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Your experiences with Aspergers and relationships? Watch

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    At the start of the year, I started seeing a guy with AS and we had started off having a great relationship. In fact, I didn't even know he had AS until the relationship ended, which it did suddenly and without warning. He suddenly broke up with me and then withdrew, saying "I want to be alone", although he insisted he still wanted to spend time with me, just not in a relationship way.

    I'd be sitting there crying and asking him about his feelings and he'd just stare at me blankly, and say that his mind drew a complete blank. This was so different to the happy, talkative guy I'd been going out with. It was completely heartbreaking. He'd simply say things without any emotion in his voice. We'd talk for hours going round in circles and me never understanding why he broke up with me. Then he told me about the AS and explained that I had been great and the break up was nothing to do with me, it was him. And suddenly everything fell into place. Him loving his time alone, never seeming to feel lonely, not feeling any sort of desire or placing any importance on having a relationship. His obsessions, physics in particular, were so much more important to him. He wouldn't even mind hanging out with his friends who were a couple, and had no sense of being a third wheel. He told me he loved me, but as a friend. Yet I know this isn't true. He keeps telling me how I'm his best friend, but I know that he has romantic feelings for me- I can see it in his eyes and feel it in his touch. But either he doesn't know it or he won't admit to it.

    Two months later and we're off uni for Easter. I've gone home but he's stayed at uni...to study solidly over the holidays, only going home to see his family for 3 days. Alone by himself in a house. But it doesn't seem to bother him at all! We skype pretty much every night and he tells me what he's been up to. He seems happy and cheerful.
    In the meantime, I cry every day because I'm still so in love with him and I don't know what to do. He tells me to go and find someone else and that he'd be happy for me, but it just hurts to hear that. I can't possibly look at anyone else as long as I'm in love with him

    What are your experiences with AS and relationships?

    I read somewhere that it is common for an AS/NT couple to go from being a couple, back to friends and then back to dating several times...although not ideal, I'm still hoping that at some point he'll want to go back to dating. But at the same time, I don't want to rely on that happening.
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    okay now immagine thats you brother that shows no emoction to you, that hits you, constantly putting you down and when you do something good, dosnt congratulate you, but only pick faults, my brother has AS so can kinda in a weird was relate to what your saying:/
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    okay now immagine thats you brother that shows no emoction to you, that hits you, constantly putting you down and when you do something good, dosnt congratulate you, but only pick faults, my brother has AS so can kinda in a weird was relate to what your saying:/
    I can't imagine that, that sounds really hard
    Obviously AS varies from person to person and the person I posted about really doesn't have things as bad as he could. He's quite lucky in that he's pretty happy with his life the way he lives it, he just doesn't like that he hurts other people without meaning to. I'm sure in that sense your brother feels the same.

    You might think that I could get away from this guy if I wanted to- never have anything to do with him- but he lives in the same road as me at uni and we're meant to be living together next year, just the 2 of us- and the contract is already signed. So even if I fell out of love with him, without a lot of struggle, he's going to be a big part of my life.
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    I will hastily add to that that we signed the contract before we started dating...I would never intentionally move in with a boyfriend at university and I don't recommend it to anyone else. We just reasoned that we got along so awesomely that it could never go wrong. Which in a sense is true because there are no hard feelings, it's just that I'm hurting so much.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    At the start of the year, I started seeing a guy with AS and we had started off having a great relationship. In fact, I didn't even know he had AS until the relationship ended, which it did suddenly and without warning. He suddenly broke up with me and then withdrew, saying "I want to be alone", although he insisted he still wanted to spend time with me, just not in a relationship way.

