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Hello identity confusion my old friend

Guest Lee

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For a long time now, the ideal relationship I’ve imagined for myself is me (afab, 22 y/o) being with a gay guy/nblm, in a stable, committed relationship. I’m definitely not cis, but I’m also not sure how much of my imagining this specific future is because I am attracted to queer guys (and I definitely am physically attracted at least) so much as because it feels “safe”—by choosing a romantic partner that’s less likely to be romantically interested in me.

Think Stevie and David from Schitt’s Creek, basically, except without either member seeking out other romantic interests.

I love the idea of romance. I’ve always created stories in my head, and 99.9% of them have romance as their primary focus. I want to slow-dance with someone in the kitchen to an old love song on the radio, I want a tender and compassionate and caring relationship with someone. I want to come home to someone I care about who cares about me and where we both occupy a unique and important position in the other person’s life.

But every time I actually get in a romantic relationship, or even have the potential to get into one,,,I balk. I ghost a lot of people, I deliberately sabotage relationships, I put up big “you may see and desire me and find me hot and write poetry about me but you may not get close to me” signs whenever I try to “put myself out there”. Someone tries to get close to me and there’s something inside me that goes “ew no get away”

(side note, I realize this all sounds shitty but I try to do it in an ethical way that’s considerate of other people’s feelings, I swear)

I’ve been in a few romantic relationships, most of them I ended after a relatively brief time, one I do still harbor feelings for but it was a long-distance thing, we never even met in-person, and it’s hard for me to tell if perhaps some of the reason I still harbor feelings for her is exactly because it is no longer a possibility (she broke up with me), and so it’s also “safe” to fantasize about.

Of course, I also have emotional trauma out the wazoo that fucks with my ability to be emotionally intimate in any way. I also have very high/niche standards for people I enjoy interacting with much in any way so it is entirely possible that I just reject the vast majority of romantic possibilities because I just plain don’t like those specific possibilities.


Anyway. If anyone here has any insight I’d appreciate it, for someone who’s as introspective as I am I’m also Shit at figuring out this stuff. Thank you <3

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I figured I'd throw my two cents in here, feel free to throw all of this out the window.

It sounds like this is a little bit more complex than just your romantic orientation, but that could certainly be a factor.

Looking for relationships where there isn't a romantic/sexual attraction at its core, could be because of an aspec identity. Or it could mean that you want a stronger platonic/familial bond in your life. Maybe think about all of your relationships/friendships/kinships overall & see if you have any solid, strong bonds - you might be feeling lonely but for friends & family instead of love. This doesn't mean that you will never fall in love, but it might mean you're not ready to commit to a partner when you don't feel grounded.

Things like ghosting & self-sabotage ring a lot of not setting good boundaries for yourself. You're figuring things out, but maybe to alleviate some of the stress around your potential romantic relationships, think about whether you can really take something slow. Communicate as much as you can. Check in with yourself & how you feel every step of the way. There are so many identities under the aspec umbrella - & there's a lot of fluidity to it. What's right for you now might change in the future.

Our culture tells us a lot about how we should live, sometimes, & sometimes we need to examine how that's affected our view of both ourselves & the people around us.

I hope this helps. Tldr: slow down, think about what you're feeling as you feel it. Look for patterns. Good luck! This community is supportive if you feel like this is the right place for you. Have a look around, at the other experiences & identities. See what resonates.

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