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MSBThePale

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MSBThePale

I've had discussions about this topic before but I just need to rant.

 

It's already so hard for me to make friends but lately I feel like I've been getting better and more social lately. And that's great because while I'm grayro, in a romantic relationship, I still crave platonic relationships.

 

But I have a huge squish on this friend of mine. And she seems like the one person in my friend group that I haven't gotten any closer to this year, because she spends almost 24/7 with her boyfriend.

 

I've been patient, I want her to be happy. But it's still so frustrating that she never makes any time for her friends because of him! And he's a great guy dont get me wrong, but so great you just ignore your friends? It's just not fair.

 

I finally caught her on her own today, and I've been planning a big dnd event with some friends on Sunday. She's known about this for weeks but she still told me she's spending the weekend with him. No big deal I guess, I mean it's just a game and I'll have other events in the future. But I was just really looking forward to this? And I can almost see a pattern happening.

 

The worst part is I've known her for over five years and she only met him this summer. Its just so annoying how close he gets to her so suddenly!! It really feels like a "what does he have that I don't have?" Situation but I know the answer. She likes him romantically. It's just not fair.

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CBC
1 hour ago, MSBThePale said:

she spends almost 24/7 with her boyfriend.

Yes...

 

1 hour ago, MSBThePale said:

she only met him this summer

...and this is why.

 

1 hour ago, MSBThePale said:

"what does he have that I don't have?"

A romantic connection with her.

 

I know it sucks, but that's how it often goes at the beginning of a new relationship. Even after that point, romantic partners tend to take precedence over friends in some ways. There's a natural hierarchy there. If she completely buggers off and never makes time for you even after the relationship has settled down somewhat, or treats you rudely, that's a problem... but to some extent, that's just the way of the world.

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MakeupJunkie4

I understand your frustrations (I've been there many times myself). But unfortunately if that's how your friend prioritizes her relationships - there's not much you can do, and it's best to just let her be and not try to reach out too much. It hurts, I know - but you've gotta take care of you. Not to say there needs to be any bad blood between you, but maybe just let the distance stay there until further notice. If you don't, you'll probably end up miserable and maybe even damage your friendship.

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Skycaptain

@MSBThePale, I'll look at this from the other angle. When you're in love with someone, they dominate your thoughts 24/7. When your not with them you just want to be with them. Sometimes this overrides your other friendships, particularly early in a relationship. I'm in this situation, where one person takes precedence over all other thoughts at the moment.

This may, in the case of your friend, be even more the case if she can't be with her BF every night. 

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CBC
22 minutes ago, Skycaptain said:

When you're in love with someone, they dominate your thoughts 24/7.

Can confirm, lol.

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Homer
41 minutes ago, Skycaptain said:

When you're in love with someone, they dominate your thoughts 24/7.

That sounds more like a hostage situation. (Which it is until people regain their senses, according to my experience.)

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CBC

Errr... well it isn't unless it's a toxic sort of infatuation. Of which I've been on the receiving end, involving what's often known as 'love bombing', and it made me feel like I was going insane.

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Skycaptain
1 minute ago, Homer said:

That sounds more like a hostage situation. (Which it is until people regain their senses, according to my experience.)

I'll have to respectfully disagree here. I'm speaking from personal experience here. People in love just want to be with their partner, there's something in your brain chemistry that changes. If you're apart then you just want to be with them, you want them to share whatever your doing. It's not a hostage situation. I'm finding it hard to put into words, because it's never happened to me before, nor was I ever expecting to be here, but all I can say is that it is the best feeling in the world. 

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theV0ID

Hmm, yeah it sucks when close friends get into relationships and nothing else really matters to them for a while, but that's life. They'll probably be less obsessed with each other in a few months or so and remember that they enjoy spending time with their friends too (and if they don't then... is the sort of person who ditches their friends really the sort of person you want to be friends with?). This is just something your going to have to accept; most romantic people go through a New Relationship Energy/limerence stage where their partner dominates their life for a while, they they calm down and settle into a "new normal", you just have to be patient.

