted out of it was just to be "f***buddies" (regardless of whether I gave consent) and I bet that's the way he would have described it to others at the time as well. (Btw, I thought about submitting something about this experience to the RZ zine back when they were calling for submissions, but the way it was framed seemed like it was asking for stuff about relationships that were definitely QPR rather than ones that retrospectively could have been QPR, so I decided not to.)

 

 

So obviously that relationship was totally unbalanced, not mutual, and full of incompatibilities... but just having that kind of undefined aromantic (but still sexual) connection,  and not realizing that it could possibly be queerplatonic until after it is over, that part is what reminds me of what you described.

 

2 hours ago, 420.seven said:

I personally don't think this side of him has to do with being aro because romantic people can also be emotionally unstable but... 

I haven't seen many places where it is talked about. I know romantic people can have fears of being emotionally close and intimate with people/vulnerability (friends/family/ etc..)

So I wonder if it could be the same for an ARO person when they have a queerplatonic relationship/connection?

 

I think it definitely could be the same for aro people! In fact, I'm sure it's possible.

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 theres not alot of queer people i know....nor aromanttic people. my freind, whos queer, was like would you be my FAKE  girlfeind, knowing i was aro,

And i did really know what to say. So i said yea and i stayed away from her the whole week... then she forgot about it.. now i feel mean becuse she has depression, and she hates her self and i didnt know what to do.... so i have a problem.. what if a situation like this wouldve happend again? What whould i do?

2 minutes ago, Layla said:

 theres not alot of queer people i know....nor aromanttic people. my freind, whos queer, was like would you be my FAKE  girlfeind, knowing i was aro,

And i did really know what to say. So i said yea and i stayed away from her the whole week... then she forgot about it.. now i feel mean becuse she has depression, and she hates her self and i didnt know what to do.... so i have a problem.. what if a situation like this wouldve happend again? What whould i do?

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@Prismatangle well...it was a very loaded situation. but time in space is what is needed right now for both. I really need to reflect and that is why I am here. Beyond his aro side, he often described how he doesn't feel emotions (not only love) but happiness, sadness, etc. He said that he doesn't feel them like "normal" if he does at all. - what he said seemed related to alexithymia. So... I think there are more things and that he could be scared of the feelings that come along with a queerplatonic relationship because he is generally unable to identify his emotions. Which put this on a whole other level of complicated. But - regardless I cared and STILL care for him deeply and my empathy is at a level that I've never had before with anyone. It, in fact, scares me a bit. And I hope the support from this forum can help me process and learn.

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3 minutes ago, Layla said:

 theres not alot of queer people i know....nor aromanttic people. my freind, whos queer, was like would you be my FAKE  girlfeind, knowing i was aro,

And i did really know what to say. So i said yea and i stayed away from her the whole week... then she forgot about it.. now i feel mean becuse she has depression, and she hates her self and i didnt know what to do.... so i have a problem.. what if a situation like this wouldve happend again? What whould i do?

who knows what love is? Becuase i certainly dont

 

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1 hour ago, Layla said:

I cant read all this so...... HELLO!!  =3 

If this means stuff abourpt queer cool!

I use to think i was bi then i thought i was strait THEN i thought i was queer THEN i thought i am asexual... now im thinking.. what is the anser to life? Do i even belong here? And so i googled it and the anser to life is 42... help meeeeeeee

Honestly I always just think about life. Before falling asleep I stay awake questioning everything so I understand you and it took me a while to find a sexuality I was comfortable with  (ace and aro) I thought I was lithromantic, bi, demi, heteroflexible, etc.

Also *in satanic voice* LOVE IS A LIE!!

(or at least romantic love to me)

 

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23 hours ago, 420.seven said:

@Prismatangle well...it was a very loaded situation. but time in space is what is needed right now for both. I really need to reflect and that is why I am here. Beyond his aro side, he often described how he doesn't feel emotions (not only love) but happiness, sadness, etc. He said that he doesn't feel them like "normal" if he does at all. - what he said seemed related to alexithymia. So... I think there are more things and that he could be scared of the feelings that come along with a queerplatonic relationship because he is generally unable to identify his emotions. Which put this on a whole other level of complicated. But - regardless I cared and STILL care for him deeply and my empathy is at a level that I've never had before with anyone. It, in fact, scares me a bit. And I hope the support from this forum can help me process and learn.

 

So I've already sent this to you as a PM, but for the sake of others who may come here with similar dilemmas (either now or later, via a google search), I'll also post the links that I sent you publicly here, with a basic explanation of why I linked them.

