There Are No Hidden Motiveswhat You See Is What You Get
Unlike the crafty NTs, who can work out sometimes elaborate ruses to achieve their aims, you can pretty much guess the motives of an Aspie, once you know them well. If not, just ask.
Loving someone with Aspergers can mean that behaviors can be confusing, though.
Why did my wife start eating the meal she cooked, without telling us that dinner was ready? Is she angry at us?
Shes not setting you up to eat a cold dinner.
It isnt a defense mechanism against intimate family time or passive aggression. She started eating because the meal was cooked and she forgot to call her family.
Catherine And Neil Talk About How They Support Each Other And They Have Both Learnt A Lot Through
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I dont play social gamesSome people were single but hoped to have a relationship at some point. Others were single after relationships had not worked and they had decided they were better as friends. A couple of people talked about the intense emotional difficulties past relationships had caused them which had led to a form of breakdown. John L said he was not sure he wants to tolerate the level of pain he experience after breaking up with his partner.
One man said that all the girls he had been involved with had cleared off and married someone else and he always thought it was because he wasnt really husband material.
Whats difficult about that?
Having a boyfriend would mean having to get on with someoneSome people were single and did not expect to have a relationship in the near future.
I mean in the future are you happy not to have a relationship then?
Relationships Can Be An Autistic Persons Special Interest
Many autistic teens and adults are very passionate about a special interest. So, they invest an intense amount of time and energy into it. They can talk on and on about it. Often times, this extreme passion and interest extend to their relationship as well. Have you ever joked about a friend who recently fell in love and cant think about or talk about anything else? Well, thats similar to how an autistic person feels about their special interests and their love life.
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Things To Know About Dating Someone With Autism
When I started dating at 18 I had NO idea how to talk to people, let alone women. Many of the people I dated had good intents, but they may not have understood some of the quirks that people on the spectrum like me may have. For example, as a kid I hated being touched. Ten years later as a 28-year-old adult, I embrace affection.
Here are some things you need to know when it comes to dating someone with autism.
Some of us want to unwind after a long day just like anyone else.
So if were not looking at you right in the eyes when we are having a conversation, dont think were trying to give you the cold shoulder.
They Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally truebut in general, people with autism are far less concerned with prestige and status than their neurotypical peers.
As a result, they worry less about brand names, high-end restaurants, and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do. They are also less inclined to see salary or title as desirable for their own sake.
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Aspergers And Loveand Time
If you want to get into a huge fight with an AS intimate, you can simply insist on interaction at this point. Complain about how they never want to socialize or how they dont love you enough because they dont want to make love. You might watch them explode in an angry tirade.
I prefer the term meltdown because it more accurately describes what is happening. Their nervous systems simply cant handle it, meaning socializing with people anymore.
There is no point to this meltdown, other than the feeling of overwhelm, but if there were a goal, it would be simply this:
To get you to GO AWAY.
NTs happily married to ASs understand this need for quiet time, especially after socializing. A good reason to love an Aspie is that you will have time for yourself. Make the best of it.
Apparent Lack Of Support
When youre dating someone with Aspergers, there might be times when you feel a lack of emotional support or understanding from them.
For example, your partner might not notice when youre feeling sad or not know how to respond when you tell them you are. This doesnt mean they dont care.
They may miss cues about how their partner is feeling there might be a lack of emotional reciprocity, Mendes said.
In the same way, it might be possible for you to miss cues about how your neurodivergent partner is feeling because they express these feelings in a different way. This might make them believe youre not being supportive.
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Understanding The Differences And Strengthening Your Bond
Mendes says there are many ways to address the differences and challenges you may experience when dating a person with Aspergers.
Its important to remember that your way is not necessarily the way to a successful relationship. This applies both ways, and compromises are required from both parties.
Autism Love And Marriage: Can A Person With Autism Be In A Relationship
Believe it or not but one of the most Googled autism-related questions is can someone with autism get married?. To some, this may seem strange and even outdated. However, it has created an interesting discussion which todays article will be centred on: Not can someone with autism get married? but why do people question whether someone with autism can get married?.
First things first though. If you are here looking for the answer to Can someone with autism get married?, then let me quickly say YES. People with autism can not only marry, but there are many autistic people who already are married. Like every relationship there are bound to be ups and downs and, just like people who are not autistic, some on the spectrum may have difficulty finding their true love. However, speaking from both an ethical and legal standpoint, then yes, people with autism can get married.
But with that out of the way lets get onto todays more interesting topics. In particular, why do people think autists cant get married? And what does being autistic actually affect when in a relationship?
