Am I the only man that is focused mainly on emotional aspect

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QFT
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06 Oct 2019, 3:37 pm

blazingstar wrote:
If you don't go to church


Re-read what I said. I said I do go -- just not regularly. The reason I don't go regularly is that I am at school and am busy and oftentimes behind. However, IF the times when I did go to church were helping me socialize then I would work harder on making time to go. It all about cost-benefit analysis. The cost is time away from studies, the benefit is meeting people. But the times when I go to church most people don't talk to me, thats why its not enough of a benefit to make me go. But I go to church perhaps every second or third week or something like that, I also don't go to the same church I tend to alternate, so in any given church I am not that regular.

blazingstar wrote:
You are quite off base if you expect another person to make you whole. That may be part of your frustration. I am pretty oriented to taking life as it is, rather than how I want life to be, or how I think life should be. That is a process. I started when I was in my 30s but I probably did not really feel it in my guts until I was in my 50s and am working on it still.


So were you able to find a husband? I know that for women its even worse than for men since, at your current age, you will no longer be able to have kids. To me having kids is really important: if I don't pass my genes it would feel like my geneticl line is being genocided for Asperger. But what about yourself, were you able to have kids?

blazingstar wrote:
In light of some other posts, perhaps I have taken your OP entirely wrong and if so, I apologize. I thought you were looking for suggestions for improving your life. But perhaps you were looking for validation about your condition. If so, I am sorry you are alone and suffering. I will stop making suggestions that seem to be not what you are looking for.


What makes you assume I am not looking for suggestions? Looking for validation and looking for suggestions doesn't exclude one another. I am looking for both.



hurtloam
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06 Oct 2019, 3:40 pm

They don't relate because they've never been that lonely. They don't know how you feel because relationships came easily to them. They don't understand those of us who can't find someone to connect with. They've never experienced it.

Yeah, they see what you say on Facebook, but you're not backing it up with action.

To NTs just being there isn't enough. They need active interest.

You can't expect people to come to you. If I've learned anything in life it's that I have to make the effort otherwise nothing changes.


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QFT
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06 Oct 2019, 3:57 pm

hurtloam wrote:
They don't relate because they've never been that lonely. They don't know how you feel because relationships came easily to them. They don't understand those of us who can't find someone to connect with. They've never experienced it.


What about overweight women who experienced being ostracized for being overweight? And that is just random example. Even someone who isn't overweight know what the words "lonely" and "invalidated" is. I mean, the very fact that those English words exist implies that people know what those feelings are and experienced them from time to time -- otherwise those words won't be there in the English language.

hurtloam wrote:
Yeah, they see what you say on Facebook, but you're not backing it up with action.

To NTs just being there isn't enough. They need active interest.


As far as backing up with action, it would make sense in the context when I promise to do something positive for the other person: in this case I might lie that I intend to do it. But in this case I am not talking about doing something positive -- I am talking about my own hurt. So why would "this" need to be backed up with actions. Lets say I say I have a headache and feel sick. Does this have to be backed up with actions?

Now I realize that you might say "well if its only about your loneliness and you aren't going to give anything in return then thats selfish". True, but that is a a different point. At least, in order to say this, you would at least acknowledge that I do have those needs. But what I am complaining about is that people don't even acknowledge i have those needs to begin with

Incidentally, speaking of selfishness, I DID contribute to the relationship in the past. Most notably, my second ex was seriously sick for few months and I was taking care of her, and this is what drew us close. But before I started dating that woman was I able to predict I would be taking care of her? No. I started dating her for selfish purposes since my own needs is all I was seeing *at the time* -- but once we were dating, *then only* her needs became apparent too, and then I was taking care of her. So the point I am trying to make is that you can't expect me not to be selfish when I am isolated -- everyone is selfish when they are isolated. But that doesn't mean I won't be able to stop being selfish once I am interacting with others -- just like it happened with that woman.

hurtloam wrote:
You can't expect people to come to you. If I've learned anything in life it's that I have to make the effort otherwise nothing changes.


