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Second Thoughts on Whether I'm Actually AroAce or Lonely/Have High Standards/etc.


Guest CeramicRiver
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Guest CeramicRiver

Hello. I need advice.

I have had suspicions/identified as aroace for about 4 or 5 years (not really sure when "thought'' became "know") and publicly came out to a group of people who aren't close friends this year. First person that found out was my sister who figured it out somehow and asked me. I took my time getting used to the idea and seeing if the label was accurate for me or not but now I'm not sure if I have a crush or I'm just pushing myself to have one because I'm lonely. I used to just shrug and say I'm good with anyone when people asked and they'd say "so you're bi/pan?" And I'd say I guess. But the idea of dating made me uncomfortable, I've never had a crush, not even on characters or celebrities, and I've never felt tempted by any confessions even when they were from good friends. So I felt for those reasons and other small, consistent factors, that I was aroace. As an honest person who sucks at lying I will usually admit this when asked directly. However, I've been conscious of this guy who honestly I don't know that well. We aren't friends but I'm friends with his friend and we are friendly acquaintances. He taught me to play pool one time and he's smart, nice, funny and talented from any unbiased perspective. I respect him and I admire him for his charisma but I'm unsure if I have a crush or I'm infatuated or I'm just lonely and deluding myself. I mean its possible I made a mistake and I'm just I don't know, I hate to say "late bloomer" because I hate that response. "Well you don't know yet." Yeah that sucks but maybe it's true in my case? I could be wrong, it happens.

I've been lonely lately. I had a small group of friends that got broken up and I got left behind. Two of my friends claimed one of our other friends was a toxic relationship and they had good reasons that I knew were true. I had never been treated badly but they had valid reasoning and broke off their relationships with her. That affected our whole group and we all split to our own things. I talk to all of them but it's hard to hang out when everyone you know is on bad terms and in different groups. I've become a group hopper and a lone wolf who spends their alone time reading and throwing (in ceramics, sorry I just realized how confusing that sounds). Meanwhile one of my friends is dating and hangs out with her girlfriend and her LARGE friend group everyday and I do not have the energy or skill to befriend 11 people at once who are already friends with each other. Another just started dating and ditched me at an amusement park. They went on a ride I didn't want to go on and I called an hour later to ask if they got off the ride and they said they were at iHop and we're not coming back. I wasn't third wheeling she has friends who I wasn't friends with there with us. Etc. Outside of them I'm friendly with a lot of people. No one really thinks of me badly, I have a good reputation and everyone is nice to me. But we're not friends. It's awkward to be friends with only one person in a group and hang out with them or be friendly with an entire group but not friends with them. I'm lonely and I'm not sure if my feelings for this guy are authentic or if I'm grasping at straws. When I think about it, I'm scared of being lonely for the rest of my life but I don't think dating will solve my problems. Being lonely is also my fault for spending all my time alone and being so bad at making social plans. I don't know how to ask to be included and the times I do ask I just get disappointed and abandoned making me wonder if I should just break all my relationships that are causing me distress or try harder. I don't really care whose fault it is, their's for not noticing or caring I'm lonely or me for getting myself in this situation, I just want to know what I should do. I want to know if feeling like this has made me latch on to a guy that treats me nice and pays attention to me, that I felt I had good chemistry with platonically, better than some of my friends lately. I don't know him that well! Can you have crushes on people you aren't friends with? I'm assuming you can but I'm not sure I can. I keep asking myself, if he confessed how would you feel? Would you say yes? I'd say no because he knows I'm aroace (I told him before I was conscious of him). But if he didn't know, I have no clue. I honestly don't know. I might be uncomfortable or I might want to say yes.

I'll be going to college far away, I got a full ride and I'm thinking of not telling anyone there I'm aroace. Try to go out on dates but I also don't want to lead people on. I'm not sure how this works. I've never had a crush or been on a date. Can you do this casually? One date means your lovers or do you go on three dates and then ask them to be your girlfriend or boyfriend? Can I ask for a testing period and then we decide together whether we continue or is that not a thing that happens? Do I need to use a dating app for that type of relationship? People have confessed to me but I've rejected all of them. I won't say yes to someone I have no intention of being in a relationship with. Which is the problem, guilt will keep me from even trying and I'll just remain confused. I'm thinking maybe if anyone confesses to me I could just be honest and say "I believe I'm aro ace but am having doubts and if you are willing to go on a date with me knowing this then I would be happy to blah blah blah." But I also feel that's disrespectful and inconsiderate of them and their feelings? I mean you work up the courage to confess to someone and they ask if they can experiment with you? Red flag. I don't want to be that person but I can't just not tell them right? What should I do? Do I have to use a dating app? I don't think that'll work, just getting a random person to go on a date with me. I've met a lot of random persons and never gotten a crush. I think I have standards? If this is a crush? Maybe I'm not aroace, I just have high standards? Is that a thing? People with high standards believing they are aroace?

