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Introduction

I was at an Ace meetup and, after listening to my dating travails, someone asked me, “Hey, why don’t you start a blog on Ace dating?”

So here I am. Why am I doing this?

I’m a thirty-five year old woman who discovered she was asexual three years ago after reading this Washington Post article. I knew I wasn’t interested in sex and dating the way people are supposed to since high school. But I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling or that terms actually exist to describe my experience. During the ensuing years, I regularly attended my local Ace (a slang term for asexual) Meetup group and become an event organizer. I became interested in asexual activism. I now identify as a bisexual, demisexual woman who does want to be in a relationship one day.

I want to focus on my dating (mis)adventures here with minor diversions now and then (like posts about my family and friends). I hope that I can educate the general public on what it’s like being an Ace person seeking a relationship and help other Aces by sharing my story.

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Singledom

My dating life is on pause for the foreseeable future.

I started seeing a new person, Nicholas,* a month ago. We had two dates. I had sex with him on the second date and lost my virginity. I was dumbfounded because I never moved so quickly with someone. I also enjoyed it a lot. I enjoyed it enough so that I wanted to do it again.

I decided at one point that I want to stop dating irregardless of how my relationship with Nicholas turns out. I’m tired of dating. It’s never been fun for me, but I feel I’m getting nothing out of it.

I tried diligently to meet up with him again after our night together. But there was always something happening that prevented us from getting together or him being flaky. Two weeks went by with no follow-up date. I know that if I did a “drive by” to his place to hookup, he wouldn’t have complained, but I didn’t want that for myself.

I had enough yesterday and I messaged him saying that I don’t want to see him anymore. I didn’t get a response back, though I was half-wishing that he would argue with me that he’s really serious about the relationship working out and that I should give him another chance. I took a shower before I had to run off to work and felt the thought of me being truly alone and childless hit home and become real. I shed some tears which I didn’t expect. I was probably more stressed about this than the other stuff in my life that I have to handle at the moment.

I’ve been single for a long time, so things won’t change for me. But I’m sad because my desire for children and a life partner seems to be foreclosed. And it’s upsetting to think about whether I can find someone else that I can be attracted enough to be physically intimate with, since it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. I deleted my dating apps on my phone a couple of weeks ago. I feel really done with dating.

I was eating lunch my parents today at a Japanese restaurant and my mom said that I should keep an open mind and that maybe I’ll meet someone like a K-drama. I just laughed. We’ll see about that, won’t we?

*All names in this blog is fictional to protect individuals’ privacy.

Year One debriefing

I realized that my blog is over a year old. Hurray! Since I passed the one year mark, I thought that I should do a meta blog post on my experience blogging and my dating life.

I like blogging. I wrote on Livejournal when I was growing up when the internet was in its infancy. I probably disclosed way too much in my posts and was very self-conscious since I was a teenager then. Currently, I like the mission of my blog- to write about my dating life to shed light on what it is like to be an Ace person who wants to date and find a partner. I also feel like writing here is a great exercise in improving my writing.

Blogging about my dating life had its challenges. I took a long time to start dating seriously. When I first started blogging, I had a falling out with someone who I thought I could be with long-term and I was devastated. I feel like my full emotional recovery took place only a couple of months ago. This process was an impediment to writing posts and getting this blog off the ground.

Another challenge is deciding how much to disclose in my posts. I previously mentioned my concern about guarding my and others’ privacy. I really do not have the urge to bare my soul to the world anymore. And yet, I am writing about something deeply personal. So it has been a struggle walking the line between being genuine and not treating this blog as a personal diary.

Moving on to my dating life. My experience as an asexual person who is interested in being in a romantic relationship reinforced for me that the world is an unfriendly place. I decided early on that I would put in my OkCupid profile that I am demisexual. Since many people seemed to be confused about what demisexual meant, I subsequently changed my profile to indicate that I am asexual. I thought that being out was important, especially since my identity as an asexual person has consumed my entire life and I don’t want to hide a significant portion of my activities to a potential partner.

My decision to be out for online dating seems to invite people to be jerks and ask inappropriate, invasive questions about my sexual history and preferences. I think it is analogous to how some people react to transgender people. When some people meet trans folks for the first time, they seem to think it’s okay to ask trans people about their genitals and other things. I am aware that I may be the first and only asexual person who someone encounters but I do not want to be the subject of rude questions or comments. Google exists for a reason.

And dating allosexuals has other challenges. Like some people seem to think that they can change you and make you want sex once you sleep with them. Maybe the physical urge to have sex is so strong that not wanting to do it is unimaginable. One person invited me over to his place for sleepovers if I was ever in Virginia. Another person asked me to take my shirt off so he could jack off. No amount of explanation can make them understand.

