Dear Aspie: Why Do Women Tell Me About Their Men?

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Dear Aspie:
“I am a heterosexual male aspie. Why do females insist on telling me about their husbands or boyfriends all the time, sometimes in intimate detail? It is none of my business, and it makes me feel uncomfortable, like the girls/women are comparing me to their partners. I also don’t know what to say to them.”

–edgey123

Read on for GroovyDruid’s response!
Dear Aspie:
“I am a heterosexual male aspie. Why do females insist on telling me about their husbands or boyfriends all the time, sometimes in intimate detail? It is none of my business, and it makes me feel uncomfortable, like the girls/women are comparing me to their partners. I also don’t know what to say to them.”

–edgey123

I understand. You don’t know what to say to them because you don’t know how to take what they tell you. You get left with an uncomfortable pause, during which communication goes to the dogs.

While I can’t tell you exactly what every mention of a significant other means, I think we can narrow down some possibilities. Armed with those, you’ll have a good shot at deducing the intention of their communications.

The most likely scenario: you are being entrusted. See, NT women love discussing their blokes. From the time women are 12 years old, an overwhelming majority of them spend innumerable hours with their friends discussing every conceivable facet of the men they are dating, were dating, might be dating, or wish they were dating. Men don’t usually get much of a glimpse into this world of female evaluation, but it’s fascinating. If you haven’t already, listen to a woman when she gets her hair styled by her gay hairdresser. There will be no break in the cascade of language—literally—and a sizable chunk of the discussion will consist of the woman’s relationship. A woman will entrust her friends or her hairdresser or anybody else with the scintillating drama that is her love life, as long as she feels the person is unthreatening and generally in sympathy with her.

This brings me to the point. Aspies have a tendency to come across as unthreatening when it comes to such discussions. (To their frustration, this often relegates the aspie to “friend” status rather than the desired “boyfriend” status, but I digress….) In fact, women often mistake heterosexual aspies like yourself for gay men. I speak from much exasperating experience. Regardless, women feel they can open up to you, with the result that you get an earful about boyfriend or hubby.

Other reasons for mentioning the bloke exist, of course. Women often bring up their men when they feel uncomfortable with the man to whom they are speaking at the time. It’s a kind of defensive mechanism: “Don’t mess with me. I’ve got a fella on the football team, and he’ll punch your ticket.” Women also bring up their men when they feel insecure, romantically or otherwise. This tells other people present either that they “possess somebody, too,” or that they have allies who care about them. And of course sometimes a significant other comes up in conversation for no underlying reason at all. From what you say, though, I don’t think women are throwing these tactics at you.

I can tell you how to nip this problem of “too much information, thank you!” in the bud. Casually mention early in the conversation that there is a woman at your school/college/work who blows your mind. Say something along the lines of, “She’s so hot I think she could probably pose for Playboy.” If you want to really drive the point home, mention that you’re not sure whether her breasts are real, but it really doesn’t matter to you. SNAP! The trap closes forever on the discussion of relationships. The woman will know that you are not in sympathy and that you have a sexually aggressive side that couldn’t possibly understand her sensitive feelings about her man. I caution you to be careful with this tactic, though. It works like salt on a slug. You will never be allowed into her inner circle of female discussion again.

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