not being able to identify your own feelings

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hanazai
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27 Mar 2010, 7:19 am

I picked up in one of the posts that some AS guys are not able to identify their own feelings. Now I have A bit of a problem understanding this.

I met a guy whom I believe to be AS who outrageously flirted with me for a full year With whom we attended the same church. Yes, the flirting was not your Usual nt/nt type but was rather clearly recognizable. Being an artist myself, I appreciated his unique method and flirted along.

The dillema started when I told him I was moving to another town.He's always had difficulty approaching me even to say hi but I felt he wld at Least try to make a move which he didn't. So I took it upon myself To tell him that I liked him and would like to have a relationship With him. His response was he's not looking for something right now. The first time I asked him in person and he seemed very anxious a month later I asked that we be friends if nothing else and he said we Can't be friends because i have feelings for him. So I emailed him again Asking if hed consider a relationship with me. Once again he said he's not looking for something right now.

My question is why the flirting then over such a long time? Could he be unaware of his feelings for me? Oh, I forgot to mention that he even introduced me to his parent at a Gathering we had. I'm totally baffled. Did he even mean to flirt?



Fishimonimus
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27 Mar 2010, 9:43 am

its possible that he really did just decide he wasnt ready for a relationship, possibly because he thought that if he wasnt even able to make a move beyond flirting there was no hope for him in a full relationship? confidence is hard to come by



zee
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27 Mar 2010, 11:23 am

I would say no, he didn't mean to flirt.
I've been accused of this type of behaviour many times. The important thing is, that just because someone really likes you, doesn't mean they want to have an exclusive relationship with you. Maybe they just enjoy your company, and feel free to be themselves. And maybe this 'flirting' is just how he acts because that's how he sees others act, and is part of imitating other people in 'pretending to be normal'.



jagatai
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27 Mar 2010, 1:25 pm

I have sought relationships and flirted with women most of my adult life, but the moment any possibility of anything closer than a casual relationship arises, I back off very quickly.

I think my reasons for backing off is that I have learned over and over that I simply have no idea what to do and how to respond in anything like an intimate relationship. I don't trust myself to not make an utter fool of myself. When I try to envision the interaction that will be required in a relationship, I can come up with no clear image of what I should do.

I can identify my own feelings. They are actually reasonably obvious to me. I just don't know how to make those feelings interface with another person's. It's like mixing two different jigsaw puzzles with different kinds of attachment shapes. There is simply no way to make them connect.

If I were in the position of this guy you mention, I think what would work for me is if the other person said something like "I want to get to know you better. I don't know what our friendship will become. It can remain the same or it can evolve into something neither of us expect. If you want to call it dating, we can call it that. If you want to call it something else, that's fine too. But knowing you is better than not knowing you. Maybe this friendship we now have will be as good as it gets. If this is as far as our friendship goes, that's fine. But I want you to know that, if you'd like to pursue anything further, I will listen to and consider anything you suggest. I can't promise it will be something that will work for me, but I do promise that I will seriously consider it."

I guess the point I am trying to get to with the above is that, for someone like me, the problem comes from assuming that any awkward mistake I make will destroy everything, collapsing the potential relationship like a house of cards. I have learned that if I want to keep whatever relationship that I already have, I am better off doing nothing. Any action I take has the potential to destroy everything. So what I advise is for you to do whatever you can to assure him that he is safe with you. That you won't laugh at him or run away if he suggests something you don't want. That you will be honest and direct, but not judgmental.

Boiled down, I guess I am saying, tell him you will be absolutely honest and that you will not judge him. That whatever he says will not destroy what friendship already exists. You may not be able to be in the relationship that he would like, but you won't criticize him for wanting that relationship. I would rather negotiate to have a closer relationship than relying on chance to stumble into an intimate relationship.

If you should choose to use any of the above suggested quote, put it into your own words and make sure you are being honest. If you don't really believe it, don't say it. Aspies may not always see hidden agendas, but if they do, they will lose all trust in you.

Of course, take all of this with some degree of skepticism. No one has ever said anything like the above to me and I can't guarantee I would react positively to it. I think I would, but I can not say for sure. And as others have pointed out, he may not be flirting at all.

Lars



hanazai
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27 Mar 2010, 2:42 pm

This is such great advise!

I believe I've done all I can in the past few months to directly assure him that he is "safe" with me. I've also had to take a lot of rejection which I didn't mind because I believed in the possibility of us being involved. Looking at the situation in light of the advise given. Its clear that he's just not interested in having a relationship. He clearly wants nothing to do with me since he's ruling out both friendship and any form of a relationship. The possibility that he wasn't flirting also remains..

Jagatai you speak of mixing two different jigsaw puzzles with different kinds of attachment shapes that There is simply no way to make them connect. There's a lot of truth in this, painful as it is.



Shebakoby
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27 Mar 2010, 6:55 pm

I'm guessing that since dude said he can't be friends because you have feelings for him, that there is a dealbreaker you possess that he cannot abide.



0_equals_true
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27 Mar 2010, 7:22 pm

Of all the possible explanations Alexithymia is one of the least likely to fit these events.

Assuming he did have feelings for you and acted on them by flirting. Then he does have the recognition of those emotions. Why he can't take the next step is speculative. But could be down to not knowing what to do next, fear of change, or fear of being rejected.

If you really want to find out you have to find out via the man himself.



alana
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28 Mar 2010, 3:13 am

zee wrote:
I would say no, he didn't mean to flirt.
I've been accused of this type of behaviour many times. The important thing is, that just because someone really likes you, doesn't mean they want to have an exclusive relationship with you. Maybe they just enjoy your company, and feel free to be themselves. And maybe this 'flirting' is just how he acts because that's how he sees others act, and is part of imitating other people in 'pretending to be normal'.


I have too. I tend to verbally gush and be very praiseful of people that I admire, and people take it like I am hitting on them when I didn't intend it that way. I am starting to think that you should never pay anyone a compliment. Like you would never say those things unless you have an ulterior motive like you want to sleep with them. It's embarassing how many times that has happened to me. I don't sleep around and never have (at least not since I got sober) but I have alot of times given people the impression. I never know when I am doing it but it happens.



zee
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28 Mar 2010, 12:20 pm

alana wrote:
zee wrote:
I would say no, he didn't mean to flirt.
I've been accused of this type of behaviour many times. The important thing is, that just because someone really likes you, doesn't mean they want to have an exclusive relationship with you. Maybe they just enjoy your company, and feel free to be themselves. And maybe this 'flirting' is just how he acts because that's how he sees others act, and is part of imitating other people in 'pretending to be normal'.


I have too. I tend to verbally gush and be very praiseful of people that I admire, and people take it like I am hitting on them when I didn't intend it that way. I am starting to think that you should never pay anyone a compliment. Like you would never say those things unless you have an ulterior motive like you want to sleep with them. It's embarassing how many times that has happened to me. I don't sleep around and never have (at least not since I got sober) but I have alot of times given people the impression. I never know when I am doing it but it happens.


Exactly. You just want people to like you. Not LIKE-like you. :P