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I am so confused. (a rant)

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I've been trying to figure out my identity for what feels like ages, and it isn't getting easier at all. I just know something about my attraction is different than most peoples and I just need the right term to describe myself, it'd make this all a little bit easier.

I've gone through forums and posts and I joined a discord server with fellow aroace people but I just keep getting more and more confused. There are so many terms and types of attraction I can barely wrap my head around but there's a hope that I will find the term for me.

I also brought up the fact I think I'm aroace to my therapist, and it's not like she wasn't supportive or anything but the way she reacted did make me feel a bit invalidated. She thinks it could be my response to being hurt every time I open up to people (mommy issues yay) which is fair, but it still doesn't bring me comfort. I've always just didn't understand romance and sex and all that and even before everything was getting bad and I kept getting hurt I felt this way.

I don't think I'm strictly aromantic. I've had romantic relationships before and honestly there was only one I actually liked. My first relationship was purely based on peer pressure and wanting that closeness with someone, literally anyone. (which was a mistake, that someone proceeded to bully me) My second relationship was like a week long and it felt wrong the whole time too. It was my best friend at the time and I guess I got platonic and romantic feelings mixed up. That one also ended badly honestly.

Now the last one, the person I actually liked. He was my best friend of 3 years and I felt really close to him. At first everything was purely platonic, but then I wanted to get closer to him. We acted like a couple when we were still friends and then we did end up dating. It was alright until we broke up due to mental health, but we were still really close friends, and none of my feelings towards him went away, even after pushing them away. Fast forward a few months and he realized he liked me that way again and we started acting more like a couple again. I told him I liked him and we started dating, and everything was awesome. I finally understood some of these intense emotions everyone was talking about and he really made me feel like no one else ever did.

And then he broke up with me. I had lost not only my boyfriend, but my long time best friend, and the only one that made me feel human. It was a messy break up and it really hurt but I'm working through it.

I started meeting new people and making friends again, and it was nice not having to worry about romance for a while. That was until I realized that a good chunk of the people liked me romantically. I was openly aroace with them but it still didn't stop them from liking me and I honestly feel really bad. 

Most of the people either moved on. One of my friends that likes me, I really enjoy his company in a platonic sense and I like what we have. He will flirt with me sometimes but it's always so ridiculous I find it entertaining. He doesn't make me feel bad for not recipocating the feelings and that we can just be friends.

But there's this one person that really really likes me. We've become pretty good friends since the beginning of the school year and they do make me happy, but they do like me. I had a feeling they did since they always wanted to be close to me and cuddle with me. (I am 100% ok with platonic affection like that/srs) Then one day we were cuddling and they were talking about how they felt unloveable since all their recent relationships didn't go great. And that's when they admitted that they liked me, but they did clairify that they don't expect anything in return. I just feel so bad for them since they are amazing and very lovable just I can't.

I have so much to say with this person, like there's a lot of stuff and I stress over it literally all the time. 

I don't know how I feel about them. Every single time I think about the fact they like me like that it makes me want to run away and vomit, but if I'm not thinking about it I really enjoy their company. I like cuddling with them, talking to them, making things for them and I do think they're pretty cute. but like the way a little puppy is adorable not in any romantic way, I think. I find people very cute and pretty often but that's besides the point. 

I just wish I knew how I feel towards this person. Is it platonic or is it romantic? Is it normal to feel so guilty over the fact I don't like them back? Would I want to be in a relationship with them? Or even a QPR? Is it some form or alterous attraction? And if it is, what do I do with that?

I wonder what all of this means and how much role it has to play into my aromantism. I think I might probably be demiromantic. But I could just be some broken allo. Or maybe lithoromantic? UGH no matter what I feel broken. 


Basically this is just a really really long rant that I just needed to get out there. If you actually took the time to read this, thank you so much, and if you have ANY advice or comments please please tell me. ALSO idk if I put this in the right catagory and I'm so sorry about that.

