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Beukennootje

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Hi all,

I go here by the name Beukennootje. I am a 23 years old student from the Netherlands. I identify as aromantic and asexual. I came to the asexual realisation first a few months ago, and then I realised there was more than just asexual. I am also aromantic. I try to discuss it with some people and I notice I get reactions I don't have proper answers on.

One of the people that I told I was aromantic and asexual was like: "but this also can be not true. I mean, you may have a boyfriend in 2 years. I also had periods I didn't found anyone attractive when I was emotionally numb." So I told her I definitely wasn't emotionally numb from puberty till now, if I ever have been emotionally numb. But she still was like: but you can also just say: at this moment I don't feel attraction to people. And at that moment I didn't know anymore how to respond. The person I talked to is biromantic and sexual herself, so I couldn't make the comparison with the gender she isn't attracted to.

I also talked to someone that at first seemed understanding. But then started to ask like all weird questions possible about how I looked at people, how it came I never had crushes, everything about my sex life, if I masturbate and if so, what I think about when doing that etc. Like everything, which was quite uncomfortable. And after that he concluded that I maybe just have to experiment more with people/relationships/sex etc.. So I explained to him there is nothing to fix or solve, because there is nothing broken. And he went like: hmm yea that is right. But continued with that he still advised to experiment more. So I don't know what I have to tell him to make him realise that he doesn't have to 'solve' it, because there is nothing to be solved.

How do you handle these kind of people? What do you say to them? 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/14/2020 at 3:45 PM, Beukennootje said:

Hi all,

I go here by the name Beukennootje. I am a 23 years old student from the Netherlands. I identify as aromantic and asexual. I came to the asexual realisation first a few months ago, and then I realised there was more than just asexual. I am also aromantic. I try to discuss it with some people and I notice I get reactions I don't have proper answers on.

Welcome, near neighbour

 

On 7/14/2020 at 3:45 PM, Beukennootje said:

One of the people that I told I was aromantic and asexual was like: "but this also can be not true. I mean, you may have a boyfriend in 2 years. I also had periods I didn't found anyone attractive when I was emotionally numb." So I told her I definitely wasn't emotionally numb from puberty till now, if I ever have been emotionally numb. But she still was like: but you can also just say: at this moment I don't feel attraction to people. And at that moment I didn't know anymore how to respond. The person I talked to is biromantic and sexual herself, so I couldn't make the comparison with the gender she isn't attracted to.

I also talked to someone that at first seemed understanding. But then started to ask like all weird questions possible about how I looked at people, how it came I never had crushes, everything about my sex life, if I masturbate and if so, what I think about when doing that etc. Like everything, which was quite uncomfortable. And after that he concluded that I maybe just have to experiment more with people/relationships/sex etc.. So I explained to him there is nothing to fix or solve, because there is nothing broken. And he went like: hmm yea that is right. But continued with that he still advised to experiment more. So I don't know what I have to tell him to make him realise that he doesn't have to 'solve' it, because there is nothing to be solved.

😬 ow

On 7/14/2020 at 3:45 PM, Beukennootje said:

How do you handle these kind of people? What do you say to them? 

Hard to say, i am easily upset by those peoples unfortunately. If this is peoples i know irl, i try to cut ties with them i guess... But easier said than done! Hmm. 

Some peoples are just acting with bad faith. They will not listen and want you to have a burn out so they feel like they're right. Sorry to say that. If you are tired, you have every right to tell them to fuck off and focus on yourself.

It's probably not what you expected, i appologize. It's a little hard to judge, but it seem like a close minded and very disrespectful person from what i understand? Or am i missing something. Are they close to you i you don't mind me asking?

Edited by Leton.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome!! we're glad to have you

 

On 7/14/2020 at 3:45 PM, Beukennootje said:

How do you handle these kind of people? What do you say to them? 

this one is difficult, for sure. if you value their friendship, or for some other reason there is no way to cut ties, i'd say the best you can do is be firm with them that they need to respect that you know your own inner life. they can't dictate that you "just need to experiment", that you don't know yourself, that it's just a phase of "emotional numbness" (wow, that one is new 😬) you can offer to educate them if they're open to it; send them some literature (lots can be said about AVEN, but they have done a lot of activism and have a lot of stuff on asexuality at least).

i had a bisexual friend who had a difficult time conceptualising aro-ness especially. now, i'm lucky with her: she's very open minded, she just couldn't wrap her mind around it. i asked her if a tiny part of her had a hard time fully believing monosexual people are fully monosexual (i.e. homo/heterosexual), she did. she doesn't say it out loud, bc she doesn't want to invalidate ppl naturally, but it's still there. i explained it's the same with me and allos, but i still accept it bc obviously it kinda has to exist. so while she maybe doesn't 100% get it, she does accept it now, which is all i ask for me personally.

idk if this helps really. it sounds like the people you mention are very unwilling to believe that you can know yourself well enough to know this about yourself, which sounds.... not good? i don't know them, of course. it's never fun, anyhow, and you have my sympathies 💚

Edited by nisse
typo
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@Leton. @nisse Thanks for your replies! Sorry that I reply late, I was on a small vacation and had to work a lot after.

Those people are not my closest friends, but somewhere between good acquaintance and friend or so. These people started asking me questions on my sexuality/romantic orientation, because they noticed I seem not interested. Otherwise I wouldn't have discussed it with them. But these people will be in my life, because one is in a relationship with a good friend of mine and the other shares the same hobby as I do, so I see him over there.

The weird part with both is when I told them I am aroace they were like: hmm okay. And a few days later they came up with all these questions and start to invalidate it.

