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Grieving process??


Mell
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Hey y'all! 

I hope that everyone has been having a great holiday season, whichever ones you celebrate during this time. I started really coming to terms with being aro about this time a year ago (even though there have been signs most of my life) and coming to terms with being ace just this summer. While I am so relieved to have language for my experiences, thankful to have talked with some really cool people online, and also am proud of my identity, I have felt an overwhelming sense of grief and sadness about being aro/ace as well. I always pictured myself being able to fall in love eventually and enjoy having sex with people, both of which are proving themselves to be untrue for me. I think maybe its because society puts such an emphasis on romance and sex and because I expected it to happen to me for so long that I am feeling this way, and now I am having to grapple with the fact that these things probably won't happen. It's also hard having friends talk about these things and feeling left out, and trying to imagine what the rest of my life will look like as most of them start to partner up. I struggle to talk about these feelings because I don't want to paint being aro or ace as a bad thing, they are both beautiful and amazing identities, it is just taking me some time to really feel that for myself. I know that there's already a lot of perceptions of ace/aro people as sad and miserable and missing out on life so I don't want to feed into that but also want to cope with my feelings. I wanted to know if any of you have had a similar experience to this one and/or have any advice for giving myself the space to feel/work through these emotions while also being proud of my identity. 

Sending love to everyone during this holiday season!

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Like you, I also pictured myself being affectionate and romantic, and able to easily enjoy sex. Both of which have also proven to be untrue.

Even though I've been identifying as aro for ~a decade, there were so many times where I was still just waiting to find someone attractive. Like it should happen at some point, right? And I do get lonely, and lately that's been weighing on me quite a bit. I know romantic relationships aren't always stable, and that the commitment isn't a guarantee that your partner won't hurt you in some way, but at the same time I know it would be easier for me to find a partner if I was alloromantic. I think it would be easier for me to have that security. I'm by no means old, but as I get older I think it weighs on me more.

I'm probably also in a multi-year-long process of grieving my sexuality, because I definitely expected (and demanded) myself to be more sexual throughout my life. Society puts a HUGE emphasis on it and media (music, art, erotic lit/smut) makes it seem so fun, esp. casual sex. The reality that I'm less sexual than the idealized version of myself has been a lot to grapple with; it's been really difficult at some points, and confusing because I'm not totally asexual.

It's normal to grieve these things. Especially in a society where romance and sex can color so much of our interactions with others, and where we're presumed to need a romantic+sexual relationship in order to be happy. I don't think feeling crappy about it is feeding into negative ace/aro stereotypes- you deserve to feel your feelings and to cope. If someone sees you as "proof" that all aces/aros are miserable then that's 100% on them and you should be running in the other direction lol.

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Thank you so much for the response Apex, I really resonate with everything you said, these things are difficult to come to terms with. Its so hard not to feel lonely and not to demand oneself to be more sexual because that is what is expected us/gives us some sense of worth in society. And you make such a great point about how people seeing me as proof of those stereotypes would be a huge red flag. Thankfully my allo friends have been great about it so far but that would be a good sign not to be around someone who thought like that, whew!

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