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They Have Limited Focus
If a loved one has autism, remember that they probably have limited focus. This means that they either will zone in on a few limited things or cant focus on anything at all. However, you can turn this challenge into a positive opportunity. If you find one thing that they love, be supportive and help them flourish.
Because Adults Many Autistic People Work In Complex Fields
If we mentioned a little above, the fact that many autistic people are qualified to work in environments which require great visual aptitudes, the IT sector is the first to be coveted. As you will have understood, deciphering and reading the codes is already part of the notions, know-how, even passion of a certain number of autistic people.
In addition to computers, people with autism also have a penchant for music. It is true that you don’t have to be autistic to love music and work in this world. However, the difference is more glaring than you might think: autistic people learn to compose and write on their own. No need for a voice teacher or piano lessons to read the notes. It is from an early age that they learn and they have all the time they need for this, as they will focus on this one and only thing, without having time to open up to society. This is often why the vast majority of autistic people have chosen to to live in the countryside, sheltered from daily hassles and fully focused on their business.
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Understanding Autism And Emotions
One of the most Googled questions neurotypicals ask about dating on the autism spectrum is can autistic people fall in love? To be honest, this question always catches me off guard. Of course they can! Theyre human! Its a common misconception that autistic people cannot feel or express emotions. In fact, they are some of the most empathetic people I know. Some autistic people hyper-empathize to the point that they feel very intense emotions. The difference is that they may not show these emotions on their face or they may have trouble expressing them.
Sometimes, the lack of emotions displayed by an autistic partner can really anger their neurotypical partner, because they misinterpret that as not caring. Then, a cycle begins because a person with autism will often withdraw to avoid conflict and the trauma triggers it brings up. When an autistic person is faced with conflict and an upset or hostile partner, they often withdraw or leave the scene because they feel unsafe.
Being Grateful For Autism
I didnt have my autism diagnosis when we fell in love, even though Aspergers Syndrome was suspected of me throughout my adolescence. For all he could tell, I was just a quirky, delightfully weird, studious nerd of a goth chick. He saw me as someone who can speak and write eloquently, but who also hand flaps and stims when Im unaware.
For him, my autism diagnosis was probably an unexpected turn in our relationship all he knew about autism before meeting me was the inaccurate stereotype portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.”
Despite the stereotypes, autistics are often affectionate, sexual, and quite capable of expressing empathy in our own ways. Being autistic isn’t a defect, it is another way of being.
In my own case, when Jason felt under the weather earlier this year, I spontaneously dropped by his place with a shopping bag full of over-the-counter remedies from the drugstore and his favorite Canada Dry ginger ale. I encourage his music career and I even listen to his music on Spotify when I miss him. But when he takes me to a heavy metal concert, I have to take frequent breaks outside to help deal with my sensory overstimulation from the loud noise.
Like other autistics, I can ramble on and on and on about my favorite topics. I can be very socially awkward or reserved even though Im not shy. Jason’s parents adore me and they call me a genius. These are the moments, he’ll say to me, that he is grateful his girlfriend is autistic.
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Having An Autistic Partner
Of course, not everybody is the same, but for autistic people, things like picking up on traditional social rules and body language, understanding their own feelings, and sensory processing may not always come naturally. At times, this could lead to misunderstandings within a relationship, or you may find that your partner says or does something that is unintentionally hurtful. This can be difficult to deal with.
Having an autistic partner may mean having to help them with social interaction, particularly around unwritten social rules.
We want to stress that autistic people are just as capable of having loving and successful relationships as non-autistic people. You can read some of our stories here.
However, there may be adjustments that you need to make, such as thinking about the way youcommunicatewith your autistic partner. You may have the additional responsibility of helping them tomanage their money, employment or supporting them toadvocate.
Partners often contact us to talk about relationship strategies andother support.
Incredibly Successful People On The Autism Spectrum
Though autism is said to affect 1 in every 59 people in the United States, for those who have been diagnosed with autism, Aspergers Syndrome, or another developmental disorder on the Autism Spectrum, the world can sometimes feel like a lonely place. While autism remains relatively misunderstood, one thing is for certain: those with autism are just as capable as anyone else of achieving incredible success. The proof? These famous people with autism: 20 incredibly successful people on the Spectrum.
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Aspergers And Love Good Couples Therapy Can Help
It is why I have such a powerful desire to work with these couples: the unnecessary heartache is enormous.
