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Healthy friendships, QPRs etc.


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Just because a relationship is not romantic, it will not be necessarily free from things like emotional manipulation.


I think people on the aro spectrum are more likely to be harmed by abusive friendships, and nobody ever talks about those. And sadly, some of us might put up with stuff like that just to keep a "good" close friend. (At least I did so, and I'm so glad that we don't talk anymore).


As a discussion starter, here is something I found on tumblr at the time, and really made me consider the situation:


(I know, it was probably meant for sexual/romantic relationships, but it does not directly talk about those aspects, so...)

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I agree, and I think abusive friendships aren't really talked about very much. There always seems to be the sense that friendships aren't as "important" as romantic relationships, and so nobody could be hurt by them. Or some such crap. I'm glad to see some things like this get at least a little attention. 


I think the stuff in the circle should be the default for any good human interaction. 


I've been in a friendship that I've only realized was awful. It was an online friendship, but it was at a point in my life when I had no friends, I'd just started college and moved half a world away, so the only people I knew were my mother and relatives I had barely seen in 10 years. And of course my old friends barely had any time for me. And so I was dependent on her for any human interaction, and she was the only one  I could talk to about mental issues. 
And then she started ignoring me for months on end and every time she did it, she'd apologize and I'd accept it and it got to the point where even seeing her on FB was horrible, but I couldn't imagine not having her in my life. 

It's been years and I've only now started getting over her. But still had to hide her from Facebook. 


Admittedly, I've also got trouble understanding my other friend's way of thinking, who is very emotional and always wants to talk about feelings and my response to emotions is usually something like mild panic and it's a struggle sometimes to be a good friend and to give him the emotional support he needs. Though I think he's got a similar type of problem with me. :P



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2 hours ago, Cassiopeia said:

 And sadly, some of us might put up with stuff like that just to keep a "good" close friend.


I did basically exactly this a few years ago because I was barely friends with anyone else. They so rarely listened to me and said some not so great stuff but people really can't talk about abusive friendships, and I think partly because people don't think you can be that close to someone as a friend - not in the same way as a partner - they can't mean that much to you and therefore they can't hurt you as much.

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Yes yes yes this whole thing is very important


Sorry guys, this is going to be long, because. Yes. This needs to be talked about more.


Amatonormativity was the reason my abuse wasn't taken seriously.

I was seriously verbally, emotionally, and physically abused for three years in a close friendship, but it was completely brushed off because it was just platonic--as far as everyone else knew, we were just two girls, having fun. In fifth grade, my writing teacher put us together in group projects because we seemed to get along so well--meanwhile, during recess, I'd be running as fast as I could away from her as she threatened to kill me, and it was just cute girlish playing, nothing to take seriously, and then I'd come back to her and apologize, because I didn't want to lose her. She would spend weeks refusing to talk to me if I did the slightest thing "wrong", and she would get the rest of my friends to do the same; she would consistently deny ignoring me ("god, are you stupid? of course i'm not ignoring you! [rolls eyes, looks at me like i'm dirt, goes back to ignoring me but this time even more haughtily]") My mom complained to the guidance counselor when I came home crying with a black eye while still begging to have another sleepover with her, and the guidance counselor basically said "well, Jade's probably just making things up/overexaggerating! I talked to [the abuser] and she says everything's fine between them, other than Jade being a little clingy, she should probably work on that." Of course, she did not do a single thing in the circle; the idea seems almost absurd (honestly, looking at the circle now, I'd be tempted to laugh at the unrealistic expectations if it weren't for my current qpp--I've had, on the whole, incredibly dysfunctional friendships)


And the thing is, I know that, if I had gotten a black eye and cruel words from a boyfriend, if my parents had been the ones threatening to kill me? My pain would've been taken a lot more seriously, by society and also by myself, because it's not like I went through this without internalizing a lot of bad stuff. Amatonormativity is strong.


My aromanticism also the reason I was so susceptible for abuse in the first place--I will be friends with anyone who will take me, and I'm incredibly clingy l because I'm so afraid of losing them, or of them seeing our relationship as unimportant, and I need friendships; they're not something I can just live without, or live with only "temporary acquaintances", as many people seem to be able to do. And the thing is... Abusers are, on the whole, very good at making people feel special and important! And that is something I felt for a long time I couldn't get in a healthy friendship, because I would never be 'special' or 'important' to someone who sees me as "just a friend".


Of course, my current qpp also makes me feel special and important, but for a different reason: she, too, values her friendships on a level equal to or even superior to romantic relationships. She has the same fear of abandonment, so we can reassure each other that we are, in fact, important! And it hurts when other people devalue that, too--my mom frequently assumes and occasionally outright states that I'm being too weird, because nobody with a girlfriend would be comfortable with being as close to me as I want to be with my qpp. (This, despite the fact that she is generally happy with me being close to her, and has never been made uncomfortable by it!)


I was actually just considering starting a topic like this, because the #1 way aromanticism has impacted my life is through friendships/qpps, both incredibly healthy and abusive, being so utterly devalued by society while being so incredibly, incredibly important in my own life. And I have to wonder how many people have stories like I do, of friendships being incredibly important to them, that are silenced because society sees that role as only being possible in the context of romance or family. If I were to tell my life story (which I've come closer to doing in my less-than-a-month on this forum than I have in years on tumblr), it would be about me and my friends, with only brief mentions of family and with no mention of romance. But society, as a whole, sees those relationships, those stories, as being less important, just because they're platonic. And that hurts so many people, who knows how many, but I'm so, so incredibly glad I've been able to find refuge in the aromantic community (which is, in my experience, the only community I've been in that actively prioritizes platonic relationships as important).

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Thats horrible @Jade, I'm sorry you had to go through that :c That was definately an abusive relaitonship jfc.


TIL I have had a kinda abusive friendship through high school. I used to have this friend who would be nice but insult me, and the punches on the arm were a little too frequent and a little too hard to be considered friendly, and they'd always be around. I didn't want to just be alone all through high school so I tried making friends with other groups but none really accepted me, so i was kinda this fringe kid who was just on the edge of like 3 or 4 different friend groups, one of which had my abusive friend in it.

Man amatanormativity sucks ass.

To be fair though, although he still tries to take credit and blame others for mistakes when we play games he has mellowed a bit, and I don't ever see him irl anymore.

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