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I knew I could do it (Bittersweet)

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BewilderedPerson

Well-Known Member
So, some of you might know, or remember, my heartbreak I’ve experienced, as I’ve detailed in other threads - from my heartbreak in March to an exciting few dates in April by someone whom I’ve had a depression over. As you might remember in another thread, we had sex on the first date and intimacy across our three dates, someone whom I’m still not completely over and still have feelings/attraction for, even though it’s been a couple of months.

Anyway, three weeks ago today was my first date with someone, and we became an official couple on June 3. So, we’ve been boyfriend and girlfriend for two weeks tomorrow, seeing each other multiple times each week, and since we both work with school kids (her younger ones, me older ones), it’s a convenient time since school is out for the summer.

We click well. There aren’t fireworks, but I really like her personality - her kindness, her sweetness, she well she treats me and cares about me. And she really likes me, too. She claims I treat her better than her son’s father treated her - they were together off and on for four years before he died in a car accident, but he could sometimes be physically abusive and could be a different person than he drank.

She chose me over someone else who was vying for her - and she told me about her family members and girl friends all wanted her to pick me. When I sent her a text wishing a Happy Father’s Day to her brother and to a male family member she introduced me to Wednesday, she relayed that message, and that male family member’s wife insinuated I am a keeper.

When we went to the card shop I go to to buy some of my Sports Illustrated covers I get autographed, it was basically the reopening with new ownership, and she knows a couple of people who ran the store. One of them I have an amicable relationship with and is actually her first cousin, and she told me I was a good dude.

Another, who was a year behind her in high school, and she saw him for the first time in 20+ years, saw us together and told her she had great taste in men.

So, why am I frustrated, to an extent, despite us being into each other, us being an official couple, treating each other well and the people in her life receiving me well?

Because she’s only my second official girlfriend ever, and I’m in my early thirties, and I’m doing everything with her I knew I could do with other women, that I knew I could treat other women as well as I’m treating my current girlfriend, but I rarely have gotten opportunities - going from not even getting a single date, to taking a long time for an official relationship, to a string of one time dates and no kisses to now two dates with one, three dates and sex/intimacy with another and now an official relationship with another.

It’s taken a lot of crying, a lot of suffering, heartbreak and rejection to get to this point, and I hope it lasts - at least as long as it can last.

And it’s been the same thing with employment and I get fewer responses and interest from employers than I do with women. I got turned down twice by my current job that I’ve been at for four-and-a-half, soon to be five years, and so many people love me that I’ve been turned into something of a local celebrity in the community I’m in.

People, for whatever reason, very rarely give me an opportunity. Then I go out and prove myself and people love me.

I don’t know if I should be bitter, feel vindicated, don’t even know what the point of this thread is other than maybe just venting or giving an update.

So, I’ll leave it at that.
 
As someone who can't even have what you have found, I have to say that you have acquired a real treasure. Both in your job and especially your romantic life. Learn and grow, but never stop being yourself.
 
It sure sounds like she is a keeper. So, do you have unresolved FOMO? My accepting, loving and interesting spouse has been my one and only for 46 years. Age resurrected feelings of my lonely youth of isolation and had me think similarly, but, with being a virgin at 28 and having her recognize my positive attributes, that made me think that I could have been successful with other women. I have banished those thoughts because we have been so supportive that we have helped each other grow past limitations. I remain satisfied with my life.

I hope that you will recognize that the woman who holds you in great esteem is a valuable life companion and that with care and a little imagination, you will not have missed out on anything.
 
one woman i refuse to call an ex-girlfriend, the other, i do even though we were not exclusive, it was more of a situationship, to the OP, how long were you single until you met your current partner?
 
If you ask long term, happily married couples if they regret not having more experience with other people before marriage, I think few will say yes.
 
Just a note to say "Congratulations" and best wishes. At my age (70) and never having heard of Asperger's till about age 40, I can tell you that life is do-able, but not particularly easy for us. However, I am married to a wonderful woman who appreciates most of my inner qualities. She can be frustrated when our communication isn't clear, but in many ways she is supportive and helpful. Does it get easier? Yes, you learn better over time to blend in better, stand out less....but it takes a lot of energy. I will say I don't have too many regrets, and if I could somehow be different (that is, make my mind work differently) I'm not sure I would choose that, and not sure it would be an improvement - different, but not necessarily better. So do your best to be open and honest with her, about the good and the bad, and it will likely work out fine. And, if not, it will later in life. Have faith.
 
