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Emu Egg
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Joined: 2 Apr 2019
Age: 30
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16 Apr 2019, 3:02 pm

Hi all

Before posting i want to say sorry that this is my first post. i normally like to contribute to a forum before asking for contributions back. But this has become a bigger problem after i stupidly tried to explain my feelings to my girlfriend who has not taken my attempt to talk about my feelings as a positive thing. (Also, apologies to anybody bothered by the lack of capitalisation of my i's. my keyboard has a broken i key and i'm inputting i's using copy and paste).

Background: i am 30 y.o male. i have been advised by a number of people - including my doctor - that i show all the signs of having Aspergers syndrome... but no formal diagnosis i have known about this for maybe 12-14 months. i have a 29 y.o girlfriend. Together 2 years. We lived separately at home (UK) but i took a job in China and was able to get her a job in the same company so she came too. But as a lower-level job, her package did not include a flat so we have been living together for the past 7 months. The job is also really my reason for a lack of diagnosis. They don't really understand it here. Particularly in English.

The fact is, i love being together. She challenges me, she gets me out of the house doing productive things. We travel good places together. We go on nice trips, do fun stuff, eat nice food, all the good things couples do. But at home... it has transpired that i don't think i like living with somebody.

There's a multitude of reasons. But broadly, i think:
- (you'll hate me) i don't like having to consider somebody else when choosing how to spend my after-work time, every day. A commitment once or twice a week, fine. but 7 days? Can't do. Variety and spontaneity are important to me. She hates how i can't give her an answer every day by mid-afternoon, so she can 'make plans'. (i'm like "fine - make plans!") When we lived apart i only had to advise of my plans once or twice a week. And with hindsight, i think i preferred it.
- i can only deal with people in time-limited doses. Too much time with the same people - or people in general - feels crowded and horrible. i have to be able to be alone, or change company.
- i like being alone, doing my own thing. i have some hobbies which involve socialising, but i have some very solo ones too. if i sit down at home to do the solo ones, even having my GF in the same room - watching TV or something - is uncomfortable. i prefer to be completely alone, when i am in that mood.
- Excusing "tmi" - the sex has suffered. i think when seeing each other was a treat, a novelty, a thing to look forward to, sex was like our little way of celebrating our time together. now, together all the time, i lack the appetite. She doesn't flatter my sex ego either, to put it bluntly, and it leaves me happier to just go to sleep early, read my book, and then settle for self-gratification because my hand doesn't whinge if i finish too quickly or give me anxiety-inducing feedback.
- Here's quite a big one. At home i bought a flat last year. When we go home from China, i think she was assuming she'd move in. i have thought about it and... i don't think i can face it. i bought it as my flat. i paid for it with all my money. it's painted and furnished and equipped as my flat. And like... i've never felt this way before, but it is my "safe place" now. When i'm there, alone, i feel safe and relaxed and everything feels OK. And i don't have any other place like that in my life, save maybe my childhood home, where my mum lives. i really don't feel as though i can let anybody live in my safe place. it's my little tiny corner of the world. without it, that corner becomes my head and my head alone, and my head is too small for that.

This is all one thing, but I am also terrible at communicating. i think that puts strain on us. it'd be one thing living apart if we were in touch all day every day. But we're not. i don't know what it is, but i can't do chit chat or idle talk. i need to be prompted to communicate. When i get a "hey! what you up to?"... i just put it away to respond some other time. i just seem to like, only communicate things which need communicating. She gets jealous that i text other people but not her. But she doesn't understand how the things i've texted them were necessary, but reminding her i'm like... "OK" as she puts it... isn't. So it doesn't naturally sort of prompt me to tell her.

i just want to know if this sort of feeling is like... rational? attributable to any condition? can i work out of this? do i even want to? i don't know. i don't want to lose her but i don't necessarily feel like i want to change either.

i used to think i was alone because i had no choice. i thought i had no friends and i was a loner. But here... i have friends. i have people i can see, any day or night of the week. i just want to control who, when. But my GF does not support that. She wants to be number 1, always in my thoughts, always my preference for time together, and living with me. And that seems alien, scary, intimidating to me. i don't want to be alone in the fullest sense of the word, but there are times when i do need to be alone for the time being too. i feel that if i lose her i am losing a good thing and a rarity for me, but if i keep things together then i am only extending the pain for us both and living something of a lie.

