Tag: ace

Let me try to talk about my “non-normative” relationships “failing”

By the way, I just changed my theme of my whole blog because the previous look was really not working for me, especially the layout of the comments. Hopefully this theme works better for both me and all of you.

 

Queenie of Aces recently posted over at The Asexual Agenda a post entitled, Why don’t we talk about non-normative relationships failing?. I enjoyed reading the whole thing, as well as the comment section. I mainly agree with points made over there and I highly recommend reading it and maybe you can even join the discussion. This is my contribution to it. It’s ridiculously long when originally I had intended to make it relatively short (whoops… major fail, lmao!!), it’s a bit ramble-y, and it goes a bit all over the place because I tend to get overly wordy when I write these things at 3:00 in the morning. I’m sorry. 😛

Queenie said in the post,

There are a number of accepted narratives for mixed relationships failing: “I didn’t want sex and he did, so we broke up,” “once I realized I was asexual I broke up with her because I knew she’d be happier with a non-ace,”

– etc, etc, and both of those first two examples describe perfectly how/why my boyfriend and I broke up.

Sciatrix mentioned in the comments:

I don’t think that the expectation of an inevitable end is the thing that causes break-ups to be relatively painless. I think it’s a combination of other things, including levels of mutual respect for each other, how well everyone saw the breakup coming,

etc and my boyfriend and I (yes, I guess it was a normative romantic relationship, but bear with me and I’ll get to my sorta-non-normative relationships at the end) had both of those 2 things. We saw the break-up coming, we respect one another, we had open and honest communication throughout our relationship including as I tried to determine if asexuality fit me and I discussed everything with him – and he discussed everything with me.

As Captain Heartless alluded to in the comment section over there, I too don’t really see my “Normative” romantic relationship with my boyfriend as a failure. It was a success. I got to have someone to call a boyfriend. I got to try just enough kissing and sensual touching and sexual-ish things that I realized what I do and don’t want for my future, and I feel confident about my asexuality now in a way that I don’t think I’d feel if it wasn’t for being with him.

But it’s more than that. I really do like him a lot as a person. I want to still be friends with him, and we “broke up” saying that we could still be friends. Nevertheless, we broke up and then didn’t contact one another. At all. For a month. But then… a month after we broke up, my uncle committed suicide (at the museum my now ex-boyfriend’s mother worked at), and I’d remembered telling my boyfriend about one of my uncle’s previous suicide attempts while we were dating, so I decided to text him about his death. I explained what my family and I were going through. He was nice to me.

But then we spent 5 whole months… completely not in each other’s worlds. Not talking. At all.

Still, I decided at this point that I was wondering if he’d be actually graduating from college this year as planned, because if he was I thought maybe I could send him a congratulations card or something, so I got up the courage to email him. I asked him if he’d tried dating anyone. I asked him about his life. We’ve emailed back and forth a couple of times since then. Not much, but a bit. He replied the day after I’d emailed him and said he’d been thinking about me too. He says he wants to be friends. I think we might actually, sort of, still be friends. Not close friends, but friends. Maybe we can get closer in the future, or maybe we’ll drift apart. Are we now in the “non-normative” relationship territory? I don’t know. Does being friends with your ex-boyfriend count? Or is it simply a friendship? Regardless, I don’t think our relationship has ended. Not yet. It’s still… something. Some vague almost-friends type of thing. It might be sort of a failure if we never talk again. But it’s not a particularly “awful failure”, as far as “failed relationships” go.

