Dating As a Demiromantic part 2: How Do You Know When You Like Someone?

I don’t fall in love easily.

Love has always been an extremely slow and gradual process for me. I was never one who could easily jump from relationship to relationship, because my heart just wasn’t interested. Dating was a fun way to meet new people, but I rarely felt any chemistry or “romance” for anyone I met that way. The few times I’ve actually been “in-love” it started with friendship that slowly evolves into something more over time. It comes on so naturally that I don’t even notice until I’m in over my head. At least, that’s how it’s been in the past.

It was easier when I was younger.

In school you were forced to see people everyday, which made it easy to form connections with people. As you get older, and work and life get in the way, those sorts of social interactions get harder. Not only do you meet less people in a sociable manner, but you have less time to spend with them to foster a real relationship. This spells trouble for a demi-romantic’s dating life. It takes time to develop feelings, and most people don’t want to wait for 6-18 months to see if it’s going to happen.

Dates for Demis

I run into this issue frequently as a Demiromantic. Since I do not feel primary romantic attraction, I don’t get those “sparks” that most people do to tell me that I’m interested in another person as a romantic partner. I don’t get “crushes”, and I don’t get “butterflies in my stomach”. I have no indication that someone is a potential love interest at all until I’ve already formed an emotional bond with them. This means the first few dates where most people are testing compatibility for an official partnership, I’m still seeing if theirs potential for romance at all. Dating for me is a series of questioning whether or not I see potential for this person to become someone I could eventually fall for at all. As you can imagine, this means dating is a very long process for someone like me.

How Do I know When It’s Love?

I honestly don’t know. Without primary attraction telling me that I like a person “that way”, I have to guess. I may find them to be physically attractive and sexy (I am not demi-sexual, just demi-romantic), or I may think they are very interesting and enjoy spending time with them. They may be a great conversationalist and friend, or a phenomenal lover and great date. They may have all of those qualities combined, and I still don’t love them. That’s the thing about being demiromantic: I can acknowledge all the attractive qualities about a person, but still not be attracted to them. I have been in love. I know how it feels, and so I also know when I don’t feel it. When I am in love, I do feel more than just physical attraction and friendly affection for them; I feel a deep comforting emotional connection to them. I feel like I fully understand them as a person, and that we are bonded on a physical, mental, and emotional level. In short, I feel like we are lovers in every sense of the word. Once I feel that bonding take root, that’s when I know it’s love.

What is love like as a demiromantic?

For me, love is rare. I don’t believe in soul mates, and I don’t believe that there is “one true love” for everyone. I do believe you can, and will likely, love more than one person in your life, and that we do (to some degree) have control over our feelings. I do believe that love can grow and become stronger with work, but I also believe that love can fade, shift, evolve into a different kind of love, or end. All of this being said, I believe that love is a very complex and powerful emotion, and that it is not something that can be easily defined. For me, romantic love is rare, and therefore all the more powerful. I do not fall in love easily or often, so when I do, it nearly consumes me. My love is deep, powerful, forgiving, and enduring. It nearly kills me to end a relationship with someone I love, even if I know that the relationship has to end. Love is one of the most beautiful but also one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. It is addictive, but also nourishing when it is healthy. For me, the rarity of romantic love is more precious than any sort of gem. This is why I cannot bring myself to pretend I feel it with a potential partner, when I don’t.

Do I think I’ll find it again?

I do believe I will love again, but I know better than to try to rush the feeling along. I know I take time to “catch feelings”, and that I should let it happen naturally. I am upfront with the people I date about my romantic inclinations (or lack thereof) and encourage them to date other people instead of waiting for feelings that may not come. If it is meant to be, it will happen with a little effort, but without force. Romance is not my top priority in life, and I am happy on my own. However, if love does come knocking on my door, I will welcome it into my life with open arms.

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