Published on 12, July, 2020
Has anyone else struggled? Apart from when I was very young I only have very short term relationships- usually about 3 months, and I’m usually the one to end them. It can be years in between relationships though. I’ve always been awful at judging how to get across to someone that I’m interested, sometimes I try anyway and it may or may not go well - I often do cringeworthy things like fail to notice a wedding ring or something. Sometimes though I don’t really understand what I could have done differently, other than be a bit more forward on the times where I didn’t speak up enough - it’s just my difficulty understanding signals over the years, even though I believe I’m better now, as well as generally being an absent minded, daydreaming oddball (even if the women I’ve been with have assured me they find my appearance very attractive), has totally sapped my confidence. I have almost zero success with dating apps.
I expect a lot of this is more a problem for autistic men, as it’s normally men who do the asking, but I suppose for autistic women there are other relationship difficulties?
It would be interesting to know if anyone has had similar experiences, and if they have any advice.
For an intimate relationship to endure, your partner must be your best friend. You have to like them as a person. And before you can like someone else as a person, you have to first like yourself as a…
My dating years were long ago & pre-diagnosis - I had some limited success (and failure aplenty), but I think it was just luck - me & my (probably ND) friend obsessed about the "secret" to getting girls…
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia said:So the alone time that recharges us, will drain them. And the social interaction that recharges them, will drain us
This is a good way to express it!
I can relate to some of your experiences. Before I met my wife I had been in some horrific relationships. I had no idea how either me or the other person should behave and I would drive women away with my insecurity as well as putting up with treatment from partners that I should never have put up with.
I also totally relate to the difficulty with telling people you are interested. Do you also find it difficult knowing whether a girl is interested in you? I used to have terrible trouble with that. I would be completely oblivious to girls that actually liked me. I would misread signs terribly and think that girls were interested in me when they wern't as well which caused me a lot of problems. Girls would act like I was bothering them when I thought they actually liked me. It was a nightmare.
The only advice I can give, and it sounds a bit strange, is maybe don't go for a so called "normal" girl. Try to find someone like you. I was treated quite badly by NT girlfriends. My wife on the other hand, went to a SEN school and, although not autistic, has similar needs of her own so she understands me and has alot more patience with me than a NT girl would.
Oh and Im an absent minded oddball too so I understand!
For an intimate relationship to endure, your partner must be your best friend. You have to like them as a person. And before you can like someone else as a person, you have to first like yourself as a person. There are no exceptions to this. Anything less and you will have problems in some form or other.
I think that online dating apps for guys is difficult in general, at least from the videos I've seen talking about them. They'll do this experiment, where a girl poses as a guy and on the dating app expecting to be bombarded with messages, but no one really notices them, to the point that it's soul destroying. But for girls using the dating apps, they are usually flooded by messages. I've never cared much about trying out dating apps myself though, because it's too much socializing with people who have ulterior motives, and I don't really care for that.
I'm really lazy when it comes to dating, romance, and relationships. I would not want to date an NT, because if I'm working on something, they feel ignored, so they try to pull my attention away from it and onto them, they want the attention to always be on them 24/7 or else they're not happy and they feel unloved and think I'm a bad person and start treating me like one. I cannot provide all the attention and affection they are looking for, and I know that they won't be happy, because they might think that I'm emotionally distant, so I avoid dating them because it's unfair for them. There'a so many other NT out there that they can find one of those people to date and be happy with.
I just try to date ND people, who get lost in the work they're doing, just like I do, and we give each other space to pursue our own interests, and there's a mutual understanding of the need for personal space. I can be in my own little world, and they can be in theirs, and then once in awhile we take a break to chat to each other, and these chats are always interesting, and then we refocus on being in our own little world. I mean that's not the type of life for everyone, but it works well for us.
My dating years were long ago & pre-diagnosis - I had some limited success (and failure aplenty), but I think it was just luck - me & my (probably ND) friend obsessed about the "secret" to getting girls - but never discovered it.
In retrospect, I probably just "masked" my way into their hearts/pants by telling them what they want to hear - of course a deceitful start like this makes a long term relationship unlikely as the bent truths come to light.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia said:I would not want to date an NT, because if I'm working on something, they feel ignored, so they try to pull my attention away from it and onto them, they want the attention to always be on them 24/7 or else they're not happy and they feel unloved and think I'm a bad person and start treating me like one.
I struggle with exactly this ↑↑↑ with my wife (we have come to an understanding now, but it was a painful transition)... so while a relationship with an NT is possible, there are extra hurdles of understanding (but also extra opportunities & experiences to do things that 2 x NDs may not).
Best wishes for your love life Roguelife.
I mean for ASD, we need a lot of personal space, because things can overstimulate our senses, and social interaction can drain us, so we need a lot of alone time to recharge.
But NT needs a lot of social interaction because it fuels them, and they feel negative if they're left alone for long periods of time, because it's like solitary confinement to them, they will feel ignored and not cared about. They want people to dote on them and shower them with affection to show that they are cared about.
So the alone time that recharges us, will drain them. And the social interaction that recharges them, will drain us, which is why relationships with NT is a tricky one, but many people somehow manage to get through it.
I think there's ups and downs to every relationship, but if you love your wife, it does not matter at the end of the day whether she's NT or ND, as long as you understand each other and enjoy each others company, then that's all that matters.
I mean I really love being with another ND because we get along very well, but we also have similar drawbacks as well. I mean many things can get ignored in favour of our personal interests. I have methods of reminding myself of when to pay for bills and rent, but my partner always forgets that kind of stuff, so I just remind him.
BillyC87 said: Try to find someone like you. I was treated quite badly by NT girlfriends.
I've been manipulated before, thankfully it's only been in the one relationship but I was extremely naive about it for my age - 32 at the time. She got away with a lot because I couldn't imagine she, or really anyone, could be so callous towards another human being - let alone someone you're romantically involved with.
Yes I do find it difficult to tell if a woman is interested. I suspect it, and sometimes I'm right but equally it's clear I've misread signals in some way. It works the other way too though, people have asked me why I didn't make a move when someone clearly liked me, though it didn't feel any more like they did like me than the times I've been wrong about it... ???
I can see how this could be true. Liking myself as a person... I accept much about myself which a lot of people would view as flaws, but I think deep down I see myself as being beneath most people.
I think autistic people can be like that as well though. At about age 20 I remember being incredibly petulant about being left out by my girlfriend when she spent time with her friends. The reason was likely very low self esteem but still doesn't make it okay. I've matured since then (I hope).
I do need time to myself though, possibly it's more important for autistic people, I don't know. I get lonely but I've worked hard to ensure I have my own space almost whenever I need it.