33 year old never been in a relationship- need help.

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Mor33
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01 Apr 2024, 4:14 pm

Hi all

I'm Sam and I'm 33 year old high functioning autistic man.

I have never dated or been in a relationship with someone as It appears that I'm a little clueless and couldn't tell if a girl/woman likes me in a romantic or sexual way.

Overtime I have fallen into the trap of isolating myself indirectly and avoiding dating as it has seemed impossible. I appreciate it is a subjective matter that's difficult to answer

I have attempted dating or asking people out multiple times and got met with the I'm with someone or my ex did this. It put me off for a long time and extremely worried that due to my inexperience. I will come across as not being worth a look at in dating and relationships.

It's been really hard to try and connect with someone as I think and feel so out of place.

Has anyone else had similar experiences and were able to address it please?

If so I would like to ask you for good advice please?



DuckHairback
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01 Apr 2024, 4:45 pm

I can absolutely relate to not noticing when women are giving me signals they find me attractive. Completely oblivious until someone tells me.

I never 'dated'. I don't think it's a very good way to find or start a relationship. It makes no sense to me, but lots of people do it so what do I know?

My approach has always been to have female friends. I guess I'm lucky in that i always had female friends and always got on better with women than men.

Friendships with women can develop into romance. That happened to me after four years of platonic friendship with my partner. But that's not the main point. Having female friends means you learn a lot about women, which is an advantage. They'll give you better advice than men. But women also have female friends that they want to see in relationships with good men, so they can introduce you if they think you're a good match and sometimes advocate for you if you happen to come across a bit weird as some us tend to.

So that's my advice. Stop looking for women to date and start looking for women to be friends with. I think it's better if it's women you're not particularly attracted to physically, or someone already in a relationship. If you're nursing a crush on someone, trying to make friends and secretly hoping for more - that situation can get nasty for everyone involved.

So that's my advice. Be a friend first and foremost. You'll doubtless get some very different advice here shortly. But there's mine, for what it's worth. Best of luck.


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bee33
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01 Apr 2024, 5:26 pm

I'm a 60 year old woman, so my experience might not be directly applicable to yours. I had a big romantic disappointment about 2 years ago, when I thought I was getting back together with an old boyfriend and lifelong friend and it feel apart horribly, and after that I never thought I would be able to find another relationship again. But I did.

I think for me the key has been to be direct but not too direct, and not expect that something would unfold quickly but to take the time to let it evolve.

I met a man at a small party around Halloween. We didn't say more than a few words to each other on that occasion. But he did mention that he was wearing his hair down instead of in the ponytail he usually wears because he didn't have time, and I spontaneously commented, "You look great." I wasn't even thinking about it, it just came out of my mouth. And somehow I noticed that he noticed me saying that. After that I was thinking about him. I sent him a Facebook message thanking him for the party. (He was the host.)

Then I saw him again at another small party in early December. I was kind of thrilled to see him and I made a point of waving at him when he came in, and he came over and sat next to me. We chatted but not really with each other, as everyone was kind of sitting in a circle of sorts. He asked me about a music recording that I had of a local band and I said I would try to get it to him.

When I was away for Christmas visiting family I looked through my old stuff and found the recording. I sent him a Facebook message letting him know I had found it. I also sent him my phone number because he doesn't use Facebook that much and he sent me his.

When my plane was landing after returning home from Christmas I got a message from him. And then I called him later that day and we made tentative plans to meet up for dinner. And it went on from there.

The point of this long post is to show how a relationship can develop from a fortuitous encounter, most importantly that it has to build slowly and organically. I think sometimes we wish we could just be like children on the playground and go up to someone and say "Will you be my friend" or in the case of a relationship. "Will you be my boyfriend or girlfriend" and that doesn't work because it's too blunt and abrupt. But at the same time I think you can see from my story that I was pretty direct, even though it took some time.

Best of luck to you.



bee33
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02 Apr 2024, 12:17 pm

You might find some of the posts in this thread relevant: viewtopic.php?t=419878



Mor33
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05 Apr 2024, 2:19 pm

I wouldn't have a clue about timing and how to progress a friendship into a relationship with someone. I have the impression that no woman would tell me as I'm expected to know this going by today standards without having any success with this.



QuietSpark343
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06 Apr 2024, 12:49 am

I had my first relationship a 3 years ago at 33 but now I'm kind of in the same boat since that one didn't last. I don't go anywhere to be social so I'm limited to online dating pretty much which if you aren't on serious platforms(like match where I met my ex) its really hit or miss(mostly miss tbh). The reason I think dating sites are a good fit for people on the spectrum is you know everyone on there is there to find dates not friends. Of course you do have to stick with it(which is my current problem).

