How do you even know if you are attracted to someone?

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lvpin
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26 Oct 2021, 6:36 am

Don't know if this is the right section to ask this but I feel like it's the best.

Anyway how do you even know if you are actually attracted to someone. I get obsessive over people and used to call that crushes but in retrospect I really forced the romantic aspect. I thought about them romantically because I thought it was what I should do, not really because I wanted it. If I thought about relationships it was mainly because of feeling I was obligated to or because I thought that is a good way to make them not leave me. In abstract relationships sound nice but I don't think I like the idea of them in reality. But then again that could be because of trauma. But on the other hand if anyone of the opposite gender is nice to me my brain thinks of them romantically because of the feeling of obligation but if they do anything even remotely flirty I become revolted and disgusted. I acted on what I thought was attraction before and started crying because of the disgust. How does one know if they are feeling genuinely attracted to people? I thought the obsession and nervousness meant it was attraction but it always ends up in me feeling suicidal so maybe its them becoming my special interest? Do any of you relate? Sometimes I feel like if I fixed my self esteem/mental health issues I wouldn't be "attracted" to men anymore but maybe that is normal...



kraftiekortie
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26 Oct 2021, 8:51 am

Your body will tell you if you're physically attracted to someone.

You will know----trust me. What actually happens is best left for the "adult autism" section.

It's even easier for me as a man.

Have you ever felt the urge to kiss someone with more than a peck? If you did, then you're attracted to that person.



IsabellaLinton
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26 Oct 2021, 9:41 am

I know I like someone if I start having music fantasies. That means I imagine them singing or writing my favourite songs for me. Then I play the songs on repeat and I keep picturing these scenarios. The person usually plays guitar in these visions.

It's nothing physical at all and I can't really even picture them performing the music because I'm face blind, but I invent all sorts of scenarios where they would sing the song to me. I'm not talking about romance songs. They're usually hard rock or punk or something fun, but with really good lyrics.

I probably started this when I was a nerdy adolescent, but I never outgrew it.


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that1weirdgrrrl
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26 Oct 2021, 9:32 pm

The desire/revolution reaction does sound like a trauma response. I'm truly sorry you experienced trauma. If you don't already have a therapist that you feel comfortable with, I would encourage you to keep looking for a therapist that is helpful and comforting to you (not all therapists are helpful, but if you find a good one it can work wonders).

All of that aside, my earliest romantic attractions always involved a squishy nausious feeling of hyper excitement at the mere mention of the person's name.


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kraftiekortie
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27 Oct 2021, 12:05 pm

I used to make up songs about my crushes----not very good ones, I might add :wink:

Usually, it would be similar to the song in West Side Story which went "I just met a girl named Maria."



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 27 Oct 2021, 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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27 Oct 2021, 12:07 pm

You want to stick your body parts into their body parts.


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27 Oct 2021, 12:58 pm

lvpin wrote:
Don't know if this is the right section to ask this but I feel like it's the best.

Anyway how do you even know if you are actually attracted to someone. I get obsessive over people and used to call that crushes but in retrospect I really forced the romantic aspect. I thought about them romantically because I thought it was what I should do, not really because I wanted it. If I thought about relationships it was mainly because of feeling I was obligated to or because I thought that is a good way to make them not leave me. In abstract relationships sound nice but I don't think I like the idea of them in reality. But then again that could be because of trauma. But on the other hand if anyone of the opposite gender is nice to me my brain thinks of them romantically because of the feeling of obligation but if they do anything even remotely flirty I become revolted and disgusted. I acted on what I thought was attraction before and started crying because of the disgust. How does one know if they are feeling genuinely attracted to people? I thought the obsession and nervousness meant it was attraction but it always ends up in me feeling suicidal so maybe its them becoming my special interest? Do any of you relate? Sometimes I feel like if I fixed my self esteem/mental health issues I wouldn't be "attracted" to men anymore but maybe that is normal...


I used to get this and it was always for the wrong type of person. They were almost always narcissistic types. It took me years to work out that I was indeed attracted to abuse because abuse was all I knew. So once I understood this about myself I started to completely ignore these people who I did become unhealthily obsessed with.

I'm in a relationship now with a guy who is absolutely nothing like anything I recognise from my past. It's wonderful.

I know I am physically attracted to him because when he is around (either in person or on the phone) each and every atom of my being stands to attention for him. I feel warm inside. I smile without even realising that I'm smiling. I'm attracted to him in every possible way, physically, emotionally and we are in tune with each other.

