Should we inform our romantic interests of our condition?

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SkinnyElephant
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29 Feb 2024, 7:26 pm

I've only had 2 dates in the past 8 years, neither of which led to sex or a 2nd date.

After sharing the detailed stories of these 2 dates on another forum, here's the general consensus the other posters came to: I ended up unknowingly saying the "wrong" thing (thanks to being on the spectrum), which freaked out the other party. Posters suggested that, with any future dates, I should be upfront right off the bat (about being on the spectrum), or else the same pattern is going to continue.

Then this one poster had something further to say: Since I'm pretty much illiterate at picking up on the clues that the other party is down for sex, telling the other party right off the bat about being on the spectrum might benefit me in the sense that they'll try to be more obvious about their clues.

All of this being said, I'm skeptical about the idea of telling my romantic interests about my condition. Yeah, in a perfect world, they'll be more understanding if they're aware of my condition. Realistically though, I could picture the strategy backfiring. A high percentage of the population would likely sprint away from me upon hearing I'm on the spectrum.

Then even those who stay might end up infantilizing me. I say this because the one time I informed a boss of my condition, he ended up treating me like a child for the rest of the time I worked for him.



funeralxempire
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29 Feb 2024, 7:41 pm

I've always disclosed but I'm not sure if that would work best for everyone.


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blitzkrieg
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29 Feb 2024, 7:53 pm

I think disclosure at some point during the dating period would be appropriate.

Perhaps not straight away, however, due to discrimination issues.



funeralxempire
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29 Feb 2024, 7:57 pm

blitzkrieg wrote:
I think disclosure at some point during the dating period would be appropriate.

Perhaps not straight away, however, due to discrimination issues.


Hi, I'm autism... I mean Austin, nice to meet you.


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29 Feb 2024, 7:59 pm

I don't think that a person has to tell a romantic interest about their autism diagnosis, but I'd want to tell them so they'd have a better understanding of my quirks. It could help with emotional intimacy down the road too. If they aren't cool about it, they probably aren't worth one's time. Well, that's how I would see it.


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blitzkrieg
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29 Feb 2024, 9:35 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
blitzkrieg wrote:
I think disclosure at some point during the dating period would be appropriate.

Perhaps not straight away, however, due to discrimination issues.


Hi, I'm autism... I mean Austin, nice to meet you.


:lol: :lol:



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01 Mar 2024, 1:26 am

I got to know my boyfriend a bit before telling him about it, like I guess I waited till it seemed we might be getting more serious about a longer term relationship before mentioning it, Cause I didn't want to keep it a secret from someone I was getting serious with, but yeah did not mention it right off before I was sure he was interested in me.


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01 Mar 2024, 4:39 am

Since I have an autoimmune disease I am ready to inform people, generally, only about it and use it as an excuse for the things I hate doing as an (officialy still undiagnosed) autistic person. Things that are exausting for me.

Should I openly admit to a potential partener about my autism? Probably should and I will if they have already accepted me with my disease. But most healthy man are not that ready for it, although I don't have a visible disability.

The problem in my country is that adults can not be assessed for autism nor get the diagnosis. Only children with severe autism. So hardly I will find another middle age Aspie..

What I am not ready is to pretend that I am just like any other regular woman. The expectations would be too high and now I'm old enough to realize I can not do masking for too long anymore. For me it is even better to be alone for the rest of my life.


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SkinnyElephant
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01 Mar 2024, 8:23 am

TwilightPrincess wrote:
I don't think that a person has to tell a romantic interest about their autism diagnosis, but I'd want to tell them so they'd have a better understanding of my quirks. It could help with emotional intimacy down the road too. If they aren't cool about it, they probably aren't worth one's time. Well, that's how I would see it.


On my most recent date, even though I never admitted to being on the spectrum, I shared a few of my quirks. The woman was, much to my surprise, ok with the quirks I shared. I had high hopes for her. Even though there was no sex, the date went well.

The next 3 days went well too. By the end of day 3, she was already begging me for a 2nd date.

Then on day 4, she made a joke which is apparently obvious to neurotypicals, yet the joke went over my head. My response freaked her out. It all went downhill from there. In a span of 24 hours, she went from begging me for a 2nd date to wanting nothing to do with me.



