successful, close relationship with an NT? Anyone?

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ford_prefects_kid
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10 Mar 2008, 12:59 am

Just curious.

And possibly looking for reassurance.

I know some people are happy together without being deeply intuned to the other's thought processes and desires. I am not one of those people. I don't like thinking that that level of connection is one I will only have reached when I was with someone who also had a personality disorder: especially as that relationship fell apart because we were both young, and didn't know how to handle our personality disorders.

So...has anyone been able to feel fulfilled without that connection? Or develop it in spite of the other person not coming from the same perspective? Am I just being an idealistic idiot for thinking I need to emotionally and mentally understand and be understood by my significant other?



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10 Mar 2008, 1:25 am

ford_prefects_kid wrote:
Just curious.

And possibly looking for reassurance.

I know some people are happy together without being deeply intuned to the other's thought processes and desires. I am not one of those people. I don't like thinking that that level of connection is one I will only have reached when I was with someone who also had a personality disorder: especially as that relationship fell apart because we were both young, and didn't know how to handle our personality disorders.

So...has anyone been able to feel fulfilled without that connection? Or develop it in spite of the other person not coming from the same perspective? Am I just being an idealistic idiot for thinking I need to emotionally and mentally understand and be understood by my significant other?


You have every right to want that sort of connection.

It's is possible.

Although my bf has many AS traits though....


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sgrannel
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10 Mar 2008, 3:25 am

Guys: I gather that the AS guys far outnumber the AS women. It's unrealistic for most of you to be paired with AS women. Even if all the AS women paired off with AS guys, that leaves a lot of leftover AS guys. Most of you are going to have to figure out how to make things work with NT women, one way or another.



ford_prefects_kid
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10 Mar 2008, 4:50 am

sgrannel wrote:
Guys: I gather that the AS guys far outnumber the AS women. It's unrealistic for most of you to be paired with AS women. Even if all the AS women paired off with AS guys, that leaves a lot of leftover AS guys. Most of you are going to have to figure out how to make things work with NT women, one way or another.


I see your point. I happen to be female myself, but that doesn't mean I feel any more justified writing someone off because they didn't fall into the autistic spectrum. I don't even know that my ex would qualify as having AS either, but he had to deal with many of the same setbacks and had strikingly similar thought patterns. This made it easier to reach that state of euphoria you get when riding on the same mental wavelength as the person you're in love with.

Now, I know not everything worth having is easy. And I don't mind coming from two separate planes as long as there's an eventual line of intersection.

But I'm starting to get a bit frustrated on my own here. And what I wanted to know, from people who have become close to NTs, is: is there an eventual line there?

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10 Mar 2008, 4:51 am

A very good friend of mine whom I care for very, very much happens to be NT (she is OCD though. that may make a difference). She's one of the most caring, nonjudgmental, and open-minded people I know.



Hanwag
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10 Mar 2008, 5:36 am

I am a bit double in this. I was never able to find a girlfriend before I found out about my ASS. Then 'going after' aspie girls I suddenly found a connection I never had before and communicating with girls got so much easier. On the other hands I have some nt friends who are really understanding people and connect with me in a lot of other levels. There is more to life than the NT/ASS difference. I do have to admit every one of the people I connect with are really intelligent and in some way different than ordinary.

But the love thing never happened with them... (for the males that was quite obvious)

On the other hand my aspie-aspie relationship now does get hard. Both of us have our aspie moment where we need to be alone, where we need a certain contact an aspie can't provide. Sometimes an aspie-relationship can look like living together besides eachother. There someone nt might break in earlier. With another aspie girl I have even more automatic understanding, but I'm afraid we could pull eachother down.



Complex
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10 Mar 2008, 5:58 am

I've been married for eight years to an NT. Communication isn't always great, but we work at it. At a basic level, we understand each other. From what I gather, our marriage difficulties are no different than anyone else's. Yes, it's possible to have a fulfilling relationship, you just have to work at it.



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10 Mar 2008, 7:58 am

You're right, it's unlikely for everyone to find an Aspie mate, but that doesn't mean that all you're left with are NTs.

I was in a group of seven close friends at secondary school, of whom one of which has gone on to make new friends in university. I know that isn't romantic interest (in their case anyway, I was in love with one of them), but it was close enough to be the nearest thing. None of them were diagnosed with anything, but we are all the outcasts from the cliches of the school.

What I'm trying to say is, you might not need to find someone who has the same diagnosis as you to connect with them.

