Why Do Some Aspies Struggle With Dating While Others Dont?

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Muse933277
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31 Mar 2021, 12:07 pm

Why do some people with autism struggle with dating while other people with autism seem to have no problem with dating at all? At one end of the spectrum, you've got people who had very little difficulty with finding romantic partners; they had multiple girlfriends/boyfriends throughout their teens and early twenties. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum, you've got the people who massively struggle, such as being a kissless virgin well into adulthood.

In my life, I've known many different people with autism of all levels of severity and personality and the truth is that, it's hard to predict whether or not someone with autism will struggle with dating. You would think that the less smart would be less likely to have been in relationships but that isn't necessarily true. My friend who's mildly intellectually impaired had many different girlfriends throughout his teenage and early adult years. Meanwhile, there's plenty of autistic men who are smart as hell who massively struggle with women.


What makes certain people with autism struggle more compared to others with autism? My theory is that the autistic men who don't struggle with dating have several personality traits in common.

For one thing, they tend to be more bold in general. If they like a girl, they go for it and don't get scared and not do anything. My high school buddy who was short and not that good looking was successful with women because of this regard. If he liked a girl, he'd go up and talk to her and maybe try to get her number. And in some ways, I think girls like this bold behavior in men because it's kind of hard to find a girlfriend if you don't even try, right? It's the man's job to approach and if you aren't approaching, you're probably not finding any success.

Another trait that autistic guys who don't struggle with finding a girlfriend have in common is that they're more open to dating girls who aren't as pretty or don't fit the traditional norm of attractiveness. Many guys choose romantic partners based on shallow qualities such as if she's hot and this may be the reason why some guys remain single. But many of the autistic guys I know who had many girlfriends are dating girls who aren't that attractive; they're willing to look past physical appearance and date someone who they're more compatible with, either that or they're desperate enough to date someone they don't like at all to avoid being alone. My ex-roommate had 2 different girlfriends during my 3 year stay and also several other hookup buddies, all of whom he met online, and yes they were all obese and not that pretty. So if you're willing to lower your standards and date conventionally unattractive women, you'll likely have an easier time.

Another trait these guys have is even though they're autistic, they're still fairly personable and know how to make connections with people. Extroversion and being able to emotionally connect with others are both positively correlated with dating success, regardless if you're autistic or not. You don't have to be the life of the party but you do need to know how to talk to others and actually have the motivation to do it. If you dislike talking to people in general and have difficulty emotionally bonding with other people, it's going to be really hard to find a girlfriend.


That's all I can think of for why some autistic men struggle while others don't.



kraftiekortie
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31 Mar 2021, 12:20 pm

What you say is probably true, in general.

Forget about "statistics." What you said rings really pretty true, in general.



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31 Mar 2021, 12:21 pm

[opinion=mine]

Appearance, Attitude, and Behavior are primary factors. Health, Sanity, Talent, and Wealth are secondary factors.

But the single most important factor in dating is self-confidence.  Because if you have already decided that you are going to fail, then you will fail.  I do not know how many times I have offered advice on self-confidence -- based only on what has worked for myself and others -- only for the person receiving the advice to respond with "Yeah, but...", "What if...", and other words that indicate they are more focused on failure than on success.

All of the practical advice, empty praises, and mindless platitudes in the world will not help such a person.


Therefore, I believe that, for those people, the best way for them to handle their lack of success in dating is for them to quietly accept the idea that they will never find date, and to quietly learn to be happy with being alone.

[/opinion]


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31 Mar 2021, 1:33 pm

Fnord wrote:
But the single most important factor in dating is self-confidence.

I never judged men primarily by their "self-confidence," but apparently many women do?

I've always wanted partners, women or men, who shared my interests and values, and who were capable of -- and enjoyed -- deep thought about same.

Although I never cared about other people's "self-confidence" per se, I've always detested fake "self-confidence" -- which I've always seen as much more of a barrier, than genuine shyness, to the kinds of deep, intelligent conversations I like to have.

To the extent that it's true that people (especially men) are judged primarily by "self-confidence," it intrinsically sets up a "rich get richer, poor get poorer" vicious circle dynamic. (Here I mean "rich" in a metaphorical sense, i.e. genuine self-confidence can be based only on success at whatever one is trying to do, so, if success at some particular endeavor is based primarily on self-confidence....)

And, with me, if someone was trying to break out of that vicious circle by "faking it until they made it," that would be an immediate turnoff for me.

We, collectively, need to come up with some better alternatives to standard contemporary Western dating rituals (while still respecting the autonomy of all parties concerned, of course). If we were a much bigger and better-organized subculture than we are now, and if enough of us were to devote enough creative imagination to such a project, then we could easily pull this off.


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31 Mar 2021, 1:44 pm

Anyhow, to get off my soapbox and back to the main topic of this thread....

