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The Protector Of Light

Grayromantic Aces: How well do you get past old love?

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The Protector Of Light

I'm like...for lack of a better way to put it, 90% aromantic. So I guess the term is Grayro. Anyway. I had one case in my life where I truly and fully was in love with someone. Love at first sight type thing. And to this day, my heart aches when I think of this person, and I dream that I'm in a relationship with them, even thought in the end I only knew them in high school and haven't seen them in years. It drives me crazy thinking about the fact I lacked the confidence to believe I was lovable and say something. We aren't really friends anymore, and I don't know if it would be healthy to try to talk to them again and regain friendship when I still feel this way over a decade later or if that would be downright creepy or stalkerish. I haven't kept track of their life or anything and honestly try to distance myself to stop feeling this way.

 

But, to the point. I was wondering if any Aros/Grayros had the same problem of not being able to get over the people they've loved because it's not as simple as looking around and meeting new people. I have had fleeting crushes that I'm sure were squishes on hind sight. I just feel like I'll never fall in love with anyone like I did this person, and it hurts. Not looking for advice, more seeing if I'm alone in this.

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DarkStormyKnight

Heyo I'm a gray-romantic as well and I totally relate to your situation. Part of what made me realize that I might be gray is that I have a super hard time letting go of crushes because like you said, you can't just turn around and get over someone. Honestly it tends to just derail my life for a couple of years, every time I feel it coming it's "well here we go again ugh" haha. 

I think I also was in love with my ex for a bit, but that just led to a really rough breakup and I'm trying to not jump back into relationships now. But yeah it's just so much harder to deal with those things when you don't know how to move away from it.

It's so sad that you're head over heels for this person you don't talk to anymore. :( I don't really have any advice, but I know that finding close friends and being able to hang out with people without some romantic expectation makes me feel better. But I'm also super down to chat with you if that helps!

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Sarah-Sylvia

I was in love and it didn't work out. It was hard letting go, but I had to, especially knowing that she wasn't in a place to be able to prioritize and love someone intimately on the same level I wanted. I still feel the butterflies, or did, when I thought about her and I wanted to stir up at least a friendship with her and reconnect, but turns out she's still the same, when I need more. I know I can't get my love there, and my heart craves love, so that's why I'm able to move on. It can still be hard sometimes, attachment or whatever.

It can be harder when you don't know if it would've gone well or not. but if you don't know her deep, and she doesn't know you, then you also can't know if it would've worked out at all, or your true feelings beyond the crush. It could be worth treasuring the feelings, but knowing that what you want is real love, and not let yourself hang on a thread like this.
Well, that's just what I can say from not knowing a lot about you.

It could be a bit heartbreaking sometimes to try to reconnect and see if some feelings can grow, if you'd see there isn't as much as you'd like, but it can also be a way to let go of them in the case that you're faced with the reality that it wasn't meant to be (and having more reason to move on), you know? It's not always easy, but just do what you think is good for you.

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The Protector Of Light
17 minutes ago, DarkStormyKnight said:

Heyo I'm a gray-romantic as well and I totally relate to your situation. Part of what made me realize that I might be gray is that I have a super hard time letting go of crushes because like you said, you can't just turn around and get over someone. Honestly it tends to just derail my life for a couple of years, every time I feel it coming it's "well here we go again ugh" haha. 

I think I also was in love with my ex for a bit, but that just led to a really rough breakup and I'm trying to not jump back into relationships now. But yeah it's just so much harder to deal with those things when you don't know how to move away from it.

It's so sad that you're head over heels for this person you don't talk to anymore. :( I don't really have any advice, but I know that finding close friends and being able to hang out with people without some romantic expectation makes me feel better. But I'm also super down to chat with you if that helps!

Thank you! I appreciate it. It is validating to hear that I'm not the only one who has a hard time getting past it.

