Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Are Aspies Capable of Love?

Although the answer to this question may seem simple, it recurs with alarming regularity on aspie forums everywhere. Often, it is confused with the aspie's ability to find a partner or the famous aspie empathy problems - these are different things altogether which I'll hopefully discuss in follow-up posts.

Emotional Behavior in Aspies
Aspies are very capable of loving but they often confuse the issue by adopting an altogether too rigid view of love. Despite popular mis-belief, aspies are generally fairly emotional beings. We have intense feelings of happiness and even more intense feelings of sadness. The smallest triggers can produce huge emotional responses in us. While a bad day at work may make an NT grumpy, it could make an aspie feel suicidal. Similarly, when something good happens an aspie may seem to be over-reacting or overly happy. Most aspie adults have long since learned to control excessive displays of happiness but it's very apparent in aspie children with jumping, shouting and singing.

Aspies seem to categorize love as one of those mostly unattainable permanent states of extreme happiness directed at a single person. Such a state is not attainable with all partners and certainly isn't sustainable over long periods.

Expectations of Love
When an aspie who has experienced love in this manner discusses the question of "what is love" with his or her NT partner, they may be quite disappointed with the response. To an NT, love is more about respect, commitment and other semi-tangibles, while an aspie may respond that it's the feeling you get when you look at your partner's smile and it warms your face like when the sun is shining on it. To an NT, this is just poetry but to an aspie it's reality.

The sad thing about this is that in an NT/Aspie relationship, since neither partner has the same view of love, they give eachother what they need, instead of what their partner needs. Aspies don't need unwavering respect and commitment, they need smiles and hugs. Of course, when the aspie greets/reassures his or her partner with a smile and a hug instead of words/promises and kisses they're likely to offend. The same is true for NT partners who shout or scowl a lot.

Measuring up to Expectations
Aspies who have been in love but have become separated from their lovers are often so fixated on the feelings of the previous relationship that they can't move on and won't give anyone else a chance to get close to them. They may declare that the previous partner was the only one for them or that they're only looking for a new partner who is "exactly the same".

Similarly, as mature relationships cool off, the aspie may mistake the loss of the "constant euphoria" sensation as a withdrawal of love. When this happens, they will need a lot of reassurance. This is particularly important when you have your first child. There are widely documented cases of partners (husbands particularly) who feel "squeezed out" of the relationship with the birth of children and subsequent change of focus to concentrate on the child. For an aspie, this change of focus is even more extreme.

Summing up
I guess the main point of this post is that aspies can certainly give and receive love but that their expectations are often too high or too focussed to enable them to be properly receptive. It also takes a very special kind of NT to give an aspie the sort of love they need.

359 comments:

1 – 200 of 359   Newer›   Newest»
Adi said...

A great post! I have to add that I have always been greatly in love with my husband's wonderful brain too and I think a long term love relationship probably requires an NT who also has an inquisitive and status quo-challenging mind. :)

Meredith said...

Finally! So very true.
Though I think a serious relatinship has to contain a "shared interests" part as well, the basic feeling of love is exactly what you described.

May this difference in love style have caused the reactions to my previous dating attempts (i.e. being told that I'm clingy, childish and "tiring")?

Anonymous said...

This Aspie needs respect and commitment. I'd gladly trade a lot of the "smoochy stuff" for somebody who didn't need me to have my "public face" on all the time and could just let me be my weird self. I love the post-euphoria "boring phase". Finding somebody who'll put up with me long enough to get there is the problem.

When I was in school, my classmates used the smoochy stuff--fake flirting, fake love notes, etc.--to humiliate me. I don't trust it any more. I can't imagine dating someone I didn't already know and trust as an individual.

Nachtus01 said...

It is 100% absolutely possible for an aspie to find love.

I am 36 years old, and have been married now for 13 year....we've actually been together for 15 years altogether though.

Is it a perfect union, no, but, looking at the divorce rates in our country at this time, I'd say not even NT's get that luxury.

My diagnosis, only occurred 9 months ago. Prior to that, there were lots of arguments, to be sure, about what i was, or was not doing, or what i felt my wife needed to be doing, or not doing.

Since my diagnosis, a lot of those issues, while still NOT resolved, are no longer "issues", because it is known by both of us, that it isn't anything I'm trying, or not trying to do. Furthermore, she now understands why i felt that certain things were so important, while other things meant almost nothing. This is not to say that we aren't trying to better those areas, just that we have made more allowances for them, as we know understand each other better.

And, truthfully, even before the diagnosis, i don't think i could have enjoyed my life as much as I have, if it were not for her. She made so much of my life bearable, and has brought me a great deal of happiness. In fact, to be fair, I don't think I've ever been happier.

If I were given the opportunity to go through life all over again, as a NT, but would have to give up my wife, the answer would be the fastest NO ever recorded.

Hope that gives you all hope.

Netnoob said...

Got directed here by an Aspie friend (guess I'm NT -- haven't been around long enough to sling the lingo), kind of indirectly... which I'm suspecting may be kind of the standard in our developing friendship.
I'm awfully glad to have this place as a resource; I'd like to pursue at least a closer friendship... it's early days yet to look further than that... but, of course, that's exactly what I'm doing.
I've been getting what felt like mixed signals from him, and this sheds some light on things.
Thanks.

C. said...

Hi can you expand more on the mixed signals idea? I am curious...I am always feeling like I am guessing and second guessing how my partner feels about me and about us. I tried to talk to him but I get very vague answers. He spends tons of time with me, more then he wants to and I know he needs more space. I just don't ever want to loose him and I can't seem to yet read the aspergers from him just being him..except that that makes no sense because he is fully who he is.... no wonder I feel confused but I just keep reading and hope at some point to feel i get it....any help would be greatly appreciated!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I think as with any mental condition the difficulty is in separating the person from the condition. That is the most confusing part, actually. Because you think you have figured out who the person is, or you did figure out who the person is, and then the manifestations of the condition kick in and you are back to square one. At the end of the day it may not matter where the person is and where the condition is because they are essentially intertwined and it all comes down to whether you can handle and accept the person the way they are. That is difficult.

C. said...

Well it has been a few weeks and to be honest I still don't get it. Sometimes my partner seems to be SO close and other times he is a million miles away. This morning he was holding my hand loosely and being affectionate and cuddling the cat....I know the cat likes it but..umm....well...sigh. Honestly I have read as much as I can without being overwhelmed and I think I am there anyways. He never says I love you even though I say it regularly to him. What am I missing in this???? I just really feel confused and no sense of where this relationship can, may or won't be going. He says over and over he lives day to day to day and I should just start relaxing, exjoying his company and being glad i managed to get this close to him because he doesn't let people do this. Then the next sentence was he still feels distant...ok but I think we are close? His family is a mile off from where I have managed to get in his life so far. I just find the whole relationship to be inside out, upside down, and backwards....is this normal??? does it make any sense what so ever??? I am tring. :)

Gavin Bollard said...

Expecting an aspie partner to know what to do in a relationship is often like expecting a child to know what to do. Everything has to be learned, dare I say programmed.

Regarding the saying of "I love you", you need to tell him that. Exactly that. Tell him that you want him to say it, how you want it said and where and when you want it said.

It's not that he doesn't love you but that phrases like that are the same as a lot of other "trite phrases". They won't carry the same weight with him.

He will love you in his own way, which ultimately will be more true than love you could find in an entirely neurotypical relationship.

If the small gestures are important, you're best off giving him a calendar with reminders on it. Even better give him the calendar/diary and sit down together to write reminders in it.

For example; pick random dates to write hug reminders, or "tell eachother how much you love them" or "special dinner date". Your aspie isn't going to know or understand the language of love - it's up to you to teach him. Note; this isn't the same as being incapable of love, the problem is in the expression, not the feeling.

I know that this probably feels a little "fake" to you. You probably feel that you shouldn't have to write these things down. Think how it feels to him though, most of the superficial things by which NTs measure love feel "fake" to him.

You're obviously well on your way and I can tell from your post that your relationship is strong and mutual. Eventually, your aspie will start to learn what is expected of him - and you in turn will learn how to read his expression and know that he loves you.

C. said...

Aww Gavin I read your message and thought..boy I think I will share this with him...it was so sweet and understanding :) We have talked and it is interesting that you say that he will love me in "his own way" because those were the way he stated it. It was more of an if you understand me then you will see kind of statement..not an I will do exactly what you expect and then you will see what you always have seen in what love means socially..that I understand won't happen, but what I am finding day to day seems to have more thought behind it when it does come out. Hard to explain and maybe even harder to understand when in it, but somehow things between us are good :) I hope it stays that way! Thank you for your insights and for anonymous's comments also..these are helpful and I think over time this site will be VERY helpful!!! Thanks for being here!!!!! :) C.

Vato-Mofo said...

Been with an aspie for more than 7 years now. I guess I'm a special kind of NT.

tina said...

love isn't just feeling happy when you see another person. you probly put a smile on your face when you see a cute kitten, but it's 100% not the same kind of love.
i don't think you truly understand what loves means, to a normal human.

Gavin Bollard said...

Tina,
I've learned that love manifests itself quite differently from one person to the next.

In my case, I've always found that Love is primarily a feeling. There are lots of other aspects which flow from that feeling, such as respect, support and interest - but it's the feeling itself that is critical.

In good times (and also in extremely bad times), that feeling is strong but it waxes and wanes with the ups and downs of the relationship.

It never really disappears and I figure that if it did, that would be the end of the relationship.

We don't have shared interests that we were "born with". Honestly, my wife and I have very few interests in common now (except living in the same house with the same kids). Love makes us find new interests together. For example, we've both recently become involved in scouts for the kids but it will become a new shared interest for us.

It's quite probable that I don't really understand Love, but after 11.5 years of Marriage, (plus having gone out with the same person for ten years prior to that) and still having that "warm sunshine feeling" when I'm in her presence, I figure that I must be doing something right.

C. said...

I would say that you are doing something very right! And if you can say that after being together (dating or married) for more then 20 years and still have that sense of awe and wonder in your feelings for your wife...boy she is one lucky lady :) Congradulations! I can only hope that we can do as well over time....

Diana said...

Thank you for posting this. I am 24 years young and have recently been diagnosed with AS. Lately I've been wondering if I'll ever be able to fall in love. All I can say is that it's good to know that I am not alone. This means a lot to me.

Diana said...

Thank you for posting this. I am 24 years young and have recently been diagnosed with AS. Lately I've been wondering if I'll ever be able to fall in love. All I can say is that it's good to know that I am not alone. This means a lot to me.

C. said...

Thanks Diane...I am curious as to why you would wonder if you could ever fall in love? The reason I am asking is that my partner "likes me" but is starting to ask what love is as it is an abstract concept to him. His actions say he loves me, he cares for my needs, he names my feelings and is highly intuitive to my emotional states, but he is having problems adapting to living with me as another preson in the house. He says it is not me it is that he is use to being very private and very much on his own. I wondered if anyone can explain this? I often wish I had Aspergers just to really understand...I can read, I can analyis but honestly sometimes I wonder if I just don't get it. I adapt over and over to his needs but it always seems I do something that is not quite right...??? It is strange really. I love him deeply and I want this to work. I have been wondering about seeing if there is a Canadian mental health worker who specializes in Aspergers or someone in that area of experiece as I feel I have alot still to learn. thanks for reading, sorry for such a long post. C.

Anonymous said...

it is because aspies need like 1000 times more solitude wich is hard to get when there living with someone espescially someone there in a relationship with

C. said...

Somehow that makes sense. I just bought him a new road bike and expect that he will not be in now for a long while as he plays with taking it apart and putting it back together before going out tomorrow for hours on it on his own. Part of me wanted to support his interests and I know he finds biking as a quiet time for him to be on his own..part of me as a NT feels that he could pick times to go out when I am at work and away from the house in the 11 1/2 hours I am gone ...but likely he will head out hours before I leave for work because he wants to be on his own and is excited by that time alone. Right now he is in the garage while I am in here writing about his alone time...kind of ironic in some ways. But it is what it is and somehow we will make it work or it seems to for the most part at this point. I can definitely see why NT need friends outside of their relationships though for supports, companionship, etc. because loneliness would be a big issue if the resource of other relationships were bit present is my guess. When we go visiting my friends he very seldom says anything and after I ask a few times if he is ok, I then ask if he is wanting to go and he says yes.... I am lucky he let me into his world at all because for the most part being alone is his favourite and safest feeling place to be I think...am I close?

Anonymous said...

this information has been very helpful to me. I could use a little more advice though...
I've been dating someone with Aspergers for 7 months now. I have completely given my heart to him. I am well aware of his 'quirkiness' and in fact that is what I love most about him. He is brilliant and funny and interesting and very loving (in a physical, snuggly, sweet way). I get lots of hugs and kisses and affection. I am, myself, a very sensitive, loving, caring woman. I am also very honest, communicative and open. This is where there is a bit of an issue, as I am a person who lays her cards on the table, and so prefers honesty all of the time. As is typical of this 'syndrome' this man does not say in words what I would so love to hear. He has not told me he loves me...yet, his actions tell me in so many ways that he does. He is very sweet and caring. We are both divorced and in our 40's. I have sat down many times with him and tried to have serious conversations about the future with him. I have children and have told him that I do not wish to be in a relationship or progress unless I am sure there is a 'future' with this person. He has met my children.He is very much in my heart, I love him very much. I could picture a future with him and have told him so. I am looking for a partner, best friend with whom to spend the rest of my life. I am very clear on that; however, as is typical of this syndrome, he is not clear, he does not tell me what I need to hear. I understand that being who he is, I may never hear that. I am trying to figure out if that is something I can live with. I love him so very much, and embrace his differences, his wonderful qualities and who he is...but this is a big part for me.
I need to hear 'I love you' from the man I love. I need to know there is a future of some sort (though, I do know there are never any guarantees in life). I have told him I have a lot 'invested' in this relationship...meaning my heart. We see each other a lot, and he has even 'learned' to do a better job of staying in touch through phone and email when we are apart (which I told him is very important to me). He does seem to be trying in so many ways. He does have some of the qualities of an Aspie, but definitely not all of them. He was in a very long relationship that he ended due to some very unfortunate circumstances. I do know he is capable of loving, I see it in so many ways, but not in many other ways. I do need to hear a little more from him. I am trying to figure out and learn how to 'draw' out this information from him. I think that with me he feels very safe and loved, and I like that. that is important to me. I take very good care of him in every way possible. I am trying to teach my children about how to deal with him and learn from him. He is truly a very wonderful man whom I love dearly. Help me, please, if you can!

Gavin Bollard said...

Looking at your questions from an aspie point of view, I find them very difficult to answer;

It would make sense that the answer to a "do you love me question" is either "yes" or "no" but in truth, you may find that your aspie is struggling just with the concept of love. If he's a bit OCD (which is very common with aspergers) he may find the question impossible to answer. Instead, try to break it down into measurable things;

Do I make you feel happy?
Do you like me being here?
Do you like my children?

Like is easier than love because it's a less vague expression.

The other question is equally vague. "Do we have a future together" is confusing - he's likely to be thinking - "how would I know?".

Try asking whether he would like you to stay around forever. Whether he would like you to be best friends forever, lovers forever (the word lover has quite a different meaning to love - it's quantifiable). Instead of asking about uncertainities, ask about things he can control. You might get better results.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that reply Gavin...it is so helpful to hear your point of view.

I have asked some of the questions you recommend. When I asked if he loved me, he paused and thought, and said, "that is something I take very seriously, and it takes time". Not the answer I was hoping for, but I think I understand what he was saying.

I have asked if I am good for him, if he likes having me around. I have been very specific and asked if I should come and stay all weekend, would he like that, am I good for him, do I make him happy when I am with him?, etc. The answers have been all very positive, "I am immeasurably happy when you are here.""I am a better person when I am with you" (I have heard that a lot), and so on. That is very nice. I have asked him about the kids, and he has also responded favorably to them as well.

I understand what you are saying about the future, and the questions being vague...I am beginning to see the way I need to talk to him to be most successful. I would've thought that using the word 'forever' would be too scary, but I see what you are suggesting. I want so much to learn how to interact with him verbally, and I want to be able to give him what he needs, but have my needs met too.

This is all so interesting to me. I am so glad I 'happened' upon your blog, it may in fact be a life saver for me...I have spent so many nights lying awake trying to figure out how to interpret his actions, his words (or lack of them) and his feelings. Meant to tell you that unlike many of the descriptions I have read, he looks into my eyes often, especially when I am speaking to him about serious issues.

Thank you again, I hope I can tap into your wisdom often!

One more question though, is it a trait of Aspergers to lie about certain things? I am hoping not, but I have some concerns that I would like to explain, perhaps at a later date. It would be a deal breaker for me, I am afraid.

Gavin Bollard said...

Lying generally isn't an aspie trait and in fact aspies find it more difficult than most to lie. We tend to cling to the truth, even when it hurts.

There is one major exception - when we've been cornered. I'm assuming that your suspected lie revolves around a relationship issue.

If you told your aspie that it was a deal breaker, then you may have cornered him. You may have put him in a lose/lose position where the only positive option was a lie.

Then again, it's possible that you're reading way too much into it. Aspies give off a lot of liar body-language signals (not meeting the eyes, monotone voice etc). Sometimes people think we're lying even when we're telling the truth.

C. said...

Well I am not so sure about the lying part either..I ask a question that seems innocent anough and I get made up answers and then taking them apart I get others and then others and then finally it is often that he does not want to do something or other or hasn't but has made up answers to try to not have to disappointment or tell me the truth about something that he feels he will get in trouble for. I have tried to tell him that it is ok to just tell me out right and then I will know but he doesn't some how feel safe or secure anough. He has spent years trying to stay out of trouble with his family and making up stuff or lying to not have them upset. Case example..did you pay the gas and hydro bills? Answer "I will". Ok. A few days later? "Did those bills that needed paid get paid?" "Um I will do that today." Did the bills get paid? No. After a month of talking about them they were left not openned and not dealt with. At one point when asked he said he had paid them actually...it never happened. Cleaning up the financial mess now this end but my question then becomes...if Aspies need help with something why does he have such a hard time asking??? The mess could have been avoided all together but he was avoiding something he is fearful of or dislikes doing or just does not do well and for that he could have just said "I don't want to do that" or "I can't" or "will you help me?" and none of that happened and instead he avoided the whole thing. Needless to say I am now taking on the bills and he dislikes having to deal with me with them but there is no other choice they have to be paid and the finances need to be dealt with. Is this type of avoidance normal??? I love him so I will work on it but honestly it is alot to take on in a fairly new relationship....and I now know it is a long term problem which makes it look bigger yet. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Thank you again Gavin for some insightful words. The lie I was referring to related to the fact that I discovered he was still online and pursuing other women even after we had been together quite a few months and were spending a lot of time together. I did 'confront' him on it and he promised he was not pursuing anyone, which in fact was not true. He also promised that if it was so upsetting to me he would get off line, but still, 5 months later, has not. I am not sure what to do about this, I have pledged my devotion and love to him and my desire to have a relationship based upon trust, etc. I have told him that I do not have tolerance for him dating anyone else. This may have backed him into a corner, as you described. I am trying to understand him and I love him greatly and in spite of the words feel that he loves me greatly too. That is the only reason I am 'tolerating' this, but I am not sure how long that I can ignore this.

I do not feel there have been any other lies. My guy, contrary to others described looks into my eyes often and with great care and honesty.

One more question/confusion...Often, I write him very loving emails, filled with my feelings for him. Rarely does he answer these emails, in fact, they get completely ignored.They are sweet and kind and loving, and he just ignores them. That feels very strange. I understand the 'Aspie' lack of communication, but this feels pretty hurtful. Often, too, I will say to him that I miss him, or love being with him, etc. and that too elicits no response. Not even an "I miss you too'. In a 'normal' relationship, I would quickly interpret this to mean that he does not have the same feelings for me as I do for him, and would move on. However, his actions and words when I am with him speak very, very loudly as to his love and care for me. This is incredibly confusing to me. In another circumstance with someone else, I would've moved on by now, assuming that the other person did not care deeply for me. Can you help me understand this?

Nachtus01 said...

September 5, 2009 10:07 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said..
"One more question/confusion...Often, I write him very loving emails, filled with my feelings for him. Rarely does he answer these emails, in fact, they get completely ignored.They are sweet and kind and loving, and he just ignores them. That feels very strange. I understand the 'Aspie' lack of communication, but this feels pretty hurtful. Often, too, I will say to him that I miss him, or love being with him, etc. and that too elicits no response. Not even an "I miss you too'. In a 'normal' relationship, I would quickly interpret this to mean that he does not have the same feelings for me as I do for him, and would move on. However, his actions and words when I am with him speak very, very loudly as to his love and care for me. This is incredibly confusing to me. In another circumstance with someone else, I would've moved on by now, assuming that the other person did not care deeply for me. Can you help me understand this?"

I believe that I can answer this. It might surprise you at how..."simple", the answer really is.
The reason he may not respond to your emails and other communication, is because you are making statements to him. You are telling him how you feel, and that is not a question, but a statement of fact, therefore, it requires no answer from him.
Try to rephrase your emails, perhaps by starting the body with statements about how you feel, and then the next paragraph question him, with comments like, "I wish for you to express to me what our relationship is like for you." and, "I want to hear how you describe it."
These comments incite a response, at least for me they do, as they are asking for input directly from me.

Anonymous said...

I'm still really confused how Aspies might love in a different way to an NT. I have been seeing my boyfriend for nearly 3 months and he was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. But I hardly noticed that he was different. Of course now that we know for sure, I can see little things which may cause problems for us, but one thing we both know for sure is that we love each other. He told me after only one month, while it was me that took a little longer to say it. And then the other day he told me he can't love like everyone else does. I didn't understand it, and he couldn't explain it to me. I said I loved him because I meant it, I want to be with him all the time, I love him for who he is, I want everything with him... so what does he mean when he says he loves me? Does it mean he doesn't feel the same? Is it only something he says but doesn't feel? Will his love for me vanish as quickly as it came? I am so confused, I really want to understand it though. I love him so much and am willing to make an effort here, I don't want things to end because he's an Aspie. It's a part of who he is, and I love him for who he is.

e said...

Anonymous -
NT's don't love the way an Aspie does.
;)

Gavin Bollard said...

Without more information on how your boyfriend acts (and feels), it's impossible to answer this question.

One thing I will point out though is that sometimes aspies deal in absolutes. Particularly OCD aspies. We don't always recognise love as "love", just high affection.

It doesn't change the feeling, just the name.

Similarly, we don't necessarily act out all of the normal social things that lovers do. Sometimes it feels a little too unnatural for us.

Nachtus01 said...

I think that one thing that should be mentioned again, is that every aspie is different, and that this is a Spectrum Disorder. Therefore, what applies to one of us, doesn't necessarily apply to all of us. Speaking only for myself, I indeed feel love, (at least i think), in much the same way as an NT does. The difference is how I express my love. The physical things aren't so much an issue. I can kiss, I can touch, I can be touched, in fact I love to do all those things.But what makes me different, is that I cannot do it for as long, snuggling is something that rarely lasts longer than 5 or 10 mins. Its not because I dont want it to last longer, its because the touch sensation eventually starts to become overwhelming. But these are minor issues, the bigger issue for me, and I am sure for other aspies, is turning something abstract, like love, into a verbal, or tangible thing. Most of us do not deal well with abstracts, we rely on absolutes instead. Trying to express something that is not, "tangible", can be a big barrier for many aspies.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had found this blog earlier and your advice.

I recently broke up with a gentleman who has undiagnosed asperger's. I care about him alot and seemed to have done all the wrong things in our relationship. Alot of what he needs I never understood because he could never communicate to me what he needed. I am willing to adapt to give him what he needs.

He has had meltdowns, does much better when he has had time alone...and now as friends still shows how he cares about me.

I want to revisit this relationship...please tell me how I do this.

Christine said...

Well from my experience the best thing to do is have a heart to heart very basic talk with your friend/former boyfriend. Logic seems to hit home the easiest and being straight forward, answering questions and asking what he thinks may work out better then you think. Steve and I tend to sit down often, particularly when there are problems and I explain what I am experiencing, how I understand things and ask how he sees things and what we can do about X problem. Usually we do whatever he suggests and sometimes I take what he suggests and adapt it with suggestions added to make it workable. All in all communication seems to be a big thing :) And well worth the work. Have to admit I am happy :) Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comments...this would have helped early on.

I think friends is where it is at for us.

Anonymous said...

So pleased to have found this site. My boyfriend was tall, attractive, intelligent - overall charismatic. His sister and I were friends for four years before I started seeing him, and I thought we knew a little about each other. How things changed when we started seeing each other. But it was a disaster that tooks me years to understand. I blamed myself for our break up even though I had been going through some incredibly difficult things.
Now I realise he had AS. He never asked for my opinions, my feelings, my background, my experiences. I was his girlfriend and fit in around his guitars. He was jealous when I needed support from anyone else but him.If I called when he was listening to music, his mum dare not disturb him. I was expected to read his mind, he was angry and frustrated if I wanted a night in.I became anxious and afraid to bring up a topic of converation.I didn't know what to do or say so I kept quiet. Even he picked up on ther fact that I was not happy (he told me as he lft me) but he had never asked me why.

Now I forgive him. He could not help it. It's interesting that he has married a small, quietly spoken woman for whom English is a second language. Perhaps this will work for him. I have married another man - no topic is out of bounds!

Anonymous said...

I have been dating someone for a couple of months who I suspect is an Aspie. He got very defensive when I asked if he'd been in therapy. He's highly intelligent, totally non-communicative about feelings (yet communicative about intellectual interests to the point of perfect formal language), he even sometimes takes notes while we're together.

My main clues were him saying when I brought up expression of emotions: "I've never had THAT. I don't know if I can have THAT" and his terrible understanding of body language and subtle emotional cues. "THAT" as a way to describe emotional romantic love also seems rather atypical and objectifying. He also seems unable to activate behavior without mimicking me. I often have to take the lead in the depth of the conversation or physical intimacy but he follows suit.

We were having a great time until I got emotional and wanted him to express more. I think he mistook it for me asking for a commitment when I just wanted a phone call or some flattering nice words, as I have been the one taking the lead in calling and asking him on dates.

He's always responsive and plans a date, we spend hours in deep intellectual discussion, have amazing sex, spend the night together but there's just no declaration of feelings or lead-taking on his part (like he doesn't get some basic social cues). He still wants to continue as we were but go no further (in other words, I'm guessing, no more pleas for emotional expression).

Does this sound Aspy or just like someone who's been damaged by a difficult upbringing?

Anonymous said...

This sounds so familiar. Exactly what I have experienced in the nine months I have been dating my boyfriend. He hasn't even said 'I love you', but has shown me in so many ways that he does. I have been trying to believe that actions speak louder than words, and it is what he is capable of, and accept him for who he is.

