Siggy, 25, United States.
In my last year of college, I discovered queer student groups. It was over too soon. And then when I went to grad school, I discovered that many queer groups are not like the undergrad groups. People don’t go to these groups to learn more about social justice, or queerness. They go in order to socialize, and often to find dates.
Fine, I thought. I like socializing. I wouldn’t mind finding a date either. I wouldn’t really have a problem with a sexual/romantic relationship with an allosexual person. Only problem is I’m not attracted to people. I wouldn’t mind finding a date, but who am I supposed to ask out? I suppose I could just… systematically search for people with compatible personalities and shared interests, and ask them out. I’m not gonna enter it into a spreadsheet or anything.
But what happened was someone asked me out. Problem solved.
On dates I got to tour a little post-college gay culture. Bars, night clubs. My new friends would talk about OKCupid, Craigslist, and Grindr. My date would talk about math and politics. He kept a beer diary, flossed in public places, and seemed to have met all his friends by dating them. And though I wasn’t attracted to him, I liked the time we spent together, missed him when were apart, and I was greatly amused by his awkward quirks. Actually, isn’t this a lot like attraction? Maybe? No matter. When I started identifying as gray-A, I forsook the question.
When we broke up, I was devastated. We had some problems… he was the kind of guy who would date multiple people at once, while looking for a monogamous relationship. That was fine, but he was getting more serious with one of his dates, just as he was with me. I didn’t want to compete for a spot. It made me feel like a loser.
He had allowed the situation to achieve love triangle status because he didn’t think I was really into him. I didn’t act like I was attracted to him, because in a way I wasn’t. He was, therefore, shocked that I was upset about it.
Feeling guilty, he did a most characteristically awkward thing: set me up on a date with someone. Some months after we broke up, of course. But what was awkward was that it was a no-one-says-it’s-a-date date, and as if to further contribute to the fiction, he attended the date himself and dominated the conversation. To me, this was pure comedy–it was so obviously a date, but the efforts to conceal the fact were so over the top that perhaps it wasn’t a date at all. The date was, of course, a failure–we weren’t attracted to each other or anything.
Six months later, I met the same guy again–the one I went on a “date” with–at a birthday party. Through some hilarious (alcohol-fueled) misunderstanding, I thought he was interested in me. And see, in my world, I’m not going to wait around until I’m attracted to someone to ask them out. It’s not going to happen to me. At best, I can date someone who is attracted to me, and see how it works out over time. So I reciprocated his supposed interest in me, and we started making out. As far as he’s concerned, I had initiated.
And that’s how I my relationship began through an illogical sequence of events.