ForumRelationships and Stuff ► Loving an Asexual person
I'm having problems in my 5yr relationship. I'm a guy in my late 20s and I've been dating this girl in her early 20s for about 5yrs now. When we started dating everything was normal, we went out with friends and all that and we went out on dates, we had sex, we enjoyed it (or so I thought) she just seemed really shy.

These last 2yrs she has been weird about it. Never in the mood. We finally had a conversation about it. She told me that she is asexual, she has always been, but she tried to suppress it for me. I was shocked but I accepted it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my feelings are all weird and I'm scared. I cant sleep. I'm not happy. I dont feel right.

I love her and sex isn't everything to me but am I really ready to marry someone who has no interest in sex already in her early 20s?
She never wants to have children, I dont know if this is what i want in life. But i love her. What advice do you guys have for me?
  
Wall of text incoming:

The biggest piece of advice I have is try to be open and honest with your girlfriend. People aren't mind readers. It's too easy to let discomfort brew and fester into resentment. This is a problem you will have to tackle together, as a team. It is not you vs. her, it's you and her vs. the problem.

Obviously these are conversations you should have with your girlfriend, but from another asexual person's point of view:
It can be really, really taxing to be in sexual relationships. Not all aces are the same; some don't care about sex, some are really repulsed by it. I, personally, am somewhere south of neutral. It sounds like your girlfriend is, too.
It's not a good thing if a regular part of your relationship makes you feel that uncomfortable. Assuming you're straight, it would be like if your relationship required you to regularly have sex with another man. That's kind of the level of alienation and weird we're talking about from her perspective. (Assuming you're not attracted to men. Feel free to insert anyone you're not attracted to into the metaphor).

A big thing, since being allosexual is the 'norm', is this casual erasure of boundaries. Very common are compromises where only one person is sacrificing anything. It's very easy to get caught up in your own frustrations and forget about how it is affecting your SO. There's a feeling of needing to be there for your partner, general inadequacy, unsolvable guilt. Many of us grow up feeling isolated, broken, and unlovable. Try to imagine things from her point of view. Being in that position, with those expectations, can wreck a person emotionally.

There are options people have come up with that might be worth discussing- allowing a friends-with-benefits sort of situation, or an open relationship, or casual sex but only casual. That's really up to what you and the gf are comfortable with. It seems that finding a balance that works for both people is really tricky when they have such different needs.
The solution might be that you never have sex with your girlfriend. It might be sex on rare occasion, or any other number of other possibilities. Do your best to find a compromise that works for both of you, where you can both be happy. Respect what boundaries she draws. Lay yours out clearly. Do your damnedest to make sure they're not crossed.

If you need sex, with her, to be in a relationship with her, but she can't be comfortable in a sexual relationship, then you two need to think things over. It's admirable that you want to make things work. It's a testament to how much you care for each other that you're so worried about this. But if the writing on the wall is that what you both need from this relationship is incompatible, then that's that.

Here's hoping that it's not incompatible, that you can find a compromise that works for the two of you. Obviously every person is different, and what I feel is no indication of what your girlfriend feels, but I'm willing to talk more here or in private about this if you want.
  
Thank you for your advice, she is definitely more on the neutral side as well, she isn't disgusted by it, but has no desire to do it. It's hard because in previous relationships I have always been extremely sexually active, it's sort of who I am. How I show appreciation in a way. This is chipping away slowly at who I am. I've been trying to see things from her point of view and understand for a few weeks now but I dont feel an improvement, on the contrary, I feel guilt whenever I crave sexual attention and it has led me to feel like I'm in the wrong and I'm a bad person for feeling this way.

I've thought about the whole "friends with benefits" situation and I even think there's a way we could both benefit from it since she's very needy for affection and attention, she has a friend from childhood (girl) that I find very attractive, they often joke about being a couple or act like they're dating as a joke. They're very close and I see that they care for each other very much. But I honestly don't know how to bring that up without sounding like I'm an asshole who just wants 2 girls.
  
I personally thing "friends with benefits" is a bad idea and that you should try and change for your s/o. If you really need to blow off some steam, you've got at least 1 hand.
  
I have tried that, It's not the same as having sex with another person. It isn't satisfying enough.
  
Maybe you need to make a personal change.

First and foremost, you should discuss this with her. Tell her how you feel about your sexual feelings. How you feel about when you have them, and discuss solutions.
  
