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fma_lvr

Misunderstood my gray-ace girlfriend, please help

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fma_lvr

Is it really better to do that before seeing her in a group setting and asking to talk? I expect to do that tomorrow afternoon.

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Amelys

Not really, I think it simply depends on what you're more comfortable with. I just think you shouldn't wait too long before talking about it, but seeing as you'll be seeing her tomorrow that shouldn't be an issue. I hope it'll go well for the both of you. :)

 

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fma_lvr

Well it will have been two weeks since she confronted me, and a week and a half since I've seen her. Haven't contacted in any way. It's weird, I've heard about this 'no contact rule' for like 30 days of just nothing, but I think that applies for more concrete and spiteful hard breakups where they really don't want to see you or something. This seems more gray and at least respectful and friendly than anything like that. I don't really know if it's the right approach but I did have some friends tell me not to wait like 2 more weeks, they said that's too long.

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fma_lvr

I have to wonder right now if there's something to say/do for somebody who felt they needed to break it off because their partner was effectively too sexual. 

 

Also, I got her an anniversary gift, something I thought was clever and sweet, but I was going to give it to her and then she confronted me over everything, and I never did....when I go to see her should I bring it, maybe ask if she wants it depending on how she's acting and how the talk goes? Or would that come off badly?

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obsequies

I wouldn't bring the gift...just my personal feeling that might seem a little...pushy, even if you had it before.

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fma_lvr

okay. Now, what should I highlight? That I learned all about what it means to be gray ace now, that I understand that physicality isn't necessary for a happy relationship...I don't know how apologetic to be though too, although I probably shouldn't be emotional. Maybe I'm overthinking it but if I'm going to try to keep it short and concise I should try to figure out what to say beforehand. Whatever I do say will be genuine, of course. Should I mention some great memories, or what I'd really miss, or is that too sappy for now? Gosh I really am unsure about some of this.

 

I suppose what it boils down to right now is that I know I made some persistent mistakes, but I really care about her and I don't want her to just be out of my life, or to end up resenting me. 

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fma_lvr

Well, I didn't end up really talking to her. We were around each other in a group, and we made some jokes and spoke only a little, but it was all friendly, and that was nice. I think it might have been good for her to see me being myself, really cheerful and secure and laid-back, unlike how I'd been recently. 

 

I think I'm just venting a bit now, but some people asked to hear how it went, and well, I'll wait a couple weeks before trying to really talk, but I don't think it was a mistake to see her in this casual setting today.

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nanogretchen4

I think after a year of dating you are entitled to know whether you are still part of a couple or not. If that is still unclear, I think you should just tell her that you need to have a serious conversation with her, and then just ask whether she wants to continue the relationship, yes or no. If she says no, take no for an answer and move on with your life. If she says yes or yes but, then you should have a conversation about your sexual orientation and hers. There's no need for the talk if you are already broken up.

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fma_lvr

I am fairly sure we are not at this time, but that doesn't mean it can't possibly be repaired or mended. There's anger, I'm sure, but neither of us are negative toward each other. There's no real animosity. Also, we were just friends for 2 months before getting together anyway. There's a strong foundation here, it's a very abnormal situation. The connection we share isn't gone either, but I'd wager she's still upset over these things. At the same time, she was reluctant to break it off at all, and she wasn't cold about it either. Also, neither she nor I are the type of people who would just quickly meet a new person and go along with them, and neither of us ever had such a good connection before either. 

 

Anyway, I came here to learn and seek advice because I still care, and I'm sure she still does too. What she has wanted and felt was based on my obsessive and needy behavior. Breaking free from that behavior is what I need to do anyway, but more than that, I want to try to repair the friendship I certainly damaged with this messiness. 

 

That's why I can't seriously ask about our relationship status, or think about just moving on. We have all the same friends and nobody is taking sides. They are supportive and have talked to me about the changes they've seen already....and that might make it back to her even if she hasn't thought about it herself much, from what she's seen, how different I have been. Even if I try to take an objective stance from a realistic perspective....I'm a demisexual and she's a gray ace and we're both very specific, or perhaps picky, heteroromantics. We've both experienced years of time between relationships being single, by choice. Our interests and personalities meld to an unprecedented degree. In many ways we just really understand each other as well. Before we were even together we jokingly referred to each other as our opposite gendered counterparts. It's the physical relationship aspects and my own insecurity that got in the way of these things. That, and....it was really, really good for the first 6 months at least. I mean there weren't really even ups and downs. It was just solidly wonderful all the time. Even as things were going downhill we had good times and enjoyed each other. I know that was mutual. 

