I Am Amidst An Affection Affliction

Say THAT ten times fast.

I’m afraid I may have fallen in love.

I know, I know, I’m awful because I’m about to complain about something that is essentially wonderful.  I mean– I get it, I do.  I understand that all of the emotions that are wound up in love are a blessing; the experience is a unique sort of luck….  When you’re in love, colors are more vivid, the sun shines brighter, clouds seem fluffier, and every song is written just for you.  This is a happy, joyous, blissful place to be.  This is the state of being that the entire world pines for– the top of the peak, the cream of the crop, the epitome of all that is good.

But it’s really scary, ya’ll.

... Yes, it is!

… Yes, it is!

It’s scary because I know that it’s rare and weird and amazing and lucky.  I am so desperate not to eff things up, and it seems I’m on the verge of doing just that very thing at every turn.  Because it– this wonderful, scary magic– happens so infrequently to me, I don’t know how to react when it IS the state of things.  I tend to feel as if I’ve been thrust into a game of hot potato, suddenly desperate to unload this weight that may at any minute scald me….

Love is a hard state for a control freak.  There is the very aspect of not having a *choice* in the matter.   The heart has its own agenda, and any and all rational judgements pertaining to the situation are tossed clean out the window.  My heart will love whomever it chooses to invest in, the rest of me is not given as much of an input as my brain would like.  Which is annoying.  (That is not to say that he isn’t worthy or whatever, it’s just that my heart’s choice is not always logical.)  And then there is a fact that there is this whole other autonomous person involved, with gobs of their own feelings and opinions to deal with.  They don’t always agree on your heart’s decisions, and that’s kind of tough topsoil when it happens, eh?  Volumes have been written about that– and I don’t really want to go there– but suffice it to say, it’s messy stuff, and a whole freaking lot of this love situation is completely out of our control.

And then there is the fact that I’m a sparkly little unicorn.  Okay, that’s not true, and I know it, but I am somewhat atypical, because I’m a demisexual.  Demis fall on the asexuality spectrum, because they don’t feel sexual attraction until they’ve made an emotional connection with someone.  This means that most of the time I’m in a sort of default asexual mode (a state of non-attraction to anyone), I have to be well on the road to love before I know if the man I’m interested in and I have any sexual chemistry at all.  If it happens, it happens later in the process for me.  *If.*  Which means (and is the case with my ex-husband, Pan) that I can completely have romantic feelings for someone before I ever know that I’m not sexually attracted to them.  And because my heart has these very strong, intellectual feelings that my lustful parts don’t, and I recognize that for me: a) love feelings are pretty rare and; b) sexual desires are even rarer, I tend to let the love feelings override the lack of attraction.  And I eventually discovered that when it comes to me, that sort of attraction is actually important.  Go figure.

I found that if you enter into a marriage without that physical desire, there is no push for affection, and it stunts everything.  You become robotic.  Attempts at giving affection feel faked; the occasional bit that comes your way is awkward; the mechanism that automatically does these little tender things– it breaks.  You are essentially in this really strange restricted friendship.  If you are a monogamous  person (as I am) it carries the added burden of truth that you have chosen this strange life for yourself.  There is something weird here:  you don’t stop needing touch and connection, flirting, and these special kindnesses; but you are bound to someone you don’t want in that way.  As I was not going to go outside of my marriage, I began to pretend that I am above these “petty” physical needs.  I disconnected so fully that I forgot.  It’s weird how the mind works, you start to really believe that you are okay without it.  You get what love you can when your best friend enters the front door (hugs coming and going, that is the routine with K and I), and face kisses when you say goodnight to your favorite 8 year old.  But that’s all the affection I got in the daily grind of that life, and I lied to myself.  I told myself that I was okay with that paltry bit of platonic love.  Because I had chosen it.  But the truth is, I was starving.  Ravenous for that kind of connection, even.

Yes, I’ve stepped away from that sad situation.  Wizened up.  I’ve matured enough to know, “Hey, Amber, your marriage was kinda effed up.”  But that doesn’t turn the affection mechanism back on….  Having the knowledge that yes, I DO want that kind of love that involves both the emotional connection AND the sexual attraction doesn’t just fix it all.  The switch doesn’t flip back on, that love machine is still broken.

Mini Chalkboard In My Room

Tryin’ To Hold On To That Feelin’.

So, now for the first time in decades, I find myself in this miracle moment of aligned stars– having that special friendship with a man (the one that involves the emotional connection that I must have for any sort of romantic feelings), in conjunction with having actual lustful thoughts about him.  I like who he is, as a person: the compassionate spirit; the quick sense of humor; his fierce honesty; even, begrudgingly, the constant calling me on my crap.  But my sexual attraction to him is so great that his hand placed on my physical person for any small amount of time is enough to drive all thought clear out of my mind.  That is one hot potato.  It’s freaking me out a little bit.

And having someone amazing– a guy that fully deserves to feel the love and affection that I have for him– in my life NOW doesn’t *unbreak* a decade of these learned behaviors.  It’s terrible.  I want to be good at these things, for him, he deserves it.  And there is no crash course.  There is no calling in a body double and getting my practice on– It’s wing it, now, with him.  And I must do it well, or run the very real risk of losing him.  The thought can be paralyzing.  Holy heck.

I have to show him I’m crazy about him with out showing him I’m *CrAy-ZaY* about him, and I don’t even know where that fine line lies anymore.  I’ve probably already toed it by writing this.

So it’s like– I desperately need something I don’t know how to ask for, and if I don’t figure out how to pursue it right now, I might not get any more chances to have it.  No pressure.

No one should be surprised if I die alone, that’s all I’m saying.

Oct 11, 2015 | Category: Just A Thought | Comments: none | Tags: , ,


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