I am a very emotional, expressive, communicative ad loving person, so this is very difficult for me. I too, am always looking for the words, the expression, that he feels about me the same way I feel about him. It is for me to decide whether I can deal with this. I am 46 and divorced and really love this person beyond words. I have been through a lot, and don't want to repeat many of the same mistakes. I have not asked for a commitment (though I would like one), but I have asked him if he foresees a future for us, because if he doesn't I do not want to continue a relationship with him. I have involved my children with him, after much discussion with him, and my heart is completely given to him.

I am scared to be in so deep without any true acknowledgement of what our relationship means to him. I have tried to ask him direct questions, and have gotten some satisfying answers; however, I do wish he could and would offer me more.

I understand exactly what you are saying. I'm hoping someone out there has some thoughts for us both!

Christine said...

This last posting sounds SO FAMILIAR! It is like you have been sitting in my livingroom talking about our relationship..is it that common? My partner never says "I love you". He says "I know" sometimes when I say it. It is funny because he will come up look at me a certain way, say "what" in a cute and curious way and then kiss me. It is cute but communication is a big issue. We can talk about most things, but ultimately he functions on logic far more then emotions. So logically we are living together because I want to be...we logically make love because I like it...strange..Yep! His interests are all consuming for hsi focus. He has huge problems with multi tasking as a focus and likes to focus on one thing at a time. In any case I wouldn't trade him for the world and am very much in love with him. I can understand your saying that you need to decide if you can live with realizing what he can give in the relationship that may very well not be in words. Sometimes I wonder if we really can understand each other and then something happens and I realize again that I would not want to be living anywhere but where I am now. I am looking forward to growing old together...I hope he can figure out if that might be an ok thing for him to do. Time will tell but for today we are together and I haven't been happier then I am with him. :)

nate said...

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. In my past I have been to a psychologist who described Asperger Syndrome, however it wasn’t an accepted diagnosis at the time. This was pre 1992. Instead he attempted to help me with other issues. Long story short, I was able to function in the world for years.

This is going to be very difficult for me. I do have problems discussing myself, my feelings, which I seldom understand and cannot express, but I am better able to write about them. I was also hit with a double whammy in that I am gay. Don’t worry, I won’t discuss the sexual aspect.

I feel very odd coming to you all for advice. I basically have no close friends. I have three sisters, whom I would never discuss this with. And being fifty years old, I feel somewhat like an idiot for not being able to sort through this on my own. But here goes.

I met a man on line. We became fast, close friends. We seemed to understand each other no matter what we discussed. We met, as friends, once. Things happened that confused and upset me. I lost my job, a huge change in my life. I had a meltdown and stopped talking to him, and virtually anyone, for nearly a year.

Turns out, he has Asperger Syndrome. He was diagnosed when I cut him off. I did something completely out of the ordinary for myself, and contacted him again. He is on his own road of self discovery, and after years of just existing, I too am on a road of self discovery. I’m reading books, forums, your blog and others. I’m learning more about myself and why I do things. I’ve taken tests that show I am definitely on the spectrum.

Here’s my problem/question. And I am praying that you don’t dismiss me because of the same sex thing. This is just as bewildering to me, maybe more so because of the Aspie inability to grasp the non tangible and not being able to communicate how I feel.

I know there are very strong emotions on my side. After reading the specific questions above, I know I would answer yes to all of them. How he would feel, I am not sure, and I am hesitant to ask. He welcomed me back with open arms because he does the same thing as far as simply cutting people off.

We have spent nearly everyday on line comparing notes, sharing our thoughts, and what is currently going on in his life. I am more private about the specifics of mine. He is currently involved with another guy, who also has Asperger Syndrome. How they met is an issue to me. I have learned to become extremely untrusting in people and have my own views of this third person’s motives. There is also a twenty five year age difference between them, which I also have an issue with.

He has said he is not his soul mate. He has said that he is good for him right now because he is learning to do things he never did before. He has said he values our relationship, but I constantly feel like I am getting mixed messages. I’m sure I am probably giving off my own.

He offered me a job. He has a website. I have been learning everything I can about websites from before I lost my job. I need a job. I feel like I have no direction in life right now. But I can’t stomach his talking about this kid he is involved with.

I know I am jealous of the relationship, but I am kind of in my own right now that suits my needs. I want to work with him. I want to have him in my life. I don’t know how strong my emotions are for him, but he does make me feel like the sun is shining.

And I know you are not going to give me any answers like yes or no, but I don’t know if I should take the job, continue the relationship, or just run away as usual.

Gavin Bollard said...

Nate,

I really think that it all boils down to you. There's the question of whether you're happier when you're in contact with this person or not.

I think the answer to that is pretty obvious.

Don't trash a healthy relationship or friendship when it's doing you both good. Don't run away.

After all, the only thing that seems to be causing you issues is the third person.

I think it would be fair to explain your situation, perhaps in writing, to the man you've met. Make sure that you leave him room though, no ultimatums or conditions on the friendship.

He's unlikely to leave someone with whom he has a relationship purely on the basis of your feelings about that relationship but if you're correct, then the third person will eventually leave of their own accord.

So long as you don't put yourself in a position where you can be blamed for a breakup, there's no reason why you shouldn't stay exactly where you are happiest. Who knows, when things change, they may change in your favour.

C. said...

Well I would have to agree with the last writer. If you need a job then taking employment is not a bad thing. If you think that you can focus on friendship or a professional relationship with this man then all the better. If you think that you will want to be his lover and he already has one then you have a problem. Boundries might be the best bet in this case..decided before you get involved what it is you think you can handle and how you will approach the challenges. Pros and Cons lists work. The reality is that he has to be in the relationship he is in and if it ends you don't want to end up the rebound guy...they don't work well in the end. He has to deal with his own stuff. The motive behind why he is offering to hire you is my underlying question.... and I can't answer it from here.
I know you have lived alot of your life already and in the end you will hopefully know the direction you need to take on this one. As for having someone light up your life...well..I have to admit I might be wanting to chase that sunlight too if it was me....but then that spark needs to be mutual or you are on the road to being hurt in the end. Balance....
keep us posted :) C.

B. said...

There are several aspect to his personality which have made me wonder whether he might have some characteristics of an aspie. He is a highly sociable person but he has a lot of friends and very few close friends. He is not an open person, many people have said that they find him difficult to get to know well. He is a mathematician and is a highly logical, rational person. In over 4 years of being together he never told me that he loved me, or that he missed me when we were apart. He never talked about the future with me, or our future together, and we rarely discussed the past. His father died when he was 10 years old and I have never known him speak about it from an emotional viewpoint. He disliked sleeping in the same bed as me, always needing his own bed and bedroom in order to sleep well. He disliked being touched a lot, often saying that it was 'too much' or 'annoying'. Although he enjoyed sex with me, he often found the process amusing and would initiate it awkwardly with the phrase "should we have sex?". He has often offended people by not being receptive to their emotions, or by arguing a point too far purely for the sake of being right. All of these things in the past I would have described as "a very (his name) thing to do", but now it seems like I could use the word aspie (or something similar) in place of his name and it makes sense.

I may be reading too much into things by equating these characteristics with him being somewhere on the spectrum. Some friends have in the past asked me whether he is, or might be. Right now it is the only thing that can cast any light on my situation. All I know is that I love him for exactly who he is.

I don't know whether I should discuss this with him or not. He has asked me in the past whether I think he is emotionally 'normal', but I said I loved him for who he was, that 'normal' covers a wide range of things.

Sorry for the very long double post. I know nobody can give me answers, but I would be grateful for anyone's opinions or thoughts.

B. said...

I am currently trying to make sense of the end of my 4-year relationship with the man I would describe as the love of my life. Reflection on certain aspects of our relationship and his personality has resulted in me arriving at this webpage. So many of the things I have read on this page ring true about our relationship; so many of the things which have confused me over the past 4 years seem to make sense when I read what others have written and experienced.

My ex-partner ended our relationship by saying that although everything worked on paper, although being with me made him happy, that we were compatible and understood each other, although I am his best friend and he is closer to me than he has been to anyone else in his entire life, although he is physically attracted to me and feels a very deep bond and connection with me, and although he could see himself being happy to spend his life with me, he thought it wasn't enough. The most certain thing he could say was that he "thought he ought to feel something that he doesn't think he feels, but he doesn't know what it is". He said that he feels he has been pushing me away (emotionally and physically) when I have tried to get close to him because he thought there was something missing in his feelings.

Although he never said it to me, I believed that he loved me because all of his actions said so. He has told me that he doesn't know what love is, that he can't understand it. He doesn't even know whether he loves his own mother and sister. He has never been in a relationship with anyone else, so has nothing to compare his feelings to. He has said to me in the past that he doesn't think he feels emotions in the same way that other people do. Part of the reason that he thinks our break-up was the right thing to do is that although he feels sad underneath, he feels okay and can carry on. A description of him that I have used, which he has agreed with, is that I thought that he could lose everyone and everything close to him in his life and it wouldn't have a great impact on him.

Gavin Bollard said...

B,
Sometimes aspies get hung up on the word "love". It's hard to get a handle on what it really means.

With other emotions such as pain (physical rather than emotional), you have no doubt that it's occurring. Love however is more difficult.

Sometimes aspies get hung up on the word versus the feeling and can't tell that they're in love.

Bethan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. said...

Hi Gavin, thanks for replying to my post.

What you have said makes sense. I get the feeling that he is hung up over whether what he feels is enough, over whether he should be feeling some burning passion all the time! After four years of being his lover and living with him, I can certainly say that what I feel is not giddy, sunshiney, burning passionate love, but a deep bond, an understanding, a happiness.

At the end of the day if he doesn't think that what he feels is enough for him, then that is his choice. However, when I run through a list of questions like 'are you happy being with me' etc, his answers suggest to me that he does love me.

He has expressed concern to me before that he isn't sure whether he is emotionally 'normal'. I now don't know whether I should share my thoughts with him. Part of me feels that I owe it to him to be honest, that he might be asking questions of himself that he can't answer on his own. He has let me get closer to him than he has ever let anyone, and I feel that I should be honest. However, I don't want to hurt him in the process. He is 24 (I'm 26) and I feel that he could possibly go through his whole life feeling like something was missing and feeling like he wasn't normal. It's not that having a label would change anything, but it may help him recognise why he feels different and accept that it is okay.

russian doll said...

Hi. Great article. Has helped so much. I need some further help though and I can't find anyone else right now who would be able to provide me with some answer.

There is a guy I like a lot. He has mild AS. He is a wonderful poet, actor and writer. I asked him out on a date, he said yes. We went on the date, to the theatre. He was complimenting me, being very romantic i.e. reciting romantic poetry to me, linking arms, being a gentleman in general. Then after the show, he took me to a pub; all the way there we were talking and when things got queit, we just comfortably walked in silence, arms linked. Then in the pub, he said "I'm not romantically attracted to you", but went into a lengthy explanation of establishing a good friendship first because he can't pick up girls in a bar or chat up a girl. He needs a friendship first, which I agree with, it made me like him more for his honesty and upfront-ness.

Then, on the tube-ride home, I asked whether he would like to see where this goes or just be friends. He said "let's be friends, but who knows what'll happen in the future".
While saying this, he was holding me, fondling my hands and kissing my forehead. Which has left me very very confused.

I genuinely like him, so I've been researching AS and bought a couple of books. Knowing what I know so far about AS and his poetry, he is very much in a spiral of negativity. He has very low self-esteem, can't get over his first love which was unreciprocated. He was also forceful with his first love (not being able to read the signals clearly,) so he's guilty for that. Even though his first love is fine and has moved on.

He is 27. I can clearly see that he's tried to learn and improve upon himself. For example, aspies aren't very good empathisers. But he was extremely caring with me when I mentioned my grandmother in hospital.

He was suprisingly loving and touchy-feely, which I liked very much. For a first date he took me by suprise, I thought it was going well, but I am very confused as to why he would be so loving and touchy-feely with me, but then say "I'm not romantically attracted to you" and then a long explanation on friendship?
I have seen him interact with other women, close 'friends' (he says they're friends but he's more of a loner, very much on his own) and he is not even half as loving or touchy-feely with them. In fact, I've never seen him touch them in anyway, only talk. He's very friendly, but doesn't initiate any body contact with them.

A new film is coming to dvd in Feb 2010 called 'Adam'; a romantic comedy set around AS. We had takled about it on our date, and not knowing it had already come out, discussed the possibility of seeing it in the cinema when it comes out. Now I know it's coming straight out onto dvd, I pre-ordered it. I told him via email. His response was "cheers for the dvd info, if i'm available we could get together and watch it".

I have 2 questions;
1. regarding 'adam', is he trying to distance himself from me?

2. why did he say he wasnt romantically attracted to me, but continued to be so loving and touchy-feely even after stating he wasn't romantically attracted to me? and then the long explanation about establishing a friendship?

I understand if he wants a friendship and then perhaps build from there rather than date. I prefer it too. But, I recieved conflicting messages from him. He is smart, he has worked on himself, he knows the differences in body contact and touching.

HELP! From a very very confused NT who has got it bad for an aspie

Gavin Bollard said...

Hi Russian Doll,

Aspies often have a great deal of difficulty with concepts like "love" because it's not an emotion they can recognise easily. For example, physical pain is generally easy to recognise because if something hurts, then you're in pain. Anger is less easy because sometimes you find yourself shouting without realising it (hence some people shout "I'm not angry!"). Love is very much undefined.

From your writing, it sounds pretty clear that your "guy" loves you but it might not be clear to him. He's confused and probably doesn't realise that he's sending wrong signals.

His statement that he wasn't romantically attracted to you is probably a good signal to "slow down" but it doesn't mean that you can't have a relationship. You're both on the right track in assuming that it needs to develop from friendship but you need to decide what to do about the touchy-feely aspect.

Non-relationship friends aren't generally touchy-feely. You could tell him this but he might get scared and back off completely.

His comments on Adam are to be expected. After all, it's like you're taking a disabled person to see a film about being disabled. It's a bit personal for him. He's probably a bit unsure about what you'll think of him after the film - especially if you're clear about him being an aspie.

It's probably worthwhile building his self-confidence by telling him that you like him and that the film won't change who he is. Like everyone, he's an individual first - and an aspie second.

Finally, his comment of, "let's be friends, but who knows what'll happen in the future" should give you real hope. It's as good as a "done deal" because aspies will often be very uncertain when talking about the future. He's made his requirements quite plain - friends first - and so long as your friendship keeps up, everything else will probably develop from there.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me more about not being good at seeing the future as an aspie? My partner is trying to decide to move with me to a small town or to move by himself to a big city. If I can move to the city he has said "yes we will be together". If I can't..and I own a small house in the small town and I can't financially move and rent something and handle to mortgage too... but if I don't move with him then he has said he wants to live on his own. And I do believe as an aspie that he will be just fine. I might not be. So I asked more questions and he basically is stating that he can't deal with the future and can't see what will happen next. I plan and then make steps towards something I want. Our whole conversation has made me think that he never will get it. I love him..I truly do, but he is so independent and centered on himself and him only that he can't understand it seems that we need to work together on things if this relationship is going to work. I wouldn't trade him for the world. But I am not so convinced it is as mutual and I can't read him really to know if he is not saying things I need to hear because he can't, doesn't understand it or just plain doesn't feel it....I don't understand it and I am finding I feel like a fish out of water. any thoughts? I need to understand.... thanks!

Nachtus01 said...

Your friend sounds like me...to the letter. I am 37 years old, and understand that I do indeed love my wife, but for a long time I wasn't sure. I only knew that I didn't want to be without her, but my reasons were very logical. I needed her, she showed strength in many of my areas of weakness. She accepted me when others would push me away, or at the very least, keep me at arms length.
You asked to questions, and I will put my "two cents" in on them.
1.Is he trying to distance himself from me?
It is entirely possible that he is try to keep some distance between you. one thing you must remember is that he has probably spent much of his live being teased, and kept at a distance himself. this, on top of the fact that he has AS, doesn't just complicate things, it compounds them.
2.why did he say he wasn't romantically attracted to me, but continued to be so loving and touchy-feely even after stating he wasn't romantically attracted to me? and then the long explanation about establishing a friendship?
This is easier to explain, but perhaps harder for you to understand, since you are NT. Being "touchy-feeling" is a physical thing for us, not emotional. He, I know I do, probably enjoys the feeling of your hands, your skin, your clothes, your hair, etc. You, as well as most other women, view sexual expression in an emotional manner, where as for me, sex is usually not emotional. Add AS into the equation, and sex, or things you might describe as sensual, or emotional such as touching, holding hands, etc., is almost 100% physical.
In my own blogs, I have mentioned a book that everyone who knows someone, or has AS, should have, and that is Tony Aspergers Complete Guide to Asperger Syndrome. I think it cost me $20. If I knew how influential and helpful it would be to understanding myself, and for helping my wife understand me better, I would have paid $120 easy.
By the way, Dec 16th, my wife and I will be married for 14 years...together for 17. This relationship your longing for, can happen, and can grow and prosper in the manner in which you seek, but it wont be easy, but that makes it more valuable in the end. :D
Good luck to you!

Gavin Bollard said...

The future was always very hazy for me. It's because I can't say anything with certainity - so I avoid saying anything at all. I act like there is no future.

This caused all manner of crazy problems for my (then, future) wife when we were going out. She would constantly ask where we'd be in the future. I'd answer that I didn't know (because, I didn't know). I was being honest. Then she'd ask if we'd still be together in a few years time. Again, I'd be honest. "I don't know".

From my point of view, I was being honest but from her point of view, I was being mean and abusive.

It nearly cost us our relationship. We broke up for a year and had she found a "nice" replacement partner (instead of someone less suitable), she might never have called me and we might never have gotten back together. All because I was honest about my ability to see the future.

I know this probably doesn't make a great deal of sense. I'll probably write a proper post about it with more detail, when I get a spare moment.

Anonymous said...

Ok I get the honesty part (well kind of ..he avoids getting into trouble often by not being honest but instead gaging what he thinks you want/need to hear and tells you that instead. So did you put the money in the bank is always a "yes" but it might never see the account...but he avoids being in trouble through this and likely learned it as a child that it is much safer...sorry for the aside)..back to the topic at hand. So being honest is only stating what is known as fact. So if the future is that uncertain you would not make a guess at what you might like to have someday and build on that? from the sounds of your comments it is unlikely that you would have been thinking this way at all, but rather that time would be needed to answer that question? I last got told that "when the problems are solved we will look at it" when I asked if he would consider marrying me. Needless to say when he said today he would need to move to bigger city rather then the rural one my house is now in, he could not understand when I became upset. For him it is fact...he needs to work and that is where he needs to be. For me it is a matter of "you are my family and I don't want to loose that" and if you are living elsewhere leading your own life then I would not see us together. He made some statement early on that he would like to always live by himself and yet date me forever but not living together. I would never EVER accept that. So I guess time will tell. He says he is moving with me initially..the question then becomes will he stay there??? He says he doesn't know....I don't quite get it. But keep talking to me and see if any more light is shed on the subject. I will look forward to reading your post!! Thanks!

russian doll said...

Thank you so much for your response. It's given me hope. I have never met anyone so fascinating, and unique. I think that the general population of NTs, especially nowadays, are impatient and unwilling to give someone different a little peace of mind. It's a shame. And with the way the world is ever-changing, it's harder to find someone genuine, especially an NT. I feel lucky that I've met this guy, and even though things are going slow, and a little ambiguous, I prefer it. And I totally agree with him, friendship first and then see what grows. Dating always did feel more like a job interview!

Once again, great blog. I will update you as things develop.
Thanks again. Take care.
Russian Doll

russian doll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
russian doll said...

Hi again. I forgot to say something.
After I got home from our date, I wrote him an email, thanking him for the good time. I has also written him a poem previous to the date, so I added that in as well:

"I know a man with a condition, knew nothing about it so in addition
To facebook stalking with eyes gawking, I'm reading a book all about it.
I'm nearly done, I turn each page,
With breath, a gasp, but fingers relaxed.
I had no idea things could be as awful as the book tells me.
5 star review on Amazon; I'd never even heard of Mark Haddon.
I trust that what I read is true;
Know just that little bit more about you.
I think I knew a guy in school,
Younger than me, but similar to you.
He must of had AS as well,
but I was young, I couldn't tell.
I thought he was a little shit,
Not knowing that he struggled to try to fit
In with all us girls and guys,
Spent most of the time drying his eyes
Because he said the wrong thing and then got hit
By the school bully (who was a dimwit).
I know what it's like, being misunderstood,
And you wish that if only people could
See the world through your eyes
Then maybe they would compromise
And give you some peace of mind,
Or maybe just backtrack and rewind.
But anyway, time's running out,
And now I think I know about Asperger's syndrome;
the ups and downs, smiles and frowns, meltdowns.
All that's left for me to say is
What are you doing next Friday?
I've got 2 tickets to see a show and I'd
Really like it if we could go
Together and then have drinks and a chat
About AS, you, me, this, that.
I'd really like to know you better, which is
What made me write this poetic letter
And read the book by Mark Haddon
With the 5 star review on Amazon.
So does next Friday sound good to you?
Great, let's exchange numbers and I'll call you"

He replied "thanks for the poem, really touched by your words. See you around".

Then came the 2 emails about the film 'Adam' where he said "possibly if I'm not busy" to the first one, and "if I'm available we could get together to watch it"
to the second. The thing is, he is on tour performing, so I think he is being honest here. He was honest on our date to tell me he wasn't romantically attracted to me and the lengthy explanation about being friends as seen in my previous comment.

Perhaps I should say something about what he's like as a person too. He's very sweet, very friendly. I think he's tried very hard over the years to be able to fit in socially, so he's not just ignored. But he is still very much a loner. I can see he enjoys his independance, as do I. He meets new people everyday (being on the poetry scene and an actor, it's inevitable you would need to build contacts). He's professionally close with everyone. Like I said before, I haven't seen him interact with anyone the way he did with me on our date.

Sorry to be a pain, but being an NT, we feel like we should try harder which may push an Aspie the other way. Which I'm trying not to, and I'm not speaking to him again really until the next chance meeting at a poetry night, or when the 'Adam' dvd arrives.

I am not asking you to tell me what I want to hear, just your honest opinion, whatever it is, good or bad. Your last comment gave me real hope, but then I thought I should add this on too, to see if it changed in anyway.

Anonymous said...

Your entry said that he said to you he is not attracted to you....from my experience that won't change for him.

Let me tell you a current story about that kind of a statement. Healthy relationships grow and develop and expand, but my relationship with my partner who has AS has never done that. In fact he isn't/hasn't been/won't be capable of the normal development patterns in a relationship. Where we have gotten is I think where we can get to.

That said we have been living together for 10 months, dated each other for a year, known each other for 5 years... and he is still talking about wanting his independence, not wanting to be rescued, not wanting to be responsible for someone else and most likely choosing to live on his own if he has the choice...financially that seemingly can't happen at this point. Ironically anough he thought in having that conversation that he could move out, move to another city, live on welfare to look for work and that he could still be seeing me and that we don't have to end things. So he would take apart our family life which is fairly new to do this...and to him it is logical. And he wonders why I am not ok with it. I basically said I can handle two things..either we are together, living together and a family which we have become, or it is over and he goes on with his life alone and I am on my own. I know that dating and him living in a different city he will set up his own life and I just don't need to exist...as an Aspie he will be more then fine without me. There is no one else close to him....and honestly as much as we live together I am not close to him either...emotionally he is incapable of this.

I am the only one working now and I have figured out that his incapable of handle or understanding money other then how to spend it. This means that even though he has nothing financially and is bottoming out, will end up bankrupt and loosing his house soon, he hasn't quit spending. I have seen anough in the past few weeks to know he will HATE living with me because there is the money for keeping a roof over our head and food on the table....that is ALL. No toys, no eating out, no driving around because you feel like it....likely his car will not be on the road even. In the past two weeks knowing the situation he has bought a camcorder, a cat and supplies, an ear piece with bluetooth for his phone, ate out 6 times, 4 sets of batteries for his cameras, etc...starting to get the idea? I can't take care of him. I just can't he does not get it. Then recently he had one of his fits and said that "you think you are going to come in and SAVE THE DAY and RESCUE ME!" (the tone was NOT good....) So even if I pay for it all, care about him, provide the necessities of life for him...there will be NO thank you at the end of it. I care about him, in fact I am in love with him. He doesn't get it.... and I think now that he never really will.

So it leaves me wondering...is there a point in living with and loving someone who is not capable of loving back or even understanding what that means? I know he cares somehow....but honestly he said our relationship would have a few bumps....um....ya it does.

I am not really wanting to end it, but I am finally at a loss as to understand if this is normal???

Any advice at this point would be a REALLY good thing.....
and sorry if there is too much information here, but my senses went up when russian doll wrote....he likes to be independent and he has said he is not attracted...so I thought I might explain why in my case that has become a concern in our relationship....it seemed like a small thing when it first started...and feels like it has become very damaging traits in our relationship in the end.

russian doll said...

In response to anonymous;

I find that very sad. It's a terrible thing when you love someone so much that even if they (unknowingly) treat you like nothing, you're still in it.

I obviously can't speak on behalf of all NTs, but for me, love is defined as loving someone else so much than when they're sad, you're sad, and you would do whatever you could to help that person, regardless of how you feel, sometimes (certainly for me) at the expense of your own heart.

This is where it is difficult. Aspies view love as something illogical. and it is. It cannot be defined and compartmentalised like other logical things. But you have to trust it.
Yes it is not knowing something, there is ambiguity and uncertainty with love. It's the same for NTs. It's just as painful and frustrating for us as it is for you.

I don't have any answers. Who am I to provide them? I am in no place to provide answers. But all I can say is that you have to be willing to communicate and be open. In a relationship, it's not just about you anymore. There is room for independance and private space. If anything, I reccomend reading "aspergers-a love story" and "love,sex, and long term relationships" by Sarah Hendrickx. They're both avid reading for both Nts and aspies. A great way to learn about eachother and to open new ways of understanding and communicating.

For me, I'm still very confused by the mixed signals and mixed messages. And I stil very much like this aspie guy. The response I got before from the author of this article was that my guy did like me, but was unsure of it himself. My guy is a poet and for all poets, alot of their personal struggles come out in the poetry, sometimes unknowingly. I know from this, and from the interaction we have had, that he has and is actively learning how to interact and socialise and read signals and communicate.
To be honest, from what I've read about the general population of AS men, my guy seems somewhat differnet. He is upfront and honest, telling me straight away about not being romantically attracted to me and the lengthy explanation about friendship. And yet being extremely friendly, and loving. I think he is the opposite. He is actively searching for love, and it seems that the harder he tries, the more depressed he becomes.

And I don't know if he's trying to do the right thing with me and taking it slow, friends first and seeing where it goes, or whether he's distancing himself. And if he is distancing himself, its conflicting with the things he did on our date.

russian doll said...

I think it's also worth stating what's been said to me. I've left, in my first comment on this blog, a detailed account of what happened on my date with this aspie guy, along with the questions that have been bugging me.

