Tag: gray-aromantic

Why “Romantic Orientation Does Not Apply” Does Not Cut It (For Me)

This is my second submission for the August 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around Naming It. And yes, it’s September 1st now, so I’m late. I apologize. Please enjoy the post below!


Sure, people don’t have to apply* the split-attraction model to themselves if they don’t want to. That’s what the vast majority of supporters of this model say – only use it if you want to. If it feels right.

And if I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with any identity label that feels right to me other than just “asexual”, then maybe I should consider myself to simply be asexual, end of story. Maybe I should not apply the split attraction model to myself. Maybe that’d be the easiest, simplest solution. Maybe that’s all I need to do.

But there are a lot of reasons that it makes sense for me to want to apply it to myself.

One of the main reasons is that I am a member of a group (the online ace blogging community, specifically) where most people seem to apply a romantic orientation to themselves, and if they don’t actively claim one, with time they tend to eventually accept that they are aromantic – by default, by nature of not dating, etc.

Another reason I feel like I need a romantic orientation is because, while I know I am cisgender (female), I need to clarify exactly why I’m not “het” in the way the “aces aren’t LGBT” discourse on tumblr lately has been going, talking about “cishet aces” to… at their most generous, only mean the heteroromantic aces. Because at this point in my introspection, one thing I do know deep down is that I’m not heteroromantic.

Now “not wanting to be marked as cishet” is not just me trying to be “a special snowflake”, although I’ve let that cross my mind. No. That’s unfair to me and so so many other aces.

Continue reading “Why “Romantic Orientation Does Not Apply” Does Not Cut It (For Me)”

Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 3 of 3)

This is the third and final part of a series of blog posts I’ve written (mainly belatedly) for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces on the topic “Resiliency”. Please check out part 1 here, and part 2 here


My queerplatonic partner broke up with me in June, a little over a month ago now, and I really thought I’d be able to write this post while it was still June.  But for this post in particular, (part 3 of my mini-series…) I think the delay was partially because I needed more time to get over all my disappointment and sadness, to “grieve” if you want to call it that, and settle into being…  Not “just” friends with him, but… Well I guess “friends-who-aren’t-partners”.

I just so happened to be an ace going through a break up during the course of the same month when the Carnival of Aces was themed around Resiliency. Of course. That would just be my luck, right? 

I don’t know when the last time something brought me to tears to quite this degree was, and in some ways I’m really surprised by my own emotions. I actually cried on a few different occasions over this break up! I didn’t cry when I broke up with my only ever other boyfriend. In fact, it’s almost like what I experienced as a child here… I have at times over the course of letting this break up sink in for me felt a disconnect between what I actually “think” versus what I (subconsciously?) am/was feeling. But with time and more self-reflection, what I feel makes more sense, and it’s all very tied to my asexuality.

Continue reading “Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 3 of 3)”

Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 1 of 3)

This is a post written for the June 2016 Carnival of Aces, which was themed around “Resiliency”.  

I split this post up into 3 parts to make for better ease of reading, and also because I wrote them pretty far apart lol. I wrote in separate chunks. Part 2 is here, and part 3 here.


This long, 3-part post itself involves me taking some pretty big risks, putting myself out there in multiple ways I haven’t yet on this blog.

But a huge theme of this post will be risks I’ve taken especially in the past year or so, and the risks I continue to take, how my life has in the past year been much more categorized than in years prior by… purposefully making myself vulnerable, because hopefully, in the end, the rewards would be worth the risks I was taking. Because, as I remember Coyote spelling out in a blog post back in April,

When you take an emotional risk and aren’t punished for it — when your trust is validated, instead of your vulnerability exploited — that can make for a very rewarding experience.

That resonated SO powerfully with me.

 And if you’ve ever had a vulnerable experience that ended positively, I think it’s fairly easy to understand.  Sometimes you have to take a risk in order to see your judgement validated.

I have taken more risks recently. And a lot of them have to do with my asexuality in  some way or another. It felt like the only alternative options were to be almost completely closed off from true friendship with new people. It has felt like it would be so positive to take the risk that to not take it would leave me festering in negative feelings like regret, and like no one understands me, and…

Well first, a note: I haven’t entered a post in the Carnival of Aces since March, meaning I skipped two months worth of the carnival. I also haven’t blogged about asexuality or related issues at ALL since that post of mine in March. 😄 I have left lengthy comments on other people’s posts since then, but… my own blog here? It’s been quiet over in this neck of the virtual woods.