 

1 minute ago, Sarah-Sylvia said:

I was in love and it didn't work out. It was hard letting go, but I had to, especially knowing that she wasn't in a place to be able to prioritize and love someone intimately on the same level I wanted. I still feel the butterflies, or did, when I thought about her and I wanted to stir up at least a friendship with her and reconnect, but turns out she's still the same, when I need more. I know I can't get my love there, and my heart craves love, so that's why I'm able to move on. It can still be hard sometimes, attachment or whatever.

It can be harder when you don't know if it would've gone well or not. but if you don't know her deep, and she doesn't know you, then you also can't know if it would've worked out at all, or your true feelings beyond the crush. It could be worth treasuring the feelings, but knowing that what you want is real love, and not let yourself hang on a thread like this.
Well, that's just what I can say from not knowing a lot about you.

I see what you mean. Yeah, it's kind of like that. Treasuring the feelings might be better than trying to shove them under a cinder block.

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Balance

I can understand those feelings but if it's been over a decade maybe he/she is behaving very differently now. Maybe you should have some contact at least as friends. "feelings" might disappear actually if you're not just "remembering" him/her and actually interacting with them. Personally, I havent' dated anyone in over a decade and I care about those people but I don't even really think of them as an Ex anymore, they're just aquaintances at this point in my mind. I don't mean that in a belittling way, I mean I'm completely over them and dont' think of them in a relationship-ish way.

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Sarah-Sylvia

Sometimes we're in love with the image we have of them. That's something important to notice to some degree. Because yeah they can be totally different than we think, especially after a lot of time has gone by.

It's still our feelings, it's still our heart. It's just good to know that, and that it's not always just about the person themselves.

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The Protector Of Light
16 minutes ago, Balance said:

I can understand those feelings but if it's been over a decade maybe he/she is behaving very differently now. Maybe you should have some contact at least as friends. "feelings" might disappear actually if you're not just "remembering" him/her and actually interacting with them. Personally, I havent' dated anyone in over a decade and I care about those people but I don't even really think of them as an Ex anymore, they're just aquaintances at this point in my mind. I don't mean that in a belittling way, I mean I'm completely over them and dont' think of them in a relationship-ish way.

I understand you aren't being belittling. That is an idea.

 

5 minutes ago, Sarah-Sylvia said:

Sometimes we're in love with the image we have of them. That's something important to notice to some degree. Because yeah they can be totally different than we think, especially after a lot of time has gone by.

It's still our feelings, it's still our heart. It's just good to know that, and that it's not always just about the person themselves.

Oh yeah, I know. That's why I try to hard to shove it aside. I'm sure they're different. It's just rough.

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Sarah-Sylvia
15 minutes ago, The Protector Of Light said:

I understand you aren't being belittling. That is an idea.

 

Oh yeah, I know. That's why I try to hard to shove it aside. I'm sure they're different. It's just rough.

Yes. I do think it's better to treasure the feelings inside of you than shove them aside, because that love is true in some sense even inside. It's just not necessarily having to do with the actual person. Maybe they can connect, maybe they can't. I just think it's a waste of love to not hold it dear somehow. Of course, I know this is an odd thing to say, I havent seen anyone talk about this, but I at least wanted to bring it up :D

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The Protector Of Light
28 minutes ago, Sarah-Sylvia said:

Yes. I do think it's better to treasure the feelings inside of you than shove them aside, because that love is true in some sense even inside. It's just not necessarily having to do with the actual person. Maybe they can connect, maybe they can't. I just think it's a waste of love to not hold it dear somehow. Of course, I know this is an odd thing to say, I havent seen anyone talk about this, but I at least wanted to bring it up :D

It's all good. The issue is that I'm like...totally romance repulsed unless it's just the right person. So like...the very thought of even wanting such a thing sickens me--I've had complete breakdowns over crushes before because I feel vile and repulsive (and it's nothing to do with gender). That pleasant feeling makes me feel guilty and icky. It's really effed up. I don't think I'm fully aro, I think it's a deeper personal issue tbh. So yeah. I'll probably try to figure out how to treasure it as real even if it's a love of who they were.