 

Please advise.

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11 hours ago, Guest CeramicRiver said:

People with high standards believing they are aroace?

If you found someone who met all your standards, you hadn't told them you were aroace, and there was no pressure to be in a serious relationship with them, how would you feel? What would you want to do with them?

I used to think I had high standards, then I realized someone would have to meet all my standards for me to tolerate them in my life, but it wouldn't make me attracted to them.

11 hours ago, Guest CeramicRiver said:

Can you have crushes on people you aren't friends with?

Yes I believe this is very common. 

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Hi there. I'm new here but I wanted to reply to your post because your experience sounds a lot like my own. I have felt like maybe I am aro and/or ace for about 5 years and in the last few years I've come out to some of my friends. But I have never been in a relationship before and I've always wondered. Part of my struggle is that I like the idea in theory, having a person who is "my person", and I'm afraid of being left alone when all of my friends start to find significant others. I love romance in fiction, but when I encounter it in real life/if someone confesses feelings it freaks me out and I bail. I just find romantic feelings in real life to be fundamentally awkward and embarrassing.

I don't think I can answer whether you are aroace, but I'll say that I have pondered these same questions a lot: "what does a crush feel like?", "can I have a crush on someone I'm not friends with?", "what's the line between platonic and romantic?", and wondering if I just have high standards while trying to figure out what standard the person would have to meet for me to date them. I've even tried going on dates for the first time recently, just to see what it's like. For me, I've used dating apps because it feels "safer", like the person is completely removed from the rest of my life and that makes me feel like there is less expectation, less judgement, and if it becomes awkward it's a clean break. (And I've actually found that going on dates, even and especially the good ones, has made me more confident in identifying in the aroace umbrella. Go figure. For me it just feels that, whatever my specific label is, I don't experience romance and attraction in the way that my allo friends describe it.)

Whether or not dating apps feel right to you, I think it's perfectly reasonable to try going on a date if you want to, and you do not need to tell anyone about being/questioning your aroace identity if you don't want to. If you do want to lay out that you may be aroace and you'd like them to know before going on the date, that's not inconsiderate, that's actually quite considerate in my opinion! They may decide not to go on the date, but if they do decide to go after knowing where you stand, that is their own decision. And if you don't want to tell them, that is okay too! Agreeing to or even asking someone else on a date does not obligate you to ultimately feel any way about them, and does not mean you are in a relationship. Dating can absolutely be casual, and you can definitely ask for a testing period as you called it. From what I've heard/experienced, the first few dates basically are considered a testing period and then you'll discuss what you want going forward. But if you're already friends with the person it might be a good idea to be more explicit about it, just to say "I really like you as a friend and I'm not sure if I feel more. I would be interested in going on a date or two to see how I feel before getting into a relationship". You may be treating dating as an "experiment", but isn't almost every first date an experiment in some way, even for allo people? Lots of allo people go on dates to get to know each other better and to figure out if they're interested in a romantic context. Maybe they realize they are not, which happens all the time. I even have friends who had a crush, went on a couple dates, and then the crush fizzled out. You are not responsible for the feelings of others. Yes, you should be careful about leading people on, but it is totally normal and reasonable to go on a date with someone, and then say "you know it was nice to hang out with you but I don't really want to go out again." To me, that's not leading them on. You went in with genuine interest in getting to know them and/or seeing if you felt interested in them romantically, and whatever you ultimately feel or don't feel is okay. You don't have to tell them you're aroace to say you're not interested (of course you can if you want, but you don't owe them that as an explanation), and you also don't have to feel you are romantically attracted to them to agree to a date. My friend told me she has a second date policy where unless the person is a hard no, she will go on a second date because on the first date things are usually too awkward to tell if she likes them or not. 

I'm actually curious to see if other aro people have thoughts about the morality of going on dates as a questioning aro. But this is my feeling on it. Hope this giant long response was helpful.

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I used to think I had high standards but then I met someone that checked all those boxes and I still wasn't attracted to them.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest CeramicRiver
On 5/29/2022 at 10:23 AM, Sam Spade said:

If you found someone who met all your standards, you hadn't told them you were aroace, and there was no pressure to be in a serious relationship with them, how would you feel? What would you want to do with them?

I used to think I had high standards, then I realized someone would have to meet all my standards for me to tolerate them in my life, but it wouldn't make me attracted to them.