And honestly, I’m not even so sure my romantic relationship with my boyfriend was EVER “normal”, since I feared I might be asexual ever since our very first kiss and told him as such as soon as we’d kissed that first time. (And yes, I turned out to actually be asexual in the end). We never ended up having “Actual sex”. We barely had sexual experiences together. We were almost a non-sexual romance. We didn’t kiss that often. We mainly talked about all sorts of things just like I kinda do with my dad and brother, except he was a brand new person in my life so it was a lot of learning about each other all at once. We discussed deep philosophical things. We discussed his sexual fantasies and my lack of them. We discussed all sorts of things, our families, etc. He taught me how to play Magic the Gathering. I brought him over to meet my dad and cook him one of my favorite meals. I met his mom and ate dinner at his house. We cuddled while watching lots of TV. It was close to a friendship in many ways. But we did try getting naked together twice. We did cuddle which I don’t do with my friends. I don’t like kissing so we really did avoid it most of the time, but we did try it multiple times which again, I don’t do with friends. Was it ever a “normative” romantic relationship? I don’t know. Is any relationship fully “normal” anyway? We’re all different. So what’s the difference between a non-normative relationship and a normative one, anyway?

Honestly, the most non-normative my relationships have ever been is that I’ve felt like I’ve been very close friends with people I’ve never met in real life, who I only knew through a shared hobby of vidding and through online messaging back and forth. When I started to form friendships with these “online friends”, I didn’t even realize what was happening. I didn’t realize that a select few of them would be people I’d grow extremely close to, who I’d bond with, who I’d share very personal stories about my life troubles with, whose real first names would be just as memorable to me as their usernames, who I’d end up talking about to my dad and brother in real life. I mentioned that I told my ex-boyfriend about when my uncle killed himself? Um, I actually told my closest online friends first, though. It was only natural to tell at least the one I’m closest to. She was very understanding and had lost someone to suicide before too, and I already had known that because like I said, we’re close!! She’d talked to me about it when it had happened in her life. I realize that these relationships are non-normative because they are my best friends in my life, yet I feel afraid to mention them to anyone other than my dad and my brother, for fear these other people in my life wouldn’t understand. I fear everyone around me thinks of online-friendships as “not real” and the fact that I don’t even know what most of them look like, the fact that I don’t know or remember most of their last names, that I don’t plan to ever meet any of them in real life…. that these facts will all negate my friendships as “legitimate” in these people’s minds. Sometimes I try to downplay how important these friendships are in my own life, because I know if I did ever get married (which I realize is a lot less likely than I once thought it would be, now that I realize I’m wtfromantic and asexual) I couldn’t invite them to my wedding. I realize if they get married I can’t be invited. If they die I can’t go to their funerals. A very morbid thought, I know. But it’s crossed my mind. Etc. I think the other thing is I’m mainly friends with these people because of a shared passion for vidding and/or just fandom stuff in general, and all of the other stuff came later, but if they ever decide to stop vidding then we might completely stop talking to each other. And I’m prepared for that. It’s okay if I don’t stay close with my fandom friends after they’re not “fangirls” anymore. It’s happened to me before! And this is probably the BEST example I can think of of how my non-normative relationships have failed. Let me explain.

You know how you’re friends with someone in elementary school, but then your family (or their family) moves to another town/state/country and you’re simply “not friends” anymore? (Or this can happen with high school friends once some of you go off to college or whatever, etc. It can happen with work colleagues once you no longer work together anymore. It can happen a number of ways.) And sometimes you were more just friendly acquaintances with this person… but other times you really did share your heart and soul with them, you knew everything about them, you knew their families even, you hung out frequently outside of school/work, etc. Yet you just stop being friends. You might get a “goodbye” moment before they move away. You might not. Oftentimes you don’t even get that. Oftentimes you never see it coming. You thought you’d stay friends but neither one of you is the first one to call/text/email/Facebook message the other, to ask to meet up again, to do whatever you’d have needed to do to stay friends. And then years pass, and before you realized it they just used to be your friend.

