Should we inform our romantic interests of our condition?

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TwilightPrincess
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01 Mar 2024, 10:01 am

It could be a way to eliminate a dud and minimize wasted time. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would ditch me or discriminate against me for having autism, so I’d always be upfront about it. Sure, not everyone is knowledgeable about autism, but if they aren’t willing to learn, then I’m not willing to date them. It’s not like I appear that different apart from being a bit timid, weird, and awkward.

That’s just me. I wouldn’t discriminate against people for having various mental health conditions. I prefer dating people who are on the same page when it comes to this kind of stuff or being single.

I think this is a highly individual thing. There’s not really a “should” about it.


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DazyDaisy
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01 Mar 2024, 11:26 am

SkinnyElephant wrote:
DazyDaisy wrote:
Since I have an autoimmune disease I am ready to inform people, generally, only about it and use it as an excuse for the things I hate doing as an (officialy still undiagnosed) autistic person. Things that are exausting for me.

Should I openly admit to a potential partener about my autism? Probably should and I will if they have already accepted me with my disease. But most healthy man are not that ready for it, although I don't have a visible disability.

The problem in my country is that adults can not be assessed for autism nor get the diagnosis. Only children with severe autism. So hardly I will find another middle age Aspie..

What I am not ready is to pretend that I am just like any other regular woman. The expectations would be too high and now I'm old enough to realize I can not do masking for too long anymore. For me it is even better to be alone for the rest of my life.


You summed it up perfectly when you called autism spectrum disorder an invisible disability.

Even though, as I indicated on my last post, the occasional joke will go over my head, I (in most cases) come across as simply a tad quirky/socially awkward. The vast majority of the population would never guess I'm on the spectrum.

Then even in the case of the joke the woman I had my last date with made (which went over my head), I'm pretty sure the only reason my response freaked her out was because she never would have suspected I'm on the spectrum (so, from her point of view, there's no reason I should fail to get the joke).

You're right when you say masking is exhausting. The fact those of us with a mild autism case are able to mask is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the outside world isn't going to immediately know we're autistic. But on the other hand, this comes at a cost: Neurotypicals will expect we'll want to do all the same stuff they want to do.

This makes it hard for us to maintain friendship *or* romantic relationships. As an example, a friend in the past got fed up by the fact I had no desire to go bar-hopping with him.


Actually, what I meant by "no visible disability" was related first to my autoimmune disease, because the one I have can cause visible disabilities..But even if I didn't know that I have that disease and knew only that I have autism I would consider it a non-visible disability, too. Maybe even more. That's because I always had to do excessive masking to appear as a fully functional individual. Until I couldn't have doing it anymore. Even im my late teens and twenties my best friends frequently got mad at me because they couldn't have drag me out from home to things like parties or clubbing. At that time I thought I have "just" a social anxiety, but now I realize it was more because I was always autistic. So now one minute I accept the fact that I am (99% probably) autistic, next minute I'm freaking out and getting panic attacks when it hits my mind of how weird and different I am then most of the people.

But I wanted to ask you what could have you possibly tell your date that was such big turn off for her? She ditched you over your reaction to her joke or you told her about your autism?


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DazyDaisy
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01 Mar 2024, 12:04 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
It could be a way to eliminate a dud and minimize wasted time. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would ditch me or discriminate against me for having autism, so I’d always be upfront about it. Sure, not everyone is knowledgeable about autism, but if they aren’t willing to learn, then I’m not willing to date them. It’s not like I appear that different apart from being a bit timid, weird, and awkward.

That’s just me. I wouldn’t discriminate against people for having various mental health conditions. I prefer dating people who are on the same page when it comes to this kind of stuff or being single.

I think this is a highly individual thing. There’s not really a “should” about it.


Me neither, I would never discriminate anybody based on any health condition. It is not contagious, but many people seem to think that you are defined by those you are with .. probably because of their own insecurities. Even though they celebrate many people who were autistic: Tesla, Einstein, various composers, painters and other famous or historical people.


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SkinnyElephant
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02 Mar 2024, 10:07 am

nick007 wrote:
Where I'm originally from even the so-called experts tend to think of autism as a less sever form of mental retardation. Tellimg a date that your autistic when you don't really know each other would likely guarantee you don't get a second one unless they are a preditor who thinks your easy prey. I think it'll be better to mention certain issues you have without mentioning autism till you know each other a little better unless the person mentions having autism, having an autistic family member, working with autistic people, or brings up other disorders.


It's one thing for the general public to view autism as a version of mental retardation (as there are a lot of misconceptions regarding autism).

But for a professional to view autism as a form of mental retardation, that's unacceptable. Then again, I shouldn't be surprised. The counselor I went to last year was terrible.



