My girlfriend isn't sure if she's aromantic

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Hey guys,

So precursor, I'm not new to this website or its themes. About 7 years ago I came out as Ace, and even ran a safe space group for fellow asexuals/aromantics on my campus. I've done a great deal of papers, speeches, helping people who are struggling with coming to terms with their newfound identities, ect. So that out of the way...


My orientation changed about 2 years ago, so now I'm just homosexual. It was a huge and scary change for me, having to deal with a sex drive that I'd never experienced before. Either way, it also made me scared to talk about it with asexuals that I knew, because I was afraid that they'd see my change the wrong way. I could have a whole different thread on that, but all I'm trying to get to here is that although I used to be a very active member of this community, I have been distant and out of the discussion loop for some time.


I fell head over heels in love two years ago. And we've been dating for a little over a year and a half. But in the last 5 months...we hit a rough patch. I had begun to feel as though she was very distant and uninterested in me. But we'd just moved to a new town, got jobs that leave us tired and on opposite schedules, so at first I just took it as "we're adjusting". But it never got any better, only worse. After a month or so of trying to talk to her about it, I finally said that it felt as though she didn't love me anymore. And she broke down saying that she's scared that she may be aromantic. It's been a worry of hers for some time, but she didn't want to hurt me until she knew for certain. We talked about breaking up, because she felt I deserved to be with someone who loved me like I deserved. But after two long and hard conversations, all cards and feelings on the table, we decided to stick with it. But she warned me that not only is she still strongly questioning, she's also highly lacking in introspection. A bad combo for either party.


It's been a few weeks since then... And though I feel as though talking about it has helped some of the distance, I still can't help being uncertain. Mostly, I'm scared, if I'm being honest. I don't know what to do if she simply lets this sit for months, without coming to terms either way. If she's aromantic, I want her to know. I want to know. Because it really hurt both of us, the idea that we might be trying so hard for a relationship that she may not really want. She doesn't want to hurt me, but I don't want her to force something that isn't real for her. I want both of us to be happy, even if that means a long time of heartbreak. And instinctually I feel the need to try to guide her, so that, regardless of what the end result may be, she comes to understand who she is and what she wants. I can tell  that the uncertainty is a struggle for her, and she doesn't want to deal with it. But burying only making things rough for both of us.


So I guess....any advice? I know from experience that this group is best to ask. I don't really know what help I'm looking for... I guess mainly just some people to talk to, who know what they're talking about.


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I'd say if she's questioning her romantic attraction, you should let her know that it's okay if she's Aromantic.
Will you still be her friend even if she is Aromatic? Something like this can be what stops people coming to terms with being Aromantic sometimes, because they know if they accept it, they'll lose someone they're close to. 
And if you wont still be her friend if you break up due to her being aromantic, then you should question, do you really want be close with her, or do you just want a relationship in general?
If you will still be her friend after, then let her know that if breaking up would feel better for her then you'd be willing to. Or maybe there's just certain ways she wants to behave with you that she can't with regular friends, (which could lead to her confusion about if she is or isn't Aromantic)

Maybe direct her to some Aromantic information, and see which things she feels like she identifies with. (this Tumblr post covers many feelings some Aromantics experience, so this could be a good place to start)
And if she is looking for a specific way to identify that is a bit more on the spectrum then Here may be a good place to look

Try to find out what specifically is confusing her about the identity, from there you can work on coming to an answer of if she is or isn't aromantic.

Most importantly you need to know what to expect from your relationship, if you can handle being in a relationship with someone who might not love you romantically (But she may still love you platonically, but unsure how to express it)
She may feel like you're pushing too hard, but at the end of the day, both of you are involved in the relationship and you both need to be on the same page about how your relationship may be. Eg would she ever marry you? would she ever have children with you (adopted or otherwise) What about Pets? Would she move in with you?

You may find that spending time away from each other might be helpful, Maybe around a month or 2, it could help bring things into focus a little more on what type of relationship you both are looking for.

These are just my opinions, I wish you both luck with figuring this out!

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Apathetic Echidna

Underneath the in-love stuff, do you have a love bond, based on mutual care and affection? or a bond of friendship and understanding?

It has been said that generally the romantic attraction bond on average only lasts strongly around 2 years, you have to have something else to hold you together if that is what you want.

If she said she is scared she didn't love you any more, that infers she loved you in the past, which doesn't point to her being aromantic. The fear of introspection does not help anyone, it is highly possible the fear is unsubstantiated. Maybe she should see a counsellor or therapist because avoidance strategies obviously aren't working in any way and sometimes just talking to a stranger can help more than a willing friend. 


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On 10/12/2017 at 6:42 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Maybe she should see a counsellor or therapist because avoidance strategies obviously aren't working in any way and sometimes just talking to a stranger can help more than a willing friend. 


I was going to suggest something similar, but coaching. As a coach myself I can see how this may help someone reflect on their values and beliefs to help understand themselves.


A great resource to find a quality trained coach is through the International Coach Federation (ICF)

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