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Discovering my Sexual/Romantic Orientation

Guest Sammy

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Hi! My name is Samantha but I go by Sam or Sammy! I just wanted to talk about my experience with my sexual/romantic orientation to get an outside perspective and make some sense of it. I feel like when it comes to me trying to understand my sexual and romantic orientation, I just end up going through a whole identity crisis where I then experience anxiety and am like 'omg, who am I?' Which is ironic because I feel like I should have the answers but honestly I'm as confused as one can be. Just a warning, this will be kind of long so I don't expect you to understand everything. Also, please correct me if I'm using any terms incorrectly, I want to learn!

I think the first time I came in contact with the term "Asexual" was in Senior year of High School. But, I first want to give background information from before learning about the sexuality. In Senior year of High School, I got asked out for the first time by a boy in one of my classes. I remember he sent me a Direct Message on instagram and was talking about something from the class. I can't remember exactly how the conversation went because it has been about 2-3 since but eventually we exchanged phone numbers. We texted a lot and I was just going with the flow and what I thought I should do. Eventually, he asked me out and I literally can't remember how I felt; whether I was excited, happy, anxious. But I accepted, because the whole time I was thinking: 'I think this is what I'm supposed to do.' 'I've never been on a date, I should accept.' But I don't think I really wanted to go on the date? I don't even remember if he said date but we went to to see a movie and he didn't make a move, which I don't think bothered me, but for some reason I felt like I should l try to make a move? I decided to lean my head on his shoulder, but I don't think it was because I wanted to. I think I felt some type of pressure. After that 'date,' we continued to see each other, but we never talked about what we were. He was also the first person I ever engaged in sexual activity with. But fast forward, I kept thinking about what I was doing and getting myself into. The more I though about what I was doing, I got uncomfortable. I wasn't really attracted to him physically, and I feel awful about leading him on, which was never my intention. Eventually, after this lasting for about a month or a little over, I convinced myself I needed to end things, because I felt like I should. I didn't want to lead him on more and I felt uncomfortable. To be more specific, it was like an ick feeling that I got the more that I thought about what I was doing. I remember somehow my teacher knew and I was like omg noooooo. No one can know and I felt so uncomfortable. But after this experience, this was when I did research about sexuality, and Asexuality made so much sense to me. I even opened up to one my best friends about the way that I felt, and she was so understanding. 

Later on in Senior year, I started working and I found one of my coworkers really attractive. At the time, I think I had a crush because I wanted to talk to him and I felt like I could just always look at him, but that is just aesthetics. This was also the first time I acted upon a crush. I remember talking to my best friend about him and asking her what I should do because it was the first time I had ever felt the way I felt. I literally looked at the work schedule to find out when he was working so I could try and get the same shift. Ahh embarrassing. I did not have this job for a long time because it was right before the pandemic started, but on the last day of work, I remember I made an effort to talk to him a lot. I also promised myself I would give him my phone number before I left. This last shift, I remember I felt more 'attracted' to him as I kept talking to him. I felt like we vibed very well and like our conversations flowed very well. I felt nervous but like a good nervous. I also think I felt butterflies with him, which I've never experienced with someone else. Maybe those weren't butterflies, but it's been so long since I've felt like that, I haven't been able to decipher. Before I left my job that night, I wrote my phone number on a piece of paper and slipped it under his water bottle, and immediately felt a rush of adrenaline and kind of like wow, I can't believe I did that. We started to text a lot and my intention at the time was to get to know him more. I think was the first time I ever fantasized being in a relationship with someone or something more with and I wasn't uncomfortable with the idea. I kept thinking everything was going well so this meant we would eventually be something more. We eventually hang out for the first time, and since this was right at the pandemic, there wasn't much to do. So all we did was hang outside, walk around and talked for most of the day. The more we talked and the more time we spent together, the more intrigued I was. We eventually hung out again not too long after and this time, I felt like my 'crush' or attraction towards him was growing. On the bus ride back home, I rested my head on his shoulder, and I don't remember it being anything magical, but it felt right and I enjoyed it. He walked me home as well and he grabbed my hand and I liked it as well, but I don't think I felt butterflies. This was the last time we see each other because people were beginning to quarantine and I wanted to protect my family as well as protect his. So we continued to text, talk over phone, and occasionally watched movies together. At the time, this meant so much to me. I thought this was my time to actually experience and feel something and I was so obsessed and excited for the idea of falling in love. However, as time progressed, I felt like I was reaching out to him more than he was to me. I also started to feel like I was living in a fantasy. Eventually, I talk to him on the phone to question how he felt, and he told me he couldn't be anything more for the time being. I remember, at this point I was so ready to tell him how I felt at the time. But I saw a future with him so I decided to stay silent and give him space. I think I went almost a month without talking to him but I couldn't stop thinking about him, the times we hung out and talked and overall how I felt. I reached out to him about a month after because I didn't know where things were gonna go, however, he made it clear that he didn't want to really talk to me and I remember I felt hurt. We proceeded to text and I remember he basically in simplest terms said he just didn't want anything with me. I told him how I felt, and part of me now wishes I never deleted those messages to see how I felt at the time. But I'm also glad I didn't save those messages because I feel like I would've constantly been going back to look at those messages and it would've hurt me more. After that, we never talked again because I felt so hurt and incapable of being friends with him. It was my first real rejection which definitely was painful.