This is basically what has happened to me with a few of my online friends. The person I confided in when I felt very alone the first week of my freshman year of college? One of the few people who really knew all the details of the ridiculous stuff my abusive mother was putting my family through? One of the few online friends I had where I knew not only her first name but also details about her family and her life and everything? I called her my “best online friend” or “best YouTube friend” for a period of time – years, I think it lasted – but a new person has that title in my life now. Really, both my current best online friend and this past one I’m remembering were not only my best friends online, but also in life. I didn’t have a closer friend in “Real life” and I still don’t. My online friends are who I feel closest to, other than my dad and my brother who get put into the “Family” category rather than “Best friend” anyway. This “best friend” and I drifted apart slowly, without realizing it. It’s different with online friends, it’s easier to do, it’s just her slowly stopping being in the online spaces we both frequented nearly as often because her real life started to get in the way. It’s us slowly having less in common because vidding stopped “being her life” even when it still consumed pretty much all of mine. It’s a combination of a lot of things, and it’s sort of a relationship that “simply ended” rather than “failed”.

I also think I’ve had non-normative relationships with some of my family members, depending on what non-normative is. Is it normal to not even feel a little bit of “love” toward your own mother? For as long as I can remember, I have not wanted to say “I love you too” to her regardless of who many times she says “I love you” to me. I have not wanted to tell people “I love her”, not even in the “I love her, but she was abusive to me” kind of sentence. No. I don’t. I don’t love her. It’s that simple. My relationship with her is a huge “failure”, seeing as she was abusive to me and most of what is described as common in “sexual-romantic” domestic abuse can easily apply to the non-sexual, non-romantic relationship with my mother. She did not sexually abuse me in any way, but she did abuse me. I can EASILY see, because of my experiences, how aces in “Friendships” of any kind, queerplatonic partnerships, non-sexual romances, whatever kind of relationships might be able to be in abusive, destructive, awful relationships with people that are painful and confusing and non-ideal because um… yeah. I was in a non-romantic, non-sexual relationship that was abusive, awful, horrible, etc. I was trapped in it for years, not sure it could count as abuse if I didn’t have actual broken bones, if it was just my mother and not a man doing the things that made me terrified all the time that she’d get mad at me, etc. I can understand anyone, asexual or allosexual, being in an abusive friendship with someone and being confused if friendships can even be abusive, because our society had me thinking abuse had to fall into a narrow set of boxes too, like that men abused their wives, children, or step-children and no other types of abuse dynamics existed, despite the fact that I was in one of them, and that yes, ex-wives can abuse their ex-husbands (like my mother did with my dad), friends can abuse friends (yes, it can happen), and oh so many other types of relationships too (yes every type of relationship, not just romantic or familial, has the potential to be abusive).

I think I’m closer with my dad than most people are with their dads, especially most girls with their dads, partially because we both have very limited social lives and love lives. He’s been helping me buy dresses and bras and pads/tampons/menstrual cups… etc… just helping me be a cisgirl for as long as I can remember since I never really had a mom (uh, see above) and people have… noticed that he’s out of place in those kinds of situations. We talk about more than most people ever feel comfortable talking about with their parents. Really nothing is off limits in terms of conversation. I’m not afraid to discuss anything with him, even things I’m afraid to talk about with other people. I don’t feel like he has secrets from me, either. In that case I have a non-normative relationship with my dad. And him with me. We live together and have been for 2 years, ever since I graduated college – just the two of us. But our relationship isn’t going to fail. I might stop living with him, might stop talking to him quite as often, might find one topic I don’t want to discuss with him one day or something but it’d just make our relationship change slightly. I know nothing will ever cause our relationship to actually “end” other than one of our deaths, and I can’t imagine considering this non-normative relationship a “Failure”, if you know what I mean. My relationship with my brother is relatively similar. It’s changed over time but we’ll always be there for each other, and I think we’ll always have this very strong level of trust and emotional/intellectual intimacy. Even if we don’t talk for months, we still are very close as far as siblings go. And because we’ve discussed philosophy so much, feminism, asexuality, etc… I can’t imagine him ever betraying me or hurting me in such a way that would end up causing me to label our relationship a “Failure”. I’ll try to let you all know if I am proven wrong, though. 😛

