I for one think it’s pretty darn amazing how the more I think about my history, my thoughts and feelings over time and now, the more asexuality just nudges pieces into place. It’s like when you have two tones of the same note, but one is slightly out of tune. The waveforms don’t align and you get a wavering in the sound. It doesn’t sound good at all. It’s very dissonant, despite being the same note value. Even the waveforms might be really close. One slight adjustment though, and boom, the waveforms match up and the dissonance is gone.
I think that’s a good metaphor for how things have been unfolding for me over the past month. Yes, I tend to ruminate on things, but this is important, so I don’t really mind. I also have a lot of old writing that I’ve done. Like way more than I think the average person would have. It’s just what I’ve done, and it makes it really easy to see what I was thinking in the past, but also jogging my memory to recall past emotions as well.
One thing that came up recently was how I had thought about friends. At times in the past, my feelings about friends have caused me a lot of anguish and feelings of abandonment. Until now, I’d never really thought about how I had made friends, or what my best friendships had looked like. In thinking about it though, it’s clear that I value (and have valued) a small number of incredibly close friendships very, very highly. To me, that was normal. I would do anything for these friends. I wanted to include them in anything I did. I was always thinking about them. That’s how it was for me, and that’s how I assumed it was for them. To a certain extent, it may have been, but in retrospect, I think friendships meant something very different for me.
I noted in a previous post about how when the subject of girls became an increasingly predominant interest among friends, them and I started to diverge. It was like dominoes. One by one, friendships waned despite my best efforts all at the hands of mere girls. I genuinely didn’t get it then, and until discovering these things about myself, didn’t get it even in present times. I was just confused, and hurt. Really hurt. To them though, I’m starting to think the choice was obvious, if it was even a choice at all. I inherently engage in friendship differently, and my expectations just aren’t quite in line with how others engage in friendship. That’s not at all to say that one way is better than the other. Absolutely not. But it does mean that there’s going to be a mismatch of wants, needs, and expectations. That mismatch was something for which I was unprepared.
Over the years, I remember lamenting on and on to anyone who would listen about how much I was hurt when friendships dissolved over the introduction of girlfriend/boyfriend/partner love. The responses I received were generally mildly sympathetic, but ultimately dismissive from the position that I would, “do the same thing when I found a girl.” That always baffled me. My rebuttal always consisted of insistence that I’d never do that to a friend. I knew how bad it made me feel when it happened. I just wouldn’t put anyone else through that. In a way, I think a large part of my motivation for getting a girlfriend was simply to prove that I wouldn’t abandon my friends. That’s a very warped reason to desire a girlfriend, but that’s how I felt about it. But also, a part of me genuinely didn’t (and still doesn’t) understand how the opposite party feels in a situation like that. As I said, I think they hardly feel a decision is even being made at all. When I disagree with someone who says that I’ll do the same thing when I find a girl, I’m being genuine. There’s a disconnect there between me and someone like my mom, from whom the “you’ll do the same thing” response comes most.
For most people, I think there’s a certain force in these situations (what I’m now understanding to be sexual attraction, among other things), that compels them to do god only knows what. Realizing that is absolutely mind blowing to me. It also goes a long way into solidifying how I feel about identifying as asexual. Not only have I never felt that kind of compulsion as the result of the opposite (or even same) sex, I can scarcely imagine feeling it. I feel good and bad about that. Good because it’s just one more thing that’s been brought into tune by understanding asexuality and my life. Bad because I kind of wish I could feel it. Let’s be real; it sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? I think deep down, part of me has been holding on through all my teenage and adult years hoping and waiting for when I would feel it.
But there is good to be had here overall. While I may never get to experience that compulsion and attraction, no matter how amazing it sounds, I do have ample amounts of caring and love to give. That’s been clearly demonstrated in my past friendships, and it’s something I want to drive into future friendships as well. Now though, I have the benefit of being aware that I do treat those platonic relationships differently. It can be hard, given that our culture doesn’t always do the best job of supporting those kinds of relationships, but ultimately, that’s where the best me is going to shine.
All that said, I still would love to have a close, intimate, romantic relationship with a woman. There are so many reasons that I can’t even list them all here. I’m curious. I want to know what that feels like. There’s also a lot more cultural wiggle room in a more traditional-looking relationship like that to allow for the depth I’ve always kind of sought from friendships. Cultural pressures aside, there’s also the sexual aspect I’m so curious about. Sexual attraction be damned! Imagining sex with a real person, where I’m involved, has always been extremely difficult. I hesitate to call it an aversion, but it’s…something. Nevertheless, I’m confident that with great care, it could be done. It’s possible that, curiosity satiated, I’ll have no more interest. It’s also possible I’ll even come to enjoy parts of it. I don’t know. I just want to make sure I’m open to allowing myself all the options, and there’s nothing wrong with that.