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In my opinion atleast, a lot of the things people tend to feel in platonic attraction are amped up in romantic attraction. Do you feel very simular to your friend the way you felt to the person you dated(and felt romantic feelings toward)? Even if you don't, you can still have a QPR with them. Its just that they may at one point want to advance the relationship into a romantic one and then you will have to worry about that again(and they may feel like you giving mixed signals by being a in a QPR with them). So its up to you how you want to handle the situation, just be honest about how you actually feel about them,

10 hours ago, forest_gremlin said:

Is it normal to feel so guilty over the fact I don't like them back?

You care for him and his feelings, so its completely normal.

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2 hours ago, Funny Individual said:

Do you feel very simular to your friend the way you felt to the person you dated(and felt romantic feelings toward)? Even if you don't, you can still have a QPR with them.

I really don't think I feel the same way towards them as I did my ex. I felt really safe and comfortable with my ex but with this friend sometimes I just want to run away from them and hide, but then again, I feel like that towards everyone these days lol. 

And unfortunately I really don't think a QPR would work. They're mostly allo too which really sucks, so it'd probably just lead to them wanting and maybe even treating it as a romantic relationship and I really don't want to do that. I also would need to like get to know them better I guess. idk! but just the other day they reminded me that they do really like me (which I never forgot but yeah) and it still makes me feel so so bad. but after they said that, they said it was ok that I don't like them romantically and that platonic relationships are better. so I don't know how to feel about it. waaa. 

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@forest_gremlin the best idea would probably just be to make your feelings clear and if needed tell them to stop bringing it up, I know thats kind of a rude thing to ask but if they keep stressing you out about it you should tell them at the very least. Sometimes in these situations its almost impossible for one of the people to keep it fully platonic so the friendship might not work out

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@Funny Individual It's not like they bring it up very often, I mean they first told me in November and they've told me like 4 times since then. It's still overly stressful though, but I really really don't want them to feel bad about it, because I'm sure they already do. They told me before winter break started and the extent that they liked me and it was just on loop in my head and making me feel sick. We have talked about how they like me and how I'm aroace a couple times, I've ranted about how I feel bad I can't like them back since they're a really nice person and friend and everything I just don't feel that way, and how I really don't like being aroace since it can feel so isolating sometimes. I don't really remember what they said and I was still kind of brief about it.

And yesterday was horrible when it came to affection honestly. They were just doing the usual affection they do each morning before classes, leaning the head on my shoulder and holding my hand, but for some reason it felt so so wrong. I'm usually fine with it! I don't know if that's cause of the aromaticism or autism but it just didn't feel right to me, like physically felt sick and I had to leave before my skin burst into flames. I didn't say anything but I think they noticed I wasn't really enjoying it, they asked if it was ok and I was kind of stupid when I just ignored my needs to make sure they were happy. (intense people pleasing and mommy issues lmao)

Then again at lunch the same thing happened. I had walked away from my friends because I was overstimulated and needed to just unwind and then I met up with this friend hoping they'd make it less bad, since they did once before. It didn't. It was honestly horrible. I didn't want to be touched but I still let them cuddle with me because I felt bad. The entire time they had their arms around me there was the voice in my head trying to plot an escape, telling me to leave someway, somehow. I hated it, and I didn't want to do it because it'd make them upset and confused, so I didn't. But I did manage to get out of the hug and we walked somewhere else since it was loud. The new spot wasn't much better but they were just leaning on my should as I distracted myself with other things so it didn't feel as bad I guess. I still feel really guilty and I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

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@forest_gremlin you really should not consider yourself guilty for being uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable and they are supposed to be a friend, tell them. Your feelings matter, and any kind of healthy relationship isn't about keeping quiet about your pain because "it will make them upset". And your boundaries are absolutely not something you should be sacrificing. In fact, if that person is a friend it will only hurt them much more when they learn they have been violating your boundaries and physically and emotionally hurting you without knowing, and that you couldn't trust them enough to tell. 

And if telling them about your discomfort causes them to get angry or try to portray you as being at fault, then it's a red flag about them, not about you. And if they do something to encourage you feeling like you "aren't good enough for them, are at fault for not liking them enough because of being aroace" or something of this sort, it's especially a red flag. 

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