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  1. I'm trans, and it took a pretty long time (until my late twenties) before I fully admitted it to myself and started seeking transition. When I'd hit yet another crisis with who I am and what my gender is and what is happening, I went to see a counselor who was lovely and I felt like I could really trust her. And finally she asked me "Ideally, what would you most like your gender to be?" And I felt my world shift. I was amazed to notice that I had an answer. It was so simple but revolutionary. So. I don't know if this will help you, ruth, but in an ideal world, where you didn't have to consider anyone else's feelings or financial / material constraints, what would you like to be called? What gender would you most like to be? I feel like sometimes we can get lost in the jungle of external things like roles and expectations and the wishes of everyone but ourselves, and in the process we forget what we actually want.
  2. I have ADHD and I suspect I'm somewhere on or near the autism spectrum. I think this intersects with aromanticism. There's just so much I don't get about neurotypical people! I think my neurodivergence makes me a bit more analytical and a bit of an outsider.
  3. Yeah. I also find parties and such pretty exhausting but every now and then I can find the energy for them! I guess for me it's been a matter of just finding a few cool people who in turn have introduced me to more cool people, etc. And it's taken a really long time!
  4. Thanks for your replies! I feel welcome. Uhhh it's been a long road, but: I have two lovers at the moment. One of them I got to know through friends. I have a friend that I just got to know through work, this guy who clocked that I was also queer and polyamorous (I don't know if that's a term I'd use for myself any more because I'm not... amorous. But polyam circles are good for finding varying intensities of relationships, because there's not the expectation that everyone will automatically board the relationship escalator of falling in love - dating - getting engaged - moving in together - getting married) and he invited me to a big party. There I met this lady who is married to the love of her life but open to playing with other people (with the husband's full knowledge and consent of course). We ended up flirting a little and she asked if I wanted to play (bdsm circles: also good for casual play partners). And then I waited AN ENTIRE YEAR because I wasn't ready, but then we talked again and met up and it's super nice, we get along like a house on fire and we've been meeting once a month or two for a year now. She's said she's infatuated with me, I've said I don't really feel that way, maybe not for anyone ever, and we're both cool with each other's feelings (or lack thereof). The other lover I just met this summer at Pride. I went on Pride picnic with some queer & trans friends (queer / trans / gender non-conforming people: also often cool with non-normative relationships, but your info says you're straight so this is maybe not applicable to you). I liked him, I asked him out (I am super brave, this was NOT easy but I've tried to learn to voice my desires more clearly lately and asking never hurts if you do it nicely), we've played together once now, it was super nice and we're planning another date. (Both of these people live in another town than me, which also keeps the intensity down nicely.) He has a lot of casual play partners / one night stands, I don't know if he's looking for a love relationship but since we're explicitly nonmonogamous he's free to find that somewhere other than me and if he does it doesn't mean he has to dump me. I've tried online dating with mixed success, but I find it's better to just go out where likeminded, sexually openminded people hang out and meet them, that's a faster way to see if you'll connect with someone.
  5. I've been in three long term relationships. I haven't hated it. There's a lot about a relationship I like: I like sex with someone I know well enough to explore a lot of different fantasies, I like emotional intimacy, I like having a friend who is very close to me and knows about all my stuff. And all of my relationships have been pretty unconventional, very chill and based on friendship and in the case of the last two, non-monogamous. And there hasn't been a lot of... flowers or moonlight walks or any of the more overtly romantic stuff. Two of my first longer relationships I just ended when I felt they'd run their course. It sounds kinda terrible but I felt like I'd explored this person and seen what there is to see, and just didn't see the point in staying any longer. A bit like I'd visited a nice museum or something and it was good but now I was ready to go do something else? We weren't sexually super compatible with either of them, and my initial feelings of loving the feeling of being liked and wanted had faded. My last partner was a bit different, I felt like we just had a deep friendship and companionship and I was ready to spend the rest of my life with him. But ironically enough, he left me because he says his romantic feelings had faded away. I felt kinda very betrayed at that initially. I guess it was so different for me than for him, I kinda didn't get the whole romance thing in the first place but the companionship was still pretty good for me. But right now I'm exploring having friends with benefits or long-term lovers. I don't feel the need to get in another relationship really, at least not for now. Maybe with another aromantic person it would be nice to start some sort of a partnership, where both of us are on the same page in that we like each other's company but don't feel the rush or butterflies or rollercoaster or whatever love is supposed to be. I'm done feeling like I'm not enough for a partner, like I'm cold and letting the other person down by not feeling enough.
  6. Hi all! This romantic orientation thing has been on my mind A LOT lately so I decided it's probably good if I can talk about it with someone, right? So here I am. I'm 37 years old, single for a year and a half now, and the more I think about it the less I'm in a hurry to get into another relationship. And the more I think about my past relationships, the more it seems there was always something else than romantic feelings driving me there: I wanted sex, I was afraid of missing out, dating was just what you did, it was a way to connect to people... but at best I tolerate kissing and I don't understand the idea of romance at all. Lately I've made a few non-romantic but meaningful sexual connections with people and it's like I've hacked the system: do you mean I can get sex and friendship and connections, and yet NOT be in a relationship? Do you mean I won't have to find a partner EVER if I dont want to??? So here I am, trying to make sense of it all? To ask whether it's possible to live a full, meaningful, happy life without romance? Do I want that? We'll see.
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