The response I got from Gavin was that my guy does like me, but probably is questioning it himself. Love is hard to define for aspies. Also, the response to the friendship question was what I felt. I think my guy is trying to do the right thing and not leap into anything, for fear of something ending before it even begins.

I then added anoher comment about the poem I sent him, which I forgot to mention in my first comment. (If this is confusing, just look at the structure of comments from me). And I wondered if this would change your response Gavin from your previous response?

I also emailed Sarah Hendrickx about my problem. Hendrickx is an NT who works with AS individuals and has written a couple of books on the topic in terms of relationships. She herself is in a relationship with an aspie.

Her response to my problem was that he doesn't like me. Of course, she doesn't know my guy personally, (another factor I find fascinating is that AS is individual an different for each person. And she clearly stated this.

But looking at it clearly:
I asked him out on a date. He said yes.

We went on the date, where he said he isn't romantically attracted to me, but gave a lengthy explanation on his need for friendship first.

I asked him about the film 'adam', he gave me an ambiguous answer.

Looking at the situation this way, it looks clear that he isn't interested. So its strange that even though Hendrickx has a lot more knowledge than myself about AS, her response was the oposite to Gavin's who is an aspie. Even now, the communication lines are uneven. I think they always will be.

Gavin, what is your opinion on my situation, taking into account the previous comment about the poem, which I forgot to mention?

I think I am not only infatuated with this man, the more I learn about AS the more I understand some of his motivations and him himself as well as some of the decisions he's made in terms of communicating with me, email and on our date.

Gavin Bollard said...

The problem with liking and not liking someone when you have aspergers is that it's not always obvious - sometimes it's not even obvious to us that we like someone. Love is even more difficult. We lack definition on the word. Honestly, it would be easier if some little pink cupid angel floated by holding up a sign saying "this is love", when it happens.

People with Aspergers can also have bi-polar style emotions. I think it's related to depression. It means that we sometimes find ourselves flip-floping between love and hate - yep, the entire range. Somewhere down the hate end of the scale is resentment, entrapment etc. It's not usually directed at our partners but more at our situation and ourselves.

There are a few problems with this;

1. We have very little control over these emotions which tend to wash over us like waves.

2. Often our expressions are so bland that our moods and feelings aren't communicated properly. Partners who talk to us about the "wrong things on the wrong day" can sometimes get unexpected answers.


...

Russian Doll; I still think that your "guy" loves you but I don't think that he quite realises that he does. At this stage, I'd suggest that you keep things fairly light and see where they go.

...

Anonymous; your situation sounds somewhat out of control and I really feel for you. It's not a good place to be. Aspies can make great partners but they really do need to be taught how to be part of a partnership.

In previous posts on the subject, I've used the words "trained" (though people often get upset with the terminology) because to my mind, training is closer to what is needed. For many aspies, being alone isn't something that bothers them. They need to understand that alone-time can be found at home if they are given appropriate "space". Similarly, the NTs in their relationship actually need "together-time".

While it's great to always have your own way, both aspies and NTs need to learn a lot about sharing and giving their partners what is needed.

Anonymous, unless you exercise a great deal more control on the relationship (take control of the credit cards etc and set up a budget), any relationship issues you may have can only spiral downwards.

Of course, I know that it's easily said than done. Many aspies are quite resistant to budgetary constraints particularly when they consider things that their partners spend on to be frivolous. (I'm sure they're not but sometimes we have problems with "essentials" versus "wants".

Anonymous said...

I think I will just keep reading as I am learning alot here and I find this site vital in helping me to believe that I can work through this stuff to some extent. Thank you for the hopefulness that comes from the wisdom here. It means alot! Please keep writing

Anonymous said...

"And if he is distancing himself, its conflicting with the things he did on our date."

I hate to tell you but distancing is definitely part of the AS...it is normal. So you would think that we are close so we will become closer, but from what my partner tells me, the closer I get to him the further away he will push me and it is not just me and i am not to take it personally because it is anyone that seemingly wants to be close to him. So his family for example including his own mother who wants to be close is pushed back and distanced from the more she pressures, persues or tries to persuade him to draw nearer.

It is very confusing to say the least as it seems that the rules for dating are somehow backwards in this case but his distancing likely says absolutely nothing about how he actually thinks of you because it doesn't work like that....or at least that is my understanding from what my partner has told me.

It certainly is never a dull moment trying to figure out this stuff. Thanks for the book references and when I head to Chapters next I will see if I can look them up :)

russian doll said...

Ok, I understand that. I understand the distance thing. But, what I don't understand is the whole touchy-feely business which made me think that he does like me. And then to completely go the other way with what he said.

It's strange. His behaviour counteracted on what was being said. It feels like, and certainly from what anonymous and Gavin are saying, that he does want something, that he does like me, but perhaps he's trying to do things the right way, for him. As in, friends first and then build. I'm all for it. I'm quite happy to go at his pace.

Can his loving behaviour on our date be described as what he wants, but his mind is telling him to slow down?

I haven't spoken to him for a few weeks now. And I won't really until christmas. and then again, not until 'Adam' arrives. The last I spoke to him, I said "we'll liaise when 'Adam' arrives".

Is this a good thing? To leave it until then? To allow that space so he doesn't feel pressured?

Anonymous said...

Hi Well I would like to say a few things..first to replay to russin girls post...

It seems that distance and time will not seemingly mean much to someone with AS. From what I understand they far prefer to be alone and will think nothing of you not being there (please don't take this badly but from what I understand this is normal for AS). Because their main focus is on themselves and their interests they can self entertain and also prefer to self isolate..meaning they are more comfortable with themselves being alone then with others. They also focus on their own interests so intensely that even if you are there they are able to block you out and solely focus on themeselves and what it is they are interested in. So if you "miss him" when he is not around....well be aware it will not very likely be a shared feeling within him. He will be more then fine without you. He may express he is glad to see you when you meet again but he will not "miss you" and emotionally this is not something he will likely ever be capable of feeling or understanding. Galvin if I am wrong please correct me....this is what I live day to day and if it is different in other relationships with AS and NT then they are maybe the lucky ones.

Anonymous said...

Now I want to tell you about my day yesterday. I took my partner to a Psychiatrist because I am having problems knowing if he will move with me when I move closer to my work and out of the area he and his family have lived in for 22 years now. His family absolutely hate me for having a relationship wiht him, sees him as vulnerable and there is a background between us that was professional and they managed to end my job, my career and I lost my home because of their actions. They now want to take my partner away and end us too. And he can't understand it. He ends up caught between us and they have done some REAL damage to me emotionally, financially to the point that I need them out of my life....they are incredibly controling and very abusive people.

But to him they are normal and they are "his family" so they have always acted this way. He can't understand why he would be best not to be around them. So I found out yesterday that he told them all about his life yesterday when his sister called, our plans to move and him selling the house and declaring bankrupsy. His sister had called to invite him over for Chrsitmas.... please note she invited him and him alone. And he is going. So our first Christmas together and he will be going over to spend Christmas morning with them.... and I don't know at all what to expect from them but they will now be walking back into his life in a BIG way...that I can guarentee now that they will see him as being in crisis due to the circumstances. And when they do this he ends up following along. So if they tell him something he will think it is right and do it. If I say something that counters it then he is a ping pong ball..his words and caught between it all and can't figure it out, ends up under pressure and then blows up. Over the past year this has happened and what they don't see is the violent (and I mean VIOLENT) reactions he has. They know that he has these but they don't know that they happen as often as they do and up until recently he has had less of them...but any pressure and they were hapeening weekly where he looses stuff and smashes things breaking them. Recently he has seeming calmed down and adjusted and they have not been around for months now and he has started to stabilize. If they are back in his life this is a HUGE trigger and he will get caught between us with them trying to control him, my saying that is not healthy and not ok...and he will end up lossing it. And the focus of him loosing it won't be on them, it will be on me... I will be the one that is wrong. He can't see that they are unhealthy. He has no gage internally to tell when someone scams him, does not have his best interest at heart and he follows what he is being told no matter who it is (he REALLY can't tell) and it does not matter what it is they are telling him he will think they are right at the time because they are "family that cares about him too" (his words). When he get conflicting information that says they are not then he can't sort it out or understand it.

Continued....

Anonymous said...

Continued....

So...he will go and see them. They will start "wanting to spend more time with him" and in the end pressuring him enough that he won't cope and then the enviroment he is in when he explodes is in trouble. When he gets to that point he has lost control over what he is doing. This means he has broken a brand new cell phone, a video camera, one of his digital cameras, a huge 2 1/2 foot carved boat made by his grandfather that he valued.... are you getting the picture. At those points he is entirely non-rational and acting out in extremes. This is what Christmas and his family being back in our life is heading towards.... and I am upset. I am scared silly. I know there is an explosive condition that is not AS but that some with AS get and it is a psychiatric condition that can be incredibly destructive and dangerous. I chose to live with him to work with him with this condition and to try to get him some real help. He has a psychiatrist now...though I am not sure that it is the right one because 10 minute visits once a month won't assess him...he needs a referal to someone else I think...and I can work on that given time. But honestly his family is a real piece of work. His sister when she was told by him that he was moving with me he said "sounded like she disapproved"...um ya...nice.

So Christmas just started looking bad and I am seriously wondering that I should just go to my family's with my daughter and leave him to his family. It is like throwing a sheep to the wolves and he is volunteering to go.... but I can't stop him. It can't say that I don't want him to go or the ping pong ball syndrome that I just described earlier and the pressure will start building...and I will be the bad guy in all of it. But I can't handle watching and being subjected to being treated so badly by them anymore. They had done so much damage in my life already that I can't emotionally handle running into this stuff. When he told me he was going to see them and she was back phoning I litterally started to physically shake I was under that much psychological stress due to past experiences caused by them.

Anonymous said...

Continued...

Any advice? I am really at wits end on this one. I know it is normal for him to want to go and see his family..it is Christmas...but it is the tip of a iceburg that I can honestly see has the power to sink us as a couple..and they have tried and with him stating he "may possibly move"...well... just wait for the problems to start because they will be.

They want to control and protect him....they have always had this role in his life and they will see him moving away from them as a HUGE threat. Where have they been when he can't pay the mortgage on his house? Where have they been when he spends money he doesn't have on things he can't afford and still is as financially incapable as he ever has been....this is a LONG standing problem. Where is the help and the assessments they got for him over the years? (that doesn't exist, has never been set up and a true diagnosis has never been made.... he is a patient in his brother in law's medical practice and his brother in law is a doctor).... his family have never set up the supports with him to ensure he will be as healthy as he can be. Instead a year and 3/4's ago I found him in a house that I should have called the health unit about...now I wish I have because they would have made him connected with the people that could really help. His family was told 3 times that they needed to go in and his house was described to them...garbage all over, recycling all over the counters and the floors in the kitchen, cat fesess on the floors in the livingroom...it was GROSS. He does not live like that anymore because when he finally crashed they came in and cleaned the house..they had to. And now I live with him and won't let it get to this state and I tell him when the dishes need done when I don't have time to do that stuff and he steps in then and helps out. We work well together living together......but the past says his "caring family" really honestly are looking for control but not looking to actually care anough to love him and do what is best to make his life as healthy of a living enviroment as it can be. They let him self isolate. They did not know he was depressed. In fact they came to me as a professional at the time to see if I could reach him and ask him to contact them...he wasn't going over or calling and they did not come over here to find out really what was going on or what his life was like. His mother has not been in his house for the 9 years that he has owned it..they live in the same small town.

I really have to question what they will do next..but I wonder that I would somehow be better off not trying to cope in this disfuction anymore.... and just don't want to see him left to have them "caring for him" because they don't...and he will end up no better off then when I walked in the first time....and that scared the heck out of me to see him in that place again....it was bad. To be honest he should not be living on his own...he does not do it successfully to be honest and that is not his fault... I just can't see anything good coming from his family being back in our lives as a couple. So...what do I do now?

russian doll said...

In regards to anonymous:

Thanks for the advice about the whole distancing thing. I shouldn't really worry about getting in contact then really. I'll drop an email on Christmas and then wait for 'Adam' to arrive...

I really feel for you. I wish that you and your partner didn't have to go through that. I know what it's like to have interfering family, but not to the degree you have to deal with.

I can't give any advice. I can't think of any. I'd rather not give any half-baked advice too; it's not helpful to anyone, especially you.

But I think, for now, you should enjoy Christmas with your kid. If he decides to go with his family, let him go. You enjoy Christmas with your family and your child. Think of it in little herdles; get over one at a time.

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous,

You're quite correct in stating that aspies who are alone will self-focus or more likely, special-interest-focus to a degree which excludes everything else. I don't like saying Never and try to avoid absolutes on this blog but it's very unlikely that your aspie will "miss you".

This doesn't mean that he doesn't love you. It just means that his mind is so full of things that he doesn't have time to dwell on those sorts of feelings.

I have friends with the condition, including an undiagnosed "best friend". He will (almost) never call but is always grateful when I call him. We're the best of friends but we don't "miss" eachother.

It's difficult for me when my wife goes away for a weekend and then returns to say "did you miss me?". I've learned that the correct answer to this is "yes" even though I would hardly have noticed that she was gone. More than that, there are lots of trips that she doesn't do with the kids. When she's gone, the kids and I have a great time doing day-trips.

I actually enjoy her absences but I also enjoy her company. When I'm asked "did you miss me?", I'll always reply "yes". In this case, I don't see it as lying - it's more like providing a standard response, like a mumbled "Amen" at the end of a prayer.

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous 2,

I really sympathise with your family Christmas issues. I can relate to this so strongly that I could do a whole series of posts on this but it would cause too much offence to my in-laws.

It's natural for children to want to be with their respective families on Christmas but you need to start with Christmas in your own home if you want your family to work.

My in-laws have consistently damaged Christmas to the point where my wife hates the celebration. In all honesty, it's not about me ... they started the damage when she was a child.

It put enormous stress on our relationship and although we almost never argue, we often have issues at Christmas.

This year, as it started to blow up (as usual) she started threatening to turn away my family simply because her family had decided to be vicious.

I sat her down and told her to look at me - to see that I'm deadly serious and I used the "D" word (which I never use because I don't believe in it except in exceptional circumstances). This might be the second time in our 12 year marriage that I've said it.

I said that if she passes her family's hate and pain onto our family and onto my family this Christmas, then I would get a divorce.

I made it a hard and fast rule which means that I would carry it through even if it stopped making sense.

Sometimes you have to put your foot down.

She wasn't happy but it seems now that she's accepted the fact that the only way to break the "evil" of Christmas is to make Christmas good. It has to come from our hearts.

If your new family is not getting the respect it deserves now, then you need to make a stand. If the stand doesn't work, you need to get out of there before Christmas is spoilt for you, forever.

russian doll said...

That's actually quite ok with me. The distance thing. I have the same relationship with my best friend, also an NT like me. But we go months without seeing eachother, we don't really have the time or the energy to speak on the phone or whatever. But when we do meet up/speak, it's like nothing has changed. And I don't really miss her, and vice versa, purely because we're such good friends, and we're too busy with work and travel. But we're always happy when we do see eachother.

So, I won't worry about trying too hard with communication right now; just take it easy and go at his pace, friends first (of course) and then build.

Thank you anonymous and Gavin.

My thoughts are with you anonymous at this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Well today was terrible. The whole issue over family blew up and he has announced that he "doesn't have feeling for me" ..he thinks that like the movies he should feel all loving, etc. He can't due to the AS. I know that and yes I had to tell him that today. I can accept it but he hasn't. In any case his family came back into our lives yesterday and today he is ending our relationship.

The way he did it was quite cruel. He was gone along time and I called because I wanted to let him know I had a call in to see 3 apartment buildings and wanted to know if he would come along. He was very stressed and said that had the OPP come to the house and that he had been almost in a car accident and he wasn't making any sense. I told him to wait there and I would come and get him. Anyways in the end he turned off his cell and took off for hours on end. I finally found him in another town when he turned his cell back on...after going around the town all over, talking to his mother who absolutely hates me...I was worried sick.

Well it turns out when I did find him that there was no accident. He had talked to the police about how to get me out of the house. I was just floored. I had even hunted down the officer in town to ask if Steve was ok and he officer said I could relax and that he was doing fine and safe....um ya...thanks.

So in the end of the day he has ended us. He told me he wanted me out TODAY. I said absolutely not and that when I find a place and can arrange to move I will go but not until then.

When I talked to him later tonight he had said we were not to be sleeping in the same bed. Now he is saying well we can but anything that happens in the house stays there and that he has no relationship with me outside of these walls. He also is looking at moving to his mothers and she hates my guts. His newest option though is moving out to house sit and if he does that then I can visit and he can think about coming to see me...but financially things will be tight for him and he doesn't know. He said that he needs to live on his own to apply for welfare and try to get back on his own feet and have his own income for a sense of self pride.

Anyways the whole day had me in tears and very stressed out. He is now thinking he wanted to end things but then is starting to move some to say that as long as his family does not know then he can keep in some contact and we will see.....

Unhealthy? yes. Painful for me. VERY. I love him more then words can say but today has been hell. And this is not the first time that he has pulled this stuff. The last time was a month ago when he showed up at my parents to have my mom tell me I was not allowed to come home. I told him he could forget that and I went home and in the end we worked things out.

His desire to self isolate and the level of problems and mental health issues he has are serious. The scary part for me is that his family never have gotten him the actually mental health supports and financial trustee that he really needs to have any hope at ever being healthier. I know it won't fix the AS but it is well beyond that. I had gotten him to start seeing a psychiatrist and now had him come yesterday to see another one for a second oppinion and the one he saw yesterday said he is definietly eligable for a disability pension. After all that I have put into working with him, being supportive, paying $2400 in arrears for bills he did not pay, etc... he told me today that "I don't really support him". I was beside myself by that point. He has REALLY hurt me emotionally and in the end he doesn't really even ever seem to understand it or have it phase him.

I don't know at this point what to do.... and emotionally it really hurts. I know some of it is the AS... but. I really love him and I just don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Russin doll thanks for your kindness and support...I do appreciate having people to talk to as life at this point is really hard and not the greatest season to be dealing with this stuff.

Gavin your right Christmas holidays and family issues have been an issue in every major relationship I have had. This one is just hard because his family have made him choose between us and in the end they do not support our relationship and are really MEAN people. He thinks they care about him but they are not capable of caring honestly. In the end I wondered in part that he has not turned out to be a product of his mother's mental disfunction in raising him and then the AS has compounded it all. He is definietly a "mommy's boy" and almost 50 years old...he lived with her until he was 40. He loves her and then gets to remember what she is really like and hates her...the whole thing is disfunctional. So that disfunction then comes in Christmas. I have talked to him about still coming to my family's for Christmas with my daughter as we planned. He wants his family not to know anything and given the crisis they will create out of it I have to agree. I am working midnights overnight that night so I think if he comes for dinner and then either stays over and then comes home in the morning or if he drives himself and then goes back that night...though the weather here is very unpredictable to drive and his tires on his car are very dangerously low on treads. I needed to buy him new tires.... or lets re-phrase that..he needed to buy himself new tires and didn't and I feel guilty for not having done that for him.....instead he bought a camcorder, a cat ($165) and ear piece for his phone, etc.... um...ya.

Anyways I don't want Christmas ruined over his family and his ending us. I wanted to be with him for Christmas whether he wants to date or not. Call me stupid but I am tired of having men ruin Christmas for me and so I am not letting him off the hook to know he is then with his family so that they can talk badly about me....no thanks. So we might have worked out something but I guess we will see. In the end I love him and I want him in my life...logically I know this is a very poor choice anymore...emotionally it is far to fresh and I don't want to say goodbye.... in time I need to distance myself physically and hope that it can become easier. And Gavin you are right he will not miss me even though there is no one what so ever that is in his life that he is as close to. Sad really...and heart broken this end. This week I can sense is going to continue to be rough....

russian doll said...

From what you've written, it seems to me that he may know how manipulative his family are. Even if he doesn't realise it consciously, he must have some issues with it. If he says things like,keeping what's between us inside these walls, then he either must know that his family are manipulative, or the relationship with his family is so dysfunctional, as you say, he feels he has no choice but to go along with what they want. And it may be that age old saying "what mother doesn't know won't hurt her".

But with the AS and the psychological conditions, it may very well be the latter. He has no control. He is trying to find that control. Taking aside the financial difficulties, it seems like he's piggy in the middle. Although, you're not playing that game, it seems his family certainly are. And because it's his family, and he may very well believe they have his best interests at heart, he may feel that he has no choice but to pass on his control to his family.

And then there's the thing where he seems perfectly fine with you, and then after a visit to or from his family, an arguement breaks out because they've wound him up.

This is a very difficult time for you, and I wish you didn't have to go through this. But love is such, it hurts just as much as it makes you feel on top of the world. It's quite extraordinary isn't it? but anyway, I think you need to just leave him to his own devices. Let him work things out for himself. Don't start anything. Let things start on their own (if they start, and as you've said, it's not going to be an easy week). You need to think about yourself and your daughter. Having AS, he is self-indulgent (through no fault of his own). You need to be self-indulgent now, and think of your daughter. I'm sure she loves her dad, and would like to be with the both of you for Christmas. Perhaps you could work something out so she goes with him in the morning to his family, and you have her in the afternoon? Or, just spend Christmas with your family and your daughter.

I think you need to leave him to his own devices. Don't impose anything on him and let him come to his own conclusions. Concentrate on your emotional and mental health.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Russian Doll....
I didn't clarify but my daughter is from my first marriage so she has visitation with me. I think unless things change that we as a couple will be spending Christmas day visiting my parents with her. He is going to see his family for time in the morning and then said he will need to just tell them he is going. One of the things that he worked on in therapy this week is learning how to begin to express what he wants and to then follow through on standing up for it. That would be a huge help to me only in that I would actually understand what he wants period and not be told what I want to hear or be told that he wants something and then gives in to please me and I think he is just agreeing with me because he changed his mind or something. So anyways that is where Christmas day stands at the moment.

The thing that is killing me right now is that I can't handle the though of him leaving and living apart. He is my family now and we have been very close and even when things are bad I try to talk it out with him, sometimes that works better then others.

In any case I don't want to loose him. I know he needs an income and welfare looks like the route to be going to get some real help..though he does not realize that welfare social workers are sometimes just plain tough and not that "helpful" in supporting someone who may not understand them....but ...guess we will see.

In any case his mother called and woke me up this afternoon as I was sleeping as I am on midnights this week. I did not talk to her and answered and hung up. Then she kept calling obsessively over and over and over again. Finally Steve happened to be home and talked to her. He told her I was there and that I was packing to move. We had reconcilled kind of and I asked him when he got off the phone why he had told her this and told me something else. He said that even if he said that he is happy with me that she will not believe him. Earlier he had said that sometimes things are difficult between us at points and that he made some comment to that affect and it got blown up to his is "JUST MISERABLE" with me....and he said that is really not true and it is just her read on it.

Anyways I am beat having stayed up all night...still a few hours to go as I am up and at work.

Have a good day and incase I forget, Merry Christmas!!!! :o)

russian doll said...

Merry Christmas to you too anonymous. And to you Gavin, Merry Christmas. I don't think you realise just how helpful this blog has been. Thanks again.

Merry Christmas everyone. And let's hope next year is a better year for us all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Russin Doll and merry Christmas to all of you too!!

The interesting events of life today was that yesterday we started to talk things out and in the end his concern is that if we are together then he can't get welfare which he needs to use to then apply for disability. He said that he is not against working on our relationship but we can't "officially" live together and I need my own address. So he is moving to the farm he is going house sit. I point blank told him I have spent the past 4 days crying, at home, while driving, at work, etc. and can't handle the stress and I do not want to live apart. He has agreed that though I can't officially live there that I can be with him. I will still be staying with parents due to weather or being too tired to drive so I won't be there all of the time anyways. The house sitting thing is short term so I can see if my house ends up available to move into or we then rent something as roommates or whatever but that was the bottom line. I think he realized finally that I can't handle being apart and he is back in our relationship. He really is one heck of a confusing guy!!!! He did say today that his mother won't live forever which he then briefly smiled at because he was talking about her being a bully and pushing him and me around. He told me how to deal with her so that I don't have to anymore. I always wondered why she did not have our home phone number or his cell phone number..I thought it was odd...now I KNOW why...wow.. Anyways he said if she calls let it ring and don't pick up and just leave her to her own life. I said I would pick up and hang up and he said no that it was best that she just think she can't reach him and this will cause alot less problems. He defined her as "a bully"....and he defined several of his other family members the same way...I have to agree.

So...I guess at this point as he said tonight "things seem to be changing daily" at this point. I did tell him he is not allowed to hurt me anymore like he did. Gavin you were not kidding that AS means learning step by step by step how to be in any relationship...wow it is one heck of "a bumpy ride"...he told me this early on from day one....but he can't keep treating me this way so we will be making some ground rules for our relationship after Christmas..the list of how to fight fair is one..no saying it is done just because you hit a problem and can't deal with coping in working out things one at a time...is one example that will help us alot in the future.

If anyone has any good suggestions for healthy ground rules for being a relationship for someone that has never been in one maybe I could use some help in making a list and then I will work on one with him where he adds his ground rules too and then we can start living more like that rather then the chaotic drama we do live in now... will keep you posted too...
thanks so much for the support!!!!! I certainly needed it!!!

russian doll said...

Anonymous,
I would say definitely try to get those 2 books I mentioned in an earlier comment. I think they will help immensely. One of them is written specifically for an aspie to read and learn about NTs, but is benificial for both.
The writer, Sarah Hendrickx has an aspie partner, has been with him for years, had their ups and downs, and found compromises to get over certain difficulties. They also don't live together, but have been together in the relationship for years. You can get the books on Amazon.com as well.
Even though I'm not in a relationship with my aspie interest, and we just had the one date, I found the books incredibly inciteful and has prepared me for a relationship with this man, should it happen. I hope it does, because my feelings for him haven't gone away.

Merry Christmas once again. Keep us posted anonymous. I'm glad we have this place to get advice and talk about things. THanks Gavin!

russian doll said...

Ok. I was very very bored. I took a test on body language on relationships. This was one of the questions asked;

"On a first date, you should show someone you like them by showering them with affection or casually slinging your arm across their shoulder".

I answered 'false'. Aparently, it was the right answer, and this was the response;

"Although certain behaviours like hand holding will show someone you like them, you may want to wait until you know each other better. Engaging in such 'possessive' behaviours in a casual way may be interpreted as forcing a level of intimacy that should develop naturally over time."

This is exactly what he did on our date. He was showing me that he likes me with the touchy-feely body language and the very loving nature of his body language.

I can't believe its taken THAT long for me to figure that out. He may have said he's not romantically attracted to me, but then with the explanation of being friends first, gave me a little array of hope. But even though after seeking advice from Gavin and others on this blog, I was still very much confused by the conflicting body language.

It certainly seems to me that he may be saying something to try and go about things the right way and not rush anything, but his body language is like his subconscious? His body language shows me how he really feels and what he really wants. He's purposefully holding back to go about things the right way. I always thought so, but for for some reason, only now have I realised.