    I'd be sitting there crying and asking him about his feelings and he'd just stare at me blankly, and say that his mind drew a complete blank. This was so different to the happy, talkative guy I'd been going out with. It was completely heartbreaking. He'd simply say things without any emotion in his voice. We'd talk for hours going round in circles and me never understanding why he broke up with me. Then he told me about the AS and explained that I had been great and the break up was nothing to do with me, it was him. And suddenly everything fell into place. Him loving his time alone, never seeming to feel lonely, not feeling any sort of desire or placing any importance on having a relationship. His obsessions, physics in particular, were so much more important to him. He wouldn't even mind hanging out with his friends who were a couple, and had no sense of being a third wheel. He told me he loved me, but as a friend. Yet I know this isn't true. He keeps telling me how I'm his best friend, but I know that he has romantic feelings for me- I can see it in his eyes and feel it in his touch. But either he doesn't know it or he won't admit to it.

    Two months later and we're off uni for Easter. I've gone home but he's stayed at uni...to study solidly over the holidays, only going home to see his family for 3 days. Alone by himself in a house. But it doesn't seem to bother him at all! We skype pretty much every night and he tells me what he's been up to. He seems happy and cheerful.
    In the meantime, I cry every day because I'm still so in love with him and I don't know what to do. He tells me to go and find someone else and that he'd be happy for me, but it just hurts to hear that. I can't possibly look at anyone else as long as I'm in love with him

    What are your experiences with AS and relationships?

    I read somewhere that it is common for an AS/NT couple to go from being a couple, back to friends and then back to dating several times...although not ideal, I'm still hoping that at some point he'll want to go back to dating. But at the same time, I don't want to rely on that happening.
    this is so sad
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    My brother has AS and most of the time you'd never know it. The thing is that he finds it hard to work out how actions correlate to feeling i.e. today he was extremely anxious and stressed because a girl he liked wasn't replying to his text. It reached the point that he had to take anti-anxiety medication.

    That being said he had a very serious relationship for a year which he was fine with so it varies. He doesn't mind being alone and will often go out on his own to wander around without telling us where he is going. He described it to me that he generally see's situations as black and white, most guys can see shades of grey and girls are obviously functioning on a full spectrum.
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    Not everybody with AS is like this. I have AS and I've managed to have a number of functional relationships - although I am currently single and they have all failed for one reason or another. I also know married couples which are aspie/neurotypical - my parents have been married for 28 years and yet my dad has AS. It's definitely possible to have a 'normal' relationship even with Asperger's, so don't give up hope

    I think it's worth realising that if you're going out with someone with AS, you may never be the most important or most interesting thing in their life - a lot of people with AS are honestly more interested by their current obsessions than by interpersonal interaction. This doesn't actually have to be a problem, but you may have to alter your expectations slightly compared to what you might expect from a NT.
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    Not very useful...he's nothing like Rainman. On the surface he's just like everyone else.

    (Original post by rooney1000)
    this is so sad

    I'm going to go and see him tomorrow (get the train back up to uni so I can borrow some books) and I don't know whether to be excited or nervous...
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    My brother has AS and most of the time you'd never know it. The thing is that he finds it hard to work out how actions correlate to feeling i.e. today he was extremely anxious and stressed because a girl he liked wasn't replying to his text. It reached the point that he had to take anti-anxiety medication.
    That being said he had a very serious relationship for a year which he was fine with so it varies. He doesn't mind being alone and will often go out on his own to wander around without telling us where he is going. He described it to me that he generally see's situations as black and white, most guys can see shades of grey and girls are obviously functioning on a full spectrum.
    Sounds like a rape waiting to happen.
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    I slept with a mate and found out a week later she had Aspergers. The names sounds abit STD'y and the person who told me didn't know what it was either so until I could get on the internet I was really crapping myself.

