From the inbox 618

“So for the longest time, I identified as aro-ace because I’ve never had a romantic attraction or urge. Never wanted to kiss, hug, cuddle, do weird date things at all. I don’t understand or pick up flirting. I went on my first date and didn’t even Know the guy thought it was a date till he hugged me goodbye and I talked with my mom about it, and she told me it was a date. I simply thought we were hanging out.

Well, I was having a conversation with an ace online, and mentioned that I am an aro-ace but I chose males as sexual partners (you know, for sex purposes and I want to reproduce). I told her depending on which groups I am around, I will tell people I am straight or ace since I technically am only with men. She told me I am not aro, but I am heteromantic. I disgree and want to know which one the community thinks I am. Thank you.”

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From the inbox #292

“I’m just feeling wistful and wanted to share some thoughts about aceness and relationships. Specifically, the concept of “significant others”.

Significant other; that means a romantic and/or sexual partner; girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife. By that definition, I’m not significant to anyone, and can’t be, because I’m asexual, aromantic and don’t want a marriage/family/children. Significant other or lack thereof is how a lot of people define their life at any given moment: they are either single, or taken. Often, if they are single, they are expected to be actively trying to change that situation. Older relatives will ask “Well, have you met anyone new? or “Is there anyone special in your life?”, and they don’t mean friends.

No matter how many friends and family members I have, because I lack a *significant other*, I’m considered to be single, alone. And, no matter for much devoted platonic love I show for those friend for years and years and years, that can never even compete with the romantic love of someone they met a month ago. For example, no one I know would think twice about moving out of the country and leaving me behind; but it would be perfectly obvious that if they had a new girlfriend or boyfriend, that would stop them from leaving. And if they did leave, it wouldn’t be me they would miss, and think about, and call, and come back to visit. It would be the *significant other*. Everyone would commiserate about how hard it is to be away from their *significant other*.

All my closest friends have these significant others. I don’t envy their relationships and I wouldn’t want any of that for myself, I don’t want anyone new in my life. I love the friends I have now and I’m perfectly happy with having them. I just wish they had a bit more time for me, is all. I brought this up to one of my oldest friends when she started dating – she’d been single the longest of all my friends – I said that I was happy for her but also a bit sad for myself, since now she wouldn’t have time for me, either. She laughed and brushed it off, as if that could never happen, but nowadays I talk to her about once a month and see her even less. And that’s not her partner’s fault. That’s just how these things work, apparently, because they’re each other’s priority, now. And I’m no one’s priority. 99% of the time I’m not even a consideration, because in our modern culture, that’s not what friendships are like.

Are there any older ace/aro people here who aren’t in a relationship (and don’t ever intend to be)? Do you feel lonely, and how do you deal with it?”

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From the inbox #276

“I’m a 30 years old aromantic asexual and I just discovered a couple of years ago due to the fact that sexuality wasn’t relevant in my life until I reached adulthood as sexuality becomes part of adult’s life either on work or between friends so I just had to pretend I was on the same boat. However what I need advice for this situation: ever since high school I knew people would start dating and I thought I’d have to, I didn’t but nobody mind so I was ok, but the problem was one my friends started dating they’d be obsessed with their partner and start cutting me off their lives, up until this day, and I think that’s the most difficult part of my situation as ace to handle, I’m really into fraternal love, so when I feel ditched by my friends or family because of their romantic/sexual life, it just hurts, I know I sound selfish and I feel bad for that too because I know at the end these people will be for me when I need them, so I understand, support and wish them well, however that still hurts and I can’t control what I feel, sometimes is really tortuous, any advice to cope with these situation? Thanks in advance and sorry for the long message but I needed to get this out of my chest.”

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From the inbox #233

“I identified as ace and aroflux for the longest time, and then a few months ago (during one of my romo times) an old friend of mine, who I’ve known for 12 years, told me that he liked me, and I liked him back. We’ve been sorta dating for the past few months, and I decided that I was probably settled on romantic and grey-sexual orientation. But now they’ve flipped back to very ace and very aro and I don’t know what to do or what to say to him. Because I still feel sensual attraction to him, and I might still want to be like in a queerplatonic relationship with him or something, but I don’t want to date him romantically. But I’ve known him for so long that I don’t want to hurt him in any way by explaining this (as he is straight and although understanding of the ace thing, feels both sexual and romantic attraction”

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From the inbox #229

“Odd moment tonight. I was giving my friend Kaitlyn a ride home from work. We have a mutual friend, Steph, that is asexual and aromantic. Kaitlyn began asking me about Steph, and her friendships with myself and others.

Steph has a partner for sexual encounters, we all figured that one out. She also has a very strong emotional connection to one of her best female friends.

