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Arospec, BPD and c-PTSD?


nyusik
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Hello lovely people.

I'm a bit at a loss. All of my past relationships (and my current one) failed, and are failing, because after a month max I cannot stand being romantic with a partner anymore. The longest relationship I had was 7 months, and half of that time I was dissociated and dismissive. I feel so alienated because I used to think this was because of my trauma and BPD, but other people with these issues who I know don't have this experience, and it feels very lonely. I barely experience the "pull" part in my relationships with BPD, mainly push, avoidance and disgust of (emotional) intimacy. The thought of being in a romantic relationship becomes unbearable, I feel trapped. I thought this was because I was a lesbian and I used to date men - but it hasn't changed, even my sexual attraction fluctuates (but I do identify as an allosexual lesbian).

I used to have crushes as a child, but as soon as they were reciprocated, I felt disgusted and physically repulsed. After my idealisation phase of a person which can last up to a month, I can't stand being exclusive anymore.

This is a big deal because I crave a romantic relationship for some reason. I consume tons of romantic media, mainly wholesome fanfiction. My favorite trope is found family, settling down and all that cheesy crap. But as soon I try to make those things happen for me, I can't stand it. I get physically repulsed, anxious, and nauseous when I think of my partner coming to me, all smiley and happy and giving me kisses (I'm not against kisses per se, but the context makes it literally hard to breathe).

The only relationship that felt the closest to my dream so far is my QPR with my best friend - we've been "together" for 2 or 3 years now, and I love them to death; they're my soulmate. But my needs are not completely met in this relationship, as for them, they also pursue romantic relationships. (We're both gay but... on opposite ends lmao) I want to move in with them, but not raise adopted kids together (which I would like at some point). Although I just can't imagine having a girlfriend and being committed to her only, so I assume I'm polyamorous.

My current girlfriend might agree to opening our relationship, and maybe it will ease my anxiety, but my issue is that I feel so broken and alone in this. Has anyone else had a similar experience and please respond? I honestly wish I was just "normal".

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I feel you, nyusik! You are not alone =) 

I feel like I am looking for a dream tbh. I don't know about others, but in my mind there is this one person that I feel like I can love unconditionally, so I am looking for that person, maybe a soul mate. But whenever I get into a relationship, it dies down the moment the other person start to get romantically or sexually interested in me (emotional, too). I am usually very open and I would say I am not touchy feely or a person who gets physically close but I always open up my mind towards friends fast... all but 'romantic interests'. The moment I get the feeling that someone might be romantically interested in me, I feel stressed out as if I have been chased. But strangely I do like the moment before it gets 'serious'. I like the moment of getting to know each other, the exchange of ideas and finding out who the other person is. I am very interested in another person until they start to develop feelings for me.

My best relationship was a distance relationship that we kept open. We started as fwb/f+. I felt the least bit stressed by that. If it's the emotional aspect that tires you out, maybe look for someone you can meet up casually, someone who is not looking for a serious relationship. There are things to talk about in such casual meetups as well and there is also a small amount of closeness, but it is much less suffocating in my experience and if you are not in the mood, the other person should be understanding (if they are not a sex maniac). 

Similar to you, I do read very many books about love (all genders) and others. Although some bore me quickly, I do feel like it is something pursuable for a moment, like 'I would like this too'. But then, when some 'impossible/sky shattering love' happens I get the 'Shakespear-Moment' where I think: How did all of this lead to a Happy Ending? It should all actually end in tragedy, this does not make sense, it feels like this relationship is forced (especially when there is a completely good and sane second lead who is - let's be honest - 1000 times better than the lead interest). That's why I do like to read tragedies (not to the very end bc I know they would force it to a happy end somehow). I just cannot understand how it all concluded sometimes - I would rather wish for bad ends. It's strange, right? Am I projecting my inner self on others? Or am I just salty I don't get a normal relationship so I don't see it for others? 

I have a peculiar childhood as well and I always thought it was the way I grew up that I am slightly different than others in view of romance (I sometimes think my whole family is aro lol). But apparently I met a few people who almost have the same childhood as me and everyone was pursuing a relationship and some are doing very well, so I don't know what kinda magic they worked. I just know that I love my friends and I really had the same thought as you sometimes: that it would be nice to just have a bunch of friends, one or two, that will be there when I grow old. In my mind that's perfectly normal. I see no problem with the way I am thinking. 

