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NicoleHolmes

Romance feels forced sometimes

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NicoleHolmes

Have you ever felt really strong feelings for someone, but getting in a relationship ruins it? Like the relationship and the pet names and all just feels really forced? Looking back, I wonder if that is because I actually had strong platonic feelings for those guys and misinterpreted it as being romantic. Or maybe it just felt weird beause we had been friends for so long that it felt unnatural to change to romance later on. 

So far every time I have gone through a breakup I have felt relieved. Not sure if that's because relationships are not for me overall, or because those specific people were not for me. Guess I've got plenty of time to figure it out though. :)

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BeakLove
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Have you ever felt really strong feelings for someone, but getting in a relationship ruins it? Like the relationship and the pet names and all just feels really forced?

Not personally, but I know that you can't just switch those kind of things "on". You're either "gooey" for them, or you're not, so-to-speak. Tagging something with "relationship" doesn't magically make those feelings arrive to justify it.

 

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So far every time I have gone through a breakup I have felt relieved. Not sure if that's because relationships are not for me overall, or because those specific people were not for me. Guess I've got plenty of time to figure it out though. 

You do have lots of time and shouldn't rush to conclusions.

 

It's more likely than not that those people simply weren't for you. Liking someone or enjoying being around them doesn't mean you'd make good partners. Relationships (of any serious kind, anyway) are much more demanding and much more intimate. A lot more time spent with the other person, more expectations, less boundaries and space. With the "right" person, that can be wonderful, but sometimes a friend should just stay simply that. You can like someone a lot but not have the kind of strong feelings that lead to you wishing to entangle yourself with them in the all-encompassing way that romance entails. 

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NicoleHolmes
1 hour ago, BeakLove said:

Liking someone or enjoying being around them doesn't mean you'd make good partners.

I agree with your reply, this part in particular. Once the relationship got serious, I learned that just because we made excellent friends, that did not mean we agreed on things like where to go to church or how to raise kids. 

Often times it seems like the people I develop "gooey" feelings for (to use your word), are not good matches for me in those important ways.

 

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BeakLove
12 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

I agree with your reply, this part in particular. Once the relationship got serious, I learned that just because we made excellent friends, that did not mean we agreed on things like where to go to church or how to raise kids. 

Often times it seems like the people I develop "gooey" feelings for (to use your word), are not good matches for me in those important ways.

If you're not compatible on the big issues: your social strictures, your life plans, your philosophy/outlook, and your sexual inclinations then you're probably not a good fit. Unfortunately, you're quite right, our minds often make us chase after people who are not suitable at all! Sometimes two can be playing at that game mutually.

 

I've come to the view that you basically have to be 70-80%+ compatible to begin with because people's scope to genuinely grow/change is limited and very slow-burning. 

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Neutral Charge
10 minutes ago, BeakLove said:

If you're not compatible on the big issues: your social strictures, your life plans, your philosophy/outlook, and your sexual inclinations then you're probably not a good fit. Unfortunately, you're quite right, our minds often make us chase after people who are not suitable at all! Sometimes two can be playing at that game mutually.

 

I've come to the view that you basically have to be 70-80%+ compatible to begin with because people's scope to genuinely grow/change is limited and very slow-burning. 

This is something i was actually debating today, i was just thinking something similar to what you said, i am teribly confused to how does love come naturally..and how much do we need to have in common..makes me not even wanna try sometimes 😅

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helana12_03
On 9/12/2019 at 12:47 AM, NicoleHolmes said:

Have you ever felt really strong feelings for someone, but getting in a relationship ruins it? Like the relationship and the pet names and all just feels really forced? Looking back, I wonder if that is because I actually had strong platonic feelings for those guys and misinterpreted it as being romantic. Or maybe it just felt weird beause we had been friends for so long that it felt unnatural to change to romance later on. 

So far every time I have gone through a breakup I have felt relieved. Not sure if that's because relationships are not for me overall, or because those specific people were not for me. Guess I've got plenty of time to figure it out though. :)

Yes, I hated all the romantic stuff. It all felt very unnatural (including being in a relationship that I really wanted to be in before it started). The whole entire time I felt conflicted. Part of me wanted to be in this relationship and part of me wanted out. The breakup was pretty horrible. I was heartbroken for a while, but a few months later I realized that I was much happier alone.