Also, neither of my two relationships had any other diagnosis in. Naomi was seriously mucked up, probably depressed and very solitary, but she wasn't Aspergers or anything like that. And Nick, while I like to say that I think he has Aspergers, he's probably actually just too intelligent for his own good.


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10 Mar 2008, 8:29 am

ford_prefects_kid wrote:
Just curious.

And possibly looking for reassurance.

I know some people are happy together without being deeply intuned to the other's thought processes and desires. I am not one of those people. I don't like thinking that that level of connection is one I will only have reached when I was with someone who also had a personality disorder: especially as that relationship fell apart because we were both young, and didn't know how to handle our personality disorders.

So...has anyone been able to feel fulfilled without that connection? Or develop it in spite of the other person not coming from the same perspective? Am I just being an idealistic idiot for thinking I need to emotionally and mentally understand and be understood by my significant other?

When younger, I thought mental connections would "just happen"-bc. they did, at least for a few hours, until the person disappeared & I never saw them again or they never seemed like the same person afterwards (this is both in reference to intimate as well as platonic relationship). I don't know any "aspies" (that I know of), and having not been dx'd until few yrs. ago, this is all new to me (and isn't part of my search pattern-I look for who I mesh with, not for a specific neurological type).

My ex-husband & I got along quite well, most of the time-just bc. we split doesn't invalidate the majority of occasions in which we connected well. He was kinda' crazy in a diffuse way, no dx (and I wouldn't be able to imagine how one might label him, but def. not ASD)-point is, we were together for almost 9 years, and frequently were on similar wavelength.

My current bf & I have been together for 3 yrs. & we get along well. He may be a bit OCD, but it doesn't impair him (he functions well, whatever that threshold is for being disabled by one's label, he's not that impacted). He's certainly not ASD-I've had him take the same quizzes that I take & our scores are at opposite ends of range. He's also not ADD/ADHD, though he is a "sensation-seeker" & highly social, compared to me.

I've learned, gradually, ways to improve our relationship. We've trained each other (both by directly saying something and through subconscious repetition/practice) on how to understand each other better. Occasions where I want him to react in certain way, I struggle but make myself say "this is what I need to hear" (not in a forcing/controlling way, but in a "help me cope with how my brain is handling this" way). Plenty of moments where I've felt like "he doesn't get it, he's a total stranger"-but these pass, we talk things out & make nice.

Upshot is that I (she of the ASD) have had worthwhile & satisfying relationships with guys in the "NT" (non-ASD) category. These people didn't/don't seem "normal", boring, or unable to relate to my mentality. Of course there are areas in which "he just doesn't understand", but that would be the case no matter how similar any two people's neurology was. Having same dx doesn't automatically confer styles of coping that juxtapose comfortably, nor does it insure compatible personalities.


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zee
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10 Mar 2008, 3:00 pm

I've had relationships with lots of NT guys, and one AS guy. So maybe I'm not in the best position to judge, but I prefer NTs. For one thing, they are happier and more confident, (especially if the guys on this board are anything to go by). Moreover, I think in a successful relationship the partners usually have complimentary personalities, rather than similar ones. Ie, if your partner is a good communicator then it will be easier for you as an Aspie, whereas if neither of you is a good communicator, then you'll have trouble understanding each other.



adamrobertt
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11 Mar 2008, 12:29 am

I've recently started a relationship with an AS girl (I'm an NT) and it's been a bit difficult. I'm really really trying to understand her and work with her, but it's hard. She also has severe depression, which makes things harder. I don't really know what to do to make her feel better or what I should say or do or anything. Sometimes i feel like I should be distracting her, but other times i feel like she doesn't talk enough about her depression to anyone other than her mother. But I also don't like reminding her of it. I don't knoww.



zee
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11 Mar 2008, 12:43 am

adamrobertt wrote:
I've recently started a relationship with an AS girl (I'm an NT) and it's been a bit difficult. I'm really really trying to understand her and work with her, but it's hard. She also has severe depression, which makes things harder. I don't really know what to do to make her feel better or what I should say or do or anything. Sometimes i feel like I should be distracting her, but other times i feel like she doesn't talk enough about her depression to anyone other than her mother. But I also don't like reminding her of it. I don't knoww.


I think if you are severely depressed you shouldn't start a relationship. It's just a bad foundation, and it's been proven that relationships which begin in negative situations usually don't last anyway.
You're not responsible for her happiness. And if you're not happy yourself, which it sounds like, well... it's kind of a waste.



ford_prefects_kid
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11 Mar 2008, 5:07 am

Belfast wrote:
My current bf & I have been together for 3 yrs. & we get along well. He may be a bit OCD, but it doesn't impair him (he functions well, whatever that threshold is for being disabled by one's label, he's not that impacted). He's certainly not ASD-I've had him take the same quizzes that I take & our scores are at opposite ends of range. He's also not ADD/ADHD, though he is a "sensation-seeker" & highly social, compared to me.