SkinnyElephant
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02 Mar 2024, 10:22 am

DazyDaisy wrote:
SkinnyElephant wrote:
DazyDaisy wrote:
Since I have an autoimmune disease I am ready to inform people, generally, only about it and use it as an excuse for the things I hate doing as an (officialy still undiagnosed) autistic person. Things that are exausting for me.

Should I openly admit to a potential partener about my autism? Probably should and I will if they have already accepted me with my disease. But most healthy man are not that ready for it, although I don't have a visible disability.

The problem in my country is that adults can not be assessed for autism nor get the diagnosis. Only children with severe autism. So hardly I will find another middle age Aspie..

What I am not ready is to pretend that I am just like any other regular woman. The expectations would be too high and now I'm old enough to realize I can not do masking for too long anymore. For me it is even better to be alone for the rest of my life.


You summed it up perfectly when you called autism spectrum disorder an invisible disability.

Even though, as I indicated on my last post, the occasional joke will go over my head, I (in most cases) come across as simply a tad quirky/socially awkward. The vast majority of the population would never guess I'm on the spectrum.

Then even in the case of the joke the woman I had my last date with made (which went over my head), I'm pretty sure the only reason my response freaked her out was because she never would have suspected I'm on the spectrum (so, from her point of view, there's no reason I should fail to get the joke).

You're right when you say masking is exhausting. The fact those of us with a mild autism case are able to mask is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the outside world isn't going to immediately know we're autistic. But on the other hand, this comes at a cost: Neurotypicals will expect we'll want to do all the same stuff they want to do.

This makes it hard for us to maintain friendship *or* romantic relationships. As an example, a friend in the past got fed up by the fact I had no desire to go bar-hopping with him.


Actually, what I meant by "no visible disability" was related first to my autoimmune disease, because the one I have can cause visible disabilities..But even if I didn't know that I have that disease and knew only that I have autism I would consider it a non-visible disability, too. Maybe even more. That's because I always had to do excessive masking to appear as a fully functional individual. Until I couldn't have doing it anymore. Even im my late teens and twenties my best friends frequently got mad at me because they couldn't have drag me out from home to things like parties or clubbing. At that time I thought I have "just" a social anxiety, but now I realize it was more because I was always autistic. So now one minute I accept the fact that I am (99% probably) autistic, next minute I'm freaking out and getting panic attacks when it hits my mind of how weird and different I am then most of the people.

But I wanted to ask you what could have you possibly tell your date that was such big turn off for her? She ditched you over your reaction to her joke or you told her about your autism?


Yeah. While there's some overlap between being on the spectrum vs having general social phobias, being on the spectrum goes way deeper.

If someone only has a general social phobia, for example, they might be able to enjoy clubbing/partying if they get help in coming out of their shell.

Someone on the spectrum, on the other hand, is never going to enjoy clubbing or partying. It's not that we simply need to "come out of our shell." It's that clubbing and partying will never mix well with being on the spectrum.

As for your questions about how it went downhill with the woman I had my last date with:

My response to her joke made it clear I failed to get the joke. She then explained the joke (and basically called me stupid for failing to get the joke). I never told her I'm on the spectrum.



SkinnyElephant
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02 Mar 2024, 10:24 am

DazyDaisy wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
It could be a way to eliminate a dud and minimize wasted time. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would ditch me or discriminate against me for having autism, so I’d always be upfront about it. Sure, not everyone is knowledgeable about autism, but if they aren’t willing to learn, then I’m not willing to date them. It’s not like I appear that different apart from being a bit timid, weird, and awkward.

That’s just me. I wouldn’t discriminate against people for having various mental health conditions. I prefer dating people who are on the same page when it comes to this kind of stuff or being single.

I think this is a highly individual thing. There’s not really a “should” about it.


Me neither, I would never discriminate anybody based on any health condition. It is not contagious, but many people seem to think that you are defined by those you are with .. probably because of their own insecurities. Even though they celebrate many people who were autistic: Tesla, Einstein, various composers, painters and other famous or historical people.


And this is what doesn't make sense to me. The most famous examples of people on the spectrum were geniuses. Yet at the same time, society somehow thinks being on the spectrum is synonymous with being mentally challenged.



blitzkrieg
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02 Mar 2024, 10:40 am

nick007 wrote:
blitzkrieg wrote:
Nades wrote:
Not to begin with no. A lot of people have a tendency to discriminate before meeting people.


Right?

Telling someone upfront could perhaps sabotage something good that might happen later on in the dating process (i.e, being accepted as a dating partner/possibly leading to intimacy etc).

