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So Much Confusion


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I'm just going to apologise in advance, because there's so much going through my head right now and I might not get it out properly.


Basically I've known for a few months now that I'm asexual, but in the last few weeks I've started questioning my romantic orientation? I've just felt so disconnected from the idea of romance, and I'm not sure if that's something I want anymore, but at the same time I feel like I've felt romantic attraction in the past, so that's really confusing.


Also there's been a guy who I've had a crush on for almost 2 years, and I really thought that I wanted to date him, but now that I've been thinking about it, when I think about actually going on dates/doing romantic things with him, I can't visualise it? At all? There's just nothing there. 


Also just in general I've always been very touch-averse for as long as I can remember, like I just hate holding hands with people, hugging people, touching people in any context (as sad as it may sound, the only person who I'm okay with hugging is my mum, everyone else is strictly off limits because no thanks), and I guess I always assumed that that would change once I got into a romantic relationship with someone? But now I'm not so sure.


I've also always been kinda grossed out whenever my friends have been in relationships and have been acting all lovey-dovey around me, but I've heard that alloromantics feel that too, so I've always brushed it off, but I don't know anymore honestly.


Also just in general when my friends talk about people they like I get really bored really quickly, but all of my other friends seem actually interested (up until a point, some of my friends can go very overboard with that stuff) and I don't know???? 


But also I'm sure that I've had crushes in the past? Like I've definitely (at least I think so) liked people in the past, but I've never actually bothered to pursue anything (except with the most recent guy, but I only told him I liked him, didn't actually ask him out for reasons unknown to all including me)? And the closest I've ever actually come to a relationship was this really weird situation in year 5 where a mutual friend of me and the guy I liked decided to try and set us up and she was basically going in between us during lunch and sort of being like a messenger and then he (supposedly) asked me out and then I said yeah but then I started freaking out and basically I downed an entire 1L bottle of juice so that I would feel sick and could go home early and then I avoided the topic for the rest of the year whenever anyone brought it up and I always sort of brushed that off as "I was 10" but at the time no one else seemed to have the same problem with being in a relationship?


Also I hate talking about my crushes to people? Like whenever I like someone my friends always want details but I just really don't like talking about it? Like in an ideal world once my friends found out that I like someone we might talk about it for like 2-5 minutes and then that would be it. End of story, let's move onto a new topic of conversation. Especially I never want to gush about them like my friends always do, like they always go on about how 'great' the person is and how they just want to date them and how they're just pining and how they need to see them etc, but I don't really see why you would ever want to spend that much time talking about someone?


And like I've always ended up befriending my crushes "in order to get closer to them" but then I never did anything else? Like I was just fine with that, literally the only reason I actually told my most recent crush that I liked him was because I got into a really impulsive mood and then just was like 'f*** it' and told him, but if it wasn't for that I probably still wouldn't have told him.


So basically I'm in a state of confusion and I really need to know what on earth is going on, am I aro? am I somewhere on the spectrum? Am I just biromantic and being stupid? I need to know, because if I don't have an answer it'll eat me up inside and I'll probably end up having a breakdown.


So what do you think I am, based on this?


I'm really sorry if any of this doesn't make sense or if I've repeated anything, I've probably missed stuff out as well, but my mind is just an absolute mess at the moment and this is the best I could manage right now.

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Hi, Zephyr!


I must preface this by saying that no one but you can define your own identity! Identity isn't some math equation where you can plug in a couple variables and get a for sure, absolutely correct answer, nor is it a medical issue where you can take a simple test and be diagnosed with x or y identity. Identity is something very person and is personally defined. We don't choose our labels because we know with absolute certainty that we are, objectively, that label. We choose them because we relate to them. We choose them because we want to label in that way. We choose them because they help us communicate our feelings to others in some manner. We choose them because we have similar experiences to other people who've also chosen that label. We choose them because we feel somehow more comfortable or safer or included or happier when we label that way.


That being said, I do have some thoughts that I hope may help you!


First of which is that you do not need to police yourself from labeling in a way because of a few experiences in your past - especially not some experience from when you were 10!!! : o


Age can certainly impact our identity. I did have what I would consider kid crushes when I was a kid (like K - 3rd grade for me). When I hit middle school, my peers all started developing sexual attraction and exploring their sexual identity. I started realizing I did not feel the same way as my peers when they gushed over celebrities in magazines and crushes went from schoolyard chases to some spy-like game of flirting and passing notes between friends. I didn't know the term for it, but this was the beginning of me realizing and coming to terms with my asexuality. I felt nothing crush-like or crush-wise until the middle of HS when I was around 16 or so. I still didn't know about asexuality, but I started having a really confusing series of feelings towards others. I knew they weren't the same crushes my friends had, though, because there was still something different between how I was feeling these feelings and how my friends seemed to. I still didn't find my crushes "hot" or anything like that! But once I came across asexuality and realized I could be asexual but still experience romantic attraction, I realized those feelings had been romantic attraction towards others, something I had definitely not felt until I was 16 or so.


I don't know why the gap! Perhaps my asexuality was so strongly different from how I knew my peers that it overtook any potential romantic attraction I had. Perhaps my romantic attraction was low or I really was a "late bloomer" in that aspect. Perhaps, if other circumstances had not happened that lead to me becoming caedromantic, I would have eventually come to identify as gray-aromantic or arospike. Perhaps it really was just due to age and exploring my feelings and learning who I was and that was just my journey.


So your past does not have to define your whole self now or in the future! It's fine to just label based on how you feel now.


It's possible that those past experiences were just blips that you may consider exceptions.


It's possible that you don't know how to categorize those past experiences and decide to leave them as past experiences that maybe fed who you are now but don't necessarily define who you are now.


It's possible that you're someone who enjoys romance in theory but not in practice. This is a valid aro experience!


Maybe you are aro/arospec and bi.


Maybe you're even gray-aromantic (maybe a low level of romantic attraction or wavering romantic attraction or you have romantic attraction but no motivation/drive to act upon it). Maybe you're frayromantic (experience romantic attraction until a bond is formed or maybe experience romantic attraction until it's a real possibility, then it disappears/fades). Maybe you're alloromantic or arospec but romance repulsed (as you may know from your touch repulsion, repulsion doesn't have to be a 100% intensity towards all things all the time - you can enjoy things in theory but be repulsed by practice or you can have people who are exceptions to your repulsion, etc.) and not really interested in a relationship. Maybe you'll even relate to the idea of schroromantic (Schrödinger's attraction - where there's a possibility you are aromantic and/or alloromantic; some may choose this label because they aren't sure and feel they could be either, some may choose this label because they don't know how to or can't or don't want to quantify the attraction they experience, etc.).


I don't know which experience you relate to most or which label you're most drawn to or what it is you want to label as, though. That's something that only you can determine! And whatever you choose is valid! Because labels and identity are personal. You don't have to pass some test to be valid or be able to identify as a label. You just need to, in some way, want to label that way and/or relate to that label in some way.


I know, I know. It would be so much easier if someone else could tell you what you are. But we just don't work that way. You could have 1000 people here telling you whatever you wanted to hear, but at the end of the day, the only way you're going to believe and accept that you're valid however you identify is to believe that for yourself. And that starts by you being the one to define your own identity and feelings. = )

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Thank you! I'm still kinda undecided on what I want to label myself but you've really helped me start to work out the mess in my head, and I really appreciate that.

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