Dated a Wonderful Girl With Asperger's

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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



SomeRandomGuy1986
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11 May 2014, 9:07 am

Thanks GregCav. I first met her about 3 years before we started texting and for me it was like love at first sight. I'm not the most confident guy in the world so I didn't have the courage to ask her out. It was a total coincidence because we were set up with each other when no-one knew how I felt about her. I actually got the first text from her though it turned out someone wrote it for her.

I had always considered myself to be patient, she was unsure what she wanted for 5 or 6 months but I felt such a nice closeness with her. I always told her there was no pressure but I think I got more frustrated by her making excuses and giving me mixed messages, to the point I was very concerned about my feelings. I became insecure, and I believe my frustrations have gradually pushed her away, I also feel so much guilt as I think my change in character hurt her a lot as well. It's the reason we haven't worked out as friends either: she's decided she just wanted friends but I just couldn't get over her.

It's my opinion that she'll never be in a romantic relationship, she seems very scared of intimacy and she's had a very sheltered upbringing. She is so close to her mum and she will never leave her mum. In the last week I attempted to build a friendly relationship again but it hasn't worked out, she'll never forgive me and warm up to me again like she had before so I think cutting ties is best for both of us. Everyone tells me it's what I need to do because it's brought me down so much. I'm just scared I'll never get over her, she'll always be the one who got away in my eyes :(



Deuterium
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11 May 2014, 8:20 pm

Although we can't say that we know you very well, from what you have written you seem like you may be a decent guy (those are not words I often say), even if things don't work out with her she is not the only person in the world for you.

It is a natural reaction to regret situations where you feel you may have made a mistake(s) and to wonder how things could have been if you hadn't. The truth is that these mistakes are part of what living life consists of. Some things we only learn by making mistakes - the first times we make them generally aren't a significant flaw, it's the times after that, if you continue making the same mistake, that you should be concerned of.

It is an unfortunate circumstance for you that some of us aspies have a bit of a reputation for being 'unforgiving' when we feel we have been wronged, or if we feel encroached on. It means that when others make mistakes with us they may not actually get the second chance to demonstrate that they've learned.



Uncanny_Valerie
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12 May 2014, 10:08 pm

Deuterium is right, we often don't let people have another chance. I was actually pondering this earlier today, the binary nature of Aspies. I feel like I have an on/off switch with people. There is a line people have crossed with me where I know I can never feel the same about them again. The one person in my life who has been the exception to this is a family member who tried really hard to reconcile with me, but if there's no blood involved and they break my trust they are dead to me. With the family member, it's been really hard and painful but worth it.



SoftwareEngineer
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12 May 2014, 10:16 pm

Uncanny_Valerie wrote:
Deuterium is right, we often don't let people have another chance. I was actually pondering this earlier today, the binary nature of Aspies. I feel like I have an on/off switch with people. There is a line people have crossed with me where I know I can never feel the same about them again. The one person in my life who has been the exception to this is a family member who tried really hard to reconcile with me, but if there's no blood involved and they break my trust they are dead to me. With the family member, it's been really hard and painful but worth it.


Do most people eventually lose your trust and good feelings, or are you able to accumulate trusted friends? Also, is there a common mode of betrayal or other core factor in those you reject? I ask because I am somewhat of a magnet for some jerks and I see some common modes. I'm wondering if you might be able to avoid a particular type of individual.



SomeRandomGuy1986
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13 May 2014, 9:08 am

Yeah I totally agree. When I read your posts it simply hits the nail right on the head for me. She is very unforgiving, I've managed to get her acceptance before a couple of times, but not this time. It is just so so frustrating! She'll tell me she wants to be friends but when I try to chat with her she'll ignore me sometimes and I'm left hanging without a response. If I say something about it I just make things worse.

Sometimes she'll tell me what I simply want to hear, like I asked her if she wants to be friends and she said yes, certainly didn't feel like she did. It's that dishonesty and not telling me where I stand that is the most frustrating, I'm the sort of person who likes to be told the truth even if it's something that might hurt me.



Deuterium
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13 May 2014, 10:33 am

SomeRandomGuy1986 wrote:
(...) She'll tell me she wants to be friends but when I try to chat with her she'll ignore me sometimes and I'm left hanging without a response. If I say something about it I just make things worse.

Sometimes she'll tell me what I simply want to hear, like I asked her if she wants to be friends and she said yes, certainly didn't feel like she did. It's that dishonesty and not telling me where I stand that is the most frustrating, I'm the sort of person who likes to be told the truth even if it's something that might hurt me.


I have done this before, but it was not a lie. I don't know exactly how she works, but applying it to my own frame of thought, your assumption that it is a lie would seem misinterpreted.

