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Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by 123Timmeti456, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    Hi,

    This is my first time posting, in any forum ever. I appreciate advice from anyone, as I do realize that a lot of what I am asking is very general, and not necessarily tied to his condition. English is not my first language, so sorry for any typos, and if any clarification is needed, please let me know. Thanks in advance to anyone that might have any advices for me.

    I am a 24 year old NT woman, who met a 24 year old man with high functioning aspergers. He told me about his condition himself. I don't know when he was diagnosed, but he is very high-functioning. We dated for 6 months. I have to admit that I did not really do any research on his condition in the beginning, because the signs were totally absent for the first months. After roughly 3 months of him being extremely intense, I started to feel like he lost interest, but I never had the courage to confront him about it. We just stayed a little less in touch, and I usually initiated small-talk. He continued to ask if we should hang out, though. I did in no way think that this could be due to his condition. And I regret very much that I seem to have done my research far too late. He is a very kind, smart and interesting person. And he is the first person I have ever been in love with. So please be kind, this is extremely difficult for me, and I am somewhat desperate.

    A week before the incident I am seeking advice for, we had an appointment to meet. He called me and told me he was tied up for work. He never stood me up during our relationship, but I had been feeling ignored for a long time, and I got mad and told him that I thought we should stop seeing each other. He sounded completely surprised, but we had a nice talk and wished each other well. I regretted this decision after a few days, and initiated contact again. At this point I had started to research his condition, and felt that I had been too harsh.

    The advice I'm seeking is mainly tied to our real break-up, which occurred fairly recently. He had asked me over, and we had a really good time. I asked him about a girl I had seen him text several times, and he completely switched. (The girl turned out to be a friend, and I asked in a jokingly matter). He told me that I "had to stop being so in love with him" and that "we will never end up being in a serious relationship". I asked him why, and apparently that is because I did not want to move to his hometown (about 20 mins from my hometown). I reacted really strongly to this, first of all because we never really had a serious conversation about this, since we never really had a serious conversation about our relationship at all. We are both at fault here, I'm terrible at relationships. Anyways, I got really defensive and hurt, and told him that I was not in love with him, and that I could not understand why he made my feelings a problem. I never pushed our relationship in a more serious direction, because I honestly did not feel like it was ready for that myself. He told me at the same time that he wanted to continue the relation that we had, and that he wanted to see me again. He also used the previous "break up" against me. I was adamant to us continuing seeing each other, since I felt really sad. A month has passed, I have asked him how he is doing a few times, and he seems really happy when I contact him and makes a huge effort to keep the conversation going. But I am scared of being too pushy, and him being too polite to not answer me.

    I really want to see him and explain myself, but I am extremely scared of a rejection. I am also scared of putting him in an uncomfortable position. And I honestly do not know what to do at this point. I really like this guy, and I feel like we never gave it a chance. If he does not want to continue the relationship, I at least want to offer him my friendship and my apologies. He expressed sadness that his previous relationships often ended without him realizing why, and I feel bad that this might be the case this time around as well. Please help, I feel lost.

    I absolutely realize that aspergers is a spectrum, and that no one here is able to think for him. But I would love some possible insight into the thought process that might have occurred if anyone recognize themselves in this position. I really like this guy, and I feel guilty for a lot of the (several) reasons for the failure of this relationship. I feel particularly guilty for not doing more research of the condition, since I realize that I have interpreted some common traits (such as less contact than NT relationship, more need for structure++) as him being mean. I feel really awful, and I kind of want to meet him to try and explain myself, but I am scared of a rejection.
     
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  2. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    For more context: he told me several times that he never felt this way with anyone. He was very physical with me, and held me really tight all the time. Also something he said he never did with anyone before. I noticed he had issues with light touching, so I never did this to him. I don't doubt that he liked me at some point, but I am unsure if he ever stopped doing it. I am unsure if the statement he made was a reaction to me asking about this girl, or if it was his intention to end our relationship. We were also both drunk during our conversation. He has not initiated contact more than once since the incident (I have asked him how he is 3 times), but I kind of understand since I was the one who suggested that we stopped seeing each other, while he made it clear that he still wants to. He also expressed concern that we would lose contact. :S

    I also noticed that everything changed for him around 3 months ago. He got a new job, his roommate got a girlfriend (which upset him a lot for some reason), he had sleep issues (except from when I was there) and he told me he started seeing a therapist right after I broke it off the first time (and then regretted the decision).
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  3. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    A lot of people come on here who have dated an Aspie and have been very confused and yet immersed in a very intense experience they cannot forget. It is a pattern. I don't know what to say. I do sympathize.

