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Is this a crush or not?


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So, I think this could most likely be another instance of me having alterous attraction, but idk.


So there is this older woman I am fairly acquainted with; I would guess between 22-27. She runs a restaurant, which I've eaten at quite a lot since October last year. I went there a lot during a darker time mentally from January to April of this year, and I still go there fairly often (It's still the first place I go to eat). This woman is Polish, but speaks good English, so we talked a lot about not being from the town, and we told each other some parts about our lives. I like knowing about different cultures, and stuff, and she was always very kind to me. The food was also good, and it wasn't too crowded as well, which helped a lot when going there (this is why I first went in in the first place). 


After a little while, I began to have her on my mind sometimes, and that grew to pretty often, yet I never imagined us in any relationship other than in a platonic one. One time, I did have a weird dream, where she asked me what I should call her in terms of a relationship, but I remember being a bit surprised, because she's most likely straight and has a boyfriend, who she's just had a kid with (the baby is very cute btw, I love young children ^.^). I mean, once she told me she were pregnant, I already knew she would have had a boyfriend or something, and I was right. When I found out she has a bf for sure, I was never really jealous, and I never am when I have a sexual interest in a woman, (If it's a sexual interest, I may be a bit bummed, but I get over it pretty quickly), and I am pretty good at getting over women. Last time I had alterous attraction for a woman, it was really intense (I thought I'd loved her for a while before discovering alterous attraction and realising that I never wanted anything sexual or romantic with her at all, it never crossed my mind (I hadn't experienced sexual attraction by then, but did start to see my lack of straightness, so to say).


When I am around her, and in the restaurant in general since there are other nice people who come in, I feel pretty relaxed, and being there helps me feel better. Partly because of her and her friends and family who go there, and the atmosphere and quietness of the place. Finding less crowded, noisy places is very important to me because too many crowds and noise makes go into sensory overload and causes panic attacks or meltdowns sometimes. 


However, I have been quite nervous and taking a long time before going in sometimes, partly because there is no open/closed sign on the door, and never am completely sure if it's open except if the lights are on, and also because I may feel like a bother to them. I am indecisive anyway, and I get paranoid a lot as well, however I've not felt this as much as of recently, and have gotten to know when it's open or closed and stuff like that, I've relaxed a bit (my better mental state also helps, I think).


When I told my 5 day long girlfriend about this, she thought I was in love with her, when I just said I got attached to older women easily (which is true). As I've said, I think I just have intense alterous feelings or a squish maybe, but tell me what you think. I am happy with just being friends with her.

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This is always entirely up to you, but I can be a board to bounce your feelings and thoughts off of. :)


"Is this a squish, crush, or alterous attraction?" is a question I have found myself asking a few times before (pretty recently actually) and the boundaries around these things are so up in the air that it's extremely confusing for all of us, whether aro or allo or anywhere else on the spectrum.

You said a few times in your post that you're happy being friends with her and don't imagine yourself in any relationship other than a platonic one. I think that's a good clue that your feelings might not be romantic. I know alloromantic friends of mine who talk about the "nervousness" and "butterflies" as being part of romantic attraction sometimes, so that part you mentioned may be why you're still unsure. You being nervous, though, could be related to you not knowing how to categorize your current attraction, not necessarily feeling like a crush. Especially since your girlfriend said that, for her, the feelings your describing seem romantic. But what counts as romantic is very subjective. I know an alloro friend of mine who has never experienced "nervousness" or "butterflies," for example. Your nervousness could also be related to your sensory issues. It could also be sign of a crush, but from what you've said about your other feelings, this is the feeling you're most unsure about categorizing. If everything else points to non-romantic for you, then it's probably non-romantic.

I should also mention that I often have friends on my mind (specific ones) almost constantly, during periods where I'm feeling particularly close with them, so that may also be non-romantic.


In the end, it looks like you're relatively sure about this being alterous or at least not entirely romantic (even if there are elements that seem more romantic or kind of on the cusp for you), and from how you've described how you feel attraction, your conclusion makes sense to me. Alterous attraction can include elements of romantic attraction and other types of attraction (like platonic or sexual) and the feeling doesn't have to be the same every time you experience it. After all, the targets of the attraction are different people, so the situation may make your feelings different. Your feelings don't have to be identical to still be in the same category. :) I hope this helped a little bit.

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