This links back to something I read about AS in the Hendrickx books. Write to tell me if you agree/disagree;

Gavin, as you say, and many others have said, love is a difficult thing to comes to terms with because it can't be defined. So aspies don't really say 'I love you' because they don't know what it means, and so avoid saying it. But aspies show their love for their partner/interest in other ways i.e. the little things that matter, or being very loving (hugs, kisses, physical intimacy).

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm J. and I'm confused about my role as an aspie in my current relationship. I'm terribly frustrated trying to determine my feelings. Everyone says we're great together, I enjoy being with him, he tells me he loves me and is always trying to show me how much he cares. I just don't know how to tell where my level of love is. I feel it's... very different from his, it's almost like we're two aliens when it comes to emotions. I feel very much at ease with him, so much that when we're together I sometimes forget he's even holding my hand. I'll be lost in my own thoughts and totally ignore him, and suddenly he might say something, or hug me, and I'm startled because I wasn't expecting a change.
Sometimes the opposite happens. Sometimes I'm expecting a change, like wanting a hug or a kind word, and when nothing occurs I get confused, wondering why he can't read what I need. The point is, is it NORMAL for me to be totally uninterested in him even when we're spending time together and both fairly happy?
I'm trying to hard to figure out if I am in love or not. I love him, as a person, as a friend, as someone I care for... but generally when we're not together the feelings fade quickly and I don't pine away for him. I think about him often, but I feel apathetic. There sometimes is, but usually isnt, a longing to be together.
Is there such thing as being "madly" in love for an aspie? I wonder if it's even healthy for aspies to be in such a state because its dancing with our OCD tendencies? Can we "love" someone without having that head-over-heels feeling? Or is love, for aspies, simply being comfortable, happy, and content with their partner without going ga-ga.

russian doll said...

J,
From what you've said, it's made me feel better about my current situation, or lack of actually. I don't know I guess it's just a long wait for me to see if anything will happen. But I'd rather wait and go at his pace.
But back to you...
I think that it's different for everyone. And that no, it's not always constant euphoria, and I find that everyone, NTs included confuse infatuation for love. And I think love is much deeper than that. It is when you are comfortable around your partner, and certainly in long term NT relationships I've seen around me, you don't always miss the other person.
Me and my best friend for example; I haven't seen her for a couple of months now, and I don't miss her (we're both NT) but when we do see eachother, it's like nothing ever changed.

I think you need to communicate more with your partner. Tell them what you want and encourage them to do the same. Do the same with the things you don't want, and explain the reasons. It doesn't have to be a heated arguement or debate or end in hurt. Sit down together and talk things through.

It sounds to me that you are in love, but as I've learned from this thread, it's especially hard to define for aspies, let alone NTs. But it is extremely possible to be inlove and not feel constant euphoria. It's not always about that.

I may sound a little obsessive now, I think I am obsessing to a point. Only because I really like this guy (he is an aspie). I guess we're not that different if we both have obsessions.
J, could you read through the thread at all my posts and the responses (I'm Russian Doll) and tell me what you think?

Anonymous said...

Hi J, and Russin Doll..thanks for the posts. I think that from what I can figure out as a NT, Aspies are commonly not going to miss someone that they are not with at the time. They go and do their own thing and appear to be fine on their own, so not "missing someone" is actually normal...even though I miss my partner most of the time we are not together.

My partner chooses not to say I love you...he does not have those kind of feelings I guess. If we look into each others eyes though I am totally lost..his eyes dance back and there is something though I don't know what to call it there..it is hard to explain. Sexual attraction maybe? Definitely some form of interest between us. But he can't put any of that into actual words. I would say that 97% of our most meaningful expressions of feelings are actually in actions..doing something for the other, hold hands, looking into each other eyes, curling up, etc. From what Gavin has said physical activity for Aspies seems to be just that with no real emotion behind it (if I am wrong please forgive and correct me).

So that said though we are not the typical couple given alot of problems currently with life in general and alot of stress, there seems to be a sense that we are close. He says he cares about me as a person. He sometimes says he has never felt comfortable with all of this between us, yet at other times there is no way that can be a true statement and it shifts ALOT from times we spend together.

Right now his mother has decided that after he told her he wanted to end it that she should start calling regularly to GET ME OUT of the house....it is BAD. My partner and I have made up and she is now calling our home to try to get him to end it. He is 48 years old and his mother is so manipulative it is really scaring me as to what it will push him to next. He does things often to please those who want things from him and I have just finished blocking her number on our phone it is that bad. Unfortunately he had not given her our number or his cell for that matter and I never understood why..and I gave her both thinking it would be healthy for her to have more contact with him...that was a REALLY BIG MISTAKE. His family is so terrible to me that I end up shaking physically now when they call or text and I am around. I was not invited for Christmas and he went for 1 hour christmas day just to stop them from complaining and he said before he went that he did not really even want to go..now they are constantly trying to connect with him via facebook, text messages, phone calls, etc. We worked things out I think between us and he has not told them we are now back together..they will have a FIT and hate it. He was to stay single for the rest of his life apparently and they really don't like me with him...it doesn't matter how i treat him, what I do for him, or the real relationship we have..he was to stay the "little boy" and as his mother has said point blank to me he was to stay "innocent".

How do you deal with overprotective, damaging extended family and an aspie who thinks his mother is "calling to know how I (he) am doing"...as she tells him to get me out of the house and when am I leaving....? This is really making me stressed out....

So to J. if you have feelings talk about them. If you like the time together then say so. If you need reassurance in words or actions tell your partner so they know because otherwise they won't. If things startle you because you are off mentally being distant..try to realize this is normal for you and not meant by your partner to starle you or hurt you in any way they are just trying to be close and get your attention and express their feelings for you. Can you be in love without being emotionally over the top..yes..logically love is acted out in actions..it is a feeling but not that alone. at least that is what I have figured out so far....I think.
C.

I do understand that you

russian doll said...

Hey anonymous,
Glad that you and your partner are working things out. shame about his family. You certainly have a good threshold for patience.
It's certainly his level of naivity and innocence in understanding motivations thatI think make things slightly worse in terms of the interfering. If a person says "i'm just ringing to see how SHE is" then he's going to take that at face value and trust it. I think sometimes even explaining it will go through one ear and out the other? (Tell me if I'm wrong, I don't know the situation and can't tell or anwser anything). He must understand and maybe has worked out for himself what his family are like and what they're trying to do, which is why he never gave them his contact details in the first place. Interesting.

But I'm glad things are working out for you. I hope this year is a better one for you and your partner.

I sent my aspie interest a text for Christmas, he replied. And then I wasn't going to do any global texts or calls for New Years because its way too busy. But he sent me a text saying 'Happy New Year' at 4.30 in the morning (this is UK timing). I checked to see if it was sent at a previous time and that if I had only recieved it at 4.30am, but no, it had been sent at 4.30. Who sends messages at that time unless they're thinking about you?

Maryanne said...

Thank you all for sharing your stories, they've been very inspiring and helpfull. Now it's my turn... My boyfriend ,who has AS, and I have been together for about 4 months going on 5...I know he loves me but...sometimes there's a distance that's really awkward. We'll be in a room by ourselves holding hands and it'll be awkwardly silent, sometimes he won't look at me, sometimes it depends on his paticular mood at the time. In his family, a poke means I love you and he does that alot. I tell him everything but sometimes he doesn't understand which I've learned to live with. Whenever I cry or something has made problems for me, he's always there for me giving me that sweet look and using a very paticular tone in his voice. But sometimes, it's not enough...and lately I've been thinking about breaking up with him...I really don't want to but somehow I feel like he should be mine forever. I'm his first girlfriend and I hate when I make him feel uncomfortable. His brother and I are bestfriends, so before we started dating, we played basketball and it ended up being a talk about his AS. I was curious to hear his side of the story since his brother had told me everything he knew about the subject. By the time we were finished, he was almost in tears and I was in tears and from then on we've soared like birds but every once in a while, I fall. I'd never do anything to hurt him but there are times I feel unsure... Any advice?

Anonymous said...

Hi Marianne
My vote is to stay with him. I am not sure of your ages, but honestly from what i have experienced there are alot of "bumpy ride" experiences with a partner with AS...and alot of the most wonderful times of your life.

My partner told me this week that he is "not in love with me". When I asked what love looked like and if he had ever experienced it he said it is like "fireworks". Well he described one girl who was 18 and he was 42 and this is the feelings he had for her..he also said that they went up like a rocket and it all started and ended just as fast and then leveled out and nothing came of it in the end. We have lived together for 10 months now and been dating for over a year..honestly he treats me pretty well, does alot of little things as suprises, holds my hand, curls up watching movies, cuddles at night, makes me dinner often, and makes sure I am ok and safe....if he doesn't love me his actions certainly don't say that at all....he just doesn't seem to understand the depth that love has but his actions certainly are more then loud anough. That said there are lots and lots of bumps and he told me there would be. He also in telling me he is not in love with me has said that "maybe no one can really be close to me" and with that he can't see just how close we are. He has said clearly there is no one closer to him then I am..he is my lover, my partner and my best friend...and loosing him would just about rip my heart out.

So...hang in there..the depth that you wonder about is there but it will be expressed in very unique ways over time that neither of you will be able to predict until they happen.

It is a bit of a scary journey at time and the most wonderful experience of my life to have a partner with AS. You could offer me anyone else and I wouldn't choose to trade :o)

Let us know how you are doing and what you decide....

Anonymous said...

Hi Marianne
My vote is to stay with him. I am not sure of your ages, but honestly from what i have experienced there are alot of "bumpy ride" experiences with a partner with AS...and alot of the most wonderful times of your life.

My partner told me this week that he is "not in love with me". When I asked what love looked like and if he had ever experienced it he said it is like "fireworks". Well he described one girl who was 18 and he was 42 and this is the feelings he had for her..he also said that they went up like a rocket and it all started and ended just as fast and then leveled out and nothing came of it in the end. We have lived together for 10 months now and been dating for over a year..honestly he treats me pretty well, does alot of little things as suprises, holds my hand, curls up watching movies, cuddles at night, makes me dinner often, and makes sure I am ok and safe....if he doesn't love me his actions certainly don't say that at all....he just doesn't seem to understand the depth that love has but his actions certainly are more then loud anough. That said there are lots and lots of bumps and he told me there would be. He also in telling me he is not in love with me has said that "maybe no one can really be close to me" and with that he can't see just how close we are. He has said clearly there is no one closer to him then I am..he is my lover, my partner and my best friend...and loosing him would just about rip my heart out.

So...hang in there..the depth that you wonder about is there but it will be expressed in very unique ways over time that neither of you will be able to predict until they happen.

It is a bit of a scary journey at time and the most wonderful experience of my life to have a partner with AS. You could offer me anyone else and I wouldn't choose to trade :o)

Let us know how you are doing and what you decide....

russian doll said...

Maryanne,
It sounds like you have a great relationship with your partner.

i think anyone can relate to wanting more. But from what you've said, it sounds like he is certainly trying and making an effort. I think it all comes down to communication at the end of the day. without it sounding condesending or a put down, just talk to him about wanting him to do more. Tell him exactly what you want. It can be very forward and blunt, literally "I would like you to do this when I'm upset", etc. I'm sure that he'd be happy to do it. and if he finds it difficult, or can't do it because he feels uncomfortable, try to come to a mutual understanding and meet in the middle.

russian doll said...

Also, Maryanne, any advice for dating an aspie?
I've told all in previous posts.
Did your partner show conflicting things i.e. body language and what he said being 2 completely different things?

Anonymous said...

I have a wonderful Aspie wife who has issues with saying, "I love you". I was not her first choice for marriage -- not only did she not love me back then, she didn't even like me.

As we have discovered her aspiness, we've begun to work through some of the hurt I caused her in my ignorance of the way she's wired.

So there's the background... when I read your comments that Aspies can feel love for a single person -- and that it is difficult for them to feel it for another after the first experience, it really hit home. I have felt her near refusal to say, "I love you" has to do with the emotion (as she understands it) is not there and she'd be lying. She hasn't said this... since we agreed not to discuss this further, I can only guess.

It seems most of your NT posters have found this aspect of Aspie love to be quite frustrating at best and very painful at worst. In my case, it's the latter. Knowing what I know about how we came together, I suspect her heart still belongs to someone she knew decades ago.

She is not likely to go along with recommendations that I tell her when and what to say as you posted (and I've read in books about Asperger's.

I've come to the place where I recognize I'll never experience her love as NTs would expect... but if I'm willing to live out our relationship on her terms, I'll get more than my fair share of love as she understands it.

As far as lying goes (discussed above), she has proven to be a very capable and convincing liar. I never understood how she could be so desceptive and manipulative for an Aspie until I read your post above -- about backing an Aspie into a corner. Her elaborate deceptions occured in circumstances where she perceived she was being persecuted.

What I've learned in this experience is that Aspies may seem like strong people, but inwardly they are very fragile and needed to be treated with extra care. That it is much harder to do so with an Aspie is not an excuse; loving her -- or anyone (NT or Aspie) has to be on the terms of the person you love anyway... or it's something other than love :-)

Maryanne said...

I gave it a lot of thought and I've decided to stay with him because...I can't see a life without him. Him and his strange nerdy ways that are so weird that they're adorible. As to dating an aspie, I've learned not to push things on him. He is always honest and I always appriciate when he gives his opinion about something he doesn't understand, and if i can't explain it to him we let it go. His body language usually consists of him telling me tht he does care even though he doesn't always say it. He has a special way to say it however without actually saying it. It is "You're weird." lol

Anonymous said...

I have been avidly reading the posts here. I was guided to this site by my need to understand some extreme and strange behaviours I have long been on the receiving end of. I still love this man and I think he may have AS. He is also epileptic and I believe there is a link.

I met this beautiful and very eccentric man in the Summer of 2008. We fell deeply in love. He was amazing –tactile and very affectionate and he did say on several occasions he loved me. He was universally acknowledged as odd – he talked at you nine to the dozen, recanted strange facts, worried about getting stressed because of his epilepsy and often said very inappropriate things in public. He couldn’t talk on the phone – sometimes he would just go silent. His honesty left you reeling sometimes and sometimes he didn’t get jokes though he does have a good sense of humour, just odd and very dry.

He was sort of transformed by his feelings for me and wanted to tell everyone we were together. I have never been with someone who seemed so in love. He was like a child at Christmas – happy and excited, enjoying a world of strange, new feelings he had never experienced before. He said he didn’t ‘do’ relationships and had always been a loner because he scared people away with his oddness. He alluded to marriage and a future with me.

Sadly these weeks of happiness coincided with the last illness of his mother to whom he was very close indeed. He seemed strangely detached about his mother’s illness and imminent death from cancer, saying over and over that he would be glad when she died and that he wasn’t going to cry over it.

As the weeks bore on he then started to throw doubts at our relationship, saying he thought he was putting me under pressure and that as I could have anyone and he was ‘mad’ (this is how people described him) we should put the relationship on hold while he was going through the complications of bereavement, as he didn’t want to put me through it. Then he really started to withdraw, while he never fully explained what he wanted or where this left me. He just disappeared. When I contacted him to try and reassure him of my love and that I would be there for him as a friend in any case he started getting aggressive telling me he had said things to me he hadn’t and to leave him alone. I tried to make sense of this for months and I was in a lot of pain. The behaviour got more aggressive and disturbing – he started saying I was harassing him and I was spying on him. Very strange. I write a closure letter to him forgiving him his odd behaviour and let him go.

Other things have happened which would take too long to explain but these have forced me to review the man I still love for all his unworldliness and lack of guile, for his tactile passion and yet his need for stability and routine. I would do anything to repair the rifts in communication that tore us apart. I still think he is my soul mate. I have reason to think he thinks that too but his weird behaviour has cut him off from me. He accesses my blog frequently and just looks at one page – my photo.

Is my strange, odd love an Aspie? I wonder. In all, it is his lack of ability to communicate his feelings that frustrates and makes me question – he does have other AS traits for sure. He doesn’t communicate in conventional ways – he can’t do phone or e-mails. All his texts and e-mails were quirky and abrupt. He did however have no problem telling me he loved me though he was confused by love by his own admission – he could not apply logic to it and called me a ‘romantic’.

I don’t think I could love anyone the way I love him. He would drive most women mad and they would run away; but even after what he has put me through I love him still. I wonder what I should do. It is very easy to say 'forget', but I could not possibly forget this unforgettable man.

Thanks for listening. Happy New Year.
B

Gavin Bollard said...

Anonymous,

What you've described is very typical aspie behaviour. It's not really possible for someone to make a diagnosis without meeting an individual but I'd be willing to bet that your love is an aspie.

With the death of his mother, he will be feeling a lot of pressure - particularly the "pressure of change". Everything will change for him - and since you're another "NEW" thing in his life, it's likely that he will try to limit the amount of change that is happening by cutting you out.

It's hard to know what to do but I'd guess that you need to give him enough time to settle his new routine before you start changing his life again.

Maryanne said...

Anonymous,
I suggest you just be patient for the time being. Don't worry about him, eventually he'll find his way and he will hopefully realize just how much he needs you. You just need to give him a little time. I wish you the best of luck! -Maryanne

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I think you are right about his feelings towards change and adjustment. I got a sense that these big feelings - those of intense grief and romantic love were too overwhelming at once and he 'shut down' in order to cope.

I can only hope that one day soon, we can re-visit those feelings and perhaps one day he can begin to understand why he is the way he is and not be at odds with it. Aspie or no, he is a remarkable and special individual and I love him for who he is. He found that hard to accept because most people find him so strange.

B

Anonymous said...

Thank you too for your thoughts Maryanne. I have found reading Gavin's piece and the responses here so fascinating and healing.

In some ways I feel sad and frustrated that I didn't spot his AS earlier. I hope that one day I can talk to him about it. He covered an amazing distance by managing to connect with me in the lovely way he did at all. Maybe there is hope.

I always wondered why, when I looked at him sometimes he would seem edgy and ask 'what?' - it was as if he didn't know how to react to a look of love. I was the only one he actually looked at - he would never make proper eye contact with anyone else and appeared to look over their shoulder.

When he knew his mother was dying and he felt he had to disappear - he said to me - "Tell me what to do. I don't know what to do - you have to tell me what to do more."

He is one-off and he has changed my life.

B

Maryanne said...

B,
there is always hope, no matter how difficult things may get. I understand just how strange and aloof the whole " you have to tell me what to do" thing actually is. My boyfriend may only have a mild case but the rules still apply. Like your man, mine never really looks me in the eye and sometimes has no idea what the look of love means...but it doesn't mean he doesn't love you. Like Journey says, don't stop believing. -Maryanne

russian doll said...

Well, since that 4.30 in the morning text from the aspie I like, there's been a little communication.
I invited him to 2 performances I'm in, along with a number of others. I facebooked him the other day just asking how he is in general and how the tour was going.
He replied that he's nearly finished and he asked when my shows were on. So I replied with the dates. He hasn't replied; I wasn't expecting one because there was no other question for him, or something to say 'respond' (I know it's an aspie thing). And he hasn't replied to whether he'll come to my performances either.

My plan of action is to not do anything, because it may be seen as pressure. But I will, nearer the time, do a global email to officially RSVP who is coming. Its for health and safety, names need to be put down for a register, should there be an evacuation of some sort.

I think I'll continue doing posts like this, so you see the progression, or just the little journey I'm on. This blog and everyone's responses and stories have been such an eye opener for me, I'm hoping this could benefit others too.
But so far, so good I guess. It's slow, but if there is anything, it'll be worth it in the end.

e said...

I do not like to commit to events and will avoid doing so at all costs. As a rule, if someone insists on a definite answer, I will then just decline the invitation. There have been times I'd agreed to do something and then, at the last minute, just could not make myself do it. Of course, people are very annoyed with me for that and I resent them, as well, for pinning me down for a commitment.
I have learned with age (and it has been a very hard discipline to work on), to think about the following:
1)how I will feel if I let this person down? and
2)will I regret missing the event?
This process has helped a lot with knowing if something is worth committing to. If these are weighty factors, then I will commit and I will twist myself into knots to make sure I keep my word. If they are not, I just come out and say that I don't want to commit. The other person has to be willing to take maybe for an answer If not, I most likely will decline.

Anonymous said...

To Russian Doll and Maryanne ~

What is so fascinating about finding this blog and Gavin's revelatory post, is becoming aware that there probably is a type of woman who will be attracted to aspie men and to whom aspie men will be attracted. It is the opposites attract type paradigm. We all here seem to be intuitive, sensitive, creative and passionate women and these are all the qualities which will seem beguiling, perplexing and elusive to these men.

My ex was fascinated by my passion and responsiveness. Ironically, although I plainly knew something was very unusual about him, it was his tactility and affectionate nature that delayed my diagnosis. I have since realised that in aspies it can work this way too - it was almost too much too handle and he didn't know how to turn -off some of these behaviours in public! He also liked me to scratch his head like a cat or a dog - a sort of stimming I suppose. He said this calmed him and that I was the only person he had ever felt comfortable with - very telling.

We love these men because we see that the conventional ways of showing love or 'being' in a relationship don't really mean much, not really; the literalness of aspie love is beguiling and honest at once. If they are there and they want to be with us, given a natural wariness of emotional interaction, that really means they love us - that is a long way to go. In turn they get to puzzle out the complexities of human emotional and empathy. I do not believe aspies lack empathy - I think they show it differently. I think there is a natural order in all this and if I may be so bold to speak for the NT woman who have commented on this page - we have something, like having 3D glasses, we can see beyond into what is really so wonderful about an aspie way of seeing the world.It is like learning a new language!

My best to you all,
B

Anonymous said...

Just an update...
Currently I am feeling frustrated again by the challenges with communicating. We do well for a while then it is like there is a "brick wall", his words in the past but I am finding myself running into it. We move in less the 3 weeks and I think things are pretty unstable between us at this point. The past few days have been REALLY rocky with decisions he made that I really questioned were best (I didn't deal with it well and that started the ball rolling in directions that have added yet more stress to both of us.). All in all I feel pretty unsettled in if he will even take me with him or is telling me the truth. Seems things change with him often and very quickly...is this normal?? Are the mood shifts common? It feels that I can't do anything right without seems to be controlling when all I really am looking for is some answers to the plans that are taking place. He has more control right now given the circumstances and with the imbalance of decision making and the challenges of poor communication (we talk all the time but sometimes I get answers I want to hear rather then the real answer behind it all ..then there are real problems). Any insights??? I love this guy but boy is living with him during transitions stressful...I can't predict what he will do next and whatever it is may very well not be good....not ideal. I am worried....
C.

Maryanne said...

B,
I agree with you when you say that NT women who are in love with an aspie have a sort of 3D glasses effect. Otherwise we'd never be able to see them for what they really are...and all aspies, male or female, are wonderful in their own special way. No matter what happens or how much they drive us crazy...we'll still love them for who and what they are.

Anonymous said...

Update...

He brought his brother over to the house (I was still in my nightgown) to tell me that we are done. Cold. Calculated. And cut throat approach.

Ironically with AS he will not miss me in the least from my understanding.

In the meantime it hurts like hell this end.

His statement Loudly twice today was "I AM NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU" and "I DO NOT LOVE YOU".

So I guess having just bought him new tires for his car at $170 for the pair the end of last week was nice...I feel really used at this point. He really has no feelings...none.

Anyways he has gone back to his family who hate my guts and prompted him all the way along that I was bad for him somehow as he was never to date right.

Not good.....any thoughts? I have no idea what to do now. I was told I am to move out of his house NOW. I have bought some time but honestly this family is very dysfunctional and damaging to me. Maybe being away from them I will end up healthier? I sure hope so....

C.

russian doll said...

Oh god, C.
That is awful. I can't even begin to imagine how painful that is. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. And I'm suprised at your partner.

If its meant to be, only time will tell. He may soon realise how good you were to him, maybe his own family will realise it soon enough. They may never admit it, but they may very well realise it. Until then, sort yourself out. Take some time out to cry and get all the immediate hurt out of your system.

You know all us on here are there if you need advice or just to vent.

Russian Doll

Anonymous said...

Thanks Russin Doll.
Steve has spent a long time keeping things hidden and lying. The more he did it the more that he thought he could and justified it.

I am in the middle of trying to start to move things. I just paid for storage for my stuff and he just moved it into storage so that there is another $400 I would have put into rent plus paying a guy $100 to move the stuff over. Now I have to hire a moving company which will cost about $700+ to move to another city. I have to come up with first and last months rent no notice $1350. He wanted me out yesterday when he announced it. This is the fourth announcement in 3 months and then we seemed to be able to put things back together. He is VERY reactionary and whatever I did (which we all know is not likely anything that I actually did but more whatever he preceived I did to set him off I still have no clue of). The past few days have been talking about us moving together.

His family came back into his life before Christmas and he can't tell who is using him and who actually has his best interests at heart...everything is the same shade of grey to him (his words). So it is no excuse to treat me like hell but every time they came back into his life there was been a BIG BIG crisis with him and then that make it into a MAJOR crisis with us.

The reality is he won't miss me. Time won't do anything with this because there are 4 members of his immediate family pressuring him and he caves into what he is expected to do. He was never to grow up....his mom referred to him as "an innocent"...um very unhealthy for a man who is 48 years old.

I can't fix this. I need to pack and I need to go.

The scarey part is I called and told my boss as I work in a women's shelter and she told me that I had just became a candidate to be a resident. She clearly labeled it as abuse. That will cause my Executive Director to question if I am going to be ok to do my job. I will be because I will have to be...but they know inside this will tear me apart and it is.

C.

Anonymous said...

Well the latest interest is that I got my new apartment ok and have the keys (very very quick application today, paid first and last and the keys were mine as I passed the credit check fine). I hired movers to move tomorrow and then Saturday.

Steve's latest lie was that he stayed out at the farm we were to live at last night "upstairs" and then he talked about staying at his moms..he has moved back in with mommy. He keeps telling me he is going to the farm...I HIGHLY DOUBT IT...tomorrow he has to take mommy grocery shopping....get the picture....

In any case SCAREY FAMILY...

I am greatful to be out of it. He used me big time and then was the nicest guy going...he can't seem to tell the truth and in the end I am positive his family pressured him to move back with family.

Actually they bribed him too...if he doesn't see me then they will pay for his car insurance to keep his car on the road as it is coming due monthly. He is a puppet on strings and they are blackmailing him.

And I was a bad influence on this man....

I love him. I really really do. But .... by next week my apartment will be set up and the house I called home will have the keys handed back to the bank by Steve.

Sad for a grown man. He said we can keep in touch and I can talk to him...I am greatful for that as there are things i really do respect about him. My advice to him bottom line is that he needs to keep going to counselling....he has some very serious problems which I think are not only Aspergers..this case is serious mental health stuff and the triggers are family related.

