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carterh95

I'm not sure if I'm asexual/aromantic or just in a relationship I'm not happy with

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carterh95

Hi all, 

 

I've read forums on this website for a few years but this is my first post. I've had thoughts that I could be asexual/aromantic for quite a while but am still unsure.

 

A bit of backstory on myself: I grew up very disinterested in relationships; I specifically remember thinking that I must simply be more mature than my peers as a kid and teenager because I didn't spend my time thinking about or being involved with relationships. I'm 100% honest in saying that I had probably 2 or 3 crushes in total while growing up (which were always on people I was very close with, never anyone random), but never really fantasized about having any sort of relationship with them. I never had any celebrity crushes and genuinely did not understand how people could have a crush on or find someone they didn't know at all to be attractive. Around 18, I realized that if I were to have a relationship with anyone, it would be with another woman and thus assumed I was gay. My freshman and sophomore years of college I had a very intense friendship with a woman which bordered on the lines of a relationship; we were emotionally very close and made out on a few occasions. I believe I was in love with her, but curiously I really had no interest in anything further than kissing.

 

Fast forward a bit (now 24 y/o) and I am currently in a longterm relationship. We've been together for about 4 years and at the beginning I felt very "normal" - I was sexually and emotionally intimate with my partner and overall felt happy with things, but over time I withdrew and am now uncomfortable with much physical contact or romantic gestures, and we haven't had sex in 3+ years. By societal definition, I feel like we better fit the definition of friends than partners. However, I do consider my partner my best friend and honestly am not sure how I could live without her.

 

I am currently in the position where I am unsure if I'm asexual/aromantic or just unhappy with my relationship. Given my history of lack of sexual interest, part of me wonders if I am asexual/aromantic and that this is how my life will be in any relationship I am in so there's no sense in giving up everything I currently have. However, another part of me wonders if I just haven't had enough life experience and am simply unhappy with my relationship. I do fantasize about moving to a new city where no one knows me and being in a very romantic, physical relationship but it is never with anyone real (just imaginary people) and I don't know if I would actually feel comfortable with such romantic and physical gestures in real life. 

 

I'm sorry this is a bit long and rambly - I'm sure I missed a few things. I'm essentially wondering if anyone else has ever been in this situation and what you did? Or if anyone just has general thoughts and advice? 

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CharCharChar
30 minutes ago, carterh95 said:

I specifically remember thinking that I must simply be more mature than my peers as a kid and teenager because I didn't spend my time thinking about or being involved with relationships.

I thought this too!

 

Aromantic orientation is often even harder to figure out than sexual orientation.  Personally I've come to the conclusion that I may never be certain if past feelings were romantic attraction or not. There may or may not be a clear cut answer for you in the end. I wish you luck in your self-reflection and research. 

 

You probably saw this thread already, but just in case: 



Welcome to AVEN. Here is cake for you.
Triple Chocolate Cake Recipe | Sally's Baking Addiction

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Yellowyellow

Totally similar situation here!

 

Im 24 and newly discovering asexuality. Im coming to some kind of conclusion that I relate to asexuality or grey asexuality. Im finding it hard to unwrap my past and understand whether I feel I could call myself asexual.
 

I have been with my partner for 6 years now and also had a good sex life for 2 months before it fizzled out to the point my partner noticed that I was not interested, and not initiating anything. I just tend to forget about sex and have to make an active effort to remember it’s what he wants. I have to really hype myself up over a few days to go through with it.
 

I do think he is physically nice to look at and love cuddles/kissing 60% of the time. I’m worried too that because this is my first relationship, I just might not be attracted to him enough, or that it’s just a symptom of long term relationships. 
 

I think for me it’s important to acknowledge that i do relate to everyone here and can relate to the way they feel about sex. If I didn’t feel I was ace, I might even find reading about asexuality confusing or feel alienated from this group of (wonderful!) people. 
 

