• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Please help me understand what just happened

Confused_NT_girl

Well-Known Member
TLDR: I texted him a meme and he (ASD) asked me (NT) if I wanted to be friends (with privacy), and I basically said, I don't know but that he's getting the privacy that he wants right now. I also said I just want to break the cycle of us getting close then he withdraws, and me getting shut out, I just don't know how. Then he blocked me on everything 8O I don't understand why and what just happened.

For context:
We dated and broke up about a year ago, became friends up until.. I guess today. (he dumped me) After the breakup, the interaction basically continued -- we traveled a lot, he got surgery, I took care of him, spent time together every week, pet names, pretty much back to normal minus the sexual interaction.

He had a big meltdown over 3 weeks ago and didn't talk to me for I think about a week after. I don't know what was going on with him at that time, if he was still recovering, if he was just busy but he did ask for quiet time when I reached out to him at some point which I respected so I gave him space. About 2 weeks after the meltdown, we talked and he was being very secretive about what was going on with him for some reason which (was triggering to me somehow and) led to the conversation of me bringing up what we have been doing in the past year ("do you see a future between us and are you dating") which I also posted about. Ultimately, he said he's happy with the status quo (but he needs privacy, not needing to explain things to me) and to reach out whenever I'm ready to be friends again (via email). I told him we're not on the same page (as he's essentially getting some sort of a "gf experience" in my opinion) and status quo wasn't going to work for me anymore, but he's adamant that that's what's going to work for him. So we left it at that and didn't talk.

That was 2 weeks ago. We've talked on the phone twice since then (which I initiated) and the last one was Sunday (no texts, no other interactions). He was still calling me pet names in that phone call and didn't even want to put the phone down. We didn't talk about the intense discussion that we had via email. Today, 4 days later, I texted him a meme and then he asked me what my thoughts were about wanting to be friends (but with privacy). I responded, and basically told him that I don't know, but that he's getting his privacy right now (we're not talking much nor hanging out), it doesn't matter if we are friends right now or not since he has friends, family, he's dating (which he refuses to confirm, but I assumed that's why he's being secretive) and that we just need to break the cycle of us getting close then him withdrawing, and me getting shut out. I just don't know how.

....and then he blocked me on everything after that. He said this is not a healthy discussion between two friends. I don't understand what just happened.. I just answered his question. Could he possibly be in burnout/still in recovery weeks after a big meltdown, and I caught him at a bad time? Is this because of him needing to control the situation and just didn't want to deal with me or compromise? Why would someone block me on everything including LinkedIn when I just answered his question I don't understand.
 
Occam's Razor says:
Your ex has tried to establish boundaries. You've repeatedly crossed them, so he's gone "no-contact".

Note that this can be true even if he's done a poor job of defining the boundaries.
That's not something you can reasonably expect someone on the spectrum to be good at.

I suspect there are answers to your minor questions (for example the last sentence in your post above).
But they may be impossible to discuss in a forum chat.
 
Last edited:
Note that this can be true even if he he's done a poor job of defining the boundaries.
That's not something you can reasonably expect someone on the spectrum to be good at.

This seems a little unfair to me. Even if we're good at defining boundaries, they're not always respected. Autistics and Allistics have very different ideas of pleasure, and this can lead to misunderstandings about boundaries. I think it's hard for Allistics to understand things like touch sensitivity, so those boundaries are easily ignored even when made very clear. Also, we tend to be direct and concrete, while Allistics are not. I think sometimes our complaints and boundary setting is heard as just venting, being in a bad mood, or euphemism. This is my experience, anyway. I spend a lot of time setting the same boundaries with the same people. I've also met a lot of Allistics who take it personally when people don't share their pleasure, which means they will ignore your boundaries even though they're clear.

Also, we tend to assume others see the world similarly even though that's not often the case. Allistics don't really make their boundaries clear to us, they just assume we understand/share them because they make up the majority of the population.
 
