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Featured How do I ask for affection?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Dreadful Dante, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. Dreadful Dante

    Dreadful Dante Well-Known Member

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    The title says it all. How do I ask for affection? I know if someone is affectionate to me I can return it in the same way (learned it from an online course on relationships). But what if I'm the one who wants to start it?

    It's rare for me to feel connected to people but I do enjoy when an understanding someone is sweet to me and strokes my hair or do things like that, it feels like I'm dreaming of Heaven.

    People around me seem to get it often without asking. How do they do it?

    I've asked them and they didn't seem to understand the question or said they never thought about it, "it just happens".

    The times I asked for affection it turned out awkward because I didn't understand how it worked.

    When I was a child I would say "I think I have lice" so my aunt would run her fingers through my hair. (I think everyone did this at least once).

    Can someone explain how I should ask (or not ask) for it? Is it something you say or do? Am I supposed to just rub against them like a cat? (jk)

    Should ask and how to ask, those are the questions!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  2. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No one I've ever known has asked for affection, although my spouse and I ask each other at times if we want hugs. This is usually if either of us are sad or upset, and we hug one another.

    It's usually a spontaneous act between people, if one is sad or unhappy someone who is close to them (friend or family member) will hug them or put their arm around them. Others will act spontaneously when they are happy to see one another, and hug or hold hands or kiss them on the cheek when greeting one another. Greeting someone you care about, might involve a hug or some sort of physical gesture.

    You might ask someone you know well for a hug, with 'I need a hug.' And see what happens, they may or may not hug you but you could try.
     
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  3. rickxxxblaine

    rickxxxblaine Member

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    I think it depends on your partner. My first girlfriend was really showing affection and it never bothered her to get a hug. My last girlfriend was not like this, she was hyperactive and couldn't stand a 'surprise' hug. She always had something better to do. Really frustrating especially when she told me 'you never show affection'. This thing will probably puzzle me for a long long time, I'll never know if it was my faults or hers. But as i expérienced 'free' affection before, I think not everyone is able to express or receive these little marks. My dog can. And he gets plenty. Seems like a proof to me :) Can you show spontaneous affection to animals ? Is that because you're sure you won't be rejected ? If that's the case, you're probably dating the wrong person.
     
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  4. Dreadful Dante

    Dreadful Dante Well-Known Member

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    I can ask for hugs just by extending my arms to some people (very few) in specific sets of contexts. I don't exactly feel anything different doing it. I went to group therapy for a year and learned a little on how to express affection verbally and phisically, but they only taught me how to do it in a few contexts or if there is someone in need, "sad or unhappy" as you said (again, only in a few contexts).

    Everytime I express my gratitude to someone, they say I'm being overly polished. (Maybe because I'm using what I learned as a default for all occasions).

    The thing is, there are types of affection I haven't learned about and hundreds of contexts. And there isn't such a thing as a book named "Expression of Affection: When, why and where". If I'm wrong, someone send me a pdf or link that leads to it.

    I can show affection to only one dog I know, but only for a few seconds or minutes and then I immediately go wash my hands (germophobe) or leave because it tires me emotionally. I can foresee his actions and movements, it's very predictable to play with him. A person would be very different. The dog doesn't need a context, I just show up, make a sudden movement and he comes after me wanting to play.
     
  5. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I always erred on the side of caution. When I was dating looking for a girlfriend, I always waited for them to make the first move.
     
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  6. Dreadful Dante

    Dreadful Dante Well-Known Member

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    I'm talking more of a friendly affection. Like my colleagues in College do. Like I see in films, some family members, like I see in places I go. People just being sweet and comprehensive (phisically and emotionally) to each other. I'm left wondering when the realisation happens, when do they start to feel it's ok to express affection and what types of affection are acceptable (nothing sexual).
     
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  7. Vinca

    Vinca Speaking through Pictures V.I.P Member

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    I've learnt what is appropriate when greeting people and saying goodbye but knowing how and when to initiate physical affection is a mystery to me.

    There's a lady at church who is very tactile when talking to people, and it just comes so naturally to her.

    With my parents, if I would like a hug, I specifically ask. I am very happy with this arrangement.

    I had a boyfriend who liked having his head scratched/brushed with a comb (his hair was very short), as a kind of relaxing massage, no sexual element. I can't remember what he said specifically, but think he probably just asked me if I'd do that. He did say that when he was a kid and his female family members would plait/braid the hair of other family members, his hair was too short to do that with, so he'd ask them to comb his head instead.

    It sounds to me that the type of expression of affection that you mention here is something that a person would do spontaneously, rather than an action that is the result of being specifically requested.
     
  8. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Even though I framed it for girlfriends, sex is something that I reserved for my wife. The transition from acquaintance to husbandly passes through (and includes) the platonic level of affection that you are talking about.
     
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  9. Vinca

    Vinca Speaking through Pictures V.I.P Member

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  10. Dreadful Dante

    Dreadful Dante Well-Known Member

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    Guess I need a wifu.

