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fma_lvr

Misunderstood my gray-ace girlfriend, please help

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nanogretchen4

The excuse for why you needed to talk to her was that you have discovered new information about your own sexual orientation that you needed to communicate to her. Writing the necessary information in one well thought out letter would have at least ensured that she knew this new information. At this point it is not clear whether you came out to her, but it is clear that you made her uncomfortable and are not really listening to her about what she wants, which is not to be in a relationship with you and not to deal with all this drama about a relationship that is over. You may think that the only reason she broke up is because she thinks you are sexual, which is a very reasonable thing for her to think because you pressured her for sex over and over and actions speak louder than words. However, there may be other reasons she did not want to be in a relationship, even if she were to believe this conveniently timed revelation that actually you are asexual too. I think she mentioned smothering and obsessive neediness. You are continuing to make excuses for why you can't just take no for an answer and leave her alone. Since you are part of the same friend group, she has to tolerate your presence at group events and remain civil to you if she does not want to sacrifice all her other friends. This does not mean you are making "progress". I think there would be a very fine line between any further strategizing to pursue a relationship with her and stalking.

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fma_lvr

I don't even want to pursue a relationship with her right now though. I tried to tell her that. I want to be friendly and amicable and reasonable, and she's treated me well. Also, yes, I have a real issue with anybody I know or care about being upset with me, maybe it's stronger than that of a normal person, but I really want to make amends. 

I didn't want to do the letter though for two reasons, first, she's not one for old fashioned and sappy/romantic stuff, and she probably would've been bothered by the very idea, and second, perhaps more importantly, the written word isn't as effective as simple speaking. 

 

I think that she simply assumed that by virtue of wanting to apologize I want to get back together right now. I don't know how to remedy that if she doesn't want to listen right now. Also, I asked her a few weeks ago if she wanted me to just go away, to really leave her alone, and she said I was fine. She's under no obligation to be positive toward me, or to make jokes with me, and even while around her I was barely communicating with her directly. Yeah, it's a confusing situation. However, I'm not just sending her a bunch of texts, or trying to call her, or attempting anything one on one with her anyway. I'm not doing anything extravagant. 

 

I don't know what to think or do about all this, but since my friend basically conveyed to me that she didn't think the timing was right and has still been really stressed, she didn't want to deal with it right now. Admittedly I thought just giving her space and staying away for the most part would help, but I think she'll actually have to see me in a friendly and reasonable light without trying to bring up the past for a while. Part of this is that she hasn't told me anything, hasn't asked for anything, hasn't yelled at me or been mean or hateful. 

 

Outside all that, what's my real alternative, though? If I seriously avoid her forever or try to pretend she's not there with friends or something, there's nothing good to come of it. 

Or I could cut out basically all my friends, most of whom I've known far longer than her. She sort of joined my group last year, anyway. 

 

Also, with regards to the 'convenient revelation' admittedly that's how I sort of saw it with her. It's something she just started talking about after 8 months of apparently being a very sexual person. Maybe she was just trying to placate me the whole time, but it took a good while for her to say or do anything contrary to my impression of her.

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Username_2017

Have you explicitly said that to her? Maybe a simple apology, telling her you just want to be friends, no hard feelings and you hope she can forgive you in her own time? 

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Username_2017

I wasn't meaning anything extreme like cutting her out, I'd just leave out any talk about sexuality, the relationship etc 

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Username_2017

A letter would be absolutely fine, it would only come across as old fashioned and romantic/sappy if you started gushing about the relationship and your new sexual identity.

 

Something like

 

Dear..

 

I just wanted to apologise for my behaviour over the past few weeks. I want to make it clear that I am only concerned about our friendship. I care about you a lot and I hope in time you can forgive me and we can remain friends.

 

Hope you are well 

 

fma_Ivr

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fma_lvr
2 hours ago, Username_2017 said:

Have you explicitly said that to her? Maybe a simple apology, telling her you just want to be friends, no hard feelings and you hope she can forgive you in her own time? 

I realize I literally said to her kind of suddenly (with a few friends around) "I owe you an apology" and she said "for what" and I said  "a lot of things.....would you speak with me for a minute?" and she said "I'd rather not" and became sort of anxious and awkward. A few minutes later I said "I just want to clear the air, I don't want you to be uncomfortable though" and she asked me to stop. I was perhaps too serious in my approach either way, but I had a good and quick apology planned out. The issue to me is honestly just that I don't want to simply apologize without showing understanding in terms of what happened specifically. That's less simple but also more meaningful. Of course, if she won't hear me out, it doesn't matter. I might try again in a week or something, but more delicately. I'll see her again today actually, and I'll just be friendly and peaceful. 

