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Being friends with my aromantic ex


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Hello everyone! 
 

I am submitting this topic because I am a lil bit lost rn. So, I was dating a guy for a year, & during the relationship we were both very aware that something just wasn’t right. We had very open conversations about how he seemed to have issues with commitment, expressing love, etc. Because of this “issue” (which we now know isn’t an issue it’s just bc he’s aro) my romantic feelings for him stagnated & kind of disappeared. 
We split up nearly a month ago when he realized he’s aro. We would like to stay friends & atm we are managing to. But, I’m just a little lost bc our dynamic hasn’t really changed at all & so I’m worried that I’m just in denial. There is still a physical element to our friendship but again, I do not have romantic feelings for him. 
All this just to ask for some advice bc this is a situation I’ve never been in & I have no idea how to navigate it. I have done so much research to better understand it all so that he also feels comfortable & happy but I can’t seem to find anything on the topic of an allo & aro being friends after a relationship. If anyone could give some advice that’d be great & I’d be very grateful! 
Thank you!! 

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You sound like a great friend. So many people just get mad at us & don't try to understand. I'm sure it means a lot to him that you care so much. I think, for aros, relationships often look like a really close friendships with someone who you also sleep with. So I can see how things would still feel pretty much the same now that you've switched to being friends. It really sounds like you're doing everything right, though.

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9 hours ago, Angrboda said:

You sound like a great friend. So many people just get mad at us & don't try to understand. I'm sure it means a lot to him that you care so much. I think, for aros, relationships often look like a really close friendships with someone who you also sleep with. So I can see how things would still feel pretty much the same now that you've switched to being friends. It really sounds like you're doing everything right, though.

yeah! as long as you know you don't feel romantically attracted to him, and visa versa, then your relationship and how you act in it is in your hands! if you want to continue as you were, minus the romantic part, then you as the person in the relationship should go ahead, as long as you both are happy to keep it that way. 

maybe discuss boundaries you might both have, and just ask him questions, if he's happy to. there's no better way to learn about aromanticism than from an aro! 

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Just a guess, but probably, one thing that males the romantic relationship feels "not right" was that he has yroubpe to see what was expecting from him on romance and so act more as we do in a friendship (that's common for aros). So, it could explain why the dynamic of your relationship has not change.

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To add onto the others, there are many behaviors that are considered romantic ("romantically-coded") which don't necessarily have to be. For example, holding hands, cuddling, even kissing. There's this idea that those things are done only in a romantic relationship or with romantic intent, but as long as everyone involved is comfortable with it, that shouldn't have to be the case. What could be helpful also is to note that behavior =/= attraction (and vice versa), so you can continue to have the same dynamic even if your feelings or type of relationship have changed.

If you want to dive deeper into these ideas, you could look into relationship anarchy. There are even some discussions/threads here on the forums: 

 

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While I havent had the same situation you find yourself in happen to me (and I imagine it probably hasnt happened /that/ often outside of the law of large numbers), I can imagine what its like from your ex's point of view. As nonmerci and Angrboda said, its likely your ex was acting more like he would in a friendship, which would help explain why the dynamic hasnt changed much (you're still friends, you still have the physical side, etc). I would even hazzard a guess that this is the kind of relationship your ex actually wanted to begin with when you started dating (lookup Queerplatonic Relationships and squishes).

That doesnt nessecarily mean its the right relationship for you though. If you're happy with the relationship, then great, don't worry too much about it and just enjoy it. If you're worried that you may still have romantic feelings, well, i'm not sure an Aro forum is the best place to help you figure that out. Most of us don't know what you might be feeling, because we havent felt it after all.

It seems like you had good communication while you were in a relationship, so as jjaee_jaee said, carry that on and discuss what you want the relationship to look like, Maybe discussing some boundries will help you figure out what you want your relationship to look like. Its not just romantic relationships that need good lines of communication and understanding.

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On 5/2/2022 at 6:15 PM, Lost.Allo said:

Hello everyone! 
 

I am submitting this topic because I am a lil bit lost rn. So, I was dating a guy for a year, & during the relationship we were both very aware that something just wasn’t right. We had very open conversations about how he seemed to have issues with commitment, expressing love, etc. Because of this “issue” (which we now know isn’t an issue it’s just bc he’s aro) my romantic feelings for him stagnated & kind of disappeared. 
We split up nearly a month ago when he realized he’s aro. We would like to stay friends & atm we are managing to. But, I’m just a little lost bc our dynamic hasn’t really changed at all & so I’m worried that I’m just in denial. There is still a physical element to our friendship but again, I do not have romantic feelings for him. 
All this just to ask for some advice bc this is a situation I’ve never been in & I have no idea how to navigate it. I have done so much research to better understand it all so that he also feels comfortable & happy but I can’t seem to find anything on the topic of an allo & aro being friends after a relationship. If anyone could give some advice that’d be great & I’d be very grateful! 
Thank you!! 

When you say issues with commitment, do you mean wanting certain rituals to be done or that your partner wasn't spending a lot of time with you?

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Hello all! 
 

Thank you for taking the time to reply to this, & for all your advice! 
MulticulturalFarmer, by commitment I meant future plans, for example what he saw for the future between us, moving in together, moving to a country together (he’s from the US & is currently in Europe where I live), meeting his parents, etc. So, for me, as someone who needs this in a relationship I took his doubts & inability of deciding on these issues as commitment issues but now I understand it has nothing to do with that but simply that he is aro & this is not something he desires. I hope this clears up what I said. 
 

Again, thank you everyone! 

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30 minutes ago, Lost.Allo said:

Hello all! 
 

Thank you for taking the time to reply to this, & for all your advice! 
MulticulturalFarmer, by commitment I meant future plans, for example what he saw for the future between us, moving in together, moving to a country together (he’s from the US & is currently in Europe where I live), meeting his parents, etc. So, for me, as someone who needs this in a relationship I took his doubts & inability of deciding on these issues as commitment issues but now I understand it has nothing to do with that but simply that he is aro & this is not something he desires. I hope this clears up what I said. 
 

Again, thank you everyone! 

Well, personally, from my point of view, aro or not, if someone is not meeting your needs/standards, then you don't need to engage with them. I am sure there are aro people who would be willing to do the meeting their parents and all that stuff. I guess my point is that being aro shouldn't have much to do with it. 

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