When I found out that the theme for this month’s Carnival of Aces is “Dating and Significant Others”, at first I thought “but I have no experience whatsoever with dating, and I have little interest in dating or getting a romantic partner” (at most, I would be interested in spontaneous non-sexual romantic one-night stands).
Then I realized … I have written about this before.
If ‘significant other’ means ‘someone with whom I have a committed, intimate, romantic relationship’ then I am not too interested. But I am interested in ‘partnership’. Which is how my parents define their own relationship.
I like the idea of partnership more than the idea of having a ‘significant other’ because it seems a lot more flexible, which makes me think this kind of relationship would do a much better job of satisfying my social needs.
In fact, I want different kinds of partners. However, the partner that I want which I think I’ll have the hardest time finding is a ‘co-parent’.
In spite of everything, I would still like to have a child (in the future, not right now). And I would like my child to have a close relationship with hir biological father. What I want in this co-parent is, at a minimum:
– someone who would actually be a good parent (willing to actually take responsibility for the child, minimal competence in dealing with children, etc.)
– someone who would not require me to be a reliable romantic or sexual partner (I am open to compromise on this to some degree, but I think expecting me to satisfy all of the romantic or sexual needs of a sexual and/or romantic person would be unrealistic – this is why I think poly is an option to consider)
– someone who respects me (love is not required, respect is)
– someone who I like (again, I don’t think I need to ‘love’ this person, but since we would have to spend a lot of time together, I think I need to like this person)
– someone who actually wants to be a parent
The above criteria (well, mostly #2) go against the social norms of every society I have lived within. On the one hand, having to build such a relationship from scratch will make things harder than if I followed conventional formulas. On the other hand, I think I am much more likely to build a good relationship by making such an investment.
I don’t expect to find an asexual/aromantic co-parent because the population is so small. At the same time, I am daunted by the prospect of working this out with a sexual/romantic person because I would almost certainly have to teach asex 101, and since most people who make sperm are cis-male, I’d also have to deal with a lot of sexist/patriarchal baggage to boot.
This would be a lot of work. But probably still less work than raising a child.
At least I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for, which means I’ve already taken the first step.