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not sure if aro

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this is like, areally long post. so be ready... if you don't want to read all of it. please read a part of it and quote that part and respond clearly to that part, that is ok, I have a lot of thinking I need to sort out. 



like when I think back I have often made assumptions that I've had crushes. well IDK if often is right actually...  but there are several people I've had feelings for that I remember. when I discovered asexuality, I actually found i more id'd with the concept of aro than ace, but did ID with both. now I have kind of shifted to the belief that I am grey ace. I am also wondering if maybe I am grey romantic? but I am not so sure. 


like I said I have had several "crushes" or maybe squishes? but the thing is when I think back. it is always at a time where I observed others having crushes when I felt a "crush" 


when I was in grade school my friend wanted to date my other friend. then a few weeks later, i wondered if I felt a crush on her too. 


when I was in junior high school my friend had a major crush on a girl that he talked about all the time, al the way through high school even. the year after being his friend, in eight grade I met a girl and had a crush on her all throughout high school, but like my best friend also was too afraid to approach her. during this time I had "lesser" "crushes" on a few girls and even in college I had admiration for several girls. but I always felt kind of like I couldn't justify engaging in them by flirting. I'd only flirt with someone if they flirted with me. any time I had physical romantic contact with anyone, they always initiated it.


when I was 20 or 21 I had a friend who wanted to set me up with this girl and she asked me on a date and I went, but I didn't really feel anything special towards her I mean I enjoyed her company. but then she talked a lot about a friend of hers and I sort of said, "lol I bet I'd have feelings for her friend" and when I met her friend I did... she was a very kind and social person, very charismatic. and like it's always bothered me that 1) I saw a lot of my philosophy of seeing the positive in others and being friendly towards anyone by default as something we both shared which made me feel connected to her as a kindred spirit and 2) she was definitely very charismatic. so I always wonder... that is just recipe for admiration towards a person. and admiration does not mean a crush.... I mean if I imagine myself pairing up with a companion it is someone who I admire before anything else, and care for second immediately after interms of my feelings for them. but I care for anyone who I get close too, and admiration is not a romantic feeling by default. right?



and then my most significant girlfriend... she was a friend who I saw needed a place to be accepted and so I gave her that place. and then she slowly revealed feelings for me and I, well, I didn't feel them back for her but I chose to encourage the bonding to form, and we became a romantic and sexual couple for a bit. we ended up not keeping the bond over long distance and it ended. and the thing I realized the other week is, she is still my favorite person I've ever met. I'm still fond of her, if some chance encounter had us back together I'd agree in a heartbeat. I feel sad when I think of her. like... 



so anyway I started suspecting I might be demiromantic the other week? because of that latest girlfriend, and also because even though I don't really ever feel  any feelings that really make sense to say are romantic emotions. I still feel things that have a romantic quality for people, and want something that resembles romance. I don't need it but I admire the idea of it and sometimes feel sort of like I'd like to necessarily experience it some day. and then the other thing too is that, there is a point after knowing a person for about 2-3 months where I have a very definitive sense of whether or not I'm willing to be a companion with them. it isn't like if I get to know a person well, that I always feel a certain willingness, there is this sense of "not for me" that I sometimes get, or "wait I think we're going towards this romantic-ish ending". and it's either one way or the other, never flipflopping... but well it's always "if they want it, I'd go with them" rather than "I want it necessarily to be with them" it has never been that. well, rarely, maybe? 


but I feel kind of silly to think that I am demi, because I can sort of sense this growing even very early, even though it is not definitively one way or the other for between one and usually three months, sometimes longer but I don't usually stay with friend groups longer than 6 months in my past. but there was my second best friend in high school, and one of my friends in college, who after knowing for a few years and we split ways, after the fact I sort of realized that they were different. 


and maybe this is just the way I feel a squish. but maybe this is me being demiromantic. or maybe it is me being grey romantic.




I saw a post where someone said that romance is a mental union. I do not know if I like the way that phrase is, that maybe "mental" is too broad, or maybe "union" is too specific. and if it is in the right territory or not, I do not know. 


again sorry for the thoughtdump



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Well you dont need to decide on a label right away. you can just say you may identify somewhere and then try hear out others experience and see if you find yourself drawn to some experience or labels you feel confortable with. if you think you may be demi or gray it could be a place to start to ask the demi and gray people here (btw I think gray is a pretty board category so you may get very different answers from people there)


I also think the crush and squish thing is confussing, specially since most of us are raised to belive that strong feeling or liking someone has to be romantic to a certain point and that you can only do certain thing with romantic people which isnt true.

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this is something I've been thinking about for over a year never really have a clear understanding of and am tired of debating with myself over it. I need to understand better what is romance and what isn't. what is demi and what is grey. 


the generic answers don't make any sense anyway. 


yeah I think that I only get squishes. but like, i am not really sure. what is the difference? to me they sound like the same thing pretty much. unless you say a squish is what you feel towards any friend you like, which is so broad that I prettymuch squish for everyone, so I don't think that is the right way to think what a squish is. it is not just enjoying a friendly person. it is feeling special towards someone in a nonromantic way. but if I do not understand romance, that doesn't mean I am aromantic. 

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I don't understand romance either. I get similar feelings like you describe towards people - like a strong admiration kind of feeling. I don't think it's a romantic thing, but I don't really know. Sometimes I feel a very strong feeling like an expanding warm ball of light coming from my heart area. I don't know a better way to describe it. It just kind of expands out and surrounds me in no particular direction. I think that's what love feels like. Does that seem familiar at all? Love seems easier for me to understand than whether or not something is a crush or squish or romantic or whatever.

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Squish and crush are really hard to tell apart.


I think a crush may be more exclusive and have more uncontrolled obsession on the person one is I love with compared with a squish who fell more inclusive and and less obsession. 


I have to admit the way I found out if I had a squish or crush were in general that people would like me romantically and then I noticed my type of fillings wasn't the same. 

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