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Does our focus get interpreted as neediness?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by MrSpock, May 15, 2017.

  1. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    As some of you know I've spent quite a bit of the last year and a half in a strange relationship/friendship with a woman who I like a lot. I wish it were more than a friendship, and I think that part of her does, too. She doesn't know what she wants a lot of the time, she's admitted as much to me.

    She has suffered abuse from family and from men, I doubt that she's been in a non-abusive relationship before. She admits that she has defences, has told me about avoiding setting them off. It's possible that what I'm about to write about is due to her defences, but it may also be due to my unusual (in an NT world) focus on what I'm interested in. She really interests me.

    She has often complained that I am obsessed with her. I think about her too much, I like her too much, I find her more attractive than she 'really is'. When we are together I sometimes look at her too admiringly. We can sometimes not see each other for a week or two, then when we do get together I don't want to leave, will spend days in a row with her and as a result I'm 'trying too hard'. Yet in some ways apparently I don't try hard enough. I don't see my 'obsession' with her as unhealthy or unusual, but then I guess I tend to become very focussed on things that interest me compared to NT's.

    If this is a result of her defences I don't expect you to explain this to me, her defences are myriad and formidable. It may be a result of her low self-esteem, I believe that part of her may not consider herself worthy of such attention from someone she has acknowledged as being a very good person. However I do wonder if many autistic people experience this, I wonder if maybe it's not so much her defences but a 'normal' reaction to the way in which an aspie (myself in this case) focusses on the object of his crush?

    Any relevant thoughts would be appreciated, even if this friendship (or whatever you want to call it) doesn't go anywhere I want to learn from it. Hopefully others of us on here will learn from this discussion too.
     
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  2. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    I behave in a similar manner to you. I can get quite obsessive and am paranoid about being like that. Sadly, I don't have any advice though sorry, hopefully someone can give you some advice :)

    EDIT TO ADD: I can't help but read your posts in Leonard Nimoy's voice.
     
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  3. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    Thanks Kay, your thoughts are valuable even though you're not giving advice directly. If it turns out that many of us behave in this way and it's seen as others to be obsessive behaviour as opposed to the way that we normally operate I'll know that it's me as well as or instead of her.
     
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  4. Datura

    Datura Well-Known Member

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    That is an astute observation and quite plausible. As someone who suffers from low self-esteem being admired by others is uncomfortable and confusing. I can't help but question their sincerity and the validity of their opinions. I have to refrain from turning the conversation into a debate where I forward evidence for why I am not as good as they think I am.

    I have also been in relationships where my partner was much more infatuated with me than a was with them. It isn't that I wasn't fond of them, but the disparity between our affections was disconcerting. It felt like undue expectation was being placed on me to reciprocate my partner's feelings when doing so would be impossible.

    In terms of concrete advice I would suggest, perhaps, backing off a little. Maybe limit visits to a day, or set an actual time frame. Since staring at her lovingly seems to bother her try breaking your gaze when you catch yourself doing this.

    Otherwise, are your expressions of love over-the-top? Again, if she feels that your interest in her is significantly greater than her interest for you, that could be a problem.
     
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  5. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I'm quite like you in my current relationship. I'm not usually like this, as I'm very independent and prefer to be alone. Not so much with my boyfriend though. I want to be around him all the time, so much so that we haven't spent more than one night apart ever since we got together four years ago. He wants me to be around just at much, so that's a plus ;)

    What is tricky is that I get upset when I don't know where he is, can't get ahold of him, and don't know when he'll be home. This quickly sends me into full Aspie meltdown. Which is unfortunate, as he works at a bar most nights and has a habit of hanging out with friends after closing time. And he's terrible at timekeeping. He doesn't understand why I freak out when I know he'll be home eventually, I don't understand why he doesn't get upset when I'm late. (Answer: because I'm never late and I obsessively inform him of my whereabouts and ETA even though I have the same schedule every day)

    This behavior is off putting for him, but it's not something I've been able to control. I'm happy that four years in I still think he's the most fascinating human being to be around, I just wish I could express it in a more sane manner.
     
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  6. ksheehan88

    ksheehan88 :)

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    Yep, I;m exactly the same.
     
  7. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Well-Known Member

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    Ok so i have been on both ends of this scenario.
    When i find someone interesting i now believe i can be called obsessing. They become my focus and i find it difficult to think about anything else. Friendships or potential crushes are treated the same.
    I don't know appropriate behaviour or intensity but now i know I'm probably on the spectrum and that this is a common issue, i am able to at least acknowledge that some of my thoughts and behaviour may not be typical and i need to be careful. I'm still completely in my head and my imagination speeds along so much that i can lose sleep dreaming and running scenarios through my head.

