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 person. There are no exceptions to this. Anything less and you will have problems in some form or other. 

  • 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.

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  • What is it that you see deep down that you believe makes you feel beneath most people?

  • A few things really. Some examples - I have a bit of a chaotic mind, I can be very slow and I say and do silly things every day  - get words in the wrong order, use the wrong term, forget names time and time again, get lost, turn up late, and I can frustrate colleagues with my absent mindedness. I’ve struggled with work and although almost always had a job, usually full time, as well as being in a band I’ve usually not earned much money.

    I’m not trying to be deliberately down on myself by the way, just trying to give a sincere answer. Even if I try to think kinder thoughts about myself it doesn’t change the way I feel. 

  • I have a bit of a chaotic mind
    I can be very slow
    I say and do silly things every day
    I get words in the wrong order
    I use the wrong term
    I forget names time and time again
    I get lost
    I turn up late
    I can frustrate colleagues with my absent mindedness

    I would list these traits (as above) and put each of them through some gentle, but honest investigation. Right now, you believe them to be true and this is what is causing you pain.  I would get really still and contemplate each thought to find out if it is true, and find out how you treat yourself as a result of believing each one to be true.

    Rather than try to think of kind thoughts, take your un-kind thoughts and put them under some gentle, but honest scrutiny. That's real kindness and compassion.

    Sometimes, we take our negative mental narratives as gospel and then live out the rest of our lives suffering unnecessarily. 

  • I think they are true statements but they probably become more significant to my mind. I’ll give your advice a try though, thank you for your thoughts, appreciate it :)

  • Ok. So what I'm hearing is responsible guy who holds down a job and by the way has ooodles of creativity and in a band. What's not to love? The right person is out there however awkward it feels expressing yourself. 

  • Thank you for the kind words. Perhaps the right person is out there, it’s just got to the point where it’s getting to me I suppose.