MargaretBeaufort

What's going on with me?

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MargaretBeaufort

I am not sure how I'd label myself. I'm attracted to men and have a sex drive. The difference between me and most people seems to be that I rarely meet someone I actually want to have sex with. I have plenty of sexual fantasies, experience sexual desire, find men attractive, but it never crosses that bridge to 'oh man, I want to tear his clothes off right now' or whatever. 

 

What I've found is that I'll form a crush on a guy, really start liking him, and then as soon as it seems he may reciprocate my feelings, I just... go cold. I stop liking him. This is now happening again with a guy I honestly thought would be different. He has a lot of great qualities, he's good looking, and I was really attracted to him and liking him. But as soon as it became obvious that he also liked me - boom. The thought of being in a relationship with him, which was so appealing just a couple weeks ago, is now annoying and off-putting to me.

 

For reference, I'm 30 years old, so it's not like I'm a teenager who just hadn't met many guys yet. This has been going on for almost two decades.

 

I do have problems with anxiety, but I've never been able to figure out if this is an anxiety thing, or if it's a sexuality thing. I'm wondering if I'm just not wired for being in a romantic relationship? Or maybe I've just been single so long that I don't want to give it up to be with someone? To be clear, the idea of a romantic relationship is appealing to me, it's just like it doesn't translate to reality or something. Can anyone relate? Any insights? 

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MichaelTannock

@MargaretBeaufort 

You might be Lithosexual.
That is, you experience Sexual Attraction if it is not reciprocated.
Or Lithoromantic.
That is, you experience Romantic Attraction if it is not reciprocated.

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GiveMeBurritos

I can understand how you would be confused. Especially if you have anxiety. Because I to have anxiety. For the longest time, I wasn't sure if my feelings towards sex or romantic relationships were anxiety related or if it really was a sexuality thing. Then I thought about it a little bit deeper and realized that it was maybe a little bit of both. I've tried to be interested in guys as well as girls. Turns out I didn't really have feelings for either genders or any other genders for that matter. And to give an even broader example, I think Zac Efron is super attractive like aesthetically speaking. But I thought about it, and I could never actually see myself jumping into bed with him. That's when I knew that it was more of a sexuality thing than an anxiety thing. I also realized that the two people I had, had sex with, I wasn't sexually attracted to them at all. I just had sex because I was curious and it felt good, someone was there. 

 

Now, the idea of having sex kind of repulses me and I want nothing to do with it; but my point is, is that it's ultimately about what you feel it is that you are. You are the only one to decide how to identify and what best describes you. It sounds like you might be gray-ace or lithromantic. But that's just my two cents. You could always try the labels out and see how they make you feel. There's nothing wrong with exploring identities. 

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Telecaster68

Are you saying you don't want to be in a relationship? Or you want to be in a relationship but can't envisage sex being part of it?

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Vara
1 hour ago, MargaretBeaufort said:

I'm attracted to men and have a sex drive.

 

1 hour ago, MargaretBeaufort said:

I rarely meet someone I actually want to have sex with.

 

1 hour ago, MargaretBeaufort said:

as soon as it seems he may reciprocate my feelings, I just... go cold.

 

1 hour ago, MargaretBeaufort said:

I do have problems with anxiety, but I've never been able to figure out if this is an anxiety thing, or if it's a sexuality thing.

 

 

It sounds to me as if you have a pretty good level of self-awareness but maybe aren't quite confident of your 'Self'. It might be a fear of the risks and complexities of a reciprocal relationship. It might be that you are wired 'different' from the standard and it might be that you have a traumatic or major imprinting incident in your past. But whatever the reason or cause I think you really are smart and insightful enough to figure out the parameters of it.

 

I would like you to know that you aren't broken and there's nothing wrong with shutting down or having conflicting desires. I don't endorse experimental or capricious sex. I do suggest you continue within your comfort level for relationships and not worry about being wrong or broken or screwed-up but instead analyze what it is about the change in relationship which makes you feel differently and what it is that feels different and how it is different.

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Hecate

I can understand the anxiety. So with your question if it's anxiety or a sexuality that's causing you to go cool I would look at how you feel. I don't know what you experience as anxiety but I would guess if I was looking at something making me anxious and saw the usual signs when I get that way, I'd be pretty confident it was anxiety. Easier said than done but you do seem pretty self-aware as Vara mentioned.

 

I know if I have a crush on somebody I can get a bit anxious as crushes for me are usually at a distance and the feeling can be intense yet I don't expect them to respond positively if I let them in on my feelings so when they do I can react in a way anything other than the ideal! Yup, in my 30s and crushes can get me all in knots! But also sometimes if I have a crush on anybody, my reaction rather than to see what happens is to crush out my feelings because they are so intense to me yet to friends they are pretty normal. Mostly because I've had people get scared off by them which isn't my problem really. Also if I stamp them out I can't be disappointed later if I am rejected! 😅 So I can go from adoring them to being cold in no time. It's something I'm aware of but it's a hard habit to break. 

 

I wonder if that helps at all?

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MargaretBeaufort

Wow! Thank you, everyone, so much. You've all offered such great insights and really given me a lot to think about. I really appreciate each of your responses. This is very helpful for me...

 

9 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:

Are you saying you don't want to be in a relationship? Or you want to be in a relationship but can't envisage sex being part of it?

More like I want (or think I want) to be in a relationship, and I can envisage sex being part of it, but as soon as it becomes a reality rather than a fantasy, I seem to shut down, or my feelings evaporate, or something. It's odd.

