How to understand when someone is flirting

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AprilR
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07 Oct 2021, 11:56 am

I have no interest in dating or casual sex, i Just want to make friends regardless of gender but a friend of mine Said that after a certain age you can't be friends with people of the opposite sex since it is clear that they want a girlfriend.

I never had many friends and i would really like to make friends since i am scared of being left alone after my parents die. But i really don't want a relationship and never feel any emotional connection with people. Of course these things are impossible to tell to other people. What can i do or say to people to make them understand that i Just want platonic relationships, and friendships are a lot more meaningful to me since i almost had no friends growing up?

I fear that people don't take me seriously when i mention that i don't want a relationship. They think i am playing hard to get or have commitment issues or whatever. What else can i say to make them understand i REALLY am not interested in dating?

Please help me as i don't want to lise potential friends by acting too cold, but i really don't want anyone to think that i am flirting with them.



Shellbelle
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08 Oct 2021, 11:28 pm

I don't know if you mask a lot? If you do, then perhaps your words and body language aren't matching up, which is causing people not to believe what you say.

In the past, I was accused of being very flirtatious when I thought I was simply being kind and polite towards others. I think I pushed my classic female trait mask a bit too far. If you do similarly, like smile a lot, ask people a lot of questions or over do acting interested in what they say, this can be construed as wanting more than a frienship, even if you say you aren't looking for more.

What helped me was studying women who were more business like in their nature, or those who had a lot of friends but were not considered flirty. By respectfully watching and learning what this looks like you may have better luck reaching your goals of friendship.

Additionally, do you have access to an autistic support group, or a peer group who is on the spectrum? Finding friendships with others more like you may also help you form friendships.



AprilR
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10 Oct 2021, 8:24 am

You are probably right, i always try to act friendly to people but i don't have the intentions of flirting in mind. I wish there was a community for high functioning autistic people here but there Sadly isn't one. Maybe in the future.



Shellbelle
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10 Oct 2021, 11:43 am

That is the case for me too, we don't have groups where I am. There is only one I know of, and it was suspended with COVID and hasn't reformed. It is also only operated in a therapeutic setting, so you have to pay for it. I get frustrated at the money part and the idea autistic people should only meet in a therapuetic setting. Sigh. So weird to me.

Below are some ideas, some which helped me branch out a bit, some not so much, but you never know if what didn't work for me may work for you, so I put them below anyway. :)

I know church isn't everyone's thing, but many people like the sense of community it can offer. Didn't work for me, but I hear it can be really awesome for those that enjoy it.

Community continuing education classes for pottery, jewelry making, computers etc. are a good place to meet people amd they are less expensive than other places.

There are also yoga classes at community centers or exercise classes at gyms. I've met a good friend through yoga. She is ND so we click better.

I also practice striking up conversations *with women only, men perceive this exercise in a totally different light.* I choose safe and neutral locations to practice non-flirty communication skills.
Grocery check out lines are a good place for example. If you can do that it really improves the ability to meet people when you go other places.

I hope this is helpful, I don't kmow if it will be, but regardless, I hope you meet people who are good friendship material.



AprilR
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10 Oct 2021, 2:35 pm

Thank you so much. I actually tried going to different courses to make friends and socialize, but after they ended i lost contact with the friends i made there. It is so hard to make new friends after high school/college is over.

I understand your frustration too. It is very strange to have to pay for that type of activity. There is bound to be an awkward atmosphere.

It seems like after a certain age most people are done widening their social circles. I am still learning how to do that however. I am glad that at least these kinds of forums exist.



The_Face_of_Boo
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11 Oct 2021, 5:14 am

If they initiate texting a lot for no apparent reason = interested.


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DuckHairback
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11 Oct 2021, 7:33 am

I don't have an answer for this, but I can offer a different perspective in case it helps.

This has happened to me, as a young man, with 2 separate girls. Both started as friends. Girls who seemed to enjoy my company, laughed at my jokes, teased me, would initiate contact with me, would talk to me for hours on the phone well into the small hours.

These are all things that would, going by the 'rulebook' suggest an interest in me beyond friendship. Both times I took the initiative to progress things. Both times I was told they weren't looking for relationships, just friendships. And both those girls expressed to me their frustration that every time they made these friendships with boys, it got ruined by 'feelings' getting in the way. They meant the boys feelings, not their own.

And it did ruin things - these friendships were effectively over at the point I laid my cards on the table. From that point on my motivations were suspicious to them and it's just painful being around people you like in that way when you know they don't feel the same.