 

See, I really only want to apologize and I wouldn't be emotional or pleading, I wouldn't ask to get back together, and I wouldn't say anything cheesy or romantic. However, that's not what she expects me to do or say. She probably thinks I'll just pour my heart out or whatever because I was acting really sappy and clingy for the last month or two of the relationship. Yet, I don't know how to change that perspective without, well, the opportunity for a conversation. 

Maybe I will try the simple letter at a later date but part of it is really that she never liked nonverbal communication anyway; she'd prefer a conversation to any other possible medium. Also, she might have questions or rebuttals while I apologize and explain some things. That sort of...interaction.....is lost in a letter. 

 

More than all that, I honestly couldn't guarantee she would read it, at least not right now. I suppose all she knows with certainty at the moment is that I am sorry and I want to make amends somehow, but she seems to expect an argument or a bunch of pleading. 

 

 

Separately....regarding the sexuality, I figure since nobody's identities will be revealed, I may as well share a few details that brought me to my perspective. See, this girl....well, we were friends for a couple months before getting together. We bonded really well over a ton of things, and started to care for each other on some level, and one day she needed a place to stay and wound up in my room just watching tv and talking. So, she became a bit handsy actually and we ended up hooking up, so to speak. I talked with her a day or two later and asked her openly what she wanted between us, and she said, something like: "well it was so good, I want a relationship." Also, at this time and for a little while after, she was an actual camgirl, making good money off of shows for lots of people apparently. Technically she was actually just getting out of a relationship at that time herself (they had been together about 6 months, he lived far away, nobody met him or knew much about him except that she wasn't very happy) so...Between her work, what she said, and how we got together, I came to 3 conclusions immediately:

1: She was a very sexual person and she valued sexual activity greatly

2: If the sex wasn't good, we probably wouldn't have gotten together.

3: I might have just become a rebound guy.

 

So, although I was very much afraid to address any of these things with her, I took them as solid inferences. I then came to believe that, frankly, I had to keep giving her a 'good time' in that physical sense in order to keep her around/happy/liking me. I saw us as just friends before this happened, so I was sure that the sex had effectively brought us together. Yes, we were close beforehand, but even now I'm not sure we would've been a couple if not for that situation. Now, for most of the relationship she was always up for any sort of sexual activity, bar some real issue she would gladly explain to me (feminine troubles, lack of time, significant soreness, etc.)

She initiated stuff maybe 15% of the time, but I just assumed she liked to be sort of submissive in that sense. 

So....after 6-7 months, when we both became more busy and we would barely see each other, I thought she'd want more of that physical aspect with me, and although I honestly didn't care much because personally the sex didn't matter to me (I'd prefer most activities overall) I still felt certain of those inferences I had made. Although, on a side note, my actual sex drive had just kind of increased over time, which was really annoying. When she hadn't gotten private time with me in  several weeks but still didn't want to be touched, I took that personally to mean that she was either

A: Getting it from somebody else

B: Deciding I was physically inadequate/unattractive at this point, or

C: Thinking the sex itself had become dull and it needed to be 'spiced up'

 

Now, she wouldn't have told me any of this, and I knew that, so I tried to deal with B and C as I thought I could. I came up with all sorts of ideas, and I asked some questions, and I took advice from various sources, and I shaped myself up and made sure to be dressed well, to have my house clean, to smell and look great, all sorts of things. Then, I started trying to get her into, well, some creative things regarding places and positions and whatnot. I tried to be nonchalant and convincing, and I'm pretty sure I hid well the fact that most of those ideas were wholly unappealing to me, because I thought that would make her happier. We ended up in a mall at one point back in February and she saw this array of sexual toys and liquids and stuff, which made me incredibly uncomfortable, but I also saw that as "hey nothing else is working I guess I must need something here" and I started asking her about what she might want, and she became furious. I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that she wouldn't discuss these things, that she didn't want me to get anything, because in my mind "it must not be good enough for her, gotta try something new"...

Yet, there was never any positive response to any of this. She wasn't wanting more, no matter what the ideas were, or how I was physically, and this made me increasingly insecure and bitter. I was still so certain of what I had always thought about her, I didn't even consider the idea that I was just wrong the whole time. So, when she started saying, 8-9 months in, that she "just didn't want it right now" and "didn't need much of that stuff" and "I'm actually almost asexual, a gray-ace" I should have just taken her at her word and done the research I did here recently, but I was stubbornly stuck in this ideal of how she had behaved before, and the things she had said. I was certain she was just placating me and hiding the idea that I "wasn't good enough" or something.