I'm not judging. Just trying to use experience-based information to contextualize part of my analysis.

Assuming my analysis is correct: If the ex did a good job of setting boundaries, the poster made a mistake. If there was room for uncertainty, the cause was "just" a normal human-to-human communication issue.

I don't have any statistically meaningful data to back my statement up. My personal experience is indicative though.

Managing boundaries has been a problem for me in the past. It might have been part of the "mask problem": a mask used to accommodate other people necessarily weakens your own defenses.

A while ago I noticed there was room for improvement (in a work context).
So I taught myself to identify my own requirements/needs, learned the NT protocols through observation and asking friends and colleagues, and things got easier.
Of course it took much longer, and was more difficult than it sounds :)

It helped that I worked for a long time in sales organizations. Sales reps are very good at handling this kind of thing consciously. Some of them are also good at sharing how it's done.
 
In a "nutshell", you've got a communication issue that needs to be resolved.

Having said that, he might not be good at verbalizing it. I wouldn't. However, if he were willing to write his thoughts down, that may be an easier way to get his thoughts out.

I wouldn't expect him to "just talk it out" with you. Having said that, from a male perspective, do understand that most females get upset whenever a male expresses his feelings. As such, males tend to be internalizers, in part, because for us, expressing our feelings almost always backfires and we end up in a worse situation than we were before.
 
I'm not judging. Just trying to use experience-based information to contextualize part of my analysis.

Assuming my analysis is correct: If the ex did a good job of setting boundaries, the poster made a mistake. If there was room for uncertainty, the cause was "just" a normal human-to-human communication issue.

I don't have any statistically meaningful data to back my statement up. My personal experience is indicative though.

Managing boundaries has been a problem for me in the past. It might have been part of the "mask problem": a mask used to accommodate other people necessarily weakens your own defenses.

A while ago I noticed there was room for improvement (in a work context).
So I taught myself to identify my own requirements/needs, learned the NT protocols through observation and asking friends and colleagues, and things got easier.
Of course it took much longer, and was more difficult than it sounds :)

It helped that I worked for a long time in sales organizations. Sales reps are very good at handling this kind of thing consciously. Some of them are also good at sharing how it's done.

I still don't understand why you think Autistic people can't be expected to be good at setting boundaries. If you mean it's hard for us to get non-Autistics to understand, then sure. But, that's not entirely our fault. We have to try to explain while they try to understand.
 
@Mr. Stevens

When I used "defining the boundaries" I was thinking in communication terms, not about the ex understanding his own boundaries. On re-reading, it is a bit ambiguous. Sorry.

OTOH despite it being too late for me to edit the post, our discussion has clarified it, so I guess the result is ok :)
 
^ I understood what you meant, I just don't see why we can't be good at it. But, it's probably best to agree to disagree so the thread doesn't derail further. Thanks for responding :)
 
...he's dating (which he refuses to confirm, but I assumed that's why he's being secretive)...
This bit is likely a big part of the problem for one of two possible reasons:

Firstly, you're making a big assumption based on nothing at all, and he finds your implicit accusation insulting.

Secondly, that you're right, and he has no real need of another friend.

Since we're all different it isn't really possible to tell you which, but I know in my own case that finding myself accused of something I didn't do or wouldn't do, would tell me the person making the accusation doesn't know me at all, and doesn't deserve to be in my life - certainly must not actually be a friend. I also know that I value my honesty and integrity, so that the person making the accusation clearly must not.

Because of that honesty and integrity, if I was dating someone else, I would need to cut you out of my life since otherwise it would not be fair to my new (potential) partner.

As I say though, since we're all different I can't say if this is him and how he sees it, just me and how I would. Personally though, I'd say it is somewhat telling that in the failure of this relationship, you're looking for reasons to blame him, rather than finding the reasons within yourself.

That probably comes off as very unkind, but I don't mean it to be.
 