 

We almost never argued and it was always civil. We were very rarely upset over anything. To date neither of us has been harsh to the other, and I mean that. Not a single time has she or I said anything mean without it being an obvious joke. Even now. I've heard stories and seen people...I don't think it's common to be so persistently civil and, well, nice and polite in that sense. That's how we are though. 

 

 

I've said too much here probably but I just wanted to stress how significant this is to me, and as it must be for her as well. If she really wanted nothing to do with me, she could say so. She could ask or tell me not to come around the school, or not to talk to her at all. She could seriously avoid me, and refuse to speak to me or answer me. But I asked some casual questions and made some jokes and it was fine. That's not how "exes" would behave 2 weeks after a 'hard and cold' breakup, I think. Also, you could say this was our first real 'fight' anyway. I think we might have avoided it for a while, but this simply doesn't seem plausibly to be a situation which is irredeemable. Neither of us did anything horrendous or unforgivable, and there was no worry of infidelity or violence or any sort of betrayal. 

 

Effectively, I'm here asking and saying so much because I want answers and guidance when I don't think it could possibly be hopeless. Hell, people go through worse and get back together sometimes. I've heard of couples separating for months or years and getting back together as well. I have friends who have been together 4 years and actually separated 4 times in that period, once for like 3 months. So maybe I appreciate the lack of clarity in terms of us as a couple because I can work for the idea of mending the friendship and working back into a relationship.

 

I mean no disrespect Gretchen, but if I just gave up and tried to move on, that would mean losing her as a friend even, probably forever, and either she or I would have to leave this friend group entirely as well.....and nobody wants any of that. Maybe it will take a while, maybe I can't quickly fix it or anything, but also, as long as she's willing to be around me, I can try. I've got about a month until her semester ends, at which point she will be home and working, probably for the entire summer. All I want before then is to be on good terms with her, to show her that I can be reasonable and friendly and secure, as I had been last year. How to do that, I'm not totally certain, but I know I'm already behaving better and more confidently than I was in the last couple months of our relationship.

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nanogretchen4

Actually, giving up on a romantic relationship she has already said no to is your best chance of salvaging friendship. If you think she broke up with you because you were acting obsessive and needy, then don't keep trying to figure out a strategy to get back together with her. You need to move on to spending time with other friends, and at least being open to the possibility of dating someone else. I'm not telling you to avoid her entirely if you are part of the same circle of friends and will naturally see each other in the normal course of your life. Just respect the fact that she has broken up with you and don't single her out. And remember, personal growth on your part is great, but it does not obligate her to be in a relationship with you again.

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fma_lvr
1 hour ago, nanogretchen4 said:

Actually, giving up on a romantic relationship she has already said no to is your best chance of salvaging friendship. If you think she broke up with you because you were acting obsessive and needy, then don't keep trying to figure out a strategy to get back together with her. You need to move on to spending time with other friends, and at least being open to the possibility of dating someone else. I'm not telling you to avoid her entirely if you are part of the same circle of friends and will naturally see each other in the normal course of your life. Just respect the fact that she has broken up with you and don't single her out. And remember, personal growth on your part is great, but it does not obligate her to be in a relationship with you again.

Well, it deleted everything I typed. Anyway, I was just going to say that I don't want to give up and move on right now because I care about what we have and I want to try to remedy the situation. She hasn't clearly stated anything to me about not wanting anything to do with me, and hasn't given off that impression either. Whether she'll be open to going back to how things were, or even a fresh start of sorts, is unclear right now. I want to sit in a middle ground because I care and I don't want us to just be members of a crowd for each other, or to think that this whole year was some sort of mistake. Maybe I can't fix it, and maybe she won't really want to, but I can't help but want to try until she gives me a clear indication either way. Right now she's treating me the way I think lovers do when they've had a fight but still care about each other. I've observed that, and it seems accurate. She's probably quite angry, but she's also friendly, and polite. Under these circumstances, if I can help get to a point at which she won't resent me at all, I want to put forth some effort, and show what I should have months ago: that I can still be the nice, relaxed guy she wanted in the first place.