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Sarah-Sylvia
1 minute ago, The Protector Of Light said:

It's all good. The issue is that I'm like...totally romance repulsed unless it's just the right person. So like...the very thought of even wanting such a thing sickens me--I've had complete breakdowns over crushes before because I feel vile and repulsive (and it's nothing to do with gender). That pleasant feeling makes me feel guilty and icky. It's really effed up. I don't think I'm fully aro, I think it's a deeper personal issue tbh. So yeah. I'll probably try to figure out how to treasure it as real even if it's a love of who they were.

I see, that's not fun. Why does the feeling make you feel like that? Is it the low self-esteem about yourself? (just asking, you don't have to talk about anything you don't feel comfortable with)

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The Protector Of Light
9 minutes ago, Sarah-Sylvia said:

I see, that's not fun. Why does the feeling make you feel like that? Is it the low self-esteem about yourself? (just asking, you don't have to talk about anything you don't feel comfortable with)

I don't mind. It's all good. It might be a self-esteem issue. I've never felt worthy of being loved in a romantic way, so the thought of falling in love with someone just feels...greedy? Idk, I legitimately battle with anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and symptoms that point toward personality disorders, so I'm sure there's probably even something pathological to it.

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Nylocke

I get past it with some time generally though I've only had 2 times in my life where I was "romantically coherent" I guess I can say considering I never really pursued relationships and seldom obtained them

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thyristor

I couldn't entirely let go of my highschool crush for many years, maybe six years. I had crushes in between, even one that was deep and devastating (but that one was very short in comparison). Nowadays I'm convinced that there is no one and only "Mr. Right" for me, but there might be several more or less right, so, whenever I have a crush on someone, more than the person has a crush on me, I don't fear anymore that it is THE one and only that I'm loosing, I just take it cool, enjoy the positive fantasies while they last and prepare for the depressive phase that I know will follow (and it always follows, and it always hurts.... ).

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Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)

For me it just took years of feeling the pain to finally get over it. Nowadays I don't suffer as much because my heart has become very numb, but for the first 5 years or so it was literal constant agony, so bad I would wake up crying before I even knew I was awake :o ...But yeah, with time your heart should become more numb so you don't feel the pain as bad.. just sadly the rest of the emotions are killed too Y_Y :cake:

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Sarah-Sylvia
1 hour ago, The Protector Of Light said:

I don't mind. It's all good. It might be a self-esteem issue. I've never felt worthy of being loved in a romantic way, so the thought of falling in love with someone just feels...greedy? Idk, I legitimately battle with anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and symptoms that point toward personality disorders, so I'm sure there's probably even something pathological to it.

I get it. I've seen stuff like that and to some degree deal with some myself, even if it isn't like you. It's definitely not greedy to want to be loved, and to accept that you can be. I know just saying that wouldn't be enough, but still, you're lovable, and even if you don't feel that it's true. It can make it harder to allow it, but if you can work a little on accepting that it's ok to be loved, you could inch closer to it, not feeling as much resistance from your feelings.

It's taken me a long time to get to where I am because of the anxiety disorder I've had. It can take time, but I know it's possible to inch forward and gain self worth. I've seen really weird people find love, whether they're aggressive or dumb or full of problems. Somehow there's people who see past some things and still love them. There's all sorts of people, and they don't see things like we do. You can feel one way but they see differently. You can be loved just like anyone else.

Well, I at least wanted to say that :)

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The Protector Of Light
33 minutes ago, Sarah-Sylvia said:

I get it. I've seen stuff like that and to some degree deal with some myself, even if it isn't like you. It's definitely not greedy to want to be loved, and to accept that you can be. I know just saying that wouldn't be enough, but still, you're lovable, and even if you don't feel that it's true. It can make it harder to allow it, but if you can work a little on accepting that it's ok to be loved, you could inch closer to it, not feeling as much resistance from your feelings.