I really do prefer it if I have a relationship with another Ace person, but my last attempt failed spectacularly. I wonder if I should avoid dating aromantic asexuals since I am so strongly romantic. I want to be swept away by love and feel spiritually connected to my partner. I’m not sure how I can override this desire to be with an aromantic person.

Despite all of these challenges, I have been pretty diligent in my efforts to meet people. I am meeting my new person that I mentioned in my last post tomorrow. I downloaded Hinge, another dating app, on my phone. I am not sure how long I can keep at it but I definitely will continue for a little while longer.

Intensity and infatuation does not equate to love

My relationship with Alex* is over. I messaged him on Saturday night that I didn’t want to see him anymore because I wanted to be in a relationship where I’m wanted by my partner. Today’s Tuesday and I haven’t heard back from him. So, I guess the relationship is done.

I knew that the relationship was going into the crapper but I had a Tarot card reading with an Ace friend who I trust. It was uncannily accurate and she asked questions that was spot on (and I didn’t share too many details with her beforehand). I’m really comfortable with paranormal stuff and the Tarot reading felt like a therapy session for me.

I messaged Alex maybe an hour after the Tarot card reading was over. I felt weird messaging him instead of calling him and discussing it. But the last couple of weeks showed that he doesn’t want to meet me in person and giving me a phone call is too much of a bother. He prioritized everything else over me when he supposedly wanted me to be the mother of his children.

I feel disappointed, especially since I had such a strong initial reaction to him. But what can I do when my feelings aren’t returned and he doesn’t want to work with me? It was obviously unsustainable.

I think I have a pattern of wanting to be in unrequited relationships. It’s probably Freudian and something that I don’t want to look at too closely. But I need to learn that my intense feelings and infatuation doesn’t really mean I’m in love with that person.

So that’s the report of the end of my relationship with Alex. And my blog on dating as an Ace person continues.

In the meantime, I’m seeing someone else who I met on OkCupid. He’s a sexual person so let’s see if it works out. I sensed my time with Alex was drawing to a close so I met the new person on Friday. He’s an attorney like me. I find him to be very physically attractive and, when we kissed on our first date, I felt the beginnings of physical arousal. This is very rare for me when I first meet someone. I’m seeing him again this week but approaching it in a much more subdued manner than when I saw Alex. This is probably closer to how I approach things in general and hope the outcome will be better.

*All names in this blog are fictional to protect people’s privacy.

Progress

My relationship with Alex* is moving very quickly. I met him twice already. I had a freak out because he admitted to not having romantic feelings for me and I told him I couldn’t be in an one-sided relationship again. I called him on Wednesday and I apologized for reacting that way. We discussed getting married and having children. He said that I should take the time to think it over but I told him I wanted to.

Both of us are asexual people. I am definitely more into romance and physical affection than he is. I have the impression that he is aromantic but he resists labels as much as possible. He wants companionship and build a family and I am the vehicle to provide that for him. I wish he was romantic like me but, realistically, we’ll have a deep friendship and shared purpose in raising children. I’ve come to the realization that I can’t be in a relationship with a straight person, no matter how hard I try. I’d rather commit to another Ace person and negotiate what both of us need to be happy and have a long-term relationship. It also helps that we’re compatible on other things like our political views, our values, etc.

I feel like my time with Alex is this weird mix of romance and practically. I think that both of us are very level headed people who have clear ideas of what we want in a relationship. And yet we are moving very quickly- in part, our ages are pushing us to act since he’s turning 40 in March and I turned 36. We’re not spring chickens anymore who have time to know each other, especially since we both want children. We’ll see how things go.

I think that if this relationship goes well and we do get married, I will have stop blogging here for several reasons. I can’t imagine having a mommy blog and I want to protect my children’s privacy. I also want to protect Alex’s privacy and don’t want to spill intimate details on the internet. I’ll be a little sad when I have to stop though.

*All names in this blog are fictional to protect individuals’ privacy.

Could this be The One?

My hiatus from dating is over. I really needed the short break to gather my energy and start fresh.

I had a first date with a man, Alex,* who I met online last Friday. We met at a bar in New York City’s Koreatown. He was late because he thought we agreed to meet at a later time. But we ended up hitting it off and we moved on to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

There are a bunch of practical reasons why Alex appeals to me. He’s a political science professor. He is also an Ace person who wants to be married and have children like me. He is only a couple years older than I am and have no previous marriages or children to worry about.

But I feel like I want to throw caution to the wind. We had fantastic chemistry together; it felt electric to me. I loved everything about him- his dark eyes, his low voice with its Macedonian accent, his intellectualism, his shyness and awkwardness about dating, the way he touched me, and how we embraced after the date ended and he kissed me on the cheek. After the date was over, I told my mother that Alex is the one whom I’m going to marry. If he told me that he wanted to elope, I would in a heartbeat.

