December 1, 2015 at 7:28 am #26891JocelynSpectator
Suppose you’re a girl, and you haven’t disclosed to anyone that you’re asexual. If you become close to a (straight) guy, are you leading him on?
I really enjoy the company of my male neighbor. We’ve been spending a lot of time together lately, but when a friend commented, “It’s cute how you two cook together,” I became aware of how my platonic attraction towards him might be perceived.
I know I should tell him that I’m asexual and rarely develop romantic feelings for others, but what if he’s irritated that he wasted his time investing in something that was never going to happen and then disappears from my life?
When I articulate it like that, the “right thing” seems pretty obvious, and what I’m actually doing seems selfish. Does anyone else ever find themselves in this situation? At what point to you tell someone you’re asexual?December 1, 2015 at 10:49 am #26893AnonymousInactive
Wow, I’m so sorry you have that happening :(. I’ve been there many times in my life. I think there is no best or one way to deal with it, because it really depends on the guy and the dynamics of that particular friendship. I’m not inclined to tell everyone I’m asexual. But, if pressured, I will let my friend guys know that their friendship is precious to me, but that I have no interest in something more, unless of course, I do, being demiromantic – but that’s only happened three times in my life where I wanted to kick it up to a romantic relationship. But to be honest, pretty much all of the time, the guys I was very close to, couldn’t take the feeling they experienced of rejection, and they would begin to be a little nasty when they had never ever been that way before at all. Then they’d just keep increasing that behavior and they would just stir some disagreement into existence in order to break off our friendship for good or they would just simply disappear. Hard lessons. It wore me out because my friendships are SO important to me. Anyway, I learned to understand when I was accidentally, unintentionally flirting and I turned that off completely when I was with platonic male friends. Still that didn’t solve everything – and then I was called “the most asexual person I’ve ever met” by a few guys, as a result, as if telling me that were an insult, not a good or even neutral thing – so I haven’t had great experiences with sexual guys understanding my asexuality, though two put in a HUGE effort to try. So, that wasn’t a perfect answer either. In the end, all adults are responsible for their own feelings and all you can do is have a talk with him if you feel he has the wrong idea and just let him know how scared you are to lose him, how precious his friendship is to you, and is he on the same page? Is he okay with the way you are/feel? It does sound like you’re in a place where it would be a good time to have that talk. Bear in mind, in my experience, they often lie and either start to more strongly press in a romantic direction right after a talk like that o_O , or they lie and say they are okay (or maybe they genuinely feel they are…at first), but I clearly see they aren’t as a pattern of new behavior that isn’t positive quickly emerges after a talk like that – a type of distancing behavior as they pull themselves away in order to break the friendhship, or as I said earlier, a clear meanness. But, whatever way your friend responds, it’s not your fault. You do not have to carry the weight or responsibility of everyone else’s feelings on your shoulders. When I was younger, I used to do that and call myself selfish and have feelings of guilt, even though I did my best to make sure I was not misleading them. I wish you the very best. I wish I knew a clear solution. Hope others here can weigh in with their advice, opinions. Sorry for the loooong answer lol.December 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm #26909JocelynSpectator
That’s hugely helpful to me Kim, thank you so much for sharing. It’s nice to have some realistic expectations for what may happen.
I certainly don’t want to hurt his feelings or make him feel “rejected,” so I suppose telling him sooner rather than later is best. 🙂December 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm #26914AnonymousInactive
I just wanted to write that this also happened to me… in all aspects that Kim said… and it’s actually hard but not “our” fault.
I always try to be the more honest possible… even telling them I’m ace or not… I do not say it all times…
Anyway.. just this!
Maybe my thing will be… how do you recover from those lost relationships? Sometimes I wonder if it’s only the “proud” thing that tears everything apart… or I could do something to make it up…December 17, 2015 at 4:30 am #26950AlexandraSpectator
I have to echo everything Kim said. Most importantly as long as you haven’t said “Hey, I want to date you” there is nothing “leading-on” in my opinion that’s just friendship on your part. How he is reading it not your fault. I’ve had guys that thought me giving them advice on which bra to buy for their girlfriend is a come on. Just make sure there is an understanding of what each person expects.
