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SkinnyElephant
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20 Aug 2022, 11:25 am

I have some acquaintances. But no real friends.

It's not that I'm a jerk or pariah. The average person I meet likes me (and hardly anyone would ever guess I'm on the spectrum unless they know me extremely well). But I'm way too ritualistic/structured. Day in and day out, I like to do certain things at a certain time. And when forced to deviate from my usual routine, I end up miserable.

No friend would be willing to work around all my quirks. If I had friends, I would often be forced to deviate from my usual routine.

Also, I don't like going over other people's houses (mainly because I then have less control over the situation). Other than my own home, the only homes I'm willing to be in are those of very close relatives. My aversion to going over other people's houses would also get in the way of friendship.

I'm happier without friends. I just don't like how society views loners as freaks.



delvian
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20 Aug 2022, 1:44 pm

Would you be more comfortable if a friend could come visit you at your home, at a time you were happy with?



AprilR
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20 Aug 2022, 2:52 pm

I am the same way. I have friends and i do meet with them but it disrupts my routine completely and i have less time for stimming/daydreaming.



SkinnyElephant
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20 Aug 2022, 4:38 pm

delvian wrote:
Would you be more comfortable if a friend could come visit you at your home, at a time you were happy with?


I'd be ok with it, yeah.



SkinnyElephant
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20 Aug 2022, 4:45 pm

AprilR wrote:
I am the same way. I have friends and i do meet with them but it disrupts my routine completely and i have less time for stimming/daydreaming.


One example of my quirks: I have a set time I like to eat dinner. I don't like eating too early (4:00/5:00) because I don't quite have an appetite yet (my lunch tides me over). But on the flip side, I'm also not a night owl (so I don't like going out to bars late at night). I like to start my dinner some time in the 5:30-6:30 range.

It's hard to maintain a social life when there's such a small window in which I'm willing to eat dinner. Which is why I don't currently have any friends (and why none of my current acquaintances have grown into friends).

Relatives have told me "Seek out friends anyway. And if you get stuck going out earlier/later than you'd like, go with the flow."

Here's the thing though: I'd rather be friendless than be forced to "go with the flow"



delvian
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20 Aug 2022, 5:52 pm

That's totally valid. If all it would do is stress you out then there's no point. And I think there's nothing wrong with setting strict limits on when you're happy to hang out with someone and how long for. You might have to accept that those times won't always be good for them but that doesn't mean you should push yourself into times you're not gonna be comfortable with.

Do you know if there are any autism/neurodiverse groups in your area, either irl or online? I find other neurodivergent people are often more understanding of the need to work around things like this. I have a friend who finds it difficult to leave his home and come visit me for similar reasons. I understand his reasons so I visit him, usually at times that suit him, and on the odd occasion he might need me to leave early if he gets tired or burnt out, he knows he can politely let me know and it won't be a problem. He's a good friend to me in plenty other ways so it makes sense for me to just work with him instead of demanding something from him that isn't even necessary for us to maintain a good friendship. And when I can't make it, he understands.



SkinnyElephant
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20 Aug 2022, 6:50 pm

delvian wrote:
That's totally valid. If all it would do is stress you out then there's no point. And I think there's nothing wrong with setting strict limits on when you're happy to hang out with someone and how long for. You might have to accept that those times won't always be good for them but that doesn't mean you should push yourself into times you're not gonna be comfortable with.

Do you know if there are any autism/neurodiverse groups in your area, either irl or online? I find other neurodivergent people are often more understanding of the need to work around things like this. I have a friend who finds it difficult to leave his home and come visit me for similar reasons. I understand his reasons so I visit him, usually at times that suit him, and on the odd occasion he might need me to leave early if he gets tired or burnt out, he knows he can politely let me know and it won't be a problem. He's a good friend to me in plenty other ways so it makes sense for me to just work with him instead of demanding something from him that isn't even necessary for us to maintain a good friendship. And when I can't make it, he understands.


Good words indeed on your part.

I'm aware the times that are good for me might not be good for potential friends (and I'd be ok with it). The problem is getting them to accept my quirks (to a normie, they don't see any reason of why I wouldn't be able to do certain things). As for your question of if there are any neurodivergent groups in my area, I'm not sure. I suppose I could look into it.

There's this married couple I'm currently acquaintances with. They used to invite me to go places/do things all the time. We've gone out together a few times (because they just so happened to invite me to something that worked with my quirks, without them even knowing about my quirks). However, most the time when they've invited me places, I've turned down the invite. As a result, the invites have stopped (they probably got frustrated). I still view them as acquaintances because we're still polite when we run into each other; we just never quite crossed into friend territory.

I should mention: I'm not a total homebody. I'm willing to go out in moderation (local restaurants, hiking, etc). BUT it has to be during times that I approve of.

This other acquaintance I had a few years ago really wanted me to be his drinking buddy. He was always inviting me to go out to bars with him. I would give him a standard "we'll see." Then one time, he demanded I finally go bar hopping with him. When I declined (and briefly explained why), he was NOT pleased. Oh well, if he's that inconsiderate of my needs, I'm better off without him.

