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Aroace in a long-term relationship. How do I get out? Should I even?


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Currently in my first romantic relationship ever, we've been dating for almost 2 years now, but I'm thinking I should break it off. I've known that I'm asexual since before we started dating, though I only told him a few months ago. That has its own issues but the bigger problem is that I've started to realize that I'm also aromantic. I know that dating someone for 2 years before realizing I don't feel romantic attraction kind of makes me an idiot, but it was probably due to a mixture of denial, passivity, and desire for a close connection. But now that I've been thinking about it a lot, I realize that I definitely don't feel any romantic feelings towards my boyfriend, and haven't felt romantic feeling for anyone my whole life. The longer I stay in this relationship, the more I find myself getting annoyed at his general mannerisms. He always tells me how much he misses me, even if it's only been a few days since we last saw each other. I don't miss him. When we were just friends I loved spending lots of time with him, and he was fun to be around, but now that we're together, I feel like I want to see him less and less (part of this stems from his constant desire for physical intimacy, which I never desire, and most of the time just really don't want).


Okay, so it probably seems like we should definitely break up, right? And I'm thinking that's probably true, but it's a bit more complicated than that. First of all, I suffer from chronic depression, and it manifests itself mostly in the form of preventing me from caring about anything. So I don't know if maybe that's the reason I don't have very strong feelings about him? Maybe that's why I'm so irritable? Another issue is that, being aroace, I know I'm probably going to spend my life living alone. Ideally I think it would be nice to live together with a bunch of friends, but in a society that presents romantically coupled living as both the norm and the ideal, I know that probably won't happen. And I don't think I want to live alone. I don't know if I can live alone, with my depression making it difficult to complete a lot of basic tasks like consistently feeding myself and keeping things clean. And I know he sees a future with me. He talks about the future assuming we'll always be together. He's said things like "our house will be...." and "when we get married....". And, even though I think I'd much rather have him as a really close friend, I think getting married and living together might not be that bad? I mean, I already said my ideal life would be living with friends. But on the other hand I think I'd feel like I was living a lie, with me loving him as a friend and him loving me as a romantic partner. And that's not really fair to him is it? Back to the first hand though, would a marriage based on friendship really be that bad? Would it be worse than living alone? I guess also another issue is that my depression has kept me from really having any dreams. I don't have a clear idea of what I want my future to look like.


The last issue is, if I do have to break up with him, how? I've never broken up with anyone before. We've been dating for 2 years, how do I explain why I've stayed so long if I don't have romantic feelings for him? And every time he comes over he wants to cuddle, tells me how much he loves holding me, tells me I'm precious to him and calls me beautiful. I think I would break his heart. And even though I don't have romantic feelings for him, I do really care about him and I don't want him to get hurt. Also like I said I do really want to stay friends. I love being friends with him, and I do really want to spend time with him and stay close. I don't know if that would even be possible if we break up. And then there's everyone else. My friends all love him, think we make the cutest couple, and expect us to get married someday. His family has pretty much adopted me as their own. I don't want to lose him, but I also don't want the pressure this relationship is putting on me.


I just feel very confused and I don't know what I'm doing and I don't really have anyone I can talk about this with, so even though this post is long and complicated, I would very much appreciate any advice from any of you kind internet strangers.

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Sounds like you have a lot of insight into your needs. I think by staying with him you would hurt him worse because like you said, you would be living a lie. It's not fair to him for you not too reciprocate romantic loving feelings back to him.You need to be honest with him and tell him what you said here. Tell him that you can't give him what he needs and that's true from what I read. Just be gentle, kind honest and open. Yeah it will suck for him but in the long run he will thank you.



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I'd get out ASAP. I doubt that your break up could ever been clean and nice unless your partner is incredibly understanding. I would feel a bit upset if I found out you had known the entire time but strung me along still.


You should read about Epicurus also, how he lived with his followers and inspired many Greeks to do the same. Maybe it could help you put a label on what you want and make it easier to find likeminded people.

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