A list to help other asexual people in relationships.
A couple of people have been wanting me to do this blog post for a few weeks, so now I’m finally doing it. I hope to help others who are like me by posting this.
It all started with a date. I am known for not going on dates or even talking about relationships. But its human nature to want to have companionship and so I decided to seek one out. I was talking to a person since February, and it was going very well. We decided to meet up in person 5 months later in July. And it was good, we both had an enjoyable time, got to know more about each other as well, and of course we did have the chat about the possibility of us starting dating. This is where it then became really overwhelming for me. I know I take a long time process information like this, so knew I wasn’t going to be able to give an answer to them straightaway. You see, the thing with me is, that this really scares me and freaks me out. Anything about relationships is uncomfortable for me so trying to work out what I wanted and how I felt about this was near impossible. It was lots of questions about when we were going to next see each other. They wanted to see me more than what I wanted to, so it was very difficult for me to be comfortable with this. After the date, I took the week to process how I feel. I know they wanted to know whether we would start dating so wanted to work it out quickly and this overwhelmed me, combined with the fact that this person was still messaging me after I said I needed space, so I had to be firm and lay down my boundary with my processing time. I tried talking it out with people, but it would freak me out and I would stop.
Everyone tried to ask me how I was feeling, but I still hadn’t processed it so couldn’t give them an answer. They kept saying ‘surely you must know if you like them’ No. I don’t know, I don’t feel anything. Having alexithymia and being asexual is hard because I really do not feel or understand how I am feeling. I tried googling it to at least find some answers on how others did it. But if you google ‘Autistic alexithymic asexual’ a bunch of research papers come up so that was useless! The way that I would be able to figure this out was to make someone have this uncomfortable conversation with me. So, I asked my friend to do it. She knows how uncomfortable and overwhelmed I get when talking about this topic so I knew she would go easy with me in a way I could understand. At first she asked me lots of questions about how I was with them and how I acted around them. My friend then started goggling stuff as well for me. And then eventually she made a list of the top points to take note of if you think you like someone:
· Do you enjoy spending time with them?
· Do they make you happy and you have fun together?
· Do you think about them a lot when you are not with them?
· Do you want to tell them about silly little things that happen during your day?
· Are you excited to spend time with them 1 on 1 without other friends around?
This is a very fabulous concrete list. I do love a list, its more straightforward and logical for me to think about. My autistic community wanted me to write about this list because others may struggle with the same thing as me.
After reading this list, I realised that I did not feel this way about the person I went on a date with and that made it easier for me to understand how I felt and why.
However, this list made me realise that I did feel like this but not to the person I went on a date with. In the past I have had strong attachments to women, mainly my friends and people I was close with. And it confused me even more because that’s not what should be happening. But then in a chat with my autism group leader, she told me how she was surprised I went on a date with this person, because she assumed I was more attracted to people of the same sex as me. I asked her why (because honestly this is not the first time I have heard this) and she said that it’s because I appear to have stronger attachments to people of the same sex rather than the opposite sex, and when I thought about it, the more I could see that she was right. After I then asked a few people about this and all of those people agreed and said the same thing, at one time or another they all thought I would be attracted to people of the same sex. At first I was shocked, that all these people thought this about me, but I’ve then been processing that too. I never thought I would question my sexuality, society taught me who I ought to be attracted too and I went along with it. I am still figuring it out myself, but I am more comfortable with the idea that this might be the right thing for me.