See that's the thing. We have both already compromised, and it still isn't working. We have talked and we had agreed on working on it to both compromise but it's not enough, I have a few issues myself. I have a very low self esteem that drives me to feel unwanted when she doesn't want to be sexual and it puts me in a bad place mentally that turns into depression. Am I supposed to just keep living like this?
  
I personally thing "friends with benefits" is a bad idea
I've seen it work. I've also seen it lead to jealousy and cheating. So realize she might not be okay with it, and that's perfectly reasonable. I don't know of I could deal with an SO having regular sex with one of my best friends. Some people might be okay with it. You should discuss it with her.

Asking him to become celibate is not fair. Asking her to become sexually active is not fair. Having this mismatch can make both sides feel guilty and inadequate, but it is possible to work through. You two get to make up the rules for this relationship, there's no need to stick to tradition of convention.
Some people do become celibate for their SO. Some asexual people.have sex for their SO. It all depends on the people and what they're comfortable with.
  
You need to ultimately break up with her, but definitely get all your feelings out on the table again first. Tell her everything you said in your original post, about things not being compatible, sexually. Tell her a compromise isn't enough, and you wish it wasn't this way. Be gentle.
  
Yea, to be uncomfortably honest: being on the same page sexually is very important in a relationship. There's nothing wrong with being asexual, but if that's not compatible there's also nothing wrong with throwing in the towel over it.
  
I was hoping it didn't come to that.
I do really love her and this has been the best relationship we both have had, but not being sexually compatible is bringing back a lot of feelings of guilt because I feel like she only does it for me and doesn't enjoy any of it.
I don't want her to do it just for me and if I never initiate it, then we never have sex which makes me feel unwanted and gives me self esteem issues, I know it's not because she doesn't find me attractive but my mind cant comprehend that and it just goes into a depressive state.
  
I think it's better to call it over a known problem while you're still amicable than let it simmer. From personal experience the roads sexual incompatibility can lead you down will irrevocably damage your chance at friendship if they aren't solved and left to fester.
  
You say that you had a conversation about it, and that conversation led to clarity about some things, and more questions about the future.

Have more conversations! Tell her that you don't want to become celibate, and you also obviously don't want to make her do things that she doesn't enjoy. A compromise doesn't necessarily mean "have sex sometimes," but rather as Coldfrost explained, can be a rethinking of what your relationship looks like.

Maybe you become polyamorous; maybe you have an open relationship; maybe you decide not to get married but stay close friends and roommates.

But you don't need to make that decision right this second - especially without getting her input on all of these options! Maybe you find out that there's a perfect arrangement that makes both of you very happy.

I would avoid fixating on a particular friend of hers that you want to have sex with; as it does make it sound more like you're motivated by having sex than maintaining your relationship.

It sounds like physical affection is important to you and your self-esteem, and there are probably ways that you find with your partner, to make sure that both of your needs are met.

If you have the money for it, couples counseling can be very helpful to help you both work together to make your relationship stronger.

Don't let it simmer, keep the conversation going. Simmering is why the last two years have been weird. :p
  
I didn't read what everyone else wrote. So I might end up saying something someone else has said.
I may also insult someone because I'm not going to be PC. I'm going to tell it how I see it and this is just what it I said it is, my opinion .

You should not stay with a person that isn't sexual compatible with you. It is unfair to you and your partner. It is unfair to you because even with the most logical and open mind you are going to feel rejected and it will slowly destroy you. Its going to be unfair to your partner because it is going to push pressure on your partner to go against the grain of who they are to make you happy and this will slowly destroy them.
Even if your partner has sex with you, you are going to know that they don't want to and they arent attracted to you in a sexual manner. This means that when they look at your naked form, when you kiss them, when you touch them. They do not enjoy it, they are not turned on and they are going to the motions with you. This is a terrible feeling and its a feeling of rejection.

The only significant difference between every other relationship and a romantic relationship is sex. No matter how progressive people want to be there is no denying that it is a integral part of relationships. Sex it an expression of love and brings partners closer together. Without a healthy sex life partners will go apart and fail. Its just the way it is.

edit: I know that people want to believe that love is this entity that transcends all things and overcomes every issue but it isnt. You can love someone and them not be the person for you.

I should also mention that sexual rejection in a relationship is akin to rejecting the person. during sex you are naked, vulnerable and you are sharing a very pure form of pleasure together. Every touch, every movement is for each other. It is actually an incredible experience and the more you love a person the better it usually is. Look back on the best sex you ever had. I'm sure that most people will remember sexual situations in which they has strong feels for their partner.
  
Forum > Relationships and Stuff > Loving an Asexual person