To be clear, I didn't cultivate these friendships with the goal of seducing these girls, I've always had girl friends and generally got on better with them than boys. It's just that when you're young and insecure and girls respond to you in these positive and gratifying ways, it's very hard not to fall in love with them.

There's no blame to be apportioned, I don't think. And I don't know that there's any preventing it either. It's just a tough nugget.



AprilR
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11 Oct 2021, 9:47 am

DuckHairback wrote:
I don't have an answer for this, but I can offer a different perspective in case it helps.

This has happened to me, as a young man, with 2 separate girls. Both started as friends. Girls who seemed to enjoy my company, laughed at my jokes, teased me, would initiate contact with me, would talk to me for hours on the phone well into the small hours.

These are all things that would, going by the 'rulebook' suggest an interest in me beyond friendship. Both times I took the initiative to progress things. Both times I was told they weren't looking for relationships, just friendships. And both those girls expressed to me their frustration that every time they made these friendships with boys, it got ruined by 'feelings' getting in the way. They meant the boys feelings, not their own.

And it did ruin things - these friendships were effectively over at the point I laid my cards on the table. From that point on my motivations were suspicious to them and it's just painful being around people you like in that way when you know they don't feel the same.

To be clear, I didn't cultivate these friendships with the goal of seducing these girls, I've always had girl friends and generally got on better with them than boys. It's just that when you're young and insecure and girls respond to you in these positive and gratifying ways, it's very hard not to fall in love with them.

There's no blame to be apportioned, I don't think. And I don't know that there's any preventing it either. It's just a tough nugget.


I understand, i figured that it must be tough on the other side too. I try not to lead people on and hurt their feelings but i have an instinct to always be friendly to every one so that i won' t be alone. I am scared of being alone. And I guess i am not used to people showing any interest in me let alone as a friend forget about as a girlfriend.



kraftiekortie
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11 Oct 2021, 10:07 am

Nothing wrong with being friendly....but you have to set boundaries.

Very simple advice.....but I feel like it's the right advice.

There's too much of the "black and white" thing where any friendly overture by a woman is interpreted as a romantic overture by a man.



Shellbelle
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11 Oct 2021, 7:48 pm

AprilR wrote:
Thank you so much. I actually tried going to different courses to make friends and socialize, but after they ended i lost contact with the friends i made there. It is so hard to make new friends after high school/college is over.

I understand your frustration too. It is very strange to have to pay for that type of activity. There is bound to be an awkward atmosphere.

It seems like after a certain age most people are done widening their social circles. I am still learning how to do that however. I am glad that at least these kinds of forums exist.


I completely agree, after a certain age there does seem to be a lot less interest in making new friendships.

I have met a few friends through work. Is that a possibility for you? The workplace isn't always ideal, but sometimes you can find someone with similar abilities or interests.



AprilR
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12 Oct 2021, 11:50 am

Shellbelle wrote:
AprilR wrote:
Thank you so much. I actually tried going to different courses to make friends and socialize, but after they ended i lost contact with the friends i made there. It is so hard to make new friends after high school/college is over.

I understand your frustration too. It is very strange to have to pay for that type of activity. There is bound to be an awkward atmosphere.

It seems like after a certain age most people are done widening their social circles. I am still learning how to do that however. I am glad that at least these kinds of forums exist.


I completely agree, after a certain age there does seem to be a lot less interest in making new friendships.

I have met a few friends through work. Is that a possibility for you? The workplace isn't always ideal, but sometimes you can find someone with similar abilities or interests.


It might work but it is complicated for me. I am a lawyer and most people my age already have their own law firms. The people i met through work before were always younger than me, and they were all aiming to open their own law firm or become a judge at some point. I worked in a few law firms before and all my friends were younger than me and after a while when i left work we grew apart.

I guess i am scared of people thinking i am dumb for working at someone else's firm at my age. And don't think anyone would befriend me either way. I am sorry for venting.



Shellbelle
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12 Oct 2021, 9:30 pm

I think this is the best place to vent, so no need for apologies here. I think it is good we can share these things and listen to each other. Vent away!!

From what I am hearing, you sound like a very smart, capable person. Being a lawyer is not easy, and you did that! Go you- seriously!

It is really phenomenal to me too, how you are not allowing the outside pressure to start a firm or be a judge push you into doing something.