I never used to understand when people said that you just know but it's true. When it's right you will definitely know and it won't be an obsessional thing either. It feels easy and right.



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27 Oct 2021, 1:06 pm

that1weirdgrrrl wrote:
All of that aside, my earliest romantic attractions always involved a squishy nausious feeling of hyper excitement at the mere mention of the person's name.


I was going to say something similar. Butterflies in your stomach.

lvpin, has there been anything you've been really excited about and got warm fuzzy feelings or butterflies thinking about. Going to bed on Christmas Eve and thinking about tomorrow morning or going to the zoo to see your favourite animal? It's that kind of feeling. You can't wait to see the other person. They make you feel happy.

It doesn't stop feeling like that as you get older. New people come along and you still get that rush.



The_Face_of_Boo
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27 Oct 2021, 5:04 pm

theprisoner wrote:
You want to stick your body parts into their body parts.


How romantic.

Image


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lvpin
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27 Oct 2021, 6:51 pm

hurtloam wrote:
that1weirdgrrrl wrote:
All of that aside, my earliest romantic attractions always involved a squishy nausious feeling of hyper excitement at the mere mention of the person's name.


I was going to say something similar. Butterflies in your stomach.

lvpin, has there been anything you've been really excited about and got warm fuzzy feelings or butterflies thinking about. Going to bed on Christmas Eve and thinking about tomorrow morning or going to the zoo to see your favourite animal? It's that kind of feeling. You can't wait to see the other person. They make you feel happy.

It doesn't stop feeling like that as you get older. New people come along and you still get that rush.


Unfortunately I get stuck with worrying every second what they think about me and it's not really a fun experience :(. It starts off ok when I am trying to find ways to talk to them and I get excited thinking about that but then time passes and I get obsessive and eventually it drives me to feel suicidal. Every. Single. Time. Bit complicated by the fact if I actually think about them liking me I either start to have a panic attack or vomit :? I'm only 18 though so hopefully just because that has been the pattern for the last 5 years doesn't mean it will be forever :')



kraftiekortie
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27 Oct 2021, 7:08 pm

I wish people liked me more :)



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27 Oct 2021, 8:08 pm

I somewhat relate to parts of this, but not entirely, so this post may not be of use but perhaps it might. When I was struggling with internalised homophobia, I would try to force crushes and obsess over certain guys. The focus was always on whether he liked me rather than if I liked him. I'd attempt to make myself believe there was a romantic aspect and it just wasn't there. This was the expected way to be in high school and I just wanted to blend in. I was in denial with myself. When I did have real, genuine crushes I would dismiss them as forms of admiration. Not to say that this is what you are necessarily going through, but I think it relates somewhat.

The feeling was easily identifiable to me, but I didn't want to admit it so instead I distanced myself from it. I think that people can have all sorts of reasons for wanting to feel that way about someone when they don't and it can be difficult to distinguish between wanting to feel that way and actually feeling that way. You mentioned going through trauma and I'm sorry you had to endure that. Unfortunately, it will likely take some time to heal but it is worth it. I think a good starting point is keeping an eye on the kind of thoughts you have about a person. Does it focus on what you can do to get them to like you, or do you predominately think about why you like them?

Just know that you don't have to have everything figured out all at once. Life is complicated and emotions can be complex and take time to make sense of and process. Have you discussed this with a therapist? The suicidal part definitely needs to be addressed.

I know that a fair amount of people quote nervousness as a sign of attraction, but there can be many different reasons why you might feel nervous around someone. Consider why you might be feeling nervous. Does this person hold any power over you? Are you feeling anxious about the social situation you are in? I think that working on your self-esteem and mood would definitely help. Depression and low mood can suppress / decrease attraction so addressing that would be beneficial in multiple ways. However, treatment for depression can sometimes cause this as a side-effect, so if you are taking medication then you might want to look into that and discuss other options with a mental health care provider.


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Ettina
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28 Oct 2021, 5:14 am

lvpin wrote:
Don't know if this is the right section to ask this but I feel like it's the best.

Anyway how do you even know if you are actually attracted to someone. I get obsessive over people and used to call that crushes but in retrospect I really forced the romantic aspect. I thought about them romantically because I thought it was what I should do, not really because I wanted it. If I thought about relationships it was mainly because of feeling I was obligated to or because I thought that is a good way to make them not leave me. In abstract relationships sound nice but I don't think I like the idea of them in reality. But then again that could be because of trauma. But on the other hand if anyone of the opposite gender is nice to me my brain thinks of them romantically because of the feeling of obligation but if they do anything even remotely flirty I become revolted and disgusted. I acted on what I thought was attraction before and started crying because of the disgust. How does one know if they are feeling genuinely attracted to people? I thought the obsession and nervousness meant it was attraction but it always ends up in me feeling suicidal so maybe its them becoming my special interest? Do any of you relate? Sometimes I feel like if I fixed my self esteem/mental health issues I wouldn't be "attracted" to men anymore but maybe that is normal...


