T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 24757
posted 03-22-2013 11:25 PM
So I'm in my mid twenties. I've been single for nearly six years at this point. And... you know, it's not like that's entirely a bad thing. I like my independence and I like being able to focus on my career and so forth.
But, well, as much as I'd like to be happy with myself and where I'm at, there is something in me that just will not accept that this is how things are now. I crave someone to touch me. My family is a long way away, and I don't have that level of physical intimacy with my friends over here. I go for months on end without anyone touching me, and I've gone for years on end without anyone hitting on me or appreciating me physically. I mean, plenty of people, male and female, have told me I'm conventionally attractive in one way or another (whatever that means at any point, ever), but I suppose my self loathing is blocking my appearing as an eligible target for anyone to hit on. As a woman, I'm glad not to have been objectified in such a long time, and I know that that in itself is a privilege. but I also feel dried up. Dull. I know that "dating" wouldn't really be a good idea at the moment, because I have a lot of emotional issues of my own to sort through before I could commit to someone else. I just.... want to be looked at and lusted after, you know? It makes me feel like a terrible feminist to admit that. But, you know. Those long nights. So many of my friends are getting married these days, and I've had all of one girlfriend, a million years ago. I feel like I missed something somewhere along the way, like I tripped up somewhere. I'm tired out by the superficial queer scene and its demands that women look certain ways and cleave to certain paradigms, and I can't deal with all that rejection any more. I've just been feeling neutered recently. Neutered and somehow half a person. Which is ridick, because obviously being single is a choice, and if I really wanted I could spend hours on internet dating sites and "find someone" (despite the fact that this seems to happen organically for most people in my life). I feel like I'm somehow not queer any more. Like I'm just this amorphous asexual blob of nothingness. I mean, though I may hate it, I'm a human being, and I just want someone to touch me and hold me. I'm more than familiar with critiques of the ideology of the couple, and it's not that I even want my forever after, just someone to gosh darned hold me for a night would do just fine. I mean, how can I get over the fact that I'm probably going to be single forever unless I make an aggressive campaign on the interwebs, which I really don't have the energy for?
Sarah Is A Bear
Member # 105659
posted 03-23-2013 12:05 AM
It doesn't make you a terrible feminist to want to be appreciated sexually or physically by other people. However, this isn't really about other people. This is about you, navigating life happily as a single comet lighting up the sky.
You don't need to accept that you're going to be single forever because you probably aren't. Realistically speaking, you're going to one day meet another beautiful comet and fall in beautiful love. You just need to find out how to accept being single for now. Here are some suggestions: 1. If possible (and you haven't done this already), find and talk to a counselor or therapist specifically about these feelings. I totally understand budget constraints and how difficult it can be to find a queer-friendly counselor some places, but they can be a great tool for helping you figure out how to navigate your life and emotions when you're having trouble. 2. People have hit on and complimented you in the past several years. Your self-loathing has simply been blocking it out. Getting rid of self-loathing can be a pain in the rear, one counselors are great for helping with, but start writing down any and all compliments you receive in a notebook or on slips of paper in a jar. You have to realize that your perception of yourself and how others see you is a little warped, so keeping a written record of how people like you can be very helpful. 3. Build an identity outside of dating. You are still queer even when you are single. You are not an asexual amorphous blob. You are not asexual unless you choose to identity as such and I know some awesome asexual party animals that do not resemble blobs at all. Join queer groups. Find some new fun hobbies. Start a cuddle puddle. Your career and work aren't and won't fill every space in your life, so make sure to allot time to other things. 4. Date if you really want to date. Dating and flirting can be draining, yes, but if really want to have a significant other, you can go out and look even while you're working on yourself. Ask friends for blind dates. Be open to trying the internet because it can be an awesome resource. Even if you don't have the time to do an aggressive internet campaign, make a couple of profiles. See if you get any hits. If going out looking really doesn't sound appealing to you, that's chill, but realize that everyone puts effort and energy into dating and searching. You aren't weird for not having magically found your soulmate.
Member # 24757
posted 03-24-2013 07:18 PM
This was a really beautiful reply, thank you
I have spoken to therapists in the past, but found it wasn't really for me; sadly, I spent more time analysing the limitations of the therapeutic methodologies they were applying than actually giving myself over to what they were telling me to do - and also, the ones available to me here were, as you mentioned, not the most clued up with queer issues. For eg, they asked me "what do you consider your "sexual orientation" to be" when I mentioned having had a girlfriend in the past - would they ask that of a straight person? I think not, somehow. Also, I totes didn't register at the time the slur on asexuals I was making by implying they were amorphous blobs - d'oh! fail! I guess I'm just a wee bit jealous; it would be nice to be happy with singledom forever (though I realise not all asexuals are also aromantics, and that 'single' or otherwise isn't necessarily a paradigm that's meaningful to them). I've tried the internet for many a year, but found that I don't get that many hits. I dunno eh, I guess the older you get the more the picture seems to change. I have friends who have been in serious LTRs, whereas I've barely left the starting gate. Not 18 any more; approaching the back end of my twenties, and I'm more and more feeling like an anomaly. I realise that probably, statistically, I'm not; it's just, all the years of trying and being rejected while everyone else seems to flourish.... I start to feel like it's me who's untouchable, undesirable. But, anyway, excellent comments all round. Cheers!
Member # 101745
posted 03-25-2013 05:57 PM
Internet dating seems to work really well for some folks and less so for others; I have to admit that I haven't tried it much but I have friends who've loved it.
It's really not the only option, though! Sarah said this above, but I think finding ways to do things you enjoy that also happen to involve other people is a great idea. Volunteering, book clubs, hiking groups, craft circles... there are so many social groups centered around various activities that no matter what you're interested in, you can probably find something. I'm not saying you should join a knitting group specifically to find dates, but the more people you meet, the wider your social circle is, the more likely it is that you'll meet people at those events who you might be interested in, or that a friend from rock-climbing might invite you to a party where you hit it off with a friend, etc. etc. Also you might find some friends who are platonically touchy, which from your initial post sounds like it might be helpful. I really appreciate my friends who are generous with hugs. Also, if you feel like your town has a queer club/party scene that you aren't into (as a queer dude in San Francisco who doesn't like gyms or dance clubs, I can totally sympathize), you might find that there are more focused queer social groups that could be a better fit. I have friends who are in sports leagues, book clubs, hiking groups, etc. that are specifically for queer folks. I don't know if there's any sort of queer community center in your town, but that could be a good place to start. The bonus here is that even if you aren't instantly finding dates through these activities, you're keeping yourself busy and doing awesome stuff. So that when that attractive, amazing person does come your way, you'll have this great story of yourself to share with them, and you can feel more active and engaged in the meantime. =)
Member # 105716
posted 03-27-2013 03:57 PM
I'd like to echo Sarah Is A Bear. Speaking from my own experience, it's probably best to find somebody with whom you can be open about these feelings. Therapists are great, but if you have a good relationship with any family members, they can be helpful at just letting all those feelings out.
Joining groups is also a good idea. Try to focus on groups involved in things you like doing or are really into. That's how I found people to be around during my first year at college. Doing something new can also be really fun for some people. As for feeling "neutered", it feels really embarrassing to recommend this, but any sort of solo sexual activities that you enjoy can be a big help as another sort of "release" for certain feelings.