At wit ends and feeling helpless as a parent

I am parent of a soon to be 38 year old male and quite honestly am close to a breakdown. He has no real friends, not one. He is high functioning Asperger's, able to hold a conversation, yet he fails to make any friendships. He joined meet up without success, if only he could make just one friend that would help.

When my son was diagnosed I asked what services there was like for instance support groups were he could meet new friends, there was no suitable ones. So what did mum do ?? Started a support group for autistic adults. It's been going 3 years, and after 2 years we are growing rapidly. My son attends but still hasn't made any friends who he meets outside of meetings. He does talk though and get on  members though. My group is successful and members love it, but it still hasn't helped my son

Does anyone have any advice please ? He never really had any friends at school to carry friendships forward to adulthood. He says he is boring because he likes train travel, doesn't drink, doesn't like pubs, hates noisy places, doesn't like nightclubs. He would really love a girlfriend but not having much luck there either. He has lots of friends online, but none in this country. I try to tell my son there is someone out there for him, that not all women are party animals but he said if she's on his path she's either got lost or turned the other way

He has joined dating sites, but even meeting someone on them is hard. He meet one woman, was a gentleman and she said sorry your not for me, your too nice !!!! I mean what's that all about ?? she likes "Bad Boys" My son was brought up to respect women, he doesn't want one night stands, he wants to treat a woman right, wants a relationship that could lead to something serious.

He is seriously considering looking for a wife overseas because the females he speaks to like that he is respectful, wants to marry for life etc yet as hard as he tries no women in UK want him.

If you have got this far with my post congratulations, so sorry for all the moaning but it breaks my heart watching my son suffer

I am very confident, not always been mind you. He said "Mum I look at you and wish I could be confident like you, I wish I could give him some mine. He sees other people who are autistic with jobs, relationship's, living on their own, able to socialise and he says why can't that be me  

  • I would suggest that he's working on a very high - but delayed - operating system.    He's probably still a teenager in his mind (I'm still 16 but my body is 50+) and he's probably measuring all around him and they do not make the grade.   Unfortunately, he's setting the bar so high that no-one he talks to measures up.    The foreign option is interesting - a compliant robot wife that he doesn't need to communicate with or open up his soul to.   Very pragmatic and convenient - and he doesn't have to consider their feelings as he can't communicate clearly with them.

    Sound like he considers relationships to be too much hassle - too much risk to his status-quo -  too much risk of exposing his lack of skill and experience.

    People 1000 miles away are controllable - he can switch them off if it gets too real.

  • If he's only ever been on one date it's not surprising he hasn't met anyone yet. Most people speak to numerous people at once and line up a few dates in a week. This doesn't work for me but I did used to have a rule that we had to go on our first date within a week of starting chatting then if we weren't right for each other I hadn't wasted too much time before I could move on. In regards to the 'too nice' comment, she probably didn't want to be honest and thought that would be a kinder commentI suggest that he tries to see the dating as a way to get out of the house and practising his dating skills then if something comes from the meeting then all the better. 

    My husband meets most of my socialising needs and then I have a friend I met through work 10 years ago who I see a few times a year. That's enough social interaction for me. If he's lonely and isn't making friends any other way then maybe focusing on internet dating would be more suitable for now.

  • Hi & welcome.

    How does your son feel about his situation? 

    Just wondering because I am autistic and in my 50s, never carried on with the few friendships I formed at school, and nowadays have just a handful of people I could meet for coffee & do maybe once every couple of months but otherwise would say that I have no real friends and to be honest I'm happy with that. A lot of the distress I've felt over the decades has come from my failing to enjoy what *others* told me I *should* enjoy - not from within myself. I too found the journey to marriage difficult, and my first marriage failed 10 years after we met, but my second marriage is sound.