October 17, 2016

What It’s Like To Be Chronically Confused About Your Sexuality (And How To Make Sense Of These Feelings)

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What is the issue?
Thomas Griesbeck
Thomas Griesbeck

I believe sexuality is fluid and I understand that I don’t necessarily need to label myself, but it still feels frustrating.

And confusing. I don’t know what to tell people when I go on dates. Am I only interested in women? Does it go beyond that? How do I even know if I feel attracted to someone? It seems so simple for everyone else but for me it just brings about more questions and less answers.

I have come to terms with the fact that I may never identify fully with any labels when it comes to this.

Why have I felt this need to label myself over the last 10 years or so? Why does it matter if I’m gay, straight, bisexual, asexual or pansexual? What if I don’t fit in the boxes people have made? Those boxes feel limiting and I feel claustrophobic. Can I just simply be who I am without a sexual identity? Is that wrong?

I don’t want a label, I want people to like me for me, my passions, my personality, my intellect.

Some people say they always knew they weren’t straight. For me that wasn’t the case. I didn’t realize until high school. Looking back, I can recognize that I had crushes on females as far back as 5th grade. But I also had crushes on males. I don’t think I’ve ever felt sexually attracted to a man before, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future because, as I said, I believe sexuality is fluid. As for romantic orientation, I consider myself a person with strong emotions, one who loves easily. I fall for people romantically when I mesh with their personality in such a way that I would like to be “more than friends”. I enjoy activities like cuddling and holding hands with this chosen person. I like giving and receiving thoughtful gifts, and I like having intellectual conversations. I am not very much interested in sexual encounters, no matter who it’s with. In the rare occasion that I am interested it’s almost always with a female identifying person because I do not currently feel sexual attraction to men. (Also, my attraction isn’t limited to just female and male identifying persons. I have been in a relationship with someone who doesn’t identify as either).

Searching for the right person to be in a relationship with is complicated. Not many people feel the way I do about relationships. Almost always, the other person finds sex to be important in the relationship, which is a totally valid finding, just not something I prefer. Sexuality is a complex and confusing topic. I am open to change, I am open to remaining as is, and I am open to new experiences.

My tips to those who are struggling are:

1. Let things unravel at their own pace, don’t rush to conclusions, and be gentle with yourself through the process.

I felt so much confusion and shame and I bottled it up inside, until one day I just exploded. It’s okay to be confused, nervous, frustrated, and even indifferent, just let yourself feel. Be mindful of your emotions, try not to suppress them. I felt so many different feelings during these past 10 years, especially confusion. I turned that confusion into anger towards myself. I blamed all of my emotions on myself as if I chose to feel those emotions, as if I chose to be this way. This created a dangerous environment for me. But when I came out to my friends, I was surprised to find that my friends were accepting. They told me that it’s okay to be confused. That’s what I needed to hear.

2. Be honest with yourself and with others.

With this honesty, you can build healthy trust in your relationships. When I wasn’t honest in my relationships, it created quite an issue. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong, until I was honest with myself which in turn led me to be honest with others.

3. Go with what feels right to you in the moment, because living life in the moment is important.

You don’t have to know who you are one hundred percent, nor do you have to label yourself something that must stick forever. You are not alone, many people are unsure of who they are and what they would like to define themselves as. This is what life is about though, finding out who you are! Sexuality is just a part of the questions in life’s journey that doesn’t necessarily need to have a direct answer. Embrace it!

4. Accept yourself as who you are.

You don’t need to fit the boxes that society has tried to squeeze us all in. Let yourself feel confused because all emotions are allowed. Accept yourself as you would accept a loved one. Would you tell your friends all the horrible things you tell yourself?

5. Most importantly, know that you are loved.

No matter what you do or don’t identify as, you are loved for simply being you. You deserve love from others and from yourself. Let yourself feel confused but don’t engross yourself in that emotion. You are not defined by your confusion.

I want to let my loved ones know that I appreciate their support throughout the years. I am so grateful. I know others do not have that. You are not alone though, no matter what. There is a community out here wanting to love you and support you every step of the way. Reach out, let love in, and continue being you! TC mark

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