Regardless of the communication issues, boundaries or otherwise, he is being very, very direct with his actions. He has made his choice and there is no room in his life for you. He owns that. He is not being ambiguous, so respect that. I have no analog in my life, but know that at my worst I could not discuss feelings and would use material arguments as proxies. However, in dealing with people I was always honest and up front. It is better to move on from this guy since nothing will change with his control issues.
 
Occam's Razor says:
Your ex has tried to establish boundaries. You've repeatedly crossed them, so he's gone "no-contact".

Note that this can be true even if he's done a poor job of defining the boundaries.
That's not something you can reasonably expect someone on the spectrum to be good at.

I suspect there are answers to your minor questions (for example the last sentence in your post above).
But they may be impossible to discuss in a forum chat.
Hi I'm not sure how I've repeatedly cross them? He needed space after his meltdown, and I respected that. When I reached out, he was open to it but he seemed to still be on edge with me and cagey and that's partly what triggered that "dating/friends" conversation. At the same time he's also joking and calling me pet names, so he must have been masking and I was very confused. We hardly talked thr past 2 weeks and the few times that we did, he seemed open to it (and didn't want to put the phone down the last time even).

Also, "friends (with privacy)" is pretty much what he's getting now -- we hardly talk, so he has all the privacy that he wants. I don't ask him a lot of questions when we did, just superficial ones. I am surprised, confused and hurt that he would block me on everything
 
In a "nutshell", you've got a communication issue that needs to be resolved.

Having said that, he might not be good at verbalizing it. I wouldn't. However, if he were willing to write his thoughts down, that may be an easier way to get his thoughts out.

I wouldn't expect him to "just talk it out" with you. Having said that, from a male perspective, do understand that most females get upset whenever a male expresses his feelings. As such, males tend to be internalizers, in part, because for us, expressing our feelings almost always backfires and we end up in a worse situation than we were before.
That was the problem, he doesn't like hard conversations. He would say he's stressed out/overwhelmed, though, to his credit, he's been a bit more open to it the past year. I wrote everything that I had to say but it looks like even written communication overwhelmed him. So not much input from him about this specific incident except for him asserting he wants to be friends with privacy/continue with status quo. Which was pretty much what I did except it's not "status quo". I withdrew from him as I was trying to distance himself... but that's pretty much "friends with privacy"

It seems to me like he wants to control the situation, and wants it in his own terms and didn't want to compromise
 
This bit is likely a big part of the problem for one of two possible reasons:

Firstly, you're making a big assumption based on nothing at all, and he finds your implicit accusation insulting.

Secondly, that you're right, and he has no real need of another friend.

Since we're all different it isn't really possible to tell you which, but I know in my own case that finding myself accused of something I didn't do or wouldn't do, would tell me the person making the accusation doesn't know me at all, and doesn't deserve to be in my life - certainly must not actually be a friend. I also know that I value my honesty and integrity, so that the person making the accusation clearly must not.

Because of that honesty and integrity, if I was dating someone else, I would need to cut you out of my life since otherwise it would not be fair to my new (potential) partner.

As I say though, since we're all different I can't say if this is him and how he sees it, just me and how I would. Personally though, I'd say it is somewhat telling that in the failure of this relationship, you're looking for reasons to blame him, rather than finding the reasons within yourself.

That probably comes off as very unkind, but I don't mean it to be.
First is possibly true. The second one... is not possible because what he actually wants is for us to continue being "friends", meanwhile we're open to date people and keep that info private. I couldn't agree with that because I was pretty much being a partner to him, meanwhile we're "friends".

