Hey, I don’t have autism but the guy I really like is on the spectrum. He’s high functioning, is incredibly smart etc and to be honest I don’t really see his autistic traits as his autism I just see him? (I hope that makes sense, in my head it does) like it’s part of him and I love that about him. We’ve been friends for years and first had sex a couple years ago after I had been flirting for a year and dropping extremely subtle hints that I liked him and in bed one night he finally gave in. We spoke about feelings and he said he needed time to figure it out, we flirted/seen each other over the year before he was like I just don’t think I can be in a relationship, this has probably been the hardest time of my life, I love you it’s just the stuff in the middle, will you still be my friend etc. Things have been a little awkward since but getting better...but I still love him, I still want him but any chat about feelings or flirting will freak him the f*ck out. He’s not too long out of the closet and I know he doesn’t do hook ups etc, he’s literally the most amazing guy I’ve ever met and he also said to me ‘he doesn’t think he can ever be in a relationship and that hurts’. I was just looking for advice on anything I can do? Or what’s the best thing to do? And is it normal for people with autism to have such low self esteem and to feel like that. I want him to be open to being loved but he doesn’t seem to want to let people get close? Apologies if I’ve used the wrong terms or offended anyone. Feel free to correct me, I’m dying to learn more even if we are just always friends like I want him to feel understood.
Get him to see a psychologist. The guy's out of his mind.
I can see he’s always thinking written all over his face. Sometimes I feel he even looks tormented by what’s going on inside his head? He even still kinda avoids me/avoids messaging me...
I think that you are really amazing and my advice is to keep trying, these things can take time, much longer with an autistic partner. Try and find out why he doesn't think he can be in a relationship, if you ask him directly you are likely to get a very direct and precise answer and then you can work towards over coming any obstacles that are presented. Ask him about the sex, whether he enjoyed it or if there's other things you can do that might be more pleasureable for him, again be as direct as possible. If he's only just come out that might be a bigger issue for him than having relationships, maybe he's never actually had a proper relationship before and doesn't really know what to expect from one, probably just needs a little more time. Without knowing too much about you or your friend such as ages, family situations, housing, locations and so on I would say that you need to build a really strong communication between you to avoid things like stress, anxiety, meltdowns and so on. For example, when you go on a date its going to be important for him to know where you're going, at exactly what time, if you go out to eat then make sure the food is something he can actually eat and likes, not too noisy or too busy.... keep in mind that he may not understand your body language and therefore he might misunderstand your feelings or emotions, but being more direct will help, good luck!
He probably does need psychological help. Keep trying.
Ahh thank you. We’re both early-mid twenties. I know he’s never had a proper relationship before, I think his sexual experience is quite limited as well...we’re similar personality wise but I am quite confident and quite a sexual person whereas he isn’t. I think we need to build back up our friendship and he needs to feel fully comfortable with no awkwardness before going down that route again. He does like spending time on his own...but so do I. One of the reasons I like him is I know for a fact I can sit comfortably in silence and watch TV with him if we choose and it’s not awkward, I can also go chill in another room and he’s not the type to come smother me haha. Alone time is healthy and it’s actually rare to find someone who can give you that space. He doesn’t flirt anymore or show any kind of emotion so it’s hard to know what to do and I don’t want to flirt if it would make him uncomfortable.
Hiya, I thought you were probably early 20's... I have a lot of admiration for your patience and determination, you are a good friend and from what you've said your friendship is strong and will last regardless of the relationship difficulties. Giving each other space is crucial, he will undoubtedly appreciate that even if he can't quite communicate why. The fact that you can both be comfortable sitting in silence, watching TV or being on your own is a big plus in a neurotypical / neurodiverse friendship! He will start to feel fully comfortable and less awkward when you're together but that will take time, the benefit is that he probably dislikes change so the friends he does have he will become very loyal and more likely to be everlasting. I know that is certainly my personal experience. I hope it works out and that you can grow closer together again at some point in the future, good luck!
We’ve been friends for like 7 years so we know each other inside out, it’s only been the last couple years I’ve noticed the autistic traits. He said to me ‘nobody ever looks at him like he’s hot’ but....I do and I’ve said this to him time and time again. Does autism make it difficult to recognise when people are interested? Oh he HATES change it makes him very uncomfortable, he hates when I make new friends as well, can get a little possessive but he does recognise this. I have no doubt that he loves me, he does seem to be avoiding me a bit, is that because his feelings are strong and he can’t hack it? Thank you so much btw.
Yes absolutely autism makes it difficult to recognise when people are interested, this has happened to me so many times and that's why you must be blunt and direct with him he will thank you for that maybe not immediately but definitely in the future.