Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
How is everyone doing? We are officially (somewhat) at the middle mark of the month, and today marks the official first day of Twelve Letters of Lizmas!
I wanted to start off this particular post addressing something that I wrote about a month ago; it was a chapter of the Overexposed: A Self-Love Project series here on the blog which was called My Romantic Attraction.
First and foremost, I wanted to thank everyone who read the post and sent their love and support! I honestly didn’t think anyone would care enough to read it, but I’m glad that the post was well-received. It was definitely liberating to speak about such a personal topic on the blog; in other ways, it has helped me even be more explicit with myself, if that was even possible! Besides that, I’m thankful to have an open and positive community that is supportive as you guys!
Of course, to those who may not have understood what I was writing about or even when I explained it to my mother the other night, I wanted to write and teach some things about demiromanticism that I’m learning along the way and help those in my life understand that this truly isn’t a big change within myself, and I’m going to treat everyone the way I’ve always did.
With that being said, let’s just started!
What does it mean to be demi-/sexual/romantic, Liz?
The demisexual and demiromantic orientation is on the gray area of the asexual/aromantic spectrum; it’s in the gray area on the spectrum because the orientation has some qualities that aro/ace orientation has while also not being completely aro/ace… if that makes sense. If you will like to read more terminology within the aro/ace umbrella, you can read about them here.
According to GLAAD, “Demi is French for “half,” and was first coined to describe a person who does not experience attraction to an individual until a significant emotional bond has formed”. In other words, demiromantic people only experience romantic attraction to a person once a deep, emotional connection has been made with another person and demisexual people only experience sexual attraction once a deep, emotional connection has been made.
Well, Liz – doesn’t it normally work that way in society? You get to know a person, fall in love once you do, get into a relationship, have sex with them?
Slow your roll, girl.
While yeah, most “normal” people experience love in that aspect: they meet someone, they get to know them, they realize they like them romantically and/or sexually, and then a relationship is formed. It sounds a lot like demiromanticism and demisexuality, but there’s one important thing that distinguishes the orientation: primary attraction and secondary attraction.
According to the same article above, “Primary attraction is an attraction to people based on first impressions, such as appearance or how they smell.” Primary attraction happens more so on first impressions and appearances, and in most “normal” cases, that’s what starts up the “getting to know someone” stage in most relationships. So sure, you may only get into relationships once you know a person, but you already had that initial primary attraction that made you want to get to know them. Demiromantics and Demisexuals don’t always experience a primary attraction.
It’s surely different for every demiromantic/demisexual – for me, I can still think someone is good looking without knowing them like I can still find people attractive aesthetically or whatever, but I most likely leave it that way and it doesn’t mean I have a romantic attraction to them. It’s the secondary attraction, the “attraction to people that develop over time, and forms out of the relationship one has with a person, and their emotional connection”, that demis have. Looks don’t hold a significant place when determining if we like someone, we lean towards how we vibe with the person, how much we connect and are comfortable that ultimately determines if I start falling for them.
But, wait – does that mean you like both guys and girls, Liz?
Sexually, I like guys; romantically, I am fluid.
Like I explained in the Overexposed chapter, many people separate romantic attraction and sexual attraction while many see them one and the same. For me, they are separate. For years, I’ve developed attractions for both guys and girls once I got really close to them, but I’m only sexually attracted to guys. When my attraction towards another girl forms, it’s mostly that fondness and closeness of relating to another female that’s attractive to me. Someone that I can playfully flirt with without things getting weird because we know our boundaries and we’re close friends; that’s what I feel when I’m romantically attracted to girls. Also, the same thing goes for guys, girls, and non-binary people a part of the LGBT+ community; I ike you no matter how you identify with, and I will respect your orientation if I’m not the targeted group of people you are attracted. You’re just a really cool ass person that I like a lot! Of course, guys are a bit tricky; if I’m good friends with a guy first and I start developing feelings for them romantically, if the feeling is mutual, it can turn into a sexual attraction as well.
What made you want to figure out what you were, Liz?
A lot of things contributed to this newfound part of my identity. Firstly, I felt confident enough to sit myself down and dissect these feelings I knew I’ve always felt towards people I’ve gotten close to. I found myself really liking the people at my job because we all really connect really well and my desire to form meaningful friendships with them was intense, and in my body, she can’t tell the difference between liking someone a lot as a friend and then liking someone a lot as more than a friend. In many circumstances, I’ve always liked my friends, and I’ve always developed crushes on the guys I was close with throughout the years. My first partner was my best friend before we started dating and we didn’t have sex until I felt emotionally connected with him and it’s most likely that for future partners, it will be the same thing.
Aren’t the women in your life gonna be weirded out knowing your demiromantic, Liz?
Probably, and probably not. Who knows? There will be girl-friends that might keep their distance from me simply because they don’t want to “lead me on” or “don’t swim in the lady pond”. I just hope all my relationships, whether they are friendships, partnerships, whatever, that no matter what, there are boundaries with the people I have in my life. I will always respect the relationships I have with people, and I mean being a damn demiromantic that worships the connections with people in her life, I wouldn’t jeopardize any of the connections I have with people. Of course, not everyone will see it that way, and that’s okay – but I just hope that while we live in such a progressive time, there are more supportive people than judgmental ones.
Whatever you are feeling inside, that’s what you feel. Do some research. Analyze some points in your life that you didn’t understand before. Remember that not everything is set in stone and that things can change! I’m not saying that I’ve been a demiromantic all my life, but I’m saying at this given moment, it’s the best way I can describe my feelings towards people and my views on relationships. Just because something fits you now, doesn’t mean it will in the future – maybe my romantic attraction with women will turn sexual in the future? Maybe I’ll stop being attracted to my friends in the future? Maybe I’ll be strictly dickly both romantically and sexually in the future? We are allowed to change!
Take ownership of the person you are at this very moment! Be proud of them! ❤