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JessB

Lost and confused

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JessB

Hi everyone! I'm new here and I'm desperate for some advice. I've been reading some threads and some things are clearer now, but I'm still very confused. I'm not sure about what terms to use so I'm sorry if I get anything wrong, also English is not my first language.

I've been in this relationship on and off for 3 years. We had a great start and were together for 6 months, until he broke up with me all of the sudden. Then our relationship became more "platonic", we'd do EXACTLY the same as before, but just no sex. He then started dating someone else, but slept with me before I moved overseas.

A lot happened in between but long story short, we have been in a long distance relationship for almost a year. I have the chance to go and see him again, and be in an "official" relationship again, give this another go, but this is where to problems start.

He says he's not interested in sex, and that's really confusing because we had sex on our first date, it was a normal part of the relationship before, and he started it most of the time. He says that he finds me attractive but that it does nothing for him and, I don't know why, him having no desire for me makes me feel unloved. He says that we can have sex if I want to, but it's really a turn off to be the only one that *wants* to have sex. He's loves to cuddle, to hold hands and kiss. He masturbates every day, and he enjoys sex once it's happening, so you can see why I'm confused.

Another issue is romance. He says that romantic relationships are peripheral to his interests, that's hard for him to tell the difference between a romantic relationship and friendship. That he knows he feels different about me that he does about other people, "as strongly as he's capable of" according to him, that he loves me, but that that is linked to the idea of the life that we could have together, not necessarily because of me as a person. I'm not an overly romantic person, but I do like romance from time to time.

Sorry this it so long. My main question is, is it possible that he's asexual/aromantic? Or is he just confused about relationships/romance? I know I should ask him, but this was a pretty recent conversation and being the person that I am, I went full research mode and now I'm freaking out. Am I setting myself up for failure? We've talked about marriage and kids, and he's willing to meet me half way with the things that I need, but I'm worried that in the long run I'll feel unloved and lonely. He wants for me to go and see him, and see if we can make it work with these new "conditions", but he says he doesn't want for me to feel like I'm in a relationship with a *friend*. What do you think of this whole situation? What do you think I should do? Sorry I rambled so much, thank you for any advice you can give me!

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MichaelTannock

Welcome to AVEN!

 

Yes, it is possible that he's Asexual and Aromantic.

I've never had or desired either sex or a relationship, but from what I've read from other Asexuals, they will sometimes have a lot of sex at the start of a relationship because they feel that it's expected.
Eventually, though, they stop having sex altogether, because it's not something they innately desire.
Some Asexuals also have a libido despite not finding anyone Sexually Attractive, and so will watch porn and masturbate, instead of having sex.
There are also other types of attraction an Aromantic Asexual can experience, such as Sensual Attraction, which leads to the desire for cuddling, that can be confused with foreplay.
I don't know what you should do, as I think that depends on whether you would be happy in that kind of relationship.

 

Incidentally, it is a tradition here to welcome new members by offering cake,

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nanogretchen4

Based on the information you've given, I think it's near certain that this person is asexual and very likely that this person is aromantic. I think you should slam the breaks hard on any form of commitment until you have really taken some time to think this over. I think it's a very bad idea to move in order to be with him or to entertain any notions about marriage or kids until you are sure you will be fine being married to someone who can't fall in love with you and can't desire you sexually. Before you met him, did you ever picture your wedding day? If so, did the picture include having a spouse who was in love with you? Did you picture your honeymoon? If so, did that picture include romance and passion? Are you sure you want to give all of that up? There are so many fish in the sea who have the same orientation. 

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JessB

@MichaelTannock thanks for all the information, that helped a lot as I'm still trying to understand all the different types of attraction and sexual/romantic interests.

Also, thank you for the cake 😍🍰

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JessB
11 hours ago, nanogretchen4 said:

I think it's a very bad idea to move in order to be with him or to entertain any notions about marriage or kids until you are sure you will be fine being married to someone who can't fall in love with you and can't desire you sexually. 

@nanogretchen4 Hello! Thank you for taking your time to read all that and for replying.

The idea for now is just to visit for a couple of months and see how we go, not moving permanently, but we have been through that situation of me leaving before and it was devastating for both of us, and would like to avoid it if I know beforehand that it wouldn't work.

 

12 hours ago, nanogretchen4 said:

Before you met him, did you ever picture your wedding day? If so, did the picture include having a spouse who was in love with you? Did you picture your honeymoon? If so, did that picture include romance and passion? Are you sure you want to give all of that up? There are so many fish in the sea who have the same orientation. 

The funny thing is, I never wanted any of that until he brought it up. Never wanted kids, never wanted to get married. But then he started talking about all that, even proposed, and I realised that I wouldn't mind doing all that with him.

