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I think I might be Demi-Aromantic. Would love to hear some outside input

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Hey guys, I was referred to this forum by a facebook group. I'm sorry if this turns out to be a long read - I'm just pouring out my feelings and would really love to hear if there is anyone else who relates to how I feel. (I posted this on Reddit too, but only got 2 comments and I really want to hear some more input)

I'm a 21 year old gay man, never really questioned where I am on the Romantic scale since it was clear to me I want a relationship and get married since I was remember myself (with a woman before I came out, with a man after).

 

Since I started dating men, 6 years ago, I had 2 emotional relationships. The first was 5.5 years ago with someone who had been my friend for about a year before we told each other we had feelings, and we became boyfriends. It was a really intense relationship for me and I was devastated when it ended.

 

The second was 3 years ago. It started as a hookup from a dating app, and we continued seeing each other so much I developed intense feelings for him. It did not last long, but to this day I still love him and would marry him within a heartbeat.

 

So why do I think I am demi-aromantic? Because between these 2, every time I would go on a date, I barely functioned normally. I felt like a robot. I didn't know what to ask because I genuinely were not interested in the guy I was with. And these are guys I asked out!! But the second we would be on the date, suddenly I lost all interest in them. All I could think was "When is it legit to go home" or "When is it legit to go to bed with him."

 

The few guys that managed to move on past the first date with me, I would date for about a month before getting really stressed out. I would never get myself to actually get emotionally attached to them. I remember one of them came to my house right after work one day, and he just wanted us to talk and be together and I was like "No I want play video games alone for a bit."

 

I really want to be in a relationship, and I fantasize about what I had in my 2 relationships, but I just can't bring myself to date and investing in other people. When the "serious" (non-hookup) guys on dating apps ask me "So what kind of music do you like?" I just get bored instantaneously. I probably sound like some jerk, or maybe even autistic.

 

So, to end this post, I think I'm demi aromantic because while I want a relationship, and to fall in love, and I had 2 very intense relationships, I can't bring myself through the process of getting to know someone, dating and comitting to them, before I really know them. Does this remind anyone of themselves?    

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Welcome ! I'm demiromantic. But contrary to you, I don't have any romantic desires by default, i need to know someone for very long (years) to start having any romantic feelings for them (it happened extremely rarely though) and in between, I just don't have any romantic desires, I want deep friendships instead.

I'm wondering, how much time goes by on average between the time where you meet someone and the time where you start having romantic feelings developing ?

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Welcome to the forums! I think I saw your post in the Facebook group as well.

 

First, I would like to correct your term "demi-aromantic", because it doesn't have a meaning (at least not yet). I think you mean demiromantic. This means you only develop romantic feelings for somebody after knowing them for a long period of time.

 

What you are describing might also be lithromanticism. This is where you have romantic attraction for somebody but once those feelings are reciprocated, then your attraction fades out. This can happen quickly or may take a long period of time, like a few weeks or a month. Does it seem like you felt like pursuing a relationship with these people, but as soon as they seemed to feel the same way, then you lost interest?

 

Demiromanticism and Lithromanticism fall into the grey area, and can also be called greyromanticism collectively (along with a few other variations).

 

Finally, there is aromanticism, where you just don't feel romantic attraction at all. This would mean lack of crushes and lack of desire to form a lasting romantic bond with anybody.

 

Also, maybe you just weren't interested in the people you've been dating. I would say that if this has been going on for many years, where you've had dates but found no sparks, then you could be more certain of being aromantic. If it's just a couple of dull dates, then maybe you could keep trying. I would say that if you have a desire for a romantic relationship, that trying some more might work out for you. And if it doesn't, then that's fine too.

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Okay, going off of @Blue Phoenix Ace's post: as someone who's lithromantic, I can say that figuring out what I really wanted in a romantic relationship was something that I struggled with for a long time. For awhile I did want a relationship. But it wasn't because of the romance. It was because of other things, like sex, social status, emotional intimacy, a desire to feel less lonely. And it took me a long time to realize this--I kept trying to rationalize away my feelings of intense paralyzation and disgust every time I got into a situation where I was expected to turn a friendship into a romantic relationship--paralyzation and disgust that kept happening, regardless of how much I loved the other person. Unlike you, I really wanted to get to know my crushes/potential romantic partners, so I ended up having to cut a lot of friendships short, because sometimes my crushes would like me back and then stop talking to me once they realized I didn't want to date them.

 

For me, lithromanticism is very rooted in discomfort with two major parts of romance: the idea of having to actively show romantic reciprocation, and the idea of having to be the centre of someone's universe. I initially thought I felt uncomfortable due to insecurity, but I've overcome much of my insecurity over the past few years and the discomfort still persists--so I've come to the conclusion that I'm lithromantic. Like @Cassiopeia and @Blue Phoenix Ace have advised, I would also suggest examining the patterns and thought processes behind your past romantic attractions, before coming to a conclusion about which label best describes you.

