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I am a 15-year-old aromantic asexual (that's the closest description I could come up with anyway).

People at school say I'm really attractive; I've had four people ask me out in two weeks and my friends say that lots of people they know want to ask me out. As I am aromantic asexual, I am not at all interested in a relationship but I hate turning people down and I haven't found a good way of doing it.

I'd like people to know my sexuality but, as Jesse said, not that many people know what asexuality is and I don't want to bring up something that might be confusing in such a sensitive place, and if we're at all close they'll already know I'm not interested. I need to do it in a way that I don't feel like I'm hurting them more than I need to because the times I have done it saying "I'm not interested in a relationship at the moment", I feel like they think there's something about them I don't like.

In short, is there a way to let them know I'm not interested in a relationship without hurting them more than is necessary?

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    What is the goal here? Just turning people down without hurting feelings? Or do you want to tell them the truth (aromantic/asexual) in the hopes that once enough people know, they'll stop bothering you? – Tinkeringbell Nov 18 '17 at 12:41
  • Also, though these people may not be close friends, some of the advice here may be relevant and helpful – Tinkeringbell Nov 18 '17 at 13:03
  • I really don't know what my goal is, and I don't think there is a single right answer, I just need some advice. that might be against the question guidelines, I'm not sure – Hazzdood Nov 18 '17 at 20:57
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    Honestly this looks like it could be a really good question, it just needs a touch more information about how you would like to do things and it could easily be reopened. Do you want to be polite about turning people down? Do you want to be open about why you're turning them down? – apaul Nov 19 '17 at 4:58
  • Re: people knowing about asexuality/aromanticism: I felt the same way when I first started to figure out my identity (also aro ace), but as I came out to more of my peers, I found that a lot more people knew about it and understood than I expected. This may not be the case at 15 (I was 18 when I first started to figure things out), but as you get older, you'll probably find that more people your age will understand without you having to explain anything. This is sort of tangential to the question, and certainly not an answer, but something I think is worth keeping in mind. – Tesset Nov 20 '17 at 22:09
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Have you tried:

No thanks, I'm not interested in a relationship right now

It really is that simple. And it works no matter what the real reason you don't want a relationship with them, so you shouldn't be under any pressure to explain why.

Clarity and simplicity are key when communicating. And that's about as clear and simple as it gets.

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  • Considering OP's edit saying that he has already tried this and that he feels the message isn't always understood as well as he's like it; I'd like to point out that rejecting someone is rarely going to be nice for them: They want to go out with you and you're saying no. However this is probably the better/least uncomfortable way to do it – everyone Nov 20 '17 at 15:43
  • Depending on the other person and how much you want to explain, you may even want to drop the "right now," or even make it "I'm not interested in romantic relationships." It closes the opportunity for a relationship "later." And if the other person pushes back, you can follow up with an explanation of asexuality/aromanticism, and then at least you're not leading with it. This is, of course, dependent on your read of the situation/the other person's reaction - don't bother explaining if you don't think the other person will get it. – Tesset Nov 20 '17 at 22:13
  • Yeah, this is pretty much the aproach I was using but I feel like I'm hurting them and then I feel bad. – Hazzdood Nov 20 '17 at 22:44
  • This might be my best option though – Hazzdood Nov 20 '17 at 23:04
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The best you can do is turn them down kindly by saying something like:

You seem like a really nice person but I'm not interested in you that way.

It seems as though most of these potential suitors are not that close friends, and since "aromantic asexual" is not a common household term then you risk them not understanding and getting offended if you reject them with that as the sole explanation. (I like what Rory said about clarity and simplicity) Its better to tell them the truth in the simplest way possible than to bring up something that might be confusing.

If it is a close friend who has asked you out then they will be more willing to listen/understand, and its also more important for you that they do so. In this case I would sit down properly with them afterwards and explain.

However nicely you word it they will probably be upset, it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. But entering a relationship you are uninterested in is wrong for a variety of other reasons.

The other way potential solution is to stop people asking you in the first place. This could be done by "coming out" and/or telling your friends preemptively that you are not interested in dating anyone at all. This isn't guaranteed and has a ton more variables about your situation so I won't go into detail, just thought it was worth noting as an option.

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  • I like this answer because it mentions coming out. I've tried to come out but because not many people know what asexuality is, it hasn't travelled very far. – Hazzdood Nov 21 '17 at 6:37

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