I need to now realize I am free and I can build a life of my own. It is time....I will miss him. But after a while this time I am seriously wondering if I ever knew really who he is. He is certainly capable of cruelty that I would never imagined him as acting out. In reality I am disappointed in him as a person. I thought he had far more integrety then this. I know his life is a mess and he has big things to deal with now, but he just joined up to play back into his very disfunctional family system who are now "rescuing him". In so many ways I feel sorry for him and I told him this. His family is actually blackmailing him to do what they expect.

Thank goodness I am moving away from there and will only have contact with Steve if and when I choose to. Unfortunately with the Aspergers he won't miss me. He has said his cat now sitting with him is really just as good as me...in fact he prefers animals to people.

Any more advice as I try to cope with this loss..it doesn't sound like much of one here given what I just wrote...unfortunately I made the mistake of falling in love with him believing we really could build a wonderful life together. And that dream has just died..it hurts...and it is sad really.

Maryanne said...

C,
Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry, I agree with Russian Doll, this is awful. I wish I had something better than this to say but you just need to take it one day at a time. And hope that he realizes just how much you mean to him and who is who in his life. We are all here if you need someone to talk to just as Russian Doll said. Good Luck Sweetie.
-Maryanne

russian doll said...

I don't think there is anything much we can say. Because now its not about AS anymore.
Now its the same thing everyone goes through at some point down the road; heartbreak. And there really is no cure other than time and keeping busy and staying positive.
The things you wrote, you're very objective regardless, and at the same time personally involved. Does that make sense? You're able to reflect on everything and not go all teen-first-crush on yourself by keeping him on a pedastal. You can clearly say where the problem lies, and what needs to be done to rectify it, what you can and can't do about it and what you now have to do for yourself.
I'm like that. Doesn't stop the hurt though.
You may not feel like it, but keep yourself busy; go out and have fun with friends. I know getting over my first heartbreak was a doozy, but I made sure I went out and did things (in fact thats how I met the aspie I'm interested in).
If you want to, have a cry. Even if you take a whole day out to do so; go with it.

"nothing in this world is permanent, not even our troubles"-Charlie Chaplin

nate said...

C

You have my sympathy and compassion, and I think right now I am the closest I have ever been to feeling empathy. I know your frustration, your anger, your sorrow. Please don't take this lightly, but if there is a yin for each yang as the Taoists say, then you have helped this Aspie to identify some aspects of what it is to feel empathy.

Oddly enough, before reading this post, I sent Gavin an email asking for his views on how easily some Aspies are manipulated by other people. I will tell you, I have been manipulated in my past. But I can also say I learned from each experience . . . somehow.

Currently the pendulum seems to have swung to the other side, where I don't trust anyone. But this isn't about me.

Even though there is the anger and hurt in you now, try to think of the positive. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Yes, I do have basic Taoist beliefs. Everything is balanced in nature.

This could very well be your path to something better and grander, perhaps someone more deserving of your affections. I wish you well.

Gavin Bollard said...

I've been following this saga with interest and sadness. I have a feeling that we're seeing another neurotypical being scarred by her interactions with an aspie.

I hurts me to have to say that we're not all like that and that the right aspie would show you the kindness, love and respect that you deserve. Regardless of our aspie traits, we're all individuals too, and vastly different from eachother.

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles but I'm also glad to see that you're making the right move. You know that you've done your best and that the rest was out of your hands. You know when to leave things alone and get on with your life. It's not running away, it's damage control.

Given the influence that his family seems to exert on him and the fact that they weren't nice to you anyway, it might have been fortunate that it didn't work out. I'm sure you'll meet someone nice - and maybe he'll be an aspie too... a good one.

After all, it's common for certain people to be attracted by aspie traits.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gavin
I don't blame the AS actually...I understand that anough I guess and having AS I cared maybe more for him then if he had been NT. Not that that justifies his actions.

We spoke yesterday and he said he can only focus on one thing at a time. I asked if his family had not hated me would he have ended it and he said no. But right now he can't handle cleaning out the house, going bankrupt, the pressure his family has put on him is very high to have me out of his life. I asked if he was having problems with taking apart his old life and trying to build something new all at the same time and he said yes.

To me this makes sense. So he has gone back to the disfuction in his family because right now they will rescue him and "fix" his problems.

To tell you the control they have over him, he has told me that they have told him that they will pay for his car insurance as long as he doesn't contact me. That if it is true is very scarey. That said he does not always tell the truth so who knows really. What I do know is that he said he is tired of the head games his family plays, the power struggles, the control issues. He doesn't see how he plays directly into them as part of the system.

I have been given no choice but to rent an apartment, move my belongings, likely will have to get rid of alot of stuff to function as it is smaller and in time I will need to go on with my life.

Steve has asked me to keep in touch. But what that means for him really down the road?

Right now I am giving him the space he needs. I recognize that his has walked from into a very unhealthy family again that he had distanced himself from. He will be talking to counsellors and investing with them in trying to even begin to understand how to deal with them. But I am not the focus right now of his life. He was cold and calculated in getting me out of his house and distancing me from him physically. Unfortunately in crisis points this is very AS as a trait.

I asked him if he saw any future of us or if I should walk away and he said that he doesn't know at this point how to answer that. He has helped me to pack to move, will be packing up the end of my belongings at the house while I unpack here and then the rest of the stuff moves here on Saturday (one truck load has already arrived).

I don't know the future. I do know I just signed a new year lease here and I can't get out of that. So...my family is here, I need to keep in contact here (THANK YOU!!!!) and unpack to try to keep going at keeping my job. I love him...I really do... but I can't fix him or do the work he needs to do to be ok. So...we will talk, he is my best friend, my lover and a huge part of my life...and I will miss him more then words can say. But I can't change what he is choosing at this point no matter how much I want to.

Thank you for the comforting words and I hope I can keep learning about AS. I think it is important to keep trying to understand....I value that and this site!
C.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gavin ...can you explain the term "Neurotypical being"

I have found this definition which I think is positive, but then the other definitions I read state it is negative so I am a bit confused...????

Here was the positive definition I first found (though I might be misreading it even??) Curious....

"Neurotypical includes, among the many voices of autistics, those who take exception to the notion of being “cured” and those who offer, through their very lives, a view of what a fulfilling life might look like. Neurotypical does not attempt to diagnose, change or find a cure for autism. Instead, it looks at the culture of autism, as a valid and unique way of being."

Thanks, C.

Gavin Bollard said...

Neurotypical is a way of saying "normal people" - as in people without any autistic spectrum disorders.

Since I don't consider aspergers to be a disorder - in my opinion, it's a difference rather than a disorder - I can't describe people without it as "normal".

Hence I use the word Neurotypical which loosely means Brain-typical (or most typical/common type of thinker).

Anonymous said...

Ok Gavin that makes some more sense.

Update
Today we talked alot on the phone. He is fine, packing the house, functioning and moving on. I on the other hand am a basket case, ok at one point and breaking down the next. I empty the rest of the house tomorrow and I am a basket case. He talks about us being over like it is talking about the weather...no emotions. He said that he has woken up the past two nights in the middle of the night and felt something was missing...that could be me, or the cat...may ask him tomorrow, but needless to say he has chosen this wonderful new path of ripping my heart out and seems to be focused on what he has to do (self focused..very normal..but)...

C.

Anonymous said...

I just found this site, and I can't begin to tell you the relief I feel after reading all these observations. I love a man...a dear, sweet, kind man (in so many ways), but he is so very "different" from anyone I have ever known. At times...I've wanted to scream in frustration, pull out my hair, or cry because I could NOT figure out what the heck was going on! He seems to truly love me...in fact...he now TELLS me "I love you" on a DAILY basis! He told me that no one has EVER told him daily (or many times a day) "I love you", and he has had to "adjust" to it. But now he does it too. I'm loving it! We met as dance partners, and it wasn't too long before we started going to dinner together and realized that we had this incredible physical attraction. (he calls it a "chemical" attraction - haha). I'll never forget the first time he asked me if he could kiss me....I was in heaven. We spend every second we can together. There is one major problem: I'm married to another man (very long story), but I haven't loved him for years. I've stayed because I thought I could "be content", plus it was the "right thing" to do. And it was fine...till I met my dance partner. We've been "dancing" in each other lives now for 1.5 years. I don't know what the future holds. My dance partner DID (finally) tell me (in WRITING, NO LESS) that he loves me and wants me to be his wife. Finding this may have saved my sanity.

russian doll said...

An update:

Tonight I went to the first poetry night of the year. Not to perform this time, but to just enjoy. I knew my interest was coming. A couple of friends came too, which although I had fun, I kinda wish they didn't because I think my guy found it a little intimidating.
But anyway, he arrived late and didn't get a seat. But he spotted me, and waved.
In the interval he managed to find a seat at the table next to me and my friends. I caught him staring at me a few times.
At the end of the night I went over to him and we had a little chat about his tour and what he's up to now. Then he asked me about xmas and new year. Just, chitter chatter. Then he asked me when my show is on, so I told him. Then I said I'll have to know whether he's definitely coming for health and safety. And he said "put me down, I'll be there". Then I said we could go for drinks afterwards and he smiled.
We hugged and kissed goodbye.

Well, that's the update. not much of an update, but something's progressed at least. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone. I need some advise here as I am in love with an aspie musician.

Just to tell you a short history, I met this man 3 months ago at a church. We just did a little chat on Sunday after the Mass, and I was immediately attracted to his unique ability (genious in music cello winning competitions etc) and his deep intellect.

I did show some interest and he invited me to his cello recital. We exchanged some nice e-mails and he was thanking me for coming to his concert. I was getting some signs that he was interested in me (He normally leaves early from social gathering on Sunday but he stayed longer to talk with me).

I was thinking that the next step would be for him to ask me out. It was obvious to me that he liked me and I liked him.

However! He just stopped coming to the social gathering, and I don't even see him anymore. It really shocked me and I was so depressed as I was so excited that we would on on a date...

Now, I really do not know what is going on in his mind. But still I would like to ask him for a tea. I know that aspies cannot catch subtle body signs, so how much clarity is needed to let him know I want to get to know him more?

Do some aspies purposely avoid developing more than a friendship?

I am really confused. I am so attracted to this guy, yes he has lack of facial expression and only talks about himself most of the time, but I see beauty in his most innocent eyes and smile, and his gift in his cello...

Please give me an advise.

Thanks,

With love

russian doll said...

Hey there anonymous,

I'm currently just being 'friends first' with an aspie actor/writer/poet.

I'm not sure about the avoiding developing more than friendships. From what I've read, some aspies have sworn off or just plain given up on that because they haven't been successful with it in the past. And not only that, they're self orientated.

Maybe there's a reason why he stopped coming to the social gathering. It's most probably not you.

From what I know, chances are he's not going to ask you out. Most aspies have been bullied and lack a great deal in confidence.

You should ask him out. He may not even be aware that you like him; as you said yourself, aspies aren't very good at picking up on subtle body signs.
He'll be chuffed.

I know exactly how you feel, I'm kinda going through what you're going through to a certain degree.

Also, when it comes to communication, don't depend on the games we play like saying something and meaning something else, or trying to prompt him to do something without saying it. You have to be literal and honest and upfront. I really like you, would you like to go out on a date with me.
spell it out.

***
Another update:

Well, I just got home from a long rehearsal. Now, I have 2 assessed performances; 1 on the 22nd, 1 on the 29th. I had originally invited him to both but when we met at the poetry night on the 17th, I only mentioned the 29th (because I think the one on the 22nd is not very good). He said yes already to the 29th.

I came home today to find an email from him saying he's coming to the one on the 22nd too.
I am really excited and happy that he's coming. And I'm a little scared because I don't think this performance is very good.

Wish me luck (for the performance and progress with my aspie interest)!

Anonymous said...

Update...
Well turns out Steve and I are doing better then I thought ever possible. Though he still has decided to live apart he came over night the other night which was terrific :o) I asked to go down to see him tomorrow and mentioned there might be events down this way this coming weekend and he said he would like to come down. So despite his family issues with them hating me which was a HUGE issue for him, and the issues of the financial mess, etc. it seems I get to stay in his life at this point. We talk alot on the phone every day and have sense we supposedly split. When I asked him if he thought of himself as single now he said "not really"...today I asked if it mattered to him that we could some day be together again he rated it as a 7 out of 10 right now as a priority..given that he is focused on cleaning out the house to hand the keys back to the bank I figure that is not bad as most apsies seem to focus on one thing at a time so that I was even in the radar I find hopeful. Gosh though I miss him.....

Anyways, I want to comment on a few other writers but alas I am working so I have go to run.

As for the last write...keep working on it, if you don't see him and you are interested give him a call directly. Apsies seem to need to that direction from outside to get their attention but then when you have it they are more then happy to chat is my experience...they just don't often initiate the contact well to start out. When they know what is asked directly they often if they like you try to please so I am sure if you were getting along well you will continue, just call him and invite him out :) Good Luck!!
C.

Anonymous said...

Russian doll and anonymous, thank you so much for your guidance.

I know that I must be direct with him in my communication.

However, I have only known him for the last 3 months, and I only know about his music, cello. I don't know anything about his friends or family except we have the same faith as we go to the church.

He seemed a little distant in the beginning like distrusting but nowdays i can see him opening up a little. He tells me feeling like he is happy to go home etc.

I feel it's better to get to know him more as friends and then when he is comfortable with me I will tell him.

For now I am sending all the encouragement for his music to build a trust...

Seems like a lot of work on women side, but the aspie guy intrigues me so much with his innocent eyes and angel like smile he shows at times. I really hope this would work out, and good luck for you both!!!

russian doll said...

Update:

I need advice.

My interest came to my performance today. It was wonderful for him to come. We had some quiet moments, but I think he realised they were comfortable ones. He talked to himself a lot and I could see that my friends thought him a bit weird, but not all of them know about him, let alone know he has AS.
A few times we linked arms and sat quite comfortably together. Then after my performance, he said he was leaving; so we said our goodbyes, hugged and kissed on the cheek and then he was gone.

I've invited him to the next performance on the 29th (incase he forgot) and I don't actually remember if he said yes or not, but I assume he will come because he enjoyed today.

The reason why I'm askng for advice is because I don't know what to do. I know he said he needs to be friends first, and that's exactly what's happening; we're getting to know eachother as friends. And I don't know if something will build, I sure hope it does.
And I can't push anything. I don't want to make things difficult for him.

I just feel like crap. Its been raining all day, and with my performance being performed outside, it was ruined slightly. I looked like crap because of the rain. I just feel awful and I don't know where I stand.

To me, it does seem like he likes me just as much as I like him. But I guess I just have to wait it out.

russian doll said...

ooh, I just read the last comment from C.

It does seem like he's trying to please just by showing up to my performance doesn't it? and the fact that he may come to the one on the 29th too.

Anonymous said...

Oh I have missed a lot of things going on here and some troubled waters it seems. My heart and thoughts go out to all of you with the ups and downs of negotiating Aspie emotional paradoxes.

My own situation has reached a hiatus. I can't say much except that my Aspie ex got himself in a lot of difficulty after the death of his mother which I got dragged into and it ended up in a court. Too complicated to explain!Thankfully his lawyers eventually understood they were dealing with no ordinary man and negotiated with me to sort things out towards some sort of closure - it could have got very unpleasant in court.

Part of the deal was that my ex read a letter I had written of forgiveness and understanding of his strange behaviours, giving him the option to contact me to talk if he wishes and when he is ready, and that I think he is special and love him for who he is in spite of everything. His only recent 'communication' with me was looking at my blog photo (my stats tell me this). He must have been doing this because his lawyers told him NOT to contact me! He did this when I wrote to him because he could not answer - strange but true!

He arrived at court very agitated and distressed but when my letter was passed to him he sat down, smiled and nodded and was thereafter very relaxed. He sent his lawyer over to me to ask if he could keep the letter (very literal understanding as I had asked in writing only for him to 'read' it!) Thereafter he was relaxed and at ease and seemed relieved. Of course no eye contact - but unless he was in front of me that is absolutely usual!

It is something. He seemed to love my 'love letter'. Maybe one day. I cannot give up hope - he is too hard to forget...
B

russian doll said...

Hey B,
Woah...Whatever happened, can't believe you nearly had to go to court over it.

***

Well, I sent my interest an email via facebook, saying thanks and that I was happy he came. Then I said to let me know if he's coming on the 29th and that I'd be happy to see him there. And that we could go for drinks or dinner afterwards. But left it open by saying it's completely up to him.

And so, I wait...

Anonymous said...

Hi Russin Doll

Well the words I hear over and over again are..."I am just not close to anyone"...so Steve tries but alas he really is comfortable alone and so gaining confidence with AS being difficult in building relationships friendship would be a must because that is a hard one to get to from what I can understand let alone a romantic interest...that said if he is coming to see your play and he thinks that is important to you then he wants to please you by attending. As much as it seems Steve does not understand the insights he has into what others are feeling by their responses is very very intense..almost to the point of being overwhelming. I was having a hard day the other day and shaking a bit from being upset and he just kept saying "your are going to be ok"..over and over...he knew. Your guy knows and being part of something that is important to you..he might be interested in it, but he may be even more interested in knowing that you will feel good having him attending to celebrate with you...he won't say it that way, he may never explain it even, but if he is there he cares more then you know :o) Congrads...

C.

ps. My update is that we spent an overnight here, then one there on the farm (which is where I was so upset to be) and then the weekend here..he is having a tough time with the house, his family are being controlling and pushing and in the end he said he does not know what he wants..but he may very well end up down with me and moving in...right now I want to try to support but not push as he has anough of that in his life with being bullied by people (mother and sister) who say the "care" about him...and he can't handle them so it is time for me to do the thing I think I do best really in us and that is to be his friend..ok well lover to ..but his friend first to listen and say things will be ok. I don't think I have ever loved anyone more..I only wish he could understand but the people who said they loved him over the years (his family) have been abusive and AS has made him EXTREMELY sensitive to emotions to the point that he can read them far to well..more then I even realize. So...keep you posted but I have to admit I am glad just to sit and watch him regardless of what we are doing together even if it is just sitting in the car or watching a movie, etc. Tomorrow he leaves...that might kill me. It is too hard being apart but I need to try because he can't handle more stress then he has now. And it is that stress that may or may not lead him to being ok being together. Right now he has said he will do things on his timing and I have to let me...if I am learning nothing else it is that space is a must with AS.

Anonymous said...

Dear Russian Doll,

Yes, it was quite a drama and it could only have happened because he is an Aspie. It was an expample of how frought things can get when communicating with an Aspie. He doesn't know he is but he is for sure and it would help him so much to know as he feels very alone in the world.

However, he shows me in his quirky way that he loves me too, and I like you wait in hope. I gave him his choice clearly in my letter and he looked very happy with it and asked to keep it.

There must always be hope. He travelled (metaphorically) miles to love me and he does still and I have created a space for him to come back to me.

Good wishes for you too. It sounds positive...
B x

russian doll said...

Wow C.
That's a lot that's happened. Good for you. I would think with a break up that that would essentially be it, but he's keeping in contact, he's even spending time with you. That's great. And yes it is so hard. Us NTs yearn for the closeness that aspies find hard to give. It is a lot of work. And that's weird for me to say; I'm not even in a relationship with my interest, but I can feel and know what its going to be like if we do eventually get together.
I think that you have to look at this as if you're an old married couple, who are already just so comfortable to be together that time apart or space is nothing because you'll be coming back to eachother.
I don't know if that makes sense. That's how I'm looking at it anyway.
Keep your chin up. Things may be stressful for Steve right now, but maybe he needs this to learn for himself who's manipulating who, and he can de-stress and sort himself out.

In the Sarah Hendrickx book I mentioned, she wrote something that I think it really quite vital for us NTs, especially us NT women:

"I realised that I had spent my time with Keith (her AS partner) in fear of his rejection, which seemed cruel and hurtful. I learned that none of this was personal or intentional; it was just his way of articulating his thoughts or viewing the world. There was never-not once- any deliberate attempt to be hurtful or callous. He had been frightened or confused by my emotional, erratic outbursts and had no idea what he was supposed to do. I had focused all my energy on helping him, finding jobs, counsellors, information- suggesting ways of behaving, improvements and changes, when there was nothing wrong with him in the first place.

I decided to change all of that and make myself a priority. i just stopped doing it. When I caught myself not being myself or getting into 'help' mode, I stopped...I began to make plans for my own future, regardless of whether he was in it. I made sure that I told him what I wanted and what I would and would not accept, rather than waiting to b dissapointed that he failed to read my mind again. At that point when I stopped being needy, insecure and in constant need of reassurance, when I made it clear to him what was required without confusion, when I just got on with my own life; that was when he decided that he wanted to be in it."

Anonymous said...

Russin Doll
...THANK YOU so much for that quote...it is vital and I think in the end that putting my life back together to some state of being healthier is going to be REALLY hard, but I am trying....it will take me some time and I am trying really hard to realize that it is all new at this point in these changes and that I have to take some time to take care of myself which I am not doing well. Steve made dinner last night for himself because i was at work and he said that there was some left in the fridge so that I did not even have to cook tonight because "dinner has been made for you already" and he smiled...and tonight I didn't eat it and it is still in the fridge because it reminds me too much that today again he left me here while he went back to sleep at the farm and work on cleaning out the house. I know he feels he had to go...but it hurts way to much every time he leaves and I end up in tears. I can't keep doing this stuff and I am trying to give him time to clean up things that end and he says he will "likely be moving" to be with me, but...he is not here and I find that too hard to cope with that I start to stop functioning like I need to. I am existing, unpacking the apartment and showing up at work because I have to...emotionally I am still even now not in good shape despite having spent time with him. Living apart for me is not an option, we are either together each day living in the same house or I have to figure out how to let go. I can't continue for much longer to go back and forth between together and seperate. Tonight I decided in tears after he left that I needed to choose to stop crying and do something so I washed the dishes, watched tv and went to bed to be able to work midnights. I need to re-enter spending time with my extended family, go and acutally visit some friends and move on with building a life of my own...things are still focused on him as much as the apartment is getting set up....I need to move and keep moving past that focus towards a better balance..and it is killing me trying to do that..emotionally it is REALLY hard to be apart and accept that as how it needs to be right now and no know if that will change for sure or not....time....I guess as much as anything will tell me.

Thank you for the supports!!! Goodness knows it helps right now!

russian doll said...

Update:

Well, just as I was as anxious as can be, I got an email saying he was coming to my show on the 29th. He said he wouldn't be able to do anything afterwards because he's performing in a poetry night. I thought I'd reply when I got back home (I was at rehearsals at the time) and ask if he would mind if I came with him.

Before the end of my rehearsals (8 hours later) he text and said he couldn't make it on the 29th because he's double booked. But wished me well.

So, not his fault he can't come. He wouldn't lie. I am dissappointed though, naturally. I just replied to his email saying not to worry about missing the show. I know he would've been there otherwise. But I've asked if I could come along to the poetry night in the evening, because it's one I've not been to before. Just waiting for that reply now.

I don't know why I still question that he likes me. It seems clear that he does. But I feel like I constantly need to reassure myself. And the fact that we're still just friends isn't helping but I completely understand that we need to go at his pace and I'm happy to do that if it will lead to something in the long run. Because I do genuinely like him.
I guess I'm just too impatient for my own good.

Other than that, I don't know what to do. I'm running out of things to invite him to. I understand I have to do most of the inviting. Should I ask him out for a random cinema outing?

russian doll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
russian doll said...

Update:

He replied. He's happy for me to come along. So, I still get to see him on the 29th which is great. He told me he had a meeting with a producer already scheduled and forgot, which is why he can't come to my show. So I completely understand. It's terribly hard getting work nowadays, especially as an aspie, and as an actor on top of it all!

Anonymous said...

Congradulations Russin Doll :o) Very VERY exciting news!!!

Update this end..after much worrying and still wondering Steve has packed some of his stuff and is with me at the apartment. I have no idea if he will do this long term or be gone tomorrow, but for now he is saying he wants to stay.... with that I am hesitent but very happy to have him back in my life :o) Gosh it was a long few weeks. Ironically he is now dealing emotionally with a random amount of negative views and emotions about his own family and just how controlling and manipulative he sees them as being. He will be seeing a social worker on Monday so we will see what comes of that...my best guess is that they may suggest that he goes back to the farm to try living on his own and finding out who he is..that said if he can and would like to stay with me I would certainly love to have him stay despite the hellish time he has put me through...I guess I chalk most of it up to a learning experience for him though it would be better to know that he is with me due to wanting to be with me rather then running from his family issues...so time will tell I guess. In the mean time I am thinking I need to still focus on my own life and unpacking whether he is there or not. I am sure he will help out and already has been some so that is a good thing. :o) Happy for now this end...sure the rollercoaster though with him is not over by far as yet though....and he gave in the keys to his house and said goodbye to it today as well so there has been and will be alot still going on I am sure..only the tip of a very large iceburg. I am just happy to have him around really.

russian doll said...

I think time will certainly tell. But it does sound like things are already moving forward. I'm happy for you. I hope it progresses. He's discovering/discovered for himself what his family are like and, it always had to be him to find out the truth for himself. It's a shame that for him, it's painful; but sometimes it's needed for life to get better.

Update:
Well first of all, my performance went superbly well! I went to the poetry night. My guy performed; excellent as always. It was a lovely night. We didn't speak much, but when we did I realised that he's very comfortable with me. He opens up to me. He was telling me how today was a bad day for him. I also think that the nerves of performing added to the stress of the bad day, and maybe the fact that I was there.

Tonight was the first time I've ever seen him meltdown. I've never seen anyone meltdown. And, I know it can be slightly painful from what he told me, so I felt helpless because I hated seeing him feeling that way. It also doesn't help that knowledge of autism and AS in particular is not rife amongst the general public, so the reactions he got weren't welcoming or, sadly, accepting. It made me angry. Yes he is a grown man and he can take care of himself, but I hated the way people were looking at him, and then not going near him afterwards. He was trying so hard to control it, and he did to a point but instead of one big meltdown it came out in short bursts throughout the night, even after he performed. I didn't react. I don't want him to think I empathise or pity him in any way, because I'm not going to treat him any differently from any of my other friends.
In the break, he just didn't want to look at me or in my direction at all. I asked him if he was alright and if what I saw was a meltdown. And he was so embarrassed. One guy actually moved his chair away. He went to get a drink, came back 5 minutes later and asked if I would like anything.

At the end of the night he was going to stay a bit to finish writing a poem he was working on. I had to leave (it's too cold here in the UK right now!). So I gave him a hug and a kiss and said to take care of himself and I got back the biggest hug from him and he said "thank you for your support, I really appreciate you coming to support me".

It was so hard to see him like that. He had spoken to me and told me what a hard day its been and I know he was stressed and pissed off. I guess it just overwhelmed him.

russian doll said...

Update:

I did a status update on my facebook page saying I had a good time at the poetry night with a fine Scotsman (he's Scottish). And he commented saying sorry that he wasn't much fun.
He was embarrassed about melting down. I know that much.
I sent him a message asking whether he would like to go see a movie this Saturday. No reply yet.