 

8 hours ago, Vara said:

It sounds to me as if you have a pretty good level of self-awareness but maybe aren't quite confident of your 'Self'. It might be a fear of the risks and complexities of a reciprocal relationship. It might be that you are wired 'different' from the standard and it might be that you have a traumatic or major imprinting incident in your past. But whatever the reason or cause I think you really are smart and insightful enough to figure out the parameters of it.

 

I would like you to know that you aren't broken and there's nothing wrong with shutting down or having conflicting desires. I don't endorse experimental or capricious sex. I do suggest you continue within your comfort level for relationships and not worry about being wrong or broken or screwed-up but instead analyze what it is about the change in relationship which makes you feel differently and what it is that feels different and how it is different.

Thank you for these thoughtful, empathetic and kind words. Feeling wrong, broken, or screwed up is something I especially battled with when I was a bit younger, and though I've made major strides in overcoming those feelings, it's a journey I'm still on, so you hit the nail on the head. 

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Vara

:non-invasive hug: I've had the same battle but I'm doing a lot better than I had been. Partly it's been counselling, partly medication and a lot of prayer. Life really is a process and we all continue on it either moving in circular holding patterns or downward digging a hole or with a lot of effort foreward through bushes, over boulders and across rivers. You are a foreward mover.

 

:cake:

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Starlit Sky

So, I'm gonna ask you a question and your homework is to really think about it :P You don't have to respond here, just as long as you give yourself an answer ❤️

 

Is there any part of you that fears being in a relationship, for whatever reason? It could range from a fear of your personal safety, to being hurt in some way, to not being able to be a "good partner," to anything.

 

Because to me, it sounds like maaaybe this isn't a sexuality thing as much as it is about being worried, however unconsciously, of how a relationship could turn out. It reminds me of my experiences with fraysexuality and frayromanticism, which I posted in another thread . . . but for your reference, I'll post it here, too ^_^:

 

If someone identifies as fraysexual / frayromantic, and they read this, then they'll have to comment and tell me their thoughts (I mean, if they wanted). And I'll preface this by saying that

  1. I cannot possibly say that I know everyone's story, and I cannot say that so and so is or isn't asexual, or straight, or fraysexual, or whatever. Nor am I trying to say that. But
  2. in my (first-hand) experience of identifying as a frayromantic, and experiencing all the things that frays experience, and from every single person I've ever talked to who identified as either fraysexual or frayromantic (which is over twenty people, btw), I have a lot of reason to doubt that it is a thing at all.

And I am not saying that to insult anyone, to start a debate, or anything else. Actually, my hopes for bringing this up are so that someone who identifies as fray might see it, might relate, and might go, "Oh, wait! There's more to this!" just like I did. And if they don't, if they have totally different experiences, then I would hope that they would either say so here or send me a PM and tell me because this is a subject near and dear to my heart and, if I am correct about fraysexuality / romanticism (and I'm 98% sure that I am), it will be something close to everyone's heart that identifies with that label.

 

Fraysexuality is thought of as being an "inverse" of demisexuality, with the definition being of someone who loses sexual attraction and / or desire to someone after developing a bond.

 

Growing up, I was . . . picky . . . with my crushes. I had a set list of things that I definitely looked for in a partner. There wasn't much for the physical nature, but I knew I liked chivalry, a curious mind, big dreams, and a strong drive. And I was highly opinionated about everything under the Sun, and as a kid I was one of those annoying people who had a hard time of really being okay with someone who disagreed about why X character sucked, haha

 

But this affected my "love life." I would meet someone, and I might get some butterflies for a short time, but every time, without fail, they would say or do something that was usually very small and trivial, something that didn't matter, and I'd lose interest in the drop of a hat.

 

was someone who lost romantic interest after developing a bond. I felt like something was wrong with me. I felt like a horrible person because I was judging everyone for their "imperfections" when I knew that I was imperfect, too. I was afraid because I felt like I would be alone for all my life. It was a horrible feeling, and the discovery of fraysexuality and frayromanticism was only nice in that it helped give a name to what I was experiencing, but not much more.

 

That said, the definition is faulty, anyway. Never mind the actual terminology behind fraysexual--get almost everyone who identifies as a fray to really think about it, and they can tell you that it's NOT about the bond, but about certain actions or traits an individual might take or have that the person identifying as fray felt was a deal breaker. When I was talking to others who identified as fray, I can't tell you how many times I was told that they were happy they weren't the only ones who felt the definition was off. Their / our deal breakers would range from anything to whether a potential crushed liked sci-fi over fantasy, if they were "too" into football, if they had a nice side. . . .

 

Shortly after I started college, I fell in love with a guy. I seen his good things, I seen his "bad" things, and there were so many things that would have previously been too many deal breakers that normally I would have discounted immediately. And from that experience I knew that I wasn't frayromantic like I had thought. I began to wonder about others who identified as fray, and that's when I started talking to them--not just about their deal breakers, but about previous life experiences.

 

And you know what? EVERY single one of us had gone through some sort of trauma in our youth that we ended up connecting to our relationships. Whether it was a violent parent, a divorce, the death of a guardian, or something totally different, every single one of us found that we were able to find a root source of abandonment and / or trust issues, and our extreme deal breakers were actually a way to protect ourselves from getting hurt. But of course, by keeping such "deal breakers" alive, we were hurting ourselves, anyway.

 

I can't speak for the others, but for me this has been healed by actively reminding myself that it is safe to love and be loved. It's definitely been a process, but I honestly believe that it is highly likely that anyone who identifies as fray could reach the same point of a happy romantic life if they made a commitment to beginning a healing process that focused on allowing themselves to love.

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RogueB
Starlit Sky

@RogueB, thanks for posting that!!!! That's exactly what I was thinking. :P 

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