Muse933277 wrote:
Another trait these guys have is even though they're autistic, they're still fairly personable and know how to make connections with people. Extroversion and being able to emotionally connect with others are both positively correlated with dating success, regardless if you're autistic or not. You don't have to be the life of the party but you do need to know how to talk to others and actually have the motivation to do it. If you dislike talking to people in general and have difficulty emotionally bonding with other people, it's going to be really hard to find a girlfriend.


I certainly agree with the above. It's a whole lot easier to form a romantic relationship if you are also capable of deep friendship. That's one of the many reasons why, in my opinion, it's important to have friends, and to have experience with friendship.


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31 Mar 2021, 1:48 pm

There's some good points in the original post. I think my husband is probably autistic and he was bold with me, he made sure I knew he liked me (which was necessary because I wouldn't pick up on it if he was more subtle) and although he apparently finds me attractive I'm certainly not your typically attractive person.


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Muse933277
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31 Mar 2021, 2:39 pm

I'd like to go over some cases of guys I know with autism who have had success with finding multiple girlfriends. Below are a few cases.


My former roommate:

He's an average looking guy who's average height so around 5 ft 8. He's fairly quiet, introverted, and perhaps a little bit high strung as well. He never went to college but works a full time job making maybe 25k a year, so he's not rich either. Yet he's had several different girlfriends throughout my stay in the apartment, all of them from my understanding have been overweight conventionally unattractive women.

For a guy like him, the reason why he's been successful is because despite being quiet and introverted, he is bold and capable of holding conversations with women, at least online. His standards for physical looks are lower as well which means he's willing to date a wider variety of women, even if they aren't traditionally attractive, which explains why most of the women he's dated have been obese.


Guy Living In The Dorms:

I lived in the dorms with a guy who was clearly autistic. He also wasn't very good looking and fairly facially unattractive. Despite this, he was also fairly bold and was not afraid of talking to girls he liked and asking for their number. Word got around that he got a cute girl's snapchat and when she rejected him, he threw a fit and started insulting her, so he was a bit of "niceguy" as well. Despite all of this, he did wind up getting a girlfriend in the dorms. Once again, this girl was obese and fairly unattractive, and probably enjoyed the attention that he gave her.

Last time I checked his Facebook a month ago, he is now in another relationship, and yes this girl is fairly obese and unattractive as well.




The Pattern:

Do you notice a pattern here? The autistic guys who are successful with women tend to be bold, somewhat personable, and are willing to lower their standards, especially in regards to physical appearance. Shy guys, guys incapable of conversation with women, and/or guys who have too high of standards relative to what they bring to the table seem to struggle the most.



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31 Mar 2021, 2:54 pm

One pattern with the autistic guys on here who complain about not being able to find women to give them a chance does seem to be a particular interest in how good looking or ugly people are. There are a lot of posts about how unfair it is that all women want attractive men written by men who only want attractive women. Obviously it's not all of them but it is a noticable trend and way more off-putting than being ugly/poor/short or any of the things guys on here worry about being.


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31 Mar 2021, 2:57 pm

Well then, since you are all such great observers, than please explain why your observations have borne no fruit for yourselves.  Everyone who seems to be an expert on what does not work also seems to lack any expertise at all on what does work.


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31 Mar 2021, 3:04 pm

It isn't entirely about 'lowering standards' and that's kind of unfair to suggest.

I haven't dated someone I didn't find attractive since before I first had sex, so grade 11. Some of the people I've dated have been less concerned about presenting as is expected of attractive women, some of them were unconventionally attractive but some were quite conventional in that regard.

I generally look for other people who seem like they might also be sorta outcastish or at least not interested in being in the thick of things socially. These people are more likely to be on the same wavelength as I am. If someone seems approachable and like they might be interesting to get to know you might as well make the attempt because in some social contexts those opportunities are literally why you both bothered to show up in the first place so you're not putting them out by approaching, you're doing what is expected.



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31 Mar 2021, 3:04 pm

Autism is a spectrum that can potentially have lots of various comorbids & limit different people in different ways. There are numerous factors that can potentially hinder or help with dating. Different people can find different things attractive & be turned off by different things.

One of the most limiting factors that I notice on this forum Muse is that some have very unrealistic expectations & requirements. They go on & on about how they are lonely & hate being single but they have very strict criteria for who they will get in a relationship with. When that is mentioned to them, they go on about how they did not ask to be born with their disability so they should not be expected to have to compromise in anyway what so ever. I think they must majorly s#ck at life because compromising is a major aspect of life. For example most people want a job that pays them a lot of money but lots of people are not able to get those jobs because they do not have the skills/talent, education, experience, connections, &/or they have some disability that limits them. Should those people refuse to work & end up homeless starving on the street because they are refusing to work at all unless it's a job where they make crazy money on the basis that they did not chose to be born into that situation? Or would it be better for them to accept a job they can perform & know they will not be rich but they can still have a home to live in & afford the food they want? I think the latter would be much better but I'd suspect that those complainers with unrealistic expectations would chose to be on the street. If those people would rather not work at all or would rather have no relationship, it is their choice to refuse but I think lots of others would get frustrated with them very fast & they will be in for a very difficult time. People have the rite to make idiotic choices & I have the rite not to feel sorry for them. I can only help someone who wants to help themselves.