 

The guy I dated had also been a friend of mine for a long time before we started dating. It felt a bit weird at first but that was actually the fun part. In my case our friendship had nothing to do with my awkwardness around romance. But I feel like my commitment-phobia (which I wasn't fully aware of at the time) probably contributed.

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NicoleHolmes
9 hours ago, helana12_03 said:

It all felt very unnatural (including being in a relationship that I really wanted to be in before it started). The whole entire time I felt conflicted. Part of me wanted to be in this relationship and part of me wanted out.

Yes, I'm sorry you went through this but I'm glad you understand, so I don't feel crazy. A few times I have had strong feelings for someone (I was pretty darn sure they were romantic feelings) and I wanted nothing more than to date them. But once we started dating it just felt... wrong.

I wonder if that feeling was my gut was telling me they were a bad match for me? Because I do have a strong intuition, which I sometimes try to ignore when I don't like what it's saying.

I've also wondered if I am commitment-phobic, because I don't like to be tied down and I'm hesitant to make promises lest I can't keep them.

Also, the last guy I went out with, my friend asked me later "Do you like him? Is he cute?" I gave her a list of pros and cons. Religious beliefs, appearance, shared hobbies. She said "you approach this so... logically. And factually." Maybe I'm just not good at dating! 😂 But I was trying to consider all of the things we need to be compatible on so I don't get involved with another person who doesn't want to quit drinking and doing drugs and partying with strange women. -_-

Conclusion to that story: the dude met several qualifications like sharing my faith and interests, but he was super immature and got mad when I didn't text him often enough. Sooooo emotional maturity and communication skills are going to the top of that list of qualifications lol.

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BeakLove
4 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

Yes, I'm sorry you went through this but I'm glad you understand, so I don't feel crazy. A few times I have had strong feelings for someone (I was pretty darn sure they were romantic feelings) and I wanted nothing more than to date them. But once we started dating it just felt... wrong.

I've thought quite a bit about how to when we should date someone, and when the optimal time is to ask.

 

Usually we don't actually know a whole lot about someone before we start dating them... we just know we're into them. But when you start "dating" it forces you at an instant to clarify many boundaries and expectations. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I think relationships (of any stripe) benefit from a period of constructive ambiguity: to allow us to become more comfortable with each other, and become more like each other as well, without things being explicitly said. Sometimes being hit with the weight of expectations early in a relationship when it just isn't strong enough to handle it can make something non-viable. It may be the case it was destined not to work, but I do think sometimes viable relationships are spoiled by expectations too early on. On the flip side, leaving a friendship develop for so long without declaring romantic intent can mean it never advances for (legitimate) fear of ruining it; so it's destined to be stunted at that stage.


No perfect strategy!

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helana12_03
3 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

Yes, I'm sorry you went through this but I'm glad you understand, so I don't feel crazy. A few times I have had strong feelings for someone (I was pretty darn sure they were romantic feelings) and I wanted nothing more than to date them. But once we started dating it just felt... wrong.

I wonder if that feeling was my gut was telling me they were a bad match for me? Because I do have a strong intuition, which I sometimes try to ignore when I don't like what it's saying.

I've also wondered if I am commitment-phobic, because I don't like to be tied down and I'm hesitant to make promises lest I can't keep them.

Also, the last guy I went out with, my friend asked me later "Do you like him? Is he cute?" I gave her a list of pros and cons. Religious beliefs, appearance, shared hobbies. She said "you approach this so... logically. And factually." Maybe I'm just not good at dating! 😂 But I was trying to consider all of the things we need to be compatible on so I don't get involved with another person who doesn't want to quit drinking and doing drugs and partying with strange women. -_-

That's how I felt. Part of me feels I tried dating because of peer/societal pressure when I wasn't even ready. Everyone kept telling me that I would end up alone and miserable if I didn't start dating. At first I gave them a list of qualifications just to shut them up lol (based on TV characters who didn't seem like jerks and stories I head from friends). Then I started thinking "oh no, what if I do end up alone and miserable" and decided to give dating a try (I had zero interest at the time). I basically used the list of qualifications as guidelines. A few months later I started dating one of my friends. We were really close and had strong feelings for each other. 

