hello fellow humans

Sudden intimate friendship help

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hello fellow humans

Hi everyone! Hope your week is going well. :)

 

So, these past 2 weeks, I've suddenly gotten close to a new friend quite quickly. I'm a shy introvert, so it usually takes a long time (at least several weeks) for me to feel comfortable around someone. But I feel so comfortable around this guy, whom I have known for a while now, but never had any serious interactions with until recently. Also I like my personal space, but once I feel close to someone, I want to touch them, as in hugs, leaning into them, resting my head on their shoulder, etc. And if people intrude on my personal space before I'm ready, I'll usually back away. Especially guys. There's usually a level of discomfort and awkwardness when I'm 1-on-1 with a guy, but there's none of that with him. He steps into my personal space and I don't mind. In fact, I've even intruded on his personal space before too, and it even feels nice. He's put his arm around my shoulder too, when we were sharing an umbrella, and that was ok with me. With other people, I'd probably be weirded out, but I've seen him do this before with other female friends. 

 

I'm positive I'm not romantically attracted to him. I'm gray-aro, have only had 1.5 crushes, so I know what it's like to have a crush on someone. Even after thinking about all this for some time, I still don't feel uncomfortable or self-conscious around him. I'm just really, really confused as to what is going on. I imagine people on the outside might think something is going on, like romantic attraction or whatnot, but I think the reason why I'm so comfortable with him is because he doesn't have any romantic (or sexual) intentions behind his actions. They feel very platonic, and that makes me feel secure. 

 

But I'm really confused, because I really like him. I'm just not sure what's going on?? I've never had a relationship like this, and I'm scared he's getting too close to me too fast. I have a past of losing male friends whom I really like platonically, and I'm scared he's going to turn out like them. Also, I'm scared I like him too much. I've been thinking about him today, and I want to see him and talk to him, and I'd love to try hugging him.

 

Has anyone ever had this experience before with someone? How did it turn out? Just want to know that I'm not alone in these weirdly strong feelings. 

 

Thank you! :D 

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Grimalkin

Now, you know you better than I do, but... that sounds like romantic attraction to me. That desire to be close, to see him again? That's how I feel about my romantic partners. I rarely get crushes anymore, but I can tell the difference between enjoying the company of a male friend and wanting to be closer with somebody.

 

Be careful. It sounds like he really likes you, and if you don't want a relationship with him, it's better to nip this in the bud so you don't hurt him too much. I know it's enjoyable, but if you're not ready for this or if he's not prepared for an asexual relationship, then it's best not to let it get started.

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gisiebob

or don't be careful. don't get in the way of your own navigation just because you believe you don't know how to navigate things.

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hello fellow humans
1 hour ago, Grimalkin said:

that sounds like romantic attraction to me.

Oh my! Did not expect that response haha, was thinking it's closer to a squish, but like a very intense squish. I don't get nervous or get the butterflies around him, though, which I'd always thought was a defining characteristic to romantic attraction. But it's also true that I've never felt such a strong desire to see a friend before. 

 

 

I'm not looking for a romantic relationship, but a QPR would be lovely. Is it possible it's a queer-platonic crush? What exactly is that like? This is making me more confused 😵 but thank you for the replies! I'll go with the flow for now and see if anything changes and if anyone has other thoughts.

 

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Gareki
Posted (edited)

I had something similar a while back...with one of my co-workers. It was terrifying. I wanted to be around him all of the time, and I couldn't understand why. You might have what's called a "squish." It's a lot like a crush, except it's platonic attraction, not romantic attraction.

 

If you're worried things are going too fast, you should try taking a step back. Nothing good ever comes from rushing. Don't give him the cold shoulder, by any means, but if you find yourself thinking about him obsessively, try distracting yourself with something else, something that will keep your mind busy. I found that helped me out a bit when I was going through this.

 

Best of luck! :D

 

ETA: Just saw your new comment. xD As someone who is in a QPR, it sounds a lot like what you're describing. I honestly think it's not a crush, but a squish.

Edited by Gareki
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Celyn

I experienced this exact same thing with one of my best friends, we just clicked instantly and within a couple of months were super close, practically joined at the hip. We've discussed our feelings for each other and...neither of us are sure. We just know that we DO love each other but don't want to have sex, or kiss. 

So...if it works, it works and it doesn't need a label.

 

Buuut @Grimalkin is right. Be careful that you're not misconstruing each other. Be open and honest with each other and nobody will get their heart broken.

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hello fellow humans

Thanks so much for the replies and insight! I had no idea squishes could be this intense. 

 

@Celyn How would you suggest going about discussing this? I feel like it'd be somewhat difficult or awkward to bring up my feelings for him in a conversation. Would it be better to come out to him first, so he knows where I'm coming from? 

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Guest Talgo
15 minutes ago, hello fellow humans said:

Would it be better to come out to him first, so he knows where I'm coming from? 

It seems like you have this intense worry about keeping a label or something. If you like someone and want to hang out with them, hang out with them. If it starts going too far and you feel uncomfortable, tell them. If you think it would be easier to tell them, tell them. I'm not trying to sound blunt, but most of us don't know the exact relationship you have with this person, or how they will react. The only thing you can do (imo) is play it by ear.

 

I know it might sound strange, but it is entirely possible this person is just looking for a friend too. Or maybe they are looking for more and you are too? 