I've learned, gradually, ways to improve our relationship. We've trained each other (both by directly saying something and through subconscious repetition/practice) on how to understand each other better. Occasions where I want him to react in certain way, I struggle but make myself say "this is what I need to hear" (not in a forcing/controlling way, but in a "help me cope with how my brain is handling this" way). Plenty of moments where I've felt like "he doesn't get it, he's a total stranger"-but these pass, we talk things out & make nice.


...that's what I need to work on. It was just so much easier when the other person knew what a panic attack or these mind traps I get into feel like, so they could personally empathize. I feel like I can and want to empathize with his emotions- the last few months I think I've been very good at being supportive and responsive and patient- then my circumstances all gang up on me, and I end up locked up alone in my room because I couldn't reach out well enough to make him understand. I guess I feel like saying "I need you to do or say this right now" would be me ordering him to fake something he didn't feel for my benefit, as well as claiming justification for any vulnerability.

zee wrote:
Moreover, I think in a successful relationship the partners usually have complimentary personalities, rather than similar ones. Ie, if your partner is a good communicator then it will be easier for you as an Aspie, whereas if neither of you is a good communicator, then you'll have trouble understanding each other.


I dunno, I know we've all got a bad rep when it comes to that communication thing- but once the bond had been formed, it seemed like- for the majority of the time- it was so easy to relate and overanalyze everything together. It just seems like some people have no desire to reach for that level of communication.

Sorry if I sound negative, it's just today was yet another instance of not being connected at all.



Hanwag
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11 Mar 2008, 5:47 am

zee wrote:
I've had relationships with lots of NT guys, and one AS guy. So maybe I'm not in the best position to judge, but I prefer NTs. For one thing, they are happier and more confident, (especially if the guys on this board are anything to go by). Moreover, I think in a successful relationship the partners usually have complimentary personalities, rather than similar ones. Ie, if your partner is a good communicator then it will be easier for you as an Aspie, whereas if neither of you is a good communicator, then you'll have trouble understanding each other.


I do not agree on the communications part. Or I should say it did not work like that for me. A so-called good communicator most of the time is effectively some-one using a lot of words and sounding clear and positive. While it is nice to be around people doing that I do not think communication is automatically better. I am actually quite good with words (at least in dutch) and can explain just about everything (I have to because I am a salesman). Everything except for myself and my feelings. To my best Aspie friend (who is still better with words btw, or at least more poetic) however I am able to use just very short sentences, sometimes with double meanings and she can answer with the exact right thing even if I have no idea what that is upfront. Ofcourse there is also the fact we are of similar intelligence (though she is at least half an sd higher). To other people both of us would look like bad communicators in those conversations, just not to eachother.

Having said this I do know a lot about communication problems in a relationship, because there were some heavy emotions in mine. Some things just can't be communicated I am afraid. I am not a happy person by nature, so you are right there. On the other hand because I know what a depression is like I could bring up the strength to support my girlfriend through her worst period (several times in the hospital). I don't know if a happier person could have done that. Probably they would have just split and find someone easier. I can truly understand that, but it would not be consistent with my values. I do not believe my girlfriend would have been happier with a more complimentary person in this case.

I understand what you are saying about the complimentary part, but I think it mainly works when secondary things are concerned, for instance someone very practical can make a great combination with someone more artistic (yes, that's an r). But when it comes to things like values, sence of humor (yes, I believe this is vital) and emotional connection I prefer someone more compatible. Ofcourse this should not as a rule be another aspie. I have been interested in several other intelligent girls who had a lot in common with me. Somehow it was only the aspie girls feeling likewise.



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11 Mar 2008, 7:31 am

sgrannel wrote:
Guys: I gather that the AS guys far outnumber the AS women. It's unrealistic for most of you to be paired with AS women. Even if all the AS women paired off with AS guys, that leaves a lot of leftover AS guys. Most of you are going to have to figure out how to make things work with NT women, one way or another.

That's exactly how I see it.

I have not been successful at dating women in general to date, but virtually all of my friends are what some of you would call "neurotypical" so I don't think it's beyond my reach or of anyone with a similar diagnosis. Favouring AS woman is not an ideal I have considered. Beggars can't be choosers.