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fma_lvr

If possible, although I've read around on this forum a bit for this anyway, I'd like some advice specifically about gray-ace people and feelings, especially since I know I came across as too needy over sexuality and affection. Without the context of an actual relationship, I don't know how to show her that I don't need that stuff. Really, I pushed it because I was taught that relationships require that focus, but if it doesn't reflect some inadequacy or issue on my part, I won't even be unhappy without it. I wouldn't suffer or anything, I know this.

 

Yet, I'm not sure that, even with some more time, I could just say this to her and have her believe me. I won't beg for some chance to prove it either, because that's never a good idea, and I don't want to plead over anything anyway. So, what would a gray ace who believed that needs differed too much want to hear or see about this? I'm sure there are plenty of similar people here, and I hope they read this because any real insight into her perspective would really help for me to clear things up, I think. Besides, even if she won't want to be together anymore, I'd still want to bring that sort of clarity, since there's no expectation to never see each other, and a better understanding can remedy some respect and friendship at the very least.

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Jenna444

@fma_lvr I know you were hoping for more insight, but I was curious how things are going?

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fma_lvr

I expect to see her monday or tuesday, and I'll look for a chance to apologize. Honestly, I ended up asking a mutual friend a few things since she started talking to me about how I was doing, and apparently when people talk about me around her, she's not exactly negative but from what I heard she seems somehow worried that I'm planning some absurd grand gesture or something. So she's pretty deadset on me being super obsessive and erratic. The thing is, in a sort of attempt to fix things (when I didn't really know what was going on or why) I started trying to be super attentive and romantic in the last month or two. I was saying lots of exaggerated compliments, and I bought her flowers, and I pushed for us having a nice home cooked meal, which did turn out well. I was always wearing the clothes she picked out for me, and I was....I guess I was aggressively nice, in a sense. I was trying to build up her self-esteem and was going for a sort of 'romantic and attentive boyfriend who is always there for you' idea.....but she really didn't want that apparently. 

 

Either way, I came across as just obsessive and clingy. So that's her image of me now, it does make sense. I don't know how to shake it, and I hope a sincere apology and explanation will help. Even if we don't get together again I just can't stand the idea of being so....misrepresented. I mean, that's really not me, I was just trying to act a certain way to maybe appeal to her. I'd like to think that giving her this space helps with that mentality but I don't know. I'm not even sure she'll be willing to talk but I shouldn't just wait forever either.

 

I suppose that...at this point I don't think she'd contact me, because she's not the type to initiate much of anything anyway. Also, I don't think she'd consider anything more with me unless that mindset changes, because she's actually a very logical and realistic person, and even if she misses me she'd just remind herself of that opinion. I've read and heard things about people just becoming emotionally attached and drawn back to an ex or whatever, but I really doubt that applies to her anyway. Without being convinced that I won't be that way, which is true, she probably wouldn't want to be around me much. At the same time, she's not avoiding me, and we've made some jokes and things, so I get the sense that there's no spite, but from what my friend said, there's probably a worry, not of violence or anything of course, but of some elaborate gesture. I'm just not sure how to quell that sort of thing because it doesn't reflect who I am at all. It's really irritating, but I can't blame her for it since I see now how I came across. 

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frednsa

she'll never change - sorry.  consider yourself lucky and get OUT !  you will find a more sexual lady if you try.  don't fold up your tent, the world is full of ladies who want what you want - just read some of the ladies' posts.   best of luck to you  (PS - i didn't get out when i could and have had 50+ years of misery in the sex department, so heed my warning)

 

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fma_lvr
1 hour ago, frednsa said:

she'll never change - sorry.  consider yourself lucky and get OUT !  you will find a more sexual lady if you try.  don't fold up your tent, the world is full of ladies who want what you want - just read some of the ladies' posts.   best of luck to you  (PS - i didn't get out when i could and have had 50+ years of misery in the sex department, so heed my warning)

 

I realize I typed too much but to be honest I don't even think this belongs in this forum section, because I am quite sure I am not a sexual person. Or at least, I certainly lean very gray. I've never experienced primary sexual attraction, and my stance on sex is that it's a fun activity but not something that matters to me. I was convinced (mostly by family/society) that I had to be sexual, but it was essentially a service to her and the relationship in my mind. People told me young couples have lots of sex and that it's necessary for a healthy relationship. It wasn't what I wanted, it was what I thought was expected.

