Apparently I’m a late bloomer. No, check that–I’m a very late bloomer. See, I’m a little over a month shy of my thirty-eighth birthday, and until last year, I had never in my life experienced romantic and/or sexual attraction, and even I sit here, read that, and say Uhhh… what? But it’s true. I mean, I had a handful of schoolgirl-style crushes in my younger years, including one seriously disturbing crush on a neighbor who was/is, in hindsight, a repulsive individual. It was stalker-ish, creepy, and generally effed up, but me a little slack; I was a messed-up fifteen year old.

Real attraction, though, has always been something of a mystery to me. I never understood when others would carry on about how hot somebody is or how they wanted to jump somebody’s bones sooo badly. Fact is, I’ve always been squeamish–grossed out, even–by the territory of the human body between navel and knees, so I could never imagine, well… you know. Major ick factor there.

A few years ago, I concluded that I must be asexual. Aromantic, too, or maybe I’m just jaded and cynical about romantic love. After all, it fades, right? How many truly happy couples do you know? Personally, I could probably count them all on one hand, and I’ve seen just one relationship/marriage that I would actually envy.

Sure, everything is all hunky-dory in the beginning, but it sure as shit doesn’t stay that way, or half of all marriages wouldn’t end in divorce, right? It’s nothing but biological urges, and we owe it all to hormones and brain chemistry.

Soulmates and happily-ever-afters? Give me a damn break.

Anyway, late last year, I reconnected with a person from my past, and all my aromantic asexuality went straight out the window. Finally–finally–I got it. It made sense. I was attracted to someone intellectually, emotionally, and dare I say, physically, for the first time ever.

For months, I thought the feelings were mutual, but c’est la vie, it turns out they’re just a really nice person, and I’m firmly planted in the friend zone.

I knew better than to hope. I knew better. After all, I can’t point to a single thing in my life that has worked out as I’d hoped, so why would this be any different? Why the flying fuck would a smart, successful, good-looking individual like that ever fall for a social and sexual sideshow freak like me? Exactly. It doesn’t happen.

And so, like every other hope I’ve ever harbored, this one was smashed to smithereens.

I am wallowing in self-pity. I admit it. But I don’t care, and I make no apologies because my life thus far can be summed up in a single word: disappointing. If you were me, you’d be feel sorry for yourself, too. Yet again, my cynicism has been validated. Life has once again fucked me over, and it isn’t fair.

No, I truly, sincerely feel like the universe has some kind of vendetta here.

Anyway, it took me this long to feel that way about anyone, and I don’t believe I will ever feel that way again. I’ve reevaluated my sexuality, and I’m pretty sure I am a “gray ace”–an asexual person who experiences limited and/or rare attraction–but I have no plans to go out looking for love.

You know, because I’m jaded and cynical.

I have a t-shirt that says “Prose Over Bros,” and that needs to be my philosophy. I need to focus on my writing (I hesitate to call it my work because it’s never earned me so much as a dime) even though that too is unlikely to pay off at any point in time. Publishing is a brutal business. Rejection, rejection, rejection. It never stops.

To quote Louisa May Alcott, “An old maid, that’s what I’m to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps.” In my case, fame seems as unlikely as love, but literary spinster? I feel that in my very bones.

Alas, I am Emily Dickinson, sans the genius.



  1. Sorry to hear about this! We’re the same age and I’m also ASD and identify as grey ace. Relationships get really complex especially after the initial falling in love phase. I’m just not cut out for the complexities of a long-term relationship.

    I love your blog! Best of luck to you.

    “Precious to Me-She still shall be-
    Though She forget the name I bear-
    The fashion of the Gown I wear-
    The very Color of My Hair-”
    —Emily Dickinson

    Liked by 1 person

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