That said there are autistics who struggle majorly to find most any romantic partner. I've been in that crummy situation myself & it can really s#ck. I know I sure complained aLOT about it but I sure was NOT gonna refuse all women that did not fit a long laundry list of superficial criteria when I sure as f#ck knew that I would NEVER measure up to it. It seemed like it would be very hypocritical of me & I would figuratively be shooting myself in the foot by automatically ruling out some great women. It is VERY common for us Aspies to make bad impressions & for others to misjudge us so I do not want to do that to others. I really NEEDED a relationship partner who was willing to give me a real chance & I have that with my current girlfriend. Sure she would not be considered conventionally attractive physically or otherwise but having a partner who accepts me & respects me is a hell of aLOT better than being single & lonely.

In reference to Fnord's post here :arrow: One major problem I have regarding being disabled is that others do not really understand or fully grasp my entire situation. Growing up I would hear stories from my mom about different disabled people she knew who could do various things that I couldn't even thou those disables were more disabled than me in one specific way/area. They only had one specific sever disability instead of various multiple disabilities that are a little less sever. They also tended to receive a lot of useful help & support growing up that I did not have & others also cut them some slack because of how severely & immediately noticeable their disability is/was. There is NO one size fits all approach with this stuff. I'm certain that at least 85% of the advice I received regarding life &/or romantic relationships did not work for me when I tried to apply it. Something would go wrong & I would then get accused of intentionally screwing up when I was trying my best but was outside of my element & drew a blank or something. In reference to the confidence thing, I actually did have some confidence in myself but I also was very painfully aware that others would misjudge me & not give me a fair chance. There are LOTS of things I can do or learn to do well if I was put in the right environment or situation but others will not give me the chance to put my foot in the door & prove it to them.


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31 Mar 2021, 3:40 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
It isn't entirely about 'lowering standards' and that's kind of unfair to suggest...
Not really.  If an individual's standards are so lofty that either (1) no such person could possibly exist, or (2) no such person would even notice that individual, then maybe those standards should be lowered to a more realistic level.


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31 Mar 2021, 3:48 pm

OutsideView wrote:
One pattern with the autistic guys on here who complain about not being able to find women to give them a chance does seem to be a particular interest in how good looking or ugly people are. There are a lot of posts about how unfair it is that all women want attractive men written by men who only want attractive women. Obviously it's not all of them but it is a noticable trend and way more off-putting than being ugly/poor/short or any of the things guys on here worry about being.


I think this is important ^^^^

You wouldnt like someone judging your entire "value" based on your waist size, would you?

Approach humans, women, men, old folks, hot or ugly, as human beings and potential friends. They will appreciate you for it.

Attraction may develop over time, or not, but you can remain friends with a person if attraction doesn't develop. Not harm. Just let her down gently...

I'm not suggesting "lowering standards " I'm suggesting taking into consideration the entire human being, personality, interests, sense of humor, and all physical aspects (maybe she has a gorgeous smile?)

If you look for the good and positive in people, you will start to see it more and more.


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31 Mar 2021, 3:52 pm

OutsideView wrote:
[...] There are a lot of posts about how unfair it is that all women want attractive men written by men who only want attractive women. [...]
This is called "Hypocrisy".

What kind of woman would want to date a man who embraces double standards?


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31 Mar 2021, 3:56 pm

Fnord wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
It isn't entirely about 'lowering standards' and that's kind of unfair to suggest...
Not really.  If an individual's standards are so lofty that either (1) no such person could possibly exist, or (2) no such person would even notice that individual, then maybe those standards should be lowered to a more realistic level.



I don't disagree, but sometimes it's a matter of perspective.

Some people look at different categories of models as unapproachably perfect and they might be when you're viewing them through a lens capturing them at work. Those same people when they're not captured from that perspective are just normal (well, sometimes pretty abnormal) people captured in a very idealized manner.

Some of us would tell someone who dreams of dating a model to quit dreaming. I'd tell that person to learn to work a camera or to put on makeup or something else that will result in being in those people's orbits. Then they're just normal people you'll get to know. They might even lose their allure entirely.



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31 Mar 2021, 4:11 pm

I remember a few incidents from my single days when normal-looking girls would complain about their great-looking crushes chasing after only fantastic-looking cheerleader types, and when I suggested that we go out instead, I would see an expression of disgust flash across their faces before hearing them say something about having a headache or needing to wash their hair.

Some people are so fixated on the gold beyond their reach that they ignore the silver at their feet.


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