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In a romantic relationship


Cattea
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Hello! I have a problem where I am in a relationship where we are both asexual. But everytime my girlfriend kiss me or hug me for long or "stare into my eyes" I get realy uncomfortable? And make a joke, or just try to think of other things until it stops. Sometimes I get really anxious and it have even triggered my deralization a couple of times... I don't want to hurt her, but this doesn't really work.... I'm starting to think that i might be aromantic, or at least romantic-repulsed (??) and I've told her this, and she took it well. But even though I said that touchy stuff made me anxious, she still continues with it... I am so bad at talking to people, and I really don't want to hurt her feelings! Does anyone have any tips? 

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Hi Cattea, welcome to the forum. Sorry, my response is a bit messy. I hope I've managed to say something useful...

 

If those kinds of interactions are causing you to become anxious and experience deralisation I think you should put your foot down about it. I don't know how you told her that the touching was making you anxious, but if she's still doing it when you've already set a boundry regarding it then I would say that what she is doing is wrong. If you don't tell her again that you are uncomfortable then she won't stop (one 'no' tends to not overrule a number of 'ehh's and 'maybe's in most people's heads for some reason) so I would suggest clear communication.

 

As for what exactly you could do, first off you could write down what you want her to know, and how you would prefer for her to behave. Then you can organise your thoughts and also if you really can't bring yourself to bring it up in conversation then you could always give her what you've written down as a starting point. I think it would be a good idea to treat this as a serious, sit down conversation rather than just trying to mention it in passing, because I suspect your partner might feel a need for physical intimacy. If that's the case then you're going to need to discuss what sorts of compromises the two of you are willing to make/want to make. It might be that it takes several conversations before the issue is resolved.

 

For the aromantic side of things, I can't really give you any input from what you've written if you want any. Although what you've said could imply you are romance repulsed (I think it could also indicate you're sex repulsed, it depends on how you see those forms of intimacy). Hopefully someone will give you a more helpful response.

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58 minutes ago, Cattea said:

I don't want to hurt her, but this doesn't really work....

 

It sounds like she wants and needs this type of physical affection in your relationship. If she wants it enough that she is unable to stop herself, then this might not be the right relationship for either of you. I know that's hard to accept, and it may lead to you two needing to break up. That break up is probably going to hurt one or both of you. But that hurt will be temporary. Compared to the hurt of being in a dishonest relationship for years, the hard quick truth is much better.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to compromise. If you can discuss this with her and find a middle ground, then that makes sense. But, if she continues to ignore the boundaries you've discussed with her, then I don't think that's going to work out. She's not ignoring those boundaries because she doesn't respect you. It's because she has a strong desire for those actions.

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That is true, theres always a risk of me thinking "I said it so it's done", but she might have not registered it properly... 
Thank you for your imput, and YES; the part about her having a desire for those actions and not necessarily ignoring the boundaries is a really good point, and something that I think is easy to forget when it's so clear to you yourself. 

I will try to talk to her again and be more clear about what I feel, but ir really is hard since I feel like I "owe" her that kind of intimacy since we are in a relationship. I have always felt that it's something wrong with me and that I just have to suck it up and get used to it, since "this is how it is to be in a relationship, and you are supposed to be in one". That's why I felt relieved when I heard about asexuality and aromanticism! But it is hard when you are already in a relationship as you figure these things out :P

But again; thanks for your answers!

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2 hours ago, Cattea said:

I will try to talk to her again and be more clear about what I feel, but ir really is hard since I feel like I "owe" her that kind of intimacy since we are in a relationship. I have always felt that it's something wrong with me and that I just have to suck it up and get used to it, since "this is how it is to be in a relationship, and you are supposed to be in one". 

 

Oh no! I always felt like I owed mutual crushes, and my romantic partners, all kinds of intimacy because we had feelings for each other. But you don't owe your girlfriend intimacy, especially if it's at your expense! There's no one-size-fits-all relationship model, and a relationship should be built on a mutual respect for personal boundaries, not harmful expectations.

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What is written cannot be ignored: write a list of the things you accept and the things that make you feel anxious!

Plus, writing might make it easier to think of what you need her to know;)

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  • 5 weeks later...

I feel like I want to update you guys on the situation, since I am so grateful for your advide and that you listened. 
We have broken up :/ But I think it was for the best. Now I feel more freedom to actually define what I want in a relationship (NOT romance).
So even if it's sad, I think it was for the best. Thanks again!

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The first reaction when I told her that I am indeed aromantic was that "are you sure that it's not just me", which was... expected but a bit disheartening. She knows that I have been in other relationships, and I guess the idea that she didn't take it as something that I needed to say (and something that was really hard to say!), but rather as an attack on her as a partner felt a bit dismissive. 
We figured out that we wanted other things from a relationship and left it at that. Since we were both basically on the same page regarding the continuation, or discontinuation, of the relationship neither one had to take the brunt of the decision. So I guess it worked out for the best in a way? Either way, thanks again.

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