You thought you’d finally found your soulmate—only to find out that they’re asexual. What do you do now?
Asexuality is sometimes referred to as ace; people who are asexual feel little or no sexual desires, even to partners they may connect to emotionally. Their lack of desire causes all kinds of complications in their sexual relationships.
So what can do you do when you find out your partner is asexual? Let’s take a look:
1. Decide Whether You’re Willing to Stay In A Sexless Marriage
The idea of being with a partner that isn’t sexually attracted to you is hard to stomach for anyone, but forcing them into having sex isn’t going to do you any favors.
Some individuals who identify as asexual, don’t have any sexual desire or sexual attraction whatsoever. Some people who are indifferent to the idea of sex while others are repulsed by it.
Forcing an asexual partner who isn’t comfortable into having sex can be devastating for relationships—and wrong!
For you and your partner’s emotional wellbeing, you’re going to have to decide whether you want to remain in such a relationship. If yes, then both of you will have to figure out how to meet each other’s needs.
2. Accept and Understand Your Partner’s Asexuality
Being celibate is a choice, asexuality isn’t. Contrary to what people think, asexuality isn’t a “condition” that needs to be fixed.
People can become asexual due to some form of trauma in their lives, but many people asexual people are born that way—and that’s perfectly fine! Asexuality is a type of sexual orientation; it’s the same as being straight, gay or bisexual.
If you’ve decided to stay in the relationship, think of how you can make it work despite your sexual incompatibility, instead of trying to change your partner.
3. Avoid Pressuring Your Partner
Your partner is already living with the fact that they are different from most people; they don’t need you to make matters worse by pressuring them into doing something they aren’t comfortable with.
When you’ve made the decision to stay in the relationship, accept your partner for you they are and quit blaming them for something they can’t control!
4. Communicate Openly About Sexual Needs
If you’re going to make this work, you’re going to have to communicate openly with your partner about your sexual needs and how they can be met. In the meantime, you’ll also have to set boundaries to make sure your partner is never uncomfortable with you.
Even when you aren’t sexually compatible, a relationship can still work. Working with a relationship counselor and sexologist could give you the tools to make your relationship last.
Azizeh Rezaiyan is a marriage counselor at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling based in Palo Alto in the Bay Area. She specializes in couple’s counseling, family meditation, anxiety treatments, and other psychotherapy treatments.