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Guest Ann


Hi everyone.

I don't really know where to start lol. For reference, I'm 15 years old, and off the top of my head I can think of exactly four people that I thought I may have had a crush on at one point (though, in hindsight, I know now that at least two of them were platonic crushes / squishes). One of them happens to be my girlfriend, the only person I've ever been in a romantic relationship with. Before we started dating, there were times I thought I might like her as more than a friend, times when she would make me blush or when I would daydream about asking her out. I never considered actually initiating or ever being in a relationship with her though, and honestly, I was fine with that. When she asked me out, I was flattered but overall hesitant. The media makes relationships seem like such a big deal, after all, and being in one just for the sake of being in one just seems kinda... not for me, I guess. If I don't see a future with the person I shouldn't lead them on or risk getting my own heart broken. I ended up accepting her feelings, figuring that all I was agreeing to was one date which didn't necessarily mean anything. Fast forward five months and two more dates and now we're here: she is absolutely the sweetest and yet I don't think I'm happy with our relationship as it is. Apart from maybe a little too clingy (that's not a great word for it - I've an introvert and her checking in on me multiple times every day, though nice, can just be a bit much sometimes) she's everything I really thought I would want in a partner. Our relationship really hasn't even changed that much since when it was platonic; if anything she just does more random little sweet things, like drawing things for me, and we call us hanging out "dates." Oh, right. And she said she loves me. Which I can't even bring myself to say because I don't know if I like her like she likes me.

I feel really guilty for being unable to say those three words to her. She's so patient and hasn't pressured me to say it back at all, but in a way that almost makes it worse. I don't really think I can imagine a better partner than her and yet I don't think I want to be her partner anyway. Which is what makes me wonder if I might be on the aromantic spectrum. I've been doing a lot of reading about different aro-spec identies and I think I may be aroflux or grey-biromantic. I still like the idea of romance, still like some of the stories and think the sentiment sounds good and am attracted in theory, but in practice... I wish we could go back to being friends without me having to break her heart. I still want to be a part of her world and be able to support her, I just... I think she deserves a partner who can love her in the same way that she loves and I don't know if I can be that person right now.

Would it be cruel to break things off but still want to be her friend? What if things aren't like they used to be, if they change too much? Am I even on the aro spectrum or am I just afraid? Who knows? Certainly not I.

I'm sorry this is so long, and I'm sorry it's not well written, and I'm sorry if some of it doesn't make sense, and I'm sorry I'm apologizing so much. Thank you for reading this far, and if anyone has any advice regarding these stupid feelings I would immensely appreciate it lol.

Stay safe, everyone 💜

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I think she deserves a partner who can love her in the same way that she loves and I don't know if I can be that person right now.

I want to gently push back on this line of thinking. First I want to be clear that I'm not saying you have to or should keep dating her. But I want to discuss relationships in general.

Is that what she wants? Or is she okay with a relationship where she has romantic feelings and the other person has platonic feelings? With the pressures of allonormativity, this is more rare than someone who wants a romantic x romantic relationship, but it's not impossible.

My point is that you should make your decision on what sort of relationship you want based on YOUR feelings. Don't prescribe feelings or boundaries to her for her. Let her decide that on her own.

This: "I don't think I want to be her partner anyway" is the feeling you should be basing your decision on. Make decisions for you. Be considerate of other people, but don't make decisions for them. Having a romantic relationship where one person feels platonically doesn't do harm. It isn't lesser or inferior. It's just different than what many others have. If the relationship isn't working for you as is, that should absolutely be respected. But you don't need to justify breaking off the romance as being for her. It's okay for it to be for you! Your feelings matter just as much, and you're the only one who can advocate for them. She will need to advocate for her own feelings.


Would it be cruel to break things off but still want to be her friend?

Of course not. You're not cruel for having or not having feelings or wanting to be friends with someone, regardless of your past. However, do note that she has her own wants and feelings to take care of, and she may not want the same - or she may want the same but be unable to give it right away. She might need some space so that your friendship can heal and move forward in a healthy manner as she gets past her crush and accepts that a romantic relationship between you two isn't in the future.


What if things aren't like they used to be, if they change too much?

The thing is - life is constantly moving on. Things are constantly happening, changing, impacting the way you feel. Things will probably be different. They could get worse - or perhaps this is something that helps your friendship grow to become better and even deeper. Regardless of what alloheteronormative society may tell you, it's absolutely possible AND healthy to be friends with exes! And, personally, as teenagers, I think you two have a pretty good shot at this. You're not quite so wrapped up in following The Rules (no matter how nonsensical); you're more apt to follow your hearts. As well, being a teenager can be such an unstable, emotional, dramatic, passionate time anyway. Your bodies are going through so much. Your hormones are out of whack and looking for balance. You're doing massive amounts of growing and learning and changing and discovering. You're developing emotional stability. When you find something - or someone - that can help you through all that, you want that in your life.

The person you've described sounds like a really great person and a wonderful friend. She's patient, respectful, understanding. She listens to your feelings. She doesn't pressure you. And you very clearly care deeply about her and want the best for her. All this bodes well to you two being able to navigate breaking up and re-establishing your non-romantic friendship.

Life is constantly changing, but change isn't just bad. It can be good, too! It's really not uncommon for friends to try dating, realize their friendship was better, and resume being wonderful friends to each other. Although it's what media and society at large purport, you're not doomed to never be friends again.

I hope for the best for you two and that your friendship continues to blossom after this!


Am I even on the aro spectrum or am I just afraid? Who knows? Certainly not I.

And you don't have to know yet! In your post, I'm seeing someone who has done some very careful thought and introspection on how they feel and what they want, and that's all excellent! This will serve you well in life. The words you use to describe yourself are minor details that matter less.

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