    I know this isn't helpful but tsr is really slow tonight. In fact everything is pretty slow and crappy tonight and I'm board as.
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    (Original post by kerily)
    Not everybody with AS is like this. I have AS and I've managed to have a number of functional relationships - although I am currently single and they have all failed for one reason or another. I also know married couples which are aspie/neurotypical - my parents have been married for 28 years and yet my dad has AS. It's definitely possible to have a 'normal' relationship even with Asperger's, so don't give up hope

    I think it's worth realising that if you're going out with someone with AS, you may never be the most important or most interesting thing in their life - a lot of people with AS are honestly more interested by their current obsessions than by interpersonal interaction. This doesn't actually have to be a problem, but you may have to alter your expectations slightly compared to what you might expect from a NT.
    Thank you for this very helpful post
    I read that sometimes it's a case of almost developing socially later on than their peers...so he has got to the stage where he's comfortable with having friends and general social interactions (although not so much small talk), but he hasn't yet been able to have a successful romantic relationship whereas obviously other people our age (19 and 20) have done. He admitted to this himself- he feels like he's not ready for it. I am happy to wait for him of course, but I just hope I'm still in his life when he's ready.

    I've been doing a lot of reading around the subject (luckily I study psychology anyway so it does help with my studies...sort of) and I even bought a book called "22 things a woman must know if she loves a man with Aspergers syndrome" hahaha. Yes, I'm that sad! It is so like him, it could literally be a book written about our relationship. I do understand that my expectations have to be different. In fact I probably know more than some people who are actually in these kinds of relationships! I wish he'd just give us another chance (because the actual official relationship didn't last long at all).
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for this very helpful post
    I read that sometimes it's a case of almost developing socially later on than their peers...so he has got to the stage where he's comfortable with having friends and general social interactions (although not so much small talk), but he hasn't yet been able to have a successful romantic relationship whereas obviously other people our age (19 and 20) have done. He admitted to this himself- he feels like he's not ready for it. I am happy to wait for him of course, but I just hope I'm still in his life when he's ready.
    He may never develop that far - he may never be interested in a 'romantic' relationship in the same way as anyone else. Or he may become interested in it when he's in his twenties. Bear in mind that autistic people develop a theory of mind later than neurotypicals, so everything is a much steeper learning curve for us - I only realised that other people have emotions when I was 12, so I had quite a lot to learn in quite a short pace of time. You can't know what he'll end up wanting, but I'd advise you don't push him - 'I don't feel ready' may be a polite way of saying 'I'm not interested in it, and I feel like someone who was 'ready' would do'.

    I've been doing a lot of reading around the subject (luckily I study psychology anyway so it does help with my studies...sort of) and I even bought a book called "22 things a woman must know if she loves a man with Aspergers syndrome" hahaha. Yes, I'm that sad! It is so like him, it could literally be a book written about our relationship. I do understand that my expectations have to be different. In fact I probably know more than some people who are actually in these kinds of relationships! I wish he'd just give us another chance (because the actual official relationship didn't last long at all).
    Be very careful with books written about people with AS. Some of them are quite good and informative, but others aren't - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one that comes to mind as a source of misinformation which, sadly, a lot of people trust. You can't make him give you a chance - he may also be prone to feeling claustrophobic and manipulated (I know that if I feel I don't have a 'choice' in an relationship, I just get the urge to run far away and never speak to the person ever again) when a neurotypical wouldn't be. But it does sound like a difficult situation, and it's one that I wish you luck with
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    This guy is really funny and has a channel dedicated to his experiences with Asperger's. This video is particularly relevant to you: http://www.youtube.com/user/InjuredM...20/jmJmj9tzPaA
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    I have a friend with aspergers and despite being an extremely attractive female she has absolutely zero interest in dating or even friendships to a large extent. She's a very solitary person. Many people who don't know that she has aspergers think she comes across as cold hearted and emotionless but that's largely because doesn't feel any sort of connection with them thus feels no need to communicate with them, we've spoken about it many times and she largely views other humans as mindless robots that are only useful if they're a means to an end. She never really experiences happiness, jealousy, anger, or even sadness thus doesn't understand it when other people display emotion towards her for instance anger if they perceive that she is ignoring them. She's simply content to live in her own world surrounded by her obsessions (animals and art), other humans are largely just an annoying distraction. I'm pretty much the closest thing she has to a friend, and even then we only see each other 2 or 3 times a year despite living in the same city. The rest of the time she's happy to keep herself to herself.

