What is like to be an aromantic asexual? My story
From romanticism to aromanticism
Recently, I wrote a hub about asexuality in a world dominated by sex, and today I want to share with you what it is to be an aromantic asexual, and how this came to be basically my fate from my very first day born. I will begin on my story on how I became aromantic, and how I discovered I am asexual.
Puberty: The first unofficial crush
I was in seventh grade. It was 1995, I was starting middle school in Puerto Rico. Things began to change. Now we were no children anymore, at least "toddlers". I was ready to go to lunch and there were two girls, both in their senior year (12th grade). I looked at one of them, and she exclaimed "what are you looking at?", in a rude way. I replied back rudely as well, and nothing happened. I continued as usual, as I was in elementary, and in a couple of weeks, the same girl began to tell me things, like "I love you" and "You look cute". The girl possessed something characteristic that I have a fetish with, but it is limited to certain kind of ladies, so her constant "bugging", while I behaved like it bothered me, later on I discovered I liked it. Christmas came, and when I went back to school, she stopped bugging me. It began to bother me that I no longer was called by her, and whenever I was near her I was nervous. During a moment in which I was playing basketball with some classmates during the recess time, she came and sit nearby, I played awfully nervous and with this sole intention to impress her. The ball accidentally fell near her and she picked it up and gave it to me with a beautiful smile. That made not only that day but the rest of the week. Sadly, it was the last time there was some "contact", as the school ended. Needless to say, during the last day she was outside and I looked at her from the window of the classroom. I don't want to name that my first official crush since it was extremely platonic. Even with the fetish, the truth is that there was absolutely no sexual attraction during all that time.
1996: First crush (and first failure)
After the year ended, I moved to New Jersey and met two girls there, one suddenly disliked me (always looked at me with sadness and anger, I remember her name, I even looked at it on Facebook out of curiosity, she is now a good-looking woman, but of course she does not know of my existence), maybe because at that time I had a very small knowledge of the English language. The other girl remained relatively nice, and I eventually had a crush on her. Again, nothing sexual. This time, she did not possess what caused me the fetish as mentioned before, but she was beautiful and nice. For the first time, I knew what it was to be jealous. As she approached another boy and treated him with extreme niceness, I felt sad, and once I cried while at home. The degree of the crush reached a point in which I began to write to her often, even everyday at the end. Remembering it makes me feel extremely shameful even today, because it was clearly in a degree of harassment, but she never acted badly to me even so. I got depressed, and we came back to Puerto Rico. My parents believed it was because I did not like the U.S. but truth is that the crush feeling hurt me. I never knew anything about her ever again. The year following this was a nightmare and it changed my life forever.
Second crush: minor impact, still a failure; Third crush: closest to something "relevant"
In 1998, 10th grade, I yet developed another non-sexual crush with another girl but the crush was minor, in reality I did not even suffer, not the degree of the first crush or even the first unofficial crush. She never paid any attention to me, not even in a friendly way. She had a crush on another boy on the class, and the crush dissipated smoothly and fast. Then I looked at her sister who was prettier and nicer to me than she was, in fact we were friends. The crush never evolved to something else but several things made it special: by that time, my contact with girls was minor, I was extremely shy, so her approach to me (which was really a friendly approach) impacted me. The crush was big, since every time she called my name I felt happy and I used to watch her a lot, I have to say that it also was kind of stalking but it was something that I could not control at the time. Obviously, I never "followed" any of the girls. Just that when they went to regular spots, it was unavoidable for me to look at them. The crush did not proceed, and although this crush lasted way more than the previous ones (about 2 years), my shyness avoided me to tell her my feelings.
Fourth to sixth failures: the feeling of "giving up" approaches
When I was in high school, some girls still had crushes with me, at least possible because of their behavior with me but they did not appeal to me. I was way too busy both with school and my other "crushes" in my mind. So when I entered college I thought "here I would find a girlfriend easily". WRONG.
In 2001, I met a girl which crush was not really that strong. But it still hurt me, especially when her lack of interest was so marked, I once sit by her side to start a conversation. She was nice, but nothing special happened. The next day she came by the hand of her boyfriend. I was thinking "I was trying to impress someone's girlfriend". This was the fourth, consecutive failure.
The following year I met two girls, also from the same department of the fourth (actually, my sixth crush became very close friends with my third crush, who was my second crush's sister, so there was a kind of connection between the 3rd and 6th crushes) Again, nothing sexual. And that was me being 19 years old, so clear signs of asexuality were popping up even though I had not idea about it. Still, again I tried again to no avail to impress the fifth crush, so I got an eye to the sixth one, who was extremely friendly to me and, like the unofficial crush back in seventh grade, possessed the attribute that I have a fetish on. Because of the age, I will not say I was totally asexual in my mind with my sixth crush, but it was not really imagining me with her having sex, mostly it was another form of "sexual contact" (and her I will say what the fetish is- hands with unpainted nails caressing my belly. Stupid, I know. I am battling against it) but even so I never tried to play games with her so I could accomplish the fetish, which never happened and I never made the move or the trial to make it happen. She was not really interested in me anyway, although sometimes I had my doubts. I once said, just for the sake of knowledge, about her boyfriend, which she replies she had not, so I could corroborate I was not making the same ridicule I did with the fourth crush. Still, it failed. The crush was long, and because both the crush and fetish began to bother me, I just looked for schedules as to not have any more classes with her, which worked. The next year she found me and acted like "sad" for not having more classes with me. I was relieved. The crush feeling bothered me and I had not more "sexual" instincts bothering me.
