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How do I know for sure?

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I grew up in a different situation than most people do. My parents are Hindu, and were raised in India. That's the equivalent to taking the most conservative person in America and putting them on steroids. I'm almost out of high school and my mother hasn't told me the reason for my having a period. Despite all of that, I'm here watching as my cousins get married off to men as soon as they get out of college. India's not the most forward thinking country, and tends to not be very well acquainted with feminism (Not so fun fact: I speak a language where the pronoun for it and she are the same thing.) My cousin's parents are worse than mine, and actually rushed them out of college reassuring them that it was the husband's job to be well payed. Every marriage I've seen in my life is arranged and not romantic in any way. So, when I find myself awake at night struggling to grasp the concept of love, I wonder, is this who I am, or is it how I've been raised?


 I am almost sure that my parents won't have me forced into marriage. They hardly talk about dating with me. But still the concept of marriage has always been blurry to me. I try to picture the future: a husband, maybe a child, and I can. I seem happy in that future and sometimes, I want it. But then I look closer, and I can't see anything. What would my ideal partner be like? My child? Could I really picture myself in that situation, the one where I hold someone's hand, kiss them? Then I realize I'm picturing someone else entirely. It's not me. 


Sex is a completely different story. I've read that some asexuals find it gross or strange, but to me, it just seems distant. Not distant in the sense that it's somewhere far in my future, but as if it's on a different plane than me. I'm not saying that I lack the urge, because I have it. But in my fantasies, it's never me. (It's normally a fictional couple I'm obsessed with.)  Sometimes, I look at it very scientifically. It is the human method of reproduction. It's vital to the growth of the population. There is nothing to romanticize.


Again, I worry that this maybe a result of my upbringing. Maybe I feel distant to sex because that's how my parents raised me. So how do I know that this is my orientation, not my indoctrinated culture?


I say culture as if I'm very invested in it but that's not true. I don't think that I believe in a higher power or fate. I'm internally very opinionated. I'm a raging feminist and a big supporter in LGBTQIA+ rights. I'm here on this site because I have no where else to go and no one else to ask. 


Another reason that my head has created to justify the way I am is that it's due to my anxiety. I have severe social anxiety and have wondered if maybe that's the reason I can't picture myself with a partner. I sometimes might find people aesthetically or intellectually attractive, and I used to (and sometimes still do) try to convince my self I have a crush on them.


So here is my list of "symptoms":

  • I don't understand romantic love
  • I don't understand why people would want to date
  • I can't picture myself in a relationship
  • Sex feels unimportant


And here are reasons that I doubt I'm asexual:

  • My parents refusal to talk about sex
  • My lack of exposure to truly romantic relationships
  • My maybe crushes
  • My social anxiety
  • My dream future self being happy and with a partner
  • Fear of being alone for ever


So, what do you all think? Am I asexual? Aromantic? I just don't want to go through the rest of my life questioning. Please help. I'm so, very alone, and so, very confused.


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Wish I had an easy answer for you. It takes time to figure out who you are and what you want in life and it can be kind of a moving target. I'm 42 and still sorting it out in some ways. I think that most people struggle to sort out who they are and how they fit in society. So you're definitely not alone in that regard! 

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We can't give you a straight answer, but we can help you down the path of discovering the answer yourself.


Either way, welcome to Aven! It's tradition we welcome people with cake:

Related image

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Perhaps this is not a question you should be asking until you have more exposure to the world.  Currently you do not have enough information to arrive at a reliable conclusion about it.


Questioning is wonderful but timing is important.  An alien landing on this planet may well ask ''what is a flower?'' ..... the answer will become apparent in the Spring.


In all probability it's unlikely you will leave your teens without wanting to be affectionate with someone ... I preferred my books until I was nearly 17 :D it's a 'wait and see' kind of thing.   If you reach your 20's and still feel ambivalent then probably that's the time to explore your question further?


Romance is wonderful but marriage requires far more - friendship, shared likes/dislikes, similar goals and expectations ...  My own tradition does not go as far as arranged marriages but many cultures do and who is to say that those marriages don't have a better chance of longer-term success that arrangements where the couple's families don't know each other and may be vastly different in outlook, status and focus?  If that's your family tradition, it may not be romantic but it isn't unreasonable. 