 

Being in a relationship made me feel more lonely than I'd ever felt in my life (so much for not being alone). I was miserable. I also felt like I was losing myself and hated the person I was turning into. It simply wasn't me or anything close to who I wanted to be. I was disgusted with myself and my new personality. Part of me constantly wanted to break free. The whole thing felt wrong and unnatural. The only time when I felt even remotely like myself was when I was out with my friends (or my ex) as a single person, without doing couply things (double dates were the absolute worst!). My ex would often tell me that he felt like I was forcing myself into a relationship I didn't really want to be in. But I disagreed. Now I know that romantic relationships just aren't my thing :)

 

3 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

I've also wondered if I am commitment-phobic, because I don't like to be tied down and I'm hesitant to make promises lest I can't keep them.

That's kind of how I feel about committing to things.

 

3 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

Conclusion to that story: the dude met several qualifications like sharing my faith and interests, but he was super immature and got mad when I didn't text him often enough. Sooooo emotional maturity and communication skills are going to the top of that list of qualifications lol.

Dude seems super clingy. I had a friend like that and lets just say that our friendship didn't last very long. 

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NicoleHolmes
4 hours ago, helana12_03 said:

I also felt like I was losing myself and hated the person I was turning into. It simply wasn't me or anything close to who I wanted to be. I was disgusted with myself and my new personality. Part of me constantly wanted to break free. The whole thing felt wrong and unnatural. The only time when I felt even remotely like myself was when I was out with my friend

I felt like this, too.

Long story time.

My first relationship was with my childhood best friend of 10 years. Initially I had what I now know as a friend-crush or squish on him. I loved him intensely but couldn't imagine romance or kissing him. After talking daily for over a year, we both ended up with romantic feelings for each other. But almost as soon as we started a relationship I felt wrong and uncomfortable. My mom said "maybe its just because you've never dated before." But it was more than that. Now I know my gut was trying to warn me this was a bad idea. He ended up being emotionally abusive and controlling in our relationship, although he never was abusive when we were just friends. I stayed with him for 2 1/2 miserable years and we were engaged for a while.

My second relationship was six months after I finally broke up with the first guy. It was too soon-- I wasn't ready for another relationship. But I was lonely, he was an available new guy at my church, and everyone kept telling me "he's such a good guy, give it a chance." So while I wanted to get to know him as friends first, I jumped into a relationship instead. And was almost immediately miserable. This relationship was healthier than the first. He treated me well. But we didn't have much in common and we couldn't have deep conversations. We stayed together over a year.

I have talked to a few other guys and chose not to get into a relationship based on certain important differences between us.

Then there was another guy I've been friends with for almost 12 years. He's always had a special place in my heart. It turned romantic. I kept it secret for a long time so as not to ruin our friendship. Last Christmas I finally told him how I felt. He said he loved me too and we discussed dating. But as soon as we started treating each other like a couple, it felt so... forced. And unnatural. Within like 3 months we decided it wouldn't work, but thankfully we're still friends. This time I think the forced feeling came from his end. He didn't feel as strongly for me as I did for him.

So I guess I need to find someone that we both have romantic feelings for each other, both physically attracted to each other, have all the important things in common, and feel comfortable being a couple.

Or find somebody with mutual platonic feelings and be in a QPP.

Or just stay single.

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helana12_03
2 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

I felt like this, too.

Long story time.

My first relationship was with my childhood best friend of 10 years. Initially I had what I now know as a friend-crush or squish on him. I loved him intensely but couldn't imagine romance or kissing him. After talking daily for over a year, we both ended up with romantic feelings for each other. But almost as soon as we started a relationship I felt wrong and uncomfortable. My mom said "maybe its just because you've never dated before." But it was more than that. Now I know my gut was trying to warn me this was a bad idea. He ended up being emotionally abusive and controlling in our relationship, although he never was abusive when we were just friends. I stayed with him for 2 1/2 miserable years and we were engaged for a while.

My second relationship was six months after I finally broke up with the first guy. It was too soon-- I wasn't ready for another relationship. But I was lonely, he was an available new guy at my church, and everyone kept telling me "he's such a good guy, give it a chance." So while I wanted to get to know him as friends first, I jumped into a relationship instead. And was almost immediately miserable. This relationship was healthier than the first. He treated me well. But we didn't have much in common and we couldn't have deep conversations. We stayed together over a year.

You're a lot better at this than I am lol. My relationship barely lasted a couple of months (and then another 6-7 months on and off). 

 

2 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

So I guess I need to find someone that we both have romantic feelings for each other, both physically attracted to each other, have all the important things in common, and feel comfortable being a couple.

Or find somebody with mutual platonic feelings and be in a QPP.

Or just stay single.

Have you been in a QPR before? I feel like those types of relationships feel far less committing/romantic/unnatural for us aro aces. 