SkinnyElephant
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01 Mar 2024, 8:51 am

DazyDaisy wrote:
Since I have an autoimmune disease I am ready to inform people, generally, only about it and use it as an excuse for the things I hate doing as an (officialy still undiagnosed) autistic person. Things that are exausting for me.

Should I openly admit to a potential partener about my autism? Probably should and I will if they have already accepted me with my disease. But most healthy man are not that ready for it, although I don't have a visible disability.

The problem in my country is that adults can not be assessed for autism nor get the diagnosis. Only children with severe autism. So hardly I will find another middle age Aspie..

What I am not ready is to pretend that I am just like any other regular woman. The expectations would be too high and now I'm old enough to realize I can not do masking for too long anymore. For me it is even better to be alone for the rest of my life.


You summed it up perfectly when you called autism spectrum disorder an invisible disability.

Even though, as I indicated on my last post, the occasional joke will go over my head, I (in most cases) come across as simply a tad quirky/socially awkward. The vast majority of the population would never guess I'm on the spectrum.

Then even in the case of the joke the woman I had my last date with made (which went over my head), I'm pretty sure the only reason my response freaked her out was because she never would have suspected I'm on the spectrum (so, from her point of view, there's no reason I should fail to get the joke).

You're right when you say masking is exhausting. The fact those of us with a mild autism case are able to mask is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the outside world isn't going to immediately know we're autistic. But on the other hand, this comes at a cost: Neurotypicals will expect we'll want to do all the same stuff they want to do.

This makes it hard for us to maintain friendship *or* romantic relationships. As an example, a friend in the past got fed up by the fact I had no desire to go bar-hopping with him.



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01 Mar 2024, 8:53 am

Not to begin with no. A lot of people have a tendency to discriminate before meeting people.



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01 Mar 2024, 9:35 am

Where I'm originally from even the so-called experts tend to think of autism as a less sever form of mental retardation. Tellimg a date that your autistic when you don't really know each other would likely guarantee you don't get a second one unless they are a preditor who thinks your easy prey. I think it'll be better to mention certain issues you have without mentioning autism till you know each other a little better unless the person mentions having autism, having an autistic family member, working with autistic people, or brings up other disorders.


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01 Mar 2024, 9:44 am

Yeah I'm upfront about it


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01 Mar 2024, 9:50 am

Nades wrote:
Not to begin with no. A lot of people have a tendency to discriminate before meeting people.


Right?

Telling someone upfront could perhaps sabotage something good that might happen later on in the dating process (i.e, being accepted as a dating partner/possibly leading to intimacy etc).

People often have negative stereotypes of autism, even if they are well meaning, decent people. Mostly out of ignorance or a lack of the necessity to think about autism in any depth.



Nades
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01 Mar 2024, 9:56 am

blitzkrieg wrote:
Nades wrote:
Not to begin with no. A lot of people have a tendency to discriminate before meeting people.


Right?

Telling someone upfront could perhaps sabotage something good that might happen later on in the dating process (i.e, being accepted as a dating partner/possibly leading to intimacy etc).

People often have negative stereotypes of autism, even if they are well meaning, decent people. Mostly out of ignorance or a lack of the necessity to think about autism in any depth.


Nick hit the nail on the head with his post. Google image "autism" and nothing but children appear. The stereotype of autism is of a child's disorder. Telling a date you have autism too soon and they'll think you're mentally ret*d and will never speak to you again if you haven't had a couple of dates first.

It really is as simple as that.



nick007
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01 Mar 2024, 10:00 am

blitzkrieg wrote:
Nades wrote:
Not to begin with no. A lot of people have a tendency to discriminate before meeting people.


Right?

Telling someone upfront could perhaps sabotage something good that might happen later on in the dating process (i.e, being accepted as a dating partner/possibly leading to intimacy etc).

People often have negative stereotypes of autism, even if they are well meaning, decent people. Mostly out of ignorance or a lack of the necessity to think about autism in any depth.
That's exactly what I was getting at. You explained more than me. Good job :D


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