It's taken me a long time to get to where I am because of the anxiety disorder I've had. It can take time, but I know it's possible to inch forward and gain self worth. I've seen really weird people find love, whether they're aggressive or dumb or full of problems. Somehow there's people who see past some things and still love them. There's all sorts of people, and they don't see things like we do. You can feel one way but they see differently. You can be loved just like anyone else.

Well, I at least wanted to say that :)

Thank you for the kind words.

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IrishArcher

I've only ever liked one person romantically. I didn't get to know her super well, and she did something objectively pretty shitty to me, and I'll most likely never see her again, but for some reason I still think of her fondly and wish her the best. On some level I think I may still have feelings for her, though they only surface when I consciously think about her (which is thankfully not often anymore). I have been attempting to move on, but I'm not sure how successful I've been so far.

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stoically deep

I currently identify as an asexual. But I am still confused regarding my romantic identity. Recently, I opened up to a friend regarding my stance on romantic attraction. You see, it's been quite a long while (around more than 2 years)  since I've had a romantic crush. Those feelings didn't last long after it ruined my friendship with the guy. 

Because of that,  I continue to contemplate whether if I'm a heteroromantic or a gray romantic person. I have forgotten how it felt to have romantic attraction. Though,  I become interested in guys if they show an interest in me (dropping hints or indirect confessions) or if they're popular or relatively handsome (because if they like me,  i will get attention from a revered and popular person like them). That was it for me.  I wanted ATTENTION. Not a romantic relationship with them. 

But then, I am also reminded of my first love who I still admire to this day.I have never seen him for 7 years. Never talked to him as well these past 7 years. But i still want him to be the guy who I get to know better and stay with.  

Though, I also don't want to be in a relationship AT ALL.  I am a hopeless romantic but I just don't want to involve myself in dating and marriage. Not because i hate romance but because i want to be an independent person for the rest of my life. If possible, I would rather just let my first love be my closest friend. Someone I could just be beside with.  But i know that would never happen which breaks my heart every day. 

 So do you think I am a gray romantic? Can you also give me advice on how to move on? Cos it just hurts so bad. 

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Sarah-Sylvia
1 hour ago, stoically deep said:

I currently identify as an asexual. But I am still confused regarding my romantic identity. Recently, I opened up to a friend regarding my stance on romantic attraction. You see, it's been quite a long while (around more than 2 years)  since I've had a romantic crush. Those feelings didn't last long after it ruined my friendship with the guy. 

Because of that,  I continue to contemplate whether if I'm a heteroromantic or a gray romantic person. I have forgotten how it felt to have romantic attraction. Though,  I become interested in guys if they show an interest in me (dropping hints or indirect confessions) or if they're popular or relatively handsome (because if they like me,  i will get attention from a revered and popular person like them). That was it for me.  I wanted ATTENTION. Not a romantic relationship with them. 

But then, I am also reminded of my first love who I still admire to this day.I have never seen him for 7 years. Never talked to him as well these past 7 years. But i still want him to be the guy who I get to know better and stay with.  

Though, I also don't want to be in a relationship AT ALL.  I am a hopeless romantic but I just don't want to involve myself in dating and marriage. Not because i hate romance but because i want to be an independent person for the rest of my life. If possible, I would rather just let my first love be my closest friend. Someone I could just be beside with.  But i know that would never happen which breaks my heart every day. 

 So do you think I am a gray romantic? Can you also give me advice on how to move on? Cos it just hurts so bad. 

Yes I would consider that gray romantic. It does seem like you experience romantic attraction, but there's other stuff going on. It's a bit hard to tell. Like, some people can have strong connection at first, but then it goes down. It can be that they're looking for the falling in love feelings, rather than the love itself, which can take time to grow. People are weird sometimes. But whether you're more romantic and it's an emotional complication or not, I would still put it in gray. Usually a crush would mean you're romantic, but it's not all there is to it.