    This is just to say I hope others can chime in. I would say it would be best to let him go because this one does seem rather one sided. It seems you might be hanging on to the experience when he is not. If it were both, I would feel different.

    Hang in there till others post. I do hope you find closure and healing no matter what :)
     
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  4. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    Yes, I have noticed the pattern as well. Thank you for your sympathies. <3 And for your answer and advice.
     
  5. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hello 123Timmeti456

    A warm welcome, hope your forum experience is a positive one.
    English is my only language, so I always respect people who can speak more than one language.

    I know a lady from school married to a man with asperger's and they get on fine. The lady from school took some time to understand her partner also, this is normal, we are hard to understand.

    I masked to be "normal" and got used to small-talk, however small-talk is just that, small, usually about people.
    You did do research, better late than never. You can carry on, you can come on here as much as you like and ask away, I, for one, won't mind. I am newly diagnosed but known a long time.

    It's good he is very kind, smart and interesting person. I will try my best to be kind, as this is extremely difficult for you, and I am sorry to hear how desperate you feel, don't let despair get in your way.

    No two autistics are the same but we do have traits. Some can seem like they are ignoring you, however your partner sounds too kind to ignore you. I am not good at knowing when to return favours and may seem clueless to some.

    When you got mad, you did not understand, and you felt ignored, which is why you felt you should stop seeing each other. He would, I guess, be completely surprised, some of us are not good at picking up on social cues.

    You saw the error of your ways and were mature enough to speak to him about it, that is worthy of respect in my opinion.

    So sorry you had a real breakup, hope you can mend it if that is what you want. I am replying to each sentence of your post as I read it, not read the whole post through yet.

    It is your choice whether you want to move to his home town, don't be forced you have to want it enough for the right reasons.
    Relationship talk with autistic people can be difficult, we are just wired differently.

    If you are in love with him, tell him, the worst he can do is tell you the truth, either a yes (good) or a no (something you will have to process, and I for one can listen to you if you want to process if the outcome is a no from him.

    HFA's can be blunt, we can come across as rude but we don't want to, we just don't know how to communicate sometimes.

    Readiness for relationships develops naturally if they are meant to be.
    I am glad he wants to see you again, the girl he texted may have just been a friend or acquaintance.
    It's a good sign he seems really happy when you contact him and makes a huge effort to keep the conversation going. Just be polite and honest with him, that is the best you can do.

    I am very emotionally sensitive as an aspie, however I know when someone is trying to be nice, I dont want people walking on eggshells around me, but I get upset when they are rude (not you)

    I am also scared of rejection, we cannot take them personally.
    It will just hurt us.

    I say to tell him you are scared of putting him in an uncomfortable position, as an aspie I would appreciate that, although I cannot speak for him as we are all different.

    It sounds as if he is pleased to talk to you and the worst outcome in my opinion from what you say is a good friendship, and I do not consider that a rejection. Who knows, he may want a relationship, he may want to take it slow, nothing personal, it may be his asperger's, again I cannot talk for another aspie, just going from my own aspie experience.
    When you say he expressed sadness that his previous relationships often ended without him realizing why, that resonates with me. I fell for men who treated me badly, one never even announced our split but it was obvious, he blanked me.
    You sound as if you want a relationship with him, tell him you do, and tell him if he doesn't you would at least like a friendship.

    Be open and honest with him. I used to get treated badly at work, other colleagues even noticed, but no one gave me feedback why they treated me badly, until one boss said she snapped at me because I interrupted her work when she was busy with queries on my own work. I knew not to interrupt her phone calls, but didnt pick up on body language that she was engrossed in work. Another staff member was very frank which I liked, she gave me a lift and said if she didnt like me I would not be in her car, I need people to be straight talking with me, even if that means constructive criticism.

