How a romantic relationship is distinct from a friendship

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Mona Pereth
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13 Aug 2021, 9:13 pm

Elsewhere, I was asked how I would distinguish between a "relationship" and a friendship.

I assume that by "relationship," the person meant either a "romantic relationship" or a "life partnership."

Different people have different ideas on what these are, and how they are distinct from friendship. For me, they are everything a close friendship is, plus more. A "romantic relationship" also involves an erotic aspect, and a "life partnership" also involves a longterm commitment and (usually) living together.

But, as I said, other people have very different ideas on what a "romantic relationship" is. For example, at least one WP poster has repeatedly said that a romantic relationship begins with a crush. But I personally dislike the very idea of crushes.

By some people's definition of "romantic," I could probably be called aromantic.

As for the question of what friendship is, see the separate thread Thoughts about friendship.

What are other people's thoughts on what a "romantic relationship" is, and what a "life partnership" is, and how they differ from a close friendship?


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Pepe
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14 Aug 2021, 2:18 am

Mona Pereth wrote:

What are other people's thoughts on what a "romantic relationship" is, and what a "life partnership" is,


In a word, "Trouble". 8)


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Nades
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14 Aug 2021, 3:20 am

I would say erotic. If it's not erotic then there is sweet naff all to distinguish it from a friendship.

I've never considered even a romantic relationship an actual relationship until the "deed" is done and a clear line between friendship and relationship is drawn.



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14 Aug 2021, 3:35 am

According to Immigration NZ, relationship is when you live together and do stuff together. Erotic things are not needed... :3



Nades
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14 Aug 2021, 3:54 am

StrayCat81 wrote:
According to Immigration NZ, relationship is when you live together and do stuff together. Erotic things are not needed... :3


I never knew my best friend was in a gay relationship with his flat mates in university.



kraftiekortie
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14 Aug 2021, 11:18 am

There has to be at least an element of sexual “turn on” within romantic relationships—but there doesn’t need to be actual sex, or even making out.

My view on this—is that it would be NICE if there was physical “fooling around.” But if I really love a person, I should be willing to de-emphasize the physical aspects until she feels ready for it. Id be content with her merely stating that she has these sorts of feelings, but doesn’t want to act on them just yet.



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14 Aug 2021, 11:32 am

I'm not sure how to really describe the difference. I suppose the only thing I can identify at the moment is that the people I have (what I think is) romantic attraction for, I can tolerate a lot more than other people, even close friends. There's obviously "more" there, but I am terrible at identifying and picking apart my feelings towards people.

I also don't necessarily get sexual attraction towards potential partners anymore (and honestly the idea of sex with them turns me off and terrifies me). I'd actually probably be more comfortable having sex with a friend/close friend than someone I was partners with. :scratch:


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dragonsanddemons
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14 Aug 2021, 1:34 pm

If as several people here have said, there must be an erotic or “turned on” aspect of some sort for a romantic relationship, then what’s the difference between being aromantic and being asexual? Does “asexual” just mean not having a strong urge to act on those feelings if they’re there?

Not trying to suggest that that’s necessarily wrong, I honestly have no clue.


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kraftiekortie
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14 Aug 2021, 2:23 pm

Personally, I like the elements of romance…holding hands, taking long walks, going to plays together, even more than the erotic aspects.

I prefer hugs, holding hands, cuddling, over hot, heavy sex.

Amorous over erotic.



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14 Aug 2021, 3:09 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
Does “asexual” just mean not having a strong urge to act on those feelings if they’re there?

I thought asexual means no sexual attraction? So no one is inherently "sexy" for you?

While aromantinc would be not being attracted to formig long term relationship with anyone?



dragonsanddemons
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14 Aug 2021, 3:56 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
dragonsanddemons wrote:
Does “asexual” just mean not having a strong urge to act on those feelings if they’re there?

I thought asexual means no sexual attraction? So no one is inherently "sexy" for you?

While aromantinc would be not being attracted to formig long term relationship with anyone?


That’s what I thought, but I’m a bit confused as to what the difference is between romantic love and platonic love. And looking here, I noticed several posts mention some form of sexual attraction being involved if it’s romantic, which makes me wonder if “aromantic” actually pertains to much more specific feelings than I’d thought, and maybe “asexual” without also being aromantic means that someone might still feel sexual attraction, but doesn’t feel an urge to actually have sex and/or doesn’t get the sorts of feelings from sex that most people do. Or does sexual attraction maybe just absolutely classify it as “romantic,” but not having any doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t romantic?