I've come to the conclusion that even if an aspie likes you, they need time to think things over. I don't understand why it's hard for them to accept a social invitation. I guess it's because of the amount of rejection they've faced in the past, they're weary of it, even if its being offered with good intentions. So when they do accept an invite, it does mean a lot.

C. said...

Update...Steve moved in with me, has updated his address on his driver's license and insurance, got a new library card from the city we are now in and has been helping take care of the pets. Tonight he made dinner while I did the dishes..go figure...

In any case he seems fine and I am still scratching my head and wondering what happened exactly. Hopefully he is not homesick ...thought I might talk to him about that one tomorrow as he had people in his life he was use to visiting every few days and he no longer has that to do here so I wonder how he is coping. I have also been working midnights so want to sleep during the day and not much fun to be honest as I am tired and catching a cold. Hopefully he can feel it is home, but he has ALOT of stuff that is not moved here and the apartment is WAY to small to fit all of our stuff in...mine is not all here either at this point. Not sure what to do about that either because more stuff has to go and there is no way the storage unit stuff, the stuff he has at the farm and the stuff in his mother's basement will fit..we are wall to wall stuff in the apartment now and I am wondering what to take out at this point. Should have rented a bigger place I think except I can't afford to pay for the one I did rent which is a fair size until you start putting our stuff into it.

As for the AS with Steve..well..I am wondering what affect the move will have on him or how he even sees it??? I can't tell...it still confuses me alot I think.

Comment for Russin Doll... It will be interesting to see if your new interest goes to the movies with you..my guess is he will unless he is busy. As for needing time to think about things...it might be a personality type thing as much as an AS thing..hard to tell but would be interested to hear from others on this topic. :o) Have a great day! Oh and thanks for the hint about the movie Adam. Have you seen it yet? We are planning on renting it as I told Steve about it and he seemed interesting. Hopefully there won't be anything offensive to him in it..I haven't seen it so wondering how it is???? curious :o)
C.

russian doll said...

C,
Maybe you do need to talk to him about it, just so you know what exactly is going on. Because if he's back for very self-interested reasons, you don't know whether he'll leave again, for selfish reasons, and then you're once again flip-flopping around between heartache and happiness.

No probs about 'Adam'. I haven't see it yet. It came out in the cinema over here in the UK last July, but the advertising campaign was almost non-existent so I didn't know a thing about it. But I pre-ordered the DVD which should be released sometime mid-Feb. If you get to see it before we do, you must let me know what you think; I've been anxious to see it for months now! :)

Update:
Well, he never replied. And to be honest, I felt like he was taking the piss. As you do, being NT. So I sent him an email this morning, nothnig nasty, just asking whether he wanted to go to the cinema with me or not and that he hadn't replied; basically just giving a little prompt.
He replied and said there's another poetry night on which he would like to go to if I come with him, but if I didn't fancy it, he's happy to come to the cinema with me.
I haven't replied back yet as I'm so busy sorting out my nans house; she died last November and things have been a bit manic over here with that. I'm suprised I never mentioned it before. We have 'til the end of this month to clear the house and its stressful. So I'll reply later today. But, yes, that's my update for now. :)

I have to say, I am so greatful for this blog. I've found so much support and advice on here, especiallly from you C, and Gavin. Thank you.

C. said...

Congrads Russin Doll :) VERY EXCITING! Sounds like he would like to go out with you to do something he would like to do and take you along. That said to keep things balanced with interests it might be good to suggest that you would love to do both :) Then you get to do what you suggested and what he wants to do. The challenge with AS is they love to do what they want to do...and you need that balance to ensure healthy life choices and not bending too much all the time..at least that is my experience but I might be wrong if Gavin has any thoughts on that one....

Update - Steve has been here for a week now and has been hanging out, helping around the apartment, too me to London (Canada) to a doctor's appointment yesterday and waited for a couple of hours for me while he read a book..nice guy! He is currently looking for work now here and has settled in as if he had always decided this would be where he would be...very strange let me tell you. That said we are doing REALLY well and I hope it continues :) I am certainly happy having him here and I think we will be looking into getting more help through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) which he is looking into and then getting referal for and then some other community support also including getting a doctor..
OK got to run.... HUGS! C.

russian doll said...

Awww, I'm glad things are picking up for you C. :)

Update my end...well, I replied that I would prefer the comedy night (I think I said poetry night before, it was actually a comedy night) and that we could go to see the film I wanted another time, which is what we're doing.

I went to another poetry night with him tonight. He was lovely, as always. We both found that we have a fascination with the Charles Manson case. How weird is that?! I've written a play about it (work-in-progress) and he's writing bits and pieces as well. He wants to write with me. :)
He had a couple of meltdowns again tonight as well. Later he held my hand and we hugged. He's clearly getting more comfortable with me. :)

So tomorrow, he's going to text me the details about the comedy show, and we'll meet up and we'll go.

:)

C. said...

Hey sounds terrific RD! Curious as to what you mean by "meltdowns"???
Sounds like a great evening out and glad to know you are going to be seeing more of each other!!

C.

Anonymous said...

I have just split up with my boyfriend of 7 years who I have suspected as being an Aspie.
My son is an Aspie/Add and I think my boyfriend is Aspie/OCD
I myself am quite possibly on the spectrum too.
It wasn't until I find this article about Aspies and love that a lot clicked into place for me.
Now I am in self blame mode again, wishing I had tried to get him to see an expert :(


The reason we split in the end was more or less because he just couldn't bring himself to live with me because I could never have the house as tidy and organised as he managed to keep his flat.
This was a massive deal to him but of course most friends of mine and other people just can't understand his priorities!

I really loved him and am heart broken but I just needed a commitment after all that time.

He also tolf me his feelings had changed, which of course was extremely upsetting. I think this is possibly down to what the article on here talks about/ rigid view of what love is or not understanding what love means.

I am sure however that he does love me very much but in his own words "not enough or I would want to move in etc".

Just wanted to put my story up here, I am very sad and wish I had known what to do :(

russian doll said...

dear anonymous,
If you think your ex is an aspie, then you should direct him to this blog so he can read through it and he may identify with a lot of the issues that have come up here. From what I know, it's a lot harder for an aspie to commit to living together because they also enjoy their time on their own, they enjoy their space. When you live together, that suddenly becomes rare or non-existent. It makes them more prone to stress which can be quite overwhelming. I keep recommending 2 books by Sarah Hendrickx called 'Sex, Love and Long Term Relationships-what people with aspergers really want' and 'Asperger's Syndrome-a love story'. Of course, AS is different for every individual but I found these 2 books incredibly inciteful and I realised so much about my aspie interest from them. They're also good for aspies to understand NTs (neuro-typicals) more. Good luck to you and best wishes.

Update:
We went to the comedy night thing. It was lovely. I took the working version of my Charles Manson script for him to read. He told me he knows someone who might be interested in producing it. But I must admit it needs a lot of work which is also why I'm so happy we can write this together. It'll bring us closer together, both professionally and personally.

We went for drinks afterwards. We found this great almost derelict bar (he had been there before) with a pool table, and I know he's very much into pool. I didn't know how to play so he showed me and we had a couple of games. Then we had a look around the place and he was quite insistent on showing me the balcony area of the music room. we were the only ones in this area of the bar. He took me up and it was a very small intimate space; I loved it. He was staring at me a lot and I got the feeling that he wanted to kiss me, so I decided not to do anything and let him come to me.
He also talks to himself. While I was exploring the balcony, looking at the graffiti on the wall and such I heard him talking to himself and he uttered my name. It seems to me that he was trying to pluck up the courage to kiss me, which didn't happen in the end sadly. But it touched me.

We also had a wander around some music shops and I was in my element looking at all the beautiful pianos and guitars which I can't afford! And we got talking about music and I told him about my father who bought me my first guitar. My father wasn't a very nice man, I didn't go into depth about it, I didn't need to. But my interest was so lovely and just put his arms around me and held me for a bit. He seems very intuitive.

Then we left, decided to go home. He kept apologising for being quiet and having meltdowns* and I said to him that he doesn't need to apolgise for something he can't help. As for the quietness, I was just as quiet. He seems genuinely taken-aback by my response, I don't think he's had that from women before. Which is quite sad.

He's very aloof. He doesn't have any close friends, just friends from his interests like pool, poetry, acting jobs, etc. He's very comfortable with me. And I think that this will just keep building. :)

russian doll said...

I completely forgot to say what I meant by 'meltdowns'.

Its when he becomes very stressed or overwhelmed or anxious he has a meltdown. It's basically an extreme emotional/physical response to stress or overstimulation. I'd never seen him have one before, but since we began spending more time getting to know each other and spending time together, they became more frequent.

Meltdowns are time limited and are caused by “sensory overloads” - an overwhelming situation, sensory or cognitive overload, novel situations or sudden change, transitions or reactions to severe stress and a shutting down of the sensory systems. This results in cognitive dysfunction, panic and the individual may become hypersensitive. Afterwards, there may be feelings of shame, remorse or even humiliation.

Now my interest has apologised to me for having meltdowns and when I first saw him having them, he wouldn't even look at me because he was so embarrassed.

He tries to control these meltdowns by biting down on his index fingers, which is why he now has pretty big calluses on them.

Also, to avoid becoming so stressed out which results in these meltdowns, aspies tend to surround themselves with routines and predictability to avoid strange situations and provide a sense of security.

I don't know my aspie interest's routines and behavioural patterns yet but as we get closer, I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Russian Doll, thanks so much for your response. I will look those two books up and see if they help.
Glad to hear your romance is going well. x

russian doll said...

Update:

I emailed him to ask if he wanted to do anything this weekend. He replied; "we'll see. I might have a gig. Will let you know."

I feel a bit anxious after reading that vague reply. But he's being honest.

russian doll said...

Update:

We're going out on Sunday to celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls on the same day as Valentines Day this year strangely enough. But we're not going out for V.Day, its for Chinese New Year. :)

russian doll said...

Update:

Well, we went out to Leceister Square for Chinese New Year. We ahd a meal and talked about ideas for the Manson play.
Then we went for drinks. He asked me how I am, and meant it personally. So I told him and he was very supportive and loving. We talked forever about politics, theatre, poetry, and our grandparents. He is actually very intuitive. Then we just went walking for an hour or so, in silence, hand in hand, in the rain. We got completely drenched but neither of us wanted to go inside anywhere, we just wanted to keep walking. It was a lovely comfortable silence.

Then on the way home he told me that if I didn't mind, he'd like to stay friends for now, and he doesn't want to lead me on. He said some other stuff too but I couldn't here over the noisy tube ride.
He still wants to be friends, and he enjoys my company, he wants to continue to work together and hang out. In fact, it's his birthday week after next, and he'll be going home for a while. but when he gets back, we're going to get together to watch some films at his place. He said I'm a good friend, a very understanding friend, and he feels happy and comfy with me.

but he doesn't want to take it further right now. He just wants to be friends for now.

I appreciate his honesty, and that he doesn't want to lead me on. But nevertheless, I do feel lead on to a point. I am very dissappointed, as my feelings haven't gone away, and I fear that they won't either for a long time, or ever for that matter.
But I guess there is still hope because he said friends FOR NOW. He didn't write me off completely.I've heard this from him before, he said it on our first date way back in October/November. I know he needs friendship first and that that can take a while before it leads to anything more.
So, I'm still hopeful. Should I be?

C. said...

Hi Russin Doll
Well that is a hard one. I haven't had a computer at home for a bit due to having moved and it has taken forever to get the internet so I am REALLY behind on my reading here but not because I want to be..will have the net on Friday of this week I hope.

I thought at first it was a case of "well we are friends" for you but I wonder if asking him that question as much as asking here would be the best. He is the only one that can truly tell you.... I know that is hard because you want a YES! And certainly at least a yes or no is easier then my I don't know....but you have a great and wonderful friend first off.

I asked my partner Steve and read your last entry to him. His response was you are probably just hitting an area that is too close for him right now and just don't walk away as that can be just as bad if not worse. It is a catch 22 meaning you are probable hitting where his limits are of what he can cope with in being close to him now, but Steve suggested that he would not recommend pulling back at this point either because he probably does like you still but wants his space too. If you have any interests then pursue your own interests but keep in touch with him and see where it goes from there. It is a judgment call because if you want to be closer and he is not capable of that then there is not much point in it. But he will respond in time with what he is capable of dealing with and over time then that is the person you will need to work with dependent on the level of intimacy he is comfortable and capable of.

And with that I could not get much more out of Steve and I told him he is not sounding too hopeful but the realistic logical Steve ended up with ..well in time you will find out as a conclusion but don't give up hope quite yet. And then he said "Are we going to get pancakes? (it is Shrove Tuesday here and that is a tradition)... and with that answering questions just ended here LOL sigh.... but there is an Aspie answering your question..other then that he also said when I asked if you would end up as a couple "How would I know I don't know them". So... it was fun as a conversation here anyways to have just to see what the response might be. Don't take it badly it was just a curiousity this end as to what he might think as we live this kind of stuff sometimes :) Hang in there!!!
Hugs! C.

russian doll said...

C,
Nice to here from you and Steve. Glad to hear things are going well on your end. :)
I know what I want to do, which is exactly what Steve commented; stick it out, be friends. I'm really happy to have him as my friend for now.

So, like I've said before. I'm happy to go at his pace. And yes, in time, he'll be more open about his specific needs and limitations and I'll work with and around them...

I also did a naughty thing; I pre-ordered the film 'Adam' last year didn't I? It arrived the other day and I told myself not to watch it, wait until me and my interest get together and we'll watch it together. But I couldn't wait and watched it. I have to say C, it is a very very good film.
I couldn't help but compare my aspie interest though, and he is certainly mild AS (as he has told me) compared to the character in the film.
Nevertheless, watch it C. And Gavin. And whoever else follows this thread. It is an interesting film, subtle humour, they treat AS with care (it was never ridiculed), and very uplifting.

russian doll said...

Wow! Long time since anyone's posted on here!

An update: Well, today is the last day for me to clear my nan's house and then we have to give the keys back. It's sad because I spent most of my time there as a kid and there's a lot of good memories created in that house. But, oh well.

My interest got back from Scotland. I emailed asking if he'd like to see a show in a couple of weeks that I got discount tickets for. And we're going.
He spoke to me about being in a bad mood over Scotland (where he's from originally). He had a rather draining week up there so he's glad to be back in London.
I'm incredibly busy with rehearsals for a new show so I'm doing my thing, he's doing his, and we'll be hanging out and catching up inbetween. Which is great. He gets his space, I get n with my life, and maybe this will allow him the space to realise I'm not going to push him or manipulate him and that I'm ready when he's ready.
We're very good friends. And in terms of closeness, I really am the closest person he's had to a friend in the way I understand friendship. So I hope things develop; they already have if he's let me in this close so far.

:)

russian doll said...

Update:

Went to the show, 'A Clockwork Orange'. They actually made a stage version of the book and film. And believe me, if you've seen the film, you know what you're going to be seeing on stage, but it's still shocking and cringe-worthy all the same!
Anyway, my interest met me at my university. A couple of my friends had tickets too so they came along with us. He was very quiet. Later on I popped into a shop to get some flowers for a friend of mine in the show, and he came in with me. He apologised for being so quiet and told me that he wasn't comfortable with people and would've been more himself with just me. Which I know, and understand; from what I've learned about AS, it's perfectly normal being aloof (not that it never was or anything).
Before the show started I put my hand on his knee, just a reassuring thing. He held my hand for a while.
At the end of the night, we kissed goodbye and hugged, and he said we'll get together soon for a catch up and just to hang out in general. As we do. :)

C. said...

HEY Russin Doll Thanks for the Terrific Update!!! WOW you have come A LONG WAY :o) with your partner and it is pretty neat!!!

As for us, we are doing ok. Life is a bit overwhelming as I have now with alot of new appointments for both of us as we finally are connecting to the mental health support system here to try to get things back on track with finacial, social supports and therapy stuff. I need to do some legal work also and that is huge as an issue to me so it is stressful. We are going to be doing some work together as a couple I think around his family and my anger towards them for not being the supports or accessing assessments and systems for him but instead watching him crash. Even after he crashed last year they did not put the mental health supports in place and we are only doing that now finally..that makes me mad to be honest because alot of problems we have now could have been worked on far earlier and with far less crisis that we have hit now. Not for my lack of trying earlier to reach his doctor (who works under Steve's brother in law in the same practice)..or the nurse practicitioner who was playing psychiatrist and then telling steve he shouldn't be with me (she also works under Steve's brother in law)...messy and really just not helpful. So we are getting out of that and starting over with a whole new community and a whole new set of professionals that are not connected to Steve's family. With that comes alot of stress my end even though I know it will be helpful in the end I am finding it overwhelming to be honest.

So I am working full time and trying to keep it all together, but could use a holiday. That said Steve is wonderful to come home to and I love him dearly :o)

Life in time will be ok.
C.

russian doll said...

Hey C,
I'm glad things are slowly, but surely getting better. I hope they will. I'm happy you and Steve are sorting things out. Have you seen 'Adam' yet?

Update:
Well, I got my results in from last semesters work. I got a C for my directed piece which deserved an A. Everyone who knows about my grade are in shock and totally disagree (I'm doing a performing arts degree). So, I was very upset and I need to contest it which means to challenge it and get my work re-evaluated.
I text my interest asking if he was going to a certain poetry night, that i was having a really bad day and needed some poetry and a hug. He told me what time it started so I met him at the Poetry Cafe. He was already there. He paid for me and then gave me a huge hug. I started crying. I quickly excused myself to compose myself. Came back, he held me and we talked it out aout what happened and how I was feeling. He was very supportive. Held me most of the night, stroked my hair. I fell asleep in his arms.
Then the wife of the guy who runs the poetry night came over to congradulate my interest on his set and said to me "you have a very talented boyfriend". Long pause. He didn't say anything, I didn't say anything. I finally said "we're just friends right now" and then he said the same.

We are very much like a couple, without any of the intimate things like kissing and sex. Everything else we do. He's really comfortable around me, he trusts me. I'm being patient.

He made me feel better and made me feel very safe last night. I also feel very special because I know it is a struggle for him to be so intimate.


I should be seeing him on Sunday for another poetry evening. which will probably be followed by another update!

russian doll said...

Update:

Tonights poetry slam (competition between poets) was quite scarce. Usually it's packed out with up to 15 poets going head to head. Tonight there were only 2. My interest was doing the open mike. He kindly signed up to do the slam to help out the host.
very quiet night between us. I reckon it was because we were in an open environment with enough people to call it a crowd. As soon as we left I couldn't get him to stop talking! :)
He knows how to make me laugh now, and he does so, often. I rarely make him laugh though. I'm sure I'll figure out his sense of humour in time.
He was talking to himself quite a bit tonight as we walked to the bus stop. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him staring at me.

Then I heard his conversation with himself. He said "you're in love with her, no you're not in love with her". And that's verbatim. Word for word, that's exactly what he said, and he repeated it a few times.
I think he's questioning if he's in love with me.


...I'm still in shock. Because I'm not in love with him, but I do like him a lot and care about him a great deal. Our understandings of love are very different. If anything, according to my NT understanding of love, he's infatuated with me. As I am with him. We're infatuated with eachother.

But nevertheless, I'm looking forward to where this friendship is headed.

Gavin you were so right.

That's a major update. I don't think I'll be seeing him for a week or so now because of performance committments on both our parts. But I'll keep posting and updating.

C. said...

Defining Love is so strange really isn't it? Not sure what to say Russin Doll other then quite interesting really! Wonder if he is trying to define love for himself? Pretty neat anyways!

Update..well life here was good really but I might have made a mistake in that I brought another cat into our apartment...she is lovely as a personality and Steve's cat HATES HER...and you can guess that it is something new, he was there but didn't exactly pick to bring her home and ....he is VERY protective of HIS cat. So when Steve's cat is not happy then Steve is stressed and I can see it in all of a few hours...Darn It! He said last night "we will SEE how it works out"....Oh Oh!!! My CAT! LOL darn it....she is SO friendly....oh boy...

Anyways life is ok. I was upset yesterday morning at the thought of loosing my house (it is one we don't live in now due to moving but it is now empty and hard to pay the bills for at this point). SO anyways I was debating back and forth if I keep it and move there or what I am to do with it??? If I rent it out and the new tenents pay then that would be ideal but??? A gamble in any case...

So Steve was busy tring to cheer me up. He reads feeling quite well. So he says "Well You have Me!" and after saying that a couple time and my not exactly feeling better...he was really trying! In any case I said OK, if there is you on one hand and my house on the other, which one is going to be around longer? His answer was "Me". I Said "So your going to be around in 30 years???" and he answered "Yes". "REALLY?? Your going to be living here in 30 years?" I reply...and he said "Well Yes, that is unless we move somewhere else together.".... I am still thinking to myself AWWWWW what a nice guy! :o)

Hopefully he cheers up soon with the change in the apartment last night as I think he is a bit worried about the new cat ....... wondering if we should return her BEFORE I get more attatched???? She is WONDERFUL.... ohoh maybe I am attached already.... :o)

Guess something to work out...
C.

C. said...

Update..I know this sounds funny, but the latest update today is that Steve explained his rough time last night by saying he had no time to himself and was totally overwhelmed by late last night and just not coping. I had not seen that in a long time now...and he got a bit of time and went out for a bike ride this morning on his own and he is back to being fine :O)

In any case an Update on the New Cat...Steve said that his cat will get use to her and it will take a few weeks at least. He was cute though in that he said "when Shadow finally gets use to her and likes her, then they can be a 'Couple'"...looks at me and smiles. TOO CUTE! Then he said something about there are two of everything now..meaning pets (2 little dogs, 2 bunnies, 2 hamsters, now 2 cats...and a few chinchillas that live in 2 or mores). TOO Many Pets but we love them and for stress relief they are great to spend time with and just relax. In any case Garfield the cat (who ironically is a female and came with that name)..looks like Shadow only a bit bigger, orange tabby and white chest, some on the face and some on the paws..you would swear as Steve says "they could be bookends". Sorry I can't post a picture here to show you.

In any case I think Steve has finally figured out what "being a two" can be like...he finally understands what it means to be a couple and values that :o)
C.

russian doll said...

That's lovely C. that made me smile so much. It's lovely to read something like that after the rough time you've been through these past few months. I hope you have even happier times ahead of you both.


My end, nothing really to update. I really won't be seeing my interest this week. I'm so busy with my production it is quite insane. I have to make a forrest in a room that is 27m in length by 13m in width. And we only have a budget of £1000 to go for costume and set and marketting. So I am begging, borrowing and stealing trees, ivy and whatever other greenery I can find!
You should've seen me last week walking around with a 6ft connifer under my arm just strolling to uni. Carrying that on the tube was a lot of fun, with interesting inquisitive looks from all around!

I might as well name my interest. I don't know why I haven't before. His name is Alain [pronounced Alan]. He really is the most interesting, unique and sweetest man I've met. And I look forward to seeing where this 'friendship' is headed.

russian doll said...

Update:

I am so tired. I haven't slept for days. Rehearsals are wonderful but they really do drain away all my energy.
I text Alain to see if he'd like to get together this week, but on second thought with how tired I am, I sent him a message saying I'd rather not if it was ok with him. He replied that he was going to suggest getting together today or tomorrow. Oh well.

He's also coming to my final performance which is lovely. It's a great show too so I'll be very proud to have him there.

russian doll said...

Update:

I went over to Alain's place last night to watch 'Adam'. I shouldn't have watched it before, I was very tired and because I knew what was going to happen, I lost interest. Same with Alain; we'll have to watch it again another day when we're not so tired.
I left at 11pm(ish) to get the last train home.
It was a very good night. We cooked spagetti bolonese together. He's never cooked before, so I think I'll be lending him some recipe books. He was very nervous, but sweet and endearing. In the 5 years he's been staying in his flatshare, the whole 5 years he's been down in London, he's never had anyone, male or female back to his flat. So I was a bit of a breakthrough for him.

He was very happy to have me there. His flatmate looked a bit shocked, I suppose because Alain's never brought anyone home before.

He was talking to himself again, this time it was more sexual, and I won't mention what he said here, but he was certainly excited to have me there.

He read me poetry, recited me poetry, sang to me. Very very sweet and romantic. He asked if I planned on staying the night; I told him I didn't plan to. We are technically still just friends, and if I did stay, we'd probably go too far too soon if you know what I mean.

He showed me the view from his balcony of Canary Wharf and the city; it was lovely. He wrapped his arms around me and held me. It was lovely.

We still haven't kissed yet though.

The end of the night came and he was going to walk me to the station when he got a text from a friend about his old mentor. She died. And suddenly things changed. I have never seen a man get so distraught. He was shaking and trying not to cry. I didn't know what to do. I apologised and gave him a huge hug, just held him for a while. Walking to the station he wouldn't let go of me. Kept kissing my hand.

Then at the station he said "thanks for tonight, it was lovely, you're a good friend, I am really very fond of you and I care about you a lot, get home safe". We kissed and hugged goodbye and that was it.

He may go home to Scotland today because of the situation. I hope he does, he hasn't got anyone here in London who knew his mentor to sit and talk to. He hasn't really got any family here in London. He'll let me know. We were going to do a poetry night tonight but I sent him a message saying if he doesn't go, maybe the poetry night isn't a good idea, and instead we could just get together and talk. He's very talkative and open.

It was a lovely night up until he got that message. I hope he's ok, or will be ok.

russian doll said...

Update:

He didn't go home. I suppose with it being good friday he couldn't get a ride.
We went to a poetry night. He was out-of-it a bit, which is understandable considering the circumstances. we were very quiet. I started feeling very ill. So I left halfway through, so did Alain because he wanted to pop to an internet cafe.
It was like I was drunk (I don't drink). I was feeling pretty awful and he shouldn't have let me go home like that on my own, even though I said I'll be ok.
I ended up being followed most of the way home. I must of had "easy" written on my forehead or something. It was scary.
I had 10 missed calls from Alain and 3 messages. The last 2 were apologies. I didn't want to answer because of the state I was in, I didn't want to be distracted at all incase this stalker did something. I answered the 11th call when I got home.

I don't think I've been that scared before.

It's nice to know Alain cares about me enough to call so many times to see if I'm ok. even so, I've told him if I get ill like that again, not to let me go home, or at least not go home alone.

C. said...

Russin Doll I am SO GLAD YOU ARE OK!!!! Very scarey!!! I am not suprised to hear that Alain let you go home on your own..as much as he is caring if you said you were ok to go then he would take you at your word face value. My guess is you very seldom will return alone going home again as he will feel terrible that you were not ok and in danger...guessing this end but you have now told him not to let you walk home alone. Think in black and whites litterally. He will think he is definitely suppose to do something or he is definitely not, but there is little to no grey. In any case I am relieved to hear you are safe...did you report this to the police? If not I would suggest it so that they keep a bit of an eye on the area you were in and maybe even your residence for the next while as part of their regular patrols. It is best that they know in any case even if they don't find the guy it might be your own or someone elses safety if they know what is going on. Anyways TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!!!!
Sending you a hug! Or several in this case!! C.

russian doll said...

