I have recently been thinking about my social interaction with people and other than the people I work with, I only have my partner for social interaction.
Up to a point I am fine with this and still seek being on my own away from my partner, which he understands and is happy to accommodate. However, I have been wondering if this is a completely healthy way of going about life. I'm not lonely and if anything find I will do anything to find isolation following work, as I am normally feel overwhelmed at the end of a shift.
What I am debating in my head is whether I am in a bit of a rut and have accepted this isolation and therefore it doesn't affect me? At the moment, I am happy being with just my partner and looking after my animals. My partner has been a little concerned in the past, but I think like me has accepted that this is the way I am and shouldn't force social interactions on me. I hear from others though that social interaction makes us happy and stops us feeling isolated and depressed. If I didn't have my partner and animals, then I may be able to relate to this better.
I find friendships hard work and difficult to keep. One side of me said I will be putting unnecessary stress on myself by trying to find new friends (especially with similar interests to me!), the other side of me is thinking about the fact that I have become to reliant on my partner and animals for social stimulus and should instead step outside of my comfort zone.
Has anyone else had this debate and come to some sort of logical conclusion of what is best or has experienced the outcome for themselves? Fr
thst sounds interesting and also flexible because it’s not something you have to do every week and you can work on it at home by yourself too
my name is robyn i have autism and i dont get out very much due to my autism as i get panic attacks due to being shy or clostrophobic! so have u guys got any places in poole or bournemouth that i could try going to! to get my confidence boosted up cheers from robyn
Hi, I sometimes think about this too. One of the things that made me wonder if I am aspie is that I am so much more relaxed when I'm on my own or just with my husband (although I love being around the children in the extended family, I don't have the same peace!). We are bombarded with stuff in the media about girly girls having fun with friends and it's annoying and a bit worrying, if you can't do 'girls night out' or, horrors! a girls weekend away. I can identify with everything you've written. I used to be far more outgoing and tried countless times to fit in but since having a bad menopause I've come to feel very strongly that I just need to build up my mental strength after decades of working, trying to make friends and pretending I'm alright really. So I'm just in retreat, as it were, at the moment and enjoying it. I think there will come a point when I have to think about the future, but not just yet. I can't really add to the good advice you've been given here, but I do hope you will come to a comfortable resolution with it - and you're certainly not alone.
Hi Starbuck, Yes I have this debate every now and again.
Sometimes I want to be sociable or get the urge to go places. Other times friends and family have pressured me to go out / see them because they just don't understand the stress this causes me. It's difficult to explain to them that I care but just can't manage fully the social aspects of long term relationships...I've let friends drift away.
So what I do after the debate ( usually with myself nowadays ) is to gently force myself out of my comfort zone by planning to see a friend or go somewhere new with my boyfriend and then proceed to experience a lot of stress before , during and after which results in a type of social hangover where I don't want to see anyone for a while!! Sometimes it works , other times it just reinforces my isolation.
I made a terrible mistake inviting some old school friends over to my house last weekend and although it was a pleasant enough evening ,by all accounts , it has left me exhausted and in pain ( I have CFS & Fibromyalgia ) from having to tidy up the house and I have a terrible 'social hangover'. I'm lucky that my old school friends have very busy lives with careers and children so don't want to meet up too often, they also have their own experience with autistic children so now that I have "come out" as having autistic traits they are more understanding...it's still difficult though.
I don't think there is anything unhealthy about your situation if you are happy. I find that my partner, children and dogs provide ample social stimulation most of the time.
I used to ride a motorbike too and struggled on group ride outs but enjoyed being part of the biking community in general. I miss riding my bike ( GSX-R600 K7 ) such an amazing feeling.
Conclusion: whatever works for you is best, anything outside comfort zone = little steps.
Also I think it is a good idea to use your interests / hobbies to tempt you (i.e. the song writing ) out of your comfort zone for your own personal growth...you should never feel forced into socialising by someone else.
Hello Starbuck, I really do struggle with this in life and have done for the majority of my 26 years of existence!! I will be totally honest with you and everyone else reading this I feel isolated in social life cause (my own personal opinion and experience) people don't wanna know someone who's different I've had it loads from people who think I'm ok but as soon as I mention learning difficulties (lately Autism) I feel people feel differently about me and switch off.
