FaerySilverwings Posted August 16, 2020 Share Posted August 16, 2020 So, I am finally at the point in my life where I've begun my (slightly obsessive) quest to figure out the words that describe me so I can both talk to other people when the occasion arises and just... know, for myself. (I hope that makes sense). I posted a version of this on AVEN earlier and someone recommended I could get more advice/information here, so apologies if this is too long... Realizing I'm asexual was pretty easy. I finally found enough information to recognize myself and the word just fits. The other half of my orientation-or-lack-thereof is a lot harder to figure out because I've never had anyone I could comfortably talk to about it. My current research hasn't turned up any words that feel entirely right yet, although I feel like I'm probably some flavor of aromantic. (Also, I spent way too much of this year completely alone in an apartment with very little communication with the outside world, so I've hit the "I am overwhelmed with my own introspection and need other people's insight" stage...) This is what I know about myself: I've never been in any sort of romantic relationship. I've never really dated anyone (although I had one guy friend who I think I went on what might have been four dates with, but whether the outings were actual dates or not I'm not really sure... long story.) I have, however, turned down a number of guys who openly expressed some form of interest in me. (awkwardly. so very awkwardly. Social anxiety makes explaining to people why I don't feel that way toward them very, very awkward.) I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea of me being in a committed relationship with anyone. Aside from the I'm-asexual-and-most-people-would-expect-eventual-sexual-contact thing, I've always been repulsed by the idea of me being someone's wife/girlfriend. That's partly because of the loss of autonomy, partly because I never want children and there is sooooo much social pressure surrounding reproduction/childrearing as a function of relationships, and partly because deep-set social anxiety and ptsd make it very hard for me to let myself get close to people and open up to them in the first place... I'm somehow the friend people tell all of their relationship stuff to, and I always have to preface any advice I give them when asked with "Well, I have no personal experience with these things, but from what I've observed in my studies of humanity..." (and at the same time, I observe and study because I'm just baffled by relationships in general, especially with how a lot of women give up on their own goals/dreams based on their partner's wants/needs... and with the constant need a lot of my friends have to be in relationships to the point that they don't know who they are at all as a single person) I do get what I think are squishes on people sometimes? As in "this person is wonderful and I want to be around them as much as they'll let me and get to know them better and have them want to be around me too" combined with "holding this person's hand would be neat if they offered". (This feeling is then the subject of a war among the various instinct/emotion lizards in my brain, because once recognized as existing it is at serious odds with the "I don't want to be in a relationship with anyone" side) To date, I've never really been open about this with any of the people themselves, and I usually avoid telling anyone else because the few times I have things have gone... not well. My most notable squishes to date: nice boy from summer youth choir who I had practically nothing in common with and was really intensely involved with one of the other sopranos (granted, this was the first time I'd ever been around other people my age for an extended period of time and he was one of the first people in the group to be friendly towards me, so... yeah.) guy from archaeology camp I had an inexplicable fascination for who let me hang out with him because we were both writers (and I think the rest of the camp considered us "a couple"? I don't know how I feel about that) other nice boy from summer youth choir who was initially somewhat involved with another girl, but then hung out with me and was great to talk to but I only saw maybe twice a year because we lived hours away from each other. (aka, the one I may have gone on dates with. Kept in contact off and on for ages, always kind of considered him "the one I might have said yes to if he had ever openly expressed interest in being more than friends". I'm told he had a crush on me? Recently let me know he'd "found someone" and I still don't know how I feel about that aside from being happy he's happy.) girl I randomly met in the library at my university and ended up friends with; openly gay and involved in all sorts of activist and awareness stuff. My "let's go on a long walk in the park now that lockdown restrictions have lessened and talk for hours about stuff while we wander" buddy; actually listens to me and makes me feel like a valuable person. Made a point of hanging out with me as much as possible the last couple of weeks before I had to fly home (because yay transatlantic moves ?) and coming to say goodbye in person when I left for the airport. We still get to talk online sometimes. I'm not touch-adverse, but it does take me ages to get comfortable enough with people as friends in general that I'd consider initiating platonic physical contact of any kind (... this may have to do with most of my friends being guys and not wanting to "send the wrong message"). I like hugs most of the time if I'm comfortable with the person and they initiate. When I have opportunities, I really enjoy old-fashioned partner-type dancing, because there's touch involved but there are protocols to it and it's fun. I like the idea of potentially having a person (people?) in my life at some point who would be interested in doing things like wandering around parks and holding hands or cuddling while watching movies. Plus I get chilled really easily and people are warm. (Non-sexual cuddling while sleeping sounds really nice, too, potentially?) I also deal with really severe anxiety episodes and panic attacks, and although I had recently started being able to talk to my irl friends about that even being a thing, I know that physical-contact-reassurance would really help me specifically if I had someone who I was able to be open with about that aspect of myself. (Like, just writing all of this out makes me wish I had someone here for that. Is it selfish to want to be able to ask people for cuddles so my anxiety-lizards remember the world outside my brain exists and I don't have to feel alone?) Even though I don't want them for myself, as a writer I love crafting healthy romances and relationships with depth for my characters if it suits them; I only enjoy "love stories" in most media if they're very well written and the characters have lives outside their relationship and the romance isn't the only focus of the narrative. (I hate it when a perfectly good character is ruined by being forced into a romance just because it's expected that everyone should "find someone") I hope that's not too much information? What it all boils down to is that I can't figure out if there's a specific word I should be using for "I don't want and am not interested in a traditional romantic relationship, but I would be very happy to have someone to do friend things with and cuddle if such a person existed". I also have no idea how to explain any of this to the friends I do have if it ever comes up in conversation, although most of them are aware of the "Katie is asexual and likes being single" thing to some degree or other. (Weirdly, I also really want to be able to discuss this with my mother, because we're super close but this is the one thing I'm not ready to talk to her about because I don't have a grip on it yet. My best friend, too, because she's a married mother-of-two and even though I want to talk to her about stuff she rarely has time for me at all anymore... and this is the sort of thing she doesn't really relate to as far as I know.) Any thoughts? I will happily accept links to further reading on the subject. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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