I've seen so many break up in my circle of 'normal' friends. Whether they are gay or not, it is mostly an ugly affair. I don't know, would you call that normal? Is that the normal way, when love falls out? I wonder? What is normal and what is not, I have come to question it. I have never been in a serious relationship where I have been talking about marriage or children so I guess I cannot understand the feelings they had for each other. 

Don't feel that there is something wrong with you. But I do encourage you to find out more about yourself, your needs and your preferences and to tell them to the other person. Some might not understand but some may and one day you might find someone or you will know yourself well enought to be able to fill that gap on your own. I am currently on a quest to find out more about myself too, and I also started to come out to my close friends. I feel less burdened by my inability to love now and I also feel proud that I am doing well until now without a spouse or another person. Not saying to go out there and start relationships meaninglessly, but don't stress yourself. It all comes naturally, even if it doesn't come, that's also something that takes time. In my case, I tell myself that the experience I had was also a kind of heartbreak - although short, I also went through the notions of a relationship in my own way; and one day you will also accumulate enough meet ups, break ups and heart break to accept that you can say: been there, done that. The important thing is to not make yourself do something you are not willing to do. Only do it if you are interested in. And talk openly to the other person. Communication will help the other person see where you are coming from and will help you get more confidence. It might take time, but take one step after another. A good story isn't written in just a few sentences - there are problems and there are challenges to overcome. Life is trial and error. 

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pls i love romantic fanfiction so much u can pry that shit out of my cold dead hands.

buuut i really cannot do relationships. romantic gestures are not a natural part of my vocab. in the past, i've had to force myself to be okay with any kind of touch too - which is a thing. thats a thing i don't want to ever process. i react pretty angrily to anyone who gets too close (physically) to me, including family, for i guess trauma reasons. basically, yeah, romantic relationships just Do Not Work with me.

but man do i like reading about them, and it's hard not to want a relationship like the shit i read.

it's hard for me to really describe the way i experience things as particularly normal, but since it's all i can experience, what happiness i've felt even in fleeting relationships i've kinda just decided are enough for me and it's okay? it's sort of become an inevitable fact for me that relationships of any kind last at max a year, and then one of us moves on, so i try to appreciate what i can.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Nyusik,

I really resonated with your post, thank you for sharing. I experience romance (or lack-thereof) very similarly to you in that I can have strong crushes on people or enjoy consuming romantic media but as soon as I am in a romantic situation or feel that someone reciprocates those feelings towards me I get super uncomfortable and repulsed and the attraction fades completely. I actually tried to get into a romantic relationship with my very best friend about a year ago because I felt what I thought were a rush of romantic feelings for her, but the more she reciprocated those feelings the more uncomfortable I got, and just 3 days later I didn't feel anything anymore and had to end things. Luckily we are very close again but it caused a huge rift in our relationship and I didn't have the vocabulary to explain to her or our close friends what the hell happened. It literally felt like I was on the way to falling in love with her but I just got progressively more and more numb. After that I really started questioning whether I was aromantic and I thought back to crushes I had in the past and got the same feeling, the thought of any of them reciprocating romance made me uncomfortable, regardless of the individual. 

I'm not sure if you have found or heard of the label "lithromantic" but it fits this exact description. I found the label and starting looking into it about half a year ago which helped me a bit, but it's still hard. It almost feels worse to me in a way to be able to have a crush but be repulsed by romance when it's reciprocated because it feels like a taste of what I could have if I were alloromantic but I know deep down it won't work out. Its painful for sure and I haven't seen many aroaces talk about this but I feel like I've had to allow myself to go through a grieving process of realizing I may never really experience romance, which feels dramatic to say but it really has brought a lot of sadness to me. I also am proud of who I am at the same time but I'm still working towards that pride for sure. Similarly to you, I also feel like being lithromantic makes it a lot easier for me to get in my head and question whether I'm not really aromantic and if this fading attraction is due to anxiety or attachment issues (I don't have BPD or serious trauma at all so definitely a different experience there, but I can understand how you feel). 