That being said I do have some advice. When you do meet someone and you will, don't rush into it. I know I did and that's the part I really regret because I did not have time to get to know my ex casually before we got serious and we ended up being way too different. As an easy example I'm an artist and like my alone time but she tended to want to dominate any spare time I had meaning what I once did that brought me joy(art) completely ceased. Had I not rushed in I may have picked up on this......eventually. :lol:



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06 Apr 2024, 10:41 am

Mor33 wrote:
I wouldn't have a clue about timing and how to progress a friendship into a relationship with someone. I have the impression that no woman would tell me as I'm expected to know this going by today standards without having any success with this.


You have to be patient while searching for a partner

The way to turn a friendship into a relationship is by hanging out with someone long enough so you get to see their true colors and most importantly you will start to develop romantic feelings for them!! !

This is what will get you from a "friendship" to a "relationship"!

Then comes the first date, first kiss, sex, engagement, marriage and children...

The process is actually VERY straightforward

It's just time-consuming and slow (dating)


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Mor33
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06 Apr 2024, 5:25 pm

I get the idea but I'm rather stupid when it comes to see it happen for myself as I'm autistic and next to clueless and with the bad/ lack of experience in dating and relationships. I'm not so sure things will happen as I'm worried I will not be able to tell if someone is genuinely interested as the only thing I every had was them taking the Mick and joking about it.



bee33
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06 Apr 2024, 6:02 pm

Mor33 wrote:
I get the idea but I'm rather stupid when it comes to see it happen for myself as I'm autistic and next to clueless and with the bad/ lack of experience in dating and relationships. I'm not so sure things will happen as I'm worried I will not be able to tell if someone is genuinely interested as the only thing I every had was them taking the Mick and joking about it.
If you can tell that someone is joking or making fun (which is awful and I'm sorry you've had to deal with that) then you are not completely clueless. Maybe if there's someone that you like and they're not being mean or joking you can try being open with them. "I'm not good at picking up signals so I'm sorry if this is out of place or seems out of the blue, but I was hoping you'd like to have a coffee with me." Something like that? I realize it's taking a risk and that the person might respond badly.



Mor33
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08 Apr 2024, 10:43 am

At the time no I couldn't as I believed it to be genuine and turned out I was dead wrong. I get it happens. Now it's flipped massively in that I don't think anyone is interested in that way with me.



bee33
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08 Apr 2024, 6:19 pm

I think you would need to make yourself vulnerable in order to approach someone and show your interest. I think you would also have to accept the possibility that it might not go well, and even the awful possibility that someone might make a joke at your expense. But if you try, you might succeed.



DanielW
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08 Apr 2024, 6:32 pm

Have you tried double-dating with someone you trust? Or asking your friends/family/associates to set you up with someone they think might be a good match? Or both, perhaps?

It can be helpful to have someone like a "Wing-man" to help you sort things out and discretely offer advice in real-time.



Mor33
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08 Apr 2024, 6:46 pm

I can't say that I have personally, I have said if they know of someone who might be interested to let me know but nothing has come of it so far.



rse92
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09 Apr 2024, 3:02 pm

Are you overweight?
Are you fit? Do you work out?
Do you live on your own or with your parents, siblings or other relatives?
Do you drive a car? Do you own a car?
Do you have a career? If not, do you have a full time job?
Are you neat and well groomed? Do you wear age appropriate, well fitting clothes?
Do you have savings? Are you in significant debt??
Have you put away childish things? Do you refrain from porn?

If you were an eligible woman, would you date you?



bee33
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09 Apr 2024, 4:02 pm

rse92 wrote:
Are you overweight?
Are you fit? Do you work out?
Do you live on your own or with your parents, siblings or other relatives?
Do you drive a car? Do you own a car?
Do you have a career? If not, do you have a full time job?
Are you neat and well groomed? Do you wear age appropriate, well fitting clothes?
Do you have savings? Are you in significant debt??
Have you put away childish things? Do you refrain from porn?

If you were an eligible woman, would you date you?

I'm sorry but these are all red herrings. There are plenty of men who can answer no to these questions who have romantic partners.

Yes, make yourself appealing to the extent that you can, at least by wearing clothes that look good on you and making sure you have showered and brushed your teeth, but beyond that most of these things don't matter if you find the right partner for you.



rse92
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09 Apr 2024, 4:18 pm

bee33 wrote:
rse92 wrote:
Are you overweight?
Are you fit? Do you work out?
Do you live on your own or with your parents, siblings or other relatives?
Do you drive a car? Do you own a car?
Do you have a career? If not, do you have a full time job?
Are you neat and well groomed? Do you wear age appropriate, well fitting clothes?
Do you have savings? Are you in significant debt??
Have you put away childish things? Do you refrain from porn?

If you were an eligible woman, would you date you?

I'm sorry but these are all red herrings. There are plenty of men who can answer no to these questions who have romantic partners.

Yes, make yourself appealing to the extent that you can, at least by wearing clothes that look good on you and making sure you have showered and brushed your teeth, but beyond that most of these things don't matter if you find the right partner for you.


She's right, OP. Forget about what I suggested. Let us know when you have found the right partner.