I’ve been thinking about how I want to write about Tom ever since I started this blog. I want to be true to myself and be respectful of him and his privacy at the same time. I also don’t want to write the type of post that goes over all of the embarrassing details that happens between two people. That would be… undignified? Petty? I just want to be fair about how I talk about him.
I knew Tom for two years. We met through our local Ace Meetup group and we became friends over time. Initially, he stood out to me because he is slightly older than the rest of the folks who usually attend Ace Meetups (he is in his early 30s). He also looks like the business professional that he is. I’m also in my 30s and a lawyer, so I thought we had some commonalities.
Our friendship deepened. I found out that Tom liked being touched, so I went out of my way to provide hugs. I think I surprised him because I came across as being very reserved. It’s true that I’m standoffish to strangers, but I like touch when I’m around family and friends.
I also stayed overnight at his place multiple times. We did some things that I never did with anyone else before. I discovered that I liked it and wanted to try those things with him again. I found that I couldn’t separate my feelings from what was happening and I tried to show him how I felt instead of putting it into words.
All the while, I was internally struggling with how to address Tom’s aromanticism. At this point, I wanted to be with him so much that I was willing to stay silent. I was afraid to say anything to him because I suspected what his answer would be. Even though I should’ve known better, I hoped he would ask me to be a relationship with him.
But that question never came.
I moved back home to New York feeling like a sheet of ice. He later apologized to me for hurting me, but I’m not entirely sure if he understands how much pain I felt. After a particularly hurtful and mortifying conversation, I felt as if my entire body was radiating from pain- from the tips of my fingers to the soles of my feet. And yet, I tried so hard to be civil and friendly because I couldn’t forget that I had previously wanted to be with this person.
I unfriended him on Facebook last Sunday. I met a group of my DC friends for lunch earlier that day and Tom was there as well. I wasn’t sure how I would feel prior to seeing him again. When I saw him, I felt like I was seeing a ghost. Whatever feelings I had for him was washed away by what had happened. I realized that I had largely moved on and I just needed to acknowledge it.
Despite our relationship not working out, I’m not regretful about what happened. I learned that I like being intimate with someone. The experience clarified what I want and need from a romantic relationship for me to be happy. For example, I need to be with someone who I can talk to and who is emotionally available. I want to feel secure and free in a relationship instead of feeling anxious and insecure.
And I hope I don’t repeat the experience of going after someone who doesn’t want me. I want to be wanted too.