Hey C,
Yeah, I'm ok. Bit shaken about it. I've told the police. Recently they've had more police out on the beat but there were none that I could see in this particular area. So they're going to consider putting a couple on walk-abouts now (hopefully).

I don't get it. Alain and I are practically doing everything couples do bar having sex and kissing. All the love and affection is there, and he shows it in his sweetness, and he is very touchy feely, which I love. But we're still just friends. I like him, he likes me. I want more, I know he wants more. He certainly cares about me, and I care about him. I'm probably being very impatient; we have come a long way since our first date in October last year.

russian doll said...

Update:

I got a reply from alain. "You're a mate and I was concerned that something like that might happen. Glad you survived it. See you soon, no doubt."

I never know where I stand with him. His actions and his words say 2 very different things.
He says I'm a good friend. He's fond of me and cares about me. He said weeks ago he just wanted to be friends for now.
But he holds me, kisses my hands and touches my hair. I've overheard his conversations with himself and he's questioned whether he loves me. Many people have questioned whether we're together or not.

So where do I stand? what do I do?

C. said...

Hi Russin Doll, I know it is strange about relationships. Steve and I have dated over a year and lived together now over a year. He will say he "likes" me, enjoys my company. But he never ever says I love you. It is really strange because he thinks that love is "fireworks" and had that with a few women so if that is no there, which I guess with me it isn't, then he is not "in love". I shake my head because if I ask if he is going to be around long term he says yes. If I ask if he likes living together he says yes (which before was no)...and if I ask him if he will marry me, he says he is not ready..well more recently he said "I like suprises and I may suprise you some day"....but then he may not. So???? Who KNOWS! But in any case one of your more recent entries said that he kissed you???..... How about asking him if he would mind if you kissed him...what is the worst he can say but that he wouldn't be comfortable. Relationships are strange to begin with but add aspie and NT and boy I find them a puzzle almost LOL :o) but a good one! C.

russian doll said...

Hey C,
It is in deed, very puzzling. We've never kissed intimately. We've only ever kissed goodbye, hello, and when he's been upset or I've been upset, we've kissed on the cheek or the forehead. Recently he kissed my hands a lot. But we've never kissed intimately.
He seems comfortable to do everything else like holding me around my waist. I guess it's just a matter of time.
So glad I've got you C to mull these things over with. :)

C. said...

Hi RD,
I agree it is interesting to hear how things are going!

Life here is ok. Easter was nice with my family and Steve decided that he would not return calls to his family who expected him for dinner for Easter. He has been invited the past two weekends and since they HATE me I am not welcome to come. Basically he is realizing that if he wants me as his family then he has to stand up and say that their attitudes are not ok. Once he even went as far as saying that if they can't accept me then they don't need to call him...this is huge. Mind you what he says to me and what he ends up saying to them very likely will not be the same.

In any case since I have to work for Easter supper we had Easter breakfast which I made him and serve in bed. Pancakes and sausage..it was good. I was up to early, ended up going back to bed for a nap. Tonight he went to my parents again to have dinner even though we were there last night. He had plans to then go down to the river to do some photography and take his bike for a ride. Overall I think he is doing ok with the move now being here in my home town. I find his family so hard to deal with because they want him in their lives but they are so strong that it is wrong that we are together that he litterally has to chose and he did choose them and that was Very short lived and then he moved here with me. I wish I could see the future as he really still does not want to get married and I find that really hard. We have lived together now for over a year and I want that link between us. Normally maybe it would not matter but I want to know he is serious and staying or that he may leave..when asked he never ever indicates he will be leaving which I find strange as given the events just in January where he was ending us it is a really big change in his attitude and approach. Mind you he now doesn't have the contact he had with his family which was a cause to create some real confusion for him and tension. When I suggested recently moving back to my house that is down where we use to live he commented that he does not want to live in that area because of his family. Christmas day his sister said that she had "people keeping an eye on him". Now he does not feel comfortable living there because he wants to live his life with some sense of privacy. I can't blame him really.

Anyways back to work!
C.

russian doll said...

Hey C

To be honest, I think a year is quite a short time. Don't live thinking about the future, concentrate on the here and now. I know how you feel, in that you would like some indication of where the relationship is headed.
Why don't you ask him to write down how he thinks and feels about it. It'll give him time to mull it over and the response will be more thought through.
I'm glad things are going well your end. You both sound a lot happier. Have you watched 'Adam' yet?

Gavin Bollard said...

Russian Doll,

I'm glad things are ok with you. I was a bit alarmed by your post a few days back. You need to keep safe.

It's not surprising that Alain let you go home when you told him that you were ok. He wouldn't have expected you to tell him anything except the truth.

What is surprising is that he left all those messages. He obviously realized what was going on afterwards. That's common for people on the spectrum because we often process body language after the conversation has ended (since we can't keep up during conversations).

It's clear that Alain is thinking about you a lot. It's clear that he cares and it's likely that he's accepted his feelings for you.

If you want him to kiss you properly, I think you're going to have to ask him directly. He's not likely to make such a move on his own.

Next time he's kissing your hand, just ask him to kiss you on the lips. The worst he can do is say "no" - and that could be a sensory issue as much as anything else. It will give you an opportunity to ask why not?

Something tells me that you won't need to ask that question.

russian doll said...

Thanks for that Gavin. I figure that I will be driving the relationship if we do eventually get together.

I think he has his own notions of romance. The first time was on a balcony in a music bar where he was talking to himself about me, plucking up the courage to kis me. The second time was at his where he took me out onto the balcony and held me around the waist. It was very romantic indeed, and I think we would've kissed, but had to quickly check on the food I would've burned otherwise. hee hee!

Update:
We met last night again at another poetry night. I actually went to see him, not poetry. He came late. He came over to me in the interval and apologised for the last time when I was ill, and I said to him again that if I got like that again, not to leave me. He performed some darker poetry, no doubt because he's quite depressed with just losing his drama mentor. she helped him a lot from an early age and she was a friend as well, much more than a mentor. So he's taken it quite badly. But considering that, he's still up and about doing poetry.

We both left early. He said "you don't have to follow me everywhere, I'm ok, I'm not going to commit suicide or anything like that". He didn't say it in a rude way or mean it in a rude way, at least, if he did I didn't pick up on that. He walked me to the station.

He's going home to Scotland tomorrow for the funeral on Monday. There was a book stall still running outside the station so he was browsing while I left. Then I found that the tube lines were down, so I had to make my way to another station. I came out and Alain was still there. He came over and asked what's wrong so I told him. We walked up a bit and he asked what I was going to do. We were both going the same way home, but ended up parting ways to get different buses. I could've gone with him. But his whole demeanour last night made me feel that he didn't want to see me or be with me.

I was hurt by that but after some well processed thoughts, I realised that this is how he handles grief. He needs his space and solitude to deal with it. It's not directed to me personally. He told me he's trying to move on now and start that process so he doesn't get into that circle of self pity and depression.

I gave him a sympathy card, saying I care about him a lot, and ended with "your (my name)".

He needs space right now. I'll see him in a week or so after the funeral.

russian doll said...

Update:

It ended before it even began. Alain sent me a long email telling me that although he enjoys my friendship and all my support, he isn't physically attracted to me and this is unlikely to change. He apologised if he had lead me on, which he did. I don't think he realised that what he did and what he said were 2 very different things.

I'm still happy to be friends with him. But I'll need a lot of time. Because, as much as it pains me to say it, I think I was slowly falling in love with him. I'm glad he was upfront with me, but sadly, this is the way things are.

Gavin Bollard said...

Ouch!

That's terrible news. It's hard to tell if that's the grief or something else. He seems terribly confused.

It's his loss.

C. said...

RD I am sorry that you got this news....and on the eve of him going to a funeral I hate to say it but it is not suprising. I know that might sound strange at first but actually AS seems to require solitude and due to the grief he will push anyone away that is close to him. I may be wrong and Galvin can tell me, but from my experience in crisis they self isolate and BIG TIME. So, Steve told me several times over him was not in love with me and when just asked 1 minute ago "So Steve do you love me now?" His answer was to look at me, stop, not want to answer and then said "I still like you alot".....meaning he is not "in love" with me....next question for him was "Steve if you don't love me, will you be living with me in 10 years"..answer "Ya".... You figure it out????? Makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to me. Too honest of answers...very likely from my end YES.

Hang in there....let him get over the grief stuff and when he figures out you are moving on...see where he ends up. You just never know.

In the mean time do something nice for yourself...it sometimes doesn't feel like it but it helps.
Hug, C.

russian doll said...

"Whilst appreciate all your support, (my name), I should tell you (and I take no pleasure telling you this) that I'm sorry, but you will not get any more than friendship out of me. You have said you are OK with this before but remarks you have made to me since then indicate that you expect feelings to develop at some point. I regret to inform you, (my name), that this will not be the case. Whilst I think it's cool that we have things in common and seem to be on the same wavelength, I am simply not attracted to you physically so a relationship is not possible in that sense. I am happy to remain friends and meet up but I am not going to change my mind on this matter. I hate to be so firm but I am just leading you on otherwise. If I have led you on thus far and hurt your feelings this way, then I am rightly shamed for it.

If by chance you should find someone with whom you find that kind of connection, I shan't be bitter and will be very happy for you.

I am sorry to have to say these things to you but it is vital they be said.

Thanks again for everything and I will see you soon."


That was his response. And I just read your responses C and Gavin. Very suprised by your response C. The above email shows me that he's adimant that he doesn't want anything more than friendship. Its very to the point and precise and tought-out.

So what do I do? Where do I go from here?

To me, that says to move on. Despite all the mixed signals he gave me, maybe I should take his word for it. I'll still be friends with Alain, but I'll need time before I see him again.

Is this a common thing with aspergers? Being pushed away to such a degree? I see Alain once or twice a week, and we often keep in touch over facebook and email.

In fact he sent me a text last night after I replied to his email. He asked if I'm ok. I replied simply, that I wasn't.

C. said...

Hi RD...Ok I read Alain's email and ouch :o( I think that AS is often to the point and when pushed they become more to the point black and white, but this is in fact very strongly worded with intent :o( Good he wants to be friends, but seems to have missed the point that what he wrote would hurt..again he says he knows, but not really to the depth I think...Galvin would be able to comment more then me on that one I think.

In any case, yes I have to agree that taking some space would be a good idea at this point, he will understand that much and will take you black and white at your word of what you need now. For example if you say 2 weeks and mean a week and a half...he will think 2 weeks is 2 weeks and that is that...or at least that is my experience.

So???? Moving on, well in love that is a process that takes some real time. Be good to you!!! You need to be and don't loose touch as we are still here...sending a hug
C.

tulie said...

I have been following this blog with great interest because I too am in a situation much like C and Russian Doll, although the man I love and I are in our late 50's. We have been 'seeing' each other for about 4 years now, and even though he is the most special man I have ever met, and I enjoy his company more than anyone else I have ever known, it is the most frustrating relationship anyone could ever imagine(other than people in my situation!). Each time we get together many things have to begin again - like the movie,'50 First Dates'. I have grown accustomed to much of what goes on, but continually wonder if this will ever progress, and often in between visits or calls I get depressed wondering if he cares about me at all or just carries on as he does with me because he wants to please me and not hurt me. Reading your blog entries usually gives me hope and understanding as so much of what I have read is so similar to the experiences which I have - sometimes so much so that I feel I could have written what you all write.

I feel sad for Russian Doll about this last letter - I may have missed your saying this, but has he ever told you he was attracted to you before? because if he has, then I would say he is just so upset about the recent death that he needs time alone and is reacting to this and things may go back to how they were. My man also emphasizes that he only wants friendship with me, but he goes way beyond friendship in his behavior. This is the stickiest part I have to deal with - He just wants me in one little part of his world - I fit in one of the boxes on the side - I know I am special and important but not part of the whole and I have no idea if I ever will have that opportunity - and at my age I don't want to wait too long to fill that gap in my life.

I have often toyed with the idea of talking to him about being an Aspie - however worry that giving someone a tag may make him very uncomfortable - yet I think that would help somehow - that if he knew that I understood and can deal with his need for a lot of private and alone time, that he may feel safer with me in a bigger role in his life - I wonder how everyone feels about this and if I can get suggestions on how to approach this sensitive subject.

I wish I had some positive words for Russian Doll - I hope that you can remain friends no matter what - I worry that is all I might have in the long run too and it is very difficult for me to accept that is all I will get. When I am with him I recognize a sense in myself that is very very comfortable - as if we are meant to be together - and yet at our age it might be too late for him to open to that sort of love. He sings little songs to me with the love word - but never tells me he loves me - so I have no way to know .. Anyway I hope that if I cannot 'be' with him in the future, I hope I can find a way in my heart to remain friends because he is worth knowing in so many ways.

I would really appreciate some suggestions on whether it is a good idea to discuss Aspergers with him or not, and how to do it gently if you agree it is a good idea.

Thanks

russian doll said...

Hi Tulie,

No, he had never said to me before that he was attracted to me. The only compliments I've ever got from Alain is "you're a good friend, I'm very fond of you, I care about you a lot, you're interesting and original". I have to say, he has always told me that he wants to be friends for now, friends first. He's never said that things wont develop, because he doesn't know (who really does). The future is a hard concept and to say things will happen just can't be done because you dont know for sure that they will. And even so, even if your an aspie, your body won't lie if you like someone.
Alain was very touchy feely, and lovely and gentlemanly. We were very much like a couple bar sex and kissing.

That's one of the difficult things with AS;
realising that they like someone is quite difficult. When it comes to love, it's even harder. It's not like pain where you know immediately because its physically there in front of you. Love is very different, like is very different.

I must say though, I should have known that a lot of others were in the same position as me. I didn't realise the vastness of it though. Although I must say, I think in my situation, Alain has made it very clear that he just wants friendship. And I don't think I'll get more than that. Despite the mixed signals, if he's not attracted to me, then there's not much I can do about that.

I read as much as I could and found out as much as I could about AS so I knew what to expect and how to behave with Alain beforehand. That's how I stumbled onto this blogsite which has been a great help.
When I spoke to Alain about his AS, I asked him straight out what it was, although I had a good idea myself. It was interesting to hear what he had to say. You could ask your interest to tell you what he knows about AS, what his opinions of it are. To do it gently, just make sure you let him know you are asking honestly and innocently, and that you are not asking out of malice or to analyse him and make him only identifiable as an aspie. He is a person too. He knows this, but to hear it from you would mean a lot, and he'll know he's not being singled out.

I know how you feel Tulie. It is veryhard to accept that friendship is all you'll get, when you want so much more.
I know from reading about AS, some aspies do compartmentalise relationships as well. It is just easier for them.
Write him a letter, tell him how you feel, what you want, ask what he wants, ask for a response. It may be easier for him to respond to that; it'll give him time to think about his answer. Communication is key.
He also needs to realise that a relationship is a 2 way thing, with both partners giving and taking, not just him.

And you Tulie, what I have learned is that you need to put yourself first, as he puts himself first. Look after yourself. Afterall, the majority of NTs who have aspie partners are very much caregivers; we almost want to look after them, and are attracted to our aspie interests gentleness. But they don't need looking after. They cope very well on their own, before we came along and they will so afterwards as well. Start to look after yourself, don't dedicate yourself to him. He doesn't expect it, he may not want it, and he's not returning that level of caring and love. Make it as equal as possible.

I hope that helps.
Russian Doll.

C. said...

Hi Tulie

Well we are not too far off in age in that I am 40 and my partner Steve is 48.

When I read if you should talk to him about AS my sense is a strong YES! One of the things that is different between Steve and I and Steve and his family is that he has said over and over and over again that I talk to him about AS and I therefore seem to understand him. I talk to him straight on about AS and I then talk to him indirectly about it through naming what he will need or something I know that is an AS trait and then that this is a normal reponse for him. So for example...if Steve is working on something and he is concentrating and getting frustrated I ask him "Do you need to take a break and stop?" Now he may or may not choose to stop but I then name that I can see he is frustrated with it and is it better to stop or continue with what he is working on. He picks either at points but he knows that I know that if it goes badly then he will become overwhelmed and loose it because he can only handle being frustrated to a point. So naming that I know this has been helpful for both of us. And it gives him license then if he does need to stop for a while and come back to something later on. Steve has said several times over that he appreciated the time I have taken to learn about AS and who he is as a person and what his responses and needs are. He feels because I have taken that time and named it that I do understand him better then his family and that I cared anough to learn. He also often says he wishes his family had taken that effort because they often tell him what to do, how to act, what is right and wrong, etc. and are not open to how he sees the world, what he values and why his interests are so intense in some areas and he knows this about them and it really bugs him.

So talking about AS is openning up a whole new world for the relationship you can be in. It may not change his need to live alone. Steve said to me just two days ago that there is a part of him that is small that wishes he was on his own...that will always be there. If you can settle with dating and not living together then you likely will have your partner for life. From what I have seen jumping from relationship to relationship does not happen with AS and commitment and loyalty seem to be quite high when that kind of commitment is said or unsaid. The intention to hurt is often also very low. Steve says now that when he asked to end us back in January that the main thing he wanted to focus on what clearing out the house and he could not handle that task and me. So?

In any case talking about AS is a great idea, whether you are friends or lovers, or both. My guess is that he will know it is a part of his world and think that you have finally noticed and are just naming something which in his life is a fact. Hard to know as I don't know the two of you but let us know how it goes if that is the step that you choose to make!
C.

russian doll said...

Well, it's my 22nd birthday today. I have had a very good day. I didn't get any message from Alain, which kinda pissed me off. But I reckon when I said I need time, he probably thought not to wish me out of respect for me. That's what I think anyway.
There's also a poetry night coming up next weekend, the one I usually I go to. It's my usual haunt. He's not attending that, even though its his usual haunt too; I reckon this is also out of respect for me.

I'm doing great so far. I've figured out that I wasn't in love with him. I certainly had strong feelings for him, but I wasn't in love. If I was, this would be so much harder right now.

C, I will definitely keep in touch. I'll always be here giving and asking advice, because Alain is a very special guy, and I don't think I'll ever lose that friendship with him. I don't want to anyway.

Russian Doll x

C. said...

Hi RD
WOW Happy Birthday!!! :o) Always nice to see your getting older (until you reach certain ages and wonder where the years went but you are not close to that as yet!!!! :o)

Well life here is ok I guess other then work at this point. With all the challenges of life I guess the stress has caught up with me and in the end it has come into effecting me in doing my job...not good. So I heard about that yesterday and in the end will see but it is the steps towards being out the door. In the meantime the causes of the stress like cutting my hours so that financially it is very difficult they of course justify...nice. Anyways I have to remind myself that it is a job and not the end of life itself. With the stress the cut in hours would have been hard due to finances but honestly the time away from the responsibilities of working would have been healthy...now if I don't have work (which may or may not be the case but I will find out pretty darn soon), then it really is a case of then rethinking life. I want to move back to my house I own before I loose it and it is not close to my job and I have been struggling alot with that, but if I was able to relocated even if I wasn't working here anymore then as much as it would be finanically hard there, it will be financially hard here if I stay regardless. So......will let you know I guess. I have the next two days off (one oncall and the other off) so that might help. My partner Steve has been really supportive...of course not knowing what to say, but honestly really just taking care of me, making me dinner, etc. trying to be here for me so that has been good. He asked me what I would have done if he wasn't here and in the end I thanked him and said I hope he always is.

So....kind of a rough couple of days...hope it gets better.
C.

tulie said...

I have to say that I certainly appreciate the responses to my first post - many useful thoughts and suggestions I hope I can incorporate into my relationship. It is so tricky to have to think so carefully and plan things that need to be discussed or reviewed. And this is made even more difficult by the very fact that he doesn't really want to talk at all about sensitive or personal things - very private about most other parts of his life - just wants to have fun when he is with me and step out of his normal routine - almost fantasy like, we can be very silly and have a lot of fun together.

I think the idea of asking him if he has ever heard of Asperger's might be the best way to go. I guess if he hasn't I can describe the symptoms, and ask him if that sounds familiar to him and then somehow let him know that I appreciate many of these qualities and find them endearing . I sure hope he knows where I am going with this because if I flat out told him something like this, he might find my prying into his personality a breach of trust.

Russian Doll, I am glad you are doing so well - Happy birthday! I hope you two do get to be friends in the long run.

C. I hope your work situation becomes better - It is so nice to hear how Steve treats you. I know that my guy would be the same way if I were lucky enough to ever live with him - not talking much about the problems, but very supportive in the way you describe Steve to be. I got the chills thinking about how lucky you are to have him in your life as you do. How did you decide to move in together? Did you both have homes, and things accumulated in your life? Does he have a lot of stuff that he saves? Can he handle you moving anything around?

More soon I hope.

russian doll said...

Hey Tulie. I think yes it is a very good idea to talk to him about AS. Just make sure you tell him beforehand that you are not trying to invade his privacy or label him or anything of the sort, and that you are doing it as a friend/companion/someone who cares a great deal about him. Make sure he knows you are talking to him with good intentions.

Alain did wish me for my birthday, its belated. He simply wrote "Happy Birthday, (my name)". I didn't think he would. And it didn't bother me either way. It also seems that he has short term memory loss. I don't know if this is common amongst aspies or not. Alain is terrific at learning poetries for performance and lines and things like that, but when it comes to some little things it does slip his mind (I'm not talking specifically about my birthday but about a few things I noticed when we spent time together).
Is this memory loss or a selective memory thing? I don't mean this in a negative way, but because people with AS are very self-orientated, does this mean that a lot that isn't to do with the self tends to be forgotten?

tulie said...

R.D.
I am so worried to talk to him about this but feel its so necessary to do so - I know he has trust issues and never wants anyone to know much about him - He almost never talks about his reality, or what he does when he is not with me. We talk about what is going on around us in the moment, or what we have done before together. We rarely talk about people. He just can't or doesn't carry on that sort of conversation. And I think he would make fun of my having type-casted him into a label. However I know he is frustrated by how the outer world makes him feel, and I truly believe because of things he has said, that he deeply wishes he could connect differently or more smoothly with others.

So I hope that by getting this out in the open that we can recognize how different our needs are, and how I need to understand him better in order to treat him as he would like to be treated. Because of his self-centered-ness I really doubt that he will try any harder with or for me, just because it gets identified. He is constantly frustrated because of other's expectations - always wishing that he could just live his life without any exterior demands - He never asks anything of others and yet people are always calling and asking things of him - both work related and privately. I will be careful to let him know that I love him for who he is and that many Asperger characteristics are very desirable and appreciable.

However I really dont know how this new knowledge may feel to him - i have to hope that he will be flattered that i cared so much - wanting to be there for him - that i would try to understand why or how it is that he behaves as he does - i better be in the 'right' mood to get the conversation going - never easy to talk about feelings or very real thoughts and emotions..... i will use your line that i am not trying to invade his privacy, but i am afraid that he will still feel that is what i am doing.

My friend also writes simple lines on his cards to me - it feels that he does this because he doesn't want me to feel too close.

Now to talk about the short term memory loss. .... Alain is how old? It is the Asperger's and it helps me to answer what I haven't been able to figure out myself. Alain is way too young to have any memory loss I am sure. Here is an example as it pertains to my relationship: The day after we are together intimately he behaves as if he has no recall of what we have done. If he says really romantic or confessional things he cannot remember any of it afterward and will tell me I am making it up and that I am in a fantasy land. I never have understood this and it is very hurtful to my NT heart - as if he has no interest in me for a few days - right after he could hardly let go of me ! Of course when we are together it feels as if he has loved me intensely for 100 years, and that he is totally into me and then afterwards he puts his autonomous sign out. closed indefinitely. go figure.

Even though my friend has an incredible mathematical brain he definitely has trouble remembering birthdays or little things unrelated to him. His mind appears to be working on many other complex levels, which causes him to not seem to care about many things that are important to me. However he usually keeps track of when I am coming or going from town, but not necessarily in a moment by moment fashion.

It's also interesting to note that my friend is always quoting from the classics - plays, movies and songs -sometimes he comes up with the funniest quotes or songs that seem so foreign compared to the way his mind works. i often wonder if these lyrics or lines are reflecting on how he is actually feeling or thinking at that moment - because they are filled with emotion, and can describe things in a way that he cannot naturally do(he almost never speaks about his feelings...)

tata for now...

russian doll said...

Thanks for that Tulie. :)

alain does that too, with film/song quotes from time to time. I've wondered if its his way of giving me some insight into how he feels as well...

I don't think I'll be seeing Alain again until my performance which is at the end of the month. I think thats healthy for me, to have that break. I think I'm more or less back to my usual self. I don't think I was in love with him. I know I was getting there, but I wasn't just yet. Which is a blessing, or it would've hurt so much more, and for so much longer.

the show is forming well. I still have to source (too many) trees! It's stressful but going very well and I'm enjoying it. and it's provided me with a very good distraction.

Anonymous said...

I met a guy in my halls who I strongly suspect has AS.no one would ever think it because rather than coming off as shy and introvert, he carries himself with a confidence, almost an arrogance which makes everyone want to be his friend.I was surprised when he approached me.He confused me so much. Like most blogs I read up here, just when I'm beginning to know him or that I've got him all figured out, he slips away and I incessantly feel like I'm losing him.I found it strange that when our halls would serve us dinner, he wouldn't sit with me- in fact all year he has never sat with anyone. He makes sure he's first in line and quickly finishes his meal and then runs off in five minutes. Or in a group he won't say anything-just daydream and stare into space, give people short answers, and leave. It is so awkward not only for me but for everyone and I'd be questioning what was wrong with him, why he acted like this.He never initiates anything.Never to go out or to even meet up in the first place. also now that I'm away from him, I told him to set up an msn/webcam date because he's busy but when he replied, he didn't set anything up, he just said 'oo, sounds kinky'.When I'm with him, we're so close- and we get along so well. It's the times which we are apart that worry me. He lives literally one floor below me, but he won't contact me for 5 or 6 days at a time.This is when I freak out and think 'why isnt he contacting me? is he seeing someone else?' and it's back to square one when I feel like I'm losing him again.The way he asked me out was also a bit strange. He basically told me I was his girlfriend in French. That night, I was a bit annoyed with him because for two months, we only met in my room or in his room- I realised that he NEVER wants to leave the rooms. Every time I ask him to go out somewhere, he says 'no'. When I asked whether he was sure or not about it or why he wanted a relationship, he said 'well, you're the only girl that I proper-like at the moment.' Strange, I thought but I went along with it because I thought he would change. But it hasn't, I don't feel like I'm in a relationship at all but I like him so much and he always tells me that he loves spending time with me.Well now it's Spring break and I had travelled halfway around the world to visit my parents but he makes minimal effort to contact me. He asked me what number I was using back home but hasn’t done anything.Or when I had deactivated my facebook account, he texted me 'have you deleted your facebook account?' i wrote back 'yes its a distraction from studying but you are not a distraction we could still use msn and i miss you' he would just never write back, and then I sent another one saying 'clearly the feeling is not mutual' and he never wrote back. whenever i'm upset at him or frustrated by his behaviour (it's impossible for me to conceal it) he just ignores me for days. I felt like he was taking advantage of me but now that it's been three weeks since I've spoken to him properly and I'm not sure whether to give him his space or keep writing to him and receive disappointing responses.When I write him such loving emails, his are so cold but from the blogs up there, I can see why- that they are statements rather than questions and I don't exactly expect him to do anything but just be reassured that he likes me. His ambiguity really worries me and I don't know what I should do, whether I should ask him about his AS (I'm actually 99% sure he is an aspie but I'm not sure whether he knows it or not) or is it not my place? I feel like the relationship is not going anywhere...do I speak to him about this or do I remain patient and as the Beatles say, Let it Be?

