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Absolute Confusion


H.G.Grace
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So, I'm currently in a relationship right now. I started dated him on February 23rd of 2021 and I was the one who asked him out. I think I confused platonic feelings with romantic ones and now...whenever we go on dates, it's great and fun and everything and I like him as a person, but I feel nothing. I'm comfortable around him because he is a good person but I harbor no romantic feelings for him. I thought I did so I'm confused. I feel extremely bad about this because I asked him out and I don't want to be in the relationship anymore, but we are in the same friend group and it would just ruin things. I act like everything is okay and I really like this relationship but I don't. My family and friends ask about our relationship but I genuinely feel like we're just friends. Am I a bad person?

I've been in a past relationship before and the feeling was very different than the one I am in now. Whenever we hung out, I would feel on edge and extremely uncomfortable. He was my best friend and we've talked about sexual topics before but I think I confused my platonic feelings for him with romantic ones. We dated for about a month and during that time, I really wanted to break up with him as bad as it sounds. He was the one to actually break up with me...and I didn't feel anything. I cried but it was out of relief and confusion as to why I felt this way. 

Another reason as to why I'm confused is because I've always wanted to fall in love, and here I am tearing up at the thought that I don't really feel that way about anyone. But at the same time, the thought of being in a relationship in the future...I feel no desire for it. Not only that but I love romance novels, movies, and tv shows, and I thought I wanted what they had. I think I was just falling in love with books about love because I couldn't have that in real life. I don't know what I am. I feel sad/disappointed at the fact I'm not able to; I'm just so confused.

I've had crushes before, but was I just confusing platonic or sexual feelings with romantic ones? I don't know what to do and I'm scared of hurting my boyfriend's feelings and ruining things between us or making things awkward in our friend group. I'm really scared because I've never told anyone this and I don't think I ever can...could I get some advice? I don't know what to do.

Also I'm not sure if this will post anonymously but oh well.

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Hey friend! I discovered I'm aromantic a year into a long-term relationship, so I can relate a bit to your experience!

You are not a bad person!! Everywhere in our society we are told that finding a romantic partner is one of the main goals of life. You knew that you were close to this person, and you know that when you're really close to someone you're supposed to go on dates and ask them out - so that's what you did. In the past I've ended several relationships (short and long) that I started myself because I ended up realizing that I just wanted out and wasn't comfortable with dating the person. And I had no idea I was aromantic at the time - it made me feel really bad and really guilty.

When I realized I was aromantic, I talked to my partner of over a year, and we decided to continue our relationship because 1) I'm not romance-averse 2) we both really enjoy our relationship and 3) my partner doesn't mind that their romantic love is not reciprocated - I love them in plenty of other ways!

I won't be able to tell you if you're aromantic, but I can relate to what you're saying. I've spent my whole life thinking platonic love + sexual attraction = romantic love, and I can tell because I used to have "crushes" on everyone, have crushes while i was in a relationship, have crushes on any attractive person that I got close too. I often feel like my partners are just close friends that I have sex with, I've often wanted to break up during my past relationships, I've never been heartbroken at the end of a relationship (I always felt only relief). But your experience may be different from mine! My advice is to read some posts on this forum, read about the different aromantic identities, and see if you relate to them.

FIRST PIECE OF ADVICE: TAKE A SECOND TO THINK. When I realized I was aromantic, it took a week of shock and fear before I really came to accept it. I know the disappointment and sadness that you feel right now - it's a natural reaction when everyone has told you your whole life that true romantic love is the best thing ever. BUT - once I got used to the idea, I felt only relief and happiness, and no disappointment. I finally understand myself and can free myself of guilt and frustration. So take a sec, don't rush into anything, think about it. It's not a race! There are some good videos and posts here about acceptance that might help you.

Okay, once you've taken time to figure out your identity, it's time to decide if you want to stay in your relationship or end it. Either way, you should consider telling your boyfriend about your aromanticism (if you think they would react well). If you keep dating, it's important to communicate stuff like that so you can stay healthy. If you decide to end the relationship, it should help them understand why you made that decision and should help settle some of their insecurities.

I understand the fear that your friend group will get awkward. I actually broke up with my ex while we were in basically the same friend group. I'll admit that it was a bit difficult, but after a small awkward period things went back to normal. We spent like a month no-contact before going back to being regular friends, so maybe try that if you can (unless you go to school together or something).

Finally, keep in mind - you've only been in this relationship for a bit over a month. Relatively speaking, that's not a very long time. If you know you're going to end the relationship eventually, better to do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more your boyfriend will fall in love with you, and the harder it will be on him when you break up. Ending it early also minimizes the awkwardness in the friend group.

Best of luck :)

 

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