ace, advice, asexual, asexuality, dating, everyone is gay, identity, intersectionality, kara kratcha, kristin russo, lgbt, lgbt advice, relationships, second opinions
“I am very confused :( I went on a few dates with a girl, and I really like her. However, she recently told me she is asexual. I like her a lot, but I am not asexual. Should I tell her that we’re not looking for the same things, or should I give the relationship a try anyway?”
- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Kara Kratcha as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions
I’m so happy to hear that you’ve found someone you really like to go on dates with. That’s awesome! Finding someone you click with can be really hard. Congratulations!
I bet as you’ve been getting to know this person, you’ve found lots of specific things to like about her and the relationship you’re creating with her. Maybe she makes you laugh. Maybe she pushes you to go on more and better adventures. Maybe you like how her ears look when she pushes her hair behind them or the color of her eyes in a particular light. Maybe you like how she refrains from romantic nonsense and gets right to the point.
Anyway, the point is, you know what you like about her and why hanging out with her has been exciting for you. It sounds like you’ve reached the scary but inevitable part of getting to know someone where you realize that as much as you like that person, they aren’t quite how you had been imagining them. Get used to this part. You’ll be living it every time you engage with another human being, whether you just met them, you’ve been married to them for decades, or they’ve raised you from infancy. No matter what, people are never exactly what we imagine them to be. That’s unfortunate because it is, as you’ve said, confusing, but it’s also exciting because it means that even the people you’ve loved the longest can still surprise and challenge you.
This might all seem a bit off-topic, but I don’t think it is. Bear with me. You asked me if you should stop seeing a person because she and you aren’t looking for the same things. Let me ask you this: what are you looking for? Take out a new piece of paper or a new Tumblr draft and write out a list. What do you want out of your relationships with the people you love, and how do you prioritize those wants? Think about how different kinds of relationships—particularly the relationships you already have in your life—create different kinds of intimacy. Think about the sexuality label you use for yourself and how it affects or doesn’t affect your relationships with the people in your life who you care about. Go back to your list and add anything that made you think of, then put it off to the side somewhere.
Now take a deep breath. You just did a lot of self-reflection, which is really exhausting and difficult. Good job.
When the person you like told you that she’s asexual, she probably surprised you by not matching what you had imagined about her and the relationship you might have with her. That’s okay. It happens all the time. But I have another question for you: at any point during your conversation about her asexuality did you ask her what she wants from her relationship with you? Go back to that list you made earlier and compare that to what you call your sexuality. Does your sexuality label convey everything about what you want out of a relationship, what you like, and what compromises you’re willing to make? I’m guessing it doesn’t. You can’t assume that you know everything about what she wants, likes, and is willing to compromise on just because you know how she labels her sexuality either.
Of course, she calls herself asexual for a reason. You need to consider how important sex is to you in this particular relationship. If you can’t see yourself continuing to enjoy the company of this person you like without having sex with her, then you should probably do both of you a favor and break it off. If you’re willing to be more flexible, however, then you have more to discuss with her. First, do a little research about asexuality. AVEN, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, is a good place to start. There you’ll probably learn, among other things, that not everyone who identifies as asexual refrains from sex. Once you’ve done your reading, you might start this series of conversations with some of these questions:
What does being asexual mean to you? How did you find that word and what made you decide to apply it to yourself?
So you’re not sexually attracted to people. How do you feel about having sex?
Are you only looking for a romantic relationship right now? (Are you just looking for a romantic relationship right now?)
If yes, are you looking for a monogamous romantic relationship? (Spend some time asking yourself this question as well.)
See how you don’t know the answers to these questions just because you know the person you like identifies as asexual? Her wants and expectations are just as complicated as yours. Before you and the person you like decide that you want different things out of your relationship, make sure you actually compare the things you want. Having these conversations with her will be a lot of work and will probably take a lot of time, but that’s not a unique feature of mixed allosexual/asexual relationships. If you’re willing to do the work, you may find that you like the person you like for a good enough reason to keep learning about her and what your relationship with her could look like.
Good luck! I know you’ve got this.
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5 thoughts on “Dating Someone Who is Asexual”
Thank you so much for asking/answering this question. I’ve been on a bit of a soul search with my sexuality lately and have come to the conclusion that I am asexual and I’m getting the feeling that my partner is losing feelings for me because of it. I came across this forum while googling what her and I should do and I feel like this answers a lot of questions I had about all of this. Thank you so very much and have a nice day!
This gives me a lot to think about as well. I’m pansexual or bisexual, so I’m attracted to peoples’ energies but often times I never pursue my feelings because I’m in a monogamous relationship & it’s all very confusing why I’m afraid to end things or become polyamorous. I’m mostly just afraid of being myself and what people my think of me and hurting my partner. So making a list and reevaluation of my wants and feelings sounds like a step into being OK with my sexuality.
My long distance girlfriend of a year and a half recently came out to me as asexual. I’d thought about it a while ago, the last time we were together and the way we would cuddle, kiss, and almost get to foreplay before breaking it off. Neither of us seemed to want to move past that stage, mostly because we hadn’t talked about it before. Afterwords we did talk, and I got the impression from the conversation that she might be asexual. Here we are a couple months later and I know for sure. I’m completely fine with having a relationship without sex, because I love her and nothing in the world can change that. I, however, am a sexual person, so I still find myself having fantasies of that someday with her. She’s still familiarizing herself with the asexual spectrum and where exactly she falls, so i don’t want to press her, but I would like to talk to her about the possibility of having sex one day. I don’t want her to feel like I need that from her, or that she’s obligated to give it to me, because she most definitely is not. What do you think would be a good way of bringing up the topic?
I need help myself you see, I also like this girl who is asexual yet she’s a girl but I haven’t ever asked her what her pronouns are, we are going to meet each other soon since we’ve only been skyping each other, we’re going to meet next month and I’m nervous because I really like her and I can see my future with her honestly, I would throw away any sexual feelings or relationships like that just to be with her, I just need to know if she’ll like me back but you see I don’t know which gender she likes and I’m so confused, please help
Wow! Kara, that was an EXXCELLENT,INTELLIGENT,DEEP AND THOUROUGH answer. I learned so much from what you said. Many times, I’ve read similar articles, which left me needing a deeper explanation AND feeling as though the person requiring counsel was merely ‘brushed off’ . Just wanted to say ‘Great Work’ to you, and Gratitude to you for providing clear and concise information!