Gender Differences for ASD People re: Dating/Relationships

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breaks0
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14 May 2019, 1:50 am

So I was gonna start this thread by asking why do ASD men have a harder time finding and keeping partners than ASD women seem to have. I dunno about LGBTQ people, but your place in this thread is coming, so hang on.

But I stopped myself b/c I realized after speaking to another poster here via PMs and thinking about several threads I've read over the last month or so that my premise was fundamentally flawed b/c it's basically wrong and untrue. Women on the spectrum can have a hell of a time finding and keeping a romantic partner as well and I at least finally get that.

SO my questions instead are how do the difficulties men, women and people of other genders (whether generally or in your own experience) differ by gender? What sorts of difficulties do you or others on the spectrum you may know (or have read about) of whatever gender experience in finding and staying in a romantic relationship w/a partner on or off the spectrum? What do you think women, men and LGBTQ people w/ASD have in common in the dating/relationship game? How did you find someone if you're with a partner now or if you had one or more that lasted a reasonable length of time (say 6 months or more) in the past? And lastly do you think what people are looking for in a partner differs by gender, if so how and why? If not, how and why not?

This is not a hookup thread so I guess I'm kindly asking that you take that topic to another thread if that's what you wanna talk about.

I may speak about my own very limited experience in a reply, but for now I'm opening this up to you all. Thanks in advance for any replies. I hope any of you either looking for or interested in finding someone are able to do so in the not too distant future. If you're already more or less happily in a relationship, I wish you the happiest possible of love lives!



The Grand Inquisitor
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14 May 2019, 4:26 am

breaks0 wrote:
So I was gonna start this thread by asking why do ASD men have a harder time finding and keeping partners than ASD women seem to have. I dunno about LGBTQ people, but your place in this thread is coming, so hang on.

But I stopped myself b/c I realized after speaking to another poster here via PMs and thinking about several threads I've read over the last month or so that my premise was fundamentally flawed b/c it's basically wrong and untrue. Women on the spectrum can have a hell of a time finding and keeping a romantic partner as well and I at least finally get that.

I think your first premise was correct, and I'll go a bit more into why in a moment. I acknowledge that some ASD women do have as much trouble with relationships as the ASD men that struggle, however, at least from what I've observed, men on the spectrum tend to have a more difficult time with it, or if nothing else are at least more tormented by their failures. Autistic people have a harder time getting in relationships than the general population, but it would appear that more autistic men have a difficult time getting in relationships than autistic women. That could be because males are overrepresented in autism diagnoses, but I think there's more to it than that.

Because men generally have to ask women out in order to have any hope of getting a relationship, men tend to require a higher level of social competence than women do to successfully start a relationship, which right off the bat disadvantages men with aspergers/autism for obvious reasons.

Autistics are overrepresented in unemployment and underemployment, and many women seem to only be interested in dating a man who makes about as much money as her, or more. Another disadvantage to ASD men.

If we're looking at dating sites, men in general are disadvantaged relative to women, and that becomes very obvious when you compare the amount of matches men get to the amount of matches women get, or the amount of men that women rate below average relative to the amount of women that men rate below average. I've heard people say things to the effect of "the top 80% of women are competing for the top 20% of men, and the bottom 80% of men are competing for the bottom 20%of women" and I don't think that stands up to scrutiny in a general sense, but when applied to online dating it seems like there might be some truth there.



rdos
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14 May 2019, 6:48 am

The problems differ based on gender, but I don't think ND men have more problems than ND women. They are just different.

Generally, ND men have problems initiating relationships, mostly because they are misled by many people to work against their nature (dating, asking out and working on social skills). ND women don't have problems getting into relationships, getting sex or hookups, but they often end up in dysfunctional relationships with NT men. For some guys here, getting into a relationship easily is much more important than getting into a functional one, something I strongly disagree with.

I also suspect the problems could be age-specific in that young ND men have a lot of problems finding compatible women and understanding themselves and how to initiate, but these problems get less severe with age. There is some evidence that ND men are older when they get into relationships, and some published article (wrongly) linked age of father to ASD risk (which more likely relates to ND men being older when they get children). For women, there is a risk that they end up in various dysfunctional relationships as younger and then end up alone when they get older and less attractive. It's also possible they give up on men and decide to live alone instead.



KT67
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14 May 2019, 7:21 am

I find it really hard to find someone, especially finding someone who is also a decent person (I'm bi). I often attract weirdos but I don't consider that 'success'. I don't mean weirdos like me, who is quirky but harmless, I mean people who push at boundaries and are abusive.

I'm female but have presented in masculine and feminine ways. The problem has gone on since I was 13 when I was 'dating' an older man.

I think sometimes it's better to be alone than be in an abusive situation where people won't listen to 'no'.



The_Face_of_Boo
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14 May 2019, 8:13 am

It's the same gender differences you find between women and men in general population, just amplified in the case of aspies (of both genders).



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14 May 2019, 8:47 am

Aspergers is sometimes thought of as an extreme male brain so it would make sense that Aspie men would tend to have a harder time relating to NT women whereas Aspie women would tend to have an easier time relating to NT men. Being able to relate or not relate to each other is a major factor for dating in general weather for Aspies or NTs & whatever combination of partners there is.
Some other things I've read & seen on this forum gives me the impression that while it may be easier for Aspie women to get in relationships than Aspie men, Aspie women can have just as hard a time maintaining the relationship & Aspie women are more likely to enter dysfunctional or abusive relationships.