Lets say Person A and Person B interacting with each other. One of them had to start that interaction. Without loss of generality, lets assume Person A started that interaction. So Person B got that interaction without doing any initiative. So why am I "worse" than Person B? Why can't I get the same thing Person B got?

Now, statistically speaking each person starts 50% of their interactions. So if I refuse to do it, I cut my interactions by half. Well, cutting interactions by half doesn't sound that bad. The problem is that I cut it by 99% rather than by half. So why is that? The fact that I have to initiate 99% of interactions -- or else -- seem to imply that I am undesirable. Well, if I am undesirable, why impose myself on others if they clearly don't want to talk to me?



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06 Oct 2019, 4:12 pm

Because you may be able to improve your conversational skills through practice and become a more pleasant person to be around.

I hear what you're saying. I've moved on from people who clearly didn't care about me. I literally moved location and made new friends.

One of my best friends literally lived 5 minutes down the road from me and she could make time for her other friends, but would say, "I keep saying to my husband we need to make time for you." Whaaat? Load of rubbish. You've got time, you just don't want to spend it with me.

You learn which people are worth making an effort with and which are not worth the effort. But with effort and trial and error you can find some gems.

Giving up and over thinking the percentage of making first moves doesn't help you move forward.

I still make the first moves a lot, but I have made some real friends through that.


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QFT
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06 Oct 2019, 10:57 pm

hurtloam wrote:
I hear what you're saying. I've moved on from people who clearly didn't care about me. I literally moved location and made new friends.


Unfortunately I am not able to move too far since I go to school so I have to be wherever is my school. I "did" change dorms at some point but it didn't help. Do you think moving to a different part of the same town would help? I mean when I simply take a walk to some other part of town, I don't notice that anyone would be more friendly towards me, thats why I don't see why actually moving there would help either. But I guess I can try it anyway, what is there to lose? I am just not too optimistic. I would be more optimistic if I could just transfer to a different school, but I wouldn't do that since I been transfering around too many times already so it won't look good on my CV.

hurtloam wrote:
One of my best friends literally lived 5 minutes down the road from me and she could make time for her other friends, but would say, "I keep saying to my husband we need to make time for you." Whaaat? Load of rubbish. You've got time, you just don't want to spend it with me.


Yeah that totally pisses me off. Except that in my case they won't say they were saying to someone they need to make time, they would simply say they were busy with X, Y and Z and expect me to believe it.

P.S. Can you re-read my previous reply to you? Accidentally big part of my reply to you was included inside the quote so you might not have seen it, but I editted it to make it appear properly.



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06 Oct 2019, 11:41 pm

Without having read everything, I want to comment on a couple of points:

First, I consider myself a Christian, but I was never taught that cuddling was a sin, and I am not aware of any Biblical authority that would make it one. I know different churches teach different things in this area, but figure out what YOU believe, not what you are told you are SUPPOSED to believe. I do not believe it is, by itself, a sin.

Second, every person is different when it comes to trust, physical needs, emotional needs, and so on. It varies a LOT. If the women you've dated are not on anything close to the same page as you it isn't because they've been "ruined," it is because they aren't the right match for you. What one person wants in a relationship, another will think is weird. We are all so very different. There really isn't a single norm; there is just what is right for the two people involved. That said, few people are a perfect match in these areas, but for the right person you find yourself wanting to figure it out and meet in the middle. If you don't have the desire, it must not be the right person.

Don't take the things people say in a break up to heart. They don't always say what they mean. Sometimes they are lying because they think they are supposed to; sometimes they don't understand their own reasons. Regardless, I've seen some pretty destructive comments made at the end of relationships that weren't accurate about the other person AT ALL, in my opinion. If it feels constructive, then sure use the critique to improve yourself. But if is confusing or hurtful, remind yourself that break ups are messy and that obsessing over what the other person said in the process is a no win situation. Because it is.