Im also trying to remember that I can identify as ace right now and for any period of time (I think?). If that changes in the future because of someone particularly special, I think that’s okay too. 
 

xxx

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Fumi

Welcome, @carterh95🙂 If you don't mind, I'd like to pose some questions to you.  Nothing you need to answer here, if you're uncomfortable with it.  At the very least, though, they might help you better navigate both the feelings you're having and the situation you're presently facing.

 

On 6/28/2020 at 11:07 PM, carterh95 said:

A bit of backstory on myself: I grew up very disinterested in relationships; I specifically remember thinking that I must simply be more mature than my peers as a kid and teenager because I didn't spend my time thinking about or being involved with relationships. I'm 100% honest in saying that I had probably 2 or 3 crushes in total while growing up (which were always on people I was very close with, never anyone random), but never really fantasized about having any sort of relationship with them.

 

This might seem silly, but I think it's very important to get as specific as possible when talking about feelings and relationships.  When you say "crushes", how do you describe that?  I ask because many I've spoken to would describe a "crush" as a person with whom they would be interested in initiating some sort of relationship with, beyond a casual acquaintanceship or loose friendship.  Yet, for you, it sounds like the idea of entering a romantic or sexual relationship with any of your crushes was never part of the equation.  Are you able to put your finger on the feelings that differentiate a crush from some of your other interpersonal relationships?  I'm not sure if this is a particularly important question for you to have an answer to, but it caught my attention.

 

On 6/28/2020 at 11:07 PM, carterh95 said:

Fast forward a bit (now 24 y/o) and I am currently in a longterm relationship. We've been together for about 4 years and at the beginning I felt very "normal" - I was sexually and emotionally intimate with my partner and overall felt happy with things, but over time I withdrew and am now uncomfortable with much physical contact or romantic gestures, and we haven't had sex in 3+ years. By societal definition, I feel like we better fit the definition of friends than partners. However, I do consider my partner my best friend and honestly am not sure how I could live without her.

 

I am currently in the position where I am unsure if I'm asexual/aromantic or just unhappy with my relationship. Given my history of lack of sexual interest, part of me wonders if I am asexual/aromantic and that this is how my life will be in any relationship I am in so there's no sense in giving up everything I currently have. However, another part of me wonders if I just haven't had enough life experience and am simply unhappy with my relationship. I do fantasize about moving to a new city where no one knows me and being in a very romantic, physical relationship but it is never with anyone real (just imaginary people) and I don't know if I would actually feel comfortable with such romantic and physical gestures in real life.

 

My next question is this: at what point during the relationship did you first realize you were withdrawing from your partner and feeling uncomfortable with physicality and romance?  I'm curious because you state that, at the beginning of the relationship, you were sexually and emotionally intimate with your partner.  In conjunction with that, you also state that you felt happy with things.  In my experience, happy relationships don't normally result in any kind of physical or emotional distancing.  That's why it kind of brings the question to mind: were you actually happy with the sexual and emotional intimacy you shared with your partner?  Or, did any of that make you uncomfortable?

 

Also, was there anything else that occurred over the course of your relationship that might have caused you to feel uncomfortable in your previous acts of love and affection?  More distant from her, even?  You state that you still see your partner as your best friend and express deep concern over the thought of no longer having her in your life.  Yet, your desire for closeness with her seems to have waned.  Again, you don't have to post any responses here if you don't wish.  However, I think it's very important to look back and consider what might have caused your relationship to change.

 

Everyone has different wants and needs within a relationship.  If something significant is missing, one or more members will notice, regardless of whether they admit it (even to themselves).  Because healthy communication within relationships is so uncommon, issues where needs go unaddressed (or, even worse, people become enamored of their fantasy of their partner, rather than who their partner really is) become quite common.  So common, in fact, that most people think it's normal for relationships to go through an initial spike of emotional intensity, followed by a decline.  It's in this context alone that I ask these questions.

I hope that I've been able to help you at least approach your problem from a new angle.  I can imagine that it's not a comfortable situation for you to be in.

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