The last story I'm going to share on this post: During my freshman year of college, I had a sizable friend group. Being 18 and full-of-energy, I wasn't as much of a curmudgeon back then (I still had some degree of quirks though). But even with having more energy back then, I still ended up getting exhausted by all the social overload. When everyone returned for sophomore year, I essentially ghosted my friend group (and I heard through the grapevine that they were wondering where I'd been hiding). After having such a socially active freshman year, I had to take a step back and re-assess. And it would have been way too challenging to explain myself to everyone (that's why I opted to ghost the group entirely)



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20 Aug 2022, 7:25 pm

It can be tiring to always have to be explaining yourself to people. But maybe if you're honest with your friends and acquaintances from the beginning about your boundaries and why it's important for you to stick to them, they might be more likely to be understanding and willing to find times and activities that will suit you both. If they don't, then you've got a fairly good indication that they may not be the best friends in the long run. But I guess if you don't first give them the opportunity to understand then you'll never find out.



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21 Aug 2022, 1:16 am

OP - its great that you understand and accept yourself.
I spent way too many years trying to reshape myself to find a way to fit into NT society. I've given up on that goal. Now, I am just me. I may wish that I wasn't odd but that will never make it a reality.
Accepting this, and living the way I want, has made me probably the happiest I've ever been in my life.
I have one old friend and some family that I see or talk to on a regular basis.
I make an effort to connect with new people I meet if I think there might be a possibilty for friendship or they reach out to me. Unfortunately, these relationships seem to run their course and then that person stops contacting me. I give them another attempt or two but nothing comes of it.
I would love to find a couple close friends that I could enjoy and who accepted me as I am. For now, its all good.
I hope all who are looking find a real friend too.



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21 Aug 2022, 9:29 am

I can truly understand how the OP feels. I reject anything that disrupts my routines, too, which makes it almost impossible to go out with people. I need to have a shower by the late afternoon and I would never go out after shower. So, it's impossible to go out in the evening. I have many other routines. I'd rather keep my routines than have friends. Not that I don't want to have friends but I accept that it's not practical for me to have friends.



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21 Aug 2022, 10:00 am

I was like you at your age and the next year, I made two really good friends.


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SkinnyElephant
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21 Aug 2022, 11:21 am

temp1234 wrote:
I can truly understand how the OP feels. I reject anything that disrupts my routines, too, which makes it almost impossible to go out with people. I need to have a shower by the late afternoon and I would never go out after shower. So, it's impossible to go out in the evening. I have many other routines. I'd rather keep my routines than have friends. Not that I don't want to have friends but I accept that it's not practical for me to have friends.


I'm a lot like you on the shower thing. The only slight difference: I take my shower in the evening. Just like you, however, I refuse to go out once I've showered. Which partially ties into why I'm not a night owl.

The average person is willing to go hooting and hollering until the wee hours of the night, and then crash into their bed immediately upon getting home. I can NOT do that. I'm too much of a neat freak (I want the bed to stay clean. That's why I take my shower in the evening).

Then after I shower, I always drink a cup of water (the hot shower dehydrates me). So I then have to give the water a chance to pass through me before I retire to my bed for the night (I do NOT want to wet the bed).

What this means is: If I were to get home at, say, midnight...by the time I did my evening routine (shower, cup of water, etc), it would be so late, I might as well stay up all night (and I am NOT a happy camper when I lose a night of sleep).

The average person, however, as I pointed out, would simply collapse into their bed immediately upon getting home at midnight. And honestly, as much as I sometimes wish I was normal, I honestly can NOT say I envy the "stay out until midnight; collapse as soon as you get home" lifestyle. It sounds miserable/unhealthy to me.



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26 Aug 2022, 7:15 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
I like to start my dinner some time in the 5:30-6:30 range.

Would you consider an occasional restaurant meal during that time range, with a friend or with someone who seemed like a good potential friend?

It's possible to have a friendship without visiting each other's homes. Many people have home situations that make it difficult to have company, for one reason or another.


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SkinnyElephant
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26 Aug 2022, 7:47 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
SkinnyElephant wrote:
I like to start my dinner some time in the 5:30-6:30 range.

Would you consider an occasional restaurant meal during that time range, with a friend or with someone who seemed like a good potential friend?

It's possible to have a friendship without visiting each other's homes. Many people have home situations that make it difficult to have company, for one reason or another.


Totally. I'd even be glad to.

Restaurants are one of the few social things I'm willing to do...IF it's at a time that's convenient for me.

Past (as well as recent) experience, however, has taught me that a lot of people fall into one of two categories:

1. They want to go out to eat super early "because it's easier to get a table."
2. Or, on the flipside, they're total party animals (and want to stay out until all hours)



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27 Aug 2022, 9:40 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
delvian wrote:
Would you be more comfortable if a friend could come visit you at your home, at a time you were happy with?


I'd be ok with it, yeah.

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I have not invited anyone over since 24. Now 39

I don't want them to know where I live. If we have an argument they might burn down my dumpster.

Also I don't want to clean up after them

I am fine with going to their house



SkinnyElephant
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28 Aug 2022, 10:53 am

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
SkinnyElephant wrote:
delvian wrote:
Would you be more comfortable if a friend could come visit you at your home, at a time you were happy with?


I'd be ok with it, yeah.

__________________________

I have not invited anyone over since 24. Now 39

I don't want them to know where I live. If we have an argument they might burn down my dumpster.

Also I don't want to clean up after them

I am fine with going to their house


Everyone is different. You have the right to feel the way you do.

I might have already said this on a previous post. But I don't like how, when I'm at someone else's house, I have the feeling of not being in control.

I prefer my own home because I have more control over the environment.