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Am I just a weirdo?


Carasel
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Hi, basically I dont know if I'm weird, normal, or somewhere in the middle.

Im a 32 year old gay man and I have no real desire for a romantic relationship. I don't have a burning desire for companionship, and the few relationships I've had have basically floundered because my boyfriend always felt more for me than I did for him. 

 

At the same time - I absolutely get crushes. As a teenager I was constantly crushing on boys, along with sportsmen (my version of a boyband crush I guess). Even as an adult I get extremely strong crushes. Usually the imagined perfect outcome of these crushes was having sex with the guy I was crushing on. However the most recent one - which absolutely floored me with its intensity - I just wanted him to notice me. I wanted him to want me around, to want me as a friend.

 

So I really don't know where I sit. I don't know if there's a really pressing need to figure out if I'm aromantic or what, but I don't want to keep getting into relationships that end with him waiting for me to say "I love you" and me, well, not.

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First off: no, you are not weird.
The atrraction you feel or the way you feel atrraction, I understand it. I don't desire romantic relationships either but found myself in the "I love you"-situation more than one time and yeah, it is not nice for either party. Reading about your cruhes: they could be sexual crushes mixed with platonic attraction. Especially in the case with the guy you want to notice you and want to keep as a friend. Platonic attraction (especially when there is other attraction involved, like sexual, sensual or aesthetic) can be surprisingly intense.
I experienced something similar a few months ago; I relate to the feeling that the perfect outcome of your crushes would be to have sex with them and that the others always feel different for you than the other way around.

If you're aromantic or not is something only you can tell and if you want to describe your orientation this way. The important thing in your situation is to keep in mind you don't feel a certain way about people and to communicate it. Otherwise, you'll end up in situations were the other one feels "more" than you do frequently as sex or physical intimacy can apparently trigger romantic feelings in romantic people.
Hope this helps a bit. Here are a lot of people who can probably relate to your feelings especially the ones who identifiy as aro and sexual.

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I guess I've been confused because a lot of the stuff out there basically says that aromantic people don't get crushes and I've always had crushes. Crushes are the reason behind 80% of the stupid decisions I made in my early twenties. (And I made a lot of stupid decisions.) I suppose you could call them limerent crushes.

 

Though it's quite odd to realise that the feelings I have for people I care about aren't the same as romantic love. That other people have this whole other feeling I was completely unaware of. I'd always assumed that romantic relationships were basically friends with benefits, only more dramatic. 

 

It's probably telling that I have always been more affectionate with my friends than my boyfriends. My mates and I are comfortable showing our friendship in physical ways, I hold hands with female friends, but I always feel weird about PDAs with someone I'm "dating". Do other people feel that same way?

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i relate to a lot of what you said.  i particularly liked this:

6 hours ago, Carasel said:

I'd always assumed that romantic relationships were basically friends with benefits, only more dramatic. 

 

but yeah, the attraction you feel could be sexual, platonic (known as a 'squish' rather than a crush), or a combination; i've experienced all.  just because these may have things in common with romantic crushes, such as thinking about the person a lot, being excited to see them, wanting to be closer or more intimate with them, etc., it doesn't mean it's romantic.  and btw, the longer you identify as aro, if you do, the easier it'll become to recognize and accept what you're feeling, but the self-doubt brought on largely by amatonormativity may never fully disappear.  i currently have a 'sexual crush' and i have had thoughts like 'oh it could be a crush' but i know it's not romantic, it's nothing new--you just have to be conscious of how you really feel, because that's all which matters.  i understand finding a word for your orientation is helpful, and if you want to id as aro, or on the spectrum, even to sort of try it out, see how it feels (i did that for a few months before i got comfortable with it) then absolutely go for it.      

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14 hours ago, Carasel said:

but I always feel weird about PDAs with someone I'm "dating". Do other people feel that same way?

In short: yes.
The few times I tried to be in a romantic relationship, I felt very similar to what you describe (always felt very uncomfortable with PDA and my supposed romantic interest).
With friends however I like to be affectionate from time to time and don't have a problem with it.

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