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Romance repulsed and being crushed on by friends… Anyone else?


Nari
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Wow, okay here we go, this will most probably just be a long rant and emotional dump because I feel like I need to share to get it our of my head and also see if anyone else can relate? I just really wanna feel a bit less alone in this since I have literally no one else in my life who can relate… >.<

 

This might seem like a stupid problem to have but it feels like every person I get properly close to falls for me romantically and I’m sick and tired of it. I just found the labels asexual and aromantic a few months ago and when I came out to my best friend of nine years she (while also being very happy for me and totally accepting, she later even bought me my first ace flag and helped me get the aro ring I wanted) told me she has/had feelings for me. We talked it over and while it was a rough ride we got through it and I would say we’re closer than ever which is amazing, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t rather not have to deal with it at all for both our sakes. 

 

And then just recently I also met a new friend and we clicked immediately. One of those people that almost make you believe in (platonic) soulmates. For some reason I just felt so comfortable with being physically close to them, and at this point cuddling, holding hands and sleeping in the same bed is commonplace for us. They’re the first friend I made while being openly aroace and they knew from the beginning (which is probably one of the reasons I felt so comfortable with them in the first place). But then the other night when they stayed over at my place they told me that they sometimes get really sad that I’m aro. They immediately apologized for making it weird etc, and I told them it was fine but now I still can’t get it out of my head. 

 

For context I am EXTREMELY romance repulsed. Not so much in media or in other peoples lives, there I vary from just not getting it to being annoyed at it being literally everywhere to actually finding it kinda cute. But the second it involves me, my body starts screaming at me and I wanna go hide and die in a hole somewhere. I’ve always been able to tell when someone likes me romantically because even if I don’t pick up on the cues consciously, I feel the repulsion so clearly. EVERY TIME someone’s confessed to me I’ve known beforehand and just prayed they wouldn’t bring it up so I wouldn’t have to tell another person I care about “no”. (I know this makes it sound like it happens three times a day and that is definitely not true, but it’s happened enough times in my life that I wanna scream.)

 

The biggest problem I have is that these are people I love and care about and I really, really, really want in my life but then romance get’s involved and I feel the extreme repulsion which instinctively tells me to ghost them for the rest of my life which is something I DEFINITELY DON’T WANT AND WILL NOT DO. And since I care so much for them I hate seeing them hurt as well, and even worse since I’m the CAUSE of them hurting. 

 

Sometimes I wish I could just flip a switch and make me impossible to love romantically. I have no problem with platonic love. I absolutely adore it and I wouldn’t trade my friends for the world, but the romance repulsion is just so deep-rooted for some reason…

 

Anyways if you got through all that then THANK YOU. Love you all and I hope you have an amazing day!

Edited by Nari
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  • Nari changed the title to Romance repulsed and being crushed on by friends… Anyone else?

I feel all of this deeply in my bones. Even when people are very gracious and understanding when I explain that I'm aro, there's this lingering discomfort that always nags at me, to the point where I only feel truly comfortable getting as close as I'd actually like to be with my friends with people who I know are either aro or explicitly not attracted to my gender. My romance repulsion is thankfully not super intense, and like yours, only really pertains to romance as it applies to me--romance in fiction and other people's lives is fine and can be very cute and wholesome, though amatonormativity and the sheer inescapability of romantic content suck--but it's consistent enough that it can make certain relationships with people rather stressful. Hell, even romance adjacent intentions can make me very uncomfortable (it might be a different story if the person in question was also aro? I suspect I won't know unless it happens). Like, recently, a very close friend of mine who I know was and is still romantically attracted to me, but has handled it very maturely and communicatively (not that that erases the discomfort--it just makes it manageable) said something along the lines of "I mean, there's not really much of a real concrete difference between romance and close friendship anyways" and while yeah, that is something I basically fully agree with and wish more people understood, but it felt a little too much like him insinuating that maybe a romantic relationship is a possibility, so long as we don't define it as such, and that made me more uncomfortable than I knew how to articulate.

I wish I could offer advice on how to cope with it beyond "Communicating about it in depth sometimes helps" (no duh Rook), but the best I can offer is sympathy for a shared plight.

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same here, no advice, just commiseration.  i'm also romance-repulsed and love platonic love.  super disappointing and uncomfortable when a friend or someone you thought might become one is romantically attracted to you.  i'm glad that will never happen with my best friend of 17 years since she's straight and i'm glad things worked out with yours.

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That sucks and I feel for you!

I suppose my only advice is to accept the feeling of discomfort and not try to hide from it. We're often very quick with wanting to take action when we feel discomfort, like you said, we want to get away from it. But maybe when you feel romance repulsion try to take a moment to pause and really examine the feeling. Maybe you will learn something which will help you be able to keep the friendships you want to.

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