 

Since learning this, my theory at this point is that I am a gray-ace who thought sex was necessary, and SHE is a gray-ace who thought sex was necessary, and we were placating each other without communicating very well about it. The difference is that I, caring very little about what I want in the face of what I thought I ought to do, pushed for it. I get the sense from a lot of posts here that there's a real struggle with doing what you think you should and sacrificing what you want. I jumped headfirst into that and never looked back because it was worth it to me. Perhaps I'm just a selfless person, or it's a lack of pride, or something, but I never cared personally about the sexuality. I just thought I had to provide that aspect of a relationship.

 

One of the main reasons I'm adamant about this girl and not finding some other person (which I'm confident I can, if it matters) is that, after learning this stuff and understanding what happened, I believe we are more compatible than I ever thought. Explaining this and convincing her of it may be a challenge, and I don't know if I'll be able to pull it off.

 

Seriously though, I don't want a more sexual lady. I would be far happier with such a gray-ace girl. I just didn't understand any of this until recently.

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ave c

I think it's most important to mention that the reason you were being sexual is because you were just following the "rules" of society. I feel like the rest of the discussion will fall naturally into place after that and things will eventually work out.  

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fma_lvr
3 hours ago, ave c said:

I think it's most important to mention that the reason you were being sexual is because you were just following the "rules" of society. I feel like the rest of the discussion will fall naturally into place after that and things will eventually work out.  

I appreciate that. I'd also like to mention though that, well, she really led me to believe she was hypersexual basically, even if unintentionally. I still remember how she mentioned in the very beginning 'how good it was' in relation to wanting a relationship (we were very sexual in the first few weeks) and how positively she always reacted to physicality in the first several months. So after those months when it really died down I thought she was placating me and that I was inadequate or the physicality was stale....I think now that she was placating me, but in the other direction, trying to be more sexual than she wanted. Also, that probably applied in the very beginning as well. 

 

I realize I'm not totally sure how to define a relationship without that idea of "physicality is necessary" since it's so ingrained in me. With that in mind I kind of don't want to ask her to 'take me back' anyway because I think we'd have to figure outwhat we really want from each other. Although, that's probably a conversation to come later, anyway. Gotta hope for forgiveness first, at least.

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ave c

So regards to high sexual activity in the first few weeks followed by a dropoff after - sexual couples often go through something similar. Where for a period of time there's lots of sexual activity, and then, for whatever reasons, things calm down. It's perfectly normal.

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fma_lvr
13 minutes ago, ave c said:

So regards to high sexual activity in the first few weeks followed by a dropoff after - sexual couples often go through something similar. Where for a period of time there's lots of sexual activity, and then, for whatever reasons, things calm down. It's perfectly normal.

Admittedly I didn't even know that until recently anyway. Rather, that it's normal for things to change and that so-called 'magic' of the beginning to fade away. I suppose I held that in my mind a great deal as well. I tried to hold on to that sort of bliss I suppose.

 

While that may be normal for sexuals I get the idea that sexual people would experience sexual frustration and whatnot when going months without anything. Later in the relationship, she and I would see each other here and there and I'd push for it (even though I often didn't want it myself) when there was an opportunity, but a couple of times it had been well over a month. I had the idea that this was inherently bad so I made that effort and complained a little, but I was just blaming myself and thinking "if she doesn't want it that must be a problem I have to fix".....from what I hear though generally sexual people will take real personal issue with the idea of going months without sexual contact, and may seek someone new by cheating or leaving their current partner. Personally I've gone years without it before and I was always just looking for companionship, but I didn't represent that very well. 

 

I think this really led to issues of trust and respect between us though, which in turn caused the insecurity and irritation for us both. I'm not sure exactly if/how I can convince her that I don't personally need or really want these things. I mean, I never tried to talk dirty or do any sort of sexting, never wanted pictures, never asked her to leave after/only come over for something sexual, and I always asked her how/if she was enjoying any physical contact. It was...effectively something to get out of the way for me, something I was compelled to do but not for my own benefit. I'm not sure if I should tell her all this, but it's true, even if she doesn't realize it right now.

