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Leading women on

JJ19

New Member
Hey

I’ve fallen into a bad habit of flirting with multiple women online, sometimes at the same time. It’s sad but it's like I seek women out for that reason on sites. An attachment grows, mostly built on needing somebody to talk to, they get too attached and then I realise the mistake and have to end things. I was thinking self-esteem issues or a coping strategy for loneliness and depression. Then I wondered if Asperger's could play a role. I'm not looking for excuses. My behaviour sucks with this, and I hurt people. But I wondered if there is a link. Anybody experienced this? I need answers and I wanna stop!
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
Staff member
V.I.P Member
My behaviour sucks with this, and I hurt people.... I need answers and I wanna stop!

Engaging in behaviors that you want to stop that are causing harm is very similar to an addiction to substances. Behavioral addictions function along the same lines as chemical addictions and it may help you to research this angle further and learn about addiction.

Essentially, the behavior that you say you want to stop is fulfilling some need that you have. You have to first identify the need and then find other ways to meet it. Identifying low self-esteem, depression, and loneliness as some of your issues is a great start. Lots of us deal with these things. On this forum and elsewhere you could start researching ways to meet your needs with these issues that do not involve the unwanted behavior you described with women.

Just a few potential strategies to help with these issues:
Depression - counseling, medication, group therapy
Self-esteem - journaling, engage in new hobbies, seek strictly platonic relationships, travel
Loneliness - spend time with animals, join a social group in your area, volunteer
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
"Leading a woman on" is an ego boost. Proving to yourself that you are desirable. You don't follow through because then you wouldn't be able to keep leading women on. A person who is secure in their desirability - or doesn't care about desirability - doesn't do this.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
But then... it occurs to me, what do you mean by "leading a woman on?" Leading someone on is developing a relationship with a promise of future returns that you have no intention of fulfilling. It is a kind of fraud and misrepresentation. If there are no expectations, explicit or implicit, you are not leading anyone on. You're just flirting. Are their feelings getting hurt?

Flirting without ulterior motives can be innocent. It can be a fun game for two. But if you're obsessive about it, even if you aren't hurting anyone, you need to think about your motivation.
 

mw2530

Well-Known Member
I think most people who engage in online dating are talking to more than one person at a time particularly in the early stages of dating. It is reasonable to do this as you are not putting all your eggs in one basket, but I do think it depends on your intentions. I have heard of women joining dating sites just to get an ego boost from all the attention they receive and they never actually intend to meet anyone in person. But like I said it is not necessarily a bad thing to talk with many others. My friend's fiance had dates set up with 5 different people one week when she was engaging in online dating.
 

Raggamuffin

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Seeking external validation that's lacking within. I pursue many similar paths as well. Need to nurture it from within. I know the theory of how to do it, but haven't given it any serious undertaking.

Ed
 

Kayla55

Well-Known Member
A movie called ' something about Mary's
It recognises this play on sex, and maybe masturbating before going out help you to think like a women.
Hey, if it helps as I hear guys have this horny problem.
Try slow down in social scenes, talk to people to see what happening. Instead flirting act just friendly, being outgoing is good, facing rejection sucks.
 

Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
@JJ19

This isn't ideal behavior, but it's how online dating works for all active participants (those who actually make contact with other people). Ditto the "selfie sites".

And nobody cares about the people who go onto such sites but are unable to make contact with others. .

So relatively speaking, what you're doing is normal behavior for our times.

It may not be good behavior for you though.

Looking for attention and validation from strangers is (literally) childish behavior. It will (100%) negatively affect your emotional development. But so does being on the spectrum.
Perhaps what you're doing online is a net positive for you personally, filling a gap in your RL interactions in a way that, by current standards, is harmless.

BTW - this wasn't considered harmless 30-40 years ago. But times have changed a lot since then. Attention-seeking behaviors that were unacceptable in the 1980's are not just normal now, but celebrated.
 
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Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I wouldn't say there is anything particularly autistic about it. I'm confident many neurotypical people do exactly the same thing. There might be a small autistic factor in preferring online to face to face interactions, but again I believe many neurotypicals are also the same.
 

Xinyta

Lost wandering entity
Hey

I’ve fallen into a bad habit of flirting with multiple women online, sometimes at the same time. It’s sad but it's like I seek women out for that reason on sites. An attachment grows, mostly built on needing somebody to talk to, they get too attached and then I realise the mistake and have to end things. I was thinking self-esteem issues or a coping strategy for loneliness and depression. Then I wondered if Asperger's could play a role. I'm not looking for excuses. My behaviour sucks with this, and I hurt people. But I wondered if there is a link. Anybody experienced this? I need answers and I wanna stop!
So relatively speaking, what you're doing is normal behavior for our times.

It may not be good behavior for you though.

Looking for attention and validation from strangers is (literally) childish behavior. It will (100%) negatively affect your emotional development. But so does being on the spectrum.
Perhaps what you're doing online is a net positive for you personally, filling a gap in your RL interactions in a way that, by current standards, is harmless.
I wouldn't say there is anything particularly autistic about it. I'm confident many neurotypical people do exactly the same thing. There might be a small autistic factor in preferring online to face to face interactions, but again I believe many neurotypicals are also the same.

To add on to Hypnalis and Tom's posts. You are not doing anything that isn't typical at all. I still hold on to my previous statement from your other thread, in regards to this.