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wonderflonium

Labels can be a great way to simplify complicated concepts into bite-sized pieces, but like Talgo mentioned, don't get so caught up in the labels that you miss an opportunity to just enjoy getting to know a fellow human. Be honest and communicate. I stressed over my emotional closeness to a friend and got caught up in trying to explain it and worried about the implications. It's easier to just let go of all that, and just do what's right for you, and behave however you want to (respectfully) behave with that person without overly scrutinizing why.
It sounds like you both like being around each other - so the most important thing is just to keep a line of open communication. This helps you know you're on the same page about what each person needs in that moment. If you get out of alignment, then talk about it, but perhaps stick with your feelings in that moment, rather than using labels and /or jargon that may cause miscommunication.

When I first met my guy friend, I stressed over how I felt about him mostly because other people kept trying to tell me I was romantically interested in him, because I often showed a kind a thoughtfulness toward him that, to them, wasn't typical for a platonic male-female relationship. I think I may have been briefly romantically attracted to him when we first met, but as I got to know him, I realized he really wasn't a good fit romantically for me, and that faded pretty quickly. We make fantastic friends. Neither of us is sexually attracted to each other which makes me feel safe and comfortable in the friendship. We basically had a chat about how we care about each other a lot, but that doesn't really translate into anything other than friendship. The main thing for us was to talk openly with each other - honestly about who we are, how we process things, and how we feel about each other. We're not touchy-feely, though - but I'm also not a touchy-feely person. I rarely touch/hug people, and really only feel sensual attraction in romantic relationships.

Basically: be honest, talk to each other, and do whatever makes the both of you happy.  :)

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StormySky

You can tell and talk to your friend about how you feel, maybe he feels similar and you can work this out together

 

Best wishes :)

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Ardoise

Good luck with this friendship. I hope everything works out well for both of you.

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Marcin

I agree with people above me. If I get like that towards someone, I just talk with that person to see where do we want to go with it :)

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hello fellow humans

Thank you everyone for the advice and well wishes! :) I'll keep your words in mind and look for an opportunity to talk to him.

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Celyn

Starting a conversation about your feelings for him can be as simple as "I'm so glad I met you, I really enjoy spending time with you!"

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amoose

I can't say if its romantic or platonic attraction, that's a distinctions that simply cannot be defined in words or determined by anyone but the person feeling it, but I can say that I am sure that I am totally aromantic and have felt similar things. It seems like a lot of what you are describing that distinguishes your feelings towards this person it about touching them, being physically close to them, things of that nature. That typically falls under the category of sensual attraction, which society strongly associates with romantic attraction, but is separate.

I am not a touchy person at all, I don't like being touched, I don't like people touching me - with one exception. There is one person who I do touch and like to touch. I sometimes have a desire to touch or be touched by them (in a purely non-sexual way, things like hugging or when they rest their head on my shoulder). I also really like them platonically, so it confused me when I was figuring out I was aro, but I am now confident that it is not romantic attraction.

Also, don't get too worked up about the labels. They're super helpful sometimes for explaining and understanding stuff, but when it comes to it, just do what makes you comfortable, what feels right, don't worry about is it romantic? is it not? If you're happy about it that's all that matters.

 

12 hours ago, gisiebob said:

or don't be careful. don't get in the way of your own navigation just because you believe you don't know how to navigate things.

This. Of course be careful, stay safe, etc. But don't worry about breaking his heart or something. You are responsible for yourself and your feelings, and he is responsible for his. If he gets his heart broken, that his problem, not yours. You're not at fault or anything, the relationship just didn't work out quite the way he wanted and that's perfectly fine and normal. So experiment if you want. You can learn a lot about yourself, and so can he. With that being said, it is important to be open and honest. If you could casually mention something about your asexuality or how you feel, that'd be good, but also it sounds like you're in high school, so it shouldn't be that big a deal. On that note also recognize that he is probably exploring and not totally sure of his feelings either, it's not like he is expecting you to marry him in a month so if/when things don't work out (lets be real here, even between two totally heterosexual/romantic people in school its highly unlikely to work out in the long run).

 

Basically, just do what makes sense and what you feel like doing. If you like spending time with him, spend time with him. If you want to hug him and he is okay with that, go for it. If it feels like its going too fast, tell him (the most important thing in a relationship, even a platonic one, is being open and honest and telling the person if anything isn't working).

 

9 minutes ago, Celyn said:

Starting a conversation about your feelings for him can be as simple as "I'm so glad I met you, I really enjoy spending time with you!"

Yep, that's a great way to start.  Offers him an opportunity to say how he feels, and for you to make it clear how you feel and how you don't feel, but also is a totally normal thing to say and it won't make him assume anything, it's something someone might say to a romantic interest, a close friend, just a regular friend, a family member, etc. It's a deliberately vague opener that allows you to assess the conversation as it goes and probably won't feel awkward or forced, but genuine.

 

Good luck navigating your relationships and figuring yourself out! We're all happy to help here.

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hello fellow humans
On 7/10/2018 at 11:07 AM, amoose said:

That typically falls under the category of sensual attraction, which society strongly associates with romantic attraction, but is separate.

Wow, this really might be it! It explains why the feelings are very similar to romantic attraction but not quite. I never thought I could experience sensual attraction because I'm usually not that touchy of a person either. 

 

On 7/10/2018 at 11:07 AM, amoose said:

it sounds like you're in high school,

Actually, I'm going to be a junior in college soon. 😅 But I have very little experience with relationships and struggle with maintaining friendships, so this is all kind of new to me. 

 

Thanks for all the help!! :) I really appreciate it. Who knows how lost and confused I'd be otherwise. 🙃

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lilgroundhog

So some conversations, especially in a relationship where people are close, are just awkward.  It's just part of being human, we err and make mistakes.  To avoid awkwardness means to relationship can't deepen.

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