 

Tools for Analyzing Relationships

  • Queenie's Five-Factor Model of Relationships - Excellent for helping you analyze a relationship in detail. I recommend journaling about this privately as a way to process.
  • Queenie also links to several other tools you can use to analyze/model relationships in that post, which are also useful. 
  • Captain Awkward is an advice columnist blogger with a great repository of advice for what to do in a very wide variety of relationship situations, and basically the only dedicated advice-giver I really trust at this point, because the advice given there always considers the possibility of abuse and addresses what to do in that case too. And the Captain is aware of both asexuality and aromanticism and will mention them in an educated way to advice-seekers when relevant. If you browse through the different categories (like breaking up) you may be able to find something relevant and helpful, even if it's not addressing the same situation that you're in. The comments on this site are often full of helpful advice as well.

 

About differences in emotionality and relationship styles

Siggy has written some stuff recently that seems like it may help give some perspective in this case, since some of the stuff he has talked about seems generally somewhat similar to how you describe this person, so I thought it might be helpful even if it's not exactly the same. The reason he discusses these things is because he experiences friction between his own preferences and the ways that both the ace and aro communities talk about relationships.

  • Low emotionality - in which Siggy talks about how he experiences emotion in a way that seems "muted relative to the norm."
  • I don't make close friends - in which he discusses how close friendships are not his preferred friendship style, and uses Queenie's five-factor model to quickly explain what matters to him about these friendships near the end.
  • When unimportant relationships are important - in which he critiques how the ace and aro communities often talk about friendships/relationships, and explains how relationships that aren't close can still be valuable.

This is not to say that I think your ex is like Siggy, but just that if you can consider what he has to say, it may be a step towards understanding some of the possibilities for how your ex might be feeling, and coming to terms with them (and with not knowing the reasons he feels this way) may help with your own emotional processing.

 

 

On whether trauma might be a cause for any of this:

That is an unknowable, unanswerable question. You can't possibly know whether he'd be different if he hadn't experienced that trauma and honestly? He may not know the answer to that question either. It's best to just avoid asking that. It's not your job to diagnose him and figure out whatever has "caused" him to be the way he is (assuming there even is an identifiable single cause, and not just a multitude of factors all indistinguishably working together with this result). Anything about that is up to him (and any mental health professionals he might decide to hire) to figure out, if he wants to. It's his choice.

 

I have written about what it's like to be on the receiving end of questioning about whether trauma has caused [x behavior/feeling/orientation] a little bit myself (spoiler: it sucks), though not in much detail because I am just not willing to go there in detail yet. I'm also part of Resources for Ace Survivors and I will link a couple other posts related to trauma as a cause/whether a person would be different if it weren't for trauma impacting them that may help to read here too (keep in mind the content warnings listed at the links) :

Obviously since these are from a support community made by and for asexual survivors, they focus on asexuality rather than aromanticism, but the principle applies to aros too! Just mentally replace "asexual" with "aromantic" when you're reading these. This is the best I can do for now, but if anyone knows any posts to link specifically about trauma and aromanticism, please do link them to me, because I'd like to have them for future reference.

 

Anyway, the point of linking these is just this: when posting on a forum like this, please try to consider how other trauma survivors reading this might feel to hear you publicly debating about whether your ex's trauma has caused him to [blank]. It can be triggering, upsetting, bothersome, or just mildly annoying, depending on the person and how they're doing in the moment that they read it. It may cause people to doubt whether they're aromantic or not all over again, and that's no fun. I don't think anyone should blame themselves for wondering about this, because wondering is perfectly natural, I just would advise people to avoid bringing it up as much as possible, because at best it can't be answered, and at worst, it can remind people of their own trauma and how people have tried to use that against them.

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1 hour ago, Prismatangle said:

Anyway, the point of linking these is just this: when posting on a forum like this, please try to consider how other trauma survivors reading this might feel to hear you publicly debating about whether your ex's trauma has caused him to [blank]. It can be triggering, upsetting, bothersome, or just mildly annoying, depending on the person and how they're doing in the moment that they read it. It may cause people to doubt whether they're aromantic or not all over again, and that's no fun. I don't think anyone should blame themselves for wondering about this, because wondering is perfectly natural, I just would advise people to avoid bringing it up as much as possible, because at best it can't be answered, and at worst, it can remind people of their own trauma and how people have tried to use that against them.

@Prismatangle Yes. I understand that and making people feel this way is not my intention. I was just thinking about it because he described himself as mentally unstable and then mentioned if he can get his life and emotions together then maybe later we can reconnect. So he confused me. I don't like talking about the future. But, at the time I didn't understand why he wanted to push me away and said he didn't want/could handle a connection but then talk about the possibilities for later/not the right time.

 

I know he can only explain this to me. But as you said, processing it is important and there is so much and many angles. 

 

If I offended anyone with my questioning it was not my intent and I apologize.

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