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Romantic, Sexual, Platonic? Who knows?

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Sorry if this is in the wrong section! It's mostly me rambling again.


It's been a little over two months since I've last visited AVEN. To be honest, I've been staying away from online communities as a whole. But nonetheless, I'm back to say 'hello!' and give a quick update about my sexuality and orientation. The update? Well, there is none. I still don't have a label I feel completely comfortable identifying with; something that describes me. I currently use Asexual as an umbrella, although I don't know where under that umbrella I fall. But I'm still struggling to understand myself, too, as well as the types of attraction I experience. 


Sure, I can admire a person's physique and secretly gush over how 'cute' they are. A certain person might make me feel nervous and giddy (what I've been told are the "symptoms" of having a romantic crush), and I'll want to talk with them and be near them for no reason I can think of in that moment. Is this romantic attraction? Even if it was, how come the thought of going on a date is exciting, but the thought of kissing them makes me overwhelmed (not in the good way)? I'd just rather not do it.


Sometimes I'll see a stranger in public who I can't get out of my head. Their looks are what first catches my eye, I'll gush over them once again, but I don't want to date them. I just want to be their friend. Is this platonic attraction?


I've had these giddy feelings (unsure of which type of attraction I was feeling) to men and women. But how am I supposed to know whether I am Bi if I can't even understand/differentiate attractions?


Either way, there is something I'm beginning to accept: Knowing these things can take time, and that's ok.

Edited by oops_eddie
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1 hour ago, oops_eddie said:

Sometimes I'll see a stranger in public who I can't get out of my head. Their looks are what first catches my eye, I'll gush over them once again, but I don't want to date them. I just want to be their friend. Is this platonic attraction?

This sounds like infatuation which is (for me) Aesthetic combined with platonic and if they are someone I actually know just a tiny bit of romantic.

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I can’t tell you exactly what your feelings are, but here are some thoughts just based on my understandings of attraction and what you’ve written.

Kissing isn’t everybody’s thing. You could theoretically be romantically attracted to someone but just not want to kiss them. 
I’d classify any feelings that result in the desire to be friends as platonic attraction. It can be a passing thought or a full on squish, but it’s all platonic attraction if you want to be friends with someone.

Just in case it helps: a squish is a platonic crush, and it can result in giddy feelings just like crushes. The difference between squishes and crushes is whether you want to have a romantic relationship with whoever you’re attracted to or you want to be close friends with them instead.

These things take time as you said, so it’s good to not put too much pressure on yourself. You’ll figure out what works for you eventually.


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Hello! I'm new to AVEN as well! I have to say, I love how much the ace community seems to analyze different types of attraction and relationships. However, I think those little guides to the different types of attraction suggest they're discreet things, whereas I believe we're usually experiencing more than one kind of attraction at once. 


When I feel what I understand as aesthetic attraction, I'm literally just in awe of someone's looks; I'll be drawn to admire them but I don't have much desire to talk to them. However, I also get "platonic-aesthetic" attraction - a feeling that I'd like to hang out with someone at least partly on the basis that I appreciate their style and looks. Just being around attractive people can make most people feel nervous or flustered, which I guess is stronger if you are actually attracted to them, even it's solely on the basis of admiring their appearance. 


While it's not like romance <=> kissing, I don't see why this wouldn't be platonic attraction, if it manifests as a desire to be friends with them. A 'squish' is, after all, a true attraction to forming a relationship with someone, so it could cause the same excitement/giddiness as a crush. I also sometimes get this overwhelmingly positive feeling about spending time with someone, but I am convinced I have no desire for romantic relationships. If most people would still call this a crush, that's only because they don't spend much time analyzing their different modes of attraction and wouldn't have a framework for talking about these things.

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