Why is ASD diagnosis detrimental to romantic success?

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rdos
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16 Jul 2017, 9:05 am

I think this is an interesting question.

I'm writing an article about relationships, and when I analysed the data, it was pretty clear that people that were diagnosed with ASD had lower infatuation scores, were less likely to have a crush, were less often in relationships, and when they were in relationships, the durations were shorter. The comparison was to neurodiverse and neurotypical people that were not diagnosed. For the neurodiverse population, they had higher infatuation scores, a faster attachment process, and were just as likely to be in a relationship.

IOW, being diagnosed, but not being neurodiverse, is related to having trouble with relationships. The question is why, especially since ASD diagnosis doesn't have any criteria related to relationships, and it is highly unusual for the ASD group to be opposite to the ND group, with NTs in the middle.

I can only think of two possibilities:
1. Many people get diagnosed because they fail with relationships
2. The things diagnosed people are taught are highly detrimental to their success with relationships

So, which is it?



hurtloam
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16 Jul 2017, 9:34 am

One of the main issues us autistic folks have is an inability to communicate the way that other people do. We miss social cues. We don't understand what other people expect of us and we often fall short of their expectations.

Maintaining a friendship us difficult enough for us let alone the nuances of a romantic relationship.


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CharityGoodyGrace
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16 Jul 2017, 10:11 am

I think we may not RECOGNIZE when we have a crush. Or that that thing called a "crush" is that feeling we had when whatever. Or that that feeling we had when whatever is called a "crush". Others may simply be too preoccupied to have a crush, or realize they have one. That's the way it was with me. Nobody knew who I really was or really liked; I just had this fake person on the outside as a kid but underneath my REAL crushes and such were different, and I didn't recognize it of course.



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16 Jul 2017, 10:25 am

My own issue, besides priortizing my alone time more than most, is that I just don't find conversations with most people, and women especially, particularly stimulating, and therefore not very rewarding. I also often run into the problem of people misinterpreting my facial expressions, which is really annoying.

I think for most aspie males though, the sad truth is, aspie males simply don't have the personality traits that most women find appealing.



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16 Jul 2017, 11:14 am

rdos wrote:
[...]ASD diagnosis doesn't have any criteria related to relationships,[...]

Come on,a romantic relationship is/requires social interaction and to be diagnosed with an ASD one must have a deficit in that.
rdos wrote:
I can only think of two possibilities:
1. Many people get diagnosed because they fail with relationships
2. The things diagnosed people are taught are highly detrimental to their success with relationships

It is too early to speculate. You need access to more data like age of diagnosis, IQ scores ,comorbidity with other disorders ,whether the ASD diagnosis was disclosed to the partner and employability.

Edit; and age ! At what age did the ND relationship success start to occur?


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Wolfram87
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16 Jul 2017, 12:14 pm

What do you mean by "lower infatuation score"? Because from my own personal experience; I don't fall in love easily, but when it happens it's so intense as to be almost physically painful.


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rdos
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16 Jul 2017, 4:25 pm

Wolfram87 wrote:
What do you mean by "lower infatuation score"? Because from my own personal experience; I don't fall in love easily, but when it happens it's so intense as to be almost physically painful.


NDs score 5-10 points higher on infatuation than NTs when they have a love interest, but people diagnosed with ASD doesn't.



rdos
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16 Jul 2017, 4:29 pm

hurtloam wrote:
One of the main issues us autistic folks have is an inability to communicate the way that other people do. We miss social cues. We don't understand what other people expect of us and we often fall short of their expectations.

Maintaining a friendship us difficult enough for us let alone the nuances of a romantic relationship.


I know all that, but so do ND people. Yet, they are in relationships just as often as NTs. What is strange is that it is the diagnosis itself, and not the problems with NT communication or social environment, that is predictive of problems with relationships.



hurtloam
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16 Jul 2017, 4:33 pm

rdos wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
One of the main issues us autistic folks have is an inability to communicate the way that other people do. We miss social cues. We don't understand what other people expect of us and we often fall short of their expectations.

Maintaining a friendship us difficult enough for us let alone the nuances of a romantic relationship.


I know all that, but so do ND people. Yet, they are in relationships just as often as NTs. What is strange is that it is the diagnosis itself, and not the problems with NT communication or social environment, that is predictive of problems with relationships.


I haven't had an official diagnosis. What happened was my Mum suggested that I was autistic. A family friend with an autistic family member suggested that I was autistic and I researched it and ended up here. Do I not count? I'm certainly not NT. Maybe I'm ND.


