Are asperger males doomed to unhappiness in love?

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Davius
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23 Sep 2005, 8:54 pm

Based on what I have read, and my personal experiences, aspie guys are very ill-equipped in finding relationships of the romantic nature. Afterdoing a little research on how guys and girls show interest in each other, I now occassionally do what I believe constitutes as flirting with a female friend I am interested in, and maybe she does it back, but then I am never sure and completely doubt myself. Its very frustrating, I'm pretty sure I am a handsome guy and my ex-girlfriend seemed to think so, but I'm so shy and if girls are ever flirting with me, I don't think I pick up on it, and I am too nervous to almost ever act on something I am unsure off. I would sell my soul for a book to be created called "Flirting for Aspies".

I don't want to become a natural don juan or anything. I'd just like to think maybe with some time, I can learn how this whole game works a little better, and learn to play it a little better, but I fear perhaps my AS will keep this from happening. I'm lonely. :(



Sarcastic_Name
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23 Sep 2005, 10:43 pm

*Sigh.*


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23 Sep 2005, 11:36 pm

There are times that I think the same thing.

I had learned to put on enough of an NT mask to sometimes get girls interested in me... but I can't seem to keep them interested in me... and I'm starting to realize I can't keep the mask on all the time any more.


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mikibacsi1124
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24 Sep 2005, 12:25 am

I'd say wear the mask loosely at first, then slowly start peeling off the mask as you get more and more comfortable with your interest.

And to answer the initial question: No. Some just have worse luck than others.



ajs_line_of_silver
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24 Sep 2005, 12:54 am

Don’t give up my Aspie dad cornered my mum in a kitchen at a Christmas party 23 years ago and talked about computers at her for 2 hours she’s as NT as they come apart from a little OCD and not a computer person and they have bean married 22 years now. U just need to find the right person and don’t fall into that trap of thinking NT are all ways lucky in love have u seen the latest divorce statistics and ½ of my male NT friends are all ways winging about never having a GF the only people that live happily ever after with out going thro a lot of pain first live on TV


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24 Sep 2005, 2:22 am

At least you are less doomed than I.

It doesn't matter if I can pick up on when a girl's flirting with me if she's not talking to me at all. And I have no handsomeness or girlfriends in my past.



adversarial
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24 Sep 2005, 7:48 am

Many hundreds of thousands of men are doomed to losing out in these shennanigans, most of them NT. I found that I graduated swiftly from loneliness to other sentiments, which is useful as it is at least a position of strength of sorts.

Most of the available literature on the subject seems to position many of those with AS/ASD as having a 'no less than average chance' of competing satisfactorily in this arena. Perhaps this is due to the sheer effort, determination and willpower many of those with AS/ASD put into resolving the alleged 'deficit' in order to overcome it. Many more who attempt this manage it than than those who don't, though I think Society is changing in some ways and more and more of the rewards and goodies are going to the Social Butterflies and the Masters of Interpersonal Gamesmanship.

I think it is reasonable to say that the overwhelming majority of those who dip out in this are socially-averse or PD'd NT's, rather than people with AS/ASD.


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ghotistix
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24 Sep 2005, 7:59 am

adversarial wrote:
Most of the available literature on the subject seems to position many of those with AS/ASD as having a 'no less than average chance' of competing satisfactorily in this arena.

Is this literature from The Onion?



Tom
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24 Sep 2005, 8:11 am

http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~alistair/survival/sex.html

dunno if this helps, I haven't read it yet.



adversarial
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24 Sep 2005, 8:31 am

ghotistix wrote:
adversarial wrote:
Most of the available literature on the subject seems to position many of those with AS/ASD as having a 'no less than average chance' of competing satisfactorily in this arena.

Is this literature from The Onion?


No, not The Onion (I do not read it much these days; haven't done so for a while now).

When I say 'the literature', I tend to mean the supportive information offered by support groups for both parents and professionals, as well as contributions made by people with AS/ASD. I am aware that such 'support' resources can try to be more up-beat and optimistic about things then the reality sometimes allows, often seeming to eschew dealing with the complexities of issues to any great extent.

On balance though, I think it is probably far healthier to encourage people to think that they could get a relationship if they want to, though not that they necessarily will get one, which is the same as anyone else. Nobody can know for sure, it depends on too many other variables. I think that approach is better than denouncing such hopes and aspirations as being totally unachievable. The fact that there are people with AS who do have these relationships should not be seen as a taunt or a yardstick against which to measure oneself, but rather as an instance of proof that the possibility does exist.

Also, I think my point concerning the fact that by far the vast numbers of men who do not get these things in life are not connected with AS/ASD in any way.