 

Now? Now I'm damn sure i was wrong the whole time, even though I still can't understand how that relates to what she said and did before. Rather, if presented with the same information from a person again, I might make the same inferences....but I'd certainly try to be clear about it sooner. 

So, the truth is that I want to come clean about some of this with her, even if it doesn't change her mind about anything, because recognizing all this stuff yet keeping it bottled up, and knowing the way she views me over this...that's what is maddening for me. I'd rather apologize and briefly discuss this stuff and have her hate me forever than be stuck in this swarm of realizations without communicating about it. That might be selfish of me, but I'm damn sure she'd feel better overall if we could clear the air....she just doesn't know it yet because she thinks I'll just end up pleading again. Right now I want to be on good terms with her, and I'd have to redefine the idea of a relationship entirely and earn some respect and trust to give that a shot again anyway, so that's far away regardless. I don't even know if I'd accept it anytime soon. I just know we made great friends in the first place, and that we could again still, if we can clear some of this up and show forgiveness. 

Call it blind if you will, but the only thing I can complain about with her is a lack of honest and clear communication, which went both ways for us anyway. I don't blame her for her decisions because her perspective isn't as flawed as mine was and she dropped hints I didn't get for several weeks as well. I want her to be happy, and I want to be able to be around her without feeling like I shattered a glass in a shallow pool, but I don't think that can really happen without us talking...eventually. Yet, for the foreseeable future we can expect to see each other sometimes. Whether she'll have the motivation over time to try to seriously repair the friendship, I don't know.

 

Sorry this became the longest post ever guys, I'm just venting again it seems, but maybe this information can help with what I might want to say to her if given the chance. If she's not open to talking I might just try a letter of apology, nothing emotional or sappy. I don't want to bother her, I know that much.

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Jenna444

@fma_lvr it seems like a few people on this thread mean well, but don't understand that you aren't stalking her. You seem to be over thinking things, but there's a huge difference between thinking and acting. From what you've said, you haven't directly interacted with her much at all.

 

I am still in favor of the letter. Even though she may prefer verbal communication, it would at least give her space and control over when and where she reads it and you would get to explain your place once and for all. For whatever reason, verbal communication isn't working with her about the situation, so it would probably be best to be indirect and be done with it.

 

People like us don't always realize this because we care too much, but stress is harmful when it drags on like this. I realize she has her issues and you care, but this is affecting you more than you realize, and you really don't deserve it. You matter too. 😊 I wish someone had told me this when I needed to hear it, but I hope it helps you. It sounds like she may have been sexually abused at some point in her past. If that's the case, there could be some sexual issues that caused the hypersexuality before the complete shutdown. I've known many abuse survivors and it's fairly common. She may not even consciously remember the abuse, but it can greatly affect her now. A lot of call girls/sex workers were once innocent victims. I feel for her, but also you, too. I frequently find myself bonding (emotionally) with hurting people, and then I wonder why they hurt me and try to fix things. But I can't fix what isn't mine. I'm only responsible for myself. I hope you can find closure. 👍

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fma_lvr

Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for all that, really. I know that I do matter, and that I can be my own person again, and look out for myself. I'll be okay no matter what happens.

I was just around friends for a while and she was polite and joking with me again, I didn't really talk to her much but we were having a good time. To be honest though, I think we're better off at the moment than we were in the last month or so together, when I was clingy and often upset and sad toward her, while she was cold and disinterested. Looking back she's more conversational now probably too. There was just so much drama at the end, and it was emotional. Now, at least, we're both apparently calm and secure.

Well, I tend to think and analyze everything extensively, it usually helps me, but if I misinterpret stuff that's a different story.

 

Also, I had that theory forever. Honestly most of my actions later on were based on my diagnosis of her having a fear of intimacy. I have some extra reasons:

1: She refused to own or wear bikini bottoms, preferring some sort of skirt garment instead, even if it was just us.

2:When she was happy to be sexual, however seldom that would be later on, there was no issue of comfort regarding just being naked, but when there wasn't anything sexual going on, she was very uncomfortable with changing clothes in front of me. Perhaps I wouldn't know, but this struck me as very odd. Even if we had just slept together, she would ask me to look away as she put her clothes back on. Now, this wasn't the case as much in the beginning, and I don't know if it was related to some trust issue, but I tried asking about it a few times and she didn't really have an answer. 

3: she was very hot and cold for a long time regarding closeness. Rather, she'd recoil when touched sometimes but she might suddenly want to be all cuddly or even sexual afterward. It was....very confusing. Our friends have notived this as well since she will either freak out when even razed or suddenly want to lay all over people. 