Parents generally want their children to be happy, fulfilled and comfortable, sometimes they make the mistake of thinking they can arrange this without consulting their children ^_^ .... we should take this into consideration and be kind to them without surrendering our individual needs.


Like yours, my mother's mother did not prepare her for menstruation or explain the reasons behind it ... this could just have been embarrassment on her part;    your mother's reasons could be embarrassment, cultural, generational, who knows ... but you are intelligent enough to find the information you need, in a library or online, without perusing it with her and perhaps making her feel inadequate as well? 


Take care and be joyful.


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I'm not fully qualified to suggest anything, but have you considered aro-spec?

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It's not uncommon for asexuals to have all sorts of fantasies... that involve a bunch of fictional characters and not themselves. It's liking the idea of whatever, but not for yourself. A lot of people here liken it to enjoying a car chase and fiery crash on a movie, but of course, not wanting that to happen to you. 


You're in fandom, I surmise from you being obsessed with fictional couples; you probably either have read a lot of romance stuff, or you have read a lot of stuff that confuses romance for lust. 


We have images all the time of romance around us. From Hart to Hart to Kaal Ho Naa Ho, from songs by Kobayashi Akira to Whitney Houston,  you probably have *some* idea. 


That being said, media can also present a twisted picture: look at Twighlight. 


I would spend some time in these threads->






Look around, and see if you relate to anything. 


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im in the same position as you 

like im also an Indian

and im from the same kind of familily uve  been describing

the problem with us is i guess

weve been taught to stay away from guys and love is something really bad

 my case is a bit different

i didnt feel i could be an asexual till i had a bf

like rn i am dating a guy and the first time we kissed it was a disaster

i didnt feel any thing.

but somehow im coping up with kisses but i cry so bad every time he tries something romantic

its not that i dont likee him

i love him

but idk why i  feel like sex is something not for me

like im not made for it or somethhing

but im trying to be normal 

if i fail ill explain him and ask him to breakup with me

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I can’t tell you for sure what your orientation is but I can tell you that the way you feel is extremely similar to the way I feel in many ways. I haven’t posted on aven before even though I have been reading the forums but your post finally inspired me because the description of how you felt was so similar to the way I feel. I’m almost finished with high school as well and I live in the US. Your description of sex being distant to you is just the way I feel! I also feel aesthetically and/or intellectually attracted to people, have maybe crushes, and have a type of social anxiety. And I don’t understand why people want to date either and how romantic relationships are different from close friendships. I feel like this is different than how most people around me feel and I relate to asexuality so I think that I am probably asexual. Reading your post made me feel so much less alone and I hope reading this makes you feel the same way.

As to your main questions, I have a couple of thoughts. First, I think the best thing to do would be to look at your friends/peers/sisters/cousins and see if they seem to understand, want to talk about marriage/romance/boys/sex, and find the idea of a relationship appealing. Since some of them at least grew up in the same culture as you, if nearly all of them are interested in those things and you aren’t, then your feelings are probably not the result of your culture. Second, I grew up in a culture where there is romantic love and dating everywhere and I feel the same way as you while all my friends do not. Finally, I have a friend who works in Bangladesh and she says most of the people in her field site want to get married and that sexual attraction is not a main part of choosing who to marry in arranged marriage contexts but they do experience it.

I hope this helps and I’d like to talk to you more about stuff like this.

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@Qell A belated welcome to AVEN!


You're probably an Aromantic Asexual.
From what I understand, Romantic Sexuals still experience Romantic and Sexual Attraction, even when they've been indoctrinated to shy away from romance and sex.



@tiliflip A belated welcome to AVEN!


That could change, but I also think it's possible to know.
In my case, I realised that I'm an Aromantic Asexual in my early teens.



@tiana123 A belated welcome to AVEN!


I don't think there's anything wrong with just being yourself, and I hope you won't do anything that you don't want to.
Nevertheless, I wish you luck.



@Quinnelope Welcome to AVEN!


In my case, I grew up in a very religious and conservative family, so I didn't realise how different I thought about romance and sex until my Mum started talking about my future wife and children.
I'd never come out as an Aromantic Asexual to her, despite my knowing since my early teens, and I've never had or desired either sex or a romantic relationship.



Incidentally, it is a tradition here to welcome new members by offering cake, and here's a Fawkes Harry Potter Phoenix Cake,


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