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Breaking up with romantic partner


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Am I aromantic?

I'm a 30 yr (NB) and was in a relationship with 32 yr (F).

I broke things off a few days ago and I'm filled with so much regret. 

We knew we were incompatible but decided to continue until one or both of us didn't want to anymore.  Most of those were really me not wanting to live with a partner, get married etc. Her love language is physical touch and I get overstimulated being touched a lot. She loves all the cutesy romantic stuff and at first I could do them because she enjoys them but they progressively got harder after I started considering maybe I could be aromantic.

I have always struggled with romance but felt like I just needed to try harder. It was the loving and selfless thing to do.

The romantic things that felt so suffocating before I broke things off, feel so insignificant now. I know I'd feel the same if we got back together but it's so hard to come to terms with why all this stuff is difficult for me. It seems so simple when I think about it, she just wants to slow dance in the living room while lovelingly gazing at each other, why does that make me feel like I have ants crawling under my skin?!

I enjoyed spending time with her, the sex was great and I don't know how to exactly pinpoint the 'romantic' stuff that made things so hard. I know I love her and it's not platonic but it's not romantic either, atleast not in the way she loved me.

We agreed to be friends but it pains me to think that she won't ever treat me with anywhere near the same regard as a friend that she did when we were dating.

I'm so confused and scared.

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perhaps youre aro who experiences alterous attraction because your love towards her is not platonic or romantic. alterous attraction is basically a word for a nonsexual attraction that cant be defined by platonic nor romantic

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55 minutes ago, sevan said:

perhaps youre aro who experiences alterous attraction because your love towards her is not platonic or romantic. alterous attraction is basically a word for a nonsexual attraction that cant be defined by platonic nor romantic

That's definitely something I need to look into and think about cause I know I have loved the people I've been in relationships with just didn't feel like what romantic love is described as.

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11 hours ago, sevan said:

perhaps youre aro who experiences alterous attraction because your love towards her is not platonic or romantic. alterous attraction is basically a word for a nonsexual attraction that cant be defined by platonic nor romantic

^ Or another possibility is that you're aro but you feel strong platonic attraction to her

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  • 1 month later...

It does seem like you are aro-spec based on what you have shared.

Your experience sounds a lot like mine, except we both knew I was aro before our relationship began. In the first couple years of our relationship we had a lot of trial and error, as she was allo and neither of us had been in a committed relationship before. (A lot of this brought up my internalized arophobia, as I too wanted to “try harder” for her. Sometimes I would know my own limits, but sometimes I wouldn’t realize what I was doing until she pointed out that I seemed uncomfortable.) We ended up in a direction neither of us had expected our lives to go, but we are happy with where we are at. 

I’m sharing my experience because I don’t want you to be scared about what your future might hold now that you have broken up and are possibly aromantic. It’s painful when you can’t fulfill the needs of someone you love, and I think you made the right choice for the well being of you both. Maybe she will still be a good friend for you, or maybe not, but either way the future still holds many possibilities. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/3/2022 at 12:42 AM, Mr butterflies said:

Goodness me, how does anyone actually ever figure all this out!?

Everyone is different. The terms are just short hand to describe our experience. I personally don't find microlabels useful for me, aromantic is enough for me.

Why do you think you feel scared?

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it sounds like you love her a lot and want to be with her but that some of the things she likes doing with you aren't things you like doing. Thats a problem that occurs in any close interpersonal relationship, aro or otherwise. 

If you think you might have a natural aversion to "romantic"-feeling things then your intuition is probably right. It sounds like your partner was pretty much the opposite, so its natural that would cause stress for you, especially if there was some sort of expectation that you should be doing those kinds of things as a couple. If you wanted to make it work its possible that you could set boundaries and talk about what you both wanted to do with each other, although it might just be more stress.

One of the things that was most eye-opening about the aromantic identity to me was that people in relationships have the ability to decide what they do and don't want out of the relationship. In every romantic relationship I'd been in there had been this constant shadow of what I was supposed to do and I didn't even realize it was there until i figured out i was aro. I think this is probably the sort of realization that even a lot of allo people could benefit from.

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