I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
booknerd
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I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

I'm 30 years old. My pronouns are she/her. I'm aromantic asexual.

I'm confused.

I never want to have sex ever.

I experience aesthetic attraction to guys and girls.

Sometimes I want to kiss someone, hold hands and cuddle.

Is there a word for this type of attraction?

Should I start dating?

How to know if dating and relationships are for me or not?

How to start dating?

Or would dating be a waste of time because I'm aromantic asexual.

I need advice..
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi booknerd,

I'm actually going to answer most of your questions with another question: do you want to start dating? Is there someone, or several someones, you'd be interested in exploring that kind of relationship with? Or is it more that you're curious about whether dating is something you want to pursue and feel like trying it might be the only way to work out whether it's for you?
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Sam W wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 10:13 am Hi booknerd,

I'm actually going to answer most of your questions with another question: do you want to start dating? Is there someone, or several someones, you'd be interested in exploring that kind of relationship with? Or is it more that you're curious about whether dating is something you want to pursue and feel like trying it might be the only way to work out whether it's for you?
Yes I want start dating. There's no one specific. I'm just curious about whether it is something I want to pursue. I think trying it would help me figure it out.
Sam W
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Sam W »

Okay! I think a good starting place would be this article, which has really good advice even for folks who are out of their twenties: Embracing Newbiehood: How to Approach Dating and Sex in Your 20s with Little or No Experience

As for your question about whether there's a word for the kinds of attraction or desire you experience, there's not one that matches perfectly, in part because the boundaries between different types of attraction can be so fluid or have overlap. I've seen some people describe wanting the kinds of physical things you describe as falling under romantic attraction, while for other people something like kissing is going to fall under sexual attraction, and so on. So, it might be more helpful to focus on what, if anything, you want to do to pursue those kinds of attraction, which it sounds like you're already doing by deciding you want to try dating.
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Sam W wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 11:44 am Okay! I think a good starting place would be this article, which has really good advice even for folks who are out of their twenties: Embracing Newbiehood: How to Approach Dating and Sex in Your 20s with Little or No Experience

As for your question about whether there's a word for the kinds of attraction or desire you experience, there's not one that matches perfectly, in part because the boundaries between different types of attraction can be so fluid or have overlap. I've seen some people describe wanting the kinds of physical things you describe as falling under romantic attraction, while for other people something like kissing is going to fall under sexual attraction, and so on. So, it might be more helpful to focus on what, if anything, you want to do to pursue those kinds of attraction, which it sounds like you're already doing by deciding you want to try dating.
Oh okay. Thank you for sharing the article I will read it. And does this mean I'm bi? Is it possible for someone to be bi and asexual?
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Amanda B »

Hi booknerd,

Let us know if anything in particular resonated with you in the article Sam shared! I'd be happy to talk through anything that piqued your interest.

It's totally possible for someone to be bi and asexual. Sexual acts don't define one's sexual orientation; your sexual orientation is all yours, and it can mean anything you'd like. I think this excerpt from our article, The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone explains these nuances pretty well:
An experience of feeling attracted to another person in these spheres doesn't feel the same for everyone or the same with everyone we're attracted to. For instance, one person might experience a feeling of attraction as more physical or sensory, while someone else might experience it as more intellectual or emotional, and vice-versa. Someone might be attracted to two different people, but more attracted to one than another. On the whole, though, what it feels like to feel attracted to someone else is to feel drawn to them, to have a strong interest in them or desire to be with them; to feel sexually attracted, means that attraction ticks off boxes in us we identify with what we know to be our sexual feelings or wants; to feel romantically attracted, that it ticks off the boxes we identify with our romantic feelings or wants.
Does anything described here feel like it resonates with what you've been experiencing?
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Amanda B wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 1:44 pm Hi booknerd,

Let us know if anything in particular resonated with you in the article Sam shared! I'd be happy to talk through anything that piqued your interest.

It's totally possible for someone to be bi and asexual. Sexual acts don't define one's sexual orientation; your sexual orientation is all yours, and it can mean anything you'd like. I think this excerpt from our article, The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone explains these nuances pretty well:
An experience of feeling attracted to another person in these spheres doesn't feel the same for everyone or the same with everyone we're attracted to. For instance, one person might experience a feeling of attraction as more physical or sensory, while someone else might experience it as more intellectual or emotional, and vice-versa. Someone might be attracted to two different people, but more attracted to one than another. On the whole, though, what it feels like to feel attracted to someone else is to feel drawn to them, to have a strong interest in them or desire to be with them; to feel sexually attracted, means that attraction ticks off boxes in us we identify with what we know to be our sexual feelings or wants; to feel romantically attracted, that it ticks off the boxes we identify with our romantic feelings or wants.
Does anything described here feel like it resonates with what you've been experiencing?
Yes I have romantic attraction to guys and I think I'm romantically attracted to girls too.

I am curious about masturbation and I want to try it. How to masterbate and keep it private? Is it wrong or gross to masterbate? Would it make me a bad person to try it?

I am still living at home with family.

How can I start dating?I really want to date but I'm hesitant to start dating.

If I meet a guy I don't want them to not respect my boundaries and make me do sexual things I don't want to do. . And if I meet a girl I would need to keep it a secret. Because my family doesn't support the lgbt community at all..
Amanda B
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Amanda B »

Masturbation is not wrong or gross, and it does not make you a bad person to try it. Many people feel the same hesitations as you going into it, however, therefore we even have a whole article all about just how okay masturbation is: Is Masturbation Okay? (Yep.).

As far as your questions around dating go, I'd like to redirect you to the article Sam shared, Embracing Newbiehood: How to Approach Dating and Sex in Your 20s With Little or No Experience. Did anything in that piece resonate with you?
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Amanda B wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 2:35 pm Masturbation is not wrong or gross, and it does not make you a bad person to try it. Many people feel the same hesitations as you going into it, however, therefore we even have a whole article all about just how okay masturbation is: Is Masturbation Okay? (Yep.).

As far as your questions around dating go, I'd like to redirect you to the article Sam shared, Embracing Newbiehood: How to Approach Dating and Sex in Your 20s With Little or No Experience. Did anything in that piece resonate with you?
Okay thank you again and I will check out the article too! And I'm not sure how to answer your question sorry. I'm really shy. Sorry.
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Sam W »

That's okay! We always want users to only share what they're comfortable sharing. If clarification helps, I think Amanda is asking if anything in that article felt like it would help you or give you a starting place to answer some of those questions you have about dating. And it's okay if it doesn't! We can also talk through them here and help you brainstorm some answers or solutions.
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Sam W wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 3:23 pm That's okay! We always want users to only share what they're comfortable sharing. If clarification helps, I think Amanda is asking if anything in that article felt like it would help you or give you a starting place to answer some of those questions you have about dating. And it's okay if it doesn't! We can also talk through them here and help you brainstorm some answers or solutions.
I don't think the article answered my questions. I would like to talk about it. :)
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Sam W »

Okay!

So, in terms of how to start dating, it really depends on what methods of meeting people feel like a good fit to you. Some folks prefer dating apps or websites, others prefer to meet people through activities or social spaces, or to be introduced to them by friends. Do any or all of those options sound like ones you want to try?

I'm sorry to hear your family isn't supportive. I will say that dating as a queer person is going to be much harder if you're living with people who you have to hide it from. If your family found out you were dating a girl, how do you think they'd react?

I do also want to mention that dating men doesn't automatically mean dating someone who wants sex or will push your boundaries. Those are things people of any gender can, and do, do. And there are plenty of men out there who are respectful partners who don't push boundaries.
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Sam W wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 8:04 am Okay!

So, in terms of how to start dating, it really depends on what methods of meeting people feel like a good fit to you. Some folks prefer dating apps or websites, others prefer to meet people through activities or social spaces, or to be introduced to them by friends. Do any or all of those options sound like ones you want to try?

I'm sorry to hear your family isn't supportive. I will say that dating as a queer person is going to be much harder if you're living with people who you have to hide it from. If your family found out you were dating a girl, how do you think they'd react?

I do also want to mention that dating men doesn't automatically mean dating someone who wants sex or will push your boundaries. Those are things people of any gender can, and do, do. And there are plenty of men out there who are respectful partners who don't push boundaries.
Hi sorry for replying so late. Out of the options I think I'm interested in trying dating apps.

I think if my family found out that I was dating a girl, I think they would be really angry at me and tell me stop talking to them.

Also I want to tell you that I am autistic.

Can you tell me ways to stay safe with online dating? Or dating tips for autistic people?

Are there ways to meet lgbt friends?
Are there ways to meet other autistic people? I have no friends. :(
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Latha »

Hi there, Booknerd! Don't worry about replying late, it is alright.
I think if my family found out that I was dating a girl, I think they would be really angry at me and tell me stop talking to them.
Oof, that isn't good of them at all. Remember that your safety is a priority. In this situation, you should be prepared to lie if you need to protect yourself from your family's anger, and you should think carefully about what you're doing as you explore dating, so they don't find out about your interest in women. I'm sorry I had to suggest those things. In ideal circumstances, you would be free to do what you want.

I have a few questions, if you don't mind: how much privacy do you usually have at home? Can you travel on your own?
Or dating tips for autistic people?
We actually have a few articles on the website about dating when you are autistic- Let us know if you have any questions!

Well, LGBTQ and autistic people are everywhere, so there is always a chance that you could make friends from these communities in your daily life. But you'll have better chances if you go to community centers and events dedicated to these groups. Perhaps you could search for something along the lines of 'LGBT community center in [area where you live]'.

Here are some things that you could keep in mind to stay safe with online dating:

1. Think carefully about how much information you want to share
  • It is reasonable to share your first name and your age with potential dates, but they may not need to know specific information like your full name and your address immediately.
  • If you use pictures that you've posted on other social media platforms before, people may be able to use those pictures to find you on those platforms. If you don't want that, try to use new pictures on your dating profile, and don't use those pictures elsewhere.
  • It may be obvious, but there is some information that people don't need to know, like your social security number or bank details. Don't share that information.
I wonder, is there a chance that your family or people who know them could see your dating profile? After all, dating apps often recommend matches based on geographic location. If so, you'd have to think carefully about mentioning your interest in women on your profile.

2. Choose a good app/platform
It is best to choose an app that lets you block and report users who act badly (like by sending unsolicited images).

3. Be upfront about what you want
You can talk about the kind of people or relationships that you're looking for on your profile. For example, you've mentioned that you don't want to have sex- you can talk about that on your profile. That should filter out the people who do want to have sex with the people they meet.

4. Meet people in public places
If you want to meet someone, try to arrange a meeting in a public place. The place you meet shouldn't be very isolated, and you should have the ability to get there and leave on your own. Malls and cafés are good options for this.

5. Do not send people money
If someone is in need of financial aid, there should be other people they can go to before they ask a person they met on a dating app.
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Latha wrote: Fri Dec 15, 2023 3:10 am Hi there, Booknerd! Don't worry about replying late, it is alright.
I think if my family found out that I was dating a girl, I think they would be really angry at me and tell me stop talking to them.
Oof, that isn't good of them at all. Remember that your safety is a priority. In this situation, you should be prepared to lie if you need to protect yourself from your family's anger, and you should think carefully about what you're doing as you explore dating, so they don't find out about your interest in women. I'm sorry I had to suggest those things. In ideal circumstances, you would be free to do what you want.

I have a few questions, if you don't mind: how much privacy do you usually have at home? Can you travel on your own?
Or dating tips for autistic people?
We actually have a few articles on the website about dating when you are autistic- Let us know if you have any questions!

Well, LGBTQ and autistic people are everywhere, so there is always a chance that you could make friends from these communities in your daily life. But you'll have better chances if you go to community centers and events dedicated to these groups. Perhaps you could search for something along the lines of 'LGBT community center in [area where you live]'.

Here are some things that you could keep in mind to stay safe with online dating:

1. Think carefully about how much information you want to share
  • It is reasonable to share your first name and your age with potential dates, but they may not need to know specific information like your full name and your address immediately.
  • If you use pictures that you've posted on other social media platforms before, people may be able to use those pictures to find you on those platforms. If you don't want that, try to use new pictures on your dating profile, and don't use those pictures elsewhere.
  • It may be obvious, but there is some information that people don't need to know, like your social security number or bank details. Don't share that information.
I wonder, is there a chance that your family or people who know them could see your dating profile? After all, dating apps often recommend matches based on geographic location. If so, you'd have to think carefully about mentioning your interest in women on your profile.

2. Choose a good app/platform
It is best to choose an app that lets you block and report users who act badly (like by sending unsolicited images).

3. Be upfront about what you want
You can talk about the kind of people or relationships that you're looking for on your profile. For example, you've mentioned that you don't want to have sex- you can talk about that on your profile. That should filter out the people who do want to have sex with the people they meet.

4. Meet people in public places
If you want to meet someone, try to arrange a meeting in a public place. The place you meet shouldn't be very isolated, and you should have the ability to get there and leave on your own. Malls and cafés are good options for this.

5. Do not send people money
If someone is in need of financial aid, there should be other people they can go to before they ask a person they met on a dating app.
Thank you so much for the tips on staying safe and for the tips on where to find friends. I read the articles.

I have privacy at home. I'm allowed to spend time alone in my room.

I'm able to go outside for walks around the neighborhood.

I don't know how to drive. I'm afraid of driving. Thinking about it makes me really anxious. :(

In my area there are taxi cabs..but I've never been in one before.

My older sister has a car.
Latha
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Latha »

Hello again,
I don't know how to drive. I'm afraid of driving.
Well, you don't have to drive- let's think of other ways for you to travel.
In my area there are taxi cabs..but I've never been in one before.
Do you think it would be a good idea to look into these cabs, to see how much a trip would cost and how reliable their service is?

If I may ask, what kind of relationship do you have with your older sister? Do you think you could ask her to drop you off at places and pick you up again?

Do you think you could talk to your family about wanting to go out more often on your own? I mean to places beyond your neighborhood, like the library, the mall, restaurants, or meet-ups. What kind of support would you need to go out like that?

On the subject of making friends, have you tried joining any online communities and seeing if you can make friends there?

Looking back, I've asked quite a few questions. Don't push yourself to answer if they are too much.
booknerd
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by booknerd »

Latha wrote: Sat Dec 16, 2023 1:53 am Hello again,
I don't know how to drive. I'm afraid of driving.
Well, you don't have to drive- let's think of other ways for you to travel.
In my area there are taxi cabs..but I've never been in one before.
Do you think it would be a good idea to look into these cabs, to see how much a trip would cost and how reliable their service is?

If I may ask, what kind of relationship do you have with your older sister? Do you think you could ask her to drop you off at places and pick you up again?

Do you think you could talk to your family about wanting to go out more often on your own? I mean to places beyond your neighborhood, like the library, the mall, restaurants, or meet-ups. What kind of support would you need to go out like that?

On the subject of making friends, have you tried joining any online communities and seeing if you can make friends there?

Looking back, I've asked quite a few questions. Don't push yourself to answer if they are too much.
My older sister and me are close but we fight sometimes..I can speak to my mom about wanting to go outside more often.

Ive been thinking about it and I think I would need prescription sunglasses and noise canceling headphones.

Do you know any good brands of headphones i could buy? I have sensory sensitivity to flourescent lights and loud noises.

I have a twin sister too..we are close. would it be a good idea to go to public places with her?
Sam W
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi booknerd,

if you and your twin have a good relationship, I think going places with her is a great starting place! That way you're with someone you trust and enjoy spending time with.

I'm not sure of specific brands, but it does look like there are an increasingly number of even small earbuds or headphones that cut way back on noise. You might want to check out recommendations from other folks online with sensory sensitivities about what's worked for them!

Too, if any users reading this have recommendations for dealing with noise or light sensitivity while out an about, by all means chime in with what you've found helpful!
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Re: I'm aromantic asexual but should I start dating?

Unread post by StephR »

Hi booknerd,

I'm also autistic so I thought I'd comment on this. There is a friendship and dating app for autistic people called Hiki. I haven't tried this app personally, but I've heard good things about it from the autistic community, and in my experience, I find that the most successful relationships I've had have been with other autistic or neurodivergent people.

You could get something like Loop earplugs to help with auditory overstimulation in public, or search on Amazon for "concert earplugs."

It's also important to remember to count your spoons! I find that I have an easier time with stuff like shopping or eating at a restaurant if I'm not feeling too stressed and don't have much else going on that day. You might also feel "done" with an activity earlier than your neurotypical family or friends, which is ok, and something that people who care about you should respect.
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