I feel like this was supposed to be a multi-part question, but this is all I got! So I’ll answer as much as I can from this. Please do consider that I am not an expert on these topics and what I know is from what I’ve been told and felt firsthand and no extensive research has been done. I will not claim to be right in my assertations, only confident that I have answered to my best ability.
Firstly, I’d like to say that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are entirely separate concepts. Who you fall in love with and who you want to sleep with aren’t always the same! Yes, for many people lots of times the two will overlap, but when exploring your sexuality and whatnot don’t tell yourself you’re strange if you don’t fit what you might believe is the ‘norm’.
It’s also okay if there are cases where you surprise yourself with your own preferences! The last person I dated came out to me as trans before he insisted we go our separate ways and although I identify as homoromantic and homosexual, the knowledge that he’s a guy didn’t suddenly turn me off to the idea of a relationship with him. And even there is another example! I identify as genderqueer so technically wouldn’t I not be a lesbian? I believe both right and wrong. Right because in technical terms I must be a woman who’s exclusively into women and I identify as nonbinary. Wrong because it’s what I feel describes me best and it’s what I would prefer to be considered. I say your personal opinion matters the most in this, of course as long as you’re not just bullshitting it completely. Many people might argue this, but really when there is no word left to describe you what do people turn to? Freak, weirdo, poser, indecisive, etc. And THOSE are definitely not true.
So always keep in mind too that although it’s great to have terms to identify with, your personal preferences define you and not what people want to call you. The only wrong thing to do is to deny who you are and what you feel just to fit a category. There is so much grey area when it comes to romantic and sexual attraction as well as things like gender identity! I think in the end what I’m trying to say is only you know what you are and lots of times it takes a lot more than just one word to describe yourself!
You’re not a math equation, you’re a person!
Also this is why we have umbrella terms. If you fit somewhere within there, that’s all that matters.
Now as for when I found all these things out? It was both little by little and all at once. When I was young? I knew. I knew, but I didn’t understand. And then I was told a lot of things about what I was and wasn’t and so I got confused and tried to be who people thought I should be. And even when I was still in denial about my gender identity, my sexuality, and my tendency for polyamory, I could still see it. I just tried really hard to say it was all something it wasn’t.
But everybody finds these things out at their own rate and their own time. If your story is different than somebody else’s it does not invalidate what you feel and who you believe you are.
I know I could have just directed you to a website about these things, and I will still recommend you do a bit of research of your own, but I also know that sometimes it matters a lot to hear the opinion of somebody else rather than read definitions.
But really, please remember that whatever I have said can and might be argued against and that I am in no way a reliable source as to tell you what YOUR situation entails, only my own.