Jump to content

Mistook deep emotional connection for romantic feelings


Recommended Posts

Somewhat of a vent but advice is nice too.

So I am currently in a romantic relationship, because I really like this person. I feel a really strong connection with them so I thought a romantic relationship would work between us. Being aro hadn't been on my mind for a while but this is probably cause I hadn't done a traditional relationship in a while.

But fast forward to now and I keep getting told I'm not showing how much I care enough. I feel really guilty because I do care for them so much, and I tell them this. But they mean in more outward romantic gestures. We are going to talk things through soon but the guilt is eating me alive. It's not that I don't do anything but it doesn't seem to be enough. I've handmade gifts and try to plan spending time with them.

The expectations of a romantic relationship are really overwhelming to me and they do know I struggle with romance as a concept and have been questioning if I'm aro for a bit now.

A shitty ex-therapists voice is in the back of my mind whenever I think about being aro, that I am somehow limiting myself, like I'm going on a diet. But now more than ever I'm beginning to realize how helpful the term aromantic is for me now. For myself and to somewhat quickly explain that romance just isn't something I can provide now matter how I try. I just hope I don't lose them because I really do care about them.

Is there a way not to feel so overwhelmingly guilty? This isn't even something I can technically help but it's eating me alive.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh, this is giving me flashbacks in a bad way.

I do not think the problem here is that you "don't show you care enough". I think the problem is, best case scenario, a basic incompatibility. You "don't show you care enough" (whatever that even means) for this person's specific desires. They want something that isn't you, and that doesn't even have to particularly be an aro thing (though, certainly, it could be related/intertwined). It comes down to how you each express yourselves. What you each want out of a relationship.

I'm wary when people talk about compromise. If there's things you can do that are positive for the relationship and for you, that's one thing. But in my experience, compromise only ever meant sacrifice, and after going through that, I 100% don't believe anyone should have to settle for that. If a romantic relationship is indeed what you want, then other person's needs aside, you deserve a relationship in which you are accepted and supported as is. Not one in which you're constantly made to feel like you're not enough. That's not a healthy relationship. Allos face this kind of incompatibility all the time, where romance means different things to them and they show affection in different ways and they're looking for different forms of intimacy. You are not lesser or broken or wrong because you are potentially incompatible in a romantic relationship with this person (or because you don't want romance at all).

You feel guilty because they want more physical romantic gestures. I wonder if they feel guilty for ignoring the multitudes of ways in which you show and tell them how deeply you connect with them and care about them that aren't giving them flowers or chocolates? Do either of you need to feel guilty for having different needs? No! A better question is if you can accept the other person for who they are and be happy and satisfied with that in this type of relationship.

You would be enough for someone you were compatible with. You wouldn't constantly feel guilty and bad and like you're not doing enough.

There are lots of ways to tackle guilt, but the best way is to get to the root of the problem. Does your guilt stem from something you are actually doing to hurt someone else? Does it stem from not meeting societal expectations? Does it stem from someone else constantly putting you down and trying to fit you into a box that simply isn't you-shaped? (And the answer may be a complex amount of more than one of these.) Once you figure out that, then you can better figure out how to cope with and lessen your guilt.

You deserve to be happy. Don't settle for a relationship that takes that away from you.

Edited by hemogoblin
typo
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, hemogoblin said:

Ooh, this is giving me flashbacks in a bad way.

I do not think the problem here is that you "don't show you care enough". I think the problem is, best case scenario, a basic incompatibility. You "don't show you care enough" (whatever that even means) for this person's specific desires. They want something that isn't you, and that doesn't even have to particularly be an aro thing (though, certainly, it could be related/intertwined). It comes down to how you each express yourselves. What you each want out of a relationship.

I'm wary when people talk about compromise. If there's things you can do that are positive for the relationship and for you, that's one thing. But in my experience, compromise only ever meant sacrifice, and after going through that, I 100% don't believe anyone should have to settle for that. If a romantic relationship is indeed what you want, then other person's needs aside, you deserve a relationship in which you are accepted and supported as is. Not one in which you're constantly made to feel like you're not enough. That's not a healthy relationship. Allos face this kind of incompatibility all the time, where romance means different things to them and they show affection in different ways and they're looking for different forms of intimacy. You are not lesser or broken or wrong because you are potentially incompatible in a romantic relationship with this person (or because you don't want romance at all).