In general, I think for me the only way a relationship could really feel like a failure is if suddenly and unexpectedly I lose a person who was a very important person in my life. It has to be jarring. It has to leave me feeling betrayed or full of regret or something. And honestly… that’s never happened to me. I’ve slowly drifted apart from various people. I’ve kept a relationship with someone but our relationship itself has changed. I’ve cut out my mother from my life when I never wanted her there in the first place and it wasn’t a relationship that could fail on MY end because it was never MY responsibility to make that work, never my goal, and well I never went into the relationship in the first place with any plans/hopes (I was just born into it). Just like I don’t consider my relationship with my dad to be a “success” either. It’s more complicated than that. It’s just a very good relationship I’m in.

I think, instead that the only relationship I’d really call a success or a failure is the one I had with my boyfriend. Because I went into it hoping to get something out of it. Because when I enter friendships (online type or not, either way), it happens more unexpectedly and very organically and so without the hopes/dreams/plans attached to the beginning of the relationship, how can the end of the relationship (or lack of an ending) be really accurately called a “failure” (or a “success”)?

I think I’ve had a really lucky time with relationships, a really happy life so far. I think none of my relationships are failures or too messy  or anything. Maybe I’m just being an optimist. Maybe I’m glossing over things in my mind. Maybe some of the relationships I’m in are too one-sided and a friend or family member doesn’t love me as much as I love them and maybe that is or isn’t healthy. I don’t know. But I feel at peace with my life right now. I don’t feel lonely. I don’t feel like I wish someone wasn’t in my life that is in it. I don’t desperately miss someone who doesn’t miss me.

So maybe I “failed” at talking about my non-normative relationships “failing”. I’m sorry. I tried. 😉

I think I’m… wtfromantic. Or maybe heteroromantic. Or aromantic? Or panromantic? AH I DON’T KNOW.

This post, below, is mainly a response to The Ace Theist’s newest blog post, Puzzling Over Crushes. It’s also just me mulling over a ton of thoughts I’ve been having for a while and actually typing them out because I feel like sharing. Warning: Lots of ridiculous rambling below, including a lot of extra autobiographical information that you really didn’t need to know but I’m sharing anyway. I am sharing my entire history for you guys because it’s also my way to hash it all out for myself – typing it out is like me thinking through all of it for the first time.

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I am a 24-year-old young woman. I identify as asexual, and currently I am sort of considering my romantic orientation to be… in progress. Give me some more time to decide, please? Lol. I think I relate to some definitions I’ve seen given for wtfromantic more than anything else – mainly the definition that romantic love/attraction is too poorly defined, therefore I don’t know if I am aromantic or rather something else. I posted a blog post entitled What is the difference between Platonic and Romantic Love? a little while ago, which kind of highlights part of how confused I’ve been for some time now. 😛 Anyone else in this position?

So back to my story… I grew up in a hetero-normative culture, of course. So I assumed, as a young prepubescent girl, that one day I’d grow up and fall in love with a guy (and marry him, and have children with him). I assumed it was bound to happen. Ever since I was as young as I can remember I gravitated towards friendships with girls, because that’s what everyone else was doing. The boys will find boys to be friends with, the girls with girls.

When I got into high school, and later when I was in college, I questioned my heterosexuality (and hetero-romantic leanings, consequently) a couple of times but after a slight amount of introspection each time, I felt fairly sure I was straight – there were only two real questions I considered when deciding “am I straight, or am I gay? Or am I bi?”.

1. Did I have crushes on girls or on guys? Or both? (I did not realize neither could be a possibility, so I am sure I convinced myself that something I was feeling had to count as a crush.)

The answer? I thought I didn’t really feel anything too strong for girls; nothing that I’d think was more than just liking them as people vaguely. Having friends. I thought I did have crushes on a few guys, though. I had picked out like one guy in my class in 5th grade to have a crush on. By high school I had changed my crush focus to be a different guy, even though the guy from 5th grade was still around and still seemed single. I also had, starting around middle school, started “Falling in love with” some male TV characters. More on this stuff later.