Just a note to say "Congratulations" and best wishes. At my age (70) and never having heard of Asperger's till about age 40, I can tell you that life is do-able, but not particularly easy for us. However, I am married to a wonderful woman who appreciates most of my inner qualities. She can be frustrated when our communication isn't clear, but in many ways she is supportive and helpful. Does it get easier? Yes, you learn better over time to blend in better, stand out less....but it takes a lot of energy. I will say I don't have too many regrets, and if I could somehow be different (that is, make my mind work differently) I'm not sure I would choose that, and not sure it would be an improvement - different, but not necessarily better. So do your best to be open and honest with her, about the good and the bad, and it will likely work out fine. And, if not, it will later in life. Have faith.
how long you been with her now?
 
@Shamar

Thank you.

@Gerald Wilgus

I had to Google what FOMO stood for, and yes, I do have a fear of missing out. This is my one life, a life that could be taken from me at any point. It’d be easier to live life and not stress too much if a crystal ball told me I’ll be here another 50-60 years and life will all turn out okay for me in the end. As we all know, that’s not how life works.

I went dateless, kissless, relationship-less in high school and college. I really wanted that stuff to be part of my experiences, so I feel I missed out in a sense. I’ve never been great with dating and with the opposite sex, probably never will, but I always say the love gods throw me a bone every once in a while, and I guess now’s that time where I’m getting another one from them.

@Steelbookcollector217

In a literal sense, my last official girlfriend broke up with me in May 2017, so this is my first official girlfriend in seven years, though I’ve had partners I’ve been intimate, romantic, sexual and slept in the same bed with in between these two official relationships.

@brandybild

Thank You, and welcome to this forum.
 
@Shamar

Thank you.

@Gerald Wilgus

I had to Google what FOMO stood for, and yes, I do have a fear of missing out. This is my one life, a life that could be taken from me at any point. It’d be easier to live life and not stress too much if a crystal ball told me I’ll be here another 50-60 years and life will all turn out okay for me in the end. As we all know, that’s not how life works.

I went dateless, kissless, relationship-less in high school and college. I really wanted that stuff to be part of my experiences, so I feel I missed out in a sense. I’ve never been great with dating and with the opposite sex, probably never will, but I always say the love gods throw me a bone every once in a while, and I guess now’s that time where I’m getting another one from them.

@Steelbookcollector217

In a literal sense, my last official girlfriend broke up with me in May 2017, so this is my first official girlfriend in seven years, though I’ve had partners I’ve been intimate, romantic, sexual and slept in the same bed with in between these two official relationships.

@brandybild

Thank You, and welcome to this forum.
yeah one woman i kinda dated, she had a sexual/intimate side to her, the other one did not
 
@Shamar

Thank you.

@Gerald Wilgus

I had to Google what FOMO stood for, and yes, I do have a fear of missing out. This is my one life, a life that could be taken from me at any point. It’d be easier to live life and not stress too much if a crystal ball told me I’ll be here another 50-60 years and life will all turn out okay for me in the end. As we all know, that’s not how life works.

I went dateless, kissless, relationship-less in high school and college. I really wanted that stuff to be part of my experiences, so I feel I missed out in a sense. I’ve never been great with dating and with the opposite sex, probably never will, but I always say the love gods throw me a bone every once in a while, and I guess now’s that time where I’m getting another one from them.

@Steelbookcollector217

In a literal sense, my last official girlfriend broke up with me in May 2017, so this is my first official girlfriend in seven years, though I’ve had partners I’ve been intimate, romantic, sexual and slept in the same bed with in between these two official relationships.

@brandybild

Thank You, and welcome to this forum.
@BewilderedPerson Playing the "What if" game is an invitation to go down the rabbit hole of injurious memories from the past rather than living in a satisfying present. In order to mitigate PTSD from earlier social isolation I had to learn to live in the present and recognize how far I have grown. I hope you will not damage your current loving relationship chasing ghosts. My hope is that you will appreciate and learn contentment with that very positive woman you now have a relationship with. You are not the only one here who has matured late. I did not really have the maturity to maintain a relationship until 27 and now recognize my good fortune in meeting my spouse at 28. My experiences with her for 46 years are such that my difficulties in the past are mere memories of what I went through to gain a satisfying life; transient events that I thought were important at the time but now have no power over me.
 
@Shamar

Thank you.

@Gerald Wilgus

I had to Google what FOMO stood for, and yes, I do have a fear of missing out. This is my one life, a life that could be taken from me at any point. It’d be easier to live life and not stress too much if a crystal ball told me I’ll be here another 50-60 years and life will all turn out okay for me in the end. As we all know, that’s not how life works.

