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I'm Heavily questioning, But I'm in a Relationship

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Guest anonymous

I've been in a relationship with this guy for almost 3 years, but now I'm wondering if I actually love him, or if I'm just really close to him. My boyfriend is a sweet, adorable guy, but I'm not sure if I feel the same way he does. I remember every time I would see this comic around June I would... Doubt myself. It was about an artist and her discovery of being aromantic. Growing up, she just assumed everyone had to be in love and get married, so she tried to force herself into relationships and finally realize she was a late bloomer. Except it never happened. She just couldn't make herself feel a romantic bond with someone no matter how hard she tried.

Now, before I get into the present, I'm going to talk about the past.

Growing up, I loved romance in movies and shows, little me just couldn't wait to get a partner. Around the age of 10, I started getting 'crushes', people I thought others could see me with. Every single relationship I was in felt forced, and I wasn't happy. I was wondering 'am I doing it wrong? am I not doing this right? I'm trying to do the same stuff in the tv shows, why isn't it working?'

Now, 1 year after my latest breakup, I felt nothing about it. Then I met him. I /noticed/ him. I did the exact same thing with all my other previous 'crushes'.

I confessed without ever talking to him and he was surprised, but endeared. We got to know each other and a month later we started dating. It felt the same as when we were just friends.

Beginning of my 7th grade school year.

I met my now adoptive brother. Over time, I grew closer and closer to him, and we eventually began to do typical relationship things. We snuggled together, held hands, shared blankets, shared food, linked arms when we walked, we even slept in the same bed when I would stay over.

Now it's almost 3 years later, I'm 15, and I can't tell the bond I have apart from my brother and my boyfriend. I would do everything with my boyfriend that I've done with my brother. If the plan goes right and my friend group moves in together, I don't know what I'll do. I would still want to cuddle with my brother, but I'd also want to cuddle with my boyfriend. The biggest issue I have is I feel the exact same bond with both of them, and I KNOW I feel literally 0 attraction to my bro.

What do I do? Am I aromantic? If I am, how am I going to tell my boyfriend? My parents? Please help me, I feel so lost and confused.

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The main, and possibly only person, you need to talk to is your boyfriend because they are your partner in the relationship. So don't worry about you parents for the moment. Maybe also commit to checking back here in a week because forum replies can be slow and you shouldn't only listen to my rambling. 

From what you have said about treating your boyfriend and your brother the same, well it just sounds like you like being close to them and you trust them both. There is nothing bad in that. Though you should talk to your boyfriend about how you do care for him, but you're not sure about what sort of connection you have. If you feel comfortable maybe even say you are questioning your romantic orientation.

Questioning can be a tricky and/or long process so no one should be demanding final answers immediately, and that includes you. Be honest about how you feel and keep evaluating how you feel about different situations and you will eventually get more information to work with. Ultimately there is a whole spectrum of labels that represent different experiences people have had and decided they were different enough to need a new label, but only you are the expert of your own experiences. 

There are many ways to love and many attachment styles, so even romantic love is not one thing. It is possible to love without limerence (that is the phase of romantic love that most romantic movies/tv shows advertise as the true/madly/best representation of love, but which is also a stage of love that generally only lasts a few years)

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You can be in a romantic relationship even if you're aromantic. My advice is to focus firstly about what type of relationship you want (and of course the other persons preferences too) and then you can think about what labels you want to use. Don't think of aromanticism as some kinda prescription for how your relationship or life should be. It's there to help, not hinder.

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