    You're going to have to learn to accept that your friend has aspergers and that he probably doesn't view emotions or relationships in the same way as you do. Obviously everyone is an individual and impacted by their condition in different ways but if he's anything like my friend he wont have the faintest clue as to why you're so upset about the relationship ending. If he prefers his own company as opposed to close relationships that is something you're just going to have to accept and thus you'll have to learn to move on. You can't force him to feel the same way towards you as you do towards him. By all means you can still remain friends though, and I hope that you would. It would be rather rude to turn from someone due to something outside of their control.
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    (Original post by kerily)
    He may never develop that far - he may never be interested in a 'romantic' relationship in the same way as anyone else. Or he may become interested in it when he's in his twenties. Bear in mind that autistic people develop a theory of mind later than neurotypicals, so everything is a much steeper learning curve for us - I only realised that other people have emotions when I was 12, so I had quite a lot to learn in quite a short pace of time. You can't know what he'll end up wanting, but I'd advise you don't push him - 'I don't feel ready' may be a polite way of saying 'I'm not interested in it, and I feel like someone who was 'ready' would do'.



    Be very careful with books written about people with AS. Some of them are quite good and informative, but others aren't - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one that comes to mind as a source of misinformation which, sadly, a lot of people trust. You can't make him give you a chance - he may also be prone to feeling claustrophobic and manipulated (I know that if I feel I don't have a 'choice' in an relationship, I just get the urge to run far away and never speak to the person ever again) when a neurotypical wouldn't be. But it does sound like a difficult situation, and it's one that I wish you luck with
    Thank you again.
    Ha, The Curious Incident is actually on his shelf, it's the only fiction book on there.
    I don't want to make him do anything, that's for sure. He just has this capability to make me feel loved and like he loves me, but he's holding himself back. Maybe he doesn't have those feelings, but he's comfortable to say he loves me as a friend. It's all so difficult! I am just trying to be the most understanding person I can be right now.
    What you said about not realising other people have emotions- I've heard that many times, and still can't get my head around it! It must be a strange realisation to make.
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    (Original post by *Boofle*)
    This guy is really funny and has a channel dedicated to his experiences with Asperger's. This video is particularly relevant to you: http://www.youtube.com/user/InjuredM...20/jmJmj9tzPaA
    Yeah I've watched some of his videos! I like that guy. Although like he says, it's a shame "This video (was supposed to be about relationships themselves) ended up being about problems I as an aspie have getting into relationships." Because 'my' guy doesn't seem to have any problems with getting himself into relationships...staying in them is the problem.

    (Original post by fire2burn)
    I have a friend with aspergers and despite being an extremely attractive female she has absolutely zero interest in dating or even friendships to a large extent. She's a very solitary person. Many people who don't know that she has aspergers think she comes across as cold hearted and emotionless but that's largely because doesn't feel any sort of connection with them thus feels no need to communicate with them, we've spoken about it many times and she largely views other humans as mindless robots that are only useful if they're a means to an end. She never really experiences happiness, jealousy, anger, or even sadness thus doesn't understand it when other people display emotion towards her for instance anger if they perceive that she is ignoring them. She's simply content to live in her own world surrounded by her obsessions (animals and art), other humans are largely just an annoying distraction. I'm pretty much the closest thing she has to a friend, and even then we only see each other 2 or 3 times a year despite living in the same city. The rest of the time she's happy to keep herself to herself.