    Don't waste any more time beating yourself up for not researching the condition, start now, you have already taken the first steps by coming on here (congratulations on that)

    Bottom line, as you said he seemed pleased when you contacted him, the worst outcome that I see is a friendship and I do not consider that as a rejection, as he wants you in his circle. We are very picky at times who is in our circle, I let many ill treatment in my circle so now I am really careful.

    I hope this post helps you.
     
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  6. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sorry, I never saw this extra post. He told you several times that he never felt this way with anyone. This seems a good sign.
    I am not great at interpreting things but to me he sounds really keen.

    You are sensitive enough to notice he doesn't like light touch. Your doubts seem to be around whether he still likes you.
    I obsess about people and it can take some time for me to get over people.
    I don't know how long it is since you have communicated with him.

    I used to drink, it just makes things worse, I had to be drunk to make love.

    He expressed concern that we would lose contact. I don't know how long ago this was, but it seems to me he wants you in his circle or closer.

    I support you in making contact with him and wish you all the luck in the world.
     
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  7. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    Oh my god, I don't know how to express how thankful I am for your reply. Thank you for taking the time. Your reply is so sympathetic and kind, and also well formulated and informative <3 I agree with your statement about readiness for a relationship. That is also one of the reasons I was so confused when he claimed that I had to "stop being so in love, because we would never be in a relationship". I was not ready for the next step myself. He seems really pleased to talk to me, but again; I'm scared he is just being polite. And that his lack of initiative to initiate contact confirms this. However, this has been an issue throughout our relationship; he is bad at initiating contact, also with his friends, who often complain about it.

    I find your story from work very interesting, and I will keep in mind to always give people feedback. But I do think this touches on something important: a lot of NT's actually do not appreciate feedback, even if it is constructive. They see it as criticism, and miss out on the constructive part. This is obviously a generalization. Your example fits well here, because both him and I failed in being open, honest and communicative about the relationship. I more than him. this is a huge regret of mine.

    Again, Thank you so, so much. I have realized that I have few people in my life that understand my situation. That is why I have come here for advice, and I really appreciate it. Even if I realize that it is hard to give advice to, and about, someone you've never met. I am just trying to get some insight into how someone with some of his traits understands and interprets. Even if I fully understand that everyone is individual!
     
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  8. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    We last saw each other in just over a month ago. I talked to him for the first time since the incident, two weeks ago. He seemed really happy that I reached out, and we had a long, pleasant conversation over text. He expressed concern over losing contact when we broke up. I decided I wanted to stay in touch when I started to do this research. After that he sent me a random photo, which I replied to. And then we communicated on Christmas Eve (my initiative). I wished him a merry Christmas, and we exchanged some words.

    I am glad to hear that you realize that alcohol makes things worse, and I hope you are able to continue to make good decisions in the future! <3

    I think I will go ahead and shoot him a text and ask him if he still wants to be friends, and if he wants to meet me sometime during the week. I actually think we will be a better match as friends. And I hope he is interested in my friendship. I am terribly scared of rejection, but working on this with my therapist.
     
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  9. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi @123Timmeti456

    Aww your reply has warmed my heart.

    I must admit I got confused when he said "stop being so in love, because we would never be in a relationship", however we never know, that may be a response to your mentioning the girl he texted. Nothing personal, aspies communicate differently and the more research you do, the more you will know.
    Temple Grandin is a famous classic Autistic, Tony Attwood is a leading expert on Aspergers, he talks about girls, Simon Baron Cohen is supposed to be an expert on Aspergers.
    Youtube is a good resource, especially the TED X talks done by asperger's.
    Most Aspies don't do "just being polite" they are straight talking. When I did I "just being polite" it was because I was masking.

    I hope the above, from my perspective helps you.
    I suffer lack of common sense and do not use my initiative. It just doesn't occur to me, especially if I am anxious, he could have been anxious as you are either close to him or in his little circle and it may matter to him.

