Part of the ace-spectrum experience is fearing losing peer relationships to their romantic-sexual relationships. Sometimes these fears come true.
I love the idea of having intense, deep, intimate friendships. However, most of the time, when I’ve tried to take friendship beyond a certain level, I have been disappointed, or worse, hurt. There have been exceptions, but I’ve been hurt enough times that I don’t trust friendship to deliver the level of connection to others that I yearn for. At this point, I have only one friendship which I would call ‘deep’ (and I am so, so, so grateful to have at least one), but due to circumstances in both of our lives, it’s really hard to find time together. If I get a set of beautiful, deep friendships, that would be wonderful, but at this point I am considering the possibility that I may very well live without that.
Not that I want all of my friendships to be deep – in fact, I am grateful for shallow friendships too, and friendships in-between.
However, in my life, friendship has usually not been something I can count on. What I have been able to count on are relationships with biological family (or biological-once-removed, including but not limited to in-law relationships).
My relationships with my family are secure enough that, regardless of whatever new relationships my relatives form (romantic, sexual, etc), I don’t feel the slightest fear that it will weaken our relationship, in fact, it never has weakened our relationship. However, I have found out so many times that a friend had not valued the friendship as much as I had *just* when I actually needed a friend. Therefore, I do not feel the same security in my friendships. This insecurity is why I have gotten jealous over friends making new friends, even if no romantic or sexual bond is in the picture.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been hurt by my relationships with relatives – in fact, I have been hurt a great deal in relationships with relatives. However, when the relationship breaks down, the relationship usually gets repaired.
When a friendship breaks down, that is it. I have never repaired a broken friendship. Perhaps that is a reflection of how both of us – them, me – feel that friendships are not worth repairing.
What would you trust – a bridge which has people ready to repair it if necessary, or a bridge which nobody would bother repairing?
As an asexual-aromantic who prefers celibacy, I have written off relying on romantic-sexual relationships for close, intimate companionship. And I don’t feel secure in friendship. That leaves me with the set of relationships which have, time and time again, proven most reliable in my lifetime – my biological and biological-once-removed family.
This is why the very low rate of new people entering my family scares me.