So Kaitlyn and I are a bit lost. We understand the nonexistence of sexual attraction, and given that Steph’s partner is a married man, we can mostly ascertain that this is an arrangement for relief of tension or bonding of trust. But over the last month or so, her attitude towards her friends is shifting, wherein she spends more time exclusively with the two people she has close ties with. Physically, and emotionally.

At the end of it all, we just want to make sure she is alright. Is there anything we can say or do? Or is this something best left alone?

Names are fake. Just FYI.”

From the inbox #223

“I know I’m ace, and that’s been hard enough in relationships. But I’m coming to the realization that I don’t really want a romantic partner either – in the past I’ve gone through the motions and all that and it just feels fake and forced. I realize now that I never really (romantically) loved the people that I said I did, I kinda just thought I was supposed to. I felt really out of control (I’m kind of a control freak) and locked in and it was terrifying.

The thing is, while I like being alone and being an individual (as opposed to a part of a unit), I do want love. I don’t want the kind of love that makes me feel smothered though. I don’t know if I’m aro or what, but I feel like there’s no one like this except me. ”

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From the inbox #203

“Hey, y’all. Ace aro sex-repulsed trans guy here. Other ace aros out there, do you think it’s possible for us to fall in love with someone? Not just feel affection for, I mean really fall in love with someone with the possibility of marriage/life commitment. Cause people in love just look so happy, and sometimes I feel a little jealous – not of their relationship, but of their boundless joy. Do you think we can? Cause I’m starting to feel a little like a robot here.”

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From the inbox #200

TW: Abuse

“I’m a cisfemale aro-ace (possibly demi or grey but as of right now I’m still finding out). I’ve come out to a couple of my very close friends who have all been understanding and supportive, and I really want to come out to my mother and siblings as well, but I’m hesitant.

I’ve gone through all the reasons for and against over and over. Pros: I can be fully open on social media and in person, they’ll stop trying to set me up/ask me when I’m going to start dating (I’m 24 and never been on anything even resembling a date)/looking at me pityingly when the subject of dating/marriage is brought up, I don’t have to feel like I’m hiding an important part of myself from them. Cons: I grew up in an abusive home, and my mother has already come out and admitted to me she thinks me and my siblings (who are all straight and married) could be doomed for failed relationships because of it and she blames herself. I know that’s not why I’m asexual, but I’m afraid to upset her and lead her to think she “broke” me. I even overheard her telling my aunt once she thought maybe I wasn’t dating because I was secretly a lesbian from being scarred from experience with my father.

I don’t want to hide anymore, but I can’t take my mother’s misplaced guilt. Any advice?”

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From the inbox #185

“I am an aro ace who has absolutely zero interest in dating. I have tried it many times before, and every time, I find it to be extremely uncomfortable and hurt the other person instead. My friends all know this, and they all respect me for who I am, but it didn’t stop one of them from developing a crush on me. He told me (after letting it fester for a while) and I made it very clear that I was not open for business and probably never would be.

So you’d think, problem solved, right?

Well, not quite. This little crush he had, it grew into something more. He has told me that he’s had crushes before, but they are nothing like this. This is something else, something strong. And I am NOT RECIPROCATING IN THE LEAST but it is still going. I feel like I’m torturing him just by existing, and we both feel powerless to stop it. He has already contacted Aven, but they didn’t help much (just told him to stop feeling that way which is not helpful in the least) so I thought I’d turn to you guys for help. Any thought would be appreciated!”

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From the inbox #170

“Advice or something. Idk:

So recently I started hanging out with this girl I used to know in high school (7yrs ago). We knew each other but not well. When rumors started flying about her, I was too exhausted and overstimulated from school so I decided not to get involved. 7 yrs later, we started noticing each other’s progressive Facebook posts and decided to hang out. I was warned by a few people not to get involved with her (bc of the rumors from hs) But I wanted to decide what she was like for myself. Shes experienced a lot of trauma and loss of friends due to being trans and autistic, as well as having a history of drug addiction. So we’ve been hanging out for about a month and a half. I got snowed in at her place once and we’ve spent long ours together. So now she’s developing all these feelings for me. feelings I can’t reciprocate. Not just because I’m ace, but also bc I’m just not interested in more than a friendship with her. Part of why she likes me is because of the way my sexuality manifests (I guess she finds it intriguing). So she knows very well that I’m ace. She says she understands that but she keeps complimenting me and talking about how much she loves me and wants to hold me. I find this very uncomfortable (it’s even uncomfortable to write). I do extended touching with only a handful of people in my life. I dont like cuddling. I like hugs… But not cuddling /extended touching. Sometimes I feel like she’s trying to guilt me into being affectionate… But also that’s probably me just jumping to conclusions (I’ve dealt with a lot of manipulative people in my life). I’m not sure how to ask her to lay off a bit without hurting her feelings. Any ideas?

Somewhat related question: I can’t tell if I’m more asexual or more aromantic. Anyone got any hunches or advice on how to figure it out?”

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