I went dateless, kissless, relationship-less in high school and college. I really wanted that stuff to be part of my experiences, so I feel I missed out in a sense. I’ve never been great with dating and with the opposite sex, probably never will, but I always say the love gods throw me a bone every once in a while, and I guess now’s that time where I’m getting another one from them.

@Steelbookcollector217

In a literal sense, my last official girlfriend broke up with me in May 2017, so this is my first official girlfriend in seven years, though I’ve had partners I’ve been intimate, romantic, sexual and slept in the same bed with in between these two official relationships.

@brandybild

Thank You, and welcome to this forum.
I certainly had FOMO, mainly because I did miss out, at least romantically. It was only after my autism diagnosis (and learning and realizing certain details about myself) that I began to understand that romance is forbidden on my part, and that the only love I could experience was if she was able to love me without being loved back. It hurt then, and it hurts now, but knowing that I would always miss out and it could never be any other way sort of eliminated the FOMO. I desperately want to be able to feel love, but I know it will never be.

The description of your life mirrors much of my own, except I never even had what you had romantically.
 
I've noticed now talking to various women I always had what it took to be a real ladies man "player", never dated until I met my wife as a tenant in my rooming house, now married going on 44 years.
 
I've noticed now talking to various women I always had what it took to be a real ladies man "player", never dated until I met my wife as a tenant in my rooming house, now married going on 44 years.
i assume you met her while still in your 20s, not everyone gets to date or have a relationship in their younger years
 
I was 25 graduated college had crappy job could barely afford to date, lucky for me she insisted on paying her own way, while dating easy we lived in same house she paid me rent. I had no furniture just a couch the downstairs was the private space she bought me a coffee table their was one bedroom downstairs so I brought her down stairs to join me. Number of single women upstairs. Us Aspies by our nature are our own worst enemy opportunity slaps us in the face and we do not see it. I did not even joined a dating site just prior to meeting my future wife the dating site lady stood me up and another lady at work was also trying to get my attention. I missed it all.
 
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and another lady at work was also trying to get my attention. I missed it all
How is it that you know this now? I can imagine I missed women showing me interest, I cannot point to many specific instances where I can be so sure especially in cases from long ago.
 
I went dateless, kissless, relationship-less in high school and college. I really wanted that stuff to be part of my experiences, so I feel I missed out in a sense. I’ve never been great with dating and with the opposite sex, probably never will, but I always say the love gods throw me a bone every once in a while, and I guess now’s that time where I’m getting another one from them.
I suspect your high school and college experience is the norm for us men on the spectrum. My experience was the same and has not really changed in my adult years. I think if a man gets into their early to mid 20's without experiencing intimacy with a woman, it causes serious emotional pain and trauma and destroys a man's confidence. This was the case with me as women generally thought I was weird and did not give me the time of day. I am 36 and still have not experienced one long term serious relationship. I have experienced very little intimacy. It is all just very sad to think about. Some days it does not bother me much at all. But other days it can be overwhelming and all I can think about. The pain has to eventually get suppressed in order to function effectively day to day.

There are a lot of men who are not on the spectrum who also struggle, although probably not to the degree we do. All the dating websites and apps seems to have just made things worse.

I am glad you have had some recent success and hope it continues. I can imagine opening yourself up to finally get to experience these things can also lead to a lot of pain and awareness of how much you were hurting over the years. Hopefully it can be a beginning of a healing process. I hope to get there some day as well.
 
My issue was I had transverse myelitis when I was ten years old saw myself as damaged goods. My wife and a few other women mentioned to me how desirable I was. I never took advantage, Have great time talking to my cousin with his stories having to hid from young ladies in high school as his celebrity grew.
 
I suspect your high school and college experience is the norm for us men on the spectrum. My experience was the same and has not really changed in my adult years. I think if a man gets into their early to mid 20's without experiencing intimacy with a woman, it causes serious emotional pain and trauma and destroys a man's confidence. This was the case with me as women generally thought I was weird and did not give me the time of day. I am 36 and still have not experienced one long term serious relationship. I have experienced very little intimacy. It is all just very sad to think about. Some days it does not bother me much at all. But other days it can be overwhelming and all I can think about. The pain has to eventually get suppressed in order to function effectively day to day.

There are a lot of men who are not on the spectrum who also struggle, although probably not to the degree we do. All the dating websites and apps seems to have just made things worse.

I am glad you have had some recent success and hope it continues. I can imagine opening yourself up to finally get to experience these things can also lead to a lot of pain and awareness of how much you were hurting over the years. Hopefully it can be a beginning of a healing process. I hope to get there some day as well.
I've had very little success in my adult years, but I've thrived with women as an adult compared to my high school and college years.