I feel like this quite the departure from my modus operandi. If this is what allosexuals feel when they begin a romantic relationship, it is no wonder why some of them seem to love being in love.

I am meeting him again this Friday. I have to keep reminding myself to keep my feet planted on the ground. But I am truly impressed by how confounded I am by all of my feelings. I want to savor this moment while it lasts because it’s wonderful.

While I writing this post, I was listening to Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are and Alicia Key’s Fallin’

*All names used in this blog are fictional to protect individuals’ privacy.

Going on vacation from dating

I need to take a break from online dating. It feels like I was going out practically every weekend during the past couple of months to see someone. I’ve gradually slowed things down because the level of time and dedication I had to sustain to browse through profiles, talk to people, and schedule dates were tiring. And now I’m not really interested in trying to meet new people because of the holidays and I’m trying to be better with going to work-related events and networking. 

I’ve never been one of those people who loved dating. I always feel a low-level of stress every time I meet someone. First dates are kind of like performance art- you’re trying to present your best self. If that date is successful, the subsequent dates are meant to further the relationship. So, I feel pressure to present my best possible self and try to judge whether I’m compatible with the other person. I don’t think this process is romantic at all. It probably doesn’t help that my analysis of the other person tends to be practical and cold-blooded. 🙂

I think the most important reason why I need to take a break is because I’m tired of thinking about coming out to allosexuals. Since asexuality and demisexuality are not well known, I have to provide asexuality 101 to people who I meet. I have to wield stupid questions or confusion about what makes demisexuality different from allosexuals who are not into hookups. I can say I don’t want to have sex and still be invited to overnight stays from people who’ve I’ve just starting talking to online. 

Feeling stress from discrimination is a well-studied area (toxic stress from discrimination faced by ethnic minorities and LGBTQ people are a THING now in public health circles). I feel like I’m experiencing stress that is kind of like that. I mean, I feel like I have to be cautious when coming out to strangers. I resent being in a position where I’m forced act as a representative of Ace people when I don’t want to.  I resent having men think that they can convert me to a sexual person because they’re so charming, etc. As if my lack of sexual activity isn’t proof enough that I’m not really interested. 

I like dating best when I’m seeing another Ace person. I appreciate that they understand me at a fundamental level. I also feel secure in the knowledge that they won’t pressure me to engage in sexual activity. There’s a sense of freedom from that. But dating Ace people has it’s own challenges- finding an Ace man, let alone someone I’m compatible with, is like finding a needle in the haystack. 

I’m having a very hard time finding The One. Maybe I’ll try next year. It’ll be one of my New Year’s resolutions! 

Love while Ace

As I’m going through the process of online dating, I realized that I never really talked about what my conception of love was on this blog. I talked about what kind of people I’m attracted to, my reasons for wanting a partner, etc. But it didn’t occur to me that I should address love as a topic until recently. 

I probably consumed way too many romance novels, TV shoes and movies because I still believe that everyone has a soul mate or two who they are matched with. This belief is probably naive and unrealistic for many people but there it is. It definitely shows that I have a strong romantic orientation even if I’m asexual. 

I’m not entirely a starry eyed dreamer however. I don’t have any desire to be swept off my feet. I’m more comfortable with the slow build up to attraction and love. I want to get to know the person I’m with before committing myself because my word is my bond. Some people tend to cycle through their relationships pretty quickly, but I can’t imagine doing that for myself. I think once I say, “I love you” to someone, I’ll really mean it and will be in it for life. 

I’ve only said “I love you” to only handful of people in my life- my family and a couple of close friends. I’ve never said it to a potential romantic partner, even in a joking manner. I think the relationship has to be really serious for me to say the words. Even when I was with Tom,* I never told him I loved him because I was unsure if my feelings qualified as love and I was so unclear what the status of our relationship was that I wasn’t going to go there (I put my foot in my mouth in other ways in the relationship). I’m so cautious in saying, “I love you” to people, that “love” is probably used as little as the other four letter word “fuck” in my everyday speech. (As a non sequitur, I’ve managed to shock people when I use curse words because I use them so sparingly.) 

Ultimately, I want to find “my person” or someone who I can go home to. I want to feel safe and secure. I want to feel like the other person truly sees me and is rooting for my success. I want to feel like I can lean on them for support when/if something bad happens. This is my definition of a loving relationship. I don’t want anything really fancy or a whirlwind romance. I just want to live my life knowing that I’m not alone in this world. 

*All names in this blog are fictional to protect individuals’ privacy.