The "no contact" thing in today's American culture

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Mona Pereth
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21 Nov 2018, 5:50 pm

superaliengirl wrote:
It's quite normal to wanna let go of your ex wether the relationship was bad or not. I would never invest any time in a man who was still friends with his ex

Opposite of me. I would be wary of forming an erotic relationship with someone who is not still friends with at least some of one's exes. I want to be assured, from the get go, that if the erotic part of the relationship doesn't work out for whatever reason, we can still be friends.

superaliengirl wrote:
- could be because I had a bad experience of a guy who cheated on me several times with his ex-girlfriend and that way broke up 2 relationships at once...

This happens to be somewhat less of an issue for me personally than it would be for most other people. Although I'm currently in a monogamous relationship, I've been polyamorous in the past, and could accept a polyamorous partner if I ever had to seek a relationship again. I would just want it to be explicitly negotiated polyamory, rather than hidden "cheating."

superaliengirl wrote:
But I still think it's unnecessary.

I tried being friends with my most recent ex, it was his idea to remain friends though and I only said ok because i'm lonley so I didn't see why not. It didn't work very well other than the first couple months of friendship though. Too complicated, things got pretty awful. Plus an ex is an ex for a reason, a relationship is deeper than a friendship and therefore when it's over it should be left behind. You can be on good terms with an ex though but that's different.

How can one be "on good terms" without being friends to at least some extent? Or are you just saying you don't want to be close friends?

An ex can be an ex for all sorts of reasons including erotic incompatibilities and incompatible approaches to getting household chores done, which need not be issues at all if we are no longer living together. Of course, there are other possible kinds of issues that could indeed make a subsequent friendship difficult. But I don't see how the mere ending of the erotic/romantic dimension of a relationship necessarily means ending the friendship.

superaliengirl wrote:
I rarely break contact with someone myself. Most of the friendships i've had which has ended didn't end with one of us saying we didn't want anymore contact it just sort of died out.

I too have had quite a few friendships that just sort of died out. But if, by some chance, we were to run into each other again, we would surely say hello; we wouldn't avoid each other.

Only in very rare extreme cases have I felt a need to "ghost" or otherwise cut off contact with someone altogether.

superaliengirl wrote:
People have their reasons though for wanting to leave someone behind and I don't see a problem in that, it's their decision and they might be doing it for their emotional wellbeing and if you care about the person you let them go. If you can't let go of an ex that badly that you're bitter if they want no more contact then that's bad.

I would want to prevent this situation by not getting into relationships, in the first place, with the kind of person who has a tendency to cut off contact with friends and ex-partners, whether explicitly or by ghosting.

In some cases the person may have a good reason, but my point is, there are a lot of people who do this excessively, in my opinion, and it's something that contemporary culture unduly encourages, in my opinion.

superaliengirl wrote:
People come and go in our lives all the time, it's wrong and unhealthy to expect someone to stay forever - instead we should see it as a privilege when someone chooses to do so, human beings after all are free with our own free will and feelings that can change at any given moment. It's good some people dare to say they want no contact at all, ghosting is so common and i've done it myself.

"Ghosting is so common" -- that's a problem. I'm not objecting to the mere fact that ghosting happens at all, in extreme cases. But the commonness of both ghosting and more explicit "no contact" indicates something fundamentally wrong with contemporary mainstream American culture, in my opinion.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 21 Nov 2018, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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21 Nov 2018, 6:30 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
Mona, you can’t compare the homosexual world to the heterosexual world, they are entirely two different worlds with entirely different sets of unspoken rules, I bet the latter is the more complicated world.


:roll: Same planet...


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Mona Pereth
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21 Nov 2018, 6:36 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
Mona, you can’t compare the homosexual world to the heterosexual world, they are entirely two different worlds with entirely different sets of unspoken rules, I bet the latter is the more complicated world.

They are indeed different worlds, but I think there are important things heterosexuals can learn from the LGBT worlds, especially the lesbian world.

More importantly: We as autistic, autistic-like, and autistic-friendly people can create our own world, with its own rules. So we should consider what kinds of rules would make sense in the hopefully forthcoming autistic-friendly subculture.


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21 Nov 2018, 7:56 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
... We as autistic, autistic-like, and autistic-friendly people can create our own world, with its own rules.
Who is this "We" you refer to? Where will this "world" be located?
Mona Pereth wrote:
So we should consider what kinds of rules would make sense in the hopefully forthcoming autistic-friendly subculture.
Again with this "We" thing! There is no "We" when it come to autistic, autistic-like, and autistic-friendly people -- there are only individuals with no social cohesion or common goal. Some want jobs. Some want girlfriends. Some just want to be housed, fed, and medicated in isolation so that they can play their video games without having to interact with others.

Until "We" become a cohesive whole with full agreement on common goals, there will be no rules that "We" have to follow.



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21 Nov 2018, 8:22 pm

I went no contact after abit with both my exes. I didn't tell them not to contact me & they didn't tell me not to contact them but we avoided each other shortly after the breakup. We kept having fights when we were together & we had some fights after we broke up because we were both hurt by things the other did. Each of our versions of what the problems were & why the realtionship ended & who put more effort into trying to make the realtionship work were very different. I really think it's better we went no contact because I still love them & I felt very protective of them when we were together & still feel like that/want to be protective of them which of coarse I cant really do or act on even if we were in contact with each other. It's much better I don't know about bad stuff that's going on with them.