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rdos
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16 Jul 2017, 4:39 pm

Spyoon wrote:
rdos wrote:
[...]ASD diagnosis doesn't have any criteria related to relationships,[...]

Come on,a romantic relationship is/requires social interaction and to be diagnosed with an ASD one must have a deficit in that.


Sure, but those "deficits" are not linked to relationship problems. Only the ASD label is.

Spyoon wrote:

rdos wrote:
I can only think of two possibilities:
1. Many people get diagnosed because they fail with relationships
2. The things diagnosed people are taught are highly detrimental to their success with relationships

It is too early to speculate. You need access to more data like age of diagnosis, IQ scores ,comorbidity with other disorders ,whether the ASD diagnosis was disclosed to the partner and employability.


Is there any evidence that not being in a relationship has anything to do with IQ? Or employability?

I mean, this is part of what I think causes these problems: Many people diagnosed with ASDs seem to believe they need to learn to make friends, to navigate the social world, and lastly, learn how to date. This is something I'm pretty sure NDs without a diagnosis do not do. They approach relationships in a more natural way, which is why they succeed but the diagnosed population doesn't.

Spyoon wrote:
Edit; and age ! At what age did the ND relationship success start to occur?


For ND males, they typically get into relationships later. Not so for ND females though.



rdos
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16 Jul 2017, 4:43 pm

hurtloam wrote:
rdos wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
One of the main issues us autistic folks have is an inability to communicate the way that other people do. We miss social cues. We don't understand what other people expect of us and we often fall short of their expectations.

Maintaining a friendship us difficult enough for us let alone the nuances of a romantic relationship.


I know all that, but so do ND people. Yet, they are in relationships just as often as NTs. What is strange is that it is the diagnosis itself, and not the problems with NT communication or social environment, that is predictive of problems with relationships.


I haven't had an official diagnosis. What happened was my Mum suggested that I was autistic. A family friend with an autistic family member suggested that I was autistic and I researched it and ended up here. Do I not count? I'm certainly not NT. Maybe I'm ND.


As ND but not diagnosed ASD, you should have just as big chance of being in a relationship as NTs, or anybody else. Still, it is only statistics about NDs and NTs, so cannot be applied to individuals.



16 Jul 2017, 4:51 pm

After the long lonely nightmare of adolescence and high school, I did okay romantically before I was diagnosed, in terms of the occasional successful hookup and short-term relationships, because I was in a workplace where I was able to meet new people frequently, who often began flirting with me, or who started out as anonymous voices on the phone.

Could never make a long-term relationship last, to save my life - although, I must note that I had a tendency to get involved with partners who had their own undiagnosed mental issues (and that's not said as a joke).

Since my diagnosis, it's been a long dry spell, but I don't blame the DX for that - I got diagnosed just as I was going through my third divorce, and retiring from a 30 year career, so I've been pretty much isolated in my home since then, due to the same social anxieties I've had all my life.

I don't think the actual diagnosis has anything to with it.


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rdos
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16 Jul 2017, 4:58 pm

[email protected] wrote:
After the long lonely nightmare of adolescence and high school, I did okay romantically before I was diagnosed, in terms of the occasional successful hookup and short-term relationships, because I was in a workplace where I was able to meet new people frequently, who often began flirting with me, or who started out as anonymous voices on the phone.

Could never make a long-term relationship last, to save my life - although, I must note that I had a tendency to get involved with partners who had their own undiagnosed mental issues (and that's not said as a joke).

Since my diagnosis, it's been a long dry spell, but I don't blame the DX for that - I got diagnosed just as I was going through my third divorce, and retiring from a 30 year career, so I've been pretty much isolated in my home since then, due to the same social anxieties I've had all my life.

I don't think the actual diagnosis has anything to with it.


Well, it did. You are the first possibility I suggested. You got diagnosed as you got through your third divorce, which probably means your diagnosis was partly based on your problems in the relationship area.

My problem with the ASD diagnosis is not the possibility that people get diagnosed because of repeated relationship failures (that's pretty ok), but the possibility that people diagnosed early actually are taught a lot of detrimental stuff that makes them unable to get into relationships. I mean, we had several people coming here wondering why the stuff they had learnt didn't work out for them.



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16 Jul 2017, 7:08 pm

There's another possibility. Maybe some of the characteristics that lead to "relationship success" are the same ones that lead people to have many ND traits but remain undiagnosed.



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17 Jul 2017, 5:55 am

DataB4 wrote:
There's another possibility. Maybe some of the characteristics that lead to "relationship success" are the same ones that lead people to have many ND traits but remain undiagnosed.


Exactly that.