People often have negative stereotypes of autism, even if they are well meaning, decent people. Mostly out of ignorance or a lack of the necessity to think about autism in any depth.
That's exactly what I was getting at. You explained more than me. Good job :D


No worries! :D



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02 Mar 2024, 1:18 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
DazyDaisy wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
It could be a way to eliminate a dud and minimize wasted time. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would ditch me or discriminate against me for having autism, so I’d always be upfront about it. Sure, not everyone is knowledgeable about autism, but if they aren’t willing to learn, then I’m not willing to date them. It’s not like I appear that different apart from being a bit timid, weird, and awkward.

That’s just me. I wouldn’t discriminate against people for having various mental health conditions. I prefer dating people who are on the same page when it comes to this kind of stuff or being single.

I think this is a highly individual thing. There’s not really a “should” about it.


Me neither, I would never discriminate anybody based on any health condition. It is not contagious, but many people seem to think that you are defined by those you are with .. probably because of their own insecurities. Even though they celebrate many people who were autistic: Tesla, Einstein, various composers, painters and other famous or historical people.


And this is what doesn't make sense to me. The most famous examples of people on the spectrum were geniuses. Yet at the same time, society somehow thinks being on the spectrum is synonymous with being mentally challenged.
I womder if perhaps the movie Rain Man contributed to this confusion :? Plus the autistics who seek diagnoses or parents of autistic kids who do of coarse tend to be the ones who are struggling more.


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DazyDaisy
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03 Mar 2024, 1:39 am

nick007 wrote:
SkinnyElephant wrote:
DazyDaisy wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
It could be a way to eliminate a dud and minimize wasted time. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would ditch me or discriminate against me for having autism, so I’d always be upfront about it. Sure, not everyone is knowledgeable about autism, but if they aren’t willing to learn, then I’m not willing to date them. It’s not like I appear that different apart from being a bit timid, weird, and awkward.

That’s just me. I wouldn’t discriminate against people for having various mental health conditions. I prefer dating people who are on the same page when it comes to this kind of stuff or being single.

I think this is a highly individual thing. There’s not really a “should” about it.


Me neither, I would never discriminate anybody based on any health condition. It is not contagious, but many people seem to think that you are defined by those you are with .. probably because of their own insecurities. Even though they celebrate many people who were autistic: Tesla, Einstein, various composers, painters and other famous or historical people.


And this is what doesn't make sense to me. The most famous examples of people on the spectrum were geniuses. Yet at the same time, society somehow thinks being on the spectrum is synonymous with being mentally challenged.
I womder if perhaps the movie Rain Man contributed to this confusion :? Plus the autistics who seek diagnoses or parents of autistic kids who do of coarse tend to be the ones who are struggling more.


You are right, I think that movie contributed a lot that people use that example to generalize all autistic people, they don't understand it's a spectrum and they tend to think that even if autistic person is extremely talented in one field they must be mentally challenged in all the other ones. In my country telling people: "I discovered in my 50's (20', 30's, any other adult age) that I am autistic." it would be like officially admitting that I am a ret*d. In any argument with anybody it would be used as a final proof that I can never be right and that I am not able to deliver reasonable judgement and that it is all projection in my head because of my condition.


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cyberdad
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03 Mar 2024, 2:26 am

My daughter isn't allowed to date but she has several aspie girls she's now friends with who have NT boyfriends. According to her the boyfriends all know about the girl's diagnosis and they don't care.



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03 Mar 2024, 2:54 am

cyberdad wrote:
My daughter isn't allowed to date but she has several aspie girls she's now friends with who have NT boyfriends. According to her the boyfriends all know about the girl's diagnosis and they don't care.



That's good to hear. Those kids were probably educated at school, generally, about diversity and that people come in all shape, colors, sizies, identities and conditions and all of that is ok as long as they don't hurt each other, other people or themselves. The best support people can get here where I am is that if they have autistic kids other people will sympathize with them, but what happens when those kids grow older and their parents die is very sad...they are all put together in a small room with very little space between their beds. And God knows how many people went undiagnosed or got wrong diagnoses and will never know why really they are the way they are. Here, having both physical and mental illness comes with great stigma, even families of those people are ashamed to open up about it to other people and they all get marginalized or openly bullied.


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SkinnyElephant
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03 Mar 2024, 11:39 am

DazyDaisy wrote:
nick007 wrote:
SkinnyElephant wrote:
DazyDaisy wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
It could be a way to eliminate a dud and minimize wasted time. I wouldn’t want to be with someone who would ditch me or discriminate against me for having autism, so I’d always be upfront about it. Sure, not everyone is knowledgeable about autism, but if they aren’t willing to learn, then I’m not willing to date them. It’s not like I appear that different apart from being a bit timid, weird, and awkward.