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fma_lvr

Um. I'm hosting a party tonight with friends (there will be booze) and surprisingly she's coming. Not sure how to take this or what I'll say. Probably just going to want to hang out and be myself anyway. Maybe I won't bring up anything in this setting hahaha

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Jenna444

@fma_lvr not trying to give orders or anything, but...it might be a good time to say something casual about it. Just so she knows where you stand. No need to get lengthy of course. Just MHO. 😊

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fma_lvr

She didn't end up coming, I heard something came up. However, I heard that she apparentlythought I was really upset and resentful with her, and maybe that affected her decision in the end not to come, but I was oddly uplifted by he ides that she....csres hoe I feel about her, even after basically dumping me. I think I can work with that.

 

I ended up sending her a quick and simple message saying that I'm not upset with her. I know she read it because I used a chat app that tells you so, but I didn't get a response. Although, really, it's not the sort of thing that warabts a response. I like to think she was glad to read it anyway, to know that I don't harbor negativefeelings toward her. I suppose we shall see. Either way I plan to try ti talk to her next week sometime.

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fma_lvr

So, I think I may do a handwritten letter and give it to her. I worry that confronting her physically and attempting a serious talk will just make her anxious and defensive and maybe upset, even if she's willing to talk. That, and I might fumble my words even if I can remain composed. 

 

I figure I may be able to express myself well through a letter, and I don't think simply handing her an envelope after nearly a month of little communication would be pleading/obsessive/desperate. I expect it to be less anxiety-inducing for her, and that she may read it on her own time, and can read it over and over if she wants, as opposed to me loquaciously pouring my heart out to her face. I plan to use it to apologize and explain several things I've talked about here as well. I don't know if she'll respond positively toward me afterward, but I bet she'd read it, at least. 

 

That's the idea right now, but I'd appreciate any insight people here might have about it. I know the topic's gone on forever and people probably wouldn't read all the comments anyway, but is giving someone a letter of apology/explanation 4 weeks after a break(though not a cold/clean/closed break) better than trying to really talk with them personally? How would you guys respond to such a thing? I'm curious, but without clear indication that this is a bad idea, I'll probably go ahead with it on Tuesday.

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Jenna444
5 hours ago, fma_lvr said:

So, I think I may do a handwritten letter and give it to her. I worry that confronting her physically and attempting a serious talk will just make her anxious and defensive and maybe upset, even if she's willing to talk. That, and I might fumble my words even if I can remain composed. 

 

I figure I may be able to express myself well through a letter, and I don't think simply handing her an envelope after nearly a month of little communication would be pleading/obsessive/desperate. I expect it to be less anxiety-inducing for her, and that she may read it on her own time, and can read it over and over if she wants, as opposed to me loquaciously pouring my heart out to her face. I plan to use it to apologize and explain several things I've talked about here as well. I don't know if she'll respond positively toward me afterward, but I bet she'd read it, at least. 

 

That's the idea right now, but I'd appreciate any insight people here might have about it. I know the topic's gone on forever and people probably wouldn't read all the comments anyway, but is giving someone a letter of apology/explanation 4 weeks after a break(though not a cold/clean/closed break) better than trying to really talk with them personally? How would you guys respond to such a thing? I'm curious, but without clear indication that this is a bad idea, I'll probably go ahead with it on Tuesday.

I think this is a really good idea! It fits well with giving her space, but still making yourself clear. Good luck, and let us know how it goes! 👍

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fma_lvr

Yeah, the only worry is that she wouldn't read/accept it but really, that's probably not realistic. She hasn't acted resentful or cold, after all. That, and there's no room for actual discussion, but then, she'll be able to read it and reach out to me if she has anything to say. Besides, this way I'm not just fishing for some reaction or affirmation, at least not physically and visibly.