I'm not sure what I classify as, if I classify as anything besides picky haha, because I almost never like anyone. My friends always have a crush on someone and they're always sleeping with random people, but I haven't had sex for more than a year and I'm fine with that. But when I'm in a relationship I do like to have sex and my feelings for that person are quite different from what I feel from anyone else. Guess that what I'm trying to say is that while neither romance or sex are a priority to me, the idea of not getting neither from my SO makes me feel miserable.

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Lucinda
46 minutes ago, JessB said:

Guess that what I'm trying to say is that while neither romance or sex are a priority to me, the idea of not getting neither from my SO makes me feel miserable.

Then he isn't the SO for you.

 

Lucinda

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SusannaC
6 hours ago, JessB said:

The funny thing is, I never wanted any of that until he brought it up. Never wanted kids, never wanted to get married. But then he started talking about all that, even proposed, and I realised that I wouldn't mind doing all that with him.

I'm not sure what I classify as, if I classify as anything besides picky haha, because I almost never like anyone. My friends always have a crush on someone and they're always sleeping with random people, but I haven't had sex for more than a year and I'm fine with that. But when I'm in a relationship I do like to have sex and my feelings for that person are quite different from what I feel from anyone else. Guess that what I'm trying to say is that while neither romance or sex are a priority to me, the idea of not getting neither from my SO makes me feel miserable.

JessB, I don’t know your age but my guess is you are quite a bit younger than my 53 years.  I have spent the last 29 years in a relationship & marriage with an asexual man who is actually a great guy and loves me in his unique way.  He also had lots of sex with me in the beginning but looking back I now understand I didn’t recognize the signs of asexuality in my youthful naïveté.   I did not consider or even understand what MY future needs would be in a lifelong commitment before I jumped in headfirst.  

Consider the advice you receive here, NOT because your beloved friend is a deficient man, but because YOU are a young woman who has a life that should be lived to its fullest, with the joys of passion that your budding spirit may need and long for one day.  This man may be one, but not the only man, you are capable of loving in your life.   Best wishes!!!

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Sexual Ally

Hi, thanks for your post.  It takes courage I think to come here and bring these intimate things up.  I'm glad you're thinking these things through, and took the time to ask this forum about it.

 

Yes, it does sound like he's asexual/aromantic, and it sounds like he's quite clear on what his boundaries for your future are (of course, his behavior in the past must be confusing for you.  I can't say what was going on there).  The important thing is: when someone clearly tells you their limitations, you should believe them.  If you think you're going to change him, or you're certain that your self-esteem will be destroyed by this dynamic, than this is not the match for you.  Sadly, bc I can see you care for him, and he must care for you as well.  Only you can say, after some more soul-searching, if the companionship of this man would be enough for you. If the answer is no, be glad you know now. 

 

If this situation has happened just 10 or 20 years ago, this man might be as ignorant about asexuality as you were before he brought it up.  Actually, YOU are the one who went into "full research mode" (seriously, good for you!), so you might actually know more about the topic than HE does.  But a few years ago, this whole conversation (even though he never brought up the "A-word"), probably wouldn't have happened, and you BOTH might have wed in total ignorance.  So the silver lining is this is coming out now. 

On 12/24/2018 at 4:09 PM, JessB said:

 he loves me, but that that is linked to the idea of the life that we could have together, not necessarily because of me as a person.

This quote is very bothersome and should raise a lot of red flags in and of itself.  Even if he is aro/ace, if he says he wants a relationship (with conditions), he should want one with YOU specifically, not as a concept. 

 

I know this is difficult.   I do wish you well, whatever you decide.  Please let us know how things go!

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Lara Black
On 12/25/2018 at 12:09 AM, JessB said:

 Another issue is romance. He says that romantic relationships are peripheral to his interests, that's hard for him to tell the difference between a romantic relationship and friendship. That he knows he feels different about me that he does about other people, "as strongly as he's capable of" according to him, that he loves me, but that that is linked to the idea of the life that we could have together, not necessarily because of me as a person. I'm not an overly romantic person, but I do like romance from time to time.

It really depends on what you want from your relationships. If you want declarations of love, traditional courtship and passionate sex, this relationship definitely sounds like not the one for you. However, people with different “romantic levels” can also be happy, same as with different “sexuality levels”.

For example, romance is pretty high on my priority list, and my partner told me basically the same thing yours did – that romance is only peripheral for him. He’s never said “I love you”, doesn’t call me his girlfriend or introduce me to his friends/family. That’s on the downside, and apparently I can live with that.  

On the positive side, however, he’s the most caring person in my life. He brings me tea when I’m working, gives me backrubs when I’m tired, makes me feel good about myself when I’m sad… the list could go on and on. In short, he understands, supports, inspires me and makes me very happy. And he has declared (with no romance, but total seriousness of intensions) that he’s planning to spend his life with me. For me that’s good enough.

So, as I’ve said, it’s about what you need in your relationships, what makes you happy and whether your partner can give it to you. Sometimes we don’t need to call it love to know that it is, and sometimes that’s enough to make us happy. You’ll have to understand it for yourself.

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