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MSBThePale
3 hours ago, CBC said:

There's a natural hierarchy there.

I would hardly call it natural. Our society has tried to make it seem like romantic relationships are the most important type of bond a person can have. And believe me, as someone who is in a romantic relationship, I know it feels pretty dang important but I wouldn't be able to survive without my platonic friends.

 

And every time someone I know pushes their friends away by centering their attention on the current love interest, they end up alone and miserable when the infatuation ends and the relationship breaks off. So how can it be natural when they're left needing a friend?

 

Be that as it may, I know too well this is still how the world works as it is. And it sucks.

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MSBThePale
2 hours ago, MakeupJunkie4 said:

I understand your frustrations (I've been there many times myself). But unfortunately if that's how your friend prioritizes her relationships - there's not much you can do, and it's best to just let her be and not try to reach out too much. It hurts, I know - but you've gotta take care of you. Not to say there needs to be any bad blood between you, but maybe just let the distance stay there until further notice. If you don't, you'll probably end up miserable and maybe even damage your friendship.

I know, I'm starting to see that this might just be a fruitless endeavor. I've been trying to get her to notice me for years. And yeag we're good friends but there's still some distance between us that never seems to be there when a new boyfriend comes along.

I think it's time I give up. I mean, I've tried in the past but it never worked, so this time I'm thinking of just doing what you do with a crush and get rejected. I've been sitting on these feelings for so long and never thought I'd have to tell her but I know nothing's going to change until I hear her say she'll never feel the same.

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MSBThePale
1 hour ago, Skycaptain said:

@MSBThePale, I'll look at this from the other angle. When you're in love with someone, they dominate your thoughts 24/7. When your not with them you just want to be with them. Sometimes this overrides your other friendships, particularly early in a relationship. I'm in this situation, where one person takes precedence over all other thoughts at the moment.

This may, in the case of your friend, be even more the case if she can't be with her BF every night. 

You don't need to lecture me, I've been there before. I thought coming to AVEN, I might find people that understand that romantic love isn't the strongest type you can feel. I've had romantic feelings, in fact I have someone I love romantically right now, so I know it's pretty intense. But my platonic feelings for her are intense too. 

Bottom line is, I just don't think it's considerate to your friends and other people who love you, to only pay attention to your love interest for weeks on end. 

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MSBThePale
43 minutes ago, theV0ID said:

They'll probably be less obsessed with each other in a few months or so and remember that they enjoy spending time with their friends too 

Thats what I thought about the last boyfriend, but she immediately found this guy after breaking up. I'm sick of waiting around for her to care about me, you're probably right that it isn't worth it. I need to rip off this bandaid.

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CBC
22 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

I would hardly call it natural.

Gonna have to disagree there.

 

22 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

Our society has tried to make it seem like romantic relationships are the most important type of bond a person can have.

Is this like the argument that 'the media' makes us want to have sex and that we're just brainwashed? Because... no.

 

22 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

And believe me, as someone who is in a romantic relationship, I know it feels pretty dang important but I wouldn't be able to survive without my platonic friends.

Absolutely no one is saying that. Quite often, a (stable, healthy, committed) romantic partnership is someone's strongest or most all-encompassing or important (or whatever) bond, but no one is saying that you shouldn't have others that are quite important. Your partner shouldn't be the only person in your life, just like your best friend or your mother shouldn't be. I don't have many people in my life and currently see very few in person for a variety of reasons (which is rather painful -- and that's including my partner, since we currently live on opposite sides of the Atlantic), but no matter how much I love my partner (and I do, very much), I'd go mental if I never talked to anyone else or didn't care about anyone else. This is normal. No one is suggesting that you should survive without your friends. Some people feel that way about their family as well. Also totally normal.

 

22 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

And every time someone I know pushes their friends away by centering their attention on the current love interest, they end up alone and miserable when the infatuation ends and the relationship breaks off. So how can it be natural when they're left needing a friend?