If you need to see a therapist to work through all that so you can let go, then do so. Dates are likely to worry about your readiness for a relationship if all you do is talk about an ex; it makes it seem like you aren't emotionally available in the present, because your emotions are locked in the past. While you could get lucky and find a woman willing to help you through that, it will make it much easier to start a relationship if you've already dealt with it before you start a new relationship. The funny thing is that my son ended up unloading all his hurt from an ex on a female friend while they were determined to just be friends. After nearly a year of talking daily, and him finally getting over what happened with the ex, they started dating. I don't know if she would have dated him while he was still working through it, but she did like him enough to help him through it. It is definitely a relationship based on mutual emotional support; they started as friends, and have lived in different states even different countries for most of their relationship, including now as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Anyway, I hope something in the above ramblings is useful to you. If not ... well, everyone is different, so sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I don't. I do hope you will find what you need in the way of a relationship.


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Raphael F
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07 Oct 2019, 1:34 am

QFT wrote:
By using the word "typical" you just confirm the point I am trying to make. Typical means that more than 50% of men do the above behavior. Now doesn't it seem ridiculous that this takes place? Taking emotional needs aside, using+dumping someone is hurtful to the other person. So don't you find it frustrating that more than half of men think its okay to hurt women just for their own entertainment?


I think I was using "typical" in the sense of popular stereotype or archetype, rather than in any numerical statistical sense. Apologies for not choosing my words more delicately. I seriously doubt whether as many as 50% of men do that to women. People (male and female) are breathtakingly hurtful to one another in a zillion ways every day anyway; it is ridiculous, to borrow your word, but there's no point getting too upset about it because that's just how people are: selfishness and heartlessness are simply normal, while consideration and sensitivity are exceptional.

Women are just as capable as men of engaging in casual relationships, one-night stands etc. And I, as a male, have been very deeply hurt by girlfriends whose interest in me turned out to be less serious and less long-term than my interest in them. Men do not have a monopoly on callousness.

I believe (maybe incorrectly) I do identify with much of the bafflement and the frustration that are afflicting you. One thing I would tentatively add is, if you're on the autism spectrum then you may just have to accept that it is a very real disability or impairment which you happen to have, and in some cases isolation sometimes goes with the territory. Obviously I cannot comment on your social skills because we've never met, but I know mine are pretty defective, and I've slowly come to accept that this always has limited my opportunities and always will. However, the good news is it has not totally prevented me from enjoying a few friendships and a few relationships. You say you've had girlfriends in the past, so obviously you have also not been totally prevented from enjoying some relationships. Sooner or later, someone can turn up who is capable of perceiving and liking the real you, even if you are maybe not projecting yourself in the best way.

Spending every waking hour obsessing about not having a relationship is, I believe, deeply unattractive to women. I spent most of my life from age 12 to age 21 doing that; some female friends expressed sympathy, but none of them found it endearing or alluring. It's a very difficult habit to kick, I know from experience! But it sounds like that is a habit you may need to give up.

I know what my psychotherapist would have said to you, because she had to say it to me several zillion times over a period of years. I didn't want to hear it, but I know now she was right: you must not and cannot look for validation from anyone else, you have to be able to validate yourself. And once you have a reasonable degree of self-belief (not too much, but enough) and can stand on your own two feet, you will be infinitely more attractive to everyone else.

Another thing she used to say has just come back to me: "If you don't believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?"

I think some men quite like to "rescue" a shy and insecure and lonely woman. I have never yet met a woman who was interested in doing the same for a shy and insecure and lonely man (although in theory such women must exist, I suppose). From the age of 11 or 12 until I was into my 20s, I pinned all my hopes on such a woman coming along to rescue me, and in retrospect I can see this was probably the most off-putting thing about me, from the female point of view. I washed every morning and put on clean clothes; I'm not good-looking, but some women have managed to find me physically attractive somehow and some have managed to see past my social awkwardness: my sheer desperation for a girlfriend in those unhappy years was undoubtedly the chief factor preventing me from finding one.

The torture you describe brings back vivid memories for me, but there are ways of escaping it or at least diminishing it. I still wish I wasn't single, which I have been for several years now, but I accept this was always a likely outcome for someone with the Asperger's I happen to have, and I know I'm better off single than stuck in an unfulfilling and uninspiring relationship (which many people are).


