I'm confused and scared of romantic relationships

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
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I'm confused and scared of romantic relationships

Unread postby sodabutt » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:55 am

This has to do with sex as well as relationships. Frankly, I just don't understand how romantic relationships are supposed to...happen. All my life i've considered myself ace/demi, and my realization for that was that I just can't get behind the idea of meeting someone with intent of romancing them - i don't feel like i can force feelings out of myself that way, so tinder dating always seemed so foreign and disingenuous. But as i'm getting older (19) i'm feel like i really just WANT a relationship and honestly, i just want to have sex.
I almost had a relationship with a really good friend of mine. We were friends for a couple years in hs and weren't afraid to be physically affectionate, and felt like a natural progression and we both admitted to feelings. But we were always waiting for the "right time" to make a move ie kiss and it never came, so i bit the bullet and just asked and she said no. we decided to end it there and went back to being friends. Why didn't the kiss happen naturally? Am I just too awkward to have the flowery romantic lovey-dovey stuff that i want? Does kissing EVER come naturally? I really want to have to have sex, hopefully by the time i'm out of college, but if i 1) can't form even romantic feelings towards people without being close friends (at which point they don't want to, bc we're friends) and 2) can't even find the right way to kiss a romantic partner, what hope do i have?

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Re: I'm confused and scared of romantic relationships

Unread postby Siân » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:25 am

Hi Sodabutt!

You know, I don't think that romantic relationships "just happen" or that kissing "just happens" all by itself. At some point, someone has to ask the question (sure, not everyone uses their words every single time, but honestly I am seriously in favour of using your words!) and the other person has to respond.

It's not particularly weird to want to get to know someone before developing romantic/sexual feelings for them, and plenty of relationships DO develop out of friendships - and not just for ace folks. I understand that you haven't experienced that yet, but it doesn't mean you won't!

Of course, the more new people and getting to know them without the pressure of "is this a romantic relationship?" the more opportunities there are for finding something that develops into something romantic - or rewarding new friendships. You don't have to go down the tinder dating route to meet new people. When you are interested in someone though, it sounds like you've been doing the right things! Talking about your feelings honestly, and asking someone if they'd like to kiss are exactly how relationships can begin. What do you think?

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Re: I'm confused and scared of romantic relationships

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:53 pm

Completely agreed with Siân! The idea you get about romance from most visual media is just... lacking a lot. Partially probably for time constraints but also just due to plain hyperbole and fantastical romanticizing.

Romance and kissing and actions don't just "happen" to us in the same way that, while we can't control everything that happens in life, we do control the choices we make and the actions we take. Asking for a kiss because you wanted to kiss was exactly the right thing to do! It wouldn't have made the kiss "unnatural" or "the wrong way" just because you asked - in fact, that would have just made it consensual! It's good to communicate your wants and ask for confirmation of your partner's wants. Just because that's not a narrative you see a lot on the big screen doesn't mean it was the wrong way to go about things.

I'm sorry you feel stuck in a place where you're not sure what to do next! It's frustrating to want something but not be sure how to be open to it. Of course, you don't have to and shouldn't do anything you're uncomfortable with, but could you maybe spend some more time evaluating what you want and possibly re-framing your options?
For example, dating apps and dating in general (maybe not tindr - there are a lot of apps out there, many of which are geared towards specific groups; it's not so big yet, but there is AceApp geared towards aces, so it might be a more lowkey place for you to dip your toes into). Could you start thinking about what ideal dates would be like for you? I think there's a lot of pressure nowadays for dates to be really serious and for them to progress into something long-term, but at its base, dating is really just a way for people to go out and get to know each other and explore their (potential) feelings for each other. Maybe you could be upfront about your demisexuality in your profile and let people know that you'd like to treat dating as "friend dating" and keep things low stakes in the romance department at first and see what grows out of getting to know each other, since you won't know if you'll become attracted to someone until after you've gotten to know each other more.
Or could you spend some time breaking down why you absolutely don't want to date your friends? Is it because of your almost relationship with your really good friend? It sounds like you're possibly needlessly holding onto some guilt and shame and regret about the almost relationship. Is there another barrier to why you wouldn't want to try a romantic relationship with a friend?

demisexuality.org did a book "All About Demisexuality" that's available as an ebook for $5 which covers some topics that you might be interested in/find helpful. Their website also hosts a little dating as demisexual section with some advice, as well as a "demi guide to sex". Going through the resources they offer might help you sort out your feelings and how to act on them more?

Finally, I know it's really hard to wait when you want something, but romance and sex are things that can't happen without other people's know/consent/involvement, so please don't get too caught up in your desire to have sex on a certain deadline! That's only going to put more pressure on you and make it seem even harder and more awkward to approach people and you can make yourself feel like a failure if it doesn't happen on this timeline, which is absolutely not true! It'll happen when it happens. You can't force it to happen by a certain time. There's nothing wrong with not having sex by [arbitrary deadline]. =)

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