I've told someone, after she severely broke my trust, that I did want to be friends again. This is very uncommon for me; my usual reaction is to cut all ties and accept the loss, but I had feelings for her that were stronger than I was used to which made it difficult. I wasn't lying that I wanted to be friends again, but that means exactly what it says - I want to be friends again. At some point in the future. Eventually. It does not imply that things can suddenly return to how they were.

She continued to talk to me like we previously had and kept asking me how to fix things between us. In her mind she was 'picking things back up' and continuing how we used to be, she had no understanding that my boundaries with her had changed after what happened, and that the closeness that was previously okay was now very much not-okay.

My response is to avoid or push until she is at the distance I wanted her - this means limiting conversation, giving short answers, or actively telling her what I need (which, if frustrations build, can be more aggressive demands to stop). Her response after my pushing/avoiding was to keep pursuing me - essentially counter-acting me; this is the worst thing she could have done, because now she is pushing me in an interpersonal context, trying to get me to make some kind of decision that everything is magically better, which as I've said in a previous post makes me want to distance you even more. Repeat this cycle enough and eventually I lost the desire to be friends completely, she had become a nagging antagonist who perpetually intruded into my comfort zone. She would claim that she was 'the only one working to fix this' and that I was lying when I said I wanted to be friends because 'I sure wasn't showing that I wanted it'. (as a side note: I absolutely hate being accused of lying - I put up with plenty of garbage from other people because I don't lie, so accusing me of lying feels like some kind of sick joke)

So what did I want her to do in all of this? Absolutely nothing. Nothing she could do could un-do what she did to hurt me. The only thing she could do by continuing to talk to me and trying to 'actively fix' what had happened was...

SomeRandomGuy1986 wrote:
If I say something about it I just make things worse.

Making it worse. I knew that nothing she could do could help, so I wanted her to do nothing. I wanted her to wait at whatever distance I was comfortable with and leave me alone. Allow me to internally recover from what happened. Give me space and time to resolve how I feel. I would let her know when I was ready to work on things again, however long it took. I did want to be friends again, but I was not ready to be friends again.

I told her all of this, it wasn't something I magically expected her to know, but she couldn't accept 'do nothing' as an answer - because of that, I never became ready to be friends again, and I eventually lost the desire to. All she had to do was listen to my absurdly simple request to be left alone which I spelled out in more ways than I can remember, but some people do not listen.

Again, I don't know if this is how she works, but maybe it gives you a possible explanation.



SomeRandomGuy1986
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16 May 2014, 5:54 pm

Deuterium, you are a gem. What you explained there sounds exactly what's been happening with her. Normally in time she'll open up, but you're right, it takes time. She has also asked to be left alone once or twice and I get the short answers.

Another twist in the tale - we're back in touch again! Today I asked her to get in touch with me if she still wants to be friends, and she did. She said it will take time to trust me again though but we had a wee chat just there before she went to bed. After reading your post I am sure of what I have to do now - not text her for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

I honestly can't thank you all enough for your advice and suggestions. They have been a huge help. Cheers! :)



Deuterium
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16 May 2014, 6:03 pm

It's good to see that things are looking up, good luck to you both.



GregCav
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17 May 2014, 7:00 pm

SomeRandomGuy1986 wrote:
I had always considered myself to be patient, she was unsure what she wanted for 5 or 6 months but I felt such a nice closeness with her. I always told her there was no pressure but I think I got more frustrated by her making excuses and giving me mixed messages, to the point I was very concerned about my feelings. I became insecure, and I believe my frustrations have gradually pushed her away, I also feel so much guilt as I think my change in character hurt her a lot as well. It's the reason we haven't worked out as friends either: she's decided she just wanted friends but I just couldn't get over her.

I could have written this for my own story, except that I remain good friends with the girl I loved. I slept over at her house last night (separate rooms).

SomeRandomGuy1986 wrote:
It's my opinion that she'll never be in a romantic relationship, she seems very scared of intimacy and she's had a very sheltered upbringing.

It is entirely possible you are correct for the moment. I think in time she will look for intimate relationships. But that might be 10 years or more.

One thing about Aspies, we are often slow developers. I was early 20's before I started looking for dates. And probably mid 40's before I became confident around girls. Girls have always scared the hell out of me (which in retrospect may be my inability to handle emotions).

There are a lot of underlying issues that could be contributing. It's all very messy in our heads, but we do our best to cope with the world. I guess the fact that we have to learn to cope with the world, tells you that we aren't naturally capable to deal with it, we have to rely on strategies and withdrawal .



GregCav
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17 May 2014, 7:16 pm

SomeRandomGuy1986 wrote:
Deuterium, you are a gem. What you explained there sounds exactly what's been happening with her. Normally in time she'll open up, but you're right, it takes time. She has also asked to be left alone once or twice and I get the short answers.