Seventh crush: Minor, but the penultimate
That same year, which was 2003, my third crush entered the university I was, and I was kind of happy for that but when I saw her, she was not the same anymore. She had a shorter hair and her way of saluting me was, what can I say, mediocre. I also realized the crush could not revive, so that same day I was crossing the student center when I visited a male friend studying and there was this extremely beautiful girl that had just entered the university. The crush was minor. And there was no fetish, actually her nails were extremely short. But the crush was still there, until my friend mentioned her boyfriend. At the time, I was beginning to feel tired on being rejected and unrequited again and again. I was beginning to feel like it was time to accept my fate. All my friends got girlfriends, I got none, things were just as they were in 1996. It was like there was a blockade on me for that. So I unofficially gave up.
Six years later... the eighth and final crush prior to admitting my asexuality and turning aromantic
2009. 13 years have passed since my unofficial crush. Nothing had changed. As single as a middle school guy; no girlfriend in my life, virgin and many of my friends married or in long-time relationships. I used to be a devout Christian, so when I knew about this lady (no more girls, I was 26 at the time so the term girl was no longer proper) came to the place I used to work. I was fast, but still respectful. I talked with a friend (who is gay) to help me with the situation as she had more trust with him, and I basically made the first move to invite her to an aquatic park just to meet each other better. No sex on the plans, in fact since we were Christians I had the best of intentions possible. But she declined and then my gay friend told me she got scared for my "sudden" approach.
THE END OF THE CRUSHES. Welcome celibacy
After resting six years, nothing changed. It was then that I realized my fate was not to have any relationship. Something simply avoided it. A strong force does not allow me for having even an innocent, minor date. The route to celibacy was unavoidable, so I began to look at other things. I developed a strong like for traveling and having my time to do it, all the freedom I had. I began to read books, watch nice videos of different scenarios, and I was able to understand to give more value to friendships, which I was much more successful with. At the same time, different experiences changed me. I had to quit the job and a strong period of discontent became also a long period of reflection and observation. Rates of divorces high. My parents had some issues in which they almost separated. Some people in my family also had some problems. I was beginning to question what was so great about romance and relationships. Some friends told me at the beginning is magical then it turns a routine. Adultery is on the rise. More people take relationships less and less seriously. It was then when I realized only a handful of people came to life to marry and have their families and my "configuration" clearly stated I was not one of them. My asexuality (not known then, but there, since none of the crushed I had any sexual attraction with, only platonic), my lack of ability to be liked by women, my mannerisms, everything was clearly a steel wall separating me from romance and romantic love. As I made these observations, I began to develop some sort of "repulsion" to corniness in romantic quotes, and eventually I found repulsion in romantic displays of affection, except in people I personally know that I am aware of their love for each other. I was thinking "I could not do that". Especially when I see many of my friends switching girlfriends and saying and behaving the same way to different women. I now pity those who are desperate for love. Aromanticism became part of me.
Then recently I sought more information on asexuality, because I always thought- for the crushes I had, that I was heterosexual. Maybe some would say "but your fetish makes you sexual". The degree of the "sexuality" in the fetish is not strong enough to make me wish to have sex with the particular woman. Some of the crushes did not even possess the unpainted nail-hands that provokes me the fetish, because my feelings were sincere, platonic, and not even the unofficial crush and the sixth crush were really sexual crushes. My mindset was to be nice, to impress, to get attention- not to have sex with them. But definitely I could find out on my asexuality, since I never understood why most of my male friends were so obsessed with breats, the body of the women, porn etc.
Then it hit me. I am a believer of God (although no longer religious) so what I concluded basically is that the reason why I always failed with women is because I am asexual, God knew it all along and He did not allow me to develop relationships deemed to fail because sex is extremely important in relationship for heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual people. I became celibate a while ago, so now understanding my true nature, suddenly I am no longer shy with women. In fact, since admitting my asexuality, I could be near beautiful ladies without being that disturbed, my aromanticism basically avoids for crushes to develop, and now I feel complete. I also feel like the fetish is decaying. It is like I am turning the same as I was prior to the unofficial crush back when I was 12. I am not really sexually attracted to women, and although I cannot say I am no longer platonic since I still like the beauty in women, my aromanticism and my desire to stay celibate work along with asexuality help me stay away from crushing ever again.
The era of crushes has died forever in 2009, and so now I see the world with other eyes. I only want friends, I have some good already, both male and female. I want to be a man who leaves a footprint in other areas of live and mark the difference. Now I am much more open-minded than before, I support rights of gay people, when I used to be homophobic; I believe, as you have read in my previous hubs that no sole religion is the only one. I feel like I want to be an activist for human rights for everyone except for evil people. Is like I have more time to focus on other things.
What are my plans for the future? Definitely there are no wives or kids in the horizon, but there is a desire to leave a legacy on the education of people that contrary to what is believed, there are many kinds of people and are all seen the same way by God. Discrimination against us aces, against gays, Muslims, people of other ethnicities, bisexuals, people with different political ideas must stop. This is who I am now.