Hi everyone, This is my first post on here, I’m looking forward to chatting with you all Smile I’ve tried to change my profile name but having technical issues, when I sort it out I’ll be called CarGuy.
I’ve recently self diagnosed after a lifetime of stress trying to deal with all social situations with my peers. Reading this forum has been so good, reading all these posts of people with exactly the same lifelong issues that I’ve had, I’m not the only odd one out :)
The most important to me is to have a relationship with a girl. I was quite a late developer, I wasn’t attracted to girls until I was about 15, just before that I was still into building treehouses and computer games! When I did though, I found it an even more extreme problem than boys, girls always seemed to find me weird and/or annoying.
After a few false starts I dated a girl when I was at college, aged 19. She was very pretty and very sociable, almost a social butterfly I’d say. I was flattered she wanted to go out with me and we started a relationship. It was massively tough, we had to constantly mingle with other people in social situations and I was absolutely put through the grinder emotionally. It made me feel totally inadequate and I spent the whole time dating her on “alert” with my senses on overload. All the time though, I didn’t want to lose her, this relationship was such a massive thing for me, as it was finally proof that I could have a relationship and I wasn’t a loser. Eventually though, I started to wear out mentally. I went into a huge depression, had 2 months off college where I could hardly get out of bed, my brain had ceased functioning. At the time I thought I will never be able to cope with a relationship if it was like this. We stopped seeing each other and although I felt like a failure, I gradually went back to being my normal single self, concentrating mainly on work, which seemed to make sense to me unlike people.
Over the next 18 years I kept trying relationships, and every time I just didn’t seem to click with the girls, just like people generally. I used to see them at weekends only, and was always pleased and relieved when they went home again, as I was just exhausted and needed my own space. After a while when they would mention going forward with the relationship, I would have to end it as I was already on my limit seeing them for weekends.
Then when I was about 37 and single, I started a friendship with a lady 15 years older than me. There was no physical attraction but we got on really well to the extent that we became best friends and literally started to do everything together. Cooking, cinema, running errands, watching TV, eating meals out. It was so good, I had never experienced anything like it in my life with anyone. I was able to spend time with her and not even need to be on my own to recharge.
Sadly after a while, friendship wasn’t enough, she was in love with me, but I wasn’t attracted to her physically. It was a desperate situation. The only person in my life who I have felt comfortable with was giving me an ultimatum to either be in a relationship or not see each other anymore. It was obviously perfectly understandable. I gave it so much thought but I just couldn’t pretend, I just didn’t fancy her, and I think the physical side is such an important part of a relationship.
So we went our separate ways. I’ve now started seeing someone else. I’m very attracted to her but it isn't the comfort level of my previous soulmate. I only see her at weekends and then pleased that she goes home, and then I can recharge. Mind you, even then it’s tough as she likes to talk to me for an hour every night on Whatsapp video which sometimes is too much for me. However, I have just told her about my aspergers and she’s been really interested and understanding, and is now trying to read all about it and see if we can make our relationship work.
So, I guess, I’m wondering if any of you have gone through this kind of thing, or any advice for me?
Thanks, Car Guy
Hi CarGuy. You sound like a guy who has a lot to offer for a right person. I think you thrown yourself into it and really aced relationship with your very first girlfriend. You got clearly overwhelmed and it created procedural memories in your brain. So now it's like a trigger. You limit the relationship to weekends only. Whenever the relationship becomes closer, you shut down. I understand, it's a legitimate need.
I think you need to consider what do you expect of yourself. Currently you are in your comfort zone. That's fine. The potential problem though is that the ladies who entertain relationship with you expect this to be an initial passing phase. They expect you would eventually get together, live together and yes, have children, raise them and grow old together. I think some people might present themselves being completely independent wanting to have a week-end only relationship. However that might be just a mask.
I think the idea of a relationship to most people is to have a person to come home to, to remove the armour, to fall on the sofa with, to drop the mask and be loved and accepted for who you are. Somebody who can calm your anxiety and put you at ease. Who shares your interests, who is interested and enjoys talking about things that matter to you and does not enjoy talking about things you find meaningless. Relationship is about having someone watching your back, and supporting you in good and bad times, also someone to share life's responsibilities with, such as raising a tiny human. It is also something where YOU have to be all those things for them.
I think you need to be fair with your partner, otherwise there will be huge resentment.
You might just to consider whether a deeper relationship is attractive, has a value to you. It doesn't need to go to overdrive and meltdown. You need to desensitise yourself and to define your parameters of what is feasible. It's a matter of finding the compatible person. I heard of aspies who live in two separate households, because of this need for space. It can be done, but only if the other half is genuinely happy.
If yes, whether you might like to push yourself a little further out of your comfort zone and try to figure it out with the right person. The person with whom it could be sustainable in the long term.
Ultimately all aspies have to push ourselves and grow our oyster so I would challenge you to consider that you have the strength and ability to figure out how to be a family man and a father. If we are fully human, then we can do all those things, be it a bit differently with the right person.