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Featured Could my new boyfriend also be an Aspie?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Jet Weiss, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Jet Weiss

    Jet Weiss Incurably Weird

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    I met my boyfriend online (granted, we live within 10 minutes away from each other) and we are a very good match. At first I didn't think I had a chance with him but that turned out not to be true, obviously. In some ways we are very similar but in more ways we are very different people. Opposites attract, I guess.
    I am actually not sure if he is on the spectrum or if he is just a "weird" (using the term affectionately) NT. He is an extrovert, very dramatic, very charming, very handsome, good manners, good sense of humour, good fashion sense, talented singer and dancer, multilingual, and sort of likes and gets along with everyone indiscriminately. However he has what seem to be special interests and he is an intellectual. One of his two best friends (he grew up with them) is an Aspie and the other is moderately physically disabled (the friends have been very open and accepting of me). He refers to himself as a "closet nerd," meaning that he is nerdy but doesn't want it to be obvious.
    His interests- which seem to me to be special interests- are classical music/film and video game score (and non-English pop music, which is actually the topic we bonded over), performing arts, fashion, travelling, video editing, and engineering. When he talks it is typically centred around one or more of said topics.
    Most of the Aspies and Auties I have known are introverts, but my boyfriend is very friendly and outgoing and enjoys being the centre of attention. Sometimes he embarrasses me tbh because he will say hi to random people. His two friends are very introverted and seem uncomfortable in public.
    Although he has historically not had a lot of friends, he doesn't seem to have a lot of trouble with social skills imo and will actually correct me and his two friends when we say something that is too blunt or rude (the Aspie friend is a repeat offender of this and my boyfriend is always telling him to watch himself). He tries to make sure that everything he says is polite and he is accepting of all types of people. He likes to give the impression that he is of high class and quite civilised, although he is not snobbish or condescending.
    So, to really get to the point here, I am wondering if it may be possible that my boyfriend also has Asperger's? I honestly can't tell either way, in some ways he seems borderline Aspie and in other ways he seems NT. This doesn't particularly matter or affect our relationship in any way no matter the outcome, I am more just generally curious.
    I would also like to point out that this is my first romantic relationship and his friends are my first real IRL friend group, and I am completely new to this. Any input is much appreciated.
     
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  2. SameStars

    SameStars Well-Known Member

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    I don't really get the idea from your post that he is struggling socially or has communication issues. Even someone neurotypical can have intense interests or be like a closet nerd (which I guess means he sort of wants to fit in, so he gets that part of social interaction), so I wouldn't pin a diagnosis on that.
    That said, you know him personally, and there's only so much an online description can get across.
     
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  3. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations :) Really happy for you!

    Well, the same questions run through my mind, 'does she have adhd, is he bipolar, are they the symptoms of ptsd?', but in my experience, starting with these questions only leads to over analysis. It starts with the question 'is he on the spectrum' and then you start to look for traits for and against. Clues. You'll then bring the subject up until the subject starts to live up to the label. I would suggest grounding yourself in then now, touching the table, smelling the roses, literally if necessary. Then get to know the real them and form a relationship instead of laboratory rat-izing and studying him.
     
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  4. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    When you come from a bag of different bits, it is easy to associate with others with different bits - because chances are they won't make you wrong or broken because of your bits that make you unique. That rules these two out as socially acquired friends, very aspie.

    Special interests, does he talk about other things as comfortably as he talks about his special interests?

    Empathic or Alexi, does he speak "I think..." or "I feel...", this is not exactly aspie but is important for comparability. How is he about asking about you? How is he about caring for you emotionally, not physically?

    Does he make eye contact when out in a new restaurant, is he comfortable their?

    Was he bullied as a kid?

    I'm just providing some things to research....
     
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  5. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    Wow... great response! I have never heard these things put so well.
     
  6. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    Do aspies hurt in response to breakups?
     
  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I still grieve over the loss of a relationship from thirty years ago.
     
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  8. Jet Weiss

    Jet Weiss Incurably Weird

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    Thanks for your wise and knowledgeable reply Keigan, this was very well put!

    He does not talk about other things as comfortably as he talks about his special interests. He is capable of small talk but is not a master of it.

    He does use a lot of "I statements," if that's what you meant by "I think" and "I feel." He does ask about me and does care for me emotionally but usually when he is talking the focus of the conversation is on himself, he talks about himself and regarding himself mostly.

    He is about 50/50 with eye contact, sometimes it is there and other times he will not look me directly in the eyes when speaking.

    He was bullied as a kid, mostly for being gay though, and the two friends I mentioned are really his only friends.
     
  9. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well he sounds a bit like me actually.

    I am an extrovert and have learned to pass as NT extremely well, but there is a price, and that price for me is overload which seems to get worse as I age.

    I'm guessing you're in your twenties and that he is too - at that age it would have been very hard to spot me I think as I tried so hard to cover it all up ( I had no idea I was Aspie at the time of course, I was just trying to fit in as best I could).

    Poor eye contact, deeply understood interests, sudden and unexplained "tiredness" and not talking although usually chatty (going non-verbal) would have been the key signs for me.

    I'd also meltdown occasionally which would take the form of a bitter argument that comes out of no where.

    I'll happily talk to anyone as long as I'm not overloaded, but random chats with strangers overload me very quickly. I'd also often act odd if I met an acquaintance in the street - that would be very uncomfortable.

    I'll always move conversions onto topics I know about or are interesting, and I never talk about nothing at all (blah blah chat).

    The most comfortable friendships for me are Aspies first, and then introverted, clever NTs

    Hope that's of some use. Interesting about opposites attracting - my wife is an introvert NT
     
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  10. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    Try this.....

    Present him with a life scenario and ask him if the life scenario would make him happy - chances are he starts his response sentence with "I think" and then rationalizes the scenario or withdraws and possibly shuts down.

    Then ask him if the scenario is "good or bad" - his response will probably be one word direct with no explanation and not even phase him.

    Asking him if he is happy accesses his emotions, asking good or bad is logical not emotional.

    For myself, I'm probably Alexi - responding to good or bad is very easy as my aspie brain is doing what it does best, processing without emotion. Though when asked how I feel, I stumble to find the words or I don't respond.
     
  11. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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  12. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    What might then Love then think (feel)
    like? How would you know? Would saying I have strong feelings for you mean the same?
     
  13. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    What does overload feel like?
     
  14. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    I mean... could you help me understand what overload is for you?
     
  15. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    How does your grief effect you?
     
  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Mostly just fills me with a lot of remorse. Though it's not like I can do anything about it.

    But the point is that it's always in my heart and mind.
     
  17. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    I'm so sorry for you.
     
  18. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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  19. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    Overload.

    Take 20 questions, each question asking a person how they feel about something....

    Normally you could accelerate the pace at which you ask those questions, you could even cut off the persons speaking by asking the next question.... and you could flood them emotionally, especially a man. For the person can't process their emotions fast enough to respond to the questions at the pace you are asking them.

    Now multiply exponentially for an aspie. I want to answer your question, but I can't process it in the moment to a satisfactory response fast enough, some times not at all, sometimes twenty minutes later my response is as fluid and poetic as can be. Why can't I process fast enough - because my brain evaluates a million potential responses before you even finish asking the question. Now I have to choose.
     
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  20. Annieoh

    Annieoh Fern

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    OMG! That is what happened. Now I understand. Thank you so much. Now I understand why he shut down. I did exactly that and more!