Hello, I’m an asexual and I thought I was aro too but recently Ive felt like I wanted to date a couple, it’s the first time I want to date anyone. Sure I found the girl cute before but I didn’t want to date her. I feel like Iike I want to be part of their relationship. I asked the question to an ace advice blog I follow and they thought I was experimenting romantic attraction, maybe only to couples. Does it sound like polyamory?

I held onto this ask for a while because I was trying to come up with a way to express my thoughts on it without hurting or delegitimizing people’s identities. Here goes:

I think that it’s wonderful that we now have lots of different ways to think about sex, gender, attraction, self-experience, and relationships. I love that people who don’t fit the binaries of male/female, gay/straight, etc. can find their identities and communities more easily today than ever before.

But I think that in some areas, tumblr being one of them, the discourse around identity sometimes laps itself and becomes the same confusing, destructive, what-box-can-you-check kind of thinking that led people to question binaries in the first place.

I get so many asks from people wanting to know if their experience “counts” as polyamory. People want to know if you can be asexual and polyamorous, or whether demisexuality means they can’t be polyamorous. People wonder whether what they’re doing with someone counts as polyamory, or queer-platonic partnership, or what.

The point of naming and claiming our identity is to help us know ourselves and each other better. It’s so we can identify our needs, learn how to be our healthiest selves, and find people who respect us. If a label isn’t working for you, if it’s giving you confusion and questions rather than answers and security, it’s not serving its purpose.

You are you. You are feeling attraction to this couple. That’s your lived reality, and it’s totally valid. You don’t need anyone else to validate it, or explain whether it counts under certain identity terms. You IDed before as asexual and aromantic. That was your truth then. Your truth now can be different - it doesn’t mean you were wrong, or that your identity is invalid.

People grow, we change, we learn about ourselves and each other. It’s less important that you have the right list of words for exactly why and how you date, and more important that you feel good about it and develop happy, healthy, fulfilling relationships in the ways that work for you and your partners. Let yourself be you in this now, in this moment, and then if a way to describe your being arises for you, use that word. It doesn’t matter what other people say.

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