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LateNight

I had a moment of feeling really bad about being aro today

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LateNight

So I was watching an old childhood tv show / cartoon where one of the main characters is romantically obsessed with another (show was chowder, referring to panini). Not going to lie, it made me feel really, really sad because I won't feel that kind of special emotion for anyone. I would love to fall in love with someone and have that special intense emotion for someone. Ok not gonna lie, I did cry a little bit. I did have one crush in kindergarten that I remember lasting for a really long time though so maybe I'm not aro and tbh I don't want to be. I'm only a senior in high school and I don't really interact with anyone that much but I do have a couple friends. Maybe I'm not aro but I just don't like anyone romantically because there isn't anyone that I like as an individual yet? Also it's great to be aromantic for everyone reading this, I just don't want it for me. 

 

I'm sorry for writing this, I just feel really bad. One theory is that I'm just ace and because I'm not drawn to people sexually, I won't just form random romantic feelings for people that I don't really know. Or maybe I'm just far more interested in personality and because I don't have an emotional connection with any girls, I don't have any crushes. Maybe I'm just depressed, which could be a proportional factor but I still have a libdo and I don't think depression makes people not experience attraction to other people.

 

I know I shouldn't worry about not feeling romantic attraction because I don't feel a need to be in a relationship. I want to have this emotion though, just like how a blind man can want to see. The reason for this isn't societal pressure or being left out, I just literally want to be able to feel this special emotion that everyone else seems to feel.

 

I know this is all over the place but I just thought of a good explanation. Back before I even thought about any of this, I didn't really care about any of it because I figured that everyone just felt how I did but now that I know other people actually do feel romantic attraction, it's like finding out everyone but you can fly and I want to fly because It sounds amazing and wonderful, but I just can't. 

 

Maybe I could find another aroace girl (I'm a guy) that wants to be in a romantic relationship even though we're aromantic. I doubt that makes much sense though to the EXTREAMELY small portion of people that are aroace. 

Edited by LateNight
Added more of my thoughts
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Apathetic Echidna

There are many aromantics out there that fantasise about being in a relationship for one reason or another, and many others on the aro-spectrum need time or circumstance before they feel attraction. Really the best way to investigate is to put yourself out there, and once you do experience how (potentially) horrible the reality of a relationship is you will probably find your brain will stop torturing you with fantasies of being in love and being in a relationship.  It is the same logic of keeping a kid from being curious about smoking you give them a cigar, but for aros yearning for relationships it seems to be the only way that proves effective to stop the mind torturing itself. 

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LateNight
23 minutes ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

There are many aromantics out there that fantasise about being in a relationship for one reason or another, and many others on the aro-spectrum need time or circumstance before they feel attraction. Really the best way to investigate is to put yourself out there, and once you do experience how (potentially) horrible the reality of a relationship is you will probably find your brain will stop torturing you with fantasies of being in love and being in a relationship.  It is the same logic of keeping a kid from being curious about smoking you give them a cigar, but for aros yearning for relationships it seems to be the only way that proves effective to stop the mind torturing itself. 

I'm not sure how to reply on here, but you're right. I know if I was in a relationship that I would be miserable. I'm feeling bad about not having the ability to feel romantic attraction though and romantic attraction would make me want to be in a relationship. 

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firewallflower

I'm afraid I don't really have any advice other than to try and accept yourself as you are (useless as I know that platitude is :P), and to remind yourself of the fact that, from all I gather, romance is definitely a mixed bag—but I just wanted to respond and say how painfully much I empathize with this post/situation. Much as you describe, I've never felt that "special feeling" that almost everyone out there seems to have had one way or another. I don't identify as aromantic currently, just because I don't feel sure enough of anything, but it's definitely something that's seeming increasingly likely. I've certainly never experienced romantic attraction, and though anything's possible, I'm not at all sure I ever will. However—although it's something out of my control, regardless of what my a/romantic orientation happens to be—I don't want to be aromantic. (Again, as you said, not because there's anything wrong with being aro! It's just not something I would choose for myself, personally, were it something I could choose... which, of course, it obviously isn't.) And, while I don't think I've ever physically cried because of it, I've definitely been known to feel down when encountering romance in fiction (or IRL, for that matter) and considering that I may well never experience that. In my case, the concept of being in a relationship does also very much appeal to me—although I likely wouldn't be happy in a relationship in practice, and falling in love would likely be as painful as it would be wonderful, at the same time, again as you said, I want to fall in love. And I want to have that special emotional feeling for and connection with someone. There's a good chance it won't ever happen, but I want it.

