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LGBT, Sexuality and Gender Identity Whether you're LGBT, questioning, have gender identity issues, or have entirely unrelated feelings, this forum is here to help.

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TH Anonymous Offline
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Aromantic? Asexual? Something else? - May 17th 2020, 10:03 PM

[SIZE="a"]Growing up, I thought I was straight, female who would one day get married and have children....because that's what everyone does. Never thought I'd be posting here

Since feeling lost in life and discovering I might be autistic a few years ago, I've been really looking into my life, who I am, what I want etc. And I've realised that the whole sexuality thing kind of alludes me a bit.

I realise that I have the ability to form really strong/intense friendships to certain people. This has happened 3 times in my life so far- twice in childhood (both females), and once in late adolescence (male). Currently, I believe that these feelings are of love or if not, akin to love. These people were all close friends at the time and since two of them were in my childhood, it was before I was even aware of sexuality.

Unfortunately, I went through my life up until recently, feeling like I was a broken person and that these feelings were 'wrong' an indicator of 'attachment issues' or 'sexuality issues'. That I was 'too obsessed' and should try to be less obsessed and make more friends etc. I tried therapy, but the counsellors I saw didn't see them as issues at all. And since discovering I might be autistic, I now don't see them as issues either. But I have since been questioning what this means for my romance/sex life as I've realised I don't relate to others in the same way.

In high school, 'friends' (they weren't really my friends, just people I hung out with during school time to avoid being alone...they didn't like me much) would talk about who they had a crush on. They would ask me and I would say 'no-one'. The thing is, I didn't really have crushes on anyone. I thought some of the guys in my class looked nice or had nice hair, but that was it. It was more just appreciating their features but not so much an actual crush? I would never daydream about these people or get excited when they are near me or anything. I was just indifferent. Unfortunately, because I didn't say who I had a crush on, the 'friends' asked if I was a lesbian and I said 'no' but don't think they believed that. I don't think I'm a lesbian. Again, I would think that some girls looked pretty but it was more just appreciating them or wishing I could look/act like them (I'm not very feminine). But nothing more than that. While everyone was starting to get interested in dating, I was attached to a close friend and would think about them often. But it wasn't sexual.

When I was 13/14, I hadn't realised, but a guy had a crush on me. Nothing happened at that point, but apparently, it made another guy upset because he fancied me too though I had never spoken to him. His older sister told me this and tried setting me up with him. I tried saying 'I don't know' but she kept pushing and in the end, I went along with it. I tried to force myself to fancy this other guy but I just couldn't. We went out once and I was so stressed because I hadn't told my parents about us as they wouldn't want me dating. I ended it because I felt awful that I didn't fancy this guy and went along because his sister pressured me into it, and I didn't want to hide anything from my parents.

A year later, and the first guy actually asked me out (it lasted a year and a bit from when I was 15-16). Again, I felt conflicted- I didn't feel attracted to him and didn't see him as anything more than an acquaintance that I'd sit next to in class and have a chat with. I told him I didn't feel ready and my parents wouldn't allow it, so he said we could have a secret relationship. I felt a bit pressured into it so I went along with it. This was my first actual relationship and it's taught me a lot. I have a history of abuse and being bullied, with few friends and this manifested itself in me being very insecure. It pushed him away. It was very conflicting. I never fancied him, but half way through I started having feelings for him and thought I was 'in love' with him. I kind of lost myself in that relationship and even took a class just to be with him, despite us later splitting up. I was scared of him leaving me and yet I wanted to end it with him because I couldn't deal with these feelings and felt I was a lot more emotionally stable when I was single. I still felt attached to a close friend so I guess that added to the conflict of my feelings and at the same time, I felt like it wasn't a real relationship? This guy had asked someone else out about a month before me, so I wondered if I was like a 'second option'. Equally, I felt like this guy didn't really know me....he was happy talking about his interests, and we would meet up every few weeks and hug, hold hands, kiss, dry hump...but we'd never spend much time just with each other or him knowing much about me. Even when we were physically intimate...I didn't get anything from it....emotionally or sexually. He said he didn't think I loved him and honestly, I think he was right because I didn't feel as much as I have felt for close friends. There just wasn't much of an emotional connection between us, I don't think. This could be the trauma talking, but sometimes I wonder if I was just something to experiment on as I was his first relationship and it was him, more than me, who was interested in kissing etc. I was devastated when it ended but in hindsight, I learnt a lot from it and would never want to repeat a relationship like that again.

Interestingly, when I was 18, I met a guy and we really got on and both of us experienced intense feelings for each other. We wondered how we knew what this feeling meant- was it a signal that we were good friends? Or that we should take the next step and have a relationship? For me, personally, I concluded that the line between friendship and relationship was sex/sexual intimacy. If I couldn't imagine being sexual with someone, then it would be a friendship. Despite me not feeling like I could be sexually intimate with him, we did give a relationship a go, but decided we were better off as friends. He admitted he still had feelings for his ex and someone else he was obsessed with and I realised that was a really mature thing to say as I, too, was still attached to a close friend. We're still good friends now and neither of us regret not being in a relationship together.