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stoically deep

Thanks for your insight Sarah-Sylvia! 😊 Truth be told,  even I don't get my feelings sometimes so yeah... People are weird.  

 

It's really been hard for me to identify what's my romantic orientation. My friend said that I could also be aro, which got me thinking. I didn't know that aromantic existed in a spectrum as well and I always thought 'since i still have feelings for this guy, i cannot be aro'

 

But these last two years have really made me forgot what's it like to have a crush. Yet when I feel like someone likes me, I start becoming awkward around them, quietly hoping that my suspicions are correct. But when I confirm that they're wrong, I instantly forget about it.  I know... I'm such an attention seeker. 

 

I really wish I could get a clearer understanding of myself and my feelings but heh..... i don't know anymore. 

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Gnome.1

I know this is a tough thing for many people, myself included.   I don't consider myself grayromantic, but then again I have only had romantic attraction twice.  Each time was put me into a euphoric brain fog that lasted for months leaving me acting a fool trying to figure out what was wrong with me.   

 

I ended up marrying the first and was still married when the second happened about 3 years ago and I will probably never get over it.   I was on week vacation by myself when I met her and everything just clicked, Sparks and all when we talked.   When I got home I couldn't help but think about her.  I connected with her online and have kept in contact ever since.   

 

I always had those feelings for her that wouldn't go away, the longer I knew her and the more we talked the stronger the feelings. After almost three years of having the feelings I finally broke down and told her how I felt.   Started with telling her I knew it wasn't going to be reciprocated on and that all I could ever truly hope for was that she was happy and that I would do anything to help make that happen.   We are still good friends and my nerves have calmed some when thinking about her.  I was correct that she thinks of me as a dear friend and nothing more but I am ok with that.   I still enjoy talking with her and now knowing that she knows how I feel I don't feel like I am hiding anything from her.   If this had gone wrong and she never wanted to talk again I would probably be fine with it but would always think of her. For me she is the lost forbidden love that I can never have.  It pains me, but I feel I am better for it.

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Hydrolysis

I usually linger on the matter for a long time. I rarely feel anything romantic for anyone. So so rarely, I would also describe myself as 90% aromantic and off this website I identify as aroace just because it's easier to explain in a black and white way than get into particulars since attraction is so rare. It feels distressing to me when it ends only because the first thing that pops in my mind is "I'll never get this feeling again." and considering I've only felt that once, I worry it might be true. I had another time where I felt infatuation that made me realize I could have some sort of crush but the one real time I felt in love it was with someone I was friends with for 9 years and I didn't begin to feel that way until after I got over the infatuation with the other person. It's strange. Anyway, I flip in and out of missing the person and missing the feeling. I think I just really like the rush of caring for someone in that way. It's an exciting feeling but it is such a rare occurrence for me it scares me when it ends. Although I do believe I'm a lot more clear headed when I'm not in love mode. I focus a lot better and have more time for things that are important to me. Most of the time I don't think of the person but every once in awhile I'll have a fond memory and feel nostalgic, other times I'll remember something bad and I'll just feel disgust. I was never in an explicitly romantic relationship with this person and they did push some boundaries that weren't okay so that could explain my mixed feelings but they did certainly bring out feelings I wasn't sure I really had. I guess if I'm thinking this much about it I'm not fully past it in that I miss certain aspects but I do view it as a chapter of my life that I closed. I just hope that maybe one day I'll meet someone else who can make me feel those things.

 

TLDR; I had 1 infatuation where my feelings burned out quick and 1 love where I had known the person for so long but hadn't developed feelings until many years of being friends with them. That makes me worry I might never feel something like that again because it wasn't a normal occurrence for me and I liked the feeling so of course it's hard to get completely over but I think I'm doing well considering.

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