This is going to sound unbelievable, but I actually enjoy being single this Valentine's Day.
This is not to criticize those who are in romantic relationships right now; if you're happy with your relationship, then more power to you. Ever since I've come to terms with my asexuality as of last spring, I've felt so much freer with who I am, cliché as that sounds. I used to think there was something pathologically wrong about me for having no desire to have sex, but knowing that there's another one percent of the population out there who can identify with such a ''problem'' has been empowering. I have finally realized that I am not somehow psychologically damaged or less capable of emotion because I don't conform to society's beliefs about what constitutes a healthy sexuality. I understand that my life choices are going to be limited because of my asexuality, and I've increasingly come to terms with the fact that I probably won't be able to marry because I doubt that I'll find a partner who is willing to sustain a long-term, committed asexual relationship. But I'm also grateful that all of the friends to whom I've come out have been honestly accepting of this facet of my identity, that though you may have difficulty understanding asexuality as a concept - heck, I know I do - you still treat me the same, without prejudice. And what more can I ask of my friends?
It's reassuring to think that I've come to a point where I don't feel that I need someone else to ''complete'' me or to actualize any residual, egotistical perceptions of self-potential; I recognize that I am the only agent of change in my life, and I do take pride in my self-sufficiency. To be honest, I have a slightly pathological craving for autonomy, or maybe a pathological fear of dependence. The idea of long-term romantic committment right now sounds claustrophobic and chafing; I see restrictions rather than possibilities. I think I make a much better friend than lover, although I firmly believe that true love is not possible without friendship as a foundation. The loves of my life are not romantic - family, friends, learning, beauty, freedom, the mind. I know that I'm not unique by any means in my choice of these loves. I find that these more abstract loves are existentially fulfilling and don't need to be replaced/supplemented by a romantic relationship. Some have claimed that I'm really good at repressing/sublimating/projecting my unconscious desires into abstract outlets and that my actions are a manifestation of a fear of rejection. This may very well be true, although for some obvious reasons I object to such an interpretation; my introduction to psychology was through B.F. Skinner's school of behaviorism, taught by a professor who's been debunking the ''repressed traumatic memories'' hypothesis.
But even if such a theory were true, I find that the expression of this supposed repression/sublimation/projection to still be satisfying, and I have no desire to change my ways.
I am only talking about my personal experience here, and I don't mean to sound like I'm criticizing those who are in or who are seeking romantic relationships. Realizing a meaningful existence is obviously different for everyone, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of you will disagree with what I've written. There are strangers who would probably look at me and shake their heads in resignment over the fact that I'd rather analyze some of the soundtracks that I've been waiting for ages to listen to than find someone who'll buy me drinks at a sketchy cheap Hollywood club. I don't believe that my form of expression is superior nor inadequate compared to anyone else's. It's quite possible and probable that the way I think about love will evolve, but under the current circumstances I find that the way I process love works for my individual situation.
Through all of this self-absorbed rambling I almost forgot - happy Valentine's Day.