Yes I believe this is very common. 

Oh that's a good question. I don't think I know yet actually. I don't think I know what my standards are. The thing is I have the personality of a golden retriever. I enthusiastically get along with a lot of people but only have a couple close friends who even still I could let go of if need be. The only person I really trust is my mother. I've just been satisfied with giving all I got and getting whatever I receive which usually isn't equal to what I give because I am thorough. And I get it. I give a lot. I don't blame people for not being able to satisfy my needs in friendships. So I can't really imagine ever being in a relationship romantically unless under really extreme circumstances. I just can't see myself dating. I'd be fine if I did fall, or am falling, in love, but it's hard to imagine it.

 

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Guest Ceramic River
On 5/30/2022 at 9:12 PM, gems-and-jules said:

Hi there. I'm new here but I wanted to reply to your post because your experience sounds a lot like my own. I have felt like maybe I am aro and/or ace for about 5 years and in the last few years I've come out to some of my friends. But I have never been in a relationship before and I've always wondered. Part of my struggle is that I like the idea in theory, having a person who is "my person", and I'm afraid of being left alone when all of my friends start to find significant others. I love romance in fiction, but when I encounter it in real life/if someone confesses feelings it freaks me out and I bail. I just find romantic feelings in real life to be fundamentally awkward and embarrassing.

I don't think I can answer whether you are aroace, but I'll say that I have pondered these same questions a lot: "what does a crush feel like?", "can I have a crush on someone I'm not friends with?", "what's the line between platonic and romantic?", and wondering if I just have high standards while trying to figure out what standard the person would have to meet for me to date them. I've even tried going on dates for the first time recently, just to see what it's like. For me, I've used dating apps because it feels "safer", like the person is completely removed from the rest of my life and that makes me feel like there is less expectation, less judgement, and if it becomes awkward it's a clean break. (And I've actually found that going on dates, even and especially the good ones, has made me more confident in identifying in the aroace umbrella. Go figure. For me it just feels that, whatever my specific label is, I don't experience romance and attraction in the way that my allo friends describe it.)

Whether or not dating apps feel right to you, I think it's perfectly reasonable to try going on a date if you want to, and you do not need to tell anyone about being/questioning your aroace identity if you don't want to. If you do want to lay out that you may be aroace and you'd like them to know before going on the date, that's not inconsiderate, that's actually quite considerate in my opinion! They may decide not to go on the date, but if they do decide to go after knowing where you stand, that is their own decision. And if you don't want to tell them, that is okay too! Agreeing to or even asking someone else on a date does not obligate you to ultimately feel any way about them, and does not mean you are in a relationship. Dating can absolutely be casual, and you can definitely ask for a testing period as you called it. From what I've heard/experienced, the first few dates basically are considered a testing period and then you'll discuss what you want going forward. But if you're already friends with the person it might be a good idea to be more explicit about it, just to say "I really like you as a friend and I'm not sure if I feel more. I would be interested in going on a date or two to see how I feel before getting into a relationship". You may be treating dating as an "experiment", but isn't almost every first date an experiment in some way, even for allo people? Lots of allo people go on dates to get to know each other better and to figure out if they're interested in a romantic context. Maybe they realize they are not, which happens all the time. I even have friends who had a crush, went on a couple dates, and then the crush fizzled out. You are not responsible for the feelings of others. Yes, you should be careful about leading people on, but it is totally normal and reasonable to go on a date with someone, and then say "you know it was nice to hang out with you but I don't really want to go out again." To me, that's not leading them on. You went in with genuine interest in getting to know them and/or seeing if you felt interested in them romantically, and whatever you ultimately feel or don't feel is okay. You don't have to tell them you're aroace to say you're not interested (of course you can if you want, but you don't owe them that as an explanation), and you also don't have to feel you are romantically attracted to them to agree to a date. My friend told me she has a second date policy where unless the person is a hard no, she will go on a second date because on the first date things are usually too awkward to tell if she likes them or not. 

I'm actually curious to see if other aro people have thoughts about the morality of going on dates as a questioning aro. But this is my feeling on it. Hope this giant long response was helpful.

Oh my gosh I relate to you so much. Sorry for the late response I didn't get any notifications and I honestly lost the post.

"I love romance in fiction, but when I encounter it in real life/if someone confesses feelings it freaks me out and I bail. I just find romantic feelings in real life to be fundamentally awkward and embarrassing."

That's exactly how I feel and I want to try dating apps for exactly the reasons you listed. So it feels separated from my life and I can make clean breaks. Thank you for your advice I feel much better now :)

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