That sounds like you're talking about situations where relationships turn sour. Which doesn't always happen. And if they end up truly, completely alone after a breakup, due to having pushed all their friends away... well, they're not a very psychological stable person, I don't think.

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MSBThePale
2 minutes ago, CBC said:

Is this like the argument that 'the media' makes us want to have sex and that we're just brainwashed? Because... no.

That is absolutely not anything alike what I said, what? What??

Basically what you said about relationships being in variety. All I'm saying is a romantic relationship doesn't have to be important because it's romantic. Obviously, if you're close to your romantic partner, it may be the most important relationship you have, but if you just met the person four months ago, I disagree that they should take precedence over friends you've known for years or family you have healthy relationships with. 

 

6 minutes ago, CBC said:

That sounds like you're talking about situations where relationships turn sour. Which doesn't always happen. And if they end up truly, completely alone after a breakup, due to having pushed all their friends away... well, they're not a very psychological stable person, I don't think.

I don't know, I see this happen a lot. Its happened with friends, friends of friends, I hear people complain about it a lot. 

I think it's becoming more common not to have these situations happen because people are becoming more aware of what healthy boundaries are in romantic relationships, but clearly it still happens, such as in my situation.

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Janus DarkFox

A reminder that we shouldn’t attack other members romantic experiences, members will have various relational experiences and avoiding a certain level of romantic elitism based on such experiences.

 

Personally even though I’m in a romantic/sexual relationship (put on a full years hold or more due to COVID) I’ve never at any point experienced the attraction or the thought processes described already.  I like this one way devotion as the BF experiences this when in or out of my physical presence.  The BF knows this given his limited intellectual understanding of the AroAce difference.  We’ve been dating in the relationship for 3 years with little to no developments after the 6 month point.

 

I’ll move this to Romantic and Aromantic Orientations for the relationship themes given here.

 

Janus DarkFox

Questions about Asexuality, Asexual Musings and Rantings & Open Mic Moderator

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Also...

 

21 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

I've had romantic feelings, in fact I have someone I love romantically right now, so I know it's pretty intense. But my platonic feelings for her are intense too. 

Well yes, and that's how it should be in a healthy and well-rounded romantic relationship. You should like/love your partner as a friend, too. 
 

Anyway, I've said my bit on the rest of it. I don't feel like there's anything else I can add that will make my point in any additional way.

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5 minutes ago, Janus DarkFox said:

A reminder that we shouldn’t attack other members romantic experiences

Who's attacking? We're discussing the subject raised by the OP. What counts as 'attacking' now? Simply not agreeing on something or feeling differently? I thought this was the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, not the Everyone Has To Feel The Same Way Network.

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MSBThePale
2 minutes ago, Janus DarkFox said:

A reminder that we shouldn’t attack other members romantic experiences, members will have various relational experiences and avoiding a certain level of romantic elitism based on such experiences.

I apologize. I got heated because I've been frustrated and maybe a little heartbroken all evening. It's hard to talk about this with my allo friends. I definitely know these experiences are different for everyone.

 

4 minutes ago, Janus DarkFox said:

Personally even though I’m in a romantic/sexual relationship (put on a full years hold or more due to COVID) I’ve never at any point experienced the attraction or the thought processes described already.  I like this one way devotion as the BF experiences this when in or out of my physical presence.  The BF knows this given his limited intellectual understanding of the AroAce difference.  We’ve been dating in the relationship for 3 years with little to no developments after the 6 month point.

This is an interesting angle. My relationship with my own boyfriend is similar sometimes. And I consider him my best friend, but my feelings for him are still very different from the way I feel about my squish.

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MSBThePale
5 minutes ago, CBC said:

You should like/love your partner as a friend, too. 

Well, I'm grayro, so sometimes I only love my partner as a friend. He understands this.

But I never feel romantically for my squish. Maybe that's the problem, she'll never recognize how important my feelings really are. 