    You're going to have to learn to accept that your friend has aspergers and that he probably doesn't view emotions or relationships in the same way as you do. Obviously everyone is an individual and impacted by their condition in different ways but if he's anything like my friend he wont have the faintest clue as to why you're so upset about the relationship ending. If he prefers his own company as opposed to close relationships that is something you're just going to have to accept and thus you'll have to learn to move on. You can't force him to feel the same way towards you as you do towards him.
    I suppose it's particularly hard for me because I'm such a social person and a people-lover. I absolutely hate being alone, unless I haven't had any 'alone time' in a very long time. I want to socialise as much as possible, and when I like someone, I want to spend as much time with that person as possible. This is why I find it so hard to understand how 'my guy' can possibly be okay with spending the entirety of the holidays cooped up in a house by himself. He says he doesn't feel lonely or miss anyone, and I can't get my head round it! I am really trying.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I suppose it's particularly hard for me because I'm such a social person and a people-lover. I absolutely hate being alone, unless I haven't had any 'alone time' in a very long time. I want to socialise as much as possible, and when I like someone, I want to spend as much time with that person as possible. This is why I find it so hard to understand how 'my guy' can possibly be okay with spending the entirety of the holidays cooped up in a house by himself. He says he doesn't feel lonely or miss anyone, and I can't get my head round it! I am really trying.
    Yes I imagine it must be hard for you to get your head around it, as you're so used to being such a social person thus it would be natural to you that humans should be social and outgoing as opposed to the opposite.

    I think a crude but good way to think about is to think about a subject you absolutely despise but other people love and adore. For me that subject would be football, I haven't the faintest clue as to why people would find it interesting yet millions of people around the world are obsessed with it. Once you begin to think about several subjects in that context, evaluating why people would love something you hate. Go back to your original point of confusion and try to flip it on its head and think about why people might dislike your subject of interest, in this case socialising. It might help you to get your head around it.

    I myself have avoidant personality disorder and borderline personality disorder alongside my psychosis. Completely different to aspergers but at times when I'm really affected due to them I absolutely despise any form of social contact even with people I know well. In the past I've locked myself away for months at a time not even communicating with family members. Deleted friends contact details, sent them abusive messages to force them to abandon me, etc. I think that is why me and my friend get along reasonably well. Like her I understand the desire sometimes for social isolation and distance, thus I never push the issue with her.

    I think because you're such a social person you are going to find it very difficult to understand why your friend might seek distance and isolation at times. And why he might prefer his own company. But I'm sure with time you'll gain more insight
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    I was going to just 'bump' but I may as well post an update.

    I went to his house at uni for a couple of hours yesterday...we baked together (little hobby of ours), ate together and chatted. He took a little convincing to allow me to sit in his room with him, presumably because he wanted to avoid the whole 'one thing leads to another' situation, but I just wanted to be in there because it's always been where we sit and chat. We talked a little about his Asperger's, and then just general rubbish and chitchat. He told me that the 'him' on the outside isn't the 'him' inside his mind- like he can hear himself saying things and speaking in a way that isn't the really him...he says he almost puts on a sort of childlike exterior but inside he's serious and almost monotone. It kind of hurt to hear that.
    So I asked if he was just pretending with me for the whole relationship, and if the cold hard person that broke up with me was the 'real' him, but he said no and that he never pretended around me. However, when we first started dating he was much more relaxed about things, but now he's in 'exam mode'...he talks about being 'in the zone' and being able to just study for hours and think of nothing else. He says he's a different person in holiday time when he doesn't have to worry about exams. I felt like he was hinting that he broke up with me because he'd gone into 'work mode' and that things would have been different if he hadn't had these important 3rd year exams looming, I just don't know

    Ahh I'm starting to cry just writing about this. Things have got to the stage where I'm barely eating and not sleeping properly, alongisde trying to do my revision.
    The whole time I was with him yesterday I just wanted to hug him all the time and kiss him. He let me hug him and actually said quite a few times "lets have a hug", as he does when he can see that I'm upset. But there was no kissing at all. I asked him about it and he said he didn't kiss me for 2 reasons- 1 in case it went any further (he doesn't believe in sex outside of a relationship), and 2 because he doesn't want to prolong my feelings for him or get my hopes up or anything...ughh yet nothing he says seems to stop me wanting to kiss him so badly.
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