I almost entered a blog post in the carnival for April though; the beginning of my post today is going to be what was saved in my drafts from my unfinished entry for that, because while it would fit April’s theme, it also fits June’s theme of Resiliency.

Continue reading “Risk & Courage, Disappointment & Resilience, Everything Changing & Me Catching Up (Part 1 of 3)”

My Queerplatonic Relationship: Ask us anything!

So coming up in about a week will be the four month “anniversary” (4th monthiversary) of me and Robert* deciding to officially become queerplatonic partners!

I asked him if he’d be interested in doing a thing for my blog where we interview each other and post some answers for my readers. He said he would be up for that!

And then I suggested that maybe my followers would have some questions for both of us (or in a few cases, for one or the other person). Robert thought that was a good idea, asking you guys to help us.

That means you guys, my readers, coming up with questions that the two of us in this relationship will answer (unless for whatever reason we decide we don’t want to answer – no promises on answering every question we get.).

You may pose questions just for him, especially if it’s a question where you already know how I’d answer because of my previous blogging, you can ask a question just for me, or you can ask a question that both of us will try to answer.

For basic information, I identify as both wtfromantic & aromantic, and I am asexual. I’m 26 years old, cis-female.

Robert is aromantic and gray-asexual, 27-years-old, and cis-male.

I look forward to seeing what questions you might pose for us to potentially answer in the comments below!

Alternatively, if you wish to ask a question more anonymously than in the comments, feel free to email me the question(s) at pemk7@aol.com and I will keep your identity private, no one besides you and me has to know you asked.

 


* Robert is not his actual name. He chose this name, when I asked him to provide an alias for my blog. 😉

What Stage of a Friendship Am I Even In?

This is a post written for the January 2016 Carnival of Aces. I believe it is just the first post I will be writing for this month’s Carnival topic (“Relationship Stages”), but time will tell if I actually do write any of my other ideas.


 

  • If you want a specific kind of relationship, how do you go about looking for someone(s) to develop that kind of relationship with?

  • Do you go looking to start a specific relationship intentionally or do you wait to see if it happens serendipitously?

  • Do you start off with an ideal image of your relationship member(s) or are you just open to seeing what works?

Life works in mysterious ways. I’ve generally been the kind of person who just lets life happen to her. At least, it’s sort of how I perceive myself. All 4 years away at college and not a single truly close friendship was formed, I just let myself get assigned random roommates each time.

Continue reading “What Stage of a Friendship Am I Even In?”

October 2015 Carnival of Aces Round-Up (Aromanticsm & The Aromantic Spectrum)

I hosted the Carnival of Aces this past month. Below is the round-up of posts written this month on Aromanticsm & The Aromantic Spectrum.

To see many wonderful posts for other topics written about for past carnivals, or to host and come up with your own theme for a future Carnival of Aces, check out the masterpost, here: https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/a-carnival-of-aces-masterpost/ which also explains what the Carnival of Aces is.


I found it surprisingly enlightening, in the end, with people posting a vast array of experiences and opinions on related topics. We ended up with 14 total people submitting, and 17 links for you to click!! Please consider reading all of the amazing posts.

Continue reading “October 2015 Carnival of Aces Round-Up (Aromanticsm & The Aromantic Spectrum)”

Being an Aro Ace and Desiring (Foster and/or Adoptive) Parenthood

This is a late entry for the October 2015 Carnival of Aces on Aromanticsm and the Aromantic Spectrum, which I myself was hosting here on this blog. Sorry for the delay. The full round up will be posted within the hour!

First things first: I must update you loyal readers of my blog. Some of you may remember I identified as wtfromantic. That still accurately describes my feelings toward romantic and platonic “feelings” and “attractions”, even the whole relationships aspect of it… It still describes my place on the aro spectrum pretty accurately, I think.  But I’ve slowly started to ease into identifying as aromantic lately. For a lot of reasons. I feel like the more I think about it, the more it’s just easier to embrace being aro ace (meaning “aromantic asexual”) — that my life is playing out that way. I’m aromantic in a practical sense, in the way I live my life, in the way romantic… relationships, feelings, anything — just aren’t a factor anymore. I consider myself both wtfromantic and aromantic, while also being asexual. It felt freeing when I realized I could claim both aromantic & wtfromantic at once, that I didn’t have to choose.

