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Entering a new confusing time

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Haven't posted anything in a long while!

Over the last year or so, there have been some changes in my life and my outlook on it, but I won't dwell too much on that.

For one, I developed multiple deep friendships which I never even questioned if there were any romantic feelings behind them - I have none. 100%. I just love them a lot. Maybe I'm just aro and not gray at this point?
I used to think I didn't need anything more than close friendship to satisfy my needs, but that has changed unfortunately. I do want cuddles everyday, to be able to cook for someone, take care of them, chill together... and you can do that with friends, maybe even live with them! But no one guarantees they won't find a partner and I'll lose a good chunk of that. I'm not saying it's wrong, in fact, it's quite logical to make your partner your confidant and live with them. What I am saying is that it's not a very nice feeling.
I do want a committed relationship. After shaming myself and denying that I want it, I'm fully embracing it. There's just one problem. I have no idea where to even find a partner.
I can't really go out and ask people out as an aro - there's no "spark" or whatever that's going to tell me "this one is special, she's the one". I can think logically if someone is already my friend and I know they have certain qualities... but they're my friend! I don't want to risk our close friendship that took time to build if they're not up for it. I also find meeting strangers (on Tinder or Boo for example) for a specific purpose, be it romantic or platonic, very strange and uncomfortable.
So, the alternative is for someone to ask me out. And if they're fine with my love for them eventually coming from our bond and not a crush, I'd accept them. Easy enough.
Oh, how naive I was.
I found myself in a somewhat romantic situation on Valentine's day when a friend from uni gave me a gift. She's an absolutely lovely person, I like spending time with her. But the moment I got that chocolate, the alarms in my head started blaring at full volume. I felt so much anxiety it drowned out how happy I was about my first ever Valentine's gift. I realized I had been in this situation before a few times where someone would show or hint at being interested in me and I'd start freaking out. Luckily, she never expressed any wish to be with me and we're still good friends.

I have no idea what future holds for me at this point. I don't want to be alone, I need to love someone so deeply and I want to be loved in return. It's a normal human need, but when I discuss such topics with someone, I sometimes get hit with "you should love yourself" or "you need to learn to be by yourself first". I know plenty of people who hate themselves and are or were in relationships, and I've been single for my whole life, I think I know how to be by myself, thank you very much. I know it's an attempt to provide comfort, but take that garbage somewhere else.

tl;dr: I want a relationship and the deep bond, stability and intimacy that comes with it. I want to love and be loved. But I can't approach anyone by myself. And when I am approached, I get a panic attack. Confusing times.

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