I'm aromantic asexual (not attracted to anyone) and this sounds like how I acted/felt at age 12 before I started questioning my sexuality.



lvpin
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28 Oct 2021, 9:39 am

Ettina wrote:
lvpin wrote:
Don't know if this is the right section to ask this but I feel like it's the best.

Anyway how do you even know if you are actually attracted to someone. I get obsessive over people and used to call that crushes but in retrospect I really forced the romantic aspect. I thought about them romantically because I thought it was what I should do, not really because I wanted it. If I thought about relationships it was mainly because of feeling I was obligated to or because I thought that is a good way to make them not leave me. In abstract relationships sound nice but I don't think I like the idea of them in reality. But then again that could be because of trauma. But on the other hand if anyone of the opposite gender is nice to me my brain thinks of them romantically because of the feeling of obligation but if they do anything even remotely flirty I become revolted and disgusted. I acted on what I thought was attraction before and started crying because of the disgust. How does one know if they are feeling genuinely attracted to people? I thought the obsession and nervousness meant it was attraction but it always ends up in me feeling suicidal so maybe its them becoming my special interest? Do any of you relate? Sometimes I feel like if I fixed my self esteem/mental health issues I wouldn't be "attracted" to men anymore but maybe that is normal...


I'm aromantic asexual (not attracted to anyone) and this sounds like how I acted/felt at age 12 before I started questioning my sexuality.


That's actually why I am so confused. I know for certain I am somewhere on the asexual spectrum but recently I've been wondering if I'm on the aromantic spectrum, if not fully aromantic. The feeling of obligation I feel about relationships is what makes me wonder. I started thinking about it after I read the "Am I a Lesbian?" Master doc. I didn't relate to being attracted to women but a lot to the compulsory heterosexuality stuff.



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28 Oct 2021, 10:06 am

lvpin wrote:
Ettina wrote:
lvpin wrote:
Don't know if this is the right section to ask this but I feel like it's the best.

Anyway how do you even know if you are actually attracted to someone. I get obsessive over people and used to call that crushes but in retrospect I really forced the romantic aspect. I thought about them romantically because I thought it was what I should do, not really because I wanted it. If I thought about relationships it was mainly because of feeling I was obligated to or because I thought that is a good way to make them not leave me. In abstract relationships sound nice but I don't think I like the idea of them in reality. But then again that could be because of trauma. But on the other hand if anyone of the opposite gender is nice to me my brain thinks of them romantically because of the feeling of obligation but if they do anything even remotely flirty I become revolted and disgusted. I acted on what I thought was attraction before and started crying because of the disgust. How does one know if they are feeling genuinely attracted to people? I thought the obsession and nervousness meant it was attraction but it always ends up in me feeling suicidal so maybe its them becoming my special interest? Do any of you relate? Sometimes I feel like if I fixed my self esteem/mental health issues I wouldn't be "attracted" to men anymore but maybe that is normal...


I'm aromantic asexual (not attracted to anyone) and this sounds like how I acted/felt at age 12 before I started questioning my sexuality.


That's actually why I am so confused. I know for certain I am somewhere on the asexual spectrum but recently I've been wondering if I'm on the aromantic spectrum, if not fully aromantic. The feeling of obligation I feel about relationships is what makes me wonder. I started thinking about it after I read the "Am I a Lesbian?" Master doc. I didn't relate to being attracted to women but a lot to the compulsory heterosexuality stuff.


I considered mentioning this as a possibility when writing my post, but it was starting to get a little long. Admittedly I've never read the masterdoc, I've heard it mentioned before but I was already sure of myself by the time I heard it being brought up. Labels are pretty useful tool when assigning meaning to a pattern, however sometimes as our understanding of ourselves changes the label may also change to reflect this. Labels don't have to be forever. However, sometimes they are and that's OK as well. If you feel aroace, it's OK to use that label regardless if it changes in the future or not. You can always change to a different label or not label at all if you don't want to.


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01 Nov 2021, 4:19 pm

You'll know.

If you have to ask, then that probably means you're not attracted to them.