Thoughts and experiences on dating and significant others

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval. Agradezco a la gente que me ha apoyado en la redacción de esta entrada.

I haven’t posted recently in the Carnival of Aces, but when I read this month’s theme “dating and significant others” I thought that these topics are interesting and that I could write on either. Only later I realized that they were proposed as a single topic, because the usual, even in the asexual community, is to date a significant other. In my case they are disjoint topics, as I shall explain.

What makes the difference between an appointment and a date? In Spanish there is a single word for both. Is the difference the romantic framework? Does it have to be acknowledged as a date by the people involved? In this case I’ve never dated, but I don’t know if the girl with whom I had the appointments considered them dates. We were friend-dating, if it makes sense. I think it is a legitimate concept. I think that friend-dates are not different for asexuals or aromantics. There is always the problem of mismatched expectations. These unrequited expectations might be sexual, romantic, platonic, or any combination of them. Even in the heteronormative world we may find casual dates, which are a kind of friend-dates, where the guy has sexual expectations and the girl has romantic expectations. The keyword is ‘casual’ since in a formal date there is a compromise. If the compromise is implicit, each dater may interpret different terms, but each dater consider that their terms bind their partner. This is a different kind of problem. In a casual date both people know that there is no compromise and may reject any implicit compromise alleged by the other part.

In my experience, the girl whom I friend-dated made sexual advances and we had some sensual explorations, but this didn’t affect the friendship we forged. We still friend-date when we are in the same town. Another girl, whom I’ve never dated, considered me her significant other. It was a distance relationship forged as a friendship, got closer and closer, and became what the aromantic community denominates a queerplatonic relationship. This relationship lasted two years and ended tragically one and a half years ago. She didn’t die, but she formally broke up with me. I was shocked since all my dead friendships died a heat death, and I never expected that a friendship could end this way, which I thought reserved for romantic relationships. I felt puzzled and disoriented because people may keep friends after a romantic breakup, especially if they were friends before, but when a friendship is broken up, how can you stay friends? I lived one and a half years after the breakup trying to keep my contact with her as just acquaintances and being unable to tell anybody how hurtful this loss could be because of the societal contempt of friendship as a meaningful relationship.

When I read that this month’s topic for the Carnival of Aces was “dating and significant others” I wanted to write a piece, but the memories of my lost friendship blocked me in such a way that I couldn’t advance either in this piece nor in my studies. It was hurting me more now than just after the breakup. Providentially, this Christmas she wrote me apologizing and offering her friendship again. I was so happy that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, so I could end this piece.

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