    I'm keen to see how this goes, no pressure though, in your own time. Meanwhile give him a wave on Facebook, when I get those I know people are thinking of me.

    All AS people are different, I dont have echolalia, I dont see patterns, maybe he doesn't initiate contact, just a thought/guess.

    Thanks for your comment on feedback. I felt disliked at work, especially when 3rd parties would say I got picked on, being aspie but not knowing it at the time, I craved feedback, but it had to be specific. One guy said you need to keep your gob shut - too vague.
    I appreciated the straight talking women who told me I wouldn't be in their car if they didnt like me, and the other woman who told me I interrupted her work, I also appreciated the same vague guy who said I keep talking when a conversation has ended and he also said I use peoples names a lot, good feedback. It may be criticism but these things felt constructive, oh, I think someone said I was too loud on the phone, another constructive criticism, how can I improve if no one constructively criticises me?

    I have had my egocentric times, however I see negative feedback given in a polite way as constructive.

    Forget your regrets, learn from them. Look forward not backwards as beating yourself up will just cause you harm.

    Come for advice any time you like I just hope its the right advice. I understand it seems like you want, from real actual spies that you are just trying to get some insight into how someone with some of his traits understands and interprets and that is ok.
     
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  10. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Being on the spectrum means for me, it's extremely hard to navigate other people's intent and understand how l feel or if what l feel is revelant in that time frame and not a spillover from other emotions. We have a hard time trusting our emotions which appears to others as flippant and inconsiderate behavior.

    If they are willing to be a friend,that is pretty neat. Good friends are extremely hard to come by. Love can come and go but some friendships last way beyond. Some serious relationships started as great friendships. So it's hard to truly call this.
     
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  11. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I feel misunderstood too and am on the spectrum.
    I get what you say with this post, it resonates with me,
    even though no two people on the spectrum are exactly alike.
     
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  12. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome!

    For many on the spectrum, we have few friends, but those we have, are often close loyal friendships which we cherish. It can be hard for someone to break in.

    Many of us have been hurt, and this impacts our ability to let people into our lives. But if we do, you may find that the friendship/relationship is unlike others who might have.

    Partly because part of my work involves cleaning up messes from broken relationships, I'm hesitant to proactively start them in my personal life, even friendships, and so to speak for myself, while I am very open to things, I am almost always not one to initiate things. I'm also scared that people might misunderstand me, and so even for work friendships, almost all of them have started with the other person reaching out to me.

    I'm talking mostly about myself here, but I just wanted to share a bit about myself in hope it might help you understand and navigate your relationship with your aspie, who might (or maybe not) share some similar thoughts.
     
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  13. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    This is also my problem. But my fear of coming across as pushy or co-dependent keeps me from initiating more. One time l did talk about my feelings, and the person shut down on me, so that frightened me away.☹ l truly don't initiate also. In fact the closer l get, the more l pull away. Avoidant attachment style l believe it's called. It feels like a way to keep myself safe. My brick and concrete walls are strongly in place, this is a skill-set from childhood that l needed.
     
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  14. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    Yes, I was also confused, and hurt by the "stop being so in love" part. I think he meant it, and I think in his head it is because he feels like I dont want to move to the place he wants to live. However, this is a strange line of thought 1) since it is way to early to make that decision and 2) if we were meant to be, I would move there. But he is very practical, logical and straight forward, and I think this is a very important thing for him. He was very honest about continuing to see each other though. And even if it might make sense to him, it is confusing to me. I often think back, and interpret this as him being confused and scared of his own emotions, which to me seems to have been rather intense. I also think he tried to protect himself after I broke up on the phone (and took him back) since I never really explained this to him. Communication is key, I see that now. But it has been hard with him as he gets very stressed, and I have tried to avoid putting him in uncomfortable positions.

    Thanks for the sources. I will definitely check them out.

    I agree with your comments on constructive criticism, and I appreciate feedback like that myself. How else can one improve. It seems like your situation at work is better now, and I am glad to hear that. Did it improve for you when you got your diagnosis as well? I mean, I guess it would be easier to understand ones own behavior when you know at what points you are different?