I'm glad to hear that someone Autistic has a partner cause for myself and from what I've read other Autistic people struggle to find relationships and keep hold of them, and it hurts in many ways, most of my friends are online and a distance away from me like in Texas and down in Portsmouth but anywhere near Glasgow, Scotland I can't find a friend or a girlfriend and it sucks.
Hi Starbuck. "social interaction makes us happy and stops us feeling isolated and depressed" is probably a very valid statement for 'normal' people, but not necessarily for us. For me it depends very much on who it is - specifically, interacting with my wife and children is lovely, I love doing it and it makes me happy, I could literally spend all day doing it without breaks. But interacting with anyone else - not interested. Interacting with people at work or at a club, I get nothing from that, in fact it makes me stressed because I don't understand how to do it properly, not in an effective way like everyone else seems to manage effortlessly. I'm happy just interacting with my wife and children, and I'm of the belief that we should do what makes us happy. I have no desire to copy what everyone else is doing to make me feel like I 'fit in', because that's not how it works for me. We follow a different set of rules. And since there's no rule stating I have to interact with people, and I get no benefit from doing it anyway, I don't push myself. There's lots of self-help out there which says how we should push our boundaries to grow, and to interact with new people to find new opportunities. That's probably true, but I have no need to push my boundaries. It's taken me a long time to feel comfortable with who I am, so I would place the importance on understanding yourself. Then you would be able to make the choice about whether to open yourself up to new experiences and people if that's what you want to do, and if you think you would get benefit from it. But there's no law saying you have to.
I do remember being single before I met my wife, and I felt very lonely. But I only wanted a girlfriend, just one person who I could share everything with - I never attempted to get new friends to fill that void because I knew that wouldn't have helped, it wasn't what I was looking for, it was a partner-shaped void. Once that was filled, I had no requirement or need to make new friends. It's not because I've 'accepted my isolation', it's because I've accepted that people don't make me tick. I don't have that need. There are other activities I would rather be doing that I really enjoy compared to whatever activities you need to do to make and keep friends. And it's not that I don't try because it's easier for me to lie to myself and say I don't have that need, which would allow me to avoid doing it, it's because I genuinely don't have a need to interact with other people. I could live in an empty village in my house with my wife and children, and it would not bother me in the slightest.
I think understanding yourself and being honest with yourself is the most important mindset you can use to work out if you're in a rut or not. And also the knowledge that it's okay not to want social activity in your life, not everyone does, and it doesn't make you any less of a person. Do what you feel happy with.
Hope this has been of some help.
Very eloquently written!
I've had very little social interaction in my life and the few girlfriends I have had didn't last 2 weeks :( only people I really have friends with are online and a distance away from me
Relationships can be challenging for everybody , there are many ingredients which make them successful but also many things which will make them fail and these things are not always obvious and if that is the case it requires effort and an element of learning about dating/ relationship etiquette/ rules.
People can be very fussy and picky about the smallest things ( especially guys I've found! ) and from my own experience I've found that appearing too 'keen' on the other person is a no no which doesnt make sense to me but it can make a person run away...as can being too 'distant' emotionally. Another deal breaker can be what they like/ dislike etc...people are all different so one girl might like holding hands but another girl might not. My boyfriend is extremely polite about that sort of thing so I felt very comfortable around him as I'm not at all happy for people to touch me unannounced! Anyway that is just a snippet of my experiences...
If Being autistic or having learning difficulties is putting girls off then they are not the right girls for you.As the world becomes more educated about autism attitudes may change but there are still people out there who are not so judgemental so keep looking and perhaps you will need to look outside the geographical area you're in?
Online isn't a terrible place to socialise and I know many people who aren't autistic who met their husbands/wives online on a dating site, it's nothing to be embarrassed about especially if you live in a remote area or have limited opportunities for meeting people. If you have any severe difficulties with aspects of dating or indeed everyday living then there are specific dating sites which can be more helpful and supportive.
And as you have seen on here people who are autistic do manage to sustain long term relationships , including marriage and so I hope this will give you some hope that although it may be difficult it is not impossible.
I've tried numerous dating sites and felt short changed cause I feel it's mainly fakes and scanners oh send me a voucher and I'll send you nudes no thanks as soon as that happens I deactivate the account and try again sometime later. I'm often declined for the smallest of things ie music tastes the team I support and in a way (with the few women I've spoken dirty with) don't agree with my wants if the relationship went down that avenue if that makes sense