Thank you, it's not unkind at all. I'm genuinely looking for explanations as to what happened, and what it was that I did wrong. I was establishing boundaries for myself, and he wanted to continue what we were doing. I simply told him that we are not on the same page, and that I don't know if I can do what he's proposing, and that I can't agree to his terms via text -- which I probably could've communicated differently, because the way I said it was a bit dramatic. He then said that that conversation was unhealthy and then blocked me. I'm just....like I don't know what I did. I'm hurt that he would do that because I was trying to keep our communication open at the very least
 
...I'm genuinely looking for explanations as to what happened, and what it was that I did wrong. I was establishing boundaries for myself, and he wanted to continue what we were doing. I simply told him that we are not on the same page, and that I don't know if I can do what he's proposing, and that I can't agree to his terms via text -- which I probably could've communicated differently, because the way I said it was a bit dramatic. He then said that that conversation was unhealthy and then blocked me. I'm just....like I don't know what I did. I'm hurt that he would do that because I was trying to keep our communication open at the very least

There is sometimes a vast difference in the way that NT and ND people react to things. I've noticed that NTs often seem to think 'more-of-the-same-but-a-bit-different' is good and works just fine, and this seems to be what you're aiming for.

But some Aspies don't see things that way, or simply can't manage to, and in that case it is not unusual for us to simply cut the person or the circumstance off as it it never really existed. I know that for me, this form of action is the only way to get 'it' over and done with so that I can move on.

It seems harsh, and I guess it probably is if you get frozen out with no explanation and no way to fix the problem, but in my black and white world, there's not an option that fits in between.

Have no way to know that your Aspie thinks this way, because we're all different, but if you were setting your boundaries (and you have every right to do so, regardless of his view of it) but he didn't like the options that included you in them under those terms, 'switching you off' might have been the obvious choice to him instead. It might on the other hand have simply been the uncertainty of not knowing what your choices would be, what they would mean to him, and whether he would be comfortable with them.

If he is a not-untypical black and white thinker, the choice between that uncertainty with you in it, and a certainty instead, even though without you in it, might make the latter easier to cope with.
 
Regardless of the communication issues, boundaries or otherwise, he is being very, very direct with his actions. He has made his choice and there is no room in his life for you. He owns that. He is not being ambiguous, so respect that. I have no analog in my life, but know that at my worst I could not discuss feelings and would use material arguments as proxies. However, in dealing with people I was always honest and up front. It is better to move on from this guy since nothing will change with his control issues.

So am I correct in thinking that he's wanting (or needing?) to control the situation so he is not willing to compromise and he's not recognizing my boundaries? He also just refuses to discuss anything related to our dynamics at all. I tried written communication even to let him know what doesn't work for me because it's hurting my feelings. It's like to him, "this is what works for me, take it or leave it"
 
There is sometimes a vast difference in the way that NT and ND people react to things. I've noticed that NTs often seem to think 'more-of-the-same-but-a-bit-different' is good and works just fine, and this seems to be what you're aiming for.

But some Aspies don't see things that way, or simply can't manage to, and in that case it is not unusual for us to simply cut the person or the circumstance off as it it never really existed. I know that for me, this form of action is the only way to get 'it' over and done with so that I can move on.

It seems harsh, and I guess it probably is if you get frozen out with no explanation and no way to fix the problem, but in my black and white world, there's not an option that fits in between.

Have no way to know that your Aspie thinks this way, because we're all different, but if you were setting your boundaries (and you have every right to do so, regardless of his view of it) but he didn't like the options that included you in them under those terms, 'switching you off' might have been the obvious choice to him instead. It might on the other hand have simply been the uncertainty of not knowing what your choices would be, what they would mean to him, and whether he would be comfortable with them.

If he is a not-untypical black and white thinker, the choice between that uncertainty with you in it, and a certainty instead, even though without you in it, might make the latter easier to cope with.
Yea I mentioned this in the my other replies, but I tried written communication with him (via email) to explain how our interactions are impacting me, hoping that it would clarify what I'm trying to do. He said the email was too complicated. I tried bullet points, underlining important points, summarizing his "action items" (which he asked for) in my email to him 2-3 weeks ago, and it still was difficult for him to grasp: "this is how I'm feeling, let's do X, Y or Z instead as a compromise". But nope, didn't work.

He is a black and white thinker, which he recognizes, and I thought you're right in that he didn't like the options I presented to him or he just didn't like to be in a position of uncertainty.. but then it only seemed "uncertain" because he wasn't understanding what I was explaining to him. I basically said if you don't think there's any future between us anymore (in the romantic sense), then I just need to know that so I can have the right boundaries in place and we can continue hanging out. Or that IF he gets to a point where knows he's open to us dating again, then we can reconnect. Otherwise, status quo is not working for me and we need space from each other. Seems pretty clear cut to me (?)

The way it's translating to me is it's very rigid thinking, and actually, and he wants to do things in his own terms. No compromise.

But also he's gotten much better after the breakup in terms of communicating and opening up. He was even being more affectionate (in an atypical way), albeit asserting that we're friends. But there was a considerable shift in his attitude after his meltdown, which is why I was also wondering in my initial post -- is it possible that he's in burnout a month after his meltdown, or he's not fully recovered which may have pushed him in that direction? All this happened after that incident.
 
Last edited:
Yea I mentioned this in the my other replies, but I tried written communication with him (via email) to explain how our interactions are impacting me, hoping that it would clarify what I'm trying to do. He said the email was too complicated. I tried bullet points, underlining important points, summarizing his "action items" (which he asked for) in my email to him 2-3 weeks ago, and it still was difficult for him to grasp: "this is how I'm feeling, let's do X, Y or Z instead as a compromise". But nope, didn't work.

He is a black and white thinker, which he recognizes, and I thought you're right in that he didn't like the options I presented to him or he just didn't like to be in a position of uncertainty.. but then it only seemed "uncertain" because he wasn't understanding what I was explaining to him. I basically said if you don't think there's any future between us anymore (in the romantic sense), then I just need to know that so I can have the right boundaries in place and we can continue hanging out. Or that IF he gets to a point where knows he's open to us dating again, then we can reconnect. Otherwise, status quo is not working for me and we need space from each other. Seems pretty clear cut to me (?)

The way it's translating to me is it's very rigid thinking, and actually, and he wants to do things in his own terms. No compromise.

But also he's gotten much better after the breakup in terms of communicating and opening up. He was even being more affectionate (in an atypical way), albeit asserting that we're friends. But there was a considerable shift in his attitude after his meltdown, which is why I was also wondering in my initial post -- is it possible that he's in burnout a month after his meltdown, or he's not fully recovered which may have pushed him in that direction? All this happened after that incident.
The last point first: Meltdowns are typically fairly short in real time, though to us can seem a lifetime. An hour, two maybe is as long as the longest one I've had, but as you rightly guess, the after-effects can take a lot longer to resolve out. There's another factor too, and that is when others actually witness the meltdown and even participate in it. Mostly if I feel I'm heading for one, I try and get away from everyone, but I've always been really extremely vary of anyone who was present and experienced one. This is because (for me) they know something about me that I don't want anyone to know; that I meltdown at all, and that when I do, I am not me, but something else.

It means that if someone did witness a meltdown, I'll generally keep them at arms length or further for a long time, because it would be scary that someone else has experienced something from inside me that I don't know or control.

I have never found meltdowns to be a learning experience, where I gain insight or understanding of something. They are a complete overload and system failure. Not that we all have them inn the same way, but I don't see it as likely that the meltdown itself affected his thinking about your relationship - at least not directly. It is possible that someone else helped him through it or after it and that has impacted his thinking towards you however.

I suspect that your options might not have fitted his preference, but he may not have either known, or felt able, to tell you what would. Or, of course you may have been right that he was dating, and yet still wanted you around as more than a friend, but wasn't given that choice. In that situation, black and white thinking is also going to tend to derive as 'all or nothing'. When you took 'all' off the table, he opted for the 'nothing'.

