Dated a Wonderful Girl With Asperger's

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Hopper
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01 May 2014, 3:44 am

As someone who has been utterly oblivious to women trying to show their more-than-friend interest until they stated it clearly, and who is big-time shy, I would go with asking directly. Be clear but not overwhelming in how you feel, and polite, and be sure she knows you want to know how she feels. I don't know the best way to ask - putting myself in her shoes, written communication allows what's said to be double checked on and thought about, but you might not get any sort of reply. Face-to-face/on the phone, depending on a whole lot of variables, would stand a good chance of putting me into a shutdown, even if I was actually interested. But in this regard, you have a better idea of her than we do.

But yes, I would say with be clear, and be clear you'd like a response from her.


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GregCav
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01 May 2014, 6:40 am

The way I read it; you've blown your chance with her.

While I can't speek on her behalf, I can give you my impression based on my own life experience.

I fall in love with girls easy. But I can't read them one iota. I have no idea if they like me or are just being polite. I often find out the hard way that they were being polite when they finaly blow a cork and yell and scream at me, abuse and accuse me.

We are easily mis-read by NT's. You said that you suspect she was lieing. Aspies generaly couldn't lie to save themselves. So that was your interpretation of some other thing going on for her. Possibly shyness, more likely she's getting scarred that she likes you, and is unsure of what she wants.

We are babies when it comes to emotions. We don't have a clue what we want, or how to go about getting it (or avoiding it).

We also have a very good memory. Probably far better than your own. So every word you ever spoke to her, she would have mulled over for days wondering why you said this or that. My experience says that it is the aruements that you two had that have caused her to avoid you.

Emotional pain for us is far more intense. I don't understand emotions, and have little control over them. So when i get emotional, I get confused, I get hurt, I can't sleep, I can't think, I can't concentrate, I lose control of myself. Your arguments may have hurt her far more than you imagine. We are of course all different, so I'm basing this responce on my own.

This is how it is for me, it may be similar for her. Or it could be something entirely different. But hopefuly I've given you some useful insight.



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01 May 2014, 8:10 am

Your ex-girlfriend sounds very much like me and you sound very much like my ex-boyfriend so I can understand her (as long as she is really like me).

In the start of the relationship I was very withdrawn. The boyfriend was doing a lot to catch my interest but it was just iritating for me. I was perfectly fine with being alone and I was pretty sure I can't make a healthy relationship with anyone. I was telling him this: "Sorry, it is not going anywhere, I just can't love." and "You will end up being hurt. I don't want anybody to feel hurt by me. Just give up already. It will be better for both of us." but he didn't listen. He was stubborn so I gave up and decided to try, assuming he knows what he is doing. I warned him, right?

He was talking to me everyday (which was iritating at first but I got used to it eventually and even started the conversations sometimes). I was often answering him with a single 'yes', "no", "maybe", "I don't know" or "ok" (unless he hit a topic I was specially interested in - then I was saying a lot) because either the topic wasn't interesting to me or I couldn't find right words to answer.
Perfect example: "How do you feel?". It was making my mind going to a non-verbal rolercoaster mode, I was honestly thinking what to answer but I had no clue, there was too much data to process. I was lost in my thoughts and emotions, without any idea how to explain them, it was painfull for me. So I was saying "I don't know", and it was somehow accurate but didn't explain everything that was going on in my mind, I wanted to explain but I couldn't. My dictionary was just not enough. And my "I don't know" was causing a flood of questions like: "What happend? Just tell me, I might help you. Whats doing on? Are you mad at me?". I just wanted to stop thinking about the feelings and feel all messed up...

After a while our conversations got more intimate and we even started to make some "stuff". I have to say it was fun and I liked it. But at the same time boyfriend got more demanding. He was asking me why I never say I love him (I wanted to make sure when I say it it is gonna be true. And my feelings were still a mess. I can't get it why people say "I love you" so casually.) He also couldnt understand why I still answer with simple "ok" to his questions etc. It made him "feel he is a burden to me".

