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I'm so confused


bifoxenite
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Hi! I'm an 18 year-old super polyamorous bisexual trans guy, and I'm so confused about my romantic orientation. 

 

Might be a little tmi ahead, I'm just putting out anything that might be useful to anyone who wants to help me figure out my romantic orientation ;)

 

I know I'm completely allosexual and sexually attracted to two or more genders, and I know that I cannot be comfortable in a monogamous relationship and prefer multiple partners. I have no idea if I'm alloromantic or not.

 

I have been in romantic relationships before, the first one being with a guy who my friends all agree was emotionally abusive and who did some very creepy things post-breakup. Thinking about him sends a chill up my spine. I've been in romantic relationships since (all non-monogamous), but I find that I'm uncomfortable assigning a label to people I'm "in a relationship with". Occassionally, I might be totally happey to call them my boyfriend/girlfriend/datemate! But most of the time, I feel uncomfortable calling them those things, even if I know that calling them "friends" wouldn't be quite accurate because I wouldn't convey the elevated level of intimacy with that person.

 

I get crushes, but a lot of times those are more sexual/sensual in nature than romantic, I guess? It might be sort of like a paltonic crush sometimes. It's actually hard for me to tell because I don't really know what the difference berween romance and intense friendship is. For example, I like to kiss many of my friends - Is there really any difference between kissing a friend because I have deep emotion for them and kissing that same person but you decide to call them your boyfriend/girlfriend/datemate because I have deep emotion for them? The only difference seems to be the label which you put on it and what actions you decide to code as romantic? Does romance even really exist or is it a social construct? Is there any empirical, scienftific difference between romantic relationships and deep platonic relationships?

 

I usually don't fantasize about romantic scenarious, and when I do they tend to be more sexual / sensual in nature. It's hard to imagine calling myself aromantic though, because I do often (but not always) feel an emotional attraction to many of the people I'm sexually attracted to. 

 

Since I really can't tell the difference between romantic and deep platonic feelings, I would guess I'm quoiromantic? Then again, maybe the only reason I question romance is because I'm actually aromantic, but it doesn't seem quite accurate to say aromantic - I love flirting with people and kissing and cuddling cute people, and I often have deep feelings for people that go beyond run-of-the-mill friendship and/or have a sexual component. I'd like to try to go on more dates with people - mostly dudes and nonbinaries, even though I have a slight sexual preference for women. I figure I might be arospec becuase of all the other stuff, though? It's hard to tell because I feel like my feelings could also be attributed to 1) the trauma and slight fear of intimacy from my first relationship, 2) my rejection of monogamy and dislike of being held to mononormative standards, 3) my tendency to over-analyze and question things, etc. 

 

If anyone can put some thought into figuring out what the hell my deal is, I'll love you platonically forever!

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Welcome to Arocalypse! :icecream:

 

I'm asexual, so I might not be the person to talk about this, but I'll just tell you my experience and maybe you'll get something useful out of it. 

For years, I wondered if I had crushes on certain people. They were people I thought were great people and I wanted to get to know them better. I would think they were cool and then immediately be terrified of them because I wasn't sure whether I had a crush on them. But while I technically "fantasized" about some of them sometimes, it was always just fantasies about being their friend. It wasn't anything romantic (or sexual, but that's a different topic). And when one of the people turned out to have a crush on me, in talking to him I realized that I the way he felt about me was very different from the way I felt about him. 

But like you, I still wondered about what romantic attraction really was. I still don't really know, but I think it's something that is real for most people and not for me. It took me a long time to realize that "this person's cool, I want to be their friend" is not what most people think of as a crush. 

I personally don't like kissing, but some aros do. I actually did a poll about physical touch, including kissing, on this site a few months ago. Some people who like kissing said they liked platonic kisses between friends. Others said they like kissing because there's something sexual about it for them. One of the reasons it took me so long to figure out that I was aromantic was that I really like hugs and cuddling. But those things are not the same as a romantic relationship, and neither is sex. And for me, there isn't anything romantic about either of those things. 

As far as trauma, I really think it's easier than people seem to think to tell if you have a fear of something or a genuine lack of interest (or some of both). (EDIT: I should say that even if you think this trauma caused you to be aromantic, that is still valid. I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't!)

Of course, ultimately, it's up to you to decide what labels fit you and what labels (if any) you want to use. It might take time, but you'll figure all of this out eventually. Or  maybe you won't, and that's okay too. 

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5 hours ago, Quinoa said:

I personally don't like kissing, but some aros do. I actually did a poll about physical touch, including kissing, on this site a few months ago. Some people who like kissing said they liked platonic kisses between friends. Others said they like kissing because there's something sexual about it for them. One of the reasons it took me so long to figure out that I was aromantic was that I really like hugs and cuddling. But those things are not the same as a romantic relationship, and neither is sex. And for me, there isn't anything romantic about either of those things.

I suspect that it isn't uncommon for aromantics to like things which are romantic coded. Which can be a possible source of confusion to both them and others...

 

5 hours ago, Quinoa said:

As far as trauma, I really think it's easier than people seem to think to tell if you have a fear of something or a genuine lack of interest (or some of both). (EDIT: I should say that even if you think this trauma caused you to be aromantic, that is still valid. I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't!)

IME many people expect a reason for being uninterested in anything which is normative. Even though this seems completely irrational.

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