While I am also just coming to terms with this myself and am still learning, my best advice to you would be to listen to your gut and to know that you are not broken. If a romantic relationship doesn't feel right to you after a certain point that is completely okay, even if it is hard and frustrating and you wish it could work out. There is nothing wrong with you at all, you are not alone, there are other people who experience this sort of fading attraction or repulsion upon reciprocation, like myself. I totally understand wanting to be "normal" as well as that's how I feel currently too, it sucks sometimes! While I have moments of pride about being aromantic and am trying to embrace that more, it is hard. I am also coming to you with my experience and you may find that yours is not the same, that opening up your relationship with your girlfriend will help, that you are polyamorous, or whatever you discover about yourself. Whether you are lithromantic or not you are completely valid and not alone!!! <3 

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hiii! i most time feel like ur experience ngl! and but the thing is i sometimes okay sometimes not heh anyway srry i wanted just say i sometimes feel like u! <3

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On 8/7/2021 at 2:51 AM, Aronaut said:

I feel you, nyusik! You are not alone =) 

I feel like I am looking for a dream tbh. I don't know about others, but in my mind there is this one person that I feel like I can love unconditionally, so I am looking for that person, maybe a soul mate. But whenever I get into a relationship, it dies down the moment the other person start to get romantically or sexually interested in me (emotional, too). I am usually very open and I would say I am not touchy feely or a person who gets physically close but I always open up my mind towards friends fast... all but 'romantic interests'. The moment I get the feeling that someone might be romantically interested in me, I feel stressed out as if I have been chased. But strangely I do like the moment before it gets 'serious'. I like the moment of getting to know each other, the exchange of ideas and finding out who the other person is. I am very interested in another person until they start to develop feelings for me.

My best relationship was a distance relationship that we kept open. We started as fwb/f+. I felt the least bit stressed by that. If it's the emotional aspect that tires you out, maybe look for someone you can meet up casually, someone who is not looking for a serious relationship. There are things to talk about in such casual meetups as well and there is also a small amount of closeness, but it is much less suffocating in my experience and if you are not in the mood, the other person should be understanding (if they are not a sex maniac). 

Similar to you, I do read very many books about love (all genders) and others. Although some bore me quickly, I do feel like it is something pursuable for a moment, like 'I would like this too'. But then, when some 'impossible/sky shattering love' happens I get the 'Shakespear-Moment' where I think: How did all of this lead to a Happy Ending? It should all actually end in tragedy, this does not make sense, it feels like this relationship is forced (especially when there is a completely good and sane second lead who is - let's be honest - 1000 times better than the lead interest). That's why I do like to read tragedies (not to the very end bc I know they would force it to a happy end somehow). I just cannot understand how it all concluded sometimes - I would rather wish for bad ends. It's strange, right? Am I projecting my inner self on others? Or am I just salty I don't get a normal relationship so I don't see it for others? 

I have a peculiar childhood as well and I always thought it was the way I grew up that I am slightly different than others in view of romance (I sometimes think my whole family is aro lol). But apparently I met a few people who almost have the same childhood as me and everyone was pursuing a relationship and some are doing very well, so I don't know what kinda magic they worked. I just know that I love my friends and I really had the same thought as you sometimes: that it would be nice to just have a bunch of friends, one or two, that will be there when I grow old. In my mind that's perfectly normal. I see no problem with the way I am thinking. 

I've seen so many break up in my circle of 'normal' friends. Whether they are gay or not, it is mostly an ugly affair. I don't know, would you call that normal? Is that the normal way, when love falls out? I wonder? What is normal and what is not, I have come to question it. I have never been in a serious relationship where I have been talking about marriage or children so I guess I cannot understand the feelings they had for each other. 