Then he started assuming I am just playing with him and with the whole feeling mess in my head I started assuming maybe it is true - I mean, I liked what we were doing and I cared about him and didnt want to lose him but I couldn't feel what I was supposed to feel as a real girlfriend. The romantic love and butterflies in stomach were just abstract for me.
Also. I honestly hated when he was asking me the feeling questions or talking to me with his boring small talks (he stoped asking about my special interests). I felt bad about it. I didn't want to use him like this but I was sure I can't act like a girfriend he wanted me to be. I will never be able to talk about my feelings and show the feelings like he wanted me to. So after another huge argument about the feelings and me "using" him I told him to "It's over. I only hurt your feelings and I don't want to. This makes me sad. We are not meant to be togehter. We are two different species. We will never understand each other.". I was also badly hurt by this. I was crying a lot. But I didn't change my mind. I knew it is for the best, the pain will be gone sooner or later (and it was gone - after a month or so for me).

I stoped answering his calls and text messages. I still read them and was hurt by them and wanted to get back but I decided and my decision was ultimate. I knew he won't be able to stop the relationship himself and I knew staying in it just hurts both of us. Getting apart was the only logical solution. He was sending me a lot of textings, he was stalking me for 4 months. He was saying: "Im sorry! It is all my fault! Please forgive me! I will change!" but I was sure it is not going to happen and the messages were hurting me even more.
I was the problem, not him. He would be a perfect boyfriend if I was a normal girl. He was caring, talkative, outging, understanding, sensitive, respecting, hardworking. He could cook and he actually LIKED to clean his house. He was just too perfect for me. I was hurting him too much and he was too good person to deserve being hurt. The knowledge I hurt him was making me feeling hurt too. It was not healthy at all. I believed he will find a girlfiend worth himself and I am not the right girl. I explained it to him a few times (I ingored most of his messages but once in a while I felt I have to explain it once more because he didng get it). After a while (about 4 months) he gave up. What a relief.

It was before realising I might have AS. But I think right now I would still do the same.



Dantac
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01 May 2014, 11:27 am

You explained it perfectly Kiriae!

I would add to it the parts where the NT relies a lot on subtle things like body language, 'charm' based social innuendo (this includes small talk) to both 'show' their interest and intentions but also to 'read' yours. We're blind to most of that and as such we don't display/deliver/'transmit' the same kinds of subtle signals.



SomeRandomGuy1986
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02 May 2014, 9:07 am

To GregCav and Kiriae,

I totally agree with your posts, I have definitely blown my chance with this girl, trying to accept it but I miss her loads. The more we argued the more cold she started being towards me, I say arguments but it was more a case of me saying something snappy because of how she made me feel at the time, but then I would apologize with all my heart. She didn't seem to take notice and I would always get a feeling she was being unreasonable so I would end up saying so.

Kiriae, you sound very very similar in a lot of ways, most of the time when I asked something regarding her thoughts and opinions on our relationship I would get "do not know", "yes", "no", "ok", or "only time will tell" as a response. Usually when we were talking about something casual like work she would have more to say. The only difference is that I rarely got an explanation about where I stand the way you told your boyfriend "it's over" etc. Those times she made an excuse not to hang out with me I didn't even get an apology, she would just say she's not well. She did explain that she is really shy and nervous and also told me once she's scared of changing her life for me, she's had a very sheltered upbringing and being controlled by her mum and sisters, her dad also passed away a couple of years earlier. She really is the sweetest, most lovely girl when talking to her in person but when we text it's like she's got a very short fuse and often moody, something I never really understood. Looking back it always seemed a one-sided relationship, I was always telling her how strong I felt about her, that she meant a lot to me, I sent her flowers once and was always offering her help and support. However I often felt she was a hard person to get close to, as if she was attempting to keep me at a distance despite the fact she clearly did like me. I've read that some people with Asperger's, particularly girls are "asexual" and many choose to live celibate and have no romantic relationships, I'm just wondering if she seems to fall into that category?