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NicoleHolmes
16 minutes ago, helana12_03 said:

Have you been in a QPR before? I feel like those types of relationships feel far less committing/romantic/unnatural for us aro aces. 

I haven't, but I'm curious about them and they sound appealing. If I knew that was an option, I probably would have chosen to go for a QPP in the first place. 

I haven't yet figured out my romantic orientation. As a gray ace I do know that I am capable of being romantically and physically attracted to people sometimes, so I am holding out hope that I may find somebody who I "fit" with. 

But if not, or if I decide against it, a QPP sounds like a nice possibility. I could live with a best friend, and be physically affectionate but not necessarily sexual with them, and have their company, but have our own separate lives. I would want it to be exclusive (neither of us dating other people) because I would get attached. But it might feel less restrictive than a traditional relationship where I feel obliged to fill a traditional wifely role. Just because I love someone and want to be close to them, doesn't mean I want to mold myself to that role. 

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BeakLove
10 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

But if not, or if I decide against it, a QPP sounds like a nice possibility. I could live with a best friend, and be physically affectionate but not necessarily sexual with them, and have their company, but have our own separate lives. I would want it to be exclusive (neither of us dating other people) because I would get attached. But it might feel less restrictive than a traditional relationship where I feel obliged to fill a traditional wifely role. Just because I love someone and want to be close to them, doesn't mean I want to mold myself to that role. 

You can be in a relationship with someone without having to fulfil "traditional" roles. 

 

There's a bit of a contradiction in what you're proposing, though. You want a relationship with someone that's close, but separate: where you can each have "[your] own separate lives". Perfectly reasonable and fine. But at the same time you mandate that the other person doesn't pursue nor have romantic/sexual entanglements with other people; you want the exclusivity. But if you are not romantically involved, if you do not have the strength of feeling, if you do not have that attraction, then surely you are denying one another the opportunity to find that in your lives. Surely part of the best friend role is stepping aside and allowing someone to pursue a relationship when they find that person they connect with in that unique way, rather than trying to stunt it. 

 

There's nothing wrong, of course, with two people living together who've mutually conceded that romance is unlikely to find them. But it seems a shame for two friends, particularly (presumably) younger people, to mutually indulge in trying to cut down opportunities for it. In any case, my understanding of "QPR" is that it wasn't exclusive.

 

Personally (and this is just my opinion), I think if you want a long-term exclusive relationship you're best sticking to your own advice here:

 

13 hours ago, NicoleHolmes said:

So I guess I need to find someone that we both have romantic feelings for each other, both physically attracted to each other, have all the important things in common, and feel comfortable being a couple.

It's a tall order but I think this is what's needed. The divorce rate and the break-up rate in general attests to the challenging threshold needed to make these things work! 

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NicoleHolmes
13 hours ago, BeakLove said:

You can be in a relationship with someone without having to fulfil "traditional" roles. 

 

There's a bit of a contradiction in what you're proposing, though. You want a relationship with someone that's close, but separate: where you can each have "[your] own separate lives". Perfectly reasonable and fine. But at the same time you mandate that the other person doesn't pursue nor have romantic/sexual entanglements with other people; you want the exclusivity. But if you are not romantically involved, if you do not have the strength of feeling, if you do not have that attraction, then surely you are denying one another the opportunity to find that in your lives. Surely part of the best friend role is stepping aside and allowing someone to pursue a relationship when they find that person they connect with in that unique way, rather than trying to stunt it. 

 

There's nothing wrong, of course, with two people living together who've mutually conceded that romance is unlikely to find them. But it seems a shame for two friends, particularly (presumably) younger people, to mutually indulge in trying to cut down opportunities for it. In any case, my understanding of "QPR" is that it wasn't exclusive.

 

Personally (and this is just my opinion), I think if you want a long-term exclusive relationship you're best sticking to your own advice here:

 

It's a tall order but I think this is what's needed. The divorce rate and the break-up rate in general attests to the challenging threshold needed to make these things work! 

You have a good point. As a gray ace I do occasionally find people I am sexually and romantically attracted to. Getting into a platonic partnership now could prevent me from finding someone like that in the future. I'm undecided on whether I want to. If I decide I never want that, I would get in a QPP with someone else who also doesn't want that, so as not to limit them. 

A possible solution for now would be to be roommates with a good friend, so I would have company and not be lonely, but not exclude the possibility of getting into a romantic relationship later on. 

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