 

I also relate to some of the other things you touched on, particularly the what-if-I-just-haven't-yet-met-an-individual-that-I-like bit; I'm in my first year of college and also not very socially interactive, so that's a big factor in my unsurety. (And while I'm fairly sure I don't have clinical depression, I do often feel pretty "depressed" in the colloquial, non-diagnostic sense, although as far as I know that wouldn't actually necessarily prevent the development of romantic feelings, though it might interact with the experience and expression of those feelings?)

 

I don't really know what to say other than to commiserate (which may not be helpful, in which case I apologize for making this about me—that wasn't my intent 😕), but on a note of optimism, if you and I both feel this way, chances are there are others out there in the world who feel that way as well. In other words, we're not alone... and who knows? Maybe someday you'll meet someone looking for the same thing you are and build an aromantic version of a relationship together. :) It's also possible to feel deep, intense love without it necessarily being romantic in nature, so there's that. And some aros (and others, for that matter) form "QPRs" (quasi-platonic or queer-platonic relationships), which are basically intimate, non-romantic relationships, and perhaps something that might appeal to you at some point?

 

And in the meantime, I guess just try to remember that, from all I've heard, romance isn't all the fun and games that it's often cracked up to be in fiction (particularly innocent children's fiction 😉). It's easy to want to fly, but once you can do so, you run the risk of flying too close to the sun, you know? There are pros and cons to everything, and since we can't choose what we feel, we might as well try and focus on the good parts.

 

But again, I completely understand, and I hope that, if you do truly want a relationship, you find someone someday. :) Best of luck!

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AnniS

YES! YES! YES! I have been looking through forums for literally weeks to see if there were other people who felt like this because I feel so down about it sometimes! Pretty much everything you guys, @LateNight and @firewallflower, said is exactly what I feel. Since you already said most of what I would have to say, I just thought I would ramble down some additional thoughts:

 

I have been in situations where a romantic relationship could have become a thing. Best example I can come up with is a (now, due to this incident, unfortunately) former guy friend made it apparent that he liked me. I was pretty surprised as I had kind of assumed he was gay before (which was me being an asshole, really. Should have never assumed anything about anyone's orientation.) Well, I stopped myself and had a little discussion with myself in my head. It went a little something like this:

 

Me (to me): "Oh. This guy likes us."

Me (to other me): "Yah no sh*t, Sherlock. ... Soooo.. do we like him back?"

Me (to me): "Tssss I dunno."

Me (to other me): "Is your heart beating faster?"

Me (to me): "Yeah. But I'm pretty sure that's just generalised anxiety about the situation."

Me (to other me): "K. That's not very helpful then. Do we like him?"

Me (to me): "Hell yeah! He's really nice."

Me (to other me): "Not sure if 'nice' is gonna cut it. What exactly is 'nice' about him?"

Me (to me): "Well, we are both obsessed with musical theatre. So it's nice to sing and dance with him and talk about this year's Tony nominations"

Me (to other me): "But you also do that with your bestie."

Me (to me): "True."

Me (to other me): "Is he at least good looking?"

Me (to me): "Hmm. Now that you ask, I guess he is. Yeah. Never really thought about that."

Me (to other me): "So we like him and he's nice to us and he is also good looking. Shouldn't that make us feel something?"

Me (to me): "I guess so. But, honestly, the only thing I feel right now is that I want him to take his hand off my leg. It's weird. And awkward. And I feel like I might throw up any minute."

 

This has happened with literally anyone who has ever exhibited even the slightest interest in me in that way. I like the person a lot as a friend and there is no "rational" reason as to why I don't feel anything more. I just don't. The thing is I wish I did. When I see movies and shows or read a book with a love story, I always feel like I want that too. Not because "society tells me that's what I have to want". I actually genuinely want it. - Until I don't. It's so weird and I just have no idea how to figure myself out. Sure, the people who have shown any sort of interest in me before might have just not been "the one". But, honestly, I'm not sure if I believe in that.