We all have the right to do things at our own paces. I was with a group of people in a special program to get a master's degree. They all went on to do crazy awesome things, but I spent two years after getting my degree resting and letting the information I had learned settle in my brain. I felt really bad and stupid and guilty, but I couldn't physically or mentally do any differently because I'm me. I may be going at a slower pace than they are, but I'm still getting there, and me being true to myself has made others respect how I am doing life, and then there are others who think I am dumb, but meh, that's life.

Anyway, I would be happy to have such a smart and strong minded friend as you honestly. I think the people you work with may feel similarly, maybe you just can't feel their appreciation of you and so it is a disconnected, separate feeling?

Do you know if you have any alexthymia?

I ask, because maybe this may help.

I have it, and this makes it hard for me to actually feel connection to others. It took me a while to learn that my lack of feeling connection is not necessarily because people do not like me, or we aren't friends, but it is just the way I am built. Is this a thing for you?
It really put a wrench in my ability to make friends, that's for sure. But there are ways for us to manage it and we can find ways to feel connected. I think people do want to connect with us, but as autistic and allistic people we are like American and European electrical sockets. We need adapters to make things work. Lucky for us, there are a few to choose from :)



AprilR
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13 Oct 2021, 3:51 am

Thank you so much, talking to you makes me feel better Just knowing there are people like you in the world.

Again, thank you. I suspect i am Just good at memorizing facts and such and don't really understand human's nature to lie and deceive for their own benefit. I am also not good under pressure at all so the Best thing i can do for myself and the Others are being someone else's employee.I can't even understand when someone is lying to me so doing legal paperwork and staying away from the social aspects like client meetings is the best i can do. I don't think i am dumb btw, i just think other people would think so and i don't want to get bullied.

You also sound like an awesome person, what degree are you getting if you don't mind me asking? I would love to have a friend like you too.

I also suspect i may have alexithymia. I don't understand my feelings well, i usually notice that i felt something after a long time has passed. Like "oh, this must be why i was not eating because i was anxious."



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13 Oct 2021, 3:57 am

My experience is that I don't as I have been told on many occasions by my Mum or others "Didn't you see that lady flirting with you?" and I would be puzzled and say "What lady?" Kinda happened to me often in the past.



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13 Oct 2021, 5:46 pm

AprilR wrote:
I have no interest in dating or casual sex, i Just want to make friends regardless of gender but a friend of mine Said that after a certain age you can't be friends with people of the opposite sex since it is clear that they want a girlfriend.

I never had many friends and i would really like to make friends since i am scared of being left alone after my parents die. But i really don't want a relationship and never feel any emotional connection with people. Of course these things are impossible to tell to other people. What can i do or say to people to make them understand that i Just want platonic relationships, and friendships are a lot more meaningful to me since i almost had no friends growing up?

I fear that people don't take me seriously when i mention that i don't want a relationship. They think i am playing hard to get or have commitment issues or whatever. What else can i say to make them understand i REALLY am not interested in dating?

Please help me as i don't want to lise potential friends by acting too cold, but i really don't want anyone to think that i am flirting with them.


Like the real Pepe Le Pew, all my flirting never amounts to romance.
I even had my anal glands removed, but nada. 8O

I have only been in luv twice in my life.
The first time romantically. The second platonically.
I never want to experience that level of pain ever again.

We are in a similar boat.
The difference is, I am twice your age. 8)


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AprilR
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14 Oct 2021, 2:12 am

Pepe wrote:
AprilR wrote:
I have no interest in dating or casual sex, i Just want to make friends regardless of gender but a friend of mine Said that after a certain age you can't be friends with people of the opposite sex since it is clear that they want a girlfriend.

I never had many friends and i would really like to make friends since i am scared of being left alone after my parents die. But i really don't want a relationship and never feel any emotional connection with people. Of course these things are impossible to tell to other people. What can i do or say to people to make them understand that i Just want platonic relationships, and friendships are a lot more meaningful to me since i almost had no friends growing up?

I fear that people don't take me seriously when i mention that i don't want a relationship. They think i am playing hard to get or have commitment issues or whatever. What else can i say to make them understand i REALLY am not interested in dating?

Please help me as i don't want to lise potential friends by acting too cold, but i really don't want anyone to think that i am flirting with them.


Like the real Pepe Le Pew, all my flirting never amounts to romance.
I even had my anal glands removed, but nada. 8O

I have only been in luv twice in my life.
The first time romantically. The second platonically.
I never want to experience that level of pain ever again.

We are in a similar boat.
The difference is, I am twice your age. 8)


I have also been in love once, and i feel like that's enough for a lifetime lol. I am glad i got to experience it but i don't want more. It was more or less like an illusion anyway.