    I have also been on the receiving end of intense attention i did not feel worthy of. Call it low self esteem, previous bad experiences and trauma from men in the past, and not knowing the correct way to behave, what to say, etc. all caused the interaction to be stilted and uncomfortable. After it is over i can breathe and assess what happened, what i wished i had said and done but alas it is all too late. Even when i think i can learn and behave differently next time, i just faff it up in a whole new way. :confused:
     
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  8. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    I believe I get obsessed in the beginning of a relationship as I am looking for the definition of what the relationship is and is not.
     
  9. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    It is utterly normal to be obsessed with someone we love. The problem comes in the form this takes.

    It's bad if we use this to control them. It's good if we use this to support them.

    @MrSpock , your girlfriend is worried that your evident regard is faked because this is how she got trapped into abusive situations before. They charmed her into trusting them and then treated her badly. If you remain steadfast and yourself and recognize her issues she will continue to trust you more and more.

    She also needs to recognize that knowing when people are sincere is a skill she needs to work on, rather than just not trusting anyone.

    You are not doing anything wrong. Getting this far shows me that.
     
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  10. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to sound abrupt, it's because sometimes it's very hard to figure out what's really going on. But a book that I found extremely helpful about relationships was "Attached" by Amir Levine. It could simply mean that your relationship style may seem too intense for her, but another girl might feel deprived without the kind of focus you are capable of giving. There can be different reasons for why people wind up with their attachment style - and not all healthy, but hey, we are where we are. The book also helps you understand the other relationship styles and thereby helps you understand and provide for other people's types of needs to reduce strain on the relationship, and to grow more comfortable with others. It made me realize some unhealthy reasons for my own needs, which helps me deal with not getting them met, focusing instead on healing the real problem.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  11. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I am an obsessive person, but no one would ever guess, because I do it VERY quietly. As soon as I feel an attachment toward's another and it certainly does not have to be romantic, I feel the need to know what they are doing, but again, I do not mention this, because I am quite aware of what impression I would give.

    Low self esteem is definitely the core reason why your lady is behaving contrary with you. She just cannot figure out why on earth you should be this way with her?

    Conversily, my husband who is the NT has a form of obsession with me. He watches me and gets so close to me whilst in bed, that I cannot breath properly and often have to ask him, to please at least move a bit more over to his side, because I feel like I have a tightrope around me. He is a touchy touchy person and I am not. He will often say: if I move away from you, then it will be too far away and so, I have to move closer to him. I have got sort of used to him being this way. At first, I could not even utter the words: YOU love me. He would try and challenge me to say it, but I would bow my head and whisper the words; seemed way too presumptious to assume this guy loved me. But lol not anymore, but then again, we have been married for 26 year's in July. But I do still find it hard to believe he is into me to that extent.

    My husband has never let up with how he feels about me, so that helped me to be sort of accepting and thus, even if she comes out with those words, do not stop, because she obviously likes them, otherwise, she would not complain when she feels the opposite from you.

    It is very much like: I love that colour or outfit on you and the response is: oh, this old thing or this colour? We never seem to just accept the compliment. When I discovered that we do accept compliments with negativity; I am trying to change that and just say: thank you.

    Just the other day, I was told: you are so good, inviting someone back for a meal and I turned around and gave a sly look and said: yeah, I know and she burst out laughing! Even my husband laughed when I related it to him.
     
  12. Aspie_rin

    Aspie_rin Well-Known Member

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    Someone with low self esteem reacts defensively when someone tells then (with word or actions) that they are worth more than they think
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Interesting question. In my case I think I tend to keep people "at an arm's length". Even if and when I'm crazy about them, which usually gets me in trouble in a relationship at some point. Perpetually running both "hot and cold" with people no matter how I truly feel about them. o_O
     
  14. quarantinedonearth

    quarantinedonearth Member

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    Find a competing interest. One that you will obsess over even more than her. Let me know if your new interest causes your "love" to descrease or even fade.
    I give this advice purely based on experience. Been there, done that.
     
  15. MrSpock

    MrSpock Live long and prosper

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    I play pool. We've played pool together. She does sometimes distract me from playing well even when she's not there. I have completely ignored her while playing even when she is there. She's commented on how I go into a 'different mode' when playing. I am usually able to forget about everything else when I play, when I'm depressed it can be very therapeutic. To play well requires complete attention, it's something I've maybe 'obsessed' over for many years. We actually met playing pool.

    In March/April we went a month without texting/calling/seeing each other. Several times we've gone over a week without contact. I do become less obsessed, but I still miss her. It always surprises me how much I enjoy seeing her again and I realize that I've missed her even more than I knew.
     
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