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do I need to come out to the boy who's interested in dating me?


mirithepuppy
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I met this guy at my college who's pretty cool and easy to talk to, and we hang out a lot, and recently he's expressed an interest in dating me. Since I'm still trying to make sure the aromantic label fits me, and I'm not romance repulsed, I'm open to experimenting with romance to see if I do experience any level of romantic attraction. And if I had to pick any guy to try dating, it would probably be this guy because I feel pretty comfortable around him. So I'm not against the idea of dating him.

But I'm wondering if it's unfair to "pretend" to be straight to try dating this guy when I'm not actually sure I even like guys. Should I come out to him as aro just as a disclaimer before we start going on dates? I don't want to just use him to figure myself out, but I'm also worried that if I come out as aro, he wouldn't be willing to go on dates with me. I really would like to try dating him, but if I date him and figure out I'm definitely aro, then that could easily hurt his feelings. Also, saying something like "I don't know if I'm even attracted to boys, so I'll just see how this relationship is goes" could put a lot of pressure on him to try and make the relationship perfect so he's not the one who makes me realize I don't like boys, and I don't want that either.

Do you think it would be a good idea to tell him up front that I ID as aro, or should I date him for a while first to see, and then tell him later if I still ID as aro? If I wait, is that ethical, or is it playing him?

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Honestly I feel it is best to tell him from the start. I know that I would feel used and betrayed if someone date me to figure out their orientation without telling me. Allos seem to react pretty badly when they discover it, so if you want to keep him as a friend if it doesn't work it is better to tell him. Or if you want to continue the relationship with some compromises (some aros date allos sometimes). But you have to trust him with this information of course.

 

Of course this is just my thoughts. 

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You could go the middle way and say you're not totally sure about your feelings for him but that you'd be interested in exploring them with him if he's up for it. That way he has a bit of a context without you having to go into a whole speculation about your orientation. Even if you do end up feeling only platonically for him, that might not be a deal breaker. I know several people who are in romantic relationship with people they are not in love with and they're happy.

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I'd probably say something along the lines of "I think I'm aromantic, here's a link for you to learn more if you want to, but I think a relationship might work, so if it's okay with you I'd like to try a relationship" (Though that's easier said than done). If I was the boy I can't imagine that being that much of a deal breaker to not at least try a relationship (as at least in my opinion more information is always better than less, but  this might be my aro perspective on this).

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I absolutely think you should tell him. It's important to be honest in a relationship and not mislead him into thinking you're something that you're not, for both his sake and yours. And yes, there is a decent chance he will say no, but... In the end, he has that right. I understand why you would want to try dating him, and I hope you get that chance, but ultimately he's not there for you to use to figure yourself out. Be honest with him about what you want, and maybe he'll say yes, and maybe he won't. If he doesn't, then respect that and move on- But I don't think it's fair to mislead him.

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