Bonus Stage: Unrequited

[For January 2016 Carnival of Aces topic “Relationship


I really, really
don’t like romantic comedies. I think they paint an unrealistic picture of what
relationships look like.

I’m 99% sure that I’m aromantic. There’s only been one
instance where I’ve had that “I want to date you” feeling. When I realized that
I liked this person in my head it was sort of like popping the cork off a champagne
bottle and all these feelings came rushing out. The strongest feeling, however,
was “Oh, shit.” The person was my boss at the time and they were already in a
relationship. The odds of my feelings amounting to anything were nigh

A friend of mine is hopelessly romantic; She would have
advised me (if I were dumb enough to spill the beans) to “fight” for this
person’s affection and “win” their heart because if you’ve ever seen a romantic
comedy, that’s what people do apparently. What made the situation for me trickier
was the nature of our job meant that my coworkers, my boss, and I all lived
together as roommates. 

Actually that sounds exactly like the set up for a
romantic comedy. It’s my worst nightmare, I’m cliché.

But it wasn’t like I could turn off my feelings like a
light switch. As I mentioned this person was already in a relationship and
there were rules about fraternization within our organization. My friend would
have said “screw the rules”, but I was not going to jeopardize our jobs like

Being a mature adult about the whole thing really, really

So I might have been less mature about it than I could
have. The first thing I did was tell myself that the person they were already dating
was absolutely perfect in every way. Like “one true love” perfect. And I made
it my life’s mission to avoid ever meeting them so my delusion wouldn’t be
shattered. Once I accepted that I was no competition I just decided to have
fun. I liked this person and I liked being with this person. Just being with
them even in just a professional manner made me happy.

It was the first time
that just the physical presence of another person was enough to brighten my
day. They gave me something to look forward to just by being there. I wish I
could have turned off the “I want to date you” feeling, and kept things
strictly platonic but feelings don’t work like that. I still made the experience
fun for me by flirting a little bit (but not enough to cross the line) and engaging
in some figurative “pigtail-puling”. Mostly I just basked in the warm, happy
feelings I got to have.

 I cried when they were transferred to another team and
spent the weekend absolutely miserable with grief. We weren’t friends or close
enough to keep in contact after the transfer. I still tried. I sent them an
inexpensive birthday gift a year later, but after that I let the matter go. “Bittersweet”
is the best way to describe the memory.

One thing I wish to express is that unrequited love is
NOT tragic. Just because my feelings weren’t returned doesn’t mean they weren’t
real. Just because I choose to label myself as aromantic doesn’t mean that I’m
scarred by this experience. I choose to label myself as aromantic because I don’t
believe in having “another half”. I’m whole exactly as I am. I would love to
have a relationship, actually. I don’t believe that this person was the only
person out there for me even if they are the one I’ve felt the strongest for thus

I’m looking forward to meeting someone and building up to that level of
emotion and perhaps even surpassing it. Even if it means I experience a
different, perhaps strictly platonic, kind of love to do so. Being part of the
asexual community has taught me that love comes in all shapes, sizes, and
shades. That makes me happy. If/when I find love again the thing I hope for the
most is that it will be unscripted and completely unexpected. Even if it’s unrequited.


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