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Akoiromantic: When You Love But Don’t Want to Be Loved in Return

Akoiromantic is a quizzical thing. The ability to feel romantically toward someone, but when the feeling is returned, you don’t want it to be…


Ever want something so bad you can taste it, but once you do it, it wasn’t what you thought? Akoiromantic feelings are just that—having romantic feelings for someone or something and a desire for it, but when the feelings are returned, you are afraid of it and don’t want it anymore. Sound confusing? It is. There isn’t always a clear reason why you feel the way you do.

What is akoiromanticism?

In general, you experience romantic feelings for someone but not wanting the object of your desire to feel the same way about you.

Although a general style of life, we all relate to a time when we thought we wanted something. Then, when it came to us, we didn’t want it or know what to do with it anymore.

6 reasons someone might be akoiromantic

There are many reasons why someone might be akoiromantic. The sooner you discover what drives your fear of having your affection returned, the easier it might be to overcome.

#1 You have been severely hurt in the past. It feels nice to be in love, until you aren’t in love anymore. An akoiromantic might have had a super bad relationship or heartbreak in their past that makes them fearful of trying it again.

Not even realizing they associate relationships with hurt, when someone returns their affections, it likely freaks them out. They aren’t interested anymore. [Read: How to trust again in 8 simple, uncomplicated steps]

#2 They were abused. There are estimates that as many as one in ten children will be the victim of child sexual abuse. Some might not have a conscious memory of it or may block their experiences out.

That could be the reason why an akoiromantic fears intimacy with another person. If you have been abused, the only association you have with romantic feelings are pain, shame, or uneasiness.

#3 They like someone out of their league. It is all great when you like someone out of your reach, but when they like you back, it is a whole different level of “oh shit.” If you have a crush on someone and never make it known, you get to have the excitement in your belly when they are around.

But, once they find out, or, worse yet, feel the same way, that adds a whole level of “uh-oh” to the person who never thought anything would come from it. Likely someone with akoiromantic feelings keep their desires hidden so they fantasize without having to do the work of following through. [Read: What is limerence? Is it a big crush or are you experiencing something else?]

#4 They are confused about their sexuality. Akoiromantic is in a classification of sexuality. Many wonder if they are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Not really understanding why they like someone but don’t want to be liked back, they often ask if there is some deep-seated confusion they have about their sexual orientation.

It is possible to have romantic feelings for someone who is just a friend, but you have intense non-sexual feelings for them. Sexuality is when you want to have sexual activity with someone. The two are not the same.

Imagine the confusion to feel romantic about someone of the same, or other sex, but not want to have sex with them. It leaves you questioning what your sexual orientation actually is. [Read: Who’s your main squish? 15 signs you’re squishing on someone]

#5 They have a low self-esteem. If you have romantic feelings for someone and no one knows, you have nothing to put on the line. If someone returns your feelings, and you don’t feel worthy or confident enough to have a relationship with them, you push them away.

If you don’t love yourself, it is difficult to have a relationship. Constantly worried about what you look like naked, if they really like you, what you said, or if you said something wrong is exhausting. If they have been down that road before, then it feels easier to not to let themselves feel it again. [Read: First time naked with your lover? The common fears all of us have]

#6 Poor modeling or education. We all learn about relationships and sex from those around us. Imagine if you had parents who fought, or, even worse, there was abuse in their relationship. It probably turned you off of the whole “romance” thing.

It isn’t that you wouldn’t have romantic feelings for others, it just means you don’t want to open yourself up to be in the same situation you watched growing up.

If all you know is that relationships are toxic, why on earth would you want to enter into one, sexual or not? Romantic feelings to someone who grew up in an abusive home equals pain and suffering.

[Read: Pistanthrophobia – Understand the fear of trusting someone]

If you find yourself agreeing with many of the points, figure out what drives your behavior and feelings. There are many advantages to relationships with others. If you figure out the root of your feelings, you can move forward with something real and lasting.

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. And in her spare...
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