    Sorry for the language, but every time I think of marriage, the first thing that pops in my mind is

    "How the hell am I gonna do that?"

    I have alexithymia, so loving and bonding for me is "slightly" different from the typical concept.

    Vinca, I can assure you it definitely has something to do with what you said. I can't precisely verbalise what I feel, so touch becomes a way to express it.

    Affection doesn't necessarily mean emotional attachment or love, but it certainly has something to do with enjoying that person's company (Female only, for cultural reasons).
     
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  11. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Never ask. That is only given.
     
  12. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I find it very hard to ASK for affection; in fact, my husband has always complained that I never offer affection.

    I appreciate cuddles, because I see the sentiment behind, but feel terribly embarrassed by them and eager for it to end.

    I am not too bad at giving attention to a female who is crying; I feel a deep sadness rising inside and need to offer help.

    Really though, I suppose one can only ask for affection if they feel completely at ease. Like I can now, just about ask my husband for a hug, but it is only when I feel in a certain mood that I can accept that hug.

    But can honestly not explain the process.

    ps, I do that too, I go online to find out what the norm is and try to imitate it.
     
  13. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I thought that too ie how on earth am I going to be a wife, but I am succeeding! Also, as for emotions being expressed in other ways: I came down to a message from my husband to say: look after yourself darling and that sent little shivers of pleasure running through me! I am very weak at the moment and so, any activity, renders me in bed ( overactive thyroid)
     
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  14. Dreadful Dante

    Dreadful Dante Well-Known Member

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    My awkwardness makes it improbable, though.

    My goal is to make it at least a tiny bit more likely to happen "naturally". When I'm trying to become friends with someone, I'm actually analysing each of my words, actions and body language so I seem more likable and less awkward.

    I managed a few times to get affection "naturally", but I had to follow a strict script of behaviour that I tailored only for that purpose with norms, linguistic patterns, specific subjects to talk about and ways to do it. But I would get tired of acting that out because it takes too much focus and would soon slip and snap back to awkward, leading to them walking away.

    I have an underactive thyroid but it's under control, although I still have some symptoms because the precise "normal" TSH range is actually particular to each individual.

    I have a favourite symptom, my basal body temperature is lower than everybody else's and my body doesn't retrieve temperature as fast. I like that because I can greatly enjoy the body warmth when someone special hugs me.

    I love when someone touches me and says "OMG, you're so cold, let me warm you up" I'm like "Ooohhh yeeaahh". (No perv, just happy).

    So far I've been getting great responses and I'm deeply grateful for the time each and everyone one of you took to answer this thread. Thank you!

    As now I know it is not proper to ask for affection, what are the body language cues to implicitly express interest in it? Is it to just spontaneously initiate it? I know in a marriage/serious relationship that wouldn't be awkward, but outside of it, highly probable to be.

    Guess I'll just get married in the future. Currently it couldn't, wouldn't and shouldn't happen, but I have my future plans.
     
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  15. Catlover614

    Catlover614 Love Conquers

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    Dreadful Dante ,you say you're just kidding about rubbing up against someone,like a cat, to silently ask for affection. Well, that is precisely what I do. When I was a kid, I would pretend to be sick to just try to get some parental affection...didn't work! However, now that I'm 44, I will initiate a hug. I love hugging.
     
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  16. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    My "favourite" symptom is that because my heart is beating too fast, I have to take beta blockers and they have opened up the drainage system in my legs and thus, causing them to look pretty normal. I have insufficiant venus.

    Marriage causes one to feel comfortable with each other and so, I can ask for cuddles now; whereas before I was not able to. I could not even say: my husband loves me!

    Glad that you feel you have great responses. I feel the same way when I post a thread ie very grateful for responses.
     
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  17. Mathalamus

    Mathalamus Emperor of the Mathalamus Empire V.I.P Member

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    Asking for affection never ends well.
     
  18. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    ...outside of an established relationship.
     
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  19. Dreadful Dante

    Dreadful Dante Well-Known Member

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    My symptoms also have a bad side. I said "favourite" looking at it from a positive perspective (I had to find something good about it).

    Wouldn't it be intimacy that causes two people to feel comfortable with each other?
     
  20. Kusan38

    Kusan38 My self portrait ^

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    I'm not a diagnosed Aspie but I'm considering being assessed.

    I've always felt very awkward with social touch. Part of me wants some form of friendly touch and part of me finds it very intrusive.

    I'm asexual and a-romantic, so I think I fear that a "friendly" touch will lead to a more intrusive touch. In some cases it has, and I feel a little disgust over that.

    But I'm not even tactile with my relatives - usually it's just a hug to say hello or goodbye to those I do not see regularly. Not much in between.

    I like pressured touch, like massage, so I think my most ideal situation would be for a very trusted friend to do that kind of touch to a part of me that doesn't strongly connote with romance - e.g. shoulders, head, hands or feet.

    Better yet, I'd like to have the money for regular, professional massages and keep my experiences of friendly affection in the verbal realm!
     
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