Another twist in the tale - we're back in touch again! Today I asked her to get in touch with me if she still wants to be friends, and she did. She said it will take time to trust me again though but we had a wee chat just there before she went to bed. After reading your post I am sure of what I have to do now - not text her for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

I honestly can't thank you all enough for your advice and suggestions. They have been a huge help. Cheers! :)


Very good, I really am very happy to hear this.

Deuterium appears to be more capable that I, of expressing how we function in society. Hopefully some of my meaning gets understood.

Friends to an Aspie, are the most valuable thing in the world. But we want that value at arms length, if that makes sense. Knowing that I have friends who accept me as i am and enjoy my company, is a treasure beyond measure. But we don't have to spend each weekend together.

What I'm trying to say is to accept a friendship. It could easily be for life. Put the idea of a relationship out of your mind altogether, it'll only confuse and frustrate the situation. And coffee, lots of coffee :)



SomeRandomGuy1986
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02 Jul 2014, 5:22 pm

Cheers to you both. Honestly, every word of advice has really helped me understand. We are still in touch and I've also seen her a few times since I was last online (not arranged meetings, it's simply because we work together). I also gave her a wee present as an apology for what I've said etc. Today I told her I still have feelings for her and she said she already figured it out. But she has also been rather quiet the last couple of days (not returning texts etc), yet almost a week ago she got in touch with me a few days in a row.

I've found out so much about Asperger's in the last year or so and I would greatly appreciate some thought on this: Could it be possible that I have Asperger's or maybe border on it? Based on the way I come across on here? GregCav you say you didn't look for dates until you were early 20s? This girl is the first I've ever dated and I'm 28! (26 at the time of first date). I've always liked girls yes of course, but beforehand I never had the confidence or even the desire to date. I'm not keen on social situations, for example if I had a wedding reception to go to tomorrow night I'd be crapping myself. I also like my routines etc. It might just be me obsessing over it or perhaps I've taken on the girl I love's personality. I've always been known as a "quiet" and "clever" person too.



Deuterium
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02 Jul 2014, 10:34 pm

I don't think it is really for us to say. I do think it is somewhat of an epidemic to self-diagnose an ASD for reasons of simply being shy/antisocial, nerdy, socially-unskilled, alone much of your life, etc., or associate being ISTJ/INTJ as being an immediate signifier of ASD.

These might be common for people with ASD but they are not definitive markers, you can be them without being on the spectrum. It's a plausible conclusion but it's also a "dangerous" one, in my opinion (not in the concept that you would be harmed, but in the idea that you could go on living your life believing you have a condition that you don't). ASD doesn't always result in social impairments, some are extroverts who 'fit in' just fine, who get into relationships regularly and start in their teens like many others. This is why I don't think these 'online Aspergers tests' are so great to buy into, from what I have seen they focus on a stereotype that is not necessarily definitive, and can largely apply to any introverted, logical 'loners'.

If it is primarily how you may feel a strange disconnect or obliviousness with your friend who has AS, then consider that interacting with someone with AS can create confusions and misunderstandings both ways. It's normal that NTs can be confused by people on the spectrum; they might even feel a bit of insight into how some of us feel all of the time, regarding difficulties in grasping what someone else is really feeling, what they mean by things, perhaps even some sense of intimidation. It doesn't mean that the NT suddenly is on the spectrum - the disparity of the interaction can create similar feelings in both parties.

Some advocate self-diagnosis and may claim that an official diagnoses can do more harm than they're worth, but I am not one. I will always opt for an evaluation by someone more educated about a subject than me. It's too easy to have a 'hair-trigger' and diagnose yourself from the slightest similarity, in my opinion.



albeniz
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04 Jul 2014, 8:07 am

The related story is eerily similar to one I have told on this site previously, and it has been good reading through it.

I cannot agree more with the advice of GregCav regarding friends. Be the best friend you can be to her without swamping her. This means forget about a "serious" relationship. This means giving her a lot of time to herself. A lot. And be patient. If it becomes too much, stay friends nevertheless if you possibly can.

As for your last remark, I would say it is definitely possible, but yeah, seek expert opinion. You could start be doing a few online tests and see what it brings up. With respect to Delerium's remark that "they focus on a stereotype that is not necessarily definitive", I don't think this is necessarily accurate. I would expect (and hope) that the questions they ask are done on a large sample of aspies and control NTs, which when based on a reasonably large number of questions over many topics leads to a reasonable level of skill in the tests. It was after having a very similar experience to the story you relate that I took a few tests myself and got results suggesting I exhibited aspie traits and NT traits. My fairly constant stimming in private seems to be the most telltale sign that I am somewhere on the spectrum as I can't find any other conditions that include stimming though I will be happily corrected. If it wasn't for having met a girl like in your story I am certain I would have continued on in life mostly oblivous (or perhaps eventually not).

See how you go.