 

I guess I've known this for years, which is why I've tried to get over her countless times. If only it were that simple though.

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Just now, MSBThePale said:

Well, I'm grayro, so sometimes I only love my partner as a friend.

Hrmm. So what does that mean for you, in practical terms? Does an underlying sense of 'I love this person in a way that involves romantic feelings' completely disappear and then return, over and over? Because there are, of course, times where I'm not in a highly romantic mood, and that's true of pretty much everyone. Just like how, although I enjoy sex very much and need it in a relationship and strongly desire my partner, I'm not constantly needing sex. But I don't ever suddenly switch to absolutely no underlying sense of having a romantic and sexual connection to him. Even if I was having the worst day of my life somehow or in a very bad mood or physically ill or upset with him or... whatever... the fact that we share the type of connection that we do is a constant. How exactly do you mean you only love your partner as a friend at times?

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MSBThePale
2 minutes ago, CBC said:

Hrmm. So what does that mean for you, in practical terms? Does an underlying sense of 'I love this person in a way that involves romantic feelings' completely disappear and then return, over and over? Because there are, of course, times where I'm not in a highly romantic mood, and that's true of pretty much everyone. Just like how, although I enjoy sex very much and need it in a relationship and strongly desire my partner, I'm not constantly needing sex. But I don't ever suddenly switch to absolutely no underlying sense of having a romantic and sexual connection to him. Even if I was having the worst day of my life somehow or in a very bad mood or physically ill or upset with him or... whatever... the fact that we share the type of connection that we do is a constant. How exactly do you mean you only love your partner as a friend at times?

I mean... That isn't really what I'm here to discuss. But to answer your question, I don't feel the need to kiss him or flirt or anything like that. I'm fine just chattiny or playing video games or joking around. In fact, if flirting is introduced, I feel uninterested, sometimes even uncomfortable, and he picks up on it and backs off.

 

But my feelings for him don't fade when they're only platonic. Because even then, he's still just as important to me, I still want him to be in my life just as much. It took me a long time to figure this out because when those periods would come, I'd feel so guilty, like I owed him romance or something, or like I was leading him on. But I genuinely don't hold romantic feelings in higher regard than platonic feelings. 

 

I've been clear to him about this and he understands. I should also add that he finds platonic relationships very important as well and we have a mutual understanding that the other needs to spend exclusive time with friends sometimes.

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1 minute ago, MSBThePale said:

I mean... That isn't really what I'm here to discuss.

No, I know. The conversation just drifted, as conversations tend to do.

 

2 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

But to answer your question, I don't feel the need to kiss him or flirt or anything like that.

Seems pretty normal to me. People in a long-term established relationship don't kiss or flirt all the time. I guess I meant more like... are there days or brief periods where you don't feel interested in that stuff (which is common and normal) or more like 'I haven't wanted to interact romantically for three months now and can't even connect to an underlying sense of non-platonic feelings for him' (not particularly common)?

 

7 minutes ago, MSBThePale said:

we have a mutual understanding that the other needs to spend exclusive time with friends sometimes

Again, very normal and healthy.

 

Remember, your friend is in the early stages of her relationship. This is why she's behaving as she is. If, over the longer term, she completely neglects you though, she's not a very good friend.

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MSBThePale
4 minutes ago, CBC said:

I guess I meant more like... are there days or brief periods where you don't feel interested in that stuff (which is common and normal) or more like 'I haven't wanted to interact romantically for three months now and can't even connect to an underlying sense of non-platonic feelings for him' (not particularly common)?

Considering we live three hours apart and only see each other every couple of weeks, I can't say I particularly notice a difference how I want to act. But sometimes, the thought of him doesn't provoke romantic association. Of course, it used to be more of a pronounced difference, and would last weeks, sometimes months and I would get really scared, thinking I lied about liking him. Now that I've accepted that it's okay to not like him romantically all the time, I don't really keep track of which feelings are which or how long they last. If I think hard in the moment, maybe, but it's not that important to me anymore. Romantic love, platonic love, they're both very strong feelings.

