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Vala

Tips for handling dating life questions at a new job?

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Vala

I'm not really sure where to post this, but Older Asexuals seemed a good fit for the type of advice I'm looking for.

 

So, I'm hunting for a new job. And it's been a while since I started somewhere new. In my previous jobs, my personal life never was brought up much. Now that I'm older, I'm thinking ahead to new co-workers and how to handle "are you married/dating anyone?" type of questions.  I'm nearly 40 and I've never dated. I'm not really sure I'm asexual, although I'm pretty sure I am, although I don't think I'd ever offer it up in a conversation (because then I imagine all sorts of follow up questions I hear about on here).

 

As someone who's shy and introverted and doesn't get out much, how well does "I'm not dating anyone currently" go at the office? If you say it time and time again, year after year? Or how do you deflect that you've never dated if you're older?

 

And if you live in a state without LGBTQ protections (I don't currently, but I've thought about moving somewhere closer to family who do live in those states), are you afraid of mentioning being ace, or being assumed lesbian/gay and dealing with being fired?

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Philip027
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"are you married/dating anyone?"

"Nope"

 

Quote

As someone who's shy and introverted and doesn't get out much, how well does "I'm not dating anyone currently" go at the office?

If you aren't actually wanting to date?  Probably badly, because the "currently" implies you're looking/wanting to.

 

"Not dating, and not interested" would be a more effective shutdown.  Anyone who tries to override that is likely to be a creep, or at the very least doesn't know how to let personal matters remain personal

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uhtred

Anything beyond very limited questions about sexuality are appropriate at the the workplace, unless those questions are actively encouraged by both parties.  So if someone askes if you are married  / dating, (already treading very close to the line) , its fine to say "I'm not interested in dating anyone right now", and ending it.   There should be no need to tell anyone you are ACE.  

 

 

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Rockblossom
18 minutes ago, Vala said:

how well does "I'm not dating anyone currently" go at the office?

As Philip027 said, that will be taken as an invitation to set you up with someone or give you advice on finding a date.

 

My version:  "Happily single and not interested in dating."   Any further questions just got my bland look that telegraphed my disinterest in further discussion.

 

I've lived all over the place including some Deep South states, and I've never run into any problem.  In fact, there were fewer problems in very conservative areas because people just assumed that I didn't "hook up" because I was deeply religious! (I'm an atheist)  Oddly, the worst people were men who considered themselves to be quite liberal and assumed my lack of spouse meant I was open to "hooking up" even when I said I was not.   

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Philip027
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Anything beyond very limited questions about sexuality are appropriate at the the workplace, unless those questions are actively encouraged by both parties.  So if someone askes if you are married  / dating, (already treading very close to the line) , its fine to say "I'm not interested in dating anyone right now", and ending it.   There should be no need to tell anyone you are ACE.  

Again, unless you're actually open to people propositioning you or setting you up for dates, I would avoid the "right now" phrasing.  People will inevitably read that as "I'm not interested in dating anyone, but I'm secretly hoping you change my mind ;) "

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certified_space_ace

I agree with the previous poster's assertions that a simple "no" should be enough and should shut down further questions. But, from personal experience, I know that's not always the case. In a heteronormative world, people will often say/ask things that are presumptuous or invasive, but they don't realize that because it seems so benign to them. "Everyone dates, " they think, "so this is a safe topic." I've had people ask if I'm dating someone and said "no," or even asserted that I'm not interested, but that doesn't stop later comments like "some day you'll find a nice guy" or casual conversations turning into people asking about my "type." It's a difficult thing to navigate, and I certainly haven't figured it out yet.

 

That said, the advice I can give is that these questions really do tend to be thoughtless. They're not aware that it might be difficult to answer because in their worldview, this is just an easy topic that everyone can relate to. That's frustrating, no doubt, but I try to also let it be comforting. The people asking these questions are not actually trying to interrogate me; they're just making conversation. So I can deflect the questions and move on without worrying that someone is keep track of my answers over time and deciding that I'm weird somehow. If they do ask prying questions and won't let up, I would recommend something like "I'm not comfortable discussing my personal life." That way you don't have to divulge anything (even the detail that you're not interested) if you don't want to.

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artzcat

.

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gisiebob

you could always go the crazy route, and just answer by repeating "No" louder and louder until they leave.

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teatree

I have been divorced for 18 years. Yes, I have been asked a couple of times at work if I'm married (to which I reply heartily, "Oh, no, thank you!") I have also been asked a time or two if I'm dating, to which I give a similarly upbeat, "Nope, not interested!" And the number of times I've been asked either question is minimal...as previous posters have said, people are usually just making small talk and aren't being mean. I've probably asked those questions myself in the past (pre knowledge of asexuality) without intending to be prying or insensitive. 

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dancingeologist

I've worked at the same company now for 13 years and as an aro/ace who's never had a romantic relationship  I have never talked about a significant other or brought anyone to a company holiday party, etc. I'm sure some of the people I work with assume I'm gay but they don't ask, as most people are aware that would be unprofessional. If someone new starts and asks me the are you in a relationship/married/seeing someone questions, I tend to vary responses depending on their personality and how I'm feeling between: No, Why would I want to do that? I'm not interested, I love my freedom/independence,  Why do you want to know?, Yes I have a great dog, or Yes and then proceed to describe myself (obviously for this one you have to be okay with them thinking that you are gay until they catch on as your "partner" will have the same name/gender as you). I've never faced outright discrimination at work for my lack of relationships, but I do think there is some bias on values: I should be willing take on more work, travel more for work, etc because I'm single with no kids. It also can make it harder to relate to coworkers when everyone else is family oriented and my life outside of work is focused on friends and adventure.

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ryn2
18 hours ago, teatree said:

I have been divorced for 18 years. Yes, I have been asked a couple of times at work if I'm married (to which I reply heartily, "Oh, no, thank you!") I have also been asked a time or two if I'm dating, to which I give a similarly upbeat, "Nope, not interested!" And the number of times I've been asked either question is minimal...as previous posters have said, people are usually just making small talk and aren't being mean. I've probably asked those questions myself in the past (pre knowledge of asexuality) without intending to be prying or insensitive. 

I take a similar approach; if someone asks if I have kids or a SO I just cheerfully say “nope, just me!”  That seems to shut down the prying folks (who are uncommon).

 

Some people feel it’s important to educate, and I respect that, but I prefer to keep my work life and my personal life largely separate.

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TableForOne

"I am not a family person."

 

Blunt as a bull-necked loan-shark collector with a pair of brass knuckles.

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tiptoenail
On 1/10/2020 at 12:56 AM, dancingeologist said:

I've worked at the same company now for 13 years and as an aro/ace who's never had a romantic relationship  I have never talked about a significant other or brought anyone to a company holiday party, etc. I'm sure some of the people I work with assume I'm gay but they don't ask, as most people are aware that would be unprofessional.

I fully understand this, a lot of the people I work with believe I'm gay and some have stopped talking to me beyond the basics because of this.  

 

On 1/10/2020 at 12:56 AM, dancingeologist said:

I tend to vary responses depending on their personality and how I'm feeling between: No, Why would I want to do that? I'm not interested, I love my freedom/independence,

I have used all of these at some point but the best one to use around the older bitter men I work with is to say I'm happy because I have my money and my freedom.  

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