In university, an ex friend started talking more about boys and dating and relationships. She'd get crushes and talk about them and think about how to find out if they are single or taken, how to ask them out etc. Her friends were in relationships and she would say that she NEEDS a boyfriend. I couldn't relate at all. My current friend doesn't see the point in dating either. Although I feel that if I came across someone, became friends, had feelings and decided to take the next step, I think I would be fine for that. But I don't feel like I need or want to date or put myself out there. And despite me saying that I thought one day I'd get married and have children...I'd never fantasised about it. I find it difficult to imagine things though. Everyone else on social media are in long term relationships, settling down, having children etc. but I feel indifferent? I don't feel jealous or yearn for it or anything. Unless I happen to come across someone and develop feelings for them, it doesn't matter to me, I don't think.

I do worry about being alone when I'm older but think that's more like safety. I currently live at home with my birth family, but I think my ideal living situation would be with a friend or some kind of cohousing community- you are in close proximity to friends/family but also have your own space.

My parents had a good relationship though. They never had many friends and never went out to socialise but they never argued or had disagreements and seemed to be happy together. One sibling isn't interested in dating at all, and the other only dated because they were lonely (bad idea). My uncle was in a relationship with an alcoholic the other year (they've since split up) and my aunty has been stuck in a marriage for over 30 years with a guy that she 'isn't struck on'. My cousin has 4 children but he's not interested in parenting them much and I'm not in contact with them or any children and often just feel awkward around children not knowing what to say or how to interact and again, feel indifferent. I do feel sad as I know that if I don't have children, then my family line may die out. But for children, I worry that I may find it hard to love them or I worry that I wouldn't cope with looking after them (I struggle trying to look after myself half of the time). I do worry that since I don't appear to be interested in dating, that I place too much focus on certain close friends, but they are aware of how I feel and I assume that as long as I fill my time with hobbies and other things and try to keep things balanced...it's okay. In fact, it's better than okay. I feel really lucky and privileged to feel this love and not feel lonely or alone or desperate to feel loved (I used to feel unloved but think it's because I felt broken and hadn't realised I might be autistic...since finding this out, I don't feel unloved anymore and things make sense...in fact, all my friends and family might also be autistic). I feel I place more value on close friendship than romantic/sexual relationships....which is at odds with society. I can't imagine loving anyone more than the love I have felt for my close friends.

As an adult, I've not bothered much. I turned a guy down because I didn't know how I felt about relationships and didn't want to lead him on. I've downloaded dating apps and told myself I'd use them oneday...when I take the right selfie. But I've taken selfies I like and still don't use them. So I deleted the apps. I didn't know why I would go on them if I wasn't sure how I felt about relationships. I did have a mutual crush on a guy but he didn't want a long distance relationship, and I was fine with that. We talk occasionally but the 'crush' feeling has gone now. I had a sexting thing with a guy but he would want pictures and I didn't feel comfortable. It ended, he got with someone else and is now expecting a baby. Personally, I feel I dodged a bullet. Though I sometimes miss the sexting (which was mostly just me writing things). Even sex and sexting feels conflicted because I believe the only reason why I'm curious about sex is because of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. That sounds disgusting, but honestly, since I've had a sheltered life, I wouldn't have come across sex or sexual activities and I believe that had I not been abused, I wouldn't be interested at all. But I don't feel sexually attracted to anyone really, I just get aroused thinking about sex. But no-one in particular. I worry I could 'use' people as I feel I may be able to separate sex and emotion but equally, I'm not concerned as I'm a virgin and don't like touch much. I think it's just the idea of sex and not actually going through with it that I like. My counsellor was curious that I'm a twenty something virgin and assumed I was scared of being intimate. But I don't think I am.

I identify as female, but don't feel 'right' when I'm described as a 'woman' or a 'lady'. I'm not very feminine. But overall, I think I'm okay with my gender. This sounds weird but sometimes I wonder if age dysphoria could be a thing? Maybe it's more autism related (I thought it was trauma, but don't think so now as I've always been this way, I feel) but I really don't feel my age. I feel more mature than people my age, even older people, and yet feel younger than people my age and younger people as well.

Even my 'kinks' are conflicting. I'm interested in furries/therian/petplay but not actually researched those things much. Even with the latter, it's not the bdsm or partner power dynamics that I like, but just simply relating more to animals (and I've always been this way).

I'm not sure what I'm after. I know labels aren't everything and that things can change but sometimes I feel it would be nice to have some sort of a definition, or just confirmation that it's okay to be the way that I am?[/size]
   
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Re: Aromantic? Asexual? Something else? - May 19th 2020, 02:31 PM

Hi, I am so sorry that you are having a hard time with this and hope that you will be okay soon.

When we are kids growing up, our parents will tell us that we will find a guy and the two of us will get married, have children and that is what we do because of our parents and everyone else does. The truth is, that is not what we have to do, we all like different people and if you do not like guys, that is totally fine. Nothing is wrong with you, we are who we are. You're heart goes to who you like and a lot of times our parents, siblings may have a hard time with this because it is not the normal thing to do. As long as you are happy with yourself, go for who you want to be with. It can be hard and scary because we think that sometimes is wrong with us, but nothing is ever wrong with us.

You are not going to be alone, my grandmother told me when I was 10 years old, that everyone is going to find someone. It may take some time to find this person, but we will all have truly love with that person.

Also just because you are not really girly it is totally fine. You wear whatever you like to and what makes you feel happy. It is totally fine if you don't like pink, purple, sparkles and dresses. If you want to just have on jeans and a t-shirt, that's okay or whatever you like to. When you have sometime try asking some people out for coffee or pizza or something else and see what happens. I hope that you will be okay soon. Sending you Hugs.


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