I’m not broken, why do men keep trying to fix me?

Hi Doc!

Long-time reader, first writer. Your column has come very close to home many times and I thought it might not hurt to know your opinion on my situation.

I am a hyper-independent woman with a relatively active social life and I am fine with the opposite sex and dating. Sounds great right? Where is the catch you ask? My problem starts when the sexy time is over and the bond begins.

To be super cliché, I don’t make love, rather I don’t feel love, at least not the hearts and fluttering and serotonin that people tell me I usually feel. I tell people in advance, and it hasn’t been heard over and over again. And in the end, it always goes wrong and someone always gets hurt. They usually call me a cold, insensitive bitch. Because how can I not feel the same ?! Or worse they’ll tell me, then “I’ll just teach you to love.”

Needless to say, I hate everything that this entails. I’ve had a lot of unhealthy relationships in the long run because maybe someday I’ll feel it, right? No dice. Can anyone be aromatic but not asexual? And is there any way I can consider myself relationship material without the love connection? Or will I get caught up in the short term because people assume I don’t feel anything just because I don’t feel as strong as them? Help!

It is not a top fixer

This is one really Good question, NAFU, because that goes beyond the fact that people don’t understand concepts like asexuality or are aromatic and direct to “people only listen to what they want to hear.” Well, I can’t say I haven’t done exactly the same thing; During one of my first relationships, a woman told me that she wasn’t looking for anything serious and that she didn’t want a boyfriend. I, of course, said “great, no problem.” Well, that’s what I said out loud, anyways. That I thought was “… I bet I can change my mind!”

Needless to say, this relationship ended a little less than six months later. In fact, I didn’t change my mind. Even a little.

So there are a couple of things going on here, and they intertwine like horny snakes. At the micro level, we have a situation like yours: guys who don’t seem willing to accept that being aromatic is one thing. Part of this can be attributed to ignorance; while the spectrum of asexuality including Aromanticism – has been increasingly studied and accepted, the concept of this it has not yet reached the main cultural penetration. Most references to asexuality come from relatively niche sources (such as dating columnists with podcasts) or in the media with an audience that tends to hear about it.

But if you’re not young and you’re extremely online or you don’t necessarily listen to Dan Savage much or read … well, me … then chances are good that the concept that someone is ace and hoop may never have crossed your mind . . In fact, if you’re a certain age or have some political persuasion, the idea of ​​asexuality as a sexual orientation or the idea that some people just don’t feel romantic love sounds totally invented by people who “never met the right person ”.

And to be fair, we live in a culture that not only makes romantic relationships a cornerstone all pop culture and entertainment, but one in which the cold-hearted person has the ice in his soul outside for The One. They are not interested in love because that is how they are wired; they are too obsessed with work or material things or just have one massive stick her ass to be removed by A Manic Pixie Dream Girl or they’ve been hurt before and so they just put that massive wall on to keep them from ever getting hurt again. Of course, that just means winning them is the challenge and the prize is Twu Wuv and a happy forever.

(Okay, from time to time you get those that are coded for autism, which is only actively insulting, but this is another “completely diatribe”).

So it is understandable, to some extent, anyway, that some people do not understand that being aromatic is not a problem that needs to be solved. In fact, the narrative that the ice queen only needs to know the right man can often be combined with the way men socialize to believe that our worth comes from what do and the idea that we are not wanted so we have to be necessary. And of course, this is the perfect setup for aspiring white gentlemen and nice guys, who think that if they can “solve” this problem, they will have “won” someone’s love.

This in itself will be a big pain in the ass for anyone who is ace or hoop. It’s already bad enough to be treated as a problem that needs to be solved, especially when you don’t feel like a problem. There are few things that can be as irritating as someone who is comfortable with their lack of interest in sex or romance telling them no, they are not. supposed agreeing with this and having people try to solve a problem that is not a problem and does not need to be solved.

But that too links to the topic at the macro level: There are a lot of people out there – most of them, but not exclusively men – who don’t believe that women really know their own minds, bodies, or lives. Tell them you know exactly who you are, what you want, and who you are ok with that it is unthinkable. They will click with their tongue in sad disbelief and then hit you in the head because how can you do that possibly understand your own lived experiences? Don’t worry, there’s a big belt hero coming to fix you up, little lady.