I think the only thing that is spectrum specific is understanding socail connections and the etiquette that comes with it. It can, and will be, more far more confusing as far as dating. That's socail interaction on European Extreme mode(if you get the game difficulty reference) for us NDs. When general socail interaction is already hard for us.

Alot of this is because NTs tend to look for Red Flags. At least experienced daters will. The younger, inexperienced ones, are all going to be like you, for the most part.

Not to say experienced NDs wouldn't keep an eye out for Red Flags too. But a NT and ND definition of Red Flags, maybe different in alot of ways.

Either way. This is something you have to figure out and navigate on your own, sadly. We can provide advice and suggestions. But it's up to you to take the appropriate actions.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
When I started engaging with women, I was always reserved and courteous (INTJ) so I never led anybody on since I would dislike somebody doing that to me and I did not think I needed external validation. The only time I had ever given a thought to external validation was when my future spouse accepted me sexually. Coming out of more than a decade of isolation, I did not have the best self image and I am now happy that my spouse was kind and experienced enough to gently maneuver me into asking her to make love. I was surprised that I would be so bold, but felt then that here was somebody who actually, for real, desired me. It was an inflection point in my life when before then I was learning to validate myself through small successes. [Maybe I should think of that event as self validation, persevering against my shy and autistic nature.]
 
Reminds me I never thought that two women from my past life would come back to haunt me so many years later, didn't really hit my mind hard mentally and emotionally until my early 30s
 

lovely_darlingprettybaby

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hey

I’ve fallen into a bad habit of flirting with multiple women online, sometimes at the same time. It’s sad but it's like I seek women out for that reason on sites. An attachment grows, mostly built on needing somebody to talk to, they get too attached and then I realise the mistake and have to end things. I was thinking self-esteem issues or a coping strategy for loneliness and depression. Then I wondered if Asperger's could play a role. I'm not looking for excuses. My behaviour sucks with this, and I hurt people. But I wondered if there is a link. Anybody experienced this? I need answers and I wanna stop!
Yes I cannot help it either, I get sad and need a bit of love and attention
But I cannot understand why nothing makes me feel human again.
But yes in the moment I enjoy the attention but wonder whether the other person enjoys it.
It is a painful issue I get tired of fighting.
I just want some love and still think I am maybe asexual not sure but do not want worse in my life.
I think I have struggled with asexual and demisexual behaviour but I do not want to go through even worse.
I have already been through enough.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
Hey

I’ve fallen into a bad habit of flirting with multiple women online, sometimes at the same time. It’s sad but it's like I seek women out for that reason on sites. An attachment grows, mostly built on needing somebody to talk to, they get too attached and then I realise the mistake and have to end things. I was thinking self-esteem issues or a coping strategy for loneliness and depression. Then I wondered if Asperger's could play a role. I'm not looking for excuses. My behaviour sucks with this, and I hurt people. But I wondered if there is a link. Anybody experienced this? I need answers and I wanna stop!
I have friendships with a number of guys and women online. I feel sad if one of them goes away, just as if a friend IRL went away.

I don't understand why you think flirting is bad. Especially for a single. Flirting takes place before any commitment; it is voluntary, and flirting is mutual. If it isn't mutual, it isn't fun. Like dancing with someone who just stands there motionless. (Not that I do much dancing.)
 

JJ19

New Member
I might be overthinking, I do that a lot. It's annoying not knowing when you are overthinking or genuinely justified in your guilt and remorse. My main worry is I lead them on too much and the flirting suggested I was interested in something serious. Make things worse, I think I knew when it had went too far but didn't stop when I knew. Actually my main worry is that I know and am just lying to myself.
 

Levitator

Well-Known Member
I don't understand how you are even able to lead anyone on. Are you sure you're on the right forum? People think my personality is disgusting, it's an acquired taste, and hardly anybody has the time or willingness to gradually discover I'm a living thing. So, how would you lead people on? They're the ones you have to get on your knees to, so you aren't leading anybody. Are you?
 

Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
I might be overthinking, I do that a lot. It's annoying not knowing when you are overthinking or genuinely justified in your guilt and remorse. My main worry is I lead them on too much and the flirting suggested I was interested in something serious. Make things worse, I think I knew when it had went too far but didn't stop when I knew. Actually my main worry is that I know and am just lying to myself.
I'd go with "underthinking".

Nothing you've said indicates you have any reason for guilt or remorse. so:

A. You may be doing things worthy of those reactions, but haven't made it clear here. I don't mean you should add details, but "leading people on" is routine in the 21st century. Trading attention for indications of some future benefit (short term or long term) is no more or less bad than "dating for the free food".
So there's no sign so far of any bad behavior on your side.

B. You may be reacting to being taught or old that generally normal 21st century behavior isn't acceptable for you. There's a lot of this going around. Pay no attention to traditional behavioral principles in the dating space - the old rules are long gone.. Apply the "What's good for the goose is good for the gander" principle.

Social media runs on attention and validation (among other things, many of which are worse). Based on what you've said, you're a typical participant, well within 21st century norms.. Possibly with some unresolved contradictions due to (B).

I'd suggest you try to make an accurate judgement of your own online behavior, based on:
1. From (A), are you within current norms?
2. From (B), are you reacting to learned moral standards that are no longer relevant in society as a whole?
3. Are you uncomfortable with your cations because you're violating your own "internal" moral standards?

If it's (1) or (2), lose the guilt
If it's (3), stop doing what makes you uncomfortable. "Fighting yourself" isn't good.
 
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