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sheep11

What exactly is romantic attraction? And without love, how does it differ from a squish?

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sheep11

From my understanding, romantic attraction is the desire to be in a romantic relationship with someone. So could that mean meeting someone for the first time and thinking you'd like to develop your relationship with them further and for it to become romantic? Or do you always have to know them first? And can you have romantic attraction without romantic love (or vice versa)?

For example, before I considered that I'm aromantic, I wanted to be in a relationship with the girl I like and I'd like to do romantic things like hold hands, hug, kiss her, etc. but although I was quite obsessed with her (as in looking forward to seeing her, always knowing where she is in the room, always looking at her, and always being desperate to talk to her and for her to notice me), I never thought of her as part of me, or my other half, or that I needed to be with her for me to be happy. Even her happiness wasn't important to me, and I can't imagine ever developing those feelings for her anymore than I care about my friends. I can just imagine going out with her and being thrilled for a couple of weeks but then that obsession and excitement wearing off and me thinking of her as a good friend. I don't think I'd even want to kiss her anymore, which might sound strange. I've also never thought I've wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. In fact I only found out from reading threads about aromanticism that people who are in love really do form that strong attachment and care about the other person the same as(if not more)than their parents and siblings and that they really do feel like they're part of them that was missing before. I guess I always thought they exaggerated it or that if I was in a romantic relationship with someone I'd have to fake liking them in that way.

Another thing, I hug and hold hands with my best friend all the time and although we're close and I like spending time with her and I miss her when I don't see her for a couple of days, I don't think of her as irreplaceable. In fact I wouldn't even mind having someone I could talk to on a deeper level, because I feel like she has quite a limited understanding of me. So I guess after a couple of weeks I'd want to have the same relationship with the girl I like as I have with my best friend.

So from what I've told you, would you say that what I felt for the girl I like was romantic attraction without romantic love, or just a squish? And does romantic attraction always involve deeply caring about the other person or is that something that develops at the same time that it turns into romantic love? Please don't tell me I'm romantic but unable to fall in love. I don't see how that could lead to anything but disappointment.

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Torraed

From my understanding, romantic attraction is the desire to be in a romantic relationship with someone. So could that mean meeting someone for the first time and thinking you'd like to develop your relationship with them further and for it to become romantic? Or do you always have to know them first?

To answer this question, no. Romantic attraction, as defined by the AVENwiki, is a feeling that causes people to desire a romantic relationship with a specific other person, which has no relation to how long you've known that person; it could be "romantic attraction at first sight" or the like. There is a term for that, though: demiromanticism is the tendency to form romantic attraction for a person only after getting to know them and forming some other sort of emotional connection with them.

And can you have romantic attraction without romantic love (or vice versa)?

I suppose the answer would be yes. I don't see why one couldn't want to form a romantic relationship with another person without truly loving them. And going the other route, it would make sense that an aromantic (or perhaps others as well) could fall in love with someone while not wanting to get into a romantic relationship with them. I'm a bit fuzzy on what "love" truly is, so I could be wrong here, but that's what seems logical to me. :/

What you felt for the girl sounds to me like more than a squish. From the wiki definitions of "squish" and "crush", I'd say what you felt was more of a crush, as it involved romantic attraction, albeit without love. I know some people have also used the term "squash" to describe feelings somewhere between a squish and a crush, so that might apply as well.

But is there a difference between the intimate companionship you described and romantic attraction? It's hard to say, but I think what you described is perhaps just a lesser known form of romantic attraction, different from the mainstream form in that it doesn't involve love, but still falling under the same umbrella term.

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