Certainly it seems to me that he wants to do things on his terms, which I understand because likely he'll see his terms as the most reasonable and logical, particularly if he has the mindset that what he wants is what really counts - meaning that what you want doesn't - or matters a lot less.

Personally, I think you're right to want to set boundaries in this situation, because you'd be in danger of being taken advantage of if you didn't. You have to put yourself first when you know that he wouldn't. But boundaries are also apt to change with time and circumstance, so I would maybe suggest just letting him know that without any preconceived ideas about how or why, if he wants to contact you, he knows your number/email, because you're his friend and he is yours.

Open ended like that, without your boundaries being spelled out, that leaves the door open for him if he wishes to use it. You can always set limits as you see fit if you then need to. Beware, last time I said something like that to someone here, it was 2018, and it took her guy until mid 2020 to contact her.... Aspies can be slow to adjust!
 
This seems a little unfair to me. Even if we're good at defining boundaries, they're not always respected. Autistics and Allistics have very different ideas of pleasure, and this can lead to misunderstandings about boundaries. I think it's hard for Allistics to understand things like touch sensitivity, so those boundaries are easily ignored even when made very clear. Also, we tend to be direct and concrete, while Allistics are not. I think sometimes our complaints and boundary setting is heard as just venting, being in a bad mood, or euphemism. This is my experience, anyway. I spend a lot of time setting the same boundaries with the same people. I've also met a lot of Allistics who take it personally when people don't share their pleasure, which means they will ignore your boundaries even though they're clear.

Also, we tend to assume others see the world similarly even though that's not often the case. Allistics don't really make their boundaries clear to us, they just assume we understand/share them because they make up the majority of the population.
Thank you. I'm assuming that the above post is a general statement.

In my case, I was actually the one setting boundaries (i.e. status quo of our interactions/relationship/"friendship" is not working for me anymore, let's compromise and do "X, Y, or Z" instead) but he refused to recognize that. He just asserted what it is that works for him, take it or leave it. When I said I don't know what I want to do (because we're not on the same page and he was not compromising) and explained that he was pretty much getting what he wants by me distancing myself (sort of), he said it was "unhealthy interaction" and blocked me. In this case, it wasn't just about boundaries being the issue, it's his refusal/inability to compromise, and/or I'm assuming, his need to control the situation, and possibly him still blaming me for his meltdown a month later.

As for boundaries, he has set boundaries with me -- for example, "don't touch my face or don't tickle me". He would state these boundaries but then he would do them to me. So I would assume that he meant "don't touch my face" in that moment when he said it, but it's ok any other time. So I would do it again, and then he would say it again.. and I'm like why are you doing something to me that you don't want me doing to you? It makes me think that you're ok if I do it to you. It took a while, but he eventually understood and stopped doing that.
 
...As for boundaries, he has set boundaries with me -- for example, "don't touch my face or don't tickle me". He would state these boundaries but then he would do them to me. So I would assume that he meant "don't touch my face" in that moment when he said it, but it's ok any other time. So I would do it again, and then he would say it again.. and I'm like why are you doing something to me that you don't want me doing to you? It makes me think that you're ok if I do it to you. It took a while, but he eventually understood and stopped doing that.
It's impossible to say for sure, but his apparent lack of reasonableness here might be something else. Many Aspies are hyper-sensitive - light, sound and touch in particular. I nearly choked to death (quite literally) once when someone was tickling me and thought it was fun, and it felt like I was being burned at the stake to me. However I tried to get away, I couldn't, and nothing I said made it stop.

Observably, others don't feel the same, so I wouldn't have any worry about tickling someone else if they appeared to like it, but I would stop the instant I was told to. It may not be the double standard it appears to be.
 
Why: He doesn't want a relationship.
What: He has cut you out completely. My guess is this is because you won't accept it is over and keep on trying to restart it.
 
Top Bottom