The last few weeks of contact were as follows: Either I would text her or she would text me, we would exchange a few texts but then she would "go quiet". If I texted her again she would say she was busy etc. It got to a point I stopped texting her, but she would text me every few days, same story she would just go quiet after the exchange of a few texts. One night I was the one who didn't text back after a while, but 2/3 hours later she texted me again, and I responded. To me it was kind of a hint that previously she had been deliberately not texting back. I didn't hear from her for over a week, I texted her and also told her I had a family bereavement and apologized for being quiet. No response and the next day I asked "Did you get my text yesterday?". Again no response so I texted "I'm deleting your number" as I felt I had had enough. We haven't had any contact since so she's obviously happy about that. The people I speak to about her told me I was doing the right thing as it seemed she was only messing me about. The truth is, in my opinion we just failed to understand each other in the end.



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02 May 2014, 9:36 am

*hugs* It is ok, you can not win them all.



SomeRandomGuy1986
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02 May 2014, 11:23 am

I actually just found her number on my old phone and I'm thinking about texting her, talking about it on here makes me realise just how much I miss her, even as just friends. I'm worried she'll ignore me though as perhaps she's decided she's had enough of me. I also feel I'll just get stressed again because she is hard work and it will hurt me even more if I don't get much response out of her, that is if I get a response at all. Dilemma!



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02 May 2014, 11:42 am

I don't think you are past the point where you can't contact her whatsoever. I am. Just be considerate, and maybe use something more reliable that SMS text to put your mind at ease. And only send one message, try not to say too little, and definitely do not say too much. Ask if you could meet up or something. You said it was easier to talk to her in person.



Kiriae
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02 May 2014, 3:22 pm

SomeRandomGuy1986 wrote:
The only difference is that I rarely got an explanation about where I stand the way you told your boyfriend "it's over" etc. Those times she made an excuse not to hang out with me I didn't even get an apology, she would just say she's not well.

If she said she is not well for me she was really just not in mood. We are not party animals, we rarely met or talk to other people just for fun. We have to motivate ourselves to do so. We are fine with ourselves, keeping our daily routine. Meeting with people is a routine change which we hate (and also - most of us have social anxiety so it is scary as well) and a talk requires a lot of focus and isn't beneficial/interesting enough. It's not something we want to do too often. And definitely not something we want to do without planning to. We need time to think about it and make our mind - it can take even a a few weeks if it is something uncomfortable to think about and you didn't give us a due date. We also have to prepare ourselves mentally before we are ready for actual interaction. Would you be happy having an exam everyday? While running in a rain? Often occurring social interactions are that tiring and uncomfortable for us. Thats why we avoid them - unless the "exam" is important one or is "testing the knowledge of a subject we are good at" (special interest, and perhaps some parts of our daily life).

I was avoiding meeting/talking as well, even when my relationship was still good, long before the break up. And I do it now too with the boy I currently like. Fortunately he seem to be fine with it, he understands. But I start to wonder if we are going anywhere this way...

Quote:
I've read that some people with Asperger's, particularly girls are "asexual" and many choose to live celibate and have no romantic relationships, I'm just wondering if she seems to fall into that category?

I might be wrong but I got an idea about the aspie asexuality. We like what we know and we don't like changes. We are not in tune with our emotions and desires, we might feel them but those may be just "some body reactions" for us. We don't relate the feelings to a person and we don't have the desire to share it with them. Therefore we look asexual and think we are asexual. But once we realize the feeling might be related to someone and motivate ourself it might be good to try the new experience (which is a huge unknown and a life change) we are able to identify ourself to a orientation.

It took me about 2 years of being in love before realizing I am in love when I fell in love for the first time. I was thinking I am asexual till age of 20, then I realized that since about 2 years I have funny feelings about a girl and I started to identify myself as a lesbian. Then, at age 23 I met the boyfriend and after a while I realized in fact I am bi. Or perhaps it is panseksualism - sex or gender doesn't make a difference. It's hard to tell.

Quote:
Again no response so I texted "I'm deleting your number" as I felt I had had enough.

You ended it. She didn't have to.

That message was what she was afraid but also what she secretly wished for. I bet she was pretty depressed after reading this message but then she decided it is better this way. She must have been unhappy with the relationship and she didn't know what to do but she was afraid of ending it herself because she neither wanted to lose her chance for a relationship neither hurt you. She was probably waiting, hoping something will happen and either she will magically change and suddenly start to want interacting with you more. But it really wasn't anything that would possibly happen. She would have to force herself to interact with you more or you would have to decide to have a very, very far relationship with rare talks and rare meetings.