2. Did I want to see girls naked? Did I strongly desire to kiss girls?

No. Definitely not. I saw no appeal to that at all. (I didn’t desire it with guys, either. But I kind of had convinced myself or let my culture convince me that I’d like kissing someone someday, so I figured with guys it might be interesting. I’d probably enjoy it when the time came and I finally experienced my first kiss or even when I finally really saw someone naked.)

When I first was considering identifying as asexual (which was after I’d graduated college and was 22-years-old), I had browsed AVEN’s forums enough to know the different romantic orientation labels. Saying that you experience romantic attraction, just not sexual attraction seemed to be an easy and useful way to say, “I am exactly the same as all you *normal* people, except I don’t feel the sex stuff. The other stuff I do. I’m not some freak.” And it was hard for me to get to the point where I realized it was a lot more nuanced that that, and considering aromantics to be “freaks”, even in my own head, was ridiculous and horrible and contributing to the whole problem in the first place, and it was stopping me from really considering the fact that I might even be one of them!! But at first I was even afraid of being asexual, because… well… I had thought for so long that everyone was sexual, so it was really hard to accept the idea that asexuality had been a possibility all along.

When I’d first read the definition for asexuality online, as much as I knew instantly that it might fit me, a different part of me thought of asexuals as freaks too, and it was comforting at the time to know that regardless of where my sexual orientation ended up (and I knew deep down asexuality was a likely landing spot), at least my hetero-ness hadn’t completely been wrong all these years. At least I was still heteroromantic.

One sign that I might be aromantic is that I didn’t bother trying too hard at trying to get into the dating game until AFTER I’d graduated college. Being aromantic means not wanting to date, right? Sort of? Sometimes? It can mean that? I don’t even know lmao. But if it does… um…

Well, I guess I must not have wanted to date too badly. But then again, I did ask a guy to a high school dance (junior prom) when I was 17. I definitely didn’t ask him out based on looks. It was me liking the little of what I’d seen of his personality so far, and being curious to get to know the very quiet and shy guy better. It was me thinking it might be nice and also thinking he was unlikely to already have a girlfriend because he was so shy so I thought it’d be a safer bet to ask him to the dance rather than someone else. He still ended up turning me down. I’m still Facebook friends with him. He doesn’t seem to really use Facebook though, so trying to stalk his profile doesn’t reveal anything about him. His profile doesn’t even say if he’s straight or… something else. He’s left that “interested in…” section blank so who knows! Maybe he knew he was aromantic and didn’t want to go to the dance for that reason, lmao. Anyway…. For years, I kept thinking in the back of my mind that I did want to date. No one asked me out! And I knew I could ask guys out, I didn’t think in some sexist way that it absolutely had to be the other way around, but… there weren’t really many options available to me. The guy I “had the biggest crush on” had a girlfriend. Plus, in high school my life was complicated. My mom was abusive and mentally ill and was constantly getting more abusive and toxic to be around (her undiagnosed mental illnesses were worsening over time as they were left untreated), my weekends were always me visiting my dad. I had also gotten addicted to “vidding” (editing/making fanvideos) in high school and that made me happy and took up my free time. So… I didn’t have much time for a social life, anyway.

