We need to talk. Come in, sit down, and prepare yourself. The kiddie gloves are coming off, and we're going to talk seriously about relationships.
The universal truth is that relationships suck for everyone. Regardless of orientation, we can all agree that if you want to be with another person or persons you are going to have a bad time. If you want a sexual and romantic relationship, bad time; if you want a sexual non-romantic relationship, bad time; if you want a non-sexual romantic relationship, bad time; if you want a platonic relationship, bad time.
It's just going to be a bad time.
Mind you, relationships within themselves are not bad. As a very romantic person, I can attest that relationships, when done correctly, are great! Having another person who cares about you, and having someone to care about, really is amazing.
No, it's not the "relationship concept" that is bad, it is how individuals butcher relationships until every aspect of happiness and carefree enjoyment is stripped from them. Basically what I'm trying to say is that your relationships suck because you suck. I'm so sorry I had to tell you like this; I would have much preferred to take you out for some tea and explained it gently. But time and bandwidth are fleeting, so I have to be abrupt.
And how do individuals horribly destroy relationships? Simple answer: by not making their wants and intentions known. Think about it, when you like someone, you spend the first few weeks, months, or even years attempting to keep your desires hidden while simultaneously cursing the person for being unable to see your love for them. ("How could he be so BLIND?! I'm so OBVIOUS! That way I looked at him, it should have said it all!")
So we start relationships by attempting to use mind control and summon the individual silently using love-force or something. From the beginning we are completely keeping our intentions and desires hidden. Rather than being honest with the individual we like enough to desire an intimate relationship with, we hide our true intentions behind coy flirtations which very rarely make anything apparent. We are more or less told that the only way to start a relationship is to completely lie about what we want, and to be ashamed of our desires. Counterproductively at its best.
If a person somehow manages to get through the complex dance of lying that is flirting, and their feelings become known, one of two things happens: a) the other person reciprocates their feelings and a relationship starts, or b) the other person does not reciprocate feelings and a whole slew of bad things happens.
In the case of a, the relationship starts and, for the most part, both individuals are still stuck in the mindset that lying is the only way to sustain a relationship. I mean, lying and hiding intentions started the relationship, so why mess with a good thing? Girls are supposed to be coy and flirtatious and never let take initiative to declare what they truly want; boys are supposed to be strong and masculine and never let on that they may want something more than sex, beer, and steak; non-binary individuals don't exist so whatever. (This was sarcasm, just saying.) Rather than being honest about wants and needs, individuals resort to keeping their intentions hidden as to not disrupt the relationship which formed entirely by tip-toeing around truth and honesty. Because being silent is a lot better than acknowledging that there is a problem or questions left unanswered. It's like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park: if you don't move, maybe it wont see you.
In the case of b, so many things can (and most likely will) go wrong:
- You resent the other person for not liking you back.
- The other person feels awkward around you and now avoids your company.
- You feel awkward around the other person and you avoid them.
There are many more horrible options, but these are the most common. But the general consensus is that things are now bad, and your relationship is bruised, battered, and most likely ruined.
For both a and b, the negative results stem nearly entirely from the lack of honesty that has been encouraged since the relationship began.
I'll use myself as an example:
I used to not tell my partners I was asexual (in my defense, mostly because I did not know it was a thing). So I would begin a relationship hiding the fact that I hated physical intimacy. The other person did not know, so they attempted to initiate said intimacy. I would flip out, and would promptly end the relationship. My lack of honesty, due to a mixture of shame and shyness, completely ruined the relationship and prevented me from finding an individual who accepted and reciprocated my specific wants and needs.
Now I make it well known before relationships begin that I am asexual. I tell my partner that I do not like to be intimate in any sexual way. With my last relationship, after telling my partner about this, he told me he accepted it and was okay with not having sex. Except that was a lie, and he was waiting for me to "come around" to the idea of having sex. His lack of honesty completely ruined the relationship and friendship we had built.
Whether it is you lying or your partner lying, both of you will be hurt. By keeping true intentions hidden and actual desires a mystery, both partners are left in the dark. One partner may not be meeting the other partners desires purely out of ignorance, or one partner might be feeling unfulfilled due to their inability to express their wants and diswants. By building relationships entirely around lack of communication, nothing but failure can arise.
So what is the cure to everyone's relationship misery?
Just be honest.
- Let your crush know your intentions and wants--if they return your feelings, great; if they don't return your feelings, you now know and can attempt to find someone who is a match. If you're just looking for sex, let them know. If you're looking for a relationship, let them know. Nothing is worse than when two people with different wants silently combine, and both end up miserable.
- Before starting a relationship, make sure your partner is aware of your sexuality; if you're asexual or do not want to have sex, tell them. They are not mind-readers, and you need to voice your desires for them to be heard. If they don't like you because of your sexuality, they are probably not a good match for you in the first place.
- Be honest about what you like and don't like. If you are in a relationship and your partner is doing something you don't like, tell them. Do not be ashamed or afraid of being honest. If you respect and like this person enough to desire a relationship with them, you should feel comfortable enough to be open with them.
Nearly all of the relationship sorrows I encounter, mostly from the ace community, are due to lack of communication. And time and time again, I will always assure individuals that they can have a happy relationship. You just need to be proactive, and use communication to find someone who is a match.
You want a happy relationship? Be honest. It's a simple thing that people seem to underestimate.
[Side note: I am always willing to answer any questions regarding sexuality, and take requests for articles. If you have a request, you can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me an ask on tumblr here. Cool.]