Saying "I'm deleting your number" was the nail. The decision.
"If that's how it has to be - let it be. It is probably better this way." - she thought and buried all the feelings about you deep into her heart, out of her mind.

There is a good thing with not being in tune with our emotions - while we still feel them we might delete the actual reason of them from our mind. For example after my break up I was imagining all the emotions as a huge water behind a dam. By body was a wrack because of the emotions (I was crying a lot, my heart hurt, I couldn't sleep) so the dam was holding a lot of pressure but my mind - behind the dam - was save and clear. Out of sight - out of mind.



Deuterium
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02 May 2014, 3:34 pm

Textwall, take it or leave it.

The way she acted sounds is an almost exact copy of how I was with someone else. In fact, it is so similar I was starting to wonder if you were the person I dealt with who modified some of the details for anonymity's sake. But there are some key differences that convince me it is not the case, namely in that I was wronged in a very blatant way (it doesn't sound like you did anything particularly wrong).

Here are some areas I can relate to, with my personal explanation, which may or may not coincide with her's. I will use the word "you" in a general sense, not specifically referring to you, the OP:

"I sent a text firmly asking her to have a good think and make up her mind because I was beginning to feel hurt not knowing where I stand. She was so distant for about a week and after that time told me she just wanted to be friends, although saying she would let me know if she ever changed her mind and still making the odd acknowledgement of my feelings for her."

If I do not feel fully understanding of my feelings (especially prominent with interpersonal feelings), I will opt for the choice that I feel "understanding-enough" for. If I know that I can be someone's friend, and I have unresolved feelings that I might want to be 'more' with you, but I still have confusion with those feelings, then if I am put on the spot I am going to pick to be 'just friends' because it fits within the feelings I am sure of. It is strategic caution to avoid a potentially wrong decision. This is also why I suggest that things could change in the future as I grasp my feelings better.

If I feel pushed into making an interpersonal decision I will also distance myself from you - if I do not have the mental space I need to feel comfortable I will force that space between us. If you attempt to close that space I will restore it even more than before; you cannot win in this regard, but you can lose. This space usually temporary until I feel ready enough to start closing it on my own, however enough persistence can make this permanent. I absolutely do not want to feel pressured in an interpersonal setting, it is an area I am very unsure and self-conscious about and I need to be given space and allowed to set the pace I am comfortable with; I realize this is an inconvenience to people who are more skilled with interpersonal interactions and who may be excited to start a serious relationship, but when faced with the potential possibilities of interpersonal decisions I am anything but excited - I am in foreign territory and I have the potential to hurt and/or be hurt if I make the wrong one. My slowness is not something I'm in much of a position to change as it's just how I work.


"... now and again I would tell her I still had feelings for her. I normally didn't get much response to that and a couple of times she would become distant or close up, which led to an argument of sorts if I said something about it."

Being repeatedly reminded of things in this way continues the aforementioned pressure that I dislike, and can begin to make me feel like I am being guilted for having a slower understanding of interpersonal emotions even if you believe you're sharing something fundamentally good. It is perceived as a reminder that I am the one holding things back and that I am supposed to somehow accelerate my understanding of my feelings; it can exacerbate feeling different and perhaps inferior, that I am not living up to what you are expecting of me and that I am not capable of making you happy because I cannot give you the response(s) you want from me. This is magnified significantly if it is communicated in a way that suggests you are hurt or upset by my lack of a firm position, which I already feel I have limited control over (meaning that my very nature is hurting someone). There is a good chance I am as frustrated in myself as you may be of me.

In addition to more distancing, this frustration can manifest in outward hostility/argument if it builds enough. If the reminders do not stop eventually I will suppress the frustration, accept that I am not what you want/need from a person (even if you appear oblivious of that), end the confusing feelings entirely along with whatever they meant or could have become, and adopt the position that we should just move on with our lives. This is when whatever distance we are at becomes permanent, or at least that we cannot regain the closeness we may have once had.


Don't assume this is how she thinks, but again her behaviour is very familiar to me so perhaps something I have written might give plausible explanations for how she has acted.



