Often when I think about being asexual, there’s a sense of present timing involved. About my life now, feeling comfortable in my own skin, figuring out what sorts of connections I make to people and what sorts of relationships work for me at this point in time.
Lately my thoughts have been more future-oriented. In some conversations with friends I’ve had in the last few months I’ve realised that most see themselves as eventually “settling down” with a partner, and probably having children. Some already live with long-term partners, some already have children.
I don’t know if that model is ever going to work for me. I don’t see romantic partners in my future, or marriage, or children. I often joke about how I’m going to live as a crazy old professor with a house full of books and a cat or two. But I’m not actually sure that I want to live completely on my own in the long term.
Share housing, which I’ve been doing for the last two years, definitely has its perks. It means cheap rent, and there are always people around. It has its downsides as well – there are always people around, and all the space you have has to be negotiated so that everyone is happy. In that sense, I’d love to have a place all to myself, so I can run around without clothes on in summer, enjoy the peace, play loud music and not annoy anyone.
But there are also reasons I wouldn’t want to live alone. I grew up in the country with a huge garden, chickens, guinea pigs, veggie gardens, and I’d love to have all those things again one day. But they take lots of work and time which I don’t know I’ll have if it’s just me. Even just in the house, there are dishes to be washed, bins to be emptied, floors to be cleaned. Not to sound like I’m lazy, but running a household on your own is a lot of work. (Kudos to people who take care of everything and the kids while they and their partner work!)
And then there’s companionship, I guess. Coming home and having someone there to say hi to you and ask you how your day was. Curling up on the sofa next to someone and watching a movie at the end of a long day. Having close relationships with people who you see all the time, but don’t share a bed with. I’d like to have some of those things, but I’m not sure there’s going to be anyone who wants the same model of living as me.
There’s really not that much choice in models of living. You live completely on your own, or with a partner and/or kids. Very few people end up share-housing arrangements past university, or when they get out of their twenties. Maybe asexual people who have romantic partners don’t find this such an issue. But I really feel at a loss sometimes thinking about how I’m going to be living in the future, when I’m established in my career and earning enough money to get my own place.
I do like the idea of smaller housing communities. Three houses with a shared backyard and veggie patch, inhabited by close friends, where you can become part of a family even though you don’t actually live in the same building, and share some aspects of everyday life but still stay independent. I’m just not sure how feasible that idea is.
Where are all the options for non-partnered living?