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!