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Mona Pereth
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21 Nov 2018, 8:37 pm

Fnord wrote:
There is no "We" when it come to autistic, autistic-like, and autistic-friendly people -- there are only individuals with no social cohesion or common goal.

Small, relatively cohesive groups of autistic people do exist, such as ASAN plus various in-person support groups, at least in major cities such as NYC. As the number of such groups grows, and as they manage to network with each other, they -- together with forums like WP -- will begin to constitute a more cohesive subculture than we have now.

Fnord wrote:
Some want jobs. Some want girlfriends. Some just want to be housed, fed, and medicated in isolation so that they can play their video games without having to interact with others.

Until "We" become a cohesive whole with full agreement on common goals, there will be no rules that "We" have to follow.

There is every bit as much variation within the LGBT community, yet it is a distinct subculture with its own rules.

Rules of some kind -- hopefully not overly restrictive rules -- will inevitably emerge as a subculture organizes and grows, as the autistic community is now doing, albeit slowly. We just need to make sure that the rules make sense.

At the very least, we should NOT assume that the NT world's rules are an unalterable fact of life within even an autistic-friendly subculture.


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21 Nov 2018, 8:48 pm

Well, don't let me demolish your dreams. If you can make them real, then more power to you. I made my own rules, sought to make something of myself, and succeeded without any help or guidance from anyone else in the autistic "world". So no, I do not owe anyone any favors for my successes.

Personally, I have no hope for a community that is full of people who are more interested in making excuses to continue wallowing in poverty and self-pity while denying themselves any opportunity for success or improvement.

So I say, "Go for it." Make it happen. Once I see an actual plan in the works -- one that doesn't stop at "We should do something" -- I will put my support behind it. Until then, I won't be holding my breath waiting for any positive results.

Good luck.



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21 Nov 2018, 8:58 pm

Fnord wrote:
Well, don't let me demolish your dreams. If you can make them real, then more power to you. I made my own rules, sought to make something of myself, and succeeded without any help or guidance from anyone else in the autistic "world". So no, I do not owe anyone any favors for my successes.

Very good for you. Alas, not everyone can follow in your footsteps without more support than you had. We are all different.

Fnord wrote:
Personally, I have no hope for a community that is full of people who are more interested in making excuses to continue wallowing in poverty and self-pity while denying themselves any opportunity for success or improvement.

So I say, "Go for it." Make it happen. Once I see an actual plan in the works -- one that doesn't stop at "We should do something" -- I will put my support behind it. Until then, I won't be holding my breath waiting for any positive results.

I do have some semi-concrete ideas, but I want to wait with putting them forth in detail, or making any significant effort to attain them, until I understand the needs of the community better.

So for now I'm talking mainly in "We should do something" generalities, in the hope that others will help me fill in the blanks in ways that will help me refine my vision.


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22 Nov 2018, 12:10 am

I kinda agree with Fnord, I don't see the "autistic community" emerging as a force to change society and coming up with superior social norms. It's a contradiction in terms.

I do think banding together with other autistic people can help us learn to function better and feel less alone.

I also have to agree that the "no contact" thing is overdone nowadays. Someone that has to insist on no contact probably has a poor ability to broker conflict and maintain boundaries. Those folks blame all their interpersonal stresses on other people.

The only time I opted for no contact with an ex, was (ironically) a man I had dated who was bipolar but I'm sure - now - also autistic. The man would go on and on and on about "alternative" medicine. I had a rule that he could talk about his wackadoo theories for 5 minutes on a date and then had to shut up. But after a particularly devastating surgery, he took me out to dinner (we were exes by that time) and I was feeling too weak and unassertive to tell him when to shut up. So a few weeks later he wanted to take me out again and although I could have used a friend, I replied to his email this way: "Last time I was feeling too unassertive to tell you when to stop talking about supplements and nutriceuticals and you went on about them for an hour. I'm still feeling too unassertive." He took the hint, said he was sorry, and invited me to contact him if I ever changed my mind. I haven't.


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22 Nov 2018, 2:18 am

Just as some like to say no one is entitled to sex, there should also be no reason to feel entitled to friendships. You can’t force people to remain open to others who may not treat them well or take them for granted.


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22 Nov 2018, 2:56 am

BeaArthur wrote:
I kinda agree with Fnord, I don't see the "autistic community" emerging as a force to change society and coming up with superior social norms. It's a contradiction in terms.

As for how the autistic community can grow to the point of being able to change society, see the thread How to build an autistic-friendly subculture?.

As for superior social norms: No, that's not a contradiction in terms. Precisely BECAUSE we're so lousy at social subtleties, an autistic-friendly subculture needs an ethic of assertiveness, much more so than the NT world needs it -- although the NT world could certainly benefit from it too. An ethic of assertiveness could help solve lots of problems, such as the one you mention below:

BeaArthur wrote:
I also have to agree that the "no contact" thing is overdone nowadays. Someone that has to insist on no contact probably has a poor ability to broker conflict and maintain boundaries.