(And don’t think that I didn’t choose “still” by chance; lots of lesbians who have grown up hearing that the only reason they are gay is because they have not yet had the right cock … with offers (or often threats) of friends who are convinced that they have the magic wand that will turn them back on the path of the cock.)

It’s actually a cultural gas lighting; you can not possibly know how you feel, you can’t possibly be satisfied, even happy this way. Obviously you’re just resigned to things and you need The Right Dick to show you everything you’ve missed and, look, that means they get everything they want from you.

Now, again, to be fair2, that makes it sound everyone Who doesn’t think you can be aromatic is automatically a selfish idiot who only thinks about what he wants. There are many – including, I’m sure, among the men you’ve met – who are really trying to help you and really thought you’d appreciate it. But this is directly related to the idea that romantic love is very important and that no being interested in it is a bad thing. The cultural narrative that (romantic) Love Is All causes massive headaches because, frankly, there are no nuances. It erases everything others forms of love and closeness as less important than Twu Wuv. People are scared because Elsa has no love interest and the true love that saves her sister is … the love of a brother. Similarly, intimate friendships between men are considered romantic because we equate emotional intimacy with romance, rather than accepting that people can have a strong, intense, and meaningful life. platonic relationships as important and as satisfying as romantic ones.

And of course, this is the same narrative that makes people think you are need romantic love for having a meaningful and satisfying relationship, especially a long-term and committed relationship.

Because here’s the thing: being a hoop doesn’t mean you don’t love people. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care deeply about people, that people aren’t important to you, or that they don’t bring value, joy, and companionship to your life. It just means that, like you said, you don’t necessarily feel it eros, the kind of love of hearts-and-flowers-oxytocin-and-cartoon birds. But there are many different kind of love. There is philia, the love felt in strong friendships, with affection and support and care. There is warehouse, love for families, with compassion and empathy. And there is agape, the kind of unconditional love and selfless love for others. Just because you don’t like butterflies and big cherubs doesn’t mean you don’t love people or have strong connections to them; it just means you don’t feel so specific kind of love. The other forms are no less valid and, critically no less important.

So yes, it is completely it is possible to be aromatic and be a long-term relationship material, just as it is possible to be asexual and still be a relationship material. Neither of these means you’re broken, faulty, or faulty. The key, in both cases, is that these relationships will have to be with the right people. This, unfortunately, reduces the potential for dating because you want to find people who grok that this is not the case they. It’s not that they’re not “special” enough to unlock your heart, just as a man isn’t “special” enough to convince a lesbian to go straight. It’s just who you are and how you’re built. You want to make sure that the people you date are people who understand that this is how you are and not that they say your lack of interest in romantic love (or sex, for ass people). anything About they.

That, of course, can be difficult. When people find out that love, as we tend to think, is off the table, they will pay the bail. This is ok; they are people who self-select from your dating group and in doing so are doing you a favor. Unfortunately, there are also many people who will do it to say they get it, even if they have the emotional equivalent of their fingers crossed on their back.

Um, of course, yes, I know this, why it’s something known in advance. Ejem.

The people who will do you good will be the ones who understand that there is more to love than that eros, and that other kinds of love are just as important and meaningful. Maybe that means being open to polyamory or dating people who have no problem finding that kind of emotional fulfillment outside of their relationship. Or it can mean a supportive relationship, where romantic love is not as important as the connection, support, and affection you have for each other. Fortunately, the world is beginning to wake up with the possibilities of many different type of long-term committed relationships that aren’t just the standard version we’ve grown up with. Expanding our definitions of what commitment means or what love means creates more room for relationships that may not watch as the norm, but they are just as important and meaningful to the people who share them.

Now, the ones that will hurt you the most are the ones that will do it honestly to mean when they say they are okay with it, but that they turn out not to be able to handle it. Those who enter into a relationship in good faith but who, for whatever reason, cannot accept that not loving them as they would. prefer it doesn’t mean you don’t love them all or the way you do it. Unfortunately, you can’t protect someone from their own choices, nor can you prevent someone from breaking their heart; all you can do is love them as best you can the way you do … even if it means letting them go.

But again: this is true for everyone, ace, hoop or not. Love is a sport of complete contact, and that means there is always a chance of getting hurt.

As always, though, it’s not about being safe. There is no risk-free reward. No one promised you, or anyone else, a frictionless, risk-free life. They just said it would be val the risk.

Good luck.

  1. ser faiiiiiiiir [↩]
  2. ser faiiiiiiiiiiir [↩]

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