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07 Oct 2019, 3:03 am

QFT wrote:
First of all, as a Christian, I don't believe in sex before marriage. However, this is besides the point. I only became Christian at 22 (right now I am 29) but, even back at the atheist days, I weren't looking for sex either. Why? Because I was focused on my studies and I viewed both physical "and" emotional aspects of relationships as a disraction from my studies. Yes, I had some sexual fantasies and wet dreams, but that pretty much ended on that. Then, at the age of 21 -- when I was still an atheist -- I was hurt emotionally (ironically, at Clare Sainsbury's mailing list for aspies) so I wanted to find a relationship in order to make up for emotional hurt. Notice how it was still a year "before" my conversion, yet I wasn't looking for sex either: I was obsessed about my emotional hurt that just occurred. Thats when I learned that I seem unlikable, and that made me obsess about validation all the more. Then, at the age of 22, I became Christian, so from that point onward I was opposed to sex. But that was pretty much irrelevant to the aspect of relationships I been obsessing over. I continued to obsess over the emotional aspects just like I was back when I was atheist, and the fact that I wasn't allowed sex was pretty much irrelevant to that obsession.

Now, if you follow me so far, you are going to say "well, you are an aspie, so probably as an aspie you dislike touch or something". No thats not true either: I already told you I had wet dreams (see the paragraph above). And I don't have the issues with touch either. When I had girlfriends, and they touched me, I enjoyed it (even though I am opposed to sex, I am not opposed to cuddling -- well, yes, its sinful too, but I am okay to compromise this far, and I did). The point I am trying to make is that its not something worth obsessing over. So no, I don't fit into a stereotype of NT male who is obsessed about sex, nor do I fit into a stereotype of an aspie who is opposed to sex for sensory reasons. I have a perfectly healthy perspective: if I didn't have my religious beliefs I "would" enjoy sex (well, I never had one, but I can still say I would enjoy it if I did) yet, at the same time, I would never obsess over sex (regardless of my religious beliefs or lack thereof).


I can identify with that, and I think many other NDs can too.

The emotional aspect of love is the most important, and sex is not so important. I especially despise one-night-stands, and I'm not religious.

nick007 wrote:
There is something called Asexuality where people simply do not experience sexual attraction & are not very focused on having sex. Like autism asexuality is a spectrum. Some dislike sex or the idea of it or simply have no interest in it & some may even have no sex drive while others may like sex OK & be open to it but have no interest in sex outside of a strong romantic connection. The ladder is called Demisexual. Autistics tend to be on more of the extreme ends of the sexuality spectrum compared to NTs. More autistics are asexual & hypersexual than the general population of NTs. I'm sorta on the demisexual spectrum. I like sex OK & I used to look at porn aLOT but I never had much interest in the idea of me actually having sex outside of a serious romantic relationship; it didn't have to be marriage but at least us being aa strong couple. I wanted to have sex when I was a teen but that was mostly cuz of curiosity & peer pressure. I never done sexual stuff with anyone outside of cyber till I got in my current relationship & I was about 30.


Sure, but asexuality is mostly an escape label for NDs, and particularly for women. I think the reasoning goes that I do not want to have typical sex, and particularly not without an emotional connection, so I need some excuse. Since there is no other better label, people pick the asexual label even if it doesn't really fit.

Teach51 wrote:
Well I think that for hyper-sexual men sex is not really a choice but an itch that must be scratched. It's a physiological matter. I know men who are happily married with a healthy sex relationship in their marriage but still need more, and their extra-marital activities are purely sexual on their part. They separate sex and emotion completely. Faith may promote abstinence, but you only need to look at religious institutions of all faiths to see the prevalence of pedophilia, rape and abuse.
I admire men who can place faith and their moral beliefs above carnal desire, but for the hypersexual it may prove to be like keeping a tiger in a paper cage.