C. said...

Well lots has happened in the past few days on this site..WOW!

Where to start...Well Anonymous welcome to AS and love. First off, remember the concept that when you are not there he is just fine and going on with his life. Now I personally use to take that HUGELY personally...after all I missed Steve and he could have cared less and was just on the go. Over time you would think that that would change for him, but really it hasn't other then when I am here if I don't fall into the same comforting routines with him that he is use to then he becomes unsure and almost to the point of insecure. (ie would be cuddling up at night exactly the same way every night before he goes to sleep.) So it sounds like your boyfriend got into comfortable, predicatable patterns with you in his room or yours where they were familiar spaced and life went the way it was suppose to go with no suprises, etc. very predictable and therefore safe.

Your comments about the eatting patterns sound so familiar. Steve use to insist on making only his own meal, eating when he wanted to and not together. We have gotten him to eating the same meal together (made by one or the other of us) and sitting down with me. He is still finished first as he eats VERY fast and when it is over it is done. Early on he would do that when we were out at a restaurant and he would get so impatient looking and bored that he would want to leave, sometimes I told him to go and I would eat the end alone, then there were a few times that I packed my meal and we just left...now I have learned he needs to wait for me to finish my dinner and if he really can't handle sitting that long I suggest that we talk or that he go outside the restaurant for a walk, etc. to take some pictures (his main interest in life). That seems to work. By the way unless told he is paying for lunch or dinner, I get the bill always.

So..do you go after him? Well ask very direct pointed questions that are simple but beyond a yes or a no answer. Comments made of your feelings likely do not initiate any need for a response. When asking Steve how he feels about something about us as an emotion...very difficult for him to answer at all. He looks for answers he thinks are right that I want to hear if anything and totally is at a loss for connecting. If I am upset though he sure knows it even when I am just too quiet and then he worries I am not ok somehow. I have told him to go after me and make me talk to him and things will work out best, he finally does this because he use to not know what to do and do nothing, which lead me to thinking he did not care what so ever...he has learned alot, beend guided alot and we have what I would consider more of a traditional relationship now..other then getting him to say I love you will not be happening and marriage is pretty iffy at best..maybe some day. But day to day life with Steve is good.

So....expect to make 150 % of the effort if you think you will continue this relationship. Knowing it is best to be closer in distance and direct with naming your needs and expectations. Hints don't seem to work. If he wants to please you then suggesting something that you want to do and then stating it would please you to do it period will maybe make him think he should come along....
phrased as a choice..well you will be doing only want he wants 100% of the time and that is not good. Use your voice and make it more equal to your needs as his is likely best.

some thoughts anyways right or wrong....it seems to be trial and error sometimes I think...
C.

Doreen said...

I am so glad to have found this web site. I was in a relationship with an Aspie man for 3 yrs. He is a wonderful, gentle, generous, affectionate and attentive man, but I started to talk about our future about a yr ago, and felt like I was walking on eggshells each time I brought it up. He said he couldn't marry me then, but didn't know why. After a few more discussions about our future over the past year, including my asking hime if he needed to go out and date others to know how he felt about me, he said absolutely not, and that he was committed to me. I just couldn't get a connection, and was so frustrated over the years, becoming more so recently. I am a caretaker, and codependent on top of it, although I'm happy to say a recovering codependent. So we fit together nicely for a while, but you can guess how things ended up in the long term. I became depressed and felt socially isolated. I am an outgoing person and after attempting a few times to go out with my friends with him, I realized it was an excercise in futility. I suspected a social anxiety disorder at first. To cut to the chase, I finally blew, like a volcano, one night on the phone after he didn't call me for three days because he suddenly started making a decision about buying a house he was renting, and this time didn't discuss it with me. I saw the detaching beginning. He broke off the relationship a few days later in an email. I was devastated. I did go to his house a few days later to collect my things and totally had a meltdown. I was sobbing and he was just following me around the house staring at me and studying me. He was totally calm and seemed aloof about it all. All that I have read about AS now makes perfect sense. I have fallen into a deep depression, and have dropped 20 pounds in a month. I am doing everything possible to get over this, and this blog has been unbelievably helpful. I still deeply love this man, but I don't wish to spend the rest of my life with him. My issue with this man breaking it off the way he did was the rejection I felt from my best friend not having the respect to be honest with me re: where we were in the relationhship, but now I know why. My big question was what would happen if I wrote him and brought up the subject of his having AS, and you answered it for me. I believe it will help me heal and get past this depression by making sense of it all. Do you think it's useless at this point? Will he even consider the possibility now? I still want to be friends with him. I care deeply and don't want to lose the friendship.

Doreen

C. said...

Dear Doreen
From your note left I can sense the level of pain you are in. Your AS guy will likely have very few if any friends is my guess and you were the closest person to him. That said he very likely gained focus on buying the house and it became an obsession (again a guess but if he has AS then...). That said he would not have known how to deal with your blow up and thought that the relationship logically would be over. Honestly he likely is wonderful and honestly he has ALOT of issues socially that are very complex.

I can only tell you what I know from my experience. If we ended things and Steve concluded it was over it would be over. Sure he would stay as a friend but that would distance over time if he saw it made sense and likely would only be to make sure I was ok. He would move on with his life and his interests and his focuses and when I was gone there is now no missing me, so there wouldn't be then.

We have lived together for a year. The problems with his family are still there. He is not working and says he should look for work and then does not act. I am caring for him physically, emotionally and financially. He is taking out the dogs daily and feeding and taking care of our cats. When I ask him to vacuum or do the dishes he does it. Financially he is contributing nothing because he has nothing... and from the looks of it he won't have unless I can get him onto ODSP for disability and CPP (Canada Pension Plan). He is basically a nice man, but Steve's focus and most pressing interest is Steve's interests. For example, He can kiss me and if his focus was on the cat you can watch his eyes still watching the cat.

So.... someone with AS is ALOT of work and in the end we are now on rocks. I can't put in 180% anymore. It is exhausting. I can't be the one to finance it all and then when ends can't meet be the only one worried about it. Socially we go out with my friends and he says absolutely nothing with anyone other then me unless he can be paired up one on one with someone.

I know depression is rough..I have it. I want you to take care of you. Go to your doctor, gets some advice and meds. Contact your friends and spend time with them. Get councelling if you need it. I work at a women's shelter and we do outreach counseling it is free so there has to be something in your area. You need to care for you and that is hard to go back to.

For us, Steve's needs always came first and I have started to resent it finally. Life was set up for him to be ok. And he has the same routine pattern each day with or without me. Well .... I need to take care of me too. And as wonderful as he is, yesterday he blew up about something that I told him in the past really bothers me (looking at women in bikinis on the net on my computer that I have paid for and the bill I pay for in a service every month..stupid maybe but it really bugs me)...so he blew. WELL.... how much can he care about how I feel??? He can't.

You love this man, yes I believe that. Is he capable of love? My conclusion so far is ...AS means capable of caring in active ways. Emotionally ... it is not due to love. And that is the part that likely hurts the most.

C.

C. said...

Update...
Well my comments about my relationship with Steve were pretty close to the results of today. He offered to pack and move his stuff out of my little house down there and has decided that he wants contact with his family who hate me and have actively ruined my career.

So ... we made up for now. But he has openly said that he has a place to rent out at the farm that he was going to stay at when he ended things the first time back in January. In fact he still has a bed, couch, tv, dresser, etc set up there waiting.

From the sounds of things from what he said....he used me to get to the city I moved to because he wanted to live in a city rather then the small town he was living in. So he came along for a free ride.

Makes me feel like crap and being that he doesn't seem to get it, he didn't edit the comments but made them point blank.

Conclusion.... I am starting to wish I had never started into this relationship. Today it cost me $270 in fixing his car insurance mess...I made sure he knows it is a loan, but anything I have ever loaned Steve he has never made any effort to pay back. Now it is debt on my credit line.

I wonder when he said that he should go and wanted to leave me that I maybe should have said yes... instead as he told me this I ended up in tears and there was no hug from him, no I am sorry, etc. We kept talking it out but only because I wanted to.

I wonder why I feel so pulled apart and depressed sometimes...and I wonder... what would life be like without him? I don't want to find out, but .....sigh.

C.

C. said...

2nd Update...
Things here have settled themselves back down. It certainly gave me one scare. I think at this point we are going to be able to go back to where things were before the blow up. I am glad of that as I think I would miss Steve greatly. It did remind me again of a few things..one is that he can't handle arguing and stress well without it hitting his flight response. Secondly, I want him in my life and when I start focusing too much on the problems sometimes I loose perspective of that. That is my stuff and not the AS.

Some how I am hoping we can still make this work long term ....so far it has been rocky. But I think worth the work and some stress to see. If things were easier (ie. financially for one, his family for the second), then overall I think we would be ok.

The good news is that Steve got a call for a temp agency job yesterday which is terrific and we are still trying to apply for ODSP (disability) for him to get him some income coming in that will help us stabilize things. It has been a hard go on both ends. I also have a new job interview for a full time position and that would help us out alot if it works out. Guess we will see soon how things go....

have a good day! and thanks to everyone who writes here as I find it helpful to have these connections!!!
C.

Essencia said...

This site is like looking inside my AS boyfriends mind, reading about the way he is, isn't, etc. We've been together 8 years with a 1-year break when he moved away, lived together for the last 3.I love him more than anyone I've ever met before, used to be his great obsession, but now It's not going so well--I think I've hit a wall. I'm exhausted with the separate lives, the lack of emotional expression and communication. I feel as though I have to do everything, and am getting very little in return. I can't really respect this about myself, but I haven't gotten the guts to address the fact that his AS is really something we need to work together on if we are to continue. At this point I don't know if I have the strength to continue this hard work. I want someone to take care of me for once. So, I guess my question is, how do you know when to end it, or how far do you go trying to make it work, when it's like beating a dead horse?

Anonymous said...

I'm an aspie, 26, male. Few years ago I fell in love with a girl. I made friend with her but then I found out that we were from different worlds far away. I wasn't able to keep going. I found out that I could not live with her, I couldn't even enjoy being with here. I broke my relation and it hurts me badly.

I still love her and can never forget her. I hope I can forget her someday or I can make a copy of here that I can live with.

Do you know if I can ever forget her? Is there an thing that can help me? I hope some day Vanilla Sky get real.

C. said...

Dear Essencia
Your note here sounded alot like me a couple of months ago when all the pressure for our life together felt like it was my responsibility. What I have learned though is that if I express what I need and why then Steve will try to meet those needs. He can't guess at all what they are. He can't just observe it and then do it unexpectantly at first. For example, when we first started dating he said he thought in computer codes of zeros and ones and the one was him and the zero was me. What we did over the course of many months was to learn what it meant to think in twos, Us, OURS, etc. To this day he says we are going to your house...well it is our house. We have been together living together for a year and a half now and though I bought the house and I own the deed, we use it as a cottage and it is our house. But because he thinks in actual black and white terms the concept that is our house is not true to him because it is me that owns it. Hope this makes sense... so when we worked on making dinner together it was a case of him wanting to make dinner for himself and never wanting me to make him dinner...that and he had very limited cooking skills as in he lived in his house for 8 years and had never ever used the oven. When I did he could not handle the change and broke the over..it is fine but it stressed him out that much. Now we have an apartment and he cooks in the oven and so do I an there is no breaking things over it, there are meals together made by one or both of us for "US", not only him cooking for himself. So with the work there has come alot of change but it has more to do with how it is done. Does it take ALOT of work YES!!!!!!! Beyond words. But is he trying now that he knows what he needs to learn to live together...YES and I have to say though it is not easy almost any day there are rewards worth having.

C. said...

Continued...
He last week for example decided that he could not handle living together and moved out to his mother's house (who hates me) and moved all of his stuff from the apartment and the cottage there. His mother was happy to take him in and lectured him yet again on how terrible I am and how glad we were no longer together. Well...he soon remembered why he does not live with her and though he has done this now twice he does turn around and come home. He can't handle the stress of an "US" all the time because he needs to spend alot of time alone, he finds home life changing continual and he finds that difficult (like things in the apartment being moved for example..though this was far far worse when I moved into his house..he had melt downs very regularly and now he doesn't.) So ..I guess what I am trying to say is things can actually change and improve dramatically if you communicate your needs, what you see, what you understand, asking whether you are understanding it right (that seems to be a big one as sometimes I think I get it but I am off base). All in all it is worth it. As Steve spent time with his family and away from me this week, with my going after him to meet and talk regularly pretty well daily, he has decided that not only is he not leaving me, but he is moving home. And tonight with that announcement he said that he knows that being married to him is important to me and that we have lived together for a year and a half and he suggested that I might find it meaningful to get married and "make it official" :o) So go figure.....

Hang in there, talk lots, take the time, find out what you need, teach him how he might be able to meet some of them focusing on "US" and not the one which is himself. Ironically, Steve now has figured out that when he gets himself a drink from the kitchen one is brougth to me...he figured out I might like it and now with a positive response he does it regularly (whether or not I am thirsty which is endearing really). When he gets a piece of pie now out of the fridge one shows up on a plate being handed to me with a comment I thought you might like this... and I have to tell you when he gets things like that that are so simple but show he is thinking of me in little ways..well he is wonderful in the end to live with. So he has relationship challenges, he can't tell me often what he needs, his feelings of understanding "love" well he has told me outright now he doesn't understand it ...but the difference now between us is that we live it...I am not sure he even understands that always as love is an action as well as an emotion. Talking to your partner about his AS may actually be a relief to him because he knows he is different, he doesn't likely understand why you are happy at times and disappointed or sad at others without you naming why. He would maybe sense those things but not understand how to make it better or what is ok or not. But he is capable of learning and if you can learn to talk about the AS and more then that what you need to be ok, I think you will find things actually change.

With the comment that you were the obsession I can fully understand that as Steve's obsession is bikes and cameras.... we hear about those every day here :o) But in the end relationships develop over time in good and bad aways and then they can change again. So talk to your partner...it might be something that changes your entire world. C.

Anonymous said...

bollocks my ex gf is an aspie and she cheated on me ... just because. and i know she feels bad about it but its not real so whatever... i gave her all the love and patience in the world but she went and did this... so you know... don't kid yourself

Anonymous said...

I'm 19 years old and my boyfriend is 21 years old and he is an aspie.
I love him so much, sometimes I need to have patience with him, but I can't live without my baby boy.

Michael said...

I'm 20 years of age and I've long been diagnosed with AS. I've spent around 13 1/2 years of my life in a special school. But of course throughout that time, I've had very little social interaction with my peers for most of them had a more severe condition than I did.

For years, I've always wanted to experience love and a good, romantic relationship with a girl. But I do realise that like others, it is difficult for me to find a suitable partner, who would accept me and love me for who I am.

Ironically, I also has a slight fear of commitment, but that's only because I've never experienced it before. But I do want to though.

Christine said...

Hi Michael
Thanks for writing! Sometimes the best thing to meet people is to join social groups where you can spend time getting to know others. I don't know what your interests are. Having a shared hobby is a good start though. The special school you went to was hopefully a positive experience. My partner tells of alot of bullying in his school days and how hurtful that was to him. It made him shut himself down more and withdrawing further from meeting others. It was very isolating and AS can do some of that naturally so it proved to be very difficult. Hopefully your school experience was healthier and it will help you some, though I can understand it limiting your social interartions in different ways.

Some things that attract others is being happy within yourself. Building a life you can enjoy and sharing it with others as you meet them. The positive attitude certain is a drawing card and shows through to many, and makes your life richer at the same time. A smile in someone special's life can go a long way! C.

Sarah said...

This blog is so interesting because as I'm sure many of you are also finding, it rings so true for my relationship. Maybe I should call it my past relationship. I met this great guy a little over a year ago and for a few months we were casually seeing each other and that was a really strange time for me because when we would be together things seemed great but then he would not talk to me for days and it was really confusing. Eventually he decided that giving the relationship thing a try wouldn't be so bad. We dated for a little over nine months and for the most part I would call it amazing. He is brilliant and funny, yes a little quirky but in a cute way and even acts lovingly. He'll say that, he knows how to act lovingly but that he's not sure he knows how to love. We did have some problems though, problems that seem very similar to those that I have been reading - I would always have to take the initiative when making plans for us, some communication stuff, him making plans just for him and not for us, etc. A few times the idea of us breaking up did come up but for what seemed to me like silly reasons. When he would get extremely busy with other commitments in his life and then stress out and seem to think that I was the easiest thing to cut out of his life. But we worked through those, actually it was odd a few times. He would get really close to breaking up on the phone and I would say doing that over the phone was cheating but when we would meet about it in person he would be all over me and things would be great. After a couple months of this happening every few weeks we officially broke up. Its been about a month but we still talk and see each other, defiantly less than before though. I love him and other than wishing he could tell me he loves me too or wanting to feel like he needs me more, he's pretty much perfect. I guess I'm looking for advice on whether to give up on him or if I should keep trying to make us work? and if thats what I should do, do you have any suggestions on how to do that without making him feel too pressured?

Sarah said...

This blog is so interesting because as I'm sure many of you are also finding, it rings so true for my relationship. Maybe I should call it my past relationship. I met this great guy a little over a year ago and for a few months we were casually seeing each other and that was a really strange time for me because when we would be together things seemed great but then he would not talk to me for days and it was really confusing. Eventually he decided that giving the relationship thing a try wouldn't be so bad. We dated for a little over nine months and for the most part I would call it amazing. He is brilliant and funny, yes a little quirky but in a cute way and even acts lovingly. He'll say that, he knows how to act lovingly but that he's not sure he knows how to love. We did have some problems though, problems that seem very similar to those that I have been reading - I would always have to take the initiative when making plans for us, some communication stuff, him making plans just for him and not for us, etc. A few times the idea of us breaking up did come up but for what seemed to me like silly reasons. When he would get extremely busy with other commitments in his life and then stress out and seem to think that I was the easiest thing to cut out of his life. But we worked through those, actually it was odd a few times. He would get really close to breaking up on the phone and I would say doing that over the phone was cheating but when we would meet about it in person he would be all over me and things would be great. After a couple months of this happening every few weeks we officially broke up. Its been about a month but we still talk and see each other, defiantly less than before though. I love him and other than wishing he could tell me he loves me too or wanting to feel like he needs me more, he's pretty much perfect. I guess I'm looking for advice on whether to give up on him or if I should keep trying to make us work? and if thats what I should do, do you have any suggestions on how to do that without making him feel too pressured?

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog tonight and can't stop reading it. I am especially drawn to an older post that said:

"My ex-partner said that although everything worked on paper, that we were compatible, he "thought he ought to feel something for me he doesn't feel – that something is missing in his feelings."

About 15 minutes before dropping that bombshell (almost verbatim with the above post), we had been strolling around London, happily holding hands and chatting. It was only while sat in an outdoor cafe, when I asked if he was happy to carry on in a relationship with me or did he prefer it when he and I were just friends, that he said he was stuck somewhere in the middle. He then made those comments about not feeling the kind of passion for me that I feel for him.

I was so distraught at his manner - without ceremony, emotion or sorrow - that I felt overwhelmed and walked away from our table. I later sent him a text that said I had never been made to feel so insignificant and that he had devastated me enough to last a lifetime. He replied that he was sorry. That he never meant to consciously make me feel insignificant. That I am a good person and deserve better.

I have not heard from him since - a week ago today.

Here is my question: is there any hope for us? I'd like to think he'll come around, that he will miss me, regret his words, yearn for me, but from what I understand of AS personalities this is a vain hope. From what I understand he won't miss me or yearn for me, and that I will likely not cross his mind at all. He will have no regret. Is this the case? It feels as if my world has come crashing down around my ears - and I don't even know why or what I've done.

I've never known what he needs, or how to behave, or how best to communicate with him because he never offered anything. I've always found him difficult to read and could never tell if he was happy, bored or content. And I only ever suspected AS after the day in the cafe because his manner was so callous, yet I know him to be a man of integrity and morality. The two didn't gel so I suspected AS.

Assuming it is AS (he did say he has social phobia) should I move on, live my life and forget him and somehow find a way to accept that I don't mean enough to him?

Or should I give him time and then try to meet up and explain what you said about an unrealistic notion of love?

From Waterloo

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog tonight and can't stop reading it. I am drawn to an older post that said:

"My ex-partner said that although everything worked on paper, that we were compatible, he "thought he ought to feel something for me he doesn't feel – that something is missing."

About 15 minutes before dropping that bombshell (almost verbatim with the above post), we had been strolling around London, holding hands and chatting. It was only while sat in an outdoor cafe, when I asked if he was happy to carry on in a relationship with me or did he prefer it when he and I were just friends, that he said he was stuck somewhere in the middle. He then made those comments about not feeling the kind of passion for me that I feel for him.

I was so distraught at his manner - without ceremony, emotion or sorrow - that I felt overwhelmed and walked away from our table. I later sent him a text that said I had never been made to feel so insignificant and that he had devastated me enough to last a lifetime. He replied that he was sorry. That he never meant to consciously make me feel insignificant. That I am a good person and deserve better. I have not heard from him since - a week ago today.

Is there any hope for us? I'd like to think he'll come around, that he will miss me, regret his words, yearn for me, but from what I understand of AS personalities this is a vain hope. From what I understand he won't miss me or yearn for me, and that I will likely not cross his mind at all. He will have no regret. Is this the case?

I only suspected AS after the day in the cafe because his manner was so callous, yet I know him to be a man of integrity and morality. The two didn't gel so I suspected AS (and for other reasons but space is limited in the comment box).

Assuming it is AS (he did say he has social phobia) should I move on, live my life and forget him and somehow find a way to accept that I don't mean enough to him? Or should I give him time and then try to meet up and explain what you said about an unrealistic notion of love?

From Waterloo

Gavin Bollard said...

It takes a very special person to love an aspie and it takes a lot of commitment on both sides. There are certainly easier ways to find love and easier partners.

Of course, easier doesn't necessarily mean better and you may find that aspies can be the most loyal and accepting partners - with a little encouragement.

There are a lot of IFs.

If you think that you've found your soulmate and if you think that you've got what it takes to persevere in a relationship that has such a steep learning curve - and if you think that your partner is willing to learn and try to change, then go for it.

Aspies are often so literal about feelings that we expect to feel something warm and glowing (like sunlight) when we fall in love. When it doesn't feel quite like that, we start questioning our interpretation of feelings.

It's likely that your behaviour makes him think that you're feeling that warmth and that he's judging his own lack of feeling against his perception of what he thinks you're feeling.

If you think about his answers. He's told you;

a. That you're more than a friend to him.
b. That he doesn't think that he has the same amount of passion for you as you do for him.

That's "brutal honesty".

He's not trying to hurt you. He's just answered your questions without realising that the truth hurts.

Like I said, it's a difficult path to take but with the right teacher, an aspie can learn.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gavin. I couldn't sleep last night thinking about all this.

I think I do have the patience and commitment, but assuming he is an Aspie, from what I understand, there is no going back on his part, right?

His brutal honesty is cut and dried, right? He will not miss me, long for me or seek me out. Is that not right, if he is in fact an Aspie, which I'd bet ANYTHING he is.

I have thought about nothing but all week. Based on what I've read it doesn't seem as if I have crossed his mind at all. I'd like to contact him; in usual circumstances (NT and NT), I'd have to accept it and move on. He was my dearest friend before we became lovers, and I miss him dearly. I'd hate to lose him, but my point is that as an Aspie he is not suffering my loss at all, is he?

Waterloo

Anonymous said...

been reading this blog and felt i needed to ask for some help understanding my aspie "friend". I too am aspie so am muddled by his behaviour. We met 5mths ago online and got on really well straight away , within 2wks we met up and from the very beginning had been emailing,texting and then calling each other for hours every day. He even got emotional when he couldnt contact me for just 36hrs. He never uses the term b.f and g.f but says he truely appreciates our friendship and wants to be friends forever,he says we are linked and almost the same person. He has been very attentive to me when we have been able to get together and i couldnt want a better lover,friend etc. He gets excited about our visits and i've met his family.When i ask what our relationship is he always says i'm his best friend and he never wants to loose me and he cares deeply for me and is attracted to me very much.The l word was even used once!He also said he's not playing a game and doesnt know what the future might hold for us.
recently he has had extreme stress and sadness due to a family member very close to him needing all his attention. He stopped contacting me as much and within 2wks we went from constant very intimate chats on the phone for hours every day to him only calling once a day for 20mins. He says he needs to concentrate on the family member and doesnt see when it will end and that "us" is putting him under too much stress and so he cant see how we can work,especially as we live hundreds of miles apart. He was quite blunt in the end and said "look this isnt working,but i never want to loose your friendship.i really care a lot about you...you know that dont you?i want to still call you and be friends always but cant see us progressing now!"
I told him i care deeply for him and am happy to go slower but he said no he can only do just friends and not visiting each other for the time being but that he still wants to see me again at some point.i am wondering from the other posts here if its just him pulling away for a time?I am very muddled and told him that,He said "thats relationships."
He since that phone call has continued to call me everyday,ask how i am,what i'm doing,what i am eating for tea etc. I feel like he still needs/wants me in his life as he calls me as soon as he gets home!
Do i do what i am now doing, which is not contacting him at all and letting him contact me when he wants to. So as to stop him feeling pressured. I told him i wouldnt contact him as hes stressed and would leave it up to him if he wanted a chat.He said no that i can contact him but not so much, but i still feel like i am pressuring him if i contact him. He told me he feels pressured to reply when i txt lately...since the family problems...i said i dont expect a reply but now feel that i wont txt or call,that way i know if he calls me its because he wants to.
He calls like i said earlier, every day still but only once instead of four times! and no txts where as before we were txting between the calls!
So i guess i am wondering could we actually still be working towards more eventually again,is he just needing to push me back to cope with his other stress,do i leave him to do the contacting as he seems happier that way at the moment(but i never know ,he could be thinking why doesnt she contact me?)
and generally do i just go with the relationship as it is maybe never getting more? I feel like he really needs me in his life by his need to call everyday,which i need too actually!:)
I dont want to loose him by cutting all contact due to my sadness at the moment.He is my best friend too and we know each other very well in such a short amount of months because of our constant talking and same personalities,tastes in everything etc.Even have the same posture.
He said himself once that we are the same person and that scares him.

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