I’m just getting more confused :?


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14 Aug 2021, 4:37 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
I’m just getting more confused :?

These labels are certainly confusing, probably because different kinds of attractions are hard to examine and human mating rituals are quite complex? So labels will be vague...

I understand platonic as everything outside of mating. Sexual attraction is for sex. Romantic attraction is whatever is left from mating rituals once you remove sex?

For more details, I would skip labels and just asked person what they are attracted to and what they want to do with objects of their attraction? How does it look for you actually?

For me, I seem to have some platonic attraction, since I do get attracted and enjoy interacting with whoever I find cute. Like here.

Never experienced anything that could be classified as romantic or sexual attraction though. I do know how to trigger erotic experiences in myself though. Maybe even amorous, although never compared it properly to the experiences of others.

I just try to use ace, aro and agender labels to discourage humans from doing their mating rituals on me. But you humans use it more as a part of your identity I think?



dragonsanddemons
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14 Aug 2021, 4:52 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
dragonsanddemons wrote:
I’m just getting more confused :?

These labels are certainly confusing, probably because different kinds of attractions are hard to examine and human mating rituals are quite complex? So labels will be vague...

I understand platonic as everything outside of mating. Sexual attraction is for sex. Romantic attraction is whatever is left from mating rituals once you remove sex?

For more details, I would skip labels and just asked person what they are attracted to and what they want to do with objects of their attraction? How does it look for you actually?

For me, I seem to have some platonic attraction, since I do get attracted and enjoy interacting with whoever I find cute. Like here.

Never experienced anything that could be classified as romantic or sexual attraction though.

I just try to use ace, aro and agender labels to discourage humans from doing their mating rituals on me. But you humans use it more as a part of your identity I think?


That actually is why I want to be sure I’m using the right word, so I know I’m being clear that I’m not “eligible.” It feels really weird to me to think that I’m supposed to somehow use the fact that I never think about something unless someone else mentions it as any kind of identity. Am I ahandstand because I don’t usually think about and don’t have any desire to walk on my hands?

Humans are confusing to me, too, just when I think I might’ve figured something out about them I’m usually proven wrong.


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When you assume, it makes an a** out of u and me.


StrayCat81
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14 Aug 2021, 5:06 pm

What is your identity actually? Maybe I can learn something about humans from you :3

As for 'a' labels, well, they are useful, because humans assume that everyone is obsessed with mating (which is almost true, because almost every human is). I learned that the hard way myself...

It's even worse than that, because many times people might assume that you are playing hard to get, especially since you identify as female...



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14 Aug 2021, 5:36 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
What is your identity actually? Maybe I can learn something about humans from you :3

As for 'a' labels, well, they are useful, because humans assume that everyone is obsessed with mating (which is almost true, because almost every human is). I learned that the hard way myself...

It's even worse than that, because many times people might assume that you are playing hard to get, especially since you identify as female...


I actually don’t really know that I have much of any describable identity, I don’t fit most pre-made things that might be applicable and haven’t created any for myself. Mostly just things I am not, which isn’t quite the same. Plenty of places I don’t belong, but not really any I do. I’m not really female (or human, for that matter) in any way besides physically, I just left it in my profile once I realized “non-binary” is now an option and it’s changeable because I’m used to being referred to as such and it feels weird to me to refer to myself as “they” all the time.

It occurred to me after I wrote it that I didn’t word it properly, what I intended to say was, should I base my identity on that. Absolutely understand the use and importance of terms like “asexual” as far as getting things across to others. Sorry, ECT has really been messing with my thinking and wording abilities recently.

Mercifully I don’t have to deal with the whole mating ritual thing in person, at least, I think it’s pretty obvious to most people that I have some sort of developmental disorder and these days I don’t really go anywhere without one or both of my parents, both of those seem to be turn-offs :lol:




*Apologies to everyone else for the side-track, I seem to be doing that a lot lately :oops:


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-H. P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"

When you assume, it makes an a** out of u and me.


Pepe
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14 Aug 2021, 7:10 pm

Off Topic
dragonsanddemons wrote:

*Apologies to everyone else for the side-track, I seem to be doing that a lot lately :oops:


I never go off offtopic, but I forgive you. :mrgreen:


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Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,


"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet." Humour is not meant to be taken seriously, yet many pervert its intent.
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


I luv KFC!