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Ummm hi, I'm having a bit of a sexuality crisis and think I might be aromantic? I've had this profile a while back when I was questioning but then got a girlfriend. After we broke up I started realizing that I'm not sure if I ever really liked her outside of platonic? Literally the only thing that's making me think I might not be is the amount of fictional characters I have crushes on, but to be honest I've never really felt strongly about real actual people?? So basically long story short I'm hoping for some honest responses about helping me figure this out, even a little? I have had crushes in the past but looking back I either only liked them in the way you would admire a statue, physical attraction, or it was when I was so young that I can't even remember if it was platonic or not. I remember always looking at relationships as sort of scouting someone out to be in a relationship with and having an actual list of criteria then using that to decide who I would pursue while not putting any feelings into it. I mentioned crushes, all of those I can remember were from elementary school, I'm a sophomore in high-school now and have yet to experience "love" I guess. And maybe this is just a case in not finding the right person yet but I have virtually no desire to be in a relationship with someone outside of stability that would be the same as having a platonic room mate. I guess I'm also afraid of dying alone but honestly I'd like a platonic life mate or someone else who was aromantic just to move in together with and chill without having to worry about complicating things with unrequited romance. And cats, I like cats. 

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Hi! I'm a junior in high school, and I keep doubting myself despite a fair amount of evidence and feelings(or lack thereof), so I (kind of) get it. I've never dated anyone, but I have had what I thought were crushes, but were really just me thinking that a desire to be friends with a guy meant that I liked said guy (heteronormativity is great, huh?). Those totaled to six, 5 of which happened in elementary school. For a while, I mistook aesthetic/physical attraction for sexual attraction. I also realized that what I thought would be romantic feelings were actually applicable to nearly everyone and everything that I enjoy, and I don't think one can experience romantic attraction to a house. 

In terms of a relationship, I don't want a romantic one, but a QPR sounds great to me, especially since I want to adopt kids, and that is easier with a partner. However, I have a very low people tolerance, so living alone in the woods with a bunch of cats sounds equally good.

I did some research for myself as well, and as it turns out, most people feel like a romantic relationship is a need for them, which blows my mind. It's also supposed to be fairly addicting, because of the affects on the brain.

I hope any of this helped.

 

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This sounds a lot like my experiences. I've had a few relationships, and after I did some mental digging on them, I realized that that combination of attractions you talk about (physical and platonic) was really all I felt for them. I liked them as people and liked being around them. I liked knowing they liked me. I liked how they looked and I found them attractive (I'm aroallo so I do feel sexual/physical attraction towards others, and in this case I was feeling it towards these people.) 

In one case, the relationship fell apart because the platonic attraction faded away-- I realized he wasn't as cool of a guy as I thought he was at first. In another case, I really liked the person I was seeing, they were my best friend. But I ended up getting too dependent and clingy, and eventually they let me go. That was incredibly rough to go through, and I realized pretty soon after it happened-- way before I even knew I was aro-- that what I was really mourning was the loss of my best friend. I had no grief for the potential relationship or life together we might have had, what I missed was having that person as a friend, and it really, truly broke my heart when we parted. 

Your story resonates really closely with mine. One of the things that helped me the most when I was conflicted about whether or not I felt romantic attraction (because logically it felt like I didn't, but some stuff seemed to contradict that) was this: 

I figured out what types of attraction I was really feeling (platonic and physical), and I figured out what actions and impulses those attractions brought up in me. What did I typically find myself doing when I found someone for whom I felt strong platonic attraction? What would I usually think or feel when I saw someone physically attractive? The point here is that a lot of these things overlap with traditionally "romantic" tropes, like wanting to spend time with someone, going out of your way to help them, maybe blushing or feeling nervous around them, etc. Pinpointing the source of those impulses (physical and platonic attraction) helped me realize that whenever I found myself doing or feeling traditionally "romantic" things, they were pretty much always driven by the desire to be friends and/or be intimate with someone, not to enter a romantic relationship with them.

Hopefully this helps!! Keep in mind that your identity doesn't have to take first priority. You might even want to take a break from trying to put a label on what you feel and what you want, and instead focus on figuring out exactly what you feel and what you want. Take some time to think about it, what kind of a relationship with other people is the most appealing to you? What would make you feel the most comfortable? You might not even know right away, you might need to spend some time just thinking about it and letting it sit in the back of your mind. But I believe the best method for this is figuring out what's going on and being honest with yourself, first and foremost.

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