Dating, and realizing I may be asexual
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm looking for honest feedback and whatever advice anyone may have.
I'm a 53yo lady that's finalizing a divorce after a 30 year marriage. We've been separated for 5 years and I'm relieved to be done with it officially, very soon. We've both had other relationships and there are no lingering feelings or unresolved issues there. I have a lot of trauma and abuse in my childhood and beyond, and I've been in intense therapy for years plowing through it all and learning to cope in a more healthy way. In that process, I realzied I'm demisexual. Unless I'm falling or in love with someone, I don't experience physical attraction. Sex isn't bad or gross, it's just not part of my world. I don't miss it and don't get lonely in that way. When I'm in a relationship I enjoy the physical aspect and miss my partner in that way when we're apart, but unless I'm in a relationship, I don't think about it or miss it.
I've been dating again recently and have met some high quality humans. Two of which are very compatible in all the ways that matter, and I really enjoy time with. I know I don't want to live with anyone again and don't want to get married again. That was a deal break for one of them so we went our separate ways. The man I'm seeing now is wonderful, and fine with not living together or getting married. But what I'm realizing is, he's still very interested in a very sexual relationship. I find him handsome, and there is chemistry and I would find him attractive if we keep seeing each other and I start falling for him. But I'm realizing I'd prefer a romantic realtionship with someone that is NOT focused on sex. I'm not saying I want a sexless relationship, I just don't want there to be the constant pressure for it. I have a very low drive and would greatly appreciate someone on the same page. Every guy I've dated has been overly focused on sex and that's a huge turn off for me. This new guy is making it clear he finds me attractive and he wants that when I'm comfortable, and is clearly trying to be patient. And yet, there are the constant "wanna have sex yet!?" vibes, and it's starting to turn me off again. We've only been out twice and I'd prefer we date for at least a couple of weeks before sex is even on the table. When I make this clear, the men agree and say they're fine with that. But they really really aren't. They never actually stop asking for sex in subtle and obvious ways, and it's making it so I just want to stop dating altogether. I get that sex is a big part of relationships, and it's more important to some people than others. But why say you're okay with getting to know someone before considering it, if you have zero intention of actually doing that?
Every time, I've rushed things and made myself do things before I'm ready simply because I couldn't take the constant expectation anymore. That never works and actually backfires in spectacular fassion. It's ended the relationship, every time. I make it VERY clear as soon as I start dating someone, and yet this happens over and over. I don't know if they hear what I'm saying and just assume they're some kind of exception or that they're so irresistable I won't be able to help myself or what. But for me, pushing for physical stuff just shuts me down. When I make a boundary very clear, and they continue to constantly push if not trample it completely, I'm out. To the point I feel like I'm now fully asexual. I just have lost all interest. Even with this guy that I like an awful lot. He wants to kiss and make out and I'm just like...... no thank you. Why can't we actually get to know each other first like we said we would?? And he says we can, then keeps trying to kiss me. Which would maybe be okay, if it weren't very clear it wouldn't stop there.
How do I communicate my boundaries in a way they'll actually be respected? Is it an unreasonable expectation to need to get to know someone before wanting anything physical? Should I just stop dating altogether? I don't want to close myself off, but I am SO FRUSTRATED. And honestly pretty grossed out and disgusted at this point. And I don't want to feel that way.
I may be the wrong woman to answer, since Current Guy and I spent 40 minutes making out the first night we met. There was that much chemistry. We had communicated by text and IM for about a month before we met, though.
On the other hand, I was widowed at about your age. It's hard, I know. High quality humans are rare. I've heard some people have a three-date rule - but I think that's nuts. YOU could be a psychopath, these guys don't know. You don't have unreasonable expectations, except for one: no matter what you say, you can't *control* others' actions. I'm also on a forum for friends and families of alcoholics. The "boundaries" idea is stressed there as well but in that forum one thing is clear: boundaries define our own behavior, rules are things we try to impose on others. You can't control his behavior, (certainly not his wishes) at all. You CAN walk away and refuse to see him again. You can arrange dates in public, take your own car so he doesn't drive you home, meet for a specific activity and go your separate ways, refuse to 'date' at one another's homes. You can meet for breakfast before you go to work, or catch a movie matinee and be 'meeting the girlfriends' for dinner/book club, etc.
I get it, because 11 years ago I was dating for the first time in 25 years. Being middle-aged, I found it hard to find dates at all. I had some first dates (31, yes I kept track) very few second dates and fewer third dates. It took three years to find Mr. Right. I didn't have the issue with sex you're having. Not that I didn't want sex, it's just that most men weren't interested in it, at least with me. I certainly didn't feel pressure after one or two meetings. Stand your ground, Good luck
Oldmainer - yes I've had that kind of chemistry before but it doesn't happen right away for me. I've never looked at or met someone and felt any sense of attraction. The only way attraction builds for me at all is in getting to know and appreciate someone. It may take weeks for me to even want to hold someone's hand. It's like a switch that gets flipped, and until it's "on", I feel zero sexual impulse. Zero. Sex isn't even a part of my world until or unless I'm in love with someone, or well on my way. Before that, I'm 100% asexual. So when it gets constantly pushed on me, I shut down and stop seeing that person. I'm VERY up front and honest about it, and I answer as many questions as they have. They always say they understand and respect what I'm saying. Then keep trying to kiss me or touch me in a sexual way anyway. When they repeatedly cross my boundaries I end things. I don't expect anyone to change their behavior. It's on me to accept it or leave, so I leave. That's my point. I don't see the point in continuing the cycle when nobody is interested in getting to konw somebody. The focus is sex and it's a clear expectation, immediately. I get that's the norm, but that just doesn't work for me. So I'm staying single. I've met some wonderful people and have had a couple of relationships but I'm realizing I'm just SO much happier on my own that it's not fair to date. I'm going to keep doing the things I enjohy and if I meet someone in the process of that, cool. If not, cool. I feel bad for people that get lonely or horny, and am very thankful I don't have to deal with either of those situations. I literally can't imagine how miserable that must be. I'm very happy to not *need* company, of any sort. There are some asexual/demisexual communities I'm tapping into, as well as LTA (living together, apart - committed relationships but seperate households). A friend suggested I look into international dating apps since it's mainly about friendship because there's little or no physical contact. I may give that a shot out of curiosity more than anything. But I'm realizing I'm done dating for the forseeable future, and quite relieved to have made that decision and deleted the apps.