The problem is that being hypersexual can go hand in hand with not liking typical sex, and so some people can identify with the highly unlikely combination of being both asexual and hypersexual.

Raphael F wrote:
QFT wrote:
Sex is just a physical experience. If you don't get sex, just find some other source of physical experience: go to the beach, or have an ice cream, or just masturbate for crying out loud.


Have to disagree with this part, but in what I hope is a positive and encouraging way: when you're with the right person, sex is an indescribably profoundly spiritual and emotional and healing and affirming experience, and the physical aspect of it is merely the channel by which all the other aspects are achieved. So I fully share the premise that the emotional aspect of a relationship is the more fundamental, but the emotionality and the sexuality are interconnected. People who have not noticed that can often be heard saying sex is overrated. They are incorrect!


Exactly. When you have an emotional and spiritual connection with somebody, sex could be a wonderful experience even if you normally identify as asexual. I don't even think it needs to be physical sex. I don't think this is inconsistent at all. Rather, I think it makes a lot of sense and can explain many of the oddities NDs show in the sexual & relationship area.



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07 Oct 2019, 3:31 am

hurtloam wrote:
And with women, yes you need to show some interest in them otherwise they will think that you are arrogant and self absorbed and that's a big turn off. Conversely if they're making all the conversation and you don't really engage then that's also a turn off. You need a nice middle ground.


I prefer silence, and I don't think I'm alone in that. Having flow in conversation is an NT trait that many NDs have trouble with, and so why would an ND care about somebody that requires flow in conversation? I think it is a great compatibility test if your "date" still likes you after a minute of silence.



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07 Oct 2019, 9:09 am

Yes, I had one relationship like that, where the girl and I could enjoy a companionable silence and it didn't mean the conversation had broken down, it just meant we could be together perfectly comfortably without the need to converse. Maybe in some instances that could actually be a sign of a relationship where the emotional aspect was well aligned? She and I were able to spend days and nights on end together, non-stop, without getting sick of one another: I've never had another relationship like that, before nor since!

For reasons unconnected with my Asperger's, but more to do with my other mental health issues (which I need not bore anyone with in a primarily A.S.D.-themed forum), alas I messed up that relationship after about six months. But it just goes to show what is possible, even for someone with Asperger's. I would never have thought I stood a chance with her in a million years! Intelligent, attractive, witty, stylishly dressed ... ohh, can we turn the clock back to 1999 so I can try again and maybe get it right second time around?!


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12 Oct 2019, 12:02 pm

Raphael F wrote:
Yes, I had one relationship like that, where the girl and I could enjoy a companionable silence and it didn't mean the conversation had broken down, it just meant we could be together perfectly comfortably without the need to converse. Maybe in some instances that could actually be a sign of a relationship where the emotional aspect was well aligned? She and I were able to spend days and nights on end together, non-stop, without getting sick of one another: I've never had another relationship like that, before nor since!

For reasons unconnected with my Asperger's, but more to do with my other mental health issues (which I need not bore anyone with in a primarily A.S.D.-themed forum), alas I messed up that relationship after about six months. But it just goes to show what is possible, even for someone with Asperger's. I would never have thought I stood a chance with her in a million years! Intelligent, attractive, witty, stylishly dressed ... ohh, can we turn the clock back to 1999 so I can try again and maybe get it right second time around?!


Almost six years here and still counting. I hope we won't mess it up, but given how well we communicate, I'm not worried.



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12 Oct 2019, 1:34 pm

After six years, even if something were tragically to go wrong, surely lack of non-stop fatuous smalltalk would not suddenly turn out to be the problem?


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12 Oct 2019, 2:12 pm

Raphael F wrote:
After six years, even if something were tragically to go wrong, surely lack of non-stop fatuous smalltalk would not suddenly turn out to be the problem?


Not just lack of smalltalk but a complete lack of normal conversation. We do all our communication mind-to-mind.



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12 Oct 2019, 2:20 pm

Well, then I'd say the same as I said before, only more so!


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Today, 2:58 am

She is the pretty and confident type that I would never meet in the dating context. Completely out of my league.