Exactly. If more people knew how to be assertive (without being aggressive), there would be a lot fewer nasty break-ups.

Anyhow, regarding the autistic community:

BeaArthur wrote:
I do think banding together with other autistic people can help us learn to function better and feel less alone.

Agreed, mutual support is the main thing that the community can accomplish NOW. But it can accomplish much more than just that, once it grows big enough and becomes better organized.


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22 Nov 2018, 3:28 am

Shinku Tora wrote:
Just as some like to say no one is entitled to sex, there should also be no reason to feel entitled to friendships. You can’t force people to remain open to others who may not treat them well or take them for granted.

Of course we can't force people to remain friends. But the world would be a much better place if more people had both the willingness and the skills needed to resolve conflicts with their friends and thus keep their friendships.

And, in my opinion, the relevant skills are probably much easier for most autistic people to learn than the more superficial kinds of social skills such as cocktail party chit chat. As I see it, the most important relevant skills are:

1. Active listening.
2. Assertiveness (without being aggressive).
3. Giving and receiving constructive criticism.


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22 Nov 2018, 4:15 am

I would have thought autistic people with sensory overload would be more likely to go no contact on people.

I have a tendency to draw needy people to me because I'm a good listener, but I am quite an independent person who doesn't need frequent contact with friends, so there have been a couple of times in my life where I've gone no contact on people for the sake of my own sanity. I just found them overwhelming.

And I felt bad about it because I do have a conscience, but I just can't cope with people who need constant contact and reassurance. Or if they try and give me constant advice and try and fix me I can't deal with that much involvement. I need to do my own thing. The friends I have offline are people I meet up with maybe once a month.

If anyone I've done that to on this forum is reading this, I apologise. There's more than one of you. I dont know if you will be relieved to hear its not just you or whether that makes me worse in your eyes.



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22 Nov 2018, 4:23 am

The "no contact" thing is cruel unless there is violence or aggression. For me, it's contact frequency that changes, in one way or the other. There is never a sudden change, and especially not to no contact. It happens by contact being less and less frequent until you no longer see each other.



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22 Nov 2018, 4:38 am

My ex and i decided to remain friends after our break up. And i valued that greatly. Better than totally no contact.
We would see each other from time to time, and usually it felt nice and familiar.

That contact became less and less, sometimes a text or two. I suspected she had someone else and she did not want to share that with me. And i was right, looking back. She kept that hidden. To 'protect' me i think.

After some silence we decided to meet again last month. She did say there was someone else in her life, and i was like ok. Knew that. But it was not ok... i denied still having feelings for her. So i was sitting with her in the sun with a cup of coffee. And i felt good, not because of what she told me and her holiday with him, but i felt good just being around her...

Later on i sort of lost it. My mind was catching up to the reality of it all. And my mind can take it's time. Truth is i had never let her go. She was always my special someone. Calling her a friend did not make it any different.
She even sort of confessed loving me still. I became so angry, mostly at myself. For just not getting it.

I bombarded her with texts. Because i felt this was not right. But it was me who was still stuck in the same mode. I realised this, and said we should go no contact. I could not cope with it, and she wanted to move on. In a way i also did it out of love, to let her do what she wants.

This was the hardest thing i have had to do untill now. The ended relation is one thing. Losing that friend, not knowing if you will ever speak to them again, losing that bond, was horrible. As she was probably the only one that understands me.
I don't like being dependant, but when you bond with another so much it can get really hard to let go.



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22 Nov 2018, 4:39 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Fnord wrote:
There is no "We" when it come to autistic, autistic-like, and autistic-friendly people -- there are only individuals with no social cohesion or common goal.

Small, relatively cohesive groups of autistic people do exist, such as ASAN plus various in-person support groups, at least in major cities such as NYC. As the number of such groups grows, and as they manage to network with each other, they -- together with forums like WP -- will begin to constitute a more cohesive subculture than we have now.

Fnord wrote:
Some want jobs. Some want girlfriends. Some just want to be housed, fed, and medicated in isolation so that they can play their video games without having to interact with others.

Until "We" become a cohesive whole with full agreement on common goals, there will be no rules that "We" have to follow.

There is every bit as much variation within the LGBT community, yet it is a distinct subculture with its own rules.

Rules of some kind -- hopefully not overly restrictive rules -- will inevitably emerge as a subculture organizes and grows, as the autistic community is now doing, albeit slowly. We just need to make sure that the rules make sense.

At the very least, we should NOT assume that the NT world's rules are an unalterable fact of life within even an autistic-friendly subculture.


I think this is a complicated issue. First, I'm not at all convinced that it is a subculture we should create. The problem with subcultures is that they still obey the general rules of NTs. Second, I think you can generalize NDs as often being left wing, like socialist or communist, and we know how bad the implementation of these ideologies fared. IOW, autistic subcultures with strong cohesion would look an awful lot like some of the worse dictatorships we have seen, and so I rather not have those implemented. The truth probably is that NDs should not organize social cultures at all as this is not natural.