Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum and looking for some advice.
I started dating my boyfriend a year ago. He’s high functioning austistic and in his 40’s. He’s my world, and he makes me feel like I am his. He is the sweetest and most attentive man I could have wished for. I am his first ever girlfriend, he was very sexually inexperienced when we met.
The problem I’m currently having is that when we go out he is staring at teenage girls. I’m gutted, i want to believe it’s innocent but how can it be?! Could it be explained by asbergers or am I being naive?
I suffered from this condition for many years. When I say that, I literally got kicked out of a gym. I was confused because, in my mind, I was looking at everyone the same way, but it was the females that got a bit uncomfortable with it. I also had issues at work because if I saw someone I was acquainted with from down a long hallway, for example, I would look at their face continuously, waiting for them to make eye contact, then I would greet them. BUT, what would happen is that just when I would think they would look at me, there would be eye aversion from them. For years, I was confused and frankly a bit disturbed by the behavior. WTF was going on here?
I later took a course on non-verbal communication. There was a moment in there, a few statements only, where the instructor mentioned this social eye aversion. Well, unbeknownst to me, just like in the animal kingdom, there are are times when eye contact is actually a sign of aggression, and at the very least, people can get a bit "creeped-out" by it. What is supposed to happen, in my example above, was as myself and the other person where walking closer to each other we keep our eyes to ourselves, then at the very last moment, look up, meet eyes, then greet each other, then eye avert again. So, that's what I do now and people are SO MUCH more friendly with me. It took me 40+ years, but I understand it now. So, the same thing in the gym. Keep your eyes to yourself, and if you are meaning to engage in conversation, make the eye contact quick and non-threatening, and sure enough, all is well.
In your example with teenage girls, I honestly think that he is a heterosexual guy who sees beauty in the female form and loves to look at it. BUT, as an autistic person, you might not understand that "friendly eye contact" is either going to "creep out" the other person, or make you a bit upset. This is social naivity, not on your part, but his. I am sure if you mention what I just said, he would be absolutely mortified with himself. I am sure there was no "intent" other than a misunderstanding of "social graces".