Even as I stopped living with my mom and life became less insane for me, I didn’t put myself in enough social situations. I mainly lived online. I was quite anti-social in college. I had different, random roommates assigned to me every year. Who does that? I certainly feel like the only person in the world to have done that.  I didn’t make close friends in college. I stayed in touch with my old friends from high school, meeting up with them once or twice every year and now I’ve been invited to multiple weddings already. 😛 Yes, 2 of my friends are getting/have gotten married at age 23. Throughout college and now, post-college, my best friends were and are my online friends who I’d met through my vidding hobby. I was close friends with them. These online friendships were real. We talked a lot about anything and everything. I also have good relationships with pretty much my entire extended family, and I’m especially close with my dad, who also has been a kind of odd “role model” for me in terms of dating/romance/etc. I’d never heard of nonamory before, but now I’m reading at the link The Ace Theist provided in that blog post of hers, a link to anagnori’s tumblr post about it… and if it’s like celibacy, if you can be a heterosexual and heteroromantic guy who doesn’t need sex or dating/a partner/etc.and seems to have chosen to live his life mainly alone, that’s my dad. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily say he doesn’t have an intimate platonic relationship in his life – he and I share a VERY close relationship, we talk about anything and everything, we spend a lot of time together, and since graduating college, we live together, just the two of us. It’s not uncommon for young 20-somethings to still be living with their parents, but I guess it is uncommon for one or both of us (me or my parent) to not be desperate to get rid of the other? 😛

So back to my “Am I aromantic… or not?” musings… I remember when I developed a sort of crush on a platonic male friend of mine I had in middle school. He was a year younger than me and a kid who lived in my neighborhood who my brother & I hung out with on a regular basis. He was a mutual friend of ours, and at one point I started to fantasize, a little, about “what if we were dating?”. I never experienced those feelings towards girls. But my feelings weren’t this sudden, unexpected, crazy surge and rush of desire and uncontrollable thoughts for this boy. They were more like theoretical musings. Like “hmm… technically since he’s a boy and I’m a girl this could happen, and I do like him as a friend, so dating might be nice too”. I don’t even know if it’s a crush, but then again, I considered it one at the time.

I remember my senior prom. I remember it being one of THE BEST nights of my life. I remember being so happy to be with friends at this fancy location with a better DJ than all other school dances who actually was playing songs I loved. I enjoyed the food and drinks and being dressed up and seeing my entire high school class for one of the last times ever with a lot of nostalgia, and I also remember being on the dance floor near the guy I had asked to the junior prom, who I had never stopped thinking I had at least a slight crush on. I remember feeling really happy to have seen him actually show up to the senior prom, I remember the red shirt he had on while I don’t remember what anyone else was wearing, lol, but I made a note of him and his tuxedo. I remember at graduation my other crush had become the valedictorian and I was smiling more whenever I saw him, especially on our graduation trip afterwards when I saw the silly T-shirt his dad had given him that had some pun about being valedictorian on it. But in general I always remember smiling more around my crushes, and being excited to pay closer attention to these guys. To essentially love every aspect of what makes them them. First I decide I have a crush. Then I pay closer attention. It almost was just a decision I made because I was supposed to be crushing on someone. But I’m not so sure if it was. It might’ve been. It might not’ve been.

Prom night I went to and from in a limo with 6 other people (because one of my friends was desperate to have the limo experience, the rest of us and our dates obliged. It was an 8-person limo but I was the only person without a date so it ended up being 7 of us.) Leaving the wonderful experience that was prom, our limo got in a car crash literally like 10 yards from the building where prom had been being hosted. It was awful. And it was surreal. In my high heels, a type of shoe I practically never wore, and wearing a fancy prom dress, I was standing in the middle of a mini-highway along with 6 acquaintances, only 2 of which were close friends of mine. We had to step over the guard-rail and get out of the way and I remember a guy who I didn’t really know helping me. He was the boyfriend of one of the girls I was more friendly with rather than really friends with, so I didn’t know him at all, other than the time I’d spent near him at the prom. 😛 But he took my hand, and helped me maneuver over the guard-rail in my dress and high heels, and I felt a rush in my chest, kind of. From what I remember, at least. I think I felt a flirty, girly, “I feel like I’m a princess and he’s my prince in this moment” kind of silliness. I had a pretty-much-incontrollable urge to smile. I think it was because I was not really used to ever holding anyone’s hand, for any reason. It felt oddly intimate, but nice in that moment. He was genuinely helping me. And also the whole situation was surreal and crazy, and a little scary. It was midnight and it had been a long day too. I think all of my feelings were gonna be a little… exaggerated at that time.

