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Feel romantic attraction but not admit it?


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Help me, I'm confused.

Since I'm pretty sure of my asexuality, I've been trying to find out my romantic orientation. I've already considered myself hetero-, cupio- and aromantic, but I wasn't 100% sure. Lately, I've thought I must be aromantic, because I haven't had crushes for years, and, looking back, they probably were just squishes. But now I'm super confused because I thought - maybe indeed, I've had several crushes, but subconsciously never wanted to admit it?

I don't know why would I do this - falling in love isn't something to be embarrassed about, is it? But on the other hand, assuming I am in love or in a relationship irritates me pretty much. I don't really believe that somebody could be interested in me in a romantic way. I have troubles making friends, let alone finding a boyfriend. 

Recently I've had 2 huuuge squishes. One was on my colleague from the previous school, that I've known for almost 10 years already, second on a boy I met on the Internet. And I had several symptoms that actually they are my crushes. Getting excited about texting with them, thinking about them half of the day, getting nervous before meetings with the first one, also, each time I was walking in his neighborhood (we live close to each other) I hoped that we met by coincidence. When I have a problem and no one to talk to, I imagine that he listens to me. My squish/crush on the colleague has already faded a bit, but still, I like him and want to be friends. The second hasn't faded yet. 

I'm not sure how does it feel to fall in love, but I guess it's similar. 

One part of me wants to be loved, to have someone who is more than just friend, to experience romance. But the other says: 'Ewww, it's gross, exchanging spit and holding sweaty hands. Being attached to one person must be horrible. You would be a terrible girlfriend. Nobody will ever want you and it's not as bad as it sounds'. 

If somebody asked me whether I experience romantic attraction, I would say no. But in reality, I don't know. And even if so, I probably wouldn't admit it to anyone and keep denying that I'm crushing on someone. Aromanticism would be a perfect excuse. If not for others, then for myself.

I know that labels shouldn't be important, but I don't know if I can consider myself aromantic or not. Probably I'm not allo, because this crush-ishes happen rarely. But I'm really all abroad. I don't want to fall in love and I don't want to have to admit it if some day I fall. 

Ugh, sorry it's so long and for potential language mistakes. But writing it all down helped a bit with tidying the mess in my head. Maybe you'll have some advice or thoughts. 

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If anything, it sounds like you're grey romantic - that's a sort of catch-all term for people who aren't aromantic but aren't really fully romantic either. I identify that way because I'm rarely attracted (though I know I do experience crushes/romantic attraction), and romance (almost always) makes no sense to me if I do get into a relationship with anyone. It's kind of got to the point where I'm willing to actively try killing off any romantic feelings I get for other people in future, and I felt ashamed when I started liking my ex, because of how I'd felt in the past etc.

I've learned a lot from being on the forum, and I'd also like to say relationships don't necessarily need to be romantic or involve stuff that makes you uncomfortable :) but if you were to look for someone, you'd really have to be honest with them, and yourself, about what you wanted. Not everyone outside this community is looking for something traditional or stereotypically romantic. I was on an aro/ace group on Facebook last year, and found at least one person who was happily married to an alloromantic/sexual. 

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Hey, what you described sounds a lot like what I do. The difference between crushes and squishes confuse me... I can imagine doing some "romantic" things with friends, or at least things that other people consider romantic, but I interpret everything in a totally platonic way in my mind.

 

If you want to experience romance specifically though, I guess that makes you not entirely aro... I think.

 

Me, for example... I like to be close to some friends, would even like to do some specific things like cuddle or hold hands... but if anyone dares to suggest it's romantic if we do that, I'd get really irritated at them for saying something so horribly disrespectful, kind of like they're insulting friendship by suggesting that cuddling is romantic... maybe I'm just weird though, I dunno... like I said, it's all very confusing. :P

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I think it can vary between people. I rarely hug anyone I don't feel a sensual attraction towards, providing I have "appropriate permission"  (99% of the time the desire to hug only comes when I have a crush) partly because of social awkwardness, mostly because the desire isn't really there in the first place, but for me hugging is like peanut butter - sweet or savoury/romantic or non romantic depending on circumstances lol.