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14 May 2019, 9:02 am

In the culture I came from, the guy always asks the girl out.

In the church I grew up in, you were only allowed to marry another person from that religion. In my particular church, I was the only young girl and there were multiple young men, so you can imagine how that played out. Also, chaperones were needed whenever people were courting.

I found the social aspects of this really stressful and I had a hard time telling guys that I wasn’t interested. Parties became cat and mouse games with me being the mouse who didn’t want to slow dance.

My situation was sort of strange because there’s usually a lot more girls than guys in the church and some girls can’t find anyone because all of the guys are taken.

It’s hard to be the guy because he has to lead the show (although there was usually lots of options), and it’s hard to be the girl because she doesn’t have as much autonomy (and usually has fewer choices).

This isn’t actually relevant to the current topic, but I think that in general more is expected out of guys as far as making the first move and girls might lack the knowledge of how to go about making the first move if she wants to. I wouldn’t know how to do it, actually. I’ve never done so successfully.

The only attempts that I made in this realm were with guys that were just interested in me sexually (which was totally confusing! You’re only supposed to admit to wanting sex with someone you’re going to marry! *mind-blown*).



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14 May 2019, 12:06 pm

KT67 wrote:
I find it really hard to find someone, especially finding someone who is also a decent person (I'm bi). I often attract weirdos but I don't consider that 'success'. I don't mean weirdos like me, who is quirky but harmless, I mean people who push at boundaries and are abusive.

I'm female but have presented in masculine and feminine ways. The problem has gone on since I was 13 when I was 'dating' an older man.

I think sometimes it's better to be alone than be in an abusive situation where people won't listen to 'no'.

Didn’t you say you only want to date women? If so then you’d experience the same issues male aspies do but worse cause there’s not a lot of women who want to date women. I’ve noticed gay women tend to complain about similar issues with women that men do.


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14 May 2019, 12:10 pm

KT67 wrote:
I find it really hard to find someone, especially finding someone who is also a decent person (I'm bi). I often attract weirdos but I don't consider that 'success'. I don't mean weirdos like me, who is quirky but harmless, I mean people who push at boundaries and are abusive.

I'm female but have presented in masculine and feminine ways. The problem has gone on since I was 13 when I was 'dating' an older man.

I think sometimes it's better to be alone than be in an abusive situation where people won't listen to 'no'.


It’s definitely better to be alone than in an abusive relationship.

But there are decent people out there.



kdm1984
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14 May 2019, 6:23 pm

Aspie female here. I actually had a really hard time in my teenage years and didn't get a date until age 19. Most guys considered me too tomboyish and nerdy, so I seldom attracted male attention. I think it's only easy for women on the spectrum if they are considered traditionally pretty. To this day, people tell me my husband is way better looking than I am, and they wonder why he picked me when he supposedly could have done better.

That said, I did find my guy at age 19, and we're in a very happy relationship. We've been together ever since. :)

So I guess I don't follow the usual pattern of spectrum women easily getting into sex and relationships, and then the relationships being bad. Instead, I was the opposite: I had a very hard time finding sex and relationships, but once I did, it was fantastic! :D


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sly279
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14 May 2019, 6:46 pm

:(


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14 May 2019, 6:54 pm

sly279 wrote:
:(


Someone will come along.



breaks0
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14 May 2019, 7:48 pm

kdm1984 wrote:
Aspie female here. I actually had a really hard time in my teenage years and didn't get a date until age 19. Most guys considered me too tomboyish and nerdy, so I seldom attracted male attention. I think it's only easy for women on the spectrum if they are considered traditionally pretty. To this day, people tell me my husband is way better looking than I am, and they wonder why he picked me when he supposedly could have done better.

That said, I did find my guy at age 19, and we're in a very happy relationship. We've been together ever since. :)

So I guess I don't follow the usual pattern of spectrum women easily getting into sex and relationships, and then the relationships being bad. Instead, I was the opposite: I had a very hard time finding sex and relationships, but once I did, it was fantastic! :D


That's fantastic news KDM, congrats to you and your partner! It should give the rest of us single peeps hope.

KT, rdos and Nick: I agree w/you all.

Twilight: Totally! re: this: "It’s definitely better to be alone than in an abusive relationship. But there are decent people out there."

Thank you everyone for replying, I really appreciate your contributions to the thread.



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14 May 2019, 7:53 pm

Just a side-comment here ...

I think thread topics like this one are hurtful to those who may have valid reasons for not having relationships.

Not that I'm bagging on the OP or anyone else who posted here, but that I'm concerned for those people.

They have feelings, too!


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breaks0
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14 May 2019, 9:08 pm

Fnord wrote:
Just a side-comment here ...

I think thread topics like this one are hurtful to those who may have valid reasons for not having relationships.

Not that I'm bagging on the OP or anyone else who posted here, but that I'm concerned for those people.

They have feelings, too!


It wasn't intended to be hurtful. Sorry if it has that effect. I was simply interested in hearing posters' views on the differences in perspectives on relationships across genders, that's really all I was going for. And I thought this board was supposed to be the place for that topic. Am I wrong? Do you wanna pose your own question on this theme as well?

And I count myself as one of those you mention who "have valid reasons for not having relationships". It doesn't bring me any joy being single, not me at least. And I can see why it wouldn't for others either. Honestly, I'm not trying to walk over anyone's feelings. I'm simply trying to learn.