This post is written for the April 2018 Carnival of Aces.
When I was in elementary school, the question was always “how many kids do you want to have?” Why is that even a thing you ask elementary school aged children? But anyway, I always wanted to have two children. Just like my family; it seemed perfect to me. In high school, I didn’t really think about it. I suppose if someone had asked, I still would have said I wanted two kids, and I guess I assumed that I would get married one day. It was probably in high school that I decided my honeymoon would be in Yosemite, so clearly I had to marry someone who liked hiking. And I couldn’t imagine not sharing my dancing with my partner, so I’d better find someone who was either already a Scottish Country Dancer, or would quickly become as devoted to it as I am, though that seemed like a difficult prospect. Then, in college, I figured out that I wasn’t straight, and realized that depending on what gender of person I fell in love with, I might not be able to marry them. (Luckily that’s changed now.) But it was all still hypothetical. I was having a harder and harder time imagining myself getting that close to someone, both physically and emotionally.
Until now, when I’ve known I’m Ace for several years, and have recently begun considering that I’m probably aromantic. More and more, I think about what I want my future to look like. One answer to that question is staying single for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that answer. In the ideal version of that life, I live close to family, I help my brother and his wife raise their many children (which they don’t have yet, but hope to start having in the next couple years), and I’ve worked past my natural introversion and shyness to create a family of close friends whom I can turn to for emotional support, but also plain old going out and having fun with friends. I host frequent dinner parties (or maybe afternoon teas), and we go to museums and concerts and ballets together, and have picnics in the park in the summer.
But another answer that I’m also okay with is that I have a partner (or partners — I’m open to polyamory). It’s just much harder for me to imagine what that would be like. I don’t think I want to share a home with my partner(s), because I seriously value my alone time and having my own space. That’s more of an introvert thing than an ace thing, but being ace has allowed me to consider the possibility of having a (committed long term) partner without living with them. If we do live together, we’ve worked out a schedule so that I get to spend all day alone in the house at least once a week. It would be great if we lived close to each other — on the same street, in the same apartment complex. We spend a lot of time at each other’s places; we probably even have keys, and keep a drawer full of clothes and stuff at the other person’s place. We like to cuddle together on the couch, reading or watching a TV show, or discussing a podcast. We cook together, and motivate each other to get work done together. Our friends and family know we’re together and support us, but also see us as separate people. Because we’re close, but we also have our own lives; we don’t have to share every little thing. Maybe we’ll be married, maybe not. If we do get married, it probably won’t involve a big ceremony, just a trip down to the courthouse. As hard as this future is to imagine (less difficult than I thought, now that I’ve written it down), imagining actually finding a person (or people) who also wants a future like this is even harder.
In either of these answers, I might foster or adopt a child; I might not. Having a child of my own body isn’t in my plans either way. I definitely have a cat, though.