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confusedc

Aromantic/Asexual? Confused & Distressed - Advice Needed!

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confusedc

I am finding this really hard to write but at this point I dont know what else to do or who to turn to so I'm hoping someone on this fourm may be able to give me some advice or share their experience with me. 

 

Im a 22 year old female and have a pretty normal life - good family, good friends, good job however the past few years I've become increasingly distress and confused about my romantic/sexual oreintation. I didnt even know asexuality and aromanticism existed until a few years back. Over the past few years I've been worried and confused about my lack of sexual/romantic feelings. I just dont understand how I have never expereienced these feelings before. I love love. I daydream about finding someone and falling in love daily. I love romantic films and books and am so desperate to feel those emotions but I never have. I am constantly googling things like 'what does having a crush feels like, what does sexual attraction feel like' to try and figure out if I've ever felt that way and reading the results I dont think I ever have. Nobody has ever gave me butterflies in my stomach or made my heart skip a beat. I've never had the feeling where I feel like I am being drawn to someone like a magnet and want to rip their clothes off (baring in mind I have very little experience in this department). 

 

I've been looking into my childhood/teen years to try and think if I have expereinced anything like this. I remember being around 6 or 7 and our teacher asking us to wrtie valentines day cards and just picking a random person. Thats how I thought everyone done it. In high school people would ask me who I liked and i would just say a name because I didnt actually have any feelings for anyone. When everyone was having their first kisses I was really stressed and panicy about it and only wanted to do it because everyone else was. If anyone ever tried to kiss me I would try and get out the situation as quick as possible. Part of me thought that I was just embarrased because I hadnt done it before and didnt want to be bad at it but I also knew I didnt have any sort of feeling or want to kiss these people. Again, when people started talking about sex and their 'urges' I agreed with what they were saying to fit in but I didnt physically feel that way. In my early teens, I remember reading some romance books that had some sexual nature in it and I think I got 'excited' but it was so long ago and happened so little that I cant really remember. Other than that nothing. Everyone always used to say that your hormones go crazy during puberty and you feel all these new feelings whereas I pretty much felt nothing. 

 

I've recently tried to put myself out there and I suppose you could loosely say experiment. I've began dating a little to see if its something I want and if I get any of these feelings. I've been on a few dates with two different people - nothing lasted longer than a few weeks. The first guy didnt go very well. We were very different kinds of people. We kissed and I have literally blocked it from my memory. No sort of feelings at all for him. The second guy was actually really nice and we got along well. I wanted to go on dates with him. When we were texting I would be smiling at my phone.  We kissed a few times and it was fine but it wasnt the fireworks or full of passion. Things did get a little more 'heated' with him (100% consensual). It was the first time I had ever 'made out' with someone before and I could tell he was very excited in more ways that one. I could feel his heart beating. I could feel it in his nether regions (im trying to keep it as clean as possible) whereas I felt nothing? I wasnt excited. I didnt feel any sort of emotion. I didnt hate it, it was just fine. The whole time I was thinking why am I not feeling anything. Surely I should be extremly turned on but I wasnt. Surley I should have butterflies in my stomach but I didnt. I would say to my friends I dont feel butterflies, I dont feel sexually excited and they would say you need to give it time. So I was willing to try more (also because I wanted to have these feelings) but I felt really guilty like I was leading him on or something. It turned out he wasnt really ready to take it any further and apologised for wasting my time and when he said that I got a strange feeling in my chest but I dont know if I was hurt because of him or because nobody likes rejecction? 

 

I dont really know what im hoping to get out of this post. I just wondered if anyone else has felt anything like the way im feeling. I feel like something is wrong with me. That im broken and abnormal because I've never felt any of these feelings before. It is really distressing for me because its something that I desperately want to feel. I want to fall in love. I want to want to feel sexual desire. I cant understand why I dont (or havent yet). Its gotten to a point where its really effecting my mental health and making me quite unwell. Im so afraid of being aromantic or asexual or both because if I am there is literally nothing I can do to change it even though its not something I want. I dont want to be alone forever. But I also know I havent had any of these feelings even though I want to feel them. When I google 'how to know if you are aromanitc/asexual' I can relate to some of the things the article discusses but other things I dont relate to. Like the want to have these feelings. I'm just really confused and really distressed about this and was wondering if anyone could give any adivce on what they think is going on with me. 

 

Side note; I feel like I should mention I've always had extremley low self-esteem. I've suffered from anxitey since around the age of 8. I've also been on anti-depressants twice and referred to counselling by my doctor to try and help me with these problems. One of my big fears that I would discuss in counselling was my inability to love (in a romantic sense) and how I really wanted to feel these emotions but felt I couldnt.

 

Also I dont think theres anything wrong with being aromanitc/sexual but its just not the life I thought I would have. 

 

 

Edited by confusedc

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Sarah-Sylvia

Hi & Welcome ❤️

I understand that you feel like you're not normal, or broken, but you really aren't. I think you're putting expectations on yourself for how it should feel, and because you do feel some romantic feelings but not a lot of attraction or desires it feels a little confusing.

But even for me, who's romantic, it doesn't mean I'm going to feel attraciton to someone and get butterflies just like that. That's infatuation, not love. Love takes time to develop as you get closer to someone and bond, and more. You shouldn't expect to feel all these things out of the blue and without getting to know someone you connect with and care for each other. Does that make sense?

