My sister is dating and I'm having trouble coping with it..

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Remisaurus1120
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31 Oct 2023, 10:48 pm

I know this has to be an autism thing but no one I've talked to about it seems to understand, so I hope I am putting this in the proper forum.

So for some context, my sister is 18 years older than me, and was basically like a third parent to me growing up. Now we are still very close and do a lot of things together. She has never shown an interest in having a romantic relationship, and has identified as asexual for quite awhile. She has also never dated.

Well now just recently, she has told me that she downloaded a dating app "just to see what's out there". I really didn't think much about it until she started talking about the men she's been talking to. She is now talking to one man and is planning on meeting him soon. When I realized this was a serious thing for her, I literally almost started crying, and I've been struggling to keep it together since.

I also have a brother who is married and has 2 kids. During each of these stage in his life, from marrying his wife and the birth of his kids, I had a hard time coping with the changes happening to the family. I love my niblings, but to be honest, now my brother doesn't even feel like my brother.

On top of the changes to the family, the understanding of my sister has also changed. Dating is such a big thing, that it was something of a defining factor that she had no desire for it. She even complained a few times about how all the song on the radio were about romance and s*x. This change in perspective shouldn't be as big as it feels, but I feel like she's a whole new person.

I'm crying writing this. I want her to be happy but at the same time, it's so scary to think about the new guy who might be joining the family.

Please tell me there is someone out there who understands why I'm so upset. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I don't want to seem selfish, and I don't think I could even get my feelings into words to describe how I feel to her.



TheOutsider
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01 Nov 2023, 12:57 am

I appreciate the courage it probably took for you to express your feelings regarding this situation. I also sympathize with what you're struggling to cope with.

Perhaps like many on this forum, including me, change is difficult for you and so seeing your sister make significant life changes that may affect your relationship with her is troubling. I think the thing to keep in mind is the fact that, although you may be uncomfortable with it, change is inevitable. Furthermore, this is really about your sister's right to find happiness in her life and it sounds like that's all she's really doing. Try to fight the temptation to focus on how unhappy you are about this or how scary this may be for you. Instead, think about how wonderful this could be for your sister and how happy she probably is. I think the more you do that, the easier it will be to feel comfortable with this. I sincerely hope that helps somewhat.



ToughDiamond
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01 Nov 2023, 8:52 am

Your feeling makes sense to me. The feeling itself is natural and it must be more of a shock if she was always asexual before. And ASD may be adding to the intensity. I hope you and her man grow to like each other and that you get used to the situation. That way you won't be losing a sister, you'll be gaining a brother, though that's only partly true because your sister won't have as much time for you, and it goes without saying that you'd do well to avoid "playing gooseberry," that you'll have to give them a reasonable amount of space. I guess you'll need to find something else to fill the gap. It might also help to tell your sister how you feel, if you can find the words to express it without making her feel under pressure to give him up. If you can do that, she'll at least be aware that it's not an easy change for you to make, and maybe she'll adjust things to soften the blow.

Sorry to hear this is happening to you. Personally I hate having to be grown up and tolerant about things that feel unfair on me.



Weight Of Memory
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01 Nov 2023, 10:13 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Personally I hate having to be grown up and tolerant about things that feel unfair on me.


If something seems unfair to you, but not to anyone else stop and ask yourself why you feel it is unfair.

A sibling or friend dating or marrying is unfair to you how?

I'm worried my sibling's naivety and lack of experience relative to their age may result in them being taken advantage of is a reasonable concern.

I don't like change so my sibling can't change? I'm worried I won't be as close to my sibling if they start dating? That sounds like selfishness - "what I want is more important than what you want."

I've had people question whether I am asexual. I don't like romantic movies or watching sex scenes. I don't even particularly like watching people kiss. I didn't have a date until after high school and frequently go years between dates. Your sibling may be a late bloomer. Maybe they have very particular tastes; they never showed interest because they never met anyone that interested them.

I would be curious to learn more about the change of heart. Express your curiosity about the change and your hopes to never loose your friendship.



DirkGently69
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01 Nov 2023, 2:11 pm

I think I understand. Your sister is a lot older than you, so she feels more like a parent than a sister. She is someone that takes care of you, so you feel very close to her, especially because she has been asexual up until now. Her dating means someone else will be getting the attention that has always been yours, which means someone could potentially take her away from you. That means you could be more alone and isolated than ever before, especially since you are autistic. You don’t cope well with change, like a lot of us, and this situation means a lot of changes. You are probably also feeling a bit of betrayal and jealousy, which is perfectly normal. All this is enough to trigger autistic meltdown, which is what’s happening every time you can’t stop crying.

I would definitely tell your sister how you feel. If you can’t do it vocally, then write it down and give it to her. Make sure that you place no blame on her, as she has done nothing wrong. Try not to ruminate on the whole situation. Change is inevitable, but even when your sister starts dating, the whole relationship thing progresses slowly, so you have time to get used to these changes. Be happy for your sister.



ToughDiamond
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02 Nov 2023, 10:09 am

Weight Of Memory wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
Personally I hate having to be grown up and tolerant about things that feel unfair on me.


If something seems unfair to you, but not to anyone else stop and ask yourself why you feel it is unfair.

A sibling or friend dating or marrying is unfair to you how?

I'm worried my sibling's naivety and lack of experience relative to their age may result in them being taken advantage of is a reasonable concern.

I don't like change so my sibling can't change? I'm worried I won't be as close to my sibling if they start dating? That sounds like selfishness - "what I want is more important than what you want."


I mean that it can feel unfair of life, not unfair of the OP's sister, so I wouldn't exactly argue against what you've said. It's a kind of desertion that's going on, hopefully of limited degree, but it's not like the kind of desertion-for-another in a marriage or friendship where the deserted one could claim "we had a deal." And of course the pain of (partly) losing a loved one is a different thing from the morality of it. I think it's very human and relatable to hate having to be grown up and tolerant about things that feel unfair. Doesn't mean it actually is unfair of course.



Mikurotoro92
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02 Nov 2023, 10:24 am

This is the issue with me and my brother!

He is afraid that if I find love and get married I will be leaving him which might be a valid concern

A man would take away attention from my brother and because he is Autistic he doesn't cope well with change

I haven't been in a romantic relationship for YEARS and haven't even kissed a guy in a long time

Both you and my brother need to accept that life changes and he needs to let me and you need to let your sister go after our dreams!! !

Love isn't something you want to withhold!


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"You have never experienced true love but that doesn't mean you won't EVER find it!" -SpongeBob SquarePants


ToughDiamond
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02 Nov 2023, 12:07 pm

^
The OP didn't say he wanted help in holding his sister back, he said he wanted to hear from somebody who understood what he was going through. If I read him right, he just wants his feelings validating.