I try to explain that I know myself pretty good and that experimenting won't change my feelings (and yes emotionally numb was also new to me). But I guess they try to convince me, because they have experience with crushes and relationships and everything. And I think they think because I don't have experience, that they can 'wake me up' romantically and sexually or so. That it is because I don't have experience. And I tried to explain that that doesn't make a difference, and they said they understood, but the next sentence contained experimenting again. 

So maybe they just really don't understand it or so. But if they keep repeating I have to experiment, I don't know how to explain it to them anymore. And I really can't do anything with "it might not be true, because emotionally numb".

And what Nisse said: indeed I want people to accept. If they don't fully understand, okay. I also don't fully understand them. But I won't ever say that it might be not true that they have orientation X or whatever. But I wonder if they fully realise how invalidating their comments are.

Wow, I think this whole text is not coherent at all. I hope you get it a bit.

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10 hours ago, Beukennootje said:

Wow, I think this whole text is not coherent at all. I hope you get it a bit.

No I get it!

So cutting ties is not viable, but they aren't close friends. But you kinda need to get along with them, because they are in your life regardless. 

Jeez. I get doubly why you're frustrated now.

I think the best I have to offer is 2 things, if they start this up again:

If they're monosexual, ask if they've experimented with other genders (especially if they're straight; gay folks often have, in my experience.) If they haven't, well. How can they *know* they're hetero/homosexual, y'know?

If you'd rather not take that route, or if it fails (they have experimented/they want to) they need to understand that their line of questioning is invasive, invalidating, and infantilising (that's a lot of in- words!! whoops). It's not their role to get you to "understand yourself" better or whatever. They're being incredibly annoying and invasive (I genuinely can't get past this invasiveness - they're not even close friends of yours?? why are they so invested in this!) and they kinda need to back off. It's not their business!! It harms no one, even if you had been emotionally numb. I would normally want to harp on this, because it's an annoying stereotype, especially of aros, but these two seem like a lost cause.

Damn, dude. I'm kinda stuck on this, and kinda really frustrated at them myself lol. I hope you get some kind of resolution, I wouldn't wish this on anyone

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20 hours ago, Beukennootje said:

And I think they think because I don't have experience, that they can 'wake me up' romantically and sexually or so

Red flag. This one smell very bad.

 

20 hours ago, Beukennootje said:

And what Nisse said: indeed I want people to accept. If they don't fully understand, okay. I also don't fully understand them. But I won't ever say that it might be not true that they have orientation X or whatever. But I wonder if they fully realise how invalidating their comments are.

As i like to say : respect do not need understanding. If someone need to understand to respect, and to validate someone there is a good chance they are close minded. It would be like running into a rock. Between you and the rock, only one will be hurt.

 

----

Once, someone told me that being gay was after all a choice. I asked her if she could fall in love with a girl. It...seeem to have suffice because she understood it was not just "picking your orientation". Take note that she is a nice person. 

You can also get "you may not know yet, since you didn't fall in love yet". This one is hard, because it's hard to prove a negative. Are they straight? I guess a come back would be "how can you know you're straight, you didn't fall with a [insert gender] yet".

I get that it's harder when they are in your space via another friend. :/ What do this friend think of it? (not trying to set you up for anything btw)

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On 7/22/2020 at 11:22 PM, nisse said:

If they're monosexual, ask if they've experimented with other genders (especially if they're straight; gay folks often have, in my experience.) If they haven't, well. How can they *know* they're hetero/homosexual, y'know?

I know that at least one of the two is bisexual, so I'll skip that route with at least one of them. If they start about it another time I will surely try to explain why it is so invasive. At that moment I was just too overwhelmed from all their questions to have the proper words to explain why it was so wrong. But back at home I thought back at it and then I got frustrated.

On 7/23/2020 at 9:30 AM, Leton. said:

Once, someone told me that being gay was after all a choice. I asked her if she could fall in love with a girl. It...seeem to have suffice because she understood it was not just "picking your orientation". Take note that she is a nice person. 

You can also get "you may not know yet, since you didn't fall in love yet". This one is hard, because it's hard to prove a negative. Are they straight? I guess a come back would be "how can you know you're straight, you didn't fall with a [insert gender] yet".

I get that it's harder when they are in your space via another friend. :/ What do this friend think of it? (not trying to set you up for anything btw)

It is hard to prove a negative. I think that is why it takes so long to figure out that you are aro. I mean I thought for years I was 'just a late bloomer'.

The person that is in a relationship with a good friend of mine is bisexual. So I can't use the gender she isn't attracted to as an example.

I am 'out' to the good friend she has a relationship with. I am not out to my whole environment yet. Just 2 people I told myself, because we are close friends. And those 2 people in this thread that asked questions. So my good friend said he thought it was weird she was this invalidating, because she is bi herself, so she should probably know what invalidation is herself. I agreed, but later I thought about the following: maybe it is harder to grasp aromantic if someone is bisexual. because that example of the gender they are not attracted to doesn't really work (I know this is too generalizing because there is more than strict female and male, but to make the example easier). But even then indeed she can at least just respect me and not invalidate me.

@nisse @Leton. Sorry again for the late reaction. Somehow my notifications don't work properly, so I didnt saw you two replied. 

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don't worry about late replies!! forum response time is very different from social media response time :)

god, these people. in many ways, (allo-allo)bis should understand the struggle more than anyone else? i saw a great post about that years ago, from an allo-bisexual man. he remarked on how a lot of the exclusionist/anti-aspec stuff he had read reminded him very much of biphobic arguments. i don't remember the specifics unfortunately, but if i find it i'll link you!

10 hours ago, Beukennootje said:

At that moment I was just too overwhelmed from all their questions to have the proper words to explain why it was so wrong.

i totally understand being too taken aback to be able to really understand what's being said! i really hope you get it through to them somehow, or at least that they'll understand how weird they're being.

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