This mightn't even be an ASD thing but the trouble is, nobody I speak to day-to-day remotely understands my feelings, so i'm wondering if it might be. if anybody has any thoughts on this i'd love to hear it, there's plenty more i could say but i'd be going all night, so feel free to probe for questions, scrutinise, etc. I tried to talk to her about this and she's flown off the hook and is talking about leaving, so i really want to go back to her tomorrow with a more rounded view.

thanks in advance

David



domineekee
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16 Apr 2019, 5:15 pm

It sounds very familiar. It could end up that eventually, taking space involves harbouring secrets etc.

Better that you bring it all out and make your needs understood, even if she decided to leave.



BeaArthur
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16 Apr 2019, 5:50 pm

Pick a regular day of the week that will be your "date night" and ask her to make other plans all the other days. Tell her you don't want as much together time as she does, that you need some time to be alone (a lawn?). If she whinges, tell her you feel criticized for simply being who you are.

I do believe that probably the two of you will separate at some point because your needs are incompatible.

Your position is entirely reasonable though - it is just the way you are.


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AquaineBay
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16 Apr 2019, 7:41 pm

To me it sounds like being in a relationship just isn't your thing. It isn't irrational to have these thoughts and feelings, some people just don't like it.

Now it would be irrational if you tried to be in a relationship and force someone else into an arrangement like that or get angry at the world for it cause pretty much everything you mentioned is a problem is exactly what being in a relationship is about.

You become a team and really your GF wanting to be number 1 isn't unreasonable and is usually expected of the other person. Being in a relationship(romantic) you become one. You make plans together, communicate, live together, etc. The flat, she wouldn't think of it as a "safe place" for you because in a relationship your GF is suppose to be the "safe place"(at least that's how many people see it).



BenderRodriguez
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17 Apr 2019, 4:57 am

I like your lucidity and bluntness.

So I'll be just as blunt - this relationship is not going to work, as you two want very different things from it and trying to compromise will only frustrate the both of you and leave un unsatisfied.

Some of the things you say point clearly towards you not being up for that level of commitment and that's fine. I understand very well, I walked quite a few miles in those shoes. It's better to accept how you feel and what you want then try to force yourself into something that's not good for you.

Talk to her honestly about it and let her decide for herself.


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nick007
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17 Apr 2019, 5:48 am

This isn't something I can really relate to cuz I'm the opposite but that said I have seen enough stuff on this forum & read enough about Aspergers to know it could be related to Aspergers in your case OP. This stuff makes you incompatible with your current girlfriend & most other women at least 1ce things get serious. Now there are some women who wouldn't mind a relationship like this but they're the very independent types who like doing their own things & they see romantic relationships as kinda a friends with benefits situation.


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feeli0
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17 Apr 2019, 6:05 am

A lawn unto himself lol.

I really relate to you. Small doses of company etc etc. I wouldn't write the relationship off like others have suggested. I have a pretty satisfactory long term (20 years) relationship where we have a LOT of alone time - we both need it - but it had to be negotiated and feelings got hurt and there were misunderstandings etc (and a major breakup) but we both admit we want to be together so we muddle on. Communication is the key, and of course the most difficult thing for both of us. And sex ( well we gave up on that) is not the be all and end all.

Anyway welcome, you do sound like you belong here. And no-ones going to get mad at you for not being able to type IIIIs (theres some for you to borrow...)


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Map84
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17 Apr 2019, 4:14 pm

You need to consider your happiness, you risk losing her, fully with or fully without are often the only options.
Good luck, can be very difficult, autism or not.


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