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fma_lvr

...I'm going back on myself here but I wonder if I should ask her to talk, and if she doesn't want to, give her a letter another time. It's tricky because I'm not sure exactly how anxious she is right now, although she isn't spiteful or angry. So, if I can actually deliver my thoughts clearly and verbally, it'd probably be more effective. That, and she's always been one for face to face communication above all else. Yeah, it might push against her anxiety, but maybe a letter ought to be more of a last resort. The issue I suppose is that I'm unsure how much space she wants or needs at this point. If she refuses to talk, I'll just respect that and maybe give her a letter at a later date.

 

Yet, with a letter she isn't compelled to react immediately, but there still wouldn't be an opportunity for actual dialogue, unless she calls after reading it or something.

 

I suppose I'm still pretty unsure about it. Not about how I feel or what I want to say, but about the best approach, so to speak. I suppose that I don't personally have much of a preference, so I'd just want to use the method that she'd find more comfortable. Can't very well ask her that, of course. So now I have to wonder what people would prefer in general, if given a choice, to receive a heartfelt apology and explanation via letter or in person, verbally. Rather, perhaps more importantly, what comes across as less....needy? 

 

I know I can remain composed if I speak with her, and I expect that she will as well. However, she's not a very emotional person in general. So, a letter might come across as too sappy. Damn, I'm just playing mind games with myself now. I'll just ask to talk, if she refuses, I'll go from there, with respect and without pressure.

 

 

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nanogretchen4

I think you should give her the letter, and then that's it unless or until she chooses to initiate any further conversation. That would come across as less needy and obsessive, since it does not require any particular response from her. She can read it at her leisure. Then she can respond as she chooses at the time she chooses, or she doesn't have to respond at all. Figure out what you need to say to her and put it in the letter, then accept that you have no control over the outcome. 

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fma_lvr

Well, I don't think the letter would've helped, but I ended up trying to apologize to her. I was pretty secure but probably too serious about it, and she became flustered and anxious and kind of shut me down, didn't want to hear me out. I heard from a friend later that she "didn't think it was the right time" and "just didn't want to deal with it right now." 

 

After that, I recognized she wouldn't have wanted to hear it, but also, that just waiting and not being around for a few weeks didn't really accomplish anything, sadly. It seems she was still anxious about actually talking to me in such a situation. I was around her a while afterward and slowly just conversed with her here and there, all in a group setting. I think that's what I need to be doing, and that she's still stressed out by the idea of really talking about our past, but also that she's fine with just trying to relax and joke with me. At the same time, I think I'm in lower standing with her than any of our other friends, although she wasn't spiteful or mean at all.

 

I think I'll have to just be around more, as time goes on, but in a relaxed and friendly manner, without even trying to apologize. A letter would probably just bother her again and be far too sappy/cheesy for her as well. I could just stay away for a while but I don't think distance alone can improve her image of me. 

 

I know I'm going to get somebody who says "hey man just give up and find somebody new" but I'm a stubborn person. I'm also apparently demi-gray sexually and romantically, and "moving on" for me would honestly just be giving up on relationships altogether. I don't want sex or romance arbitrarily, I just have a slight interest in such things with this person, neither of which I've had for anybody in the past. Yeah that sounds negative, but with the way I view people and the fact that I'd never actually been happy with somebody before, I'll either try to mend this, or I'll just accept nothing. That, and really, I can't stand being in a negative light with anybody, especially someone I care about. If I can work back to good terms with her, that would be nice. So that's my real goal at the moment.

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Username_2017

I hope I'm not going to come across too harsh here but I think you might need to address the fact you can't stand being in a negative light of someone. Unfortunately this is life and not everyone is going to like us. I'm a huge people pleaser myself and if someone doesn't like me I go over the top to try and please them, make them like me. Are you trying to mend this because you care about her or because you want to feel less guilty and more liked by her. She could be feeling really down about her own sexuality and that she is not good enough because she doesn't desire sex as per a 'normal' sexual. I think your amends to her at the moment needs to be giving her space. Acceptance over the whole situation that at this moment in time it is not going to work. I think you are fueling her thoughts that you are being needy and obsessive by keeping on bringing up the situation. Show her you are capable of change and that you can accept the situation even if you are hurt. She will see your maturity. You cannot force her to think differently about you just show her with your actions I.e. giving her the time and space she desires! Good luck, I honestly don't mean this in a horrible way but I have experience both sides of the coin here

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