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4step

How do I accept that my grey sexual partner may not look at me the way I want?

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4step

My grey sexual partner and I are in a long distance relationship. When we Skype after a long time or see each other in person, I (sexual) always feel flurries of excitement, but she doesn't express any physical expressions. I recognise that I shouldn't impose normative views on her and I shouldn't put emphasis on her physical reaction as a feedback mechanism for me to feel she likes me. We have also discussed it before, and she says she can try to be more expressive, but I don't want her to feel like she has to fake it. How do I come round to understand that she may not look at me a certain way, and accept that she likes me without having the kind of feedback loop I'm used to? She is coming back in a couple of weeks and I usually feel negatively affected when we meet in person, I don't want that to happen again.

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HonoraryJedi

First thing, I have a bitchy resting face, and an old aspergers diagnosis. My facial expressions and body language don't always perfectly reflect my feelings. If it is something like that, then she could work on it without being fake. Or you could learn to trust that she is exited to see you even if she does not show it in the standard way. Find a way to show appreciation that doesn't rely on her face. This I see as an expressing yourself thing, more than a sexuality thing. 

 

Second thing. If it is truly that she does not look at you the way you want to be looked at, and she actually doesn't have the feelings for you that you wish she had, then there isn't much of a fix for it. If you feel negatively affected from meeting your partner in person, are you sure this is nice relationship to be in? It might not be that big of a deal, but it is food for though.

 

I don't know which one this is, because I, while ace and not feeling the sexual tinglings at all, still feel exited when I see say my friends after a long absence. I don't know how much that shows on my weird face though. If she doesn't feel exited when she sees you at all, then I think that is a relationship problem, and she might not be that into you, sorry. But if she does and just doesn't show it easily, then that is a face problem. That can be worked around by say, remembering to smile, or finding another way to express affection. Preferably one that feels natural to both of you. I can't tell which one it is from this side of the internet.

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anisotrophic

Echoing @HonoraryJedi it sounds like this isn't about sexual stuff, but the more broad issue of how you look for and receive affection. The "five love languages" is a popular framing that might help you think about how each express caring about others.

 

eg physical affection isn't necessarily sexual -- parents cuddle with their children. You might want to ask for a specific type of affection (eg holding your hand sometimes) and tell her how this makes you feel (loved? reassured?), even if it might seem meaningless to her. In return, you can ask what things she's interpreting as meaningful that you might not have realized were important. Being aware that each other might be using different languages to communicate caring can be a very important insight for any relationship -- mixed or not, romantic, familial, or platonic.

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xstatic ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

As some of who is in love with an ace/aro I know those feelings very well.  I've always kept an open mind about it all, but the romantic in me does make the reality of the situation pull at my heartstrings from time to time.  As @anisotrophic mentioned, the five love languages is a good start to understanding your partner better and recognizing their expressions of affection.  My partner is never going to be romantically affectionate, aside from cuddling which is the one thing he actually enjoys, and initiates.  Any other action is strictly for my benefit.

 

As for the question of how to accept it?  Well, lots of introspection, and soul searching.  Ask yourself deep down if you are okay with it.  Ask yourself if you can live this way, and not hurt yourself in the process.  Because if you remain unhappy, this relationship isn't going to work, regardless of intent.

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Telecaster68

There's also nothing wrong with not feeling fulfilled in this dynamic. It doesn't make you shallow or needy - very few people would be okay in a relationship where their partner showed no non verbal signs of attraction. It's okay to end a relationship for these kind of reasons of its making you miserable. Nobody's to blame, you're just incompatible.

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LeChat

I don't know what your partner's family environment was like, growing up, but for some people who grew up in dysfunctional families, where physical expression of love wasn't given often or much at all; experienced trauma/abuse, etc., not being as openly affectionate in outwardly showing emotions feels "normal," due to having to protect themselves from harm, abuse, etc. 

 

But, where I live, adult couples don't openly, outwardly show their affection for one another (e.g., while walking together in the evenings, many don't bother to hold hands or kiss); only children who are playing with their friends show more emotion.

 

Plus, some people are introverts, who might not feel as comfortable expressing their affection for other people, physically, compared to extroverts.

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4step

Thanks for all the replies. @☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗI definitely agree with the introspection and soul searching, thanks for letting me know what you're going through too.

 

Although I'm familiar with the love languages and how I express and need love, my partner doesn't need to be 'shown' love in the love languages way, just general support and care.

 

Her family environment is caring and loving, she is affectionate with her parents. She is an introvert with very good social skills, while I'm an extroverted introvert! haha

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Chamomile_Serenity
On 5/5/2019 at 12:51 PM, ☆゚°˖* ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ said:

As some of who is in love with an ace/aro I know those feelings very well.  I've always kept an open mind about it all, but the romantic in me does make the reality of the situation pull at my heartstrings from time to time.  As @anisotrophic mentioned, the five love languages is a good start to understanding your partner better and recognizing their expressions of affection.  My partner is never going to be romantically affectionate, aside from cuddling which is the one thing he actually enjoys, and initiates.  Any other action is strictly for my benefit.

 

As for the question of how to accept it?  Well, lots of introspection, and soul searching.  Ask yourself deep down if you are okay with it.  Ask yourself if you can live this way, and not hurt yourself in the process.  Because if you remain unhappy, this relationship isn't going to work, regardless of intent.

I agree with this. As someone who is ace and was married to a cishet I think it came down to being honest with ourselves and being courageous enough to communicate our desires with each other (we didn't, we were very young in many ways then). I recommend the five love languages too I read it after the fact, but it is something I'd reference now, we all have ways we wish to be loved even if they aren't the exact formula mentioned in the book, the message is accurate that people wish to be loved in a way that speaks to them not the way we think suits them. 

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