When I see a romantic scene in a movie, I'm normally too busy watching the girl to even pay much attention to what the guy does or says, which is strange, because if I were in a relationship, that's the part I should care about, right? I found myself looking at the comment section of a youtube video recently where two actors were singing this really sweet lovey-dovey duet and most of the comments were "Oh my god, he's so cute. Look at how he looks at her. I wish someone would look at me that way....". Typical stuff. And then I thought; "Hey, wait a second. I don't think I looked at what the guy was doing At ALL during these three and a half minutes". But while I like watching the girl and think she's really pretty and all that, there is zero attraction to the girl there either. I think I just kind of like imagining what it would be like if I were her. But then again, that makes no sense because I'm not even paying attention to what the guy, the centre of that girl's attention at that moment, is doing. And when I actually am in a situation like that I low-key sort of hate it. Aaaaagh. I don't understand me.

 

There's also something I like to call the Guinea pig phenomenon. I don't know how to figure out my romantic mess without actually trying it out. But trying it out would involve toying with someone else's emotions like a guinea pig, right? And that's not cool. Therefore, I immediately panic-reject anyone who even tries to get close to me. Like that guy from the me-to-other-me scenario up there. I didn't genuinely hate the idea of him having his hand on my leg or hold my hand or kissing me or whatever. But my lack of emotions scared the heck out of me and I panicked. I work as an actress, so I have to play romantic scenes from time to time. And, honestly, I don't hate it. I just never feel anything (which, I mean, is only right since it's my job and I have to be professional about it anyway). But off stage honestly I just cannot deal with the reality of romance. Somehow it just has never "clicked" for me. Never had a crush. Have no idea what romantic (or sexual for that matter) attraction would even feel like. Still, I wish I knew. It just seems lovely to have such a deep connection and be so close to someone emotionally. Too bad I don't think I'm capable of it. Urks. Am I gonna die alone?

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PottedPatchouli
51 minutes ago, AnniS said:

Me (to me): "Oh. This guy likes us."

Me (to other me): "Yah no sh*t, Sherlock. ... Soooo.. do we like him back?"

Me (to me): "Tssss I dunno."

Me (to other me): "Is your heart beating faster?"

Me (to me): "Yeah. But I'm pretty sure that's just generalised anxiety about the situation."

Me (to other me): "K. That's not very helpful then. Do we like him?"

Me (to me): "Hell yeah! He's really nice."

Me (to other me): "Not sure if 'nice' is gonna cut it. What exactly is 'nice' about him?"

Me (to me): "Well, we are both obsessed with musical theatre. So it's nice to sing and dance with him and talk about this year's Tony nominations"

Me (to other me): "But you also do that with your bestie."

Me (to me): "True."

Me (to other me): "Is he at least good looking?"

Me (to me): "Hmm. Now that you ask, I guess he is. Yeah. Never really thought about that."

Me (to other me): "So we like him and he's nice to us and he is also good looking. Shouldn't that make us feel something?"

Me (to me): "I guess so. But, honestly, the only thing I feel right now is that I want him to take his hand off my leg. It's weird. And awkward. And I feel like I might throw up any minute."

OMG You just described the conversation inside my head every time i'm in a romantic situation. "They seem to like me, they are a nice person, they are aesthetically pleasing... i guess this'll do." And then when the touchy feely sexy time comes around i just feel weird and uncomfortable. 

 

As for the guinea pig thing... i've been married for twelve years and i'm just coming to this conclusion. You panic-reject people? I panic-date people, because it's what i'm "supposed" to do. I feel like such an asshole. 

 

Anyway, you're definitely not alone. 🙂

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
On 1/30/2019 at 8:40 PM, LateNight said:

I'm not sure how to reply on here, but you're right. I know if I was in a relationship that I would be miserable. I'm feeling bad about not having the ability to feel romantic attraction though and romantic attraction would make me want to be in a relationship. 

I'm dating an aro/ace and he definitely feels bad that he can't reciprocate my feelings.  Sometimes he even gets mad at himself because he knows that I am just getting deeper and deeper into him.  There's a voice in his head that he should end it because he feels like he's hurting me.  (He's not). Even though he's told me all of those things, he stays.  He tells me he loves me (Though not on a romantic level).  I'm just happy to be his partner to be honest.  I wish he would stop beating himself up all of the time.

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