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Hrmm. Ok. Not sure I have much of substance to add, haha.

 

But yes, platonic love can be very strong too, no denying that. I don't know that I've personally had an experience with love for a friend that's felt quite as deep or intense, but I'm not saying that some people don't have that. I think I've felt love for a family member with a similar degree of strength, but it was expressed in different ways of course.

 

I do actually very much think that love is love is love. The actual 'love' part of what I feel for someone isn't particularly different regardless of what type of connection we may have. For me, loving someone involves a deep sense of respect and admiration for who they are and what they bring to my life, and caring about them in a strongly empathetic way. And romantic/sexual connections also involve romantic feelings and sexual desire. Those additional elements are what lead to the development of a particular type of bond and commitment that, in certain realms of life, will mean that that relationship takes precedence over others.

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MSBThePale
33 minutes ago, CBC said:

And romantic/sexual connections also involve romantic feelings and sexual desire. Those additional elements are what lead to the development of a particular type of bond and commitment that, in certain realms of life, will mean that that relationship takes precedence over others.

Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting, but it sounds like you're saying that aspec folk who don't, can't, or very rarely experience sexual and/or romantic attraction or feelings just need to accept that they're missing out, and that we should just deal with the fact that romance and sex is more important than having a meaningful deep, platonic bond and learn to live with the fact that we're going to be pushed to the wayside in favor of romantic partners.

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I didn't say anything about needing to accept that you're missing out because I never used the phrase 'missing out'. Whether you feel like you're missing out or not is all that matters. If you feel you are, you are; if you feel you're not, you're not. A sense of 'missing out' is entirely subjective.

 

But umm... yeah, I suppose you do kinda just have to deal with the way many other people will conduct their relationships and lives, since there's nothing you can to do change them. There are loads of things in literally all realms of life that we don't like or don't think are fair, and I'm no stranger to that myself. But what can I do about it? Nothing.

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Telecaster68
1 hour ago, MSBThePale said:

the fact that romance and sex is more important than having a meaningful deep, platonic bond

I don't think anyone's said it's more important in some objective sense. And for most people, having friendships as a Thing, is just as important as having a partnered relationship. But people only have finite time and emotional energy, and partners do get priority for most people, because they're, well, partners, and lives are far more entwined than with friends.

 

Which isn't to say it's easy - I've felt in a kind of secondary role in friends' lives and it can suck. It's just how it is, in the same way that a parent has more time and emotion for their own kid than other people's. 

 

But the fact that this pains you so much, does make me wonder: are the things that you're missing from your friend, things you could get in your actual romantic relationship?

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ER2742

Have you told her that you want to develop a closer (or more active, or whatever goals you might have) friendship? Is she aware of how her behavior is making you feel? If not, that's probably an important conversation to have. It's entirely possible that she may not realize anything is wrong. (To be clear, I'm not saying one way or the other whether or not her behavior is objectively wrong. But at least from your perspective, there is something wrong in the relationship between the two of you.)

 

I don't really have any advice on how to have that discussion without seeming like the "bad guy." I'm sure timing, context, and tone are all very important, as is actively listening to her responses. And even if she does end up making some commitment to change, prepare for the possibility that she may still be around less than you'd like. After all, her significant other is going to be significant to her life.

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MSBThePale
3 hours ago, ER2742 said:

Have you told her that you want to develop a closer (or more active, or whatever goals you might have) friendship? Is she aware of how her behavior is making you feel? If not, that's probably an important conversation to have. 

For a long time, I've felt like I'm not entitled to that kind of thing unless I've earned it. I didn't want her to feel like she owed me anything. But now, I'm not even expecting anything. I do need to tell her, if for anything, just to get it off my chest. Maybe I can get over her more easily that way. Is it selfish of me to bring that kind of issue into her life just to get some closure? 

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