4: She'd sometimes talk about the idea of more commitment or romance but be flustered and awkward about it too. As if she was changing her mind back and forth.

 

Yeah maybe I shouldn't have tried to diagnose the issue like that but people with a fear of intimacy can sort of overcome it by being shown an lot of care and praise, and they can push through it themselves. My mistake was thinking she was committed enough to me that I could get away with pushing against what I perceived. I saw the breakup coming but I suppose I told myself we'd get through it somehow or something. 

 

I think I'll be around and see how things go for the next week or so. She still foesn't really make eye contact with me, I'm sure she wouldn't have wanted to talk. With more time seeing me as just my old exuberant self maybe that will change.

 

Also yeah, I have only seen her 3 times in almost 4 weeks now, and only in groups. I sent her one text once, about a week ago, after a couple friends said she thought I was really upset with her so I sent a simple text saying I heard she thought that, and that I'm not upset. Aside from that we've been in this group chat with 20 other people and we've joked together a little, or commented on each others stuff, nothing negative ever.

I'm planning and thinking and talking about all this a lot but I'm not acting out or trying to be all manic or extravagant.

 

Honestly though I am less stressed every day. Also, even in this light I can't help but enjoy her company a bit. I asked somebody if she had been uncomfortable because of my presence today but apparently it was fine. Improving from this point may be difficult. It's weird because proving that I won't act the way I used to kind of demands that I talk to her about some of this, or maybe just try a letter after all.....remind me to ramble less in the letter hahaha

 

Oh right, I never did ask her if there was any sexual disturbance for her in the past, or why she ended up in that work if she wasn't a very sexual person (she had mentioned before that she was lazy and did it for the money....but she apparently didn't dislike it or find it uncomfortable, so I'm unsure on all that)

I'm damn sure I wouldn't ask anytime soon. Ya'll gotta recognize though that half the reason I'm talking so much and treading so carefully is because we'll still probably know and see each other, and it'd be best to make that really pleasant no matter what happens between us.

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Jenna444

@fma_lvr oh, of course you wouldn't bring up the possible abuse. That could be a huge trigger for her. I'm sure you already know that. Like I said it was just a hunch. I totally understand the thinking and analyzing from a distance. I've done that myself. Hang in there, OK? 👍 Keep us posted!

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Maul_Junior

I agree with Jenna on the letter, though I tend to write my feelings down in any event.

 

But here's a refinement that may or may not help......

 

If you both have a mutual friend that you trust a lot (or just that you or she trusts a bit more than just being in the friend group), write the letter, have your friend read it first, and then have your friend explain to her what's going on and pass the letter on to her. And add in the letter that if she's not comfortable directly dealing with this kind of stuff with you, she can pass a letter/E-mail/whatever through said friend. And, in the meantime, until both of you are ready to confront what's in the messages, you can carry on as you are right now as friends.

 

This way neither of you has to deal with the stress of actually dealing with each other directly, you (potentially) both have an ally that could be supportive of both of you, and you can take things in your own time.

 

 

Or, alternatively, explain this to the friend, and, if they're willing, they can be the go-between for you. This friend won't have the relationship baggage she had with you, so it may be easier for her to listen.

 

Being me, though, I'd write down a few things in bullet points for the friend to refer to so it doesn't necessarily get mangled in translation (which can happen even unintentionally).

 

Of course, this does presuppose a LOT of trust with one of your friends.

 

Just a thought

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fma_lvr

I had considered that and we do have a friend or two like that....but I kind of thought it might be too impersonal/immature. Rather, if I'm going to write such a thing at all I should actually give it to her myself instead of circumventing her entirely. See, if we were seriously avoiding each other,or we were super mean and angry, then yeah, I might consider that. In this situation it seems really unnecessary. 

 

My trouble with the letter honestly is that I don't feel sure she'd even read it, since she might expect it to be all emotional and romantic or whatever. Maybe I could say something as I give it to her but I don't know what I would say. 

 

Keep in mind, she's very willing to talk to me and joke around a bit, just not regarding anything serious or relationship related, at least right now. She might still be trying to hold onto that negativity a little, as she's kind of hot and cold with me. That is, sometimes she's up for an actual conversation and sometimes she seems disinterested in giving me much attention. 

I think my biggest issue at the moment is that even if she isn't angry or hateful, she's pretty anxious about me trying to talk to her about anything that isn't just lighthearted chitchat, it seems. What I'd like is to figure out how to....quell that anxiety, so to speak. Simply being away for a few weeks didn't help much actually, but maybe just being around and friendly will. I'll just have to see if she starts opening up a little more as I see her more often. 