You're not wrong about the pain and trauma, to which I would tell @Gerald Wilgus it's not easy to work through.

I haven't experienced a long-term relationship either, but this is probably the best chance I've had to experience one in quite some time. She told me last night how I have a good heart, but I do struggle with self-love and self-esteem, and we did some sexual stuff with each other last night. Like other women before her, I could not release when she was being sexual with me and confessed to her this problem I have. But she assured me she isn't going anywhere.

It's funny, you and I are in the same boat. I've had my periods where being single and not having anyone wasn't the worst thing in the world, other times where it just consumed me, made me hate myself, wish I was dead, etc.

Thanks, man, and I truly hope you get there as well with successes with this, too. I'm not just saying this when I legitimately believe if I could do it, literally anyone can.

I've been called a lot of things over my lack of success with women - bitter, entitled, misogynistic, things along those lines. Maybe there's a modicum of truth to some of that, but I can assure people it isn't easy to not take rejection personally when it's happened so much, and that maybe resentment or negative feelings/thoughts I've had towards women in the past has stemmed from trauma and self-loathing brought about my rejection.

I've got a girlfriend who thinks so highly of me, and I hold her in very high regard, too, even higher after I told her about a good deed she did over the weekend. I'm not 100% sure about her that this is my person - she's 42 and I'm 32, and I'd love to have a kid and give my mother a grandchild, but I feel really good about this one and when I'm with her.

If I've got a good heart, if I'm a good person, if I've got a lot of good qualities and if I treat my partner well, then I am what I knew I could be, and I've known this all along. My first official girlfriend and I never fought, though maybe some minor disagreements and not always happy with each other, but no major blowups/fights and we talked every single day during our relationship.

And yes, high school was half my life ago, essentially, at least the early years of high school. I've certainly gone on a lot of dates and kissed my share of women since graduating from college, but I haven't forgotten I never had a girlfriend in high school, that I never went to prom, that I was homecoming king my senior year of high school and still didn't have a date to the homecoming dance, that I didn't get my first kiss until after I graduated from college, etc.

Maybe that shouldn't matter, and in the grand scheme of life, I wouldn't say so, but it still does matter to me, and those unpleasant memories still linger.
 
I suspect your high school and college experience is the norm for us men on the spectrum. My experience was the same and has not really changed in my adult years. I think if a man gets into their early to mid 20's without experiencing intimacy with a woman, it causes serious emotional pain and trauma and destroys a man's confidence. This was the case with me as women generally thought I was weird and did not give me the time of day. I am 36 and still have not experienced one long term serious relationship. I have experienced very little intimacy. It is all just very sad to think about. Some days it does not bother me much at all. But other days it can be overwhelming and all I can think about. The pain has to eventually get suppressed in order to function effectively day to day.

There are a lot of men who are not on the spectrum who also struggle, although probably not to the degree we do. All the dating websites and apps seems to have just made things worse.

I am glad you have had some recent success and hope it continues. I can imagine opening yourself up to finally get to experience these things can also lead to a lot of pain and awareness of how much you were hurting over the years. Hopefully it can be a beginning of a healing process. I hope to get there some day as well.
@mw2530 you hit the nail on the head. You describe my experiences, the self doubt, the hurt, especially when I saw what I was missing and had no expectation of having any relationship. Then, disgusted with myself for spending another Friday night watching the Muppet Show and later having a woman tell me that I was sweet because I was respectful, I decided to get off my ass, take stock of myself and start to date. I was enjoying my research, being published, living independently, was learning investment, and had the resources and time to follow my interests both culturally and in outdoor recreation. I liked who I was, my interest in the world, and ability to be comfortable with novelty that I recognized that not only was I more interesting than most, I had a lot to offer in a relationship. There were the ups and downs of dating, one failed relationship, and then when I was looking for a woman who would enjoy outdoor recreation I met one who wanted to meet a man to do recreation with. We were married a year to the day we met.

The direction of my life changed then and the old trauma of social and sexual isolation was forgotten. I mark it as the first time I helped myself overcome the cage autism put me in. Only three years ago was I formally diagnosed when changes due to ageing triggered me to inhabit the mind of that young, damaged, me, and my anger over what I missed out during that time of life was negatively impacting the relationship with my spouse. Now I have been undergoing Cognitive Processing Therapy and am relieved that I can use the best of my life experiences to understand how far I have come, but also that I never missed out on anything. I now feel fortunate for the life I have and the relationship with my spouse.
 
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