Aromantic or Used to Neglect?

Aromantic or Used to Neglect?

I’m going to be 20 this year and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Being in a relationship has been something I’ve longed for since I was fifteen, but I’ve never really been able to imagine myself in one. I’m used to caring for people and having to fulfill my own emotional needs. If I have to cry, I have only myself to cry to and that’s how it’s always been. I don’t think I really like it this way but that’s how I’ve always lived. I’ve also never ever been able to imagine myself in a loving relationship. I found a guy who had a personality that I thought was everything I’ve always wanted. And, somehow, he liked me back. He asked me out. In the moment, I was so happy. Then, the discomfort set in. I absolutely couldn’t stand it -the thought of me being in a relationship. Of being cared for the way boyfriends are supposed to do. I’m so used to being by myself that being anything but felt like being forced to run on legs with pins and needles -totally uncomfortable and borderline painful. I wanted to wait it out and hang on for at least two weeks to see how it goes but, in the end, I absolutely couldn’t. I told him so and he was very understanding and we ended it after just two days. How is it that I always long for the intimacy of a relationship, and then at the same time, be completely repulsed by it when it comes about? I’m okay with intimacy from friends. Does this mean I’m aromantic or just too used to not being cared for? I remember feeling like this before -when I’d asked a boy to go to prom with me when I was 12 and he’d said yes. I can’t believe I haven’t matured since then. Right now I’m relieved that it’s over but I’m scared that the loneliness will set in again when I forget what ‘being in a relationship’ felt like. I hope I can figure out what my problem is before then.

CONSIDER THIS:

  • Not fully understanding your own romantic interests can be confusing and frustrating. You are mature for being responsible and questioning your sexual nature instead of being too impulsive.
  • You may want to see a trusted therapist to talk about any issues that are holding you back from knowing yourself better, like past neglect, for example.
  • Be yourself as much as possible. This will lead you to understand yourself and what you want better.
  • Express yourself and explore your true feelings with creative activities like painting, drawing, listen to music you love or learn a musical instrument.
  • You may be independent enough not to need a man but ask yourself if you really want one. Relationships are complicated and often messy. It’s important that both individuals have similar short and long-term goals that they can attain together.
  • Spirituality could help you understand your purpose in life. On the Teen Central website click the Learn tab then Spirituality to learn more. Some spiritual activities include meditation, yoga and prayer.  You can also attend church.
  • You might want to ask a close friend or family member if they notice anything about you when you’re confronted with a possible relationship.
  • Ask yourself if you have trust issues. The right person will bring out the best in you and make you a better person because they’ll have what you lack in your life.
  • Pay attention to other people who are in healthy relationships. Try to notice how do they make each other better individuals.
  • It may be best to be alone for now. If you get lonely, you can try getting emotional support from a pet or find someone to talk to like a friend or family member. Head to the Teen Central website and click the Help tab if you need to talk to someone.

HELP YOURSELF:

  • How can you still be yourself and be independent while in a relationship?
  • Would being in a relationship with the right person be as stifling as you think?
  • How could you benefit from waiting for the right person for you?
  • Would forcing yourself to be in a relationship too soon only make your issues worse since the person will probably be wrong for you?