I think the hardest thing about this experience was the fact that it happened right when a pandemic was starting, and no one really knew how to deal with it. I really did fall into a hole of depression and kinda lost myself right before going to college. Then throughout the rest of quarantine before I went to college, as well as the first semester fo Freshman year; that was probably the loneliest I had ever felt. I didn't have too many friends on campus. I felt lost and at times still hurt. But it was more of just like a lonely feeling and thinking I wasn't going to get out of that hole I was in. Fast forward to the second semester, I eventually break out of my shell and meet so many more people. I felt like I was finally growing even though the whole time I had been growing. I felt so empowered and better about myself now that I had been breaking out of my shell. Since the 'crush' I had on the guy at my job, I haven't felt like that towards anyone else. I've found people attractive and a couple times tried to see where something would go, but it just ended up in me not feeling comfortable. The first guy I was talking to I met on Tinder and he was really sweet. We had really interesting conversations and had similar interests. We both talked a lot about meditation and spirituality and I felt like that was something we really bonded over. We eventually met in person and I thought he was really cute. However, overtime, the more we talked, the more I started to get anxious and wonder whether or not I really liked him. If I felt all of this doubt, I don't really know why I kept talking to him. I don't really know why I kept talking to him or even think about possibly being more with him if I had so much doubt. Eventually, he asked if I was interested in being something more than we were, but I freaked out and told him I couldn't. I told him I wasn't ready to be in a relationship and that I was still finding out who I was. He understood me, but I don't think I still understand myself. I feel broken and I wish things weren't always so gray. I wish I knew my intentions better and knew what I wanted so I could have black and white answers. But for a while now, I haven't been sure of what I want. And it doesn't help that I tend to overthink things in the first place.

Not that long after, I meet a guy in my friend group who I thought was cute for like a split second. I think the reason it was easy for me to move on was because I had already spent so much time overthinking about how I felt the previous guy. I got the chance to talk to him when we were hanging out with our friend group, and I don't know if I'm flirty but I think sometimes I can come off as I am because I tease people a lot, but it's something I need to be more careful of. Because I know some people take it as flirting but for me, it's just something I naturally do. But going back to the story, he asks me out and I really don't know why I said yes. Like I wanted to!! I really wanted to talk more and hangout, but his plan was to watch anime at his place at night. When he asked me out, I didn't think too much of it but the next day, it's like it came into my awareness more and I started to freak out. I was like fuck no. What am I getting myself into? Does he see this as a hookup? But I felt bad if I were to have cancelled so I still went because I convinced myself I could keep it under control and just talk. Fast forward (lol, I've said this like 10 thousand times), we got into his place and I immediately felt uncomfortable. His room was small and the only place to sit was on a bed and I felt all my anxiety creep in. But I sucked it up and tried my best to remain calm. If I could've told myself in the past to not go, I would have because I believe our intuition is right most of the time and if we don't want to do something or if we feel anxious about it, we shouldn't have to. Later that same night, he asks me if I want to cuddle and I remember I just froze. I felt repulsed but I was also already extremely anxious and I think that affected me as well. I was also scared if that would lead to anything else and I just didn't feel comfortable. He said it was ok and didn't pressure me at all, which I'm grateful for (lol the bare minimum) but I could tell the vibe was different. He seemed uninterested and didn't really know how to keep the conversation going. 

Overall, since my coworker, I haven't felt like that and I've been in a constant state of overthinking. I thought I liked someone else, but I didn't. I think I confuse genuine care and appreciation for someone as feelings. I'm glad I didn't act upon him because he's one of my good guy friends and I wouldn't want to lose him. I think I might have had a "squish" on him. I find him attractive but I don't really see anything between us. Whenever I identify being asexual/aromantic to myself, I feel a relief. I feel like things make more sense to me, and I feel like I can relate to something. But I still battle with the idea of falling in love and it's something that at times I wish I could feel. The little girl in me is like yes!! It sounds amazing. But, I feel like I can't. I don't feel capable of falling in love and I get scared to use labels because I don't want to lie to myself and miss out on opportunities or experiences. Ahh it's so confusing, but again I don't expect to be fully understood. This is something I must find out and only I can really know but I just wanted to get an outside perspective and see if I could relate to anyone!



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I suppose whatever we do we miss out on opportunities. If we attempt to be in a relationship we miss out on being single. If we try looking for dates we miss out on spending that time and attention on something else. Just remember if you don't date that doesn't mean your time was wasted. If you're uncertain about your romantic or sexual orientation maybe try to focus on building deep emotional friendships. That will serve you no matter how you choose to identify in the future.

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