    Again, Thank you so much. It really helps <3
     
  15. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    From my (still limited) research on aspergers, I Have read about the points you make here. However, I have some difficulty understanding what you mean about "understand how I feel". Does this mean that you have trouble identifying concepts such as love? Or what does it mean in practice? I agree about the friendship part. I would be very happy if he wanted to. He has a lot of friends, but the friendships seems rather shallow and practical. I also think we had a good dynamic where he often asked me about social interaction, and we discussed peoples behavior. I think we could both learn a lot from each other. Thank you so much for your reply and valuable insight! I really appreciate it.
     
  16. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply! I understand that being hurt makes it difficult to let people into your life. I think I am responsible for hurt here, but it has been unintentionally. Often a reaction to what I have interpreted as him hurting me.

    I see how cleaning up messes from broken relationships makes you vary, because some of them really are ugly. In this period of heart break I have really wondered whether the good times was worth the long period of sadness that followed. But I think my conclusion is that it has been worth it. I see that this affects your initiative, and I do think that is the reasons why he keeps away from initiative now. But can I ask, have you ever experienced someone taking initiative and you not wanting them to? As I mentioned, I am really scared that he is trying to send a signal that he does not want any contact and that I am not picking it up. I really do not want to cause him any more stress than I already have.

    I hope you get what you want in life. Maybe you should think that since you are so used to cleaning up peoples messes after failed relationships, you have extra tools to avoid getting in that situation yourself? <3
     
  17. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    It seems like the fear of "coming across as pushy" is a phenomenon for all of us. This is what I am struggling most with right now. What I find strange is the change in intenseness. I suspect I was his obsession in the beginning, and that this might have faded after a while. Therefore, I have seen him take initiative, and have seen it stop. If he was NT this would 100% have been due to lost interest. I don't know how it is for him, but I Do know that I think it was good that the obsession cooled down. For both of us. It was rather exhausting. I have, however, seen displays of his emotions in the period after as well. But more and more signs of him being on the spectrum became apparent. I like these traits! I liked the periods of silence. I resonate with " the closer I get, the more I pull away"... I wish you luck! I think at some point we all have to do uncomfortable things to get what we want/need. And in the worst case, it is a learning experience that allows us to develop skills we can use in other situations. But feelings are the worst at times :/ Wish you all the luck in the world with everything. And again thank you <3
     
  18. VAW

    VAW Well-Known Member

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    I think you got some good advise on here. I am always looking for more information as to my Aspie son, although it isn't a relationship with someone like yours is, it is still an understanding of them I get from being on here.

    The few things I have noticed with my son and relationships is he has only had one, she broke it off with him because it was a long distance thing, they spoke every day all day for years, he says he has no feelings inside for anyone but with her he had a spark. He has no interest in anyone else. Now she is talking with him again but he doesn't feel it will be a relationship, just a friendship and for now that is something at least.

    He is high functioning also and very good looking, women stare at him all the time and we have never been somewhere that someone hasn't commented on how handsome he is and should be a model. For years I didn't understand him... I would say you have it all why aren't you doing anything with that? It wasn't until much later (he is 32 now) that I started to understand him, his anxieties of going out or just talking to someone. He doesn't like small talk and won't do it, he said he finds no reason for small talk. He is very intelligent, above normal, a very good writer but doesn't find any reason to write a book. He is mostly on the dark side, why do it? What is the purpose, doesn't matter, who cares.....He was never meant for this world and doesn't like being in it. Of course everyone is different but it dawned on me that everything he does is a display, he feels nothing inside he says... or very little and what he does do is only for show because that is what people expect of him.

    Now until I understood that about him I was always a bit disappointed in him. Sometimes he wouldn't talk and when I asked him a question and he didn't answer it made me upset! Like being rude. To him it wasn't like that. It is almost like when two worlds collide! he is living in a world that wasn't meant for him, it is different for him. For me to understand him was very difficult because in my world things were different.

    One thing I had thought about was how much is this Asperger's ? and how much is this just him doing what he wants to do? So this forum has really helped me to understand how a lot of people with Asperger's feel, some are exactly the same and some are somewhat different. That may depend on how you were raised? Society? learning abilities?...the list goes on.

    Someone explained it to me sort of this way, it is like being in a crowd of people but still all alone! There is no connection to those people.
    Me I am the opposite (an NT) I think of everyone as my friends, some are just people I haven't met yet but I can walk up to anyone and just start talking to them. He can't.

    To me sometimes it is sad because when he laughs it brightens up my whole world....but I know there is another side to him also. He is kind and generous and funny but most emotions never come out of him, he keeps a lot inside. BUT knowing him as I do now has opened up a lot of doors that were shut before. We talk a lot more now, he doesn't live with me anymore, he has a place about a half hour away with his brother, but we text almost every day now. I probably text him more now than my other kids.
    So a big difference is how they think and do things which are different than the way NT's may do things or feel things. You will have to understand that about them and not feel hurt when they don't do things the way you do or say things that may feel like an attack on your way. They don't mean harm, that is just the way they can be.
     
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  19. 123Timmeti456

    123Timmeti456 Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply. And WOW, what an awesome mother you are. I am impressed by your insight and understanding of your son and his diagnosis. Your son is lucky to have you as a mother. I really appreciate you sharing this. It provides me with important insight. In many ways he sounds like the boy I am asking about. He is also very good looking and enjoys a lot of characteristics that most women find attractive. But he is also un-interested in most people. He has his special interests, and prefers to be alone. He does however have a big social circle that he spends some time with in some periods (I have often felt that he has ups and downs, but I have not known him long enough to say for sure).

    I really have no way of knowing (at this point) if the guy I am talking about is happy that I tried to initiate contact again. Do you know if it was your son or her who did? He seemed happy in the beginning, but has had difficulty following it up. The reason I am so unsure of whether to continue the contact or initiate a meeting for a friendship is because I worry that I will put him in an uncomfortable position. I really do not want to do that. He becomes very stressed in situations that he finds uncomfortable. It is almost painful to watch.

    I think that it is very difficult for us as NT's to accept/understand that some people actually prefer something so different from us. I remember he told me once that he could not understand when people around him complained about loneliness. He never felt lonely. I am really glad to hear that you figured out a way to maintain contact, and that it seems to be pleasant for the both of you! <3 With regards of your last sentence, this is really what I have come to realize. A lot of the hurtful things he said felt like deliberate attacks, and I now realize that they were not.
     
  20. VAW

    VAW Well-Known Member

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    Initially I believe it was her that started talking with him, she just kept talking to him and eventually he felt comfortable with her and they would text all day long. I know a lot of Aspie's do not have a connection with anyone else only that one person. Maybe with her it was because she kept going and didn't give up until she had him. Some are different and can attach to another person too. Or want to.

    Another thing is I felt very hurt by my son's words a lot of times. They tend to say what they feel and don't have the same power we have to not say what they feel. We don't always agree on certain things and he will say to me that is stupid to believe that or how can you be so stupid, just things that I wouldn't have said to him. I now realize that he says just how he feels at the time, they usually don't hold that in but it is just how they feel and not wanting to hurt you and don't understand that it does hurt.
    They can't read people like we can. I know if someone is getting angry the way they are even looking or disappointed or sad or upset, therefor I won't say something because I know they are getting upset, they don't see those signs and will say things.
    There does seem like a lot of things are similar between your guy and my son.
    And thank you for the kind words, It has taken me a long time to understand him and believe me I did a lot of things wrong that made things worst because I didn't understand him. Sometimes it is a struggle because they are different in some ways. and they do have melt downs. My son will say to me, I wish I would just die, I hate living in this world. That makes me so sad. I hate it when he is in that mood. IT used to scare me that maybe he would commit suicide and I would die inside myself if he did that. But then came to realize that he says what he feels. Not saying he is, just how he feels. But I also know that a lot of Aspie's say that and feel that way too at times.
    If you want to talk on the chat I would be happy to... Since they are so similar you can ask me anything you want too if it strikes you to do so.
     
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