But getting back to sex, sexual affairs just arent too likely. Sex itself is an uncertain proposition for a lot of ASs. Their bodies might work just fine, but it is all the subtle non-verbal stuff that makes it hard to figure out if that person is flirting with you.
Educational videos about flirting help the single AS recognize the signs. Their bodies also can be over-stimulated with sexual arousal. They might find kissing too wet or become upset that youre touching them too lightly, or might need a sheet between you when you have intercourse, so they can relax.
Try explaining that to someone you just met in an airport lounge.
This is not to say that an AS wont get intensely involved in talking to the opposite sex online about asphalt or fiberglass boats.
It just means if hes up until 3 AM chatting with another woman, its likely going to be asphalt or fiberglass boatsTo truly love an Aspie, recognize that some people will be more engaging and exciting to talk to about asphalt or fiberglass boats. But having sex? You will rank #1 as a preferred sexual partner.
Clinicians working with AS that do have affairs have to look deeper. Often the same arguments that on the face of them look ridiculous are actually true with those AS spouses. She wanted it and I didnt know how to say no
It might, in fact, be the truth.
Can People With Aspergers Fall In Love
Yes, people with Aspergers do love and have been known to have embarked on romantic relationships that led to long-lasting marriages. As is usual with all human beings, people tend to unconsciously choose partners who have the qualities that they lack. With this, Aspies usually find themselves getting attracted to people who can handle the social world for them, a strong and compassionate neurotypical.
But with Aspies focused on their own interests and lacking the ability to care for their partners as another neurotypical might normally do, problems, a common factor in all marriages, tend to come up.
When someone has a partner with Aspergers, he or she may be in need of certain romantic gestures that may never come due to the fact that an Aspie lacks the ability to interpret both verbal and non-verbal language and are unable to reciprocate feelings as they are even further often unaware of what others think or feel.
It is just always important for the partner of an Aspie to not take their actions to heart. Rather, they should help their partner create their own rules of engagement in order to act in ways that really matter to you. A sign that an Aspie really cares about you should be the fact that they learn and try to make an effort to make gestures that you insist on.
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Put Yourself In Their Shoes For A Moment
Imagine running 10 miles during the day. Then, you come home, and your partner wont even acknowledge that you ran 10 miles. Now, how do you feel about that? It probably would hurt your feelings. Remember this analogy the next time you get upset with your partner when they say no to doing something or go along with it but become overwhelmed. They metaphorically run a marathon every day but arent often acknowledged for their efforts. Furthermore, they are asked to change or try harder and that can cause them to feel so sad. So, its important to think about what really matters to you, and be reasonable in your requests of your autistic partner. Recognize how hard they are trying every day to make you happy. It will give you the compassion and understanding to be reasonable with them while respecting your own needs too.
Tips And Resources For Navigating The World Of Autism Dating
A specific component of the dating world that people with autism struggle with is flirting. PEERSa UCLA program that educates teens and young adults with autism about dating etiquettebreaks down tips for flirting into manageable steps that are easy for people with autism to grasp.
For example, PEERS offers the following list of tactics for initiating contact with another person:
- Notice the other person and briefly make eye contact.
- Glance away .
- Give a slight smile.
- Begin a casual conversation and find common interests.
- Use a common interest as inspiration for a date activity.
- Assess their interest level first by asking What are you doing this weekend? If they say, Nothing, thats probably a good sign that theyre interested in going, and you can feel confident asking them out on a date.
- Exchange contact information and select a day and time for your date.
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I Discovered The Tremendous Anger I Had Felt Without Much Awareness Of It Its The Most Important Thing Ive Done In My Life Patrick Dust
With initial guidance from Lane and later by himself, Dust was able to revisit the past and reconnect to the emotions he was locking away, which he thinks also brought some relief to the fibromyalgia. I discovered the tremendous anger I had felt, without much awareness of it, he explains. Its the most important thing Ive done in my life. He has just finished writing a book about the process.
Caleb, too, has visited a cognitive behavioural therapist to help with his social understanding, and through conscious effort he is now better able to analyse the physical feelings and to equate it with emotions that other people may feel. Although it remains a somewhat academic exercise, the process helps him to try to grasp his wifes feelings and to see why she acts the way she does.
Caleb may not have been transported to ecstasy by his wedding or the birth of his child, but he has spent most of his life looking within, striving to feel and understand the sensations of himself and the people around him. The result is that he is certainly one of the most thoughtful, and self-aware, people I have ever had the pleasure of interviewing someone who seems to know himself, and his limitations, inside out.
David Robson is BBC Futures feature writer. He is on Twitter.