Be Nice It's Tuesday


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Dating as an Asexual

As you may be aware, this week has been asexuality awareness week. If you’re now asking yourself what that is, well I’ve made you aware – now go and find out more, there is so much info on the internet (maybe start with AVEN). I am asexual, and there is lots that I could, have, or hopefully will write about it, but today I’m going to focus on one thing which has been happening recently in my life.

I mentioned in my last post that I had asked someone out on a date. This was quite a big deal for me, as I’ve never really done the dating thing before – I’ve had two fairly long term relationships, but both times they’ve been someone I saw every day at school/ college, so by the time we got together we knew each other very well and skipped straight to the relationship. But I went on a few dates with this guy, and I’ll admit there were some fairly awkward moments, but I think that’s inevitable, and in general it was going well.

But I did have a slight problem, in that all the time when I was seeing him I had it hanging over me that at some point I was going to have to talk to him about my asexuality. This is something that most people don’t have to deal with – coming out to someone they’re dating and telling them that they will probably never have sex (I realise this isn’t the case for all asexuals, but it is for me). I didn’t know how to bring it up, or what to say – what if he didn’t understand what it is? I’m still not really comfortable going into great detail about it, and I think neither of us are people who find it easy to talk about meaningful, personal things like that. And it’s so hard to know when to bring it up – too soon and you might scare someone off, too late and they might think they’re getting some action when you genuinely just want to watch Netflix with them. I also hadn’t done this before; my previous boyfriends had been before I realised I was ace and I just said I wasn’t ready for sex.

In this case though, that problem was partially solved for me as the situation with this person and the number of mutual friends we have required us to have the ‘where is this going’ conversation earlier than I might otherwise have done. I felt like I couldn’t really get into the right way of feeling to potentially have a relationship without having first told him that I’m ace, more for my benefit than his really. I laid some groundwork by getting a friend to casually bring up asexuality awareness week when he was around, to ensure that he (and other friends) knew what it’s all about. And then when I met up with him this week we had a conversation, and I told him.

I was so nervous, it had become a really massive thing in my head. Over the past year I had become so convinced that it was going to be very hard to ever find someone willing to date me once I told them that, and I could sort of cope with that while it was in the abstract, but now here was this real person who I really liked, and I had no idea how he was going to respond to what I had to tell him. What if he just left? What is he said it was fine then changed his mind? What if he was annoyed with me for not telling him sooner? But, after a very long pause of me trying to speak and no words coming out, I did it. And his response was ‘I know, I heard you talking about it at that party’ (which, by the way, was just before I asked him out in the first place). We had a bit of a chat about it and, while I’m not quite sure what we decided about whether we are now in a relationship or still just seeing each other, at least that is all sorted out, and it is such a relief to have it out there. As he said ‘It’s good to be straight with each other about these things. Or rather, not.’

This isn’t meant to be a story with a proper message or information in. These things happen differently to everyone, so I’m not going to generalise my situation to other people. But I think this is a topic where there are a lot of misconceptions and confusions, so the more different, real stories that are out there, the better. I know I was desperate to hear of asexuals who had success in dating, so I hope my experience can encourage other people.

Whether or not you are ace, I wish you a happy asexuality awareness week, and hope things are going well for everyone.

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Changes

A lot seems to have changed in my life recently.

Mid-September I left home again and moved into my new term-time house which I am renting with some amazing friends – it’s really starting to feel like home, and there haven’t been any arguments yet (even when we disagree about when the floors need cleaning). A week or so after moving in, my second year of university started. As well as being back to intense classes of German and Russian language, I’m doing modules of history and linguistics, and I’ve picked up Czech language. I’m enjoying the classes but it’s a lot of hard work, and I feel slightly like I’m drowning in an endless sea of vocab.

I’ve got back into the societies I was in last year, and am on the committee for my choir. Last week I went to an LGBT+ meeting for the first time, which was quite a big step for me. Also at the start if this term I started a new part-time job, and I am in the process of applying for two more.

A particularly exciting thing that’s happened is that I successfully asked someone out on a date. That was very scary, and I’m now nervous about meeting with him, I haven’t really done the whole dating thing before, in the past it’s taken so long for things to happen that we’ve just skipped straight to a fully formed relationship. But I resolved last summer to get better at doing things that scare me, and not just waiting and hoping things will happen, so I thought I should just go for it.

Finally, my family is currently very spread out, with one of my sisters in New Zealand for the next year. The other sister is in Edinburgh, not so far away, but still difficult enough to get to from Bristol that I don’t know when I’ll next see her. So I’m just trying my best to keep in contact with them as much as possible.

All of these changes are exciting, and I feel like I’m in a good place in my life right now, however they take up a lot of time and I am often very busy and tired. When I do have free time I usually watch Netflix or play my musical instruments. If I’m in the mood for writing I’m trying to write more of the piece of fiction I started over the summer (calling it a novel sounds too grand, but story sounds too juvenile). So as much as I want to keep blogging, and have loads of ideas, I just don’t really have the time and energy for it at the moment. I’m not giving up for good; I may post random things at odd times, and I hope to get properly back into it sometime, but for now I am freeing myself of the guilt I feel for not writing up any of the things I want to.

Until I write again, I hope everyone is doing well and staying positive, and don’t forget to keep smiling 🙂