Asperger Syndrome Support Group

Asperger syndrome - also referred to as Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's, Aspergers or just AS - is one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), and is characterized by deficiencies in social and communication skills, normal to above normal intelligence, and standard language development.

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Dating an Aspie

I've been dating a guy for a little over a month now, and he just recently told me that he has Asperger's Syndrome. The first week we met we were always talking, either online or on the phone. Then the 2nd week he was quiet, and I thought he had lost interest or found someone else. Then in the 3rd week he was back to talking to me. I thought maybe he was busy with work and that's why he had basically dropped off the face of the earth. We've become a little closer, but then he told me that he has AS, and when I asked him what it was he sent me a link to wikipedia. When I told my friends about AS my friend told me the story of her ex, who was also an aspie. She had met him on an internet dating site and they hit it off well and then she found out he was cheating on her.

I'm a bit worried of the same thing happening. I'm obviously an NT, and just learning about AS. Is cheating a common thing with AS? Or was he just an ass who happened to have AS and make a bad name for the syndrome?

I've talked to my guy about this and he avoids the topic, I'm not sure if this is because he's guilty or maybe not understanding the way I'm bringing it up. I'm full of the normal anxieties that come with starting a new relationship, plus I'm learning about AS as I go along. I feel like my head will explode.

Does anyone have any advice? Am I just being overly worried? lol Thanks

Replies

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My husband and son have AS. My son is 22 yrs old. And I know a lot about Asperger's.

Here are three "rules" for you to follow:

1. If you are serious about this guy, seriously learn about Asperger's and how they are DIFFERENT interpersonally. You cann't expect a relationship along normal lines. Whether you can get a suitable relationship going depends on a lot of things, and a lot of this has to do with where you score on patience, tolerance, clear thinking, knowledge, independence, strong self-confidence and adaptability.

2. Whether a person cheats depends on a lot of things and it is just not logical to say that because a person with one characteristic (in this case Asperger's) has done something (in this case cheating), all people with that characteristic might do it. This is stereotyping. It's like saying all dogs have a high probability of biting because one bit your friend. Get the bigger picture.

3. Asperger's is a permanent dysfunction, but Asperger people are people too and most of the same things hold. For example, if you just started dating this guy, give the relationship time to develop. As an Asperger person, he needs his time to himself. As a human being, it is just too much most times to expect instant symbiosis (and that is a problem anyway. Just for comparison, did you ever see "Fatal Attraction"? To sock it in even harder, maybe you could look up BPD and see the difficulties people like that have because, among other things, they don't discriminate sufficiently.

Respect his nature and choices and don't be demanding is my overall choices.Make sure you have a life going for yourself. It is unreasonable to expect a man to make your life and happiness for you. And an Asperger partner will sure teach you that lesson.

I reckon you have some work to do by yourself somewhere. We all do.
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I came back to this as I was a bit worried I said the wrong thing. But I think I did ok.

But I saw clearer something you said. Maybe it is because I just answered your new topic re the same guy. Anyway, you said:

"I've talked to my guy about this and he avoids the topic, I'm not sure if this is because he's guilty or maybe not understanding the way I'm bringing it up."

I think you may be looking at this too rigidly. There is a third option: maybe he just DOESN"T WANT to talk about it. And why SHOULD he? I think you should ask yourself that.

I think it might help if you stop thinking about how things SHOULD be and focus on how they are and the implications of that. Eg, he doesn't want to talk. Maybe he never will. Sounds as if you like to talk. Problem. What can be done about this? Compare it to a girl wanting to turn a quiet, highly reserved and introverted guy into a wildly extraverted life of the party. Maybe she should just go get an extravert boyfriend and let the poor other guy be himself.

Or you could try figuring how to cut out all the fancy word stuff and just put to him what you want and see if he will do it. You could try bargaining: you do this and I'll do this. Be clear, brief and specific. If he won't do it, what can you do. Well, you can feel miserable, punish him, and keep trying to get what you want. Or you can give up trying to get what you want FROM HIM. This may necessitate leaving him. He might actually appreciate this if you are giving him a bad time.
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I have Asperger's Syndrome and I'm dating a guy. I've never cheated on him or anyone else. My boyfriend just needs to be really patient with me and I do need time to myself too. If you would like to send me a message or add me as a friend you can. Dawn
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I am Aspie so is 16 yr old son. We need lot of support and love. But are worth it.
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Wow, A lot of good stuff has already been said, stuff worth thinking about.
I'll add that I abhor the idea of "cheating". I'm very into monogomous relationships. However, there are a lot of ppl that would argue that as long as you're not engaged, "all's fair in love..." so seeing other ppl, in their opinion is totally fair. That's not an AS/NT issue, it's more about personal point of view.
As to him pulling away for a week or so, well that's not uncommon for an aspie. It is fair for you though, to ask him to help you understand what he wants you to do during those times. Making sure of course that you're being fair to yourself and that you can accept that in YOUR relationships regardless of the AS factor. Sometimes, aspies can workout fair compromises so that the needs/feelings of both parties are met and dealt with. Still, you have to be ensured that he's not out roaming the bars; on some kinda' seriel killing spree; home alone crying his eyes out; or anything else that you'd deem socially inapproppriate. (chances are he's playing computer games, trying to stay comfortably numb ).
GL and keep trying!!
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I guess that I should hasten to add that knowing my condition and the (lack of) progress that I've made in being able to interact at a level that most NT's would find "acceptable", I've resigned to never enter another relationship. I don't want to sound like a martyr, I just say this to let you know that there is a certain rigidity of thinking in someone with AS that requires a lot of secondary (and even tertiary) issues that come into play in an aspie's thinking regarding dating. Remember that we have an Ultra-Tough time with socialization. I've no doubt that you're friend is wrestling with some of these issues too.
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AnnaSAF
I decided to weigh in as a male with milder wymthoms of SA...

I'm single and 45 yrs old...

Most with AS are sticklