From the inbox #292

“I’m just feeling wistful and wanted to share some thoughts about aceness and relationships. Specifically, the concept of “significant others”.

Significant other; that means a romantic and/or sexual partner; girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife. By that definition, I’m not significant to anyone, and can’t be, because I’m asexual, aromantic and don’t want a marriage/family/children. Significant other or lack thereof is how a lot of people define their life at any given moment: they are either single, or taken. Often, if they are single, they are expected to be actively trying to change that situation. Older relatives will ask “Well, have you met anyone new? or “Is there anyone special in your life?”, and they don’t mean friends.

No matter how many friends and family members I have, because I lack a *significant other*, I’m considered to be single, alone. And, no matter for much devoted platonic love I show for those friend for years and years and years, that can never even compete with the romantic love of someone they met a month ago. For example, no one I know would think twice about moving out of the country and leaving me behind; but it would be perfectly obvious that if they had a new girlfriend or boyfriend, that would stop them from leaving. And if they did leave, it wouldn’t be me they would miss, and think about, and call, and come back to visit. It would be the *significant other*. Everyone would commiserate about how hard it is to be away from their *significant other*.

All my closest friends have these significant others. I don’t envy their relationships and I wouldn’t want any of that for myself, I don’t want anyone new in my life. I love the friends I have now and I’m perfectly happy with having them. I just wish they had a bit more time for me, is all. I brought this up to one of my oldest friends when she started dating – she’d been single the longest of all my friends – I said that I was happy for her but also a bit sad for myself, since now she wouldn’t have time for me, either. She laughed and brushed it off, as if that could never happen, but nowadays I talk to her about once a month and see her even less. And that’s not her partner’s fault. That’s just how these things work, apparently, because they’re each other’s priority, now. And I’m no one’s priority. 99% of the time I’m not even a consideration, because in our modern culture, that’s not what friendships are like.

Are there any older ace/aro people here who aren’t in a relationship (and don’t ever intend to be)? Do you feel lonely, and how do you deal with it?”

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