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On 5/15/2017 at 9:47 PM, sweetbitter said:

Getting excited about texting with them, thinking about them half of the day, getting nervous before meetings with the first one, also, each time I was walking in his neighborhood (we live close to each other) I hoped that we met by coincidence. When I have a problem and no one to talk to, I imagine that he listens to me.

 

To me, this reads like a crush. But I don't really get the whole crush/squish distinction myself, to be honest. Also, I probably don't actually know what a crush feels like in the first place (probably aro, lol) so don't take my opinion on such matters too seriously :P

 

On 5/15/2017 at 9:47 PM, sweetbitter said:

One part of me wants to be loved, to have someone who is more than just friend, to experience romance. But the other says: 'Ewww, it's gross, exchanging spit and holding sweaty hands.

 

From this, it sounds like maybe you're receptive to the emotional closeness side of things but there is some aversion regarding the physical closeness side of things? Does that sound right? This might tie in with your being ace but not necessairily aro...

 

On 5/15/2017 at 9:47 PM, sweetbitter said:

Aromanticism would be a perfect excuse. If not for others, then for myself.

 

On 5/15/2017 at 9:47 PM, sweetbitter said:

I don't want to fall in love and I don't want to have to admit it if some day I fall.

 

What would it be a "perfect excuse" for? Is it genuine feelings of romantic attraction that you're trying to "get out of" with this "excuse"? (if so, I don't think it will work :P) Why don't you want to fall in love? Why wouldn't you want to have to "admit it" if you did? Those are some questions I'd ask myself, if I was trying to figure this stuff out. Is it that you don't like strong emotions in general / feeling a bit "out of control"? I can relate to that. It's okay to ask to take things at your own pace, if that's the case :) (I mean, if the person you're interested in is worth bothering with, they should understand that)

 

 

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17 minutes ago, NullVector said:

 

From this, it sounds like maybe you're receptive to the emotional closeness side of things but there is some aversion regarding the phyical closeness side of things? Does that sound right? What would it be a "perfect excuse" for? Is it genuine feelings of romantic attraction that you're trying to "get out of" with this "excuse"? (if so, I don't think it will work :P) Why don't you want to fall in love? Why wouldn't you want to have to "admit it" if you did? Those are some questions I'd ask myself, if I was trying to figure this stuff out. Is it that you don't like strong emotions in general / feeling a bit "out of control"? I can relate to that. It's okay to ask to take things at your own pace, if that's the case :) (I mean, if the person you're interested in is worth bothering with, they should understand that)

 

 

 

Well, the thing is, I don't know! I don't know why I don't want to fall in love or admit it. It just seems... like a weird, bad combination - me, who is known as the perpetually single friend who is completely fine with it and who doesn't talk about boys, and 'love'. The other cause is probably that I don't believe that anybody could be interested in me. Yeah, I got pretty low self-esteem :/ Geez, I thought I knew myself better...

But anyway, thanks to everybody that has responded so far :)

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11 minutes ago, sweetbitter said:

Well, the thing is, I don't know!

That's okay - no pressure to come up with answers right away! :) 

 

11 minutes ago, sweetbitter said:

The other cause is probably that I don't believe that anybody could be interested in me.

 

Has anybody empirically disproved that belief so far? Y'know, by being interested in you? (and even if they haven't - speaking as a guy here, there probably have been several people that were interested in you, they just didn't announce themselves as such. I know that I've been "interested" in plenty of girls in the past, back when I was younger, but was just way too awkward to actually tell them :P

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I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you think you're happier without a relationship, then don't enter into one. It's okay, and if this changes throughout your life then that's okay too :) I'd go with whichever labels feel right to you at this moment, It's no one else's business what your orientation is but yours

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I totally agree with SamwiseLovesLife here too! But I wanted to add, if you do have low self esteem, I'd definitely work on that, and do it for yourself. Speaking from experience, it does make a difference!

 

 

 

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On 5/17/2017 at 4:54 PM, Untamed Heart said:

But I wanted to add, if you do have low self esteem, I'd definitely work on that, and do it for yourself. Speaking from experience, it does make a difference!

 

I think this is good advice @sweetbitter. I found that meditation helps me to feel more at peace with myself, for example. 

Try various different things and find something that works for you :) 

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