I'm putting this question out there: If you're not attracted to anyone, how do you choose who you're supposed to date?
Marinate on that one for a moment.
Every so often, I reassess the question, "Should I date?" Many asexuals do. I want to have some kind of life partner, and I've had no luck achieving this without dating. No matter how convincing the idea may seem though, my answer always ends up being "no". In fact, as time goes by, I only come up with more reasons not to date. I'd be willing to date someone specific, but don't like the idea of dating random people. I've been on online dating sites, the prime source of random people to date, and feel very put off by the supermarket-like feel of them. In my interactions with people from these sites, they were trying to judge me, and draw some specific conclusion, extremely quickly. I can understand why, since dating is a numbers game, but I couldn't help feeling like the process was so artificial. Then there's the whole "when to disclose asexuality" issue. Once in a while I go back on OKCupid, where I have an inactive profile, but I'm just like, "Oy. What am I thinking?"
However, this creates a contradiction: it's almost impossible for me to find a specific person to date when attraction is absent. Since I have experienced romantic attraction, however briefly and/or pointlessly, I'm able to know what I'd be "missing" in a relationship without it. I've tried to see if, in the event that I met more people, I might develop romantic feelings for someone. But I just ended up developing these feelings for someone whom I could never actually date. Maybe in time, after meeting many more people, I could find one person that I might have mutual romantic feelings with (numbers game!). Still, I wouldn't bet any money on it.
Nor do I know how to figure out what gender(s) to date, which makes online dating even harder than it already is. I don't think I would feel comfortable dating someone who is not committed to challenging gender roles (now, there's a tall order). I feel like dating would activate a bunch of gender dysphoria that I might otherwise be able to avoid. The thought of being seen as someone's "girlfriend", or as being in a heterosexual relationship, makes me feel a little sick. As described in this article, I do tend to see dating as "a threat to my gender identity". While I have a hard time choosing an exact label for my gender identity, I know what it is and isn't, and I feel strongly about it and its "integrity".
Like any social skill, dating takes practice. Practice that, as you know, I've never had. I don't think it's "too late" to start now. Because despite prevailing myths, people start dating at many different ages and there isn't some arbitrary age where you're "too old". What I don't know is whether it's worth the effort, and the huge amount of anxiety around dealing with people who may not respect my sexuality and gender.
Yes, my yearly thoughts ended up being mostly complaints; that's just how it goes sometimes. But this is also a minority report, in a way. I do want some kind of life partner, but (GASP!) it's not the most important thing to me, at least right now. That this could be a goal of only moderate importance is basically unknown to our culture. But of course, it's part of many people's lived experiences, asexual and also not asexual.