Much more recently, though, I finally experienced my first kisses. I tried dating. Online dating, actually. The first guy I went out with kissed me on the cheek at the end of our first date, which had ended up lasting 5 hours. We had a really nice time talking and getting to know each other. I felt a little bit of fluttery… something… when he kissed my cheek. It felt silly and awkward but kind of made me feel special. It felt intimate, I guess, and I think I liked it. I was happy my first date ever had gone so well. I had been using OkCupid for a while before settling on actually meeting up with this guy, and once I did, I felt like we did click and he was a good choice. I was still thinking I was heterosexual at the time. Our second date did not go as smoothly, though. Among other things… near the end of the date, while walking back to the metro, he tried kissing me, then realized it was my first try. We tried again. We did it a few times. We stood still on the sidewalk. We tried with tongue. It felt… really awkward. I was exhausted and not in the best state of mind (and probably should have never gone on the date that day and instead canceled and taken a nap lmao). I was disappointed that kissing felt SO… not exciting. Boring and really pointless was mainly how I felt kissing him. I was pretty sure that was the definition of no chemistry. That’s how people would describe kissing a sibling or the opposite gender from the one they’re attracted to or something. It had to be.

So I started to try to look on AVEN to see if people who identified as asexual felt the way I did about kissing. All I found were posts where asexuals were saying they didn’t want sex but they DID want kissing. That really was disheartening. It seemed even asexuals enjoyed kissing. It seemed like everyone did. And yet I didn’t. Maybe it was just the one time that was bad, right? Or maybe just the one person? I then tried to figure out if I was really attracted to this guy at all. Ultimately I never got to try kissing him again, but I did go on a third date with him, and I didn’t really feel anything I’d call romantic attraction to him after that first date. We held hands – a romantic thing to do – on the second and third dates but it seemed kind of ridiculous and pointless and even uncomfortable.

Many months later, I went out with another guy, this time someone I’d met on POF, but I don’t think I ever even really felt like I had a crush on him. Nothing like what I’d been feeling in high school, or this one time I hung out with a group of people in college and I decided I had a crush on a guy who turned out to be gay when I’d looked him up on Facebook. I felt like maybe we could be compatible, on paper. Maybe we could be friends. But I didn’t like him “that way”. He rubbed me the wrong way a few times, especially on our second date. We weren’t really “clicking” at all and I tried to lean in and encourage him to kiss me at the end of that second date but he seemed to completely miss my signal. 😛 We weren’t verbally communicating about kissing, unfortunately, and I was desperate to try kissing another guy after my bad experience with the first guy, but ultimately it never worked out. I let the potential relationship fizzle and die without a third date.

Eventually, back on OkCupid, I found myself crushing hard on a new guy. This was the first OkCupid guy I really felt excitement over, and this was before even meeting him. I think I wouldn’t be crazy to call it romantic attraction. It was mainly his personality I felt this way about, but we just clicked instantly from our first messages, plus we happened to live in the same town which never happens on online dating sites… so I asked him out! I asked to meet up with him for a date after having only come across his profile earlier that same day. Usually it took me over a week to feel comfortable enough to agree to meet a guy in person, and in my previous two experiences, they had asked me. But here I was… really excited. And I had fun with him. We talked and got along great. I started texting him a lot too, way more than I’d been texting the other guys I went on dates with. I talked about this guy with happiness and excitement to my family and friends. We got to the point where we tried kissing. I was quite disappointed that kissing him felt just like with the first guy. I was honest about what I was (and wasn’t) feeling when we kissed, and even on-the-spot shared my fears that I feared I might be asexual… and probably was… but I was kind of hoping I was demisexual or something and I just needed more time. I explained everything. He was really understanding. We kept dating. We decided to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. I enjoyed this “romantic” relationship. We mainly watched TV together and cuddled. The cuddling was mainly nice, but sometimes it was a little… stifling/uncomfortable. And we frequently texted. He actually watched my fanvideos that I created. He made me a T-shirt, tracing the design to bleach onto it himself after letting me pick the design hehe. And he gave me a gift of a stuffed animal souvenir when he came back from a trip to an Aquarium with his family. I met his mom. I smiled a lot around him. I enjoyed dating him. I enjoyed him being my boyfriend. But when we tried kissing more I didn’t like it and we texted a lot about his sexual fantasies and my lack of ever having experienced sexual desire and sexual attraction. He told me he was in love with me. I… wasn’t sure I wanted to consider myself in love with him yet, but I knew I did love him on some level, platonic or maybe more, so sure, I said “I love you too”. I felt like… if we were really sexually incompatible, I should guard myself and prepare for a break-up, rather than let myself be completely in love with him.

