I’m okay! No, really, this is a new thought for me. I’m going to ignore all the speculation on asexuality being linked with whatever, because I think there is a wide spectrum in all things, sexuality, gender, personality. But for one thing or another, people have been telling me for thirty years that I am not ok. And with my 30th birthday coming up, I’ve had a great “aha!” moment: I am ok.
The main thing that has irked me forever was the problem of interpersonal relationships. I have had many friends, and friendships that lasted decades. In college, people invited me to parties and I socialized and interacted as well as everyone else. At family gatherings, I socialize just like the rest. Even so, there are those who pity me or talk about me in whispers, saying things about me being “socially inept,” or, my least favorite term: “backwards.” That’s my mother, mostly, I hear her saying “yeah but Amy is a bit.. backwards.” Apparently, she means I am not extroverted and I really don’t much give a damn about social things.
What I’ve realized is this: I function as well socially as anyone else, I just don’t value socialization as much as some. It’s like a person who can cook well, but doesn’t like cleaning up so they only cook nice meals on rare occasions. That’s my social life: I only participate in social functions occasionally, and I really don’t miss it at all the rest of the time. I’m ok with that, I’m happy.
People have been telling me something is horribly wrong with me my whole life. They’ve been telling me that I am unhappy. Finally, I realize I am not. The problem is that they are projecting the way they’d feel if they were me. My mother seems to base her entire life on social things, so she’d be miserable if she were me. However, she’s not me. I’m happy being me.
Of course, gender and sexuality are part of the same. I haven’t dated in over then years. People assume there is something horribly wrong with me; that I’m, miserable. They assume I have mental problems or am horribly socially inept, or damaged in some way, and “can’t get a boyfriend.” Some assume I’m gay. They laugh at me behind my back, whisper about me, pity me. And that’s why I have stopped talking to these people, by and large. I can’t get it through to them that, for me, being “single” IS the ideal. I put “single” in quotes because I don’t like describing myself that way. It is usually a term used with a negative connotation, like something that needs corrected. I was watching TV last night, and someone talked about a guy as “still single” with the implications that (1) this is something that has to change, and (2) the feeling that she meant he was somehow immature or incomplete because he wasn’t in a relationship. For some, that may be the case, but not for me. I feel complete as I am, and being in a relationship always felt intrusive for me. For me, two is a crowd.
It all comes back to conformity, I think. People go out of their way to conform, to avoid confrontation and to be accepted; but they also are freaked out by anyone who doesn’t conform (to their expected gender roles, their goals in life, etc.) to the point of being embarrassed for them. My mom seems to think I’m a moron because, otherwise, I would not be the way I am. She still thinks I’m rebelling against something, or mentally ill, and cannot just accept that I’m aromantic, have no desire for children or a husband, and I don’t perform the stereotypical feminine gender role. So that makes me an embarrassment to the family, because she is so socially conscious, and wishes I was someone who “fit in” and was “normal” that everyone could be proud of. And there are tradeoffs, of course. It’d be easier in many ways to end up a stereotypical housewife and pop out some babies, but I imagine I would be unbelievably miserable doing so, and that’s why I prefer to be the black sheep, I guess. I’m done with apologizing for it, though.