I could write a whole blog post on the subject, but today I want to address another topic. I want to talk about being an aro ace, yet desiring to become a parent.

Allow me to backtrack.

Like many kids raised by a single mother who was abusive, I often felt drawn toward fictional stories about orphans. About children struggling, or even children whose parents abandoned them and made them practical orphans despite their parents being alive. For me and my younger brother, growing up was living in a constant state of fear that Mom would “get mad”. It meant us constantly walking on metaphorical eggshells and my dad commenting that the extreme ease with which something might startle me is because living with my mother made me hypervigilant. I was always hoping that maybe if I was prepared enough, careful enough, etc, I could prevent her rage. I was always hoping that maybe I wouldn’t have to spend hours crying, so many tears running down my face I would wonder if this might be why I’d get dehydration headaches sometimes.

I fantasized about her disappearing, about a life where she didn’t exist, and I didn’t care if it was death or what because it was all so abstract and just focused on me, and my brother, and not needing to live in this environment anymore.

I also fantasized about being a mother one day. Continue reading “Being an Aro Ace and Desiring (Foster and/or Adoptive) Parenthood”

October 2015 Carnival of Aces Call for Submissions — Aromanticsm & the Aromantic Spectrum

The “Carnival of Aces” is a blogging carnival where each month people are invited to write on a specific topic that is related to asexuality/the ace spectrum in some way.

(Also, vloggers are invited to speak on the topic in videos, artists/poets invited to be inspired by the topic, etc — whatever format you wish to participate with, please, use that format.)

Check out the masterpost of all of the other amazing topics previous carnivals have been on: https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/a-carnival-of-aces-masterpost/

September’s was on “Living Asexuality” and was hosted by Jo over at A Life Unexamined.

For this current month, October, I am hosting, and I decided to make the topic Aromanticism & the Aromantic Spectrum. Honestly, I’m surprised this has never been a topic in the carnival before.

The topic is meant to be broad.

Some ideas on what people might write about:

    • What led you to identify as aromantic or with an identity on the aro-spectrum?
    • What did you first think when you heard about romantic orientations and that an aromantic orientation was an option?
    • What are your thoughts on the conflation — or perhaps, the separation — of aromanticsm and asexuality?
    • What does it mean to be aromantic, or aro-spectrum, in a practical sense in your current life?
    • How does being aromantic or on the aromantic spectrum influence your plans for your personal future?
    • How do you feel society treats romance, and how do aromantic people fit in?
    • What does it mean to “participate in romantically coded things” while being aromantic?
    • What counts as romantic/non-romantic to you, personally?
    • What does it mean for aromanticsm to be most often talked about in asexual communities?
    • How is aromanticsm currently portrayed in fiction? In non-fiction news and documentary/biography media?
    • In an ideal future, how would you hope aromanticsm would be portrayed in either fiction or non-fiction?

Please consider these as some jumping off points. You may blog about anything that is related to the topic though. Surprise us!

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or concerns.

To submit your entry, either leave a comment below or send an email to me at pemk7@aol.com . If you would like to post anonymously, I can copy and paste text from an email into a Guest post on this blog of mine, just let me know that this is your wish.

Thanks!

Identity vs. Description, and How Labels Are Used For Both

This was a post written for the May 2015 Carnival of Aces, which was hosted by elainexe and has a topic of “Identity, Labels, and Models”. For more information on this ongoing blogging carnival, check out the main page by clicking here. Consider participating sometime soon, or even hosting a future month’s theme yourself!


The Wikipedia page on “Identity” in a social science context — specifically in psychology, sociology, and anthropology — is fascinating. The idea of what makes something a part of someone’s identity is such a complex one.

In the ace blogosphere and community we tend to discuss identity fairly often. Mainly, most of us in this community prioritize asexuality as an identity, and if it’s not “identity” worthy levels of importance to a person, if it’s more just a description of how they “don’t find [many/any] people sexy” or “don’t care about/want sex”, then they probably aren’t going to bother staying in this community for long, or may not even search for/find the community at all.

Continue reading “Identity vs. Description, and How Labels Are Used For Both”

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.

~~~~~~

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.