By saying the above, I am emphasising that it may not be AS/ASD in and of itself that is the main barrier. Even when I was growing up (in the late 1970's and early 1980's), there was tremendous competition, peer pressure and all the other stuff. These days, the pressures are far worse than they were then, the demands made of people are far higher and there is undue emphasis on playing the social games.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as AS/ASD back then. I attributed my failures to not 'measuring up' in some undisclosed though apparently 'obvious' fashion to everyone else. I am still inclined to attribute my personal failings to attributes other than AS (as I do not have a formal 'dx', I am predicating this on some sort of PD/Introversion/Shyness element, or even just being socially 'gauche' and insensitive. I am applying this to myself, not to anyone else though.)

So yes, although there are social interaction challenges associated with AS/ASD, there are also a host of other factors that affect getting a relationship too, which is evidenced by similar difficulties even among those without AS/ASD.


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ghotistix
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24 Sep 2005, 9:31 am

All valid points. The majority of men with relationship issues are NT.

But most people don't have autism. And almost every single person on the spectrum will have a far harder time in starting relationships than the average NT. This is a fact. Just look around the Romantic Relationships forum and you'll see literally hundreds of pleas for help. Autistics may have the heart for it, but we simply do not understand the rules of romance.

I don't believe in ignoring the problem for the sake of encouragement, mostly because that sort of attitude will cause a lot more problems than it will solve. In my case, I wish someone had informed me some time during high school that girls hate quiet, nerdy boys so I wouldn't have had to go and find it out for myself.

adversarial wrote:
Perhaps this is due to the sheer effort, determination and willpower many of those with AS/ASD put into resolving the alleged 'deficit' in order to overcome it.

The problem is, the harder one appears to be trying to get into a relationship, the less attractive one is. And besides, if willpower was all it took to have a girlfriend, every single straight aspie male in the world would have attractive girls hanging off of him. A person might have the cojones to ask out fifty people per month, but if they don't have the substance to back it up, they're going to get rejected every time.

To address the topic at hand: are asperger males doomed to unhappiness in love? No, they're not. But they're certainly disadvantaged.



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24 Sep 2005, 9:41 am

mikibacsi1124 wrote:
I'd say wear the mask loosely at first, then slowly start peeling off the mask as you get more and more comfortable with your interest.


That is an idea, something to explore. I feel like I have other issues I have to deal with first before trying to throw my hat into the ring again though.


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adversarial
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24 Sep 2005, 9:49 am

I was not for one moment suggesting that 'willpower will see you through'. I would find such a trite comment banal and patronising beyond belief. Believe me, I know, I've been there, done that, installed the screensaver etc. The "you just have to try harder" goad was always applied against me, for what good it did.

ghotistix wrote:
Autistics may have the heart for it, but we simply do not understand the rules of romance.


But the point is, that so many others do not as well. I certainly fit the profile of being socially inept, quiet, withdrawn and unable to 'read the undertones' in these social settings and to be honest, having reached the age of 40 as a total 'failure' in this area, I would say that I can certainly appreciate the difficulties that others who have posted experience, as they seem so similar.

Where I differ perhaps (in addition to the possibly alternative aetiology of my 'shortcomings' in this), is that my compensatory strategy has been to withdraw further from it and to refine 'mental defences' and 'rationalisations' as to why somebody like me should be cheated out of what comes to almost everyone else naturally. I look around me, using the evidence of my own senses, and I realise that I should never feel 'inferior' about dipping out to the types of male I so often lose out to. Even though they have shimmied, greased and bluffed their way into jobs that demand graduate-calibre abilities and aptitudes, it all comes down to knowing how to play the 'lying game'. have always been atrocious at it and each incremental addition to low confidence and low esteem has tended to make it seem less realisable.

I wonder though, do those who are unambiguously AS/ASD develop cognitive 'compensations', in terms of seeing the socially and financially successful males as being part of a collusive system that exists to mock them?


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24 Sep 2005, 1:32 pm

ghotistix wrote:
A person might have the cojones to ask out fifty people per month, but if they don't have the substance to back it up, they're going to get rejected every time.

You don't know how true that is!

I didn't literally ask fifty girls out per month, but I tried talking to tons of girls every chance I got and kind of tried asking a few out with no success at all.



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24 Sep 2005, 1:49 pm

Here's my answer.
Aspie males are not doomed to never find love. However, I sometimes feel like they have to lower their standards in order to find it. I realized that my first year in college, when I dated a girl for a few months. As you might guess, I didn't find her attractive, but I didn't feel like anyone else would like me. So I dated her, since she showed interest in me. The relationship continued for a few months, but I'm not sure I could call her my girlfriend. In others words, she didn't seem very into the relationship, and what I really wanted (hint hint) didn't happen. I haven't had a girlfriend since, maybe because my first and only experience wasn't enjoyable.



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24 Sep 2005, 5:54 pm

Success in love depends, sometimes, on what you chose -to do-, and other times on what you choose -not to do-. If you want success, you should try to figure out what to do and avoid doing things you shouldn't. 'Doing' in the generic sense, i.e. 'doing' and 'saying'. Words are what -make- and -break- relationships.