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Squish on classmate in serious relationship


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I have a squish on my lesbian classmate who is in a serious relationship and is different in a lot of ways from most people I have had squishes on before. For one thing, she is a lot more talkative with everyone around her, also significantly more athletic and more of a partyer than most people I click with. But despite these differences I feel a significant connection to her based on personality traits and mental health experiences we seem to have in common. She doesn't have much time to talk between the homework for a full courseload and working enough hours to pay for her own education but some stuff is definitely happening in the last couple weeks (more conversation and first light hugs). In an online class discussion recently she talked about the concept of soulmates with the belief that everyone has one which doesn't feel like it takes the aromantic experience into account. I did message her about how it's a little different for me and she thanked me for educating her, but I'm sort of wondering now how to explain having a squish to her without making it sound like anything that could be a threat to her relationship since people who believe strongly in the concept of soulmates likely tend to be the ones who will do more at the expense of friendship to protect one relationship, though I feel it is mainly straight people who more seriously limit opposite-sex friendships for that and she is a cis lesbian and I'm an AMAB non-binary person, so I don't think it will be the same as with some people but am still just anxious about everything related to developing friendships because of how many times it hasn't gone well.

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First of all I wouldn’t use the word squish at first. She might see that word as having the potential for a crush. A squish, even though it’s opposite of a romantic crush, might seem like the beginning of a crush to her. The word is basically an aro version of crush, without the romance. 

In general I would avoid any concepts or words relating to, or having strong romantic undertones. Instead of using the word squish tell her your feelings behind the squish. You could even address your concerns to her about taking what you’re saying as romantic interest. 

See how she responds to your feelings, test the waters gradually. If she understands what you’re getting at then maybe you could say aro’s call this feeling a squish. It’s important you explain to her why aro’s have the word squish.

Remember she has probably never had to analyze her crushes quite like you, me and others. Aro’s analyze when others accept those feels and act on them. Aro’s sometimes discover that they never really had any crushes. Put her in your shoes, and she will hopefully understand the whole situation behind squishes a lot better.

You could say, aro’s use it to understand their affections towards others which are often distorted by romantic peer pressure/ amatonormativity. Before aro’s know that one can have no romantic attraction they often try to fit in with everyone else around them so they feel normal. Aro’s use the term squish to distinguish their true feelings from one’s they believe they are supposed to feel but don’t. The term squish helps aro’s understand themselves better. 

Anyway, thats my take on it. Hopefully I was able to help you in some way.

Edited by Ikarus
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Update: I'm in the process of telling her. It is still really hard to find time to talk in person but I told her I wanted to talk about my different feelings as an aromantic person. She said I could message her on Facebook which I have now done only to tell her about friendships being important to me/my existing best friendship feeling like something that was meant to be even though not in a romantic way and that I can feel drawn to people in non-romantic ways where I don't desire anything exclusive. Still waiting for a response to that to say more but I am already feeling anxious and I think she might know that what I am starting to describe is what I feel for her. She is usually very friendly but today asked why I waited for her after class, then said she guessed it was okay, so I'm not sure exactly what to make of that but I know she was feeling less well physically today and we did have a pretty nice conversation for like 2 minutes following that exchange.

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