You feel guilty because they want more physical romantic gestures. I wonder if they feel guilty for ignoring the multitudes of ways in which you show and tell them how deeply you connect with them and care about them that aren't giving them flowers or chocolates? Do either of you need to feel guilty for having different needs? No! A better question is if you can accept the other person for who they are and be happy and satisfied with that.

You would be enough for someone you were compatible with. You wouldn't constantly feel guilty and bad and like you're not doing enough.

There are lots of ways to tackle guilt, but the best way is to get to the root of the problem. Does your guilt stem from something you are actually doing to hurt someone else? Does it stem from not meeting societal expectations? Does it stem from someone else constantly putting you down and trying to fit you into a box that simply isn't you-shaped? (And the answer may be a complex amount of more than one of these.) Once you figure out that, then you can better figure out how to cope wit and lessen your guilt.

You deserve to be happy. Don't settle for a relationship that takes that away from you.

Thank you so much for the kind words! You're right and I don't want to shrink myself at all. I think I am overcompensating a bit for my little romantic attraction. I've been questioning my aromanticism for at least 3 years now youd think I'd feel less guilty... 😅 Ah well I'm trying my best. It's nothing wrong with me you're right! People are just different. I honestly don't know if I'd be in a partnered relationship if this one doesn’t work out. It's stressful tbh.

What makes it more confusing is that I do enjoy things that are commonly romantic coded like kissing and cuddling. I don't necessarily see those as something exclusive to romance.

I am affectionate in these ways too, but my partner seems to be a lot more of a hopeless romantic than I am. Like lots of grand gestures and gifts and I'm having trouble keeping up.

They have told me they don't want me to be miserable for their sake so I feel like they would be understanding. We are going to talk soon thankfully and I just hope things go okay.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/24/2023 at 12:37 PM, hemogoblin said:

Ooh, this is giving me flashbacks in a bad way.

I do not think the problem here is that you "don't show you care enough". I think the problem is, best case scenario, a basic incompatibility. You "don't show you care enough" (whatever that even means) for this person's specific desires. They want something that isn't you, and that doesn't even have to particularly be an aro thing (though, certainly, it could be related/intertwined). It comes down to how you each express yourselves. What you each want out of a relationship.

I'm wary when people talk about compromise. If there's things you can do that are positive for the relationship and for you, that's one thing. But in my experience, compromise only ever meant sacrifice, and after going through that, I 100% don't believe anyone should have to settle for that. If a romantic relationship is indeed what you want, then other person's needs aside, you deserve a relationship in which you are accepted and supported as is. Not one in which you're constantly made to feel like you're not enough. That's not a healthy relationship. Allos face this kind of incompatibility all the time, where romance means different things to them and they show affection in different ways and they're looking for different forms of intimacy. You are not lesser or broken or wrong because you are potentially incompatible in a romantic relationship with this person (or because you don't want romance at all).

You feel guilty because they want more physical romantic gestures. I wonder if they feel guilty for ignoring the multitudes of ways in which you show and tell them how deeply you connect with them and care about them that aren't giving them flowers or chocolates? Do either of you need to feel guilty for having different needs? No! A better question is if you can accept the other person for who they are and be happy and satisfied with that in this type of relationship.

You would be enough for someone you were compatible with. You wouldn't constantly feel guilty and bad and like you're not doing enough.

There are lots of ways to tackle guilt, but the best way is to get to the root of the problem. Does your guilt stem from something you are actually doing to hurt someone else? Does it stem from not meeting societal expectations? Does it stem from someone else constantly putting you down and trying to fit you into a box that simply isn't you-shaped? (And the answer may be a complex amount of more than one of these.) Once you figure out that, then you can better figure out how to cope with and lessen your guilt.

You deserve to be happy. Don't settle for a relationship that takes that away from you.

couldn't have said it better myself. honestly wish someone would have told me this years ago when i was questioning.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...