Don't feel that there is something wrong with you. But I do encourage you to find out more about yourself, your needs and your preferences and to tell them to the other person. Some might not understand but some may and one day you might find someone or you will know yourself well enought to be able to fill that gap on your own. I am currently on a quest to find out more about myself too, and I also started to come out to my close friends. I feel less burdened by my inability to love now and I also feel proud that I am doing well until now without a spouse or another person. Not saying to go out there and start relationships meaninglessly, but don't stress yourself. It all comes naturally, even if it doesn't come, that's also something that takes time. In my case, I tell myself that the experience I had was also a kind of heartbreak - although short, I also went through the notions of a relationship in my own way; and one day you will also accumulate enough meet ups, break ups and heart break to accept that you can say: been there, done that. The important thing is to not make yourself do something you are not willing to do. Only do it if you are interested in. And talk openly to the other person. Communication will help the other person see where you are coming from and will help you get more confidence. It might take time, but take one step after another. A good story isn't written in just a few sentences - there are problems and there are challenges to overcome. Life is trial and error. 

Thank you so much, Aronaut and Mell, for responding, and everyone else too. I'm relieved to see there are other people with similar experiences.

Like you, I feel like I'm chasing a dream, and also enjoy flirting, getting to know each other and the stage right before it gets serious. I am now pursuing open relationships and outed myself as aromantic and poly, in hope of finding relationships that can fulfill me. I had to break up with my girlfriend because she couldn't stand the thought of me being committed to other people as well. I found out there's a part of me that's like a stray cat - terrified and scarred of vulnerability - so I need a lot of time to get close to someone. But this is fine. I can work with this. I just need to be kinder to myself and accept things as they are - not my fault. I will continue looking into my needs and wants and find out more about myself, so I can build a future and relationships that make me feel happy and safe.

Other than you though, I can't stand tragedy at all. Whereas I absolutely understand your point of view, it absolutely breaks me if there's a couple that's meant to be together, that's so well written they each have a life on their own in your mind, and one of them dies or they need to break up. Fantasy is my safe haven, and seeing people I grow to love (even if they're fictional) getting hurt just tears me apart lol. I'm just a little sensitive I guess. Anyway, all of that is just personal preference and while I understand how you might think you like the genre because you just can't grasp a happy ending for yourself (there might be some truth to that also) all in all if tragedy just seems more realistic and enjoyable to you, it's a personal preference.

12 hours ago, Mell said:

Hi Nyusik,

I really resonated with your post, thank you for sharing. I experience romance (or lack-thereof) very similarly to you in that I can have strong crushes on people or enjoy consuming romantic media but as soon as I am in a romantic situation or feel that someone reciprocates those feelings towards me I get super uncomfortable and repulsed and the attraction fades completely. I actually tried to get into a romantic relationship with my very best friend about a year ago because I felt what I thought were a rush of romantic feelings for her, but the more she reciprocated those feelings the more uncomfortable I got, and just 3 days later I didn't feel anything anymore and had to end things. Luckily we are very close again but it caused a huge rift in our relationship and I didn't have the vocabulary to explain to her or our close friends what the hell happened. It literally felt like I was on the way to falling in love with her but I just got progressively more and more numb. After that I really started questioning whether I was aromantic and I thought back to crushes I had in the past and got the same feeling, the thought of any of them reciprocating romance made me uncomfortable, regardless of the individual. 

I'm not sure if you have found or heard of the label "lithromantic" but it fits this exact description. I found the label and starting looking into it about half a year ago which helped me a bit, but it's still hard. It almost feels worse to me in a way to be able to have a crush but be repulsed by romance when it's reciprocated because it feels like a taste of what I could have if I were alloromantic but I know deep down it won't work out. Its painful for sure and I haven't seen many aroaces talk about this but I feel like I've had to allow myself to go through a grieving process of realizing I may never really experience romance, which feels dramatic to say but it really has brought a lot of sadness to me. I also am proud of who I am at the same time but I'm still working towards that pride for sure. Similarly to you, I also feel like being lithromantic makes it a lot easier for me to get in my head and question whether I'm not really aromantic and if this fading attraction is due to anxiety or attachment issues (I don't have BPD or serious trauma at all so definitely a different experience there, but I can understand how you feel). 

