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AceAlly929

Friend just came out

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AceAlly929

One of my closest friends just came out as being potentially Ace. I already told them I’m here to listen/talk (but won’t force them) and immediately found this site. I want to know what ways I can support them as they navigate this part of their self. I don’t want to push or pry, because their sexuality isn’t my business or my place to be, but I also don’t want them to feel like they have to figure this out alone. What can I do? 

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Zagadka

I think you're doing it. Listening is far more than most people do. A lot of people feel very alone when coming out, but if you're there to listen to them, they are better off. Normalcy is a gift in itself.

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BlueHairedFairy

You're doing amazing so far! Bravo! Just keep listening and doing what you're already doing. If they want to talk about it some more they will (more than likely) bring it up on their own. Or, you could mention that you're on AVEN or that you've been researching asexuality, if you think they want to talk about it but can't find a way to continue the conversation. It's so great to hear a positive response to coming out ☺️ Your friend is very lucky to have you.

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anisotrophic

@AceAlly929 I think the biggest fear/struggle/challenge for ace folks is not finding a partner in life -- maybe because they're aromatic too, and even if they aren't, it could be difficult to find someone compatible (like a gay person trying to get a straight person to be in a relationship with them -- like a lavender marriage). They're likely to be single while everyone pairs off as they get older.

 

So my biggest advice is a long one: stay their friend.

 

Someone I'm related to is ace & like this as they've gotten older (no partner, everyone has paired off), and the potential isolation worries me. I'm overwhelmed with my own family/work already. I worry about them sometimes. I know other family check in...

 

Anyway. That's something important you can do, long term.

 

(My partner is also ace; that is a whole different area of challenges!)

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sweater

You are doing amazing. I have only come out to a handful of people and (with the exception of my also ace girlfriend who is just an absolutely incredible and amazing human being) no one really cares. The fact that you actually found aven says a lot and you are a good friend for it. Just listening and supporting is more help then your friend is probably hoping for.

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Traveler40
13 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

Someone I'm related to is ace & like this as they've gotten older (no partner, everyone has paired off), and the potential isolation worries me. I'm overwhelmed with my own family/work already. I worry about them sometimes. I know other family check in...

First of all, thank you for clarifying why coming out as ace is such a big deal.  It’s grappling with the fear of being alone and, put in these terms, it makes sense.  As we age, things generally become less earth shattering. We are all different, and celebrating that is something I subscribe to while understanding not everyone accepts differences. Anyhow, , I fully appreciate how the fear of never pairing up might be debilitating.

 

I’d like to point out though that isolating yourself could be a personality thing as opposed to merely being ace, aro or both as described with your relative. I know quite a few folks that remain single and live rich, full, engaged lives by choice.  Their friend groups are more happening than their past romances or lack there of.  My point is that folks that choose isolation may do so more as a character or personality driver of choices versus due to their sexual orientation.

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anisotrophic
1 hour ago, Traveler40 said:

I’d like to point out though that isolating yourself could be a personality thing as opposed to merely being ace, aro or both as described with your relative.

True but, to be clear, they told me they're ace. They came out because I had come out as non-binary, and they felt able to share this with me. It made sense: they've had friends but hadn't discussed dating anyone in many years.

 

It's fair to observe that people can be connected and happy without a standard partnership. But minus one major modality for doing it... and never had kids, so not that either... I think it's harder. Friends become distant or change interests as people get absorbed in the families they've started.

 

Edit to add a link to a relevant recent post: 

 

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Traveler40

I see this as a human condition, not a condition of sexuality. I have friends of all orientations that experience loss as their friends couple up. It’s especially tough for those that wish to couple and can’t for whatever reason, but (at least in my experience) they get out and stay involved in life.

 

Having been part of a duo that’s outlasted the initial phases of a relationship where we tended to isolate ourselves, I can say we spend substantial time with friends both by having frequent soirées at home or meeting up individually at alternate venues. It’s the engagement that matters whether that be solo or as a pair.  This is why I tend to think isolating one’s self is a personality thing or perhaps due to historical issues.  I could be wrong, but that’s simply been in my experience and observation. 

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Saphoune

@AceAlly929 You are already doing well by listening and researching the topic.

Some people come out because they want to feel accepted as they really are, not because they want a change in their relationships. Don't change your attitude or the relationship either unless they ask.

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