To me it feels like you're maybe on the asexual spectrum, but maybe not fully, and possibly demiromantic but haven't allowed yourself to be patient and really connect more with someone that you actually come to like for who they are (and grow it with someone who likes you back). That's just my impression. If you want to want to feel sexual desire, then maybe you do have a bit of sexuality somewhere, and you may be demisexual and need to be close to someone to feel it, but it could take you to find someone you feel very close and affectionate with first, depending on how you feel. Either way is ok, and sometimes if you want something too much you force it a bit and you actually stop yourself from developing the feelings more naturally. it's worth exploring and understanding yourself. But you're not broken, you are how you are and that's ok, give yourself time and be understanding of yourself if you can, it'll be ok :)

I'm sure you'll find yourself relating to some others on this site, and it'll be a good way to maybe understand some of your feelings as well. You're in good company ;)

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confusedc
17 minutes ago, Sarah-Sylvia said:

Hi & Welcome ❤️

I understand that you feel like you're not normal or broken, but you really aren't. I think you're putting expectations on yourself for how it should feel, and because you do feel some romantic feelings but not a lot of attraction or desires it feels a little confusing.

But even for me, who's romantic, it doesn't mean I'm going to feel attraciton to someone and get butterflies just like that. That's infatuation, not love. Love takes time to develop as you get closer to someone and bond, and more. You shouldn't expect to feel all these things out of the blue and without getting to know someone and care for each other. Does that make sense?

To me it feels like you're maybe asexual, and possibly demiromantic but haven't allowed yourself to be patient and really connect more with someone that you actually come to like for who they are, and who likes you back. That's just my impression. If you want to want to feel sexual desire, then maybe you do have a bit of sexuality somewhere, and you may be demisexual or something, but it could take you to find someone you feel very close and affectionate with first. Either way is ok, and sometimes if you want something too much you force it a bit and you actually stop yourself from developing the feelings more naturally. it's worth exploring and understanding yourself. But you're not broken, you are how you are and that's ok, give yourself time and be understanding if you can, it'll be ok :)

I'm sure you'll find yourself relating to others on this site, and it'll be a good way to maybe understand some of your feelings as well. You're in good company ;)

Thank you for answering, I really appreciate it!

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Sarah-Sylvia
23 minutes ago, confusedc said:

Thank you for answering, I really appreciate it!

good to hear ;) I wonder if you relate with something I've mentioned, but I also might as well add that in any of these cases, and you'll hear from asexual people, people you're with can feel things that you don't. It really takes to learn your own pace of things. In example asexual people who're with someone sexual will need to communicate their feelings a lot so that their partner doesn't go too far ahead, and respects how they are, and to find ways to meet where they can, not just doing things because the partner feels desires. Those types of relationships aren't the easiest, but any relationship can have incongruences so it's a learning process.


It's good to know, because some others here have felt like they weren't normal and pressured themselves when they weren't comfortable. They had to learn some of this to connect better with their partner, or find partners that feel more like them, etc.

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confusedc

Yeah, I feel like I want it so badly that I’m not letting anything happen naturally. But at the same time I’m at an age were I feel like it should have happened by now and because it hasn’t, it never will. And I know I should allow more time to get to know people but everything just moves so fast these days. I know I shouldn’t compare but when I look around at family and friends they seem to fall so quickly and have all these feelings and desires so fast and it makes me wonder why am I not like that? I’m almost jealous and feel quite sad that I’ve never experienced it. But I think I definitely need to take your advise and give myself some time and try to be understanding. It’s comforting to speak to someone about this and for them to be understanding :) 

 

Yeah, I completely understand what you are saying. I’ve never been in the position where that’s happened but in the situation I spoke about in my first post I communicated exactly what I was comfortable with and what I wasn’t and he was actually extremely respectful of it. Nothing will happen between me and this specific person but it’s definitely something I will keep in mind for the future.

Edited by confusedc
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maybeimamazed

You seem really distressed, so I'm sorry you're going through this. I can only offer my own perspective and experience.

 

I'm 28 years-old and I've never been in love. The closest I ever got to that was a handful of crushes I had between the ages of 12 and 17. I never really gave much thought to sex, because I figured the desire and attraction would come naturally once I found someone I wanted to be romantically involved with. This is one of the the reasons why I identified as aromantic first. The second reason is because I experience a very strong aesthetic attraction to many people and it took me a long time to figure out that sexual attraction and aesthetic attraction are different things.

 

But then I became a young adult and I had yet to cross that first threshold (romantic attraction). So maybe it's just not gonna happen. I also have psychological issues and take antidepressants, but I don't have bad self-esteem and I put myself out there when it comes to new friendships. My doctor says that antidepressants might affect your libido, but not your capacity to fall in love.

 

I think the main difference between us is that I don't crave romance at all. It seems boring and distressing. I'm perfectly content with being single. Maybe the fact that you like romance in fictional stories is taking a toll on your real life relationships, because reality will never compare to fiction. But maybe not, because you're trying and giving people a chance.

 

I'm not the best person to ask, but it seems to me that it's not unusual at all if you don't feel a sexual or romantic connection with people you only just met. So maybe it's just a matter of time?

 

I wish you good luck.

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Sarah-Sylvia

Good luck, it can seem distressing sometimes but having patience with yourself is worth it. Also, venting some of the feelings can help, else they don't have enough outlet sometimes, and keeps putting pressure on you.

I know when we really want something, it can do that, putting more pressure on yourself or things and then it doesn't connect as naturally. It's not fun. But when it can calm down eventually, you can still hold it dear to your heart as something you want or that's meaningful to you, without trying to push it. It makes it a lot easier to just hold it, so that you can look for it with hopeful eyes instead of running up against that feeling like it's not happening or it's not going to happen. Those are premature feelings, they use what happen to make it seem like it's not going well, but it really is premature. Things can happen, but it's not always like we think, and sometimes the time isn't right, or it isn't the right person, etc. But there can be those things. Life isn't always easy, but it's easier when we're a little more open, i suppose :)

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confusedc

Thank you both so much for your advice and words, it means a lot! 

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