That’s just me. I wouldn’t discriminate against people for having various mental health conditions. I prefer dating people who are on the same page when it comes to this kind of stuff or being single.

I think this is a highly individual thing. There’s not really a “should” about it.


Me neither, I would never discriminate anybody based on any health condition. It is not contagious, but many people seem to think that you are defined by those you are with .. probably because of their own insecurities. Even though they celebrate many people who were autistic: Tesla, Einstein, various composers, painters and other famous or historical people.


And this is what doesn't make sense to me. The most famous examples of people on the spectrum were geniuses. Yet at the same time, society somehow thinks being on the spectrum is synonymous with being mentally challenged.
I womder if perhaps the movie Rain Man contributed to this confusion :? Plus the autistics who seek diagnoses or parents of autistic kids who do of coarse tend to be the ones who are struggling more.


You are right, I think that movie contributed a lot that people use that example to generalize all autistic people, they don't understand it's a spectrum and they tend to think that even if autistic person is extremely talented in one field they must be mentally challenged in all the other ones. In my country telling people: "I discovered in my 50's (20', 30's, any other adult age) that I am autistic." it would be like officially admitting that I am a ret*d. In any argument with anybody it would be used as a final proof that I can never be right and that I am not able to deliver reasonable judgement and that it is all projection in my head because of my condition.


At a past job, the business owner gave everyone a slight promotion if they made it 6 months without quitting or getting fired.

I was there for a year. Yet I never got the promotion (I was the only employee he ever did this to). All because I'm on the spectrum.



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03 Mar 2024, 2:57 pm

If you live in USA I know that many companies scheadule, once or twice a year, a kind of interview where they ask employees what they think about their work, how much they achieved and contributed to a company growth, etc. If they prove they did well they get promotion or their salary raised or both. Can you talk with your boss about your achievements? If you prove him you did well too and he still doesn't want to promote you can than mention discrimination..Hope other members put their thoughts if this would be wise, complaining to boss about his own discrimination..


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cyberdad
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03 Mar 2024, 3:23 pm

DazyDaisy wrote:
If you live in USA I know that many companies scheadule, once or twice a year, a kind of interview where they ask employees what they think about their work, how much they achieved and contributed to a company growth, etc. If they prove they did well they get promotion or their salary raised or both. Can you talk with your boss about your achievements? If you prove him you did well too and he still doesn't want to promote you can than mention discrimination..Hope other members put their thoughts if this would be wise, complaining to boss about his own discrimination..


I think you are referring to an annual staff performance review, The purpose of these meetings is to openly/transparently discuss performance against set KPIs, Where performance is demonstrated to exceed > set KPIs then the boss/worker discuss promotion whereby a process is initiated via HR to apply for a promotion internally and/or internal application for vacancies in higher roles.



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03 Mar 2024, 3:32 pm

cyberdad wrote:
DazyDaisy wrote:
If you live in USA I know that many companies scheadule, once or twice a year, a kind of interview where they ask employees what they think about their work, how much they achieved and contributed to a company growth, etc. If they prove they did well they get promotion or their salary raised or both. Can you talk with your boss about your achievements? If you prove him you did well too and he still doesn't want to promote you can than mention discrimination..Hope other members put their thoughts if this would be wise, complaining to boss about his own discrimination..


I think you are referring to an annual staff performance review, The purpose of these meetings is to openly/transparently discuss performance against set KPIs, Where performance is demonstrated to exceed > set KPIs then the boss/worker discuss promotion whereby a process is initiated via HR to apply for a promotion internally and/or internal application for vacancies in higher roles.


I guess that's it, but I am not really familiar with it, probably it is something that is common for larger companies, with a lot of employees. Not sure if the same exist in small size companies and don't know where @SkinnyElephant works.


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SkinnyElephant
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03 Mar 2024, 6:55 pm

DazyDaisy wrote:
If you live in USA I know that many companies scheadule, once or twice a year, a kind of interview where they ask employees what they think about their work, how much they achieved and contributed to a company growth, etc. If they prove they did well they get promotion or their salary raised or both. Can you talk with your boss about your achievements? If you prove him you did well too and he still doesn't want to promote you can than mention discrimination..Hope other members put their thoughts if this would be wise, complaining to boss about his own discrimination..


This was a decade ago. Water under the bridge.

He never told me that being on the spectrum was why he opted out of promoting me. But that's the only possible explanation (after all, if I was really such a terrible employee, he wouldn't have kept me at all).

Unfortunately, even if I were to claim discrimination at the time, my battle would have been futile. Had I taken him to court, he would have known better than to admit my condition was why he opted out of promoting me.