I'm thinking of having a pool party/cookout at my house in a week or two and I plan to invite her, casually. I just want her to understand that I'm not going to just ask to get back together, or anything of the sort. I'm not even sure what I want at this point, since my understanding/definition of a relationship was so skewed from what both of us actually wanted. This might sound odd but I'd be fine just being close friends with her, without any expectation of physicality at all, as long as neither of us date other people. I mean, I don't think this will happen anytime soon, but if she started dating somebody else I'd probably just give it all up and go away. No, I wouldn't do anything rash, or snap at her or whatever, but there's no sense encroaching on such a situation either.

 

Well, I might want to try to figure out what to say to her or bring up these days before attempting any serious talk again. Not sure if mentioning memories and things would be okay, or how flirtatious I could be. I'm quite unsure about her boundaries right now, although she's fine being around me, yet definitely avoids touching me in any way. Occasionally she'll glance at me for just a moment, or when I say something nice/funny she'll smile at me and look away.....I'm not sure exactly but I get the sense she is conflicted about me right now. Perhaps she's not sure how to act either, or how to deal with an apparent mix of nervousness and enjoyment. 

 

On a side note, I haven't really tried texting her at all, about anything. She just sort of sees me sometimes around friends at this point. I've been debating whether to try texting her a little about either fun stuff we did a while back, or shows we both like, or something else equally innocent and simple.

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Jenna444

@fma_lvr how about writing the letter, and as you hand it to her, make a joke about it not being mushy? I don't know, but if humor resonates with her, it might help her relax and read it when she's ready. Just a thought!

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fma_lvr
7 hours ago, Jenna444 said:

@fma_lvr how about writing the letter, and as you hand it to her, make a joke about it not being mushy? I don't know, but if humor resonates with her, it might help her relax and read it when she's ready. Just a thought!

I might try that next week. The delivery would probably be significant. I'd really want her to understand that I'm not just pleading to get back together.

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fma_lvr

So, I think I might be better off just letting it be for a while. Maybe I'll try the letter in a few weeks if things are looking up, I'm not sure. The semester ends in about 3 weeks now I think, and if she doesn't want to talk then, I'll consider a letter, but I'm just hoping it won't be....stagnant, so to speak. That she'll be more open and friendly than she has been. Otherwise, we might be a bit awkward and anxious forever, I suppose. I don't think I can convince her of anything if she doesn't want to hear me out. If she wants to be distant albeit nice and polite, I shouldn't go against that, especially right now. 

 

I've got to hope she'll be more willing and that she might approach me in some sense over the next couple of weeks. I just don't want to end up with her refusing to accept a letter, or not wanting to read it, because at that point I'd just be backtracking further. Whether this will really improve, I don't know, but I suppose it has to be up to her entirely. Can't have any influence without any power, right? If she doesn't want to even talk about it a little, I'm at the mercy of her judgement. All I can do is be kind and courteous and decent, as I was before this great mess unfolded. Perhaps this is me losing hope, but I'd like to think I'm just waiting to see how she behaves over more  time.

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Jenna444

@fma_lvr do you use social media? Maybe you can share what you've learned on there, indirectly sharing it with her, but also your other friends? Nothing personal about your relationship of course, just what you've learned about yourself. I don't know if that would help, just thinking. 😊

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fma_lvr

Well, yes and no. We're in a group chat with about 20 other people, and I'm barely in there and she's in there less still, but she probably reads most of it. We occasionally respond to each other's jokes and things, but the chat is generally just about group activities and jokes, with occasional schoolwork stuff thrown in.

 

I have facebook but don't really use it at all, and she has no form of social media, unless you count tumblr I suppose.

 

I have mentioned vaguely in that chat how I've been outside and exercising plenty, along with comments about nature and whatnot. It's a pretty carefree endeavor generally, which may be part of why neither of us left it or anything. It's also how we sort of communicate as a group generally, making a lot of plans and coordinating in there. 

 

I don't think I'd talk about the sexuality or what I've learned in there because it'd be a bit personal and serious for the chat itself.....and she might actually suspect that I'm purposefully conveying such information to her in this manner, although it'd be good to tell some other people anyway.

 

I'm pretty sure at this point I'm just going to be around and seeing more of her, and hopefully she'll see me just being my old self and decide to ease up on the anxiety and awkwardness. I've got a couple weeks for that now, otherwise it might be months before I could safely broach the past as a topic of discussion.

 

No guarantees, but hey, she's not hateful, just apparently fairly uncomfortable. I just hope that will improve, so to speak.

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