It's definitely such an enormous challenge at times, figuring out who we are and where we fit in. At times it can even feel torturous in a number of ways, especially if you're left feeling like you just don't fit in anywhere.
It's strange in a way how 'fitting in' has a feeling to it. Sometimes you can walk into a room of complete strangers and they're the kind of people who you can just feel are so happy to have you there. There are times where you can walk into a room full of people you've known for years, including family, and you just don't feel a sense of belonging, not even an ounce. I actually find there are people in my life who can proclaim their love for me but to tell you the truth I just aint feeling the love at times. There can be people in my life who I know love me yet rarely ever say it...I feel it based on the number of times they work in leading me to smile. I feel it with my son and my daughter and they feel loved by me. I'll actually get a huge smile from them, along with an eye roll, whenever they walk into the room and hear me say, as I shield my eyes, 'Hang on a second, just have to go get my sun glasses because YOU are simply way too brilliant. I can't stand it!' To me, that's love in its simplest form, raising someone to a smile.
Sounds like your friends do need you, perhaps they just don't show it in a way you can really feel. Do you feel it on occasions or do you think you'd feel what you wish to with a new circle of people? Someone once gave me some brilliant advice - Depending on what stage of your evolution you're at, you'll feel if you're vibing with your circle or not. If not, consider it may time to graduate to a new circle of people who'll raise you even further. As you search for your new circle, you may even keep a couple of people from your old one. Sometimes we can collect people as we go through life.
Romance is an interesting sense. I'd class it as a sense, something we're sensitive to feeling. Personally, I've come to redefine romance as 'Something that speaks to the soul'. While a lot of people tend to link romance to having an intimate partner, I think you can have a romance with just about anything you can connect with that simply brings you more to life in certain ways. While some may search for romance with someone else throughout the whole of their life and never find it, others develop a soulful love affair with aspects of themself which bring them to life.