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Labels, love and loneliness: How to figure out who you are and what you want in a relationship

I feel like I’m loveless. I’ve been very confused about my sexuality for a really long time (I have come to the conclusion that if I had to choose a label that fit best it would be biromantic asexual). I’m not sure a relationship is exactly what I want. I’m even less sure if sex is what I want. However, I have a crippling fear of being lonely. I’m super extroverted and love being around people and would love a partner to tackle life with. Do I go looking for a relationship when I don’t even know specifically what, or who, I want or do I risk being increasingly lonely in my 20’s?


Thanks for writing in, Anon!

Self-love and self-reliance is a topic we’ve covered a few times in this section, but it’s one I’ll never tire of writing about. Fear of being lonely is not a reason to be in a relationship. In fact, it might be the very opposite. If you wake up every day with the motivation of “I cannot be alone”, then you’re going to end up settling for people who don’t treat you how you deserve, just for the sake of avoiding yourself. Trying to seek out a relationship is extremely unlikely to ever lead to truly healthy relationships.

I also think you should be aware of how sexuality can drastically change, especially in this phase of life. Labels can be super useful when it comes to finding your identity and making it clear to others what you’re interested in, but they can also end up doing more harm than good. I know plenty of people who have identified one way their entire lives, only to meet someone who doesn’t fit in with their label and freak out about what to do. Use them with caution – don’t put yourself into a box that you might struggle to escape from in the future.

This issue and these feelings are very complex, and I don’t want to seem like I’m oversimplifying, however I do believe that you would benefit hugely from just spending time alone. You say you want a partner to tackle life with – that partner can be found within yourself. We’re very conditioned to think that a romance is the ideal partnership, but you are the only person that will be in your life forever. Why spend all of your time trying to find someone to fit into your life when you could spend that energy on getting to know you? 
When I say “date yourself”, I really do mean it literally. Think of all of the things you would do for a partner: buying flowers, cooking dinners, writing love letters: do them for yourself. Take yourself on all of the dates you’ve daydreamed about. Study your own face and body in the way you’d look at someone you’re in love with. Enjoy, savour, and embrace your own company. You will feel more whole and content than ever. And as an added bonus, I guarantee you that as soon as you start focusing on yourself, the right person ,who appreciates you for all that you are, will stumble into your path.

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Maja Anushka

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June 2022
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