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Friendships and queer platonic relationships


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Hi, aroace individual here. Kind of a vent/thought jumble wondering how other people find it etc. But basically I kind of have an issue with how most people view friendship. As an aroace person I've always held my friends in like the highest regard, I love them so much and they mean so much to me. But friendship is always viewed as lesser than romantic relationships. Friends aren't generally considered so much of a priority. There's much less commitment. And I get that I guess. But because I value friendships so highly, I find it really hard sometimes knowing that I'll never be a priority to them, that they don't really owe me anything. I can be kind of bad at reading boundaries so I tend to err on the side of caution. Because it's not typical to discuss your relationship with a friend I sometimes struggle with where those boundaries are. It's easy to feel like I don't really have any truly strong tethers. I love my friends and they love me, but they could just bounce and there's be nothing considered wrong with that. It's kind of terrifying, like there's no stability in your life. I guess maybe I'd like a queer platonic relationship. I would like to have somebody that I know I could depend on, that there would be an honest and open line of communication. I just feel like I won't ever find anyone who feels the same sort of way, like they want the same very specific things out of a relationship and that they aren't going to find somebody else who they care more about. I don't know, I guess it just makes me feel kind of lonely, knowing that the people I love don't value my love as highly? Anyone feel the same sort of way? Or like found a partner despite it being more difficult because of romantic orientation or anything or whatever? I don't know xx

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I get this feeling, and I think it's a sentiment that some other aros can relate to. The lack of stability also scares me, and I do feel sad knowing that people I care about wouldn't be willing to prioritize me in the same way I do them. So you're definitely not alone in feeling this way.

I also struggle with determining boundaries in friendships (is it okay if I cuddle them, is it okay to ask them for help with certain things...?). I have brought this up with close friends and they were pretty receptive to discussing the relationship, although all within the boundaries of typical friendship of course. it didn't solve all the problems of feeling less prioritized, but I at least feel more comfortable knowing where these boundaries lie, which can be freeing.  

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You have largely described my experience so you are certainly not alone in this. It is normally why I find myself attempting relationships just so I can have that closer, more prioritised friendship at least with someone. It usually goes pear-shaped thought at some point.

 

By the way my dog's called Brian :-)

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Hi! I'm pretty new around here so I'll be interested to see other folks' responses and how other aros have responded to this sort of thing, because I can definitely relate. I've had lots of issues with assuming my friends prioritized our friendship more than they did (especially as I've gotten older and friends have started seriously dating, and me feeling like they've sort of left me in the dust). I frequently think about wanting my best friends to be more committed to our relationship because I always feel like I'm the more committed friend, you know? I've never had a queer platonic relationship (like I said I'm very new to the community in general) but from what I hear they're good for that kind of mutual platonic commitment. I don't have much by way of advice, but I personally feel better knowing I'm not alone in this and thought you might, too. 

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yea I get that and I think a lot of the community would. Not saying they would but from what I've read, it seems that way. QPRs do seem like they are good for that kinda thing. I found a link to a page full of descriptions of some qprs people were willing to share about. here it is, if you wanted to look at it, I definitely did because I was curious.

nobody is alone here lol so yea.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/7/2021 at 6:11 PM, Brian requires help said:

Hi, aroace individual here. Kind of a vent/thought jumble wondering how other people find it etc. But basically I kind of have an issue with how most people view friendship. As an aroace person I've always held my friends in like the highest regard, I love them so much and they mean so much to me. But friendship is always viewed as lesser than romantic relationships. Friends aren't generally considered so much of a priority. There's much less commitment. And I get that I guess. But because I value friendships so highly, I find it really hard sometimes knowing that I'll never be a priority to them, that they don't really owe me anything. I can be kind of bad at reading boundaries so I tend to err on the side of caution. Because it's not typical to discuss your relationship with a friend I sometimes struggle with where those boundaries are. It's easy to feel like I don't really have any truly strong tethers. I love my friends and they love me, but they could just bounce and there's be nothing considered wrong with that. It's kind of terrifying, like there's no stability in your life. I guess maybe I'd like a queer platonic relationship. I would like to have somebody that I know I could depend on, that there would be an honest and open line of communication. I just feel like I won't ever find anyone who feels the same sort of way, like they want the same very specific things out of a relationship and that they aren't going to find somebody else who they care more about. I don't know, I guess it just makes me feel kind of lonely, knowing that the people I love don't value my love as highly? Anyone feel the same sort of way? Or like found a partner despite it being more difficult because of romantic orientation or anything or whatever? I don't know xx

 

Personally felt as if it was me typing this post, it hurts knowing that friendships are not prioritized like other relationships are. My bonds felt even more flimsy when I realized my feelings for them no where matched, theirs for me. 

That's how I know for sure that I want qpp(s), individual(s) that will invest the same kind of interest and commitment into our platonic connection. Sadly haven't found a partner or potential candidates for that.

I also want other platonic connections that may not be QPRs, with people who don't make me feel insecure when it comes to our friendships not make me play second fiddle to their other romantic/sexual involved ones. People who also consider me family like I do for them.

 

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  • 1 month later...

It’s weird tbh I usually with my friends I want more attention and more priority given to me but that suddenly switches up after they become apart of a romantic relationship it’s kind of jarring in a way having a close relationship with a friend and they suddenly direct most of their energy to somebody in a relationship u don’t really understand the way I usually get around it though is by being in a tight knit friend group though it’s easier said than done to become a part of one and maintain one

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This resonates with me so much. I have a number of very close friends, and I care deeply about these friendships. When I opened up to one of my friends about being aro/ace, she expressed how she knew I put a lot of value in my friendships and have always cared a lot for my friends. It made me wonder if maybe I was more invested in my close friendships because I have never wanted anything more than friendships, so these relationships are very important to me, in a way they might not be as important to someone who also has a romantic partner to rely on for emotional closeness.

I also get what you mean about stability, and I felt like that too for so many years. I think the reason I have always invested in multiple friends, rather than just having one best friend, is because there is not the same kind of commitment assumed in friendships, so if a friend's life takes them in a different direction (e.g., romantic relationships, moving for work) then I still have other friends to fill that need for friendship in my life. That being said, I recently bought a house with one of my friends and her husband, and I have noticed that this has kind of brought this friendship to the forefront of my other friendships. For the first time in my life, I feel like my future is actually connected to someone else's, and I can have conversations with these friends about mutual goals for the future, which wasn't really something I would say happened in other friendships. I also find that I have become more emotionally intimate with this friend, and perhaps less emotionally invested in other friends since we bought the house together, and I think this has a lot to do with the feeling of permanence and commitment in this relationship. 

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