SomeRandomGuy1986
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03 May 2014, 8:08 am

I'm so grateful for all your amazing responses, they have been so helpful and a lot of your experiences and ideas confirm some theories I had about our relationship. I did consider the idea that she knew she was hurting me, because I was silly enough to say how I felt about the way I was being treated at times, so she withdrew to protect my feelings. I was also thinking she might be offended as she's oblivious as to how she's making me feel, I'm in no doubt this will have happened with her in the past with other people, maybe even her family.

I've went in bad moods with her before (maybe about 4 times this happened including the last time), normally after one of the aforementioned snappy texts but then I would text a couple of days later and apologize, it would then take a while (upto a few weeks) for her to completely warm up to me again. I knew I had hurt her and I felt so bad I would try desperately to explain myself and how a certain action of hers made me feel, it was like I knew I shouldn't but couldn't help it. I normally tried to avoid sending long texts because I knew these confused her but sometimes I couldn't help that either, it felt I was trying to explain to a brick wall because she wouldn't respond, until I asked something like "how are you?".

I texted her last night and I got a response, I said I was worried about getting in contact because I was scared she wouldn't want to hear from me. She said "It wasn't me who went in a bad mood". I told her I didn't want arguments and all I wanted was for us to be friends like we've always been. She was a bit cold understandably (it's easy to tell from her texts) but hopefully I'll be able to sort things out with her. Asking her to meet up is out of the question because I know this would make her far too anxious and she would just make an excuse anyway. We will just be pals though, as via the arguments and how she was making me feel etc, she certainly doesn't want a relationship with me, not for the time being anyway. I'll just be patient and try my utmost hardest to understand.



GregCav
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03 May 2014, 5:21 pm

SomeRandomGuy1986; the only thing you've done wrong (I think), was be impatient.

As Kiriae & Deuterium have explained in detail, she felt pressured into making a decission. You loved her that is clear. She was unsure how she felt. She wasn't able to give you the answer you were looking for.

Try this idea. Be her friend.

Friends are valuable people. And for an Aspie, I would suggest a friend is a million times more valuable for us than for the typical NT's. If you were her friend, it would be for life. Which is not what you were looking for, but it is a good alternative. I'm sure (confident) that she would love your company without the pressure of expectation.

Cheers.



SomeRandomGuy1986
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04 May 2014, 8:39 am

I totally agree with you GregCav. That was about 9 months ago I asked her to make a decision and not one day has gone past I haven't regretted it. I wish I could turn back time and it might even have helped if I knew about her AS at those stages. At the time I thought I was being messed around but it wasn't until afterwards (finding out about her AS) that I understood, and by then it was too late.

She's been so happy to have me as a friend but I feel like I started pushing her away by wanting more, I just couldn't help it because I liked her so much. I do want to be her friend more than anything because she is such a lovely person and nice to talk to, and I'm also shy and not the best in social situations, I don't have many friends either. I just worry now that I've gave her such a bad impression of me that she isn't too bothered about my friendship anymore, and it really is so difficult trying to talk to her and make her come round again. The only contact I have with her is texting which is a pain, I hardly ever see her and she's too shy to talk on the phone.

The most frustrating aspect is the fact I can't bring myself to talk to her about her AS. If she knows then she's obviously too self-conscious to admit it. On the other hand she might not know and I definitely feel I have no right being the one to suggest she has it.

All your responses have been wonderful, they've given me such a great insight to the situation and you have given me the encouragement to try and sort things out with her. I will keep you all posted.

Thanks :)



GregCav
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06 May 2014, 7:20 pm

It's ok. I did exactly the same thing recently with a girl I loved deeply. And I was convinced that we were destined to be together.

She wasn't so sure. And me acting like it was a done deal actually scared her away. So I feel your pain, and understand your situation.

It's a learning experience. Life is full of them :)



Crazygirl79
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09 May 2014, 5:05 am

I'm an Aspie....my advice is take it easy with her and that her response may b a positive sign.

You should educate yourself a bit more on AS if you want to be a part of this girls life....

Your story kind of reminds me of my own except the guy in your shoes has ADHD and I was definitely the girl in it....yeah this kinda saddens me :(

S