While I am also just coming to terms with this myself and am still learning, my best advice to you would be to listen to your gut and to know that you are not broken. If a romantic relationship doesn't feel right to you after a certain point that is completely okay, even if it is hard and frustrating and you wish it could work out. There is nothing wrong with you at all, you are not alone, there are other people who experience this sort of fading attraction or repulsion upon reciprocation, like myself. I totally understand wanting to be "normal" as well as that's how I feel currently too, it sucks sometimes! While I have moments of pride about being aromantic and am trying to embrace that more, it is hard. I am also coming to you with my experience and you may find that yours is not the same, that opening up your relationship with your girlfriend will help, that you are polyamorous, or whatever you discover about yourself. Whether you are lithromantic or not you are completely valid and not alone!!! <3 

And again, thank you Mell for your response. I'm glad it resonated with you. Although I'm very sorry you had to go through this experience with your best friend, but at least you learned something from it. I hope your relationship is healing and she comes to understand you and your feelings after coming out, so she doesn't take it personally.

I have heard and looked into the term "lithromantic" before, and whereas I can identify with it, I experience it the same way as you do: I question if I really am aromantic, I mourn relationships that could have been if my feelings had never left, so the label doesn't satisfy me at all.

I wish all the best to you and the others, and that you get to know yourself more on your journey so that all of you can find what fulfills you and gives you purpose.

 

Edited by nyusik
grammar mistakes
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holy moly @Nyusik i 80 percent feel like urs! i have to say thx u so much for sharing your experience it has helped me to know a much more about my feelings and that im not alone too i just scared to ask it here the only difference i have from u is that i feel neutral and i enjoy people crushing on me but then this click in my mind { so we can be besties! and do romantic stuff as friends } this is how most time happened to me , i mean i had some question, can someone

be Both Bellues Romantic and Lithoromantic? im super confused about my labels ngl i have been aro ace spectrum till last year i was 16 but after i turned 16.5 i changed till now im 17 anyway srry for my bad comment ;>

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On 9/2/2021 at 12:18 PM, nyusik said:

Thank you so much, Aronaut and Mell, for responding, and everyone else too. I'm relieved to see there are other people with similar experiences.

Like you, I feel like I'm chasing a dream, and also enjoy flirting, getting to know each other and the stage right before it gets serious. I am now pursuing open relationships and outed myself as aromantic and poly, in hope of finding relationships that can fulfill me. I had to break up with my girlfriend because she couldn't stand the thought of me being committed to other people as well. I found out there's a part of me that's like a stray cat - terrified and scarred of vulnerability - so I need a lot of time to get close to someone. But this is fine. I can work with this. I just need to be kinder to myself and accept things as they are - not my fault. I will continue looking into my needs and wants and find out more about myself, so I can build a future and relationships that make me feel happy and safe.

Other than you though, I can't stand tragedy at all. Whereas I absolutely understand your point of view, it absolutely breaks me if there's a couple that's meant to be together, that's so well written they each have a life on their own in your mind, and one of them dies or they need to break up. Fantasy is my safe haven, and seeing people I grow to love (even if they're fictional) getting hurt just tears me apart lol. I'm just a little sensitive I guess. Anyway, all of that is just personal preference and while I understand how you might think you like the genre because you just can't grasp a happy ending for yourself (there might be some truth to that also) all in all if tragedy just seems more realistic and enjoyable to you, it's a personal preference.

And again, thank you Mell for your response. I'm glad it resonated with you. Although I'm very sorry you had to go through this experience with your best friend, but at least you learned something from it. I hope your relationship is healing and she comes to understand you and your feelings after coming out, so she doesn't take it personally.

I have heard and looked into the term "lithromantic" before, and whereas I can identify with it, I experience it the same way as you do: I question if I really am aromantic, I mourn relationships that could have been if my feelings had never left, so the label doesn't satisfy me at all.

I wish all the best to you and the others, and that you get to know yourself more on your journey so that all of you can find what fulfills you and gives you purpose.

 

I am so happy to hear that you have come out as aro and poly, that is huge! And I am sorry to hear about the breakup but I am proud of you for being true to yourself and I'm sure it will be right for the both of you in the long run. You deserve kindness to yourself and these things are most definitely not your fault! Having your own needs met is so important. Coming out as aro and voicing your boundaries is not easy but it is so crucial in showing love to yourself and others, so congrats on taking that step:)
Thankfully my best friend and I are in a really good place in general and I came out to her as aro and she totally understood. She even told me that she had suspected it herself because of the way I had been acting within the relationship, but wanted me to be able to come to terms with it on my own, which was very validating to hear. I wish you all the luck in your future relationships in whatever form they may be in! 

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