Love and Asexuality


Zoe MacDiarmid

While asexual people feel little to no sexual attraction, they are still capable of forming meaningful relationships.

What does it mean to love someone?

To many people, falling in love and getting a romantic relationship is seen as one of life’s ultimate goals. You get married, and that’s what makes you complete. The person you form that relationship with becomes your “other half.”
In contrast, platonic relationships are often seen as less important. Friendships are nice, but romance is seen as a relationship upgrade.

However, some people break this mold.

Asexuality, or ace, is when someone does not feel sexual attraction. It is not the same thing as celibacy. Aromanticism is similar. However, it is a lack of romantic attraction. These two are distinct, and both are a spectrum, but the collective of everyone on the asexual and aromantic spectrum is commonly referred to as ace.

People don’t tend to think of love as something with a rigid set of rules, but certain things are generally understood to be the norm.

People meet each other, fall in love, get married, move in together, have children. These things are considered to be normal. But those who fall on the asexual or aromantic spectrum may not want that. They might move in with friends, don’t seek out partners, and even actively dislike physical affections.

Because of people’s preconceived notions about what love is, occasionally, non-asexuals will pity or dislike people who don’t want the traditional type of love.

For example, one of the most common topics of conversation in asexual communities is the frustration of telling non-aces about it. Though most people seem to accept it, some can’t quite wrap their heads around it.

People will ask if you’re a plant, say that being asexual means you must not be able to feel love, and most commonly, they inform you that you just haven’t found the right person yet.

They assume that if you don’t want romance or sex, you just need to find someone to “fix” you. Many people, from near-total strangers to close family members, assume that they instantly know you better than you know yourself.

You shouldn’t have to justify your orientation.

A big part of this problem comes from media representation. The only people allowed to be asexual are evil, robots or aliens, or lying or repressed. Though there are exceptions, they are few and far between.

This hurts not only asexuals but also non-asexuals. People tend to de-value platonic relationships because they feel that nothing can be more important than romance. However, platonic relationships don’t need to be less loving than romantic ones. If people can learn how to cultivate and value non-romantic relationships properly, then everyone can live happier, more fulfilling lives.

It is time to accept this truth: Everyone deserves to love how they want to love.