 

And one more thing:

9 hours ago, Rumble said:

 I probably sound like some jerk, or maybe even autistic.

 

What do you mean by "maybe even autistic?" Maybe I misinterpreted your sentence, but to me, it seems like you're using "autistic" as a derogatory term? I know there are quite a few members on this site who are on the autism spectrum, and that might come off as hurtful to some of them, so if you could change the sentence to something potentially less hurtful, that would be great. 

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It sounds Demi seeing as your boyfriends had been known for a while before the relationship and you can't do first dates so I would recommend focussing just on friendships and seeing where it goes from there

 

Also,

11 hours ago, Rumble said:

autistic

So is this like cringeworthy YouTube videos or finding it hard to talk to people or speaking with a funny voice or not being aware that your obnoxious and slightly offensive or however people describe me? I'm on the spectrum and I'm aroace but my friend-also on the spectrum-has had a boyfriend for quite a while now and they're very affectionate so... Maybe use a better word. Sorry if I'm a bit aggressive but I do hate that word on the Internet.

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Thanks guys for all your replies. I will edit/add to this post later with more nuanced thoughts but I just wanted to say from the top that I did NOT mean autistic as an insult!!! I literally meant it sounds like the definition of autism. If I offended anyone I'm sorry and I'm more than willing to elaborate on why I specifically chose to use the word autistic. But I did mean it.

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On 5/14/2016 at 4:56 AM, omitef said:

 so I ended up having to cut a lot of friendships short, because sometimes my crushes would like me back and then stop talking to me once they realized I didn't want to date them.

 

That's definitely when I began suspecting, it was almost cyclical. I also had one person say that i "lead too many people on" so I unfortunately became quite withdrawn from trying to develop close friendships like that. 

 

Overtime I've been "officially" pursued I've disengaged immediately. It made me so uncomfortable. I was fucking around on tinder yesterday and swiped right for like the second time in the year I've had the app (I just like to see who's out there.) As soon as he started talking I was like "sorry this was a mistake this isn't your fault I am already extremely bored I shouldn't have swiped right."

 

 

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On 12/3/2017 at 5:27 AM, briesplease said:

Overtime I've been "officially" pursued I've disengaged immediately. It made me so uncomfortable. I was fucking around on tinder yesterday and swiped right for like the second time in the year I've had the app (I just like to see who's out there.) As soon as he started talking I was like "sorry this was a mistake this isn't your fault I am already extremely bored I shouldn't have swiped right."

 

Me on grindr with sex 

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On 12/3/2017 at 8:27 AM, briesplease said:

Overtime I've been "officially" pursued I've disengaged immediately. It made me so uncomfortable. I was fucking around on tinder yesterday and swiped right for like the second time in the year I've had the app (I just like to see who's out there.) As soon as he started talking I was like "sorry this was a mistake this isn't your fault I am already extremely bored I shouldn't have swiped right."

 

 

This happens to me all the time with Tinder! I only swipe right on people that look interesting or that I feel like we could have a meaningful conversation, but when we match, I can't bring myself to talk to them or respond if they're being cute or flirty. I feel really bad, because I genuinely want to make friends and connect, but it's so much damn work with alloro people because they like to play games AND I have to constantly explain what aromanticism means. I just get so bored by the minimal conversation, and it's frustrating. I recently reconnected with a friend from high school, and as soon as he wished me 'sweet dreams', I immediately felt uncomfortable and don't want to respond but feel like a terrible person if I just never text him back. Ugh. I just want to be friends - why is it so hard?

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@ladyasym It's so hard to try to convey that you want to be friends, or that you don't want to do the flirty stuff. Trying to meet people "the modern way" is so exhausting. 

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16 hours ago, ladyasym said:

wished me 'sweet dreams',

I do this quite a lot, along with 'sleep well' and 'Goodnight'. I save 'Goodnight and sweet dreams' for close friends. 

I find it only creepy/flirty when things are said like 'see you in my dreams' or 'dream of me' ......especially when they are already in bed with me, though he just did it to be a troll and I got revenge. 

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16 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I do this quite a lot, along with 'sleep well' and 'Goodnight'. I save 'Goodnight and sweet dreams' for close friends. 

I find it only creepy/flirty when things are said like 'see you in my dreams' or 'dream of me' ......especially when they are already in bed with me, though he just did it to be a troll and I got revenge. 

 

Exactly - 'sweet dreams' is more of a close friend thing, and this guy was a casual friend that I haven't spoken to in five years - which is why it weirded me out so much. I haven't had too much experience with the 'dream of me' thing, thank goodness. :P

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55 minutes ago, ladyasym said:

'sweet dreams' is more of a close friend thing

Oh I say it to near strangers and acquaintances, I meant before that I save double phrases for close friends. If I don't know you well you only get one phrase. 

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