We tried sexual things together to see if I’d like it if I tried it, not “actual sex” but… we tried a couple things, okay? And it made the romantic feelings… lessen, or even disappear. Because the positive romantic feelings were us being happy to have found each other and now all we were starting to feel was sadness, disappointment, uncomfortable, awkward, etc. Our smiles became more forced and less uncontrollable happiness. We cared about each other still, that was for sure. I ended up breaking up with him because I loved him. Love being a fickle word. Was it romantically? Platonically? I don’t know.

Some might think it’s obvious that I experienced romantic love for this boyfriend of mine. But I think I could feel this way about someone and maybe call it platonic. The main thing I loved so much is the excitement of finding a new person who I meshed with intellectually and emotionally, and who I wanted to spend time with getting to know better, and who also wanted to spend time with me. Why couldn’t this just be a “friend”? What makes it romantic? Just because I’ve only ever experienced it in the context of dating guys doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen for me with a girl. I never really gave girls a chance. I didn’t try to date girls. But now that I realize I have zero desire to kiss or have sex with people, I don’t see any particular thing that would make it so that people of the male persuasion are the only ones I could feel this way about. But does that mean I’m panromantic or aromantic? Are my feelings really all that romantic?

I think in a fantasy world, I would be very happy with a “bromance” type close friendship (there is no equivalent term for one between a girl and… any person of any gender lol, because I have stopped being picky). I think that’s what seeking a queerplatonic partner means. I want that. Not quite sure how to just get it, though. I don’t already have a friend who wants to be that for me, so how am I gonna go about finding one?  I think I also could be happy “dating” an asexual person of any gender who thinks they feel romantic feelings for me. I think I could enjoy the romance, whatever it is, and it wouldn’t even necessarily be different than a queerplatonic situation! I feel like people might be using different words to describe the same thing, sometimes. And I’m just confused.

I’ve been assuming I was heterosexual for so long that I fear it was a self-fulfilling prophecy that I’d only feel crushes on guys and not girls. But maybe it was intrinsic all along? Maybe there is something special about guys that makes me drawn to them in a different way. Something more than just me being separated from them my whole life (to varying degrees) from a sexist/binarist/heteronormative culture. I’m not sure.

What I really need is to read what homoromantic asexuals have to say on the subject. How they could grow up in a heteronormative culture and yet, despite the sexual attraction component, feel sure that what they feel for the same gender is romantic while what they feel for other genders is not. Unfortunately, I fear similar problems will arise, though. I have read that some asexual people (especially asexual guys) assume they’re gay because they don’t experience sexual attraction toward the opposite gender (girls). I could guess for some homoromantics, the same might be true. They’re not dying to date the opposite sex, so they figure their romantic leanings are toward the same one instead, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is that possible?

So… for now I am sticking with the wtfromantic label. I feel like heteroromantic isn’t quite right for me because I feel fairly sure now that everything I’ve felt for guys that I had classified as romantic (option 1) might actually be platonic OR (option 2) those feelings could be felt for other genders if I gave the idea of me being romantically attracted to them a fair a chance OR (option 3) that there really is no clear definition that actually differentiates platonic feelings from romantic ones anyway.