As for what happens after, my best friend is a guy and we never had to discuss it the mutual looks of disgust we exchange when someone mistakes us as dating say enough. Other people have reacted less ideally and that can be a problem. Personally the worst I’ve had though is after chatting for awhile there is an awkward pause where I realize that he is waiting for me to exchange numbers. Otherwise you just get considered “one of the guys”. While problematic not horrible. If he is horribly offended that is all on him and if after educating him on why that’s not ok he still doesn’t get it, that’s not a friend you want to have.December 31, 2015 at 7:00 am #27029HolsSpectator
Here’s a quote from “The Invisible Orientation” that really struck me as important. I think it could apply to friendships:
If a critic argues that the relationship was “happy” when the asexual person felt required to hide and be ashamed of their lack of desire, that critic is suggesting that only one person–the non-asexual person–actually has desires that matter in the relationship.
As for me personally, I tend to be nervous about getting too close to guys because it does get confusing awful fast and I hate that feeling of “leading someone on” if I, oh, I don’t know, smiled. 🙁
January 24, 2016 at 9:18 pm #27153ChristinaParticipant
- This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by Hols.
I unintentionally did this wayyy before I knew that I was asexual and that asexuality even existed. He was the first guy to take interest in me and asked me out, so of course I went. We went out for a whole year, and the whole time I tried to force myself to have feelings for him, but no sparks flew. I even subconsciously avoided physical contact with him at all costs, not even realizing what I was doing or why I was doing it. I would do things like keep my hands in my pockets so that he wouldn’t reach to hold my hand….and doing anything distracting at the end of the night to avoid the good night kiss before leaving his car. For some reason I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t understand why at the time, but now looking back it all makes sense. He was the nicest, sweetest, most patient guy I’ve ever known so far and I hurt him bad in the end when I finally told him that it wasn’t working and wasn’t going to go anywhere….over a facebook message. Probably the worst thing I’ve ever done to someone in my life and if I ever saw him again, I would apologize for everything and explain why I did what I did (now that I understand my own actions). That was all about 7 or 8 years ago now, but I still feel guilty for how I handled the situation.
Now that I know about asexuality, I try to convey the message early on if I get a message from a guy on a dating site, or anywhere for that matter. I don’t pursue anyone that doesn’t identify as asexual because I know it would be a big waste of time. I don’t want to hurt anyone again either.January 25, 2016 at 6:37 am #27158Alexander Avery JenkinsSpectator
Happens to the best of us…. But dam that last one sounded like a doosey. Someone should make a movie about that.January 26, 2016 at 1:23 am #27163ChristinaParticipant
Yes, it was a major doosey. If you ever see a movie about it, remember where you first heard about the premise. I’ll need backup when I sue the production company for royalties ha.January 26, 2016 at 1:59 am #27164Alexander Avery JenkinsSpectator
Lol as long as they don’t turn it into a romance or a romantic comedy. We should be good to goJanuary 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm #27168Meadow RainSpectator
People believe what they want to believe especially the egotistical even if they just want to imagine it. Its in the eye of the beholder. Do not feel uncomfortable being yourself in any way. If we worried about what others thought we would not be able to move, write or talk..
To some creeps no matter what you say or do they will always just see sex.February 18, 2016 at 6:20 am #27267Honest and OpenParticipant
Oh, gosh, Jocelyn, what you describe is the story of my life. I always kept thinking, “I am not doing anything wrong, I am just being friendly. I am not promising anything or giving off any come-hither vibes.” But still, it always turned out badly. I have just recently been introduced to the concept of asexuality, so I don’t have any advice to give about letting people know you are asexual. I took an intro psych course recently, and the teacher was talking about perceptions; in particular, how men and women perceive different messages from the same conversation. She said a woman can be talking with a man and they’re both smiling, and she’s thinking, “Oh, he likes me, isn’t that nice?” and he’s thinking, “She wants to have sex with me!” Of course, this does not apply to our asexual brothers. But she confirmed what I already felt all along — men’s perceptions are generally different, and more sex-oriented, so now I just assume that is what I would be getting into if I started to build a relationship with your average man, unless I had evidence to the contrary.April 7, 2016 at 10:10 pm #27381AnonymousInactive
OK so I just wanted to say I feel for you cause this happens to me but only the opposite way meaning girls that i’ve become close with will just eventually loose interest with me cause I honestly tell them I’m just looking for friendships even if they know that they still seem to want some type of challenge… its very difficult to deal with cause you like the person but just not in a sexual way and they just can’t fathom that for some reason lol.. I told my mom and she’s like “oh girls like challenges” well honestly I’m sick of that and being a challenge is not my intention lol.April 13, 2016 at 5:49 am #27409Honest and OpenParticipant
We’re just going to have to build the ace community, so we can find our own kind and build friendships and partnerships with people who get us. If anybody is in the Western Massachusetts/Southern Vermont area, I have started a meet-up called Pioneer Valley Aces. We had 4 people at our first meeting and 12 at our 2nd.
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