Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dying Alone

I think this is an asexual's biggest fear. With 'coming out and being laughed at/ignored/disbelieved/put in therapy' as a close second, I think that asexuals spend a lot of time and energy worrying about being alone forever. This worry definitely gets a lot of press on AVEN, I think, and it's not an illogical fear. But I also think that, while 'dying alone' is a valid worry, especially for an asexual, we spend too much time thinking about it. This is why:

To my way of thinking, whether we are alone at any point in our lives is something we can control. Maybe we can't control whether we have a romantic partner and certainly not all of us want that. Maybe we can't control the fact that our friends will get married and be the sexual people they are and might spend less time with us than they used to, and maybe they'll even leave us entirely. But we can control how we spend our time and how we get involved in our communities. We can control our relationships with family members and with neighbors and we can form new relationships in non-traditional ways with people we've never even met.These are some of my suggestions for combating the problem of 'dying alone'.

1) Stay close with your family. I've never wanted kids of my own, really, but I'm totally looking forward to being the fun aunt to my brothers' and sister's kids. I love my own aunts and I enjoy spending time with them and if they ever needed me I'd be right there to help. By being a good aunt, I can have a relationship with younger members of my family who will want to be there to support me and help me out when I get old.

2) Get involved in your church or community service program. Big Brothers, Big Sisters, as I understand, pairs up kids who need mentoring with adults willing to mentor. By getting involved, you can have a non-traditional relationship with a younger person. With a little luck, you could end up having a very good relationship that might continue past their childhood years.

3) Stay close to your friends. Several recent conversations on AVEN have centered around the idea of friends getting into sexual relationships and ignoring their non-sexual relationships. I think to an extent, people are always going to spend more of their energy on their marital relationships. But just because my parents are best friends doesn't mean they don't also have friends other than each other. Maybe as an asexual, without a single sexual partner to focus on, I will just need to cultivate a wider circle of friends in order to increase the chance that somebody will be available to talk or spend time with me. I should probably also learn to plan ahead in order to find time with friends who have busy family lives.

4) Join stuff. Becoming a hardcore member of a group focused on things you're interested in, an asexual can find people with similar interests who are dedicated to spending time together on a regular basis. If you get really involved with a club or group that's close knit, you can bet the group will take care of each other outside of meetings, too.

5) Have an unusual relationship. This is probably the hardest, but it's my favorite option- I'd love to have a partner to spend my life with. Ideally, I think we'd be like live-in best friends. We might have our own rooms, but because we would live together, we could share vacations, or a mortgage or pets... but unlike a traditional marriage, maybe my partner would be another woman (who I wouldn't be attracted to, cause I'm romantically interested in guys) or they'd be a man who I just didn't have a sexual relationship with. If both parties were happy with it, I actually think this sounds like a lot of fun.


  1. Great suggestions! I definitely struggle with this fear as well, but you're right - it is important to remember that we have control over whether we're alone. We can't always guarantee that we will have really close, meaningful relationships at any given point in our lives, but it's certainly something we can all work on at any age.

    p.s. I added you to my blogroll. Always excited to stumble upon a new ase blog!!

  2. Yay! You wouldn't believe how excited I am that somebody's reading this. :) Glad you're enjoying it.

  3. Couplehood doesn't grant an until-death companion. In the best case it has a success rate of 50%, the case you die before your partner. Therefore, following the traditional way, you would need children. And even with children, they may migrate in order to get a job or a career. So, I think that these suggestions are even applicable for everyone who wouldn't want to die alone.