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iini

people asking about relationships

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Hi! I wasn't sure this was the correct forum but i figured it's related to relationships most so here goes... so my sister is getting married in a few weeks, and i'm her maid of honor. The wedding is a lot smaller than it was gonna be, and therefore not as many relatives will be there, but i am already dreading the inevitable questions about whether i am in a relationship, or even worse, somebody trying to match-make. I have never been in a relationship, so i've been getting those questions for a while (i'm 22), and i've always hated it, and i know that since it is a wedding it will be worse.

So how do you deal with those questions if you don't want to tell people you are aro? I'd be really grateful if somebody had some stories on how they have navigated those situations successfully, or ideas on how it might be done?

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2 hours ago, iini said:

So how do you deal with those questions if you don't want to tell people you are aro? I'd be really grateful if somebody had some stories on how they have navigated those situations successfully, or ideas on how it might be done?

Hi! The way I deal with the questions is by saying that I am interested in my studies first, after that, only the future will tell. For the matchmaking I would go and say that if the person that you are matchmaking me can't help me fulfill my goals, then I am not interested. Thus you get a chance to change the subject by speaking of your plans for the future. People have very short memory when it comes to this kind of things, so redirecting convos is easier and asking about their plans works wonders (people like to speak of themselves)

Now, in my experience, I say outright that I am not looking for a relationship at the moment and I ask them about their lives. But people not always like that answer and try to question me, and then I pass to ask them if they are hitting on me which then makes them uncomfortable as hell which I love and then ask them nicely about series of netflix. Which then they go to and don't bother me ^^.

 

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@Blake Thanks for your advice! the problem i've had in the past is that i've said that i'm not looking for a relationship rn and people have found it really hard to accept, but I really love the idea of asking them if they're hitting on me!😍  you're a genius

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1 minute ago, iini said:

@Blake Thanks for your advice! the problem i've had in the past is that i've said that i'm not looking for a relationship rn and people have found it really hard to accept, but I really love the idea of asking them if they're hitting on me!😍  you're a genius

No problem. Hopefully it will help you like it has to me.

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On 7/25/2020 at 7:39 AM, iini said:

So how do you deal with those questions if you don't want to tell people you are aro? I'd be really grateful if somebody had some stories on how they have navigated those situations successfully, or ideas on how it might be done?

I like to say something jokingly/lightly, my usual is "well, if it happens you'll be the first to know" which... is not technically a lie or a problem because it will never happen! And then change the subject without missing a beat. So "Well, you'll be the first to know. Say, you know when the food's being served?" If you ask them something to take their attention away from the topic of the relationship, I find that helps. 

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My goto method, which I don't know how well it will work for you, is to be honest and casual. A lot of the time, people pick up on the investment level of the other person in the conversation. We are a very social species, and have a lot of adaptations like that. I would go something like "I don't have any plans of doing that." I think that's direct enough to not be an invitation for matchmaking, but also without being harsh. "It will NEVER happen" invites people to argue about how you don't really knooooow if it will happen and then it will be a whole thing. A noncommittal "nah, not feeling that." And then a subject change like "I am really focused on doing [interesting thing]  right now" or reflecting the question back to the asker, if appropriate. Like, if it is one of your or your sisters friends just making smalltalk, you can just go "how about you?" and then the focus is on their lovelife instead.

Now, I have not really been in a situation like this where it is fraught, or people have been really pushy, so this response is more tailored for people who are either just making smalltalk or are regular levels of nosy.

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I'm not officially out to my family, but I will agree out loud that I'm not in a relationship, there is no one I am interested in, and I'm not looking.   I've gotten way more comfortable with my aro-ness as I've gotten older and at this point, when older relatives ask I just give a casual "Nah" or whatever with a clear disinterest in the topic.  And if they get pushy about it I just put on an aggressively upbeat attitude with an undercurrent of 'drop the subject'.   "Nope!" >:) 

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As Jedi said above, I find keeping it honest and casual is the most effect method, and never use words like "never", people will take that as a challenge.

"I'm single at the moment, and I'm not looking to change that" "No I'm not in a relationship, and I'm not looking for one right now" "I'm very happily single at the moment" "A date? No thanks, my cat would be jealous."

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I always used to say something along the lines of, "If I happen to meet someone then great, but it's not a priority for me right now," as a segue into talking about other things that are priorities in my life. I've always been pretty ambitious academically and professionally so people have generally accepted than answer. 

(Since becoming more certain that I'm aro, these days I just say "Nah, I don't do relationships." I find most people also accept that if you get the tone right, but it does sometimes lead to pushback and confrontation.)

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On 8/16/2020 at 2:56 PM, eatingcroutons said:

these days I just say "Nah, I don't do relationships."

Nice, I hope I can reach that stage of confidence in the future. at the moment I still get too angry about the arguments to be comfortable with that

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Ha, I had a similar conversation with a coworker of mine. It was complicated a little by the fact that he knows I've been in at least two relationships. I brought up something like "I don't ever want to get married," and he clearly took this as a self-pitying statement and tried to make me feel better by saying "oh, well, I'm sure if you meet the right person," etc. And I was like "..... nah, I don't think so. I just don't want to." And he was like .....ok I guess. 

I don't really get mad at "you'll meet the right person" because while it's a little invalidating, it does come from a place of empathy and care from the other person. (In my experience, anyway. I haven't had to deal with family pushing me towards a relationship, thank goodness.)

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Well, I just figured that I am aro, but I had similar questions before. But still my answer won't change much

I don't get much pressure, but when I do I always tell that I have a dream that I know i can reach and any kind of relationship will slow me down or make me even give up my dream. People usually tell right-person shit but then I tell them it is career-related dream. 

Main point to keep "it is career" answer for later. They will definitely have question or comment after "dream" mentioned. Also it gives nice ground to keep talking about you career goals.

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One of the flags that I was aro was the "excuses" I kept making for myself (and others) that I wasn't interested in dating. I kept saying "oh I'll look for someone when I've transitioned further" and "I'm giving my 20s to myself, I'll give dating attention when I'm 30." (I'm 21 lmao) 

People would look at me like, "I believe you but I don't because that's a long time." 

I think theres a possibility people don't ask me as much like they use to because of sexism like I'm a cis passing man now but pretransition I remember people trying to make romance my entire life or identity. (I hope this didn't get to off topic, it's just an afterthought.)

 

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I just dismiss it as much as I can, and try not to pay it any mind. Why do they have to try and peer into my personal life?

I don't want to sound increasingly negative,

Spoiler

but personally, I find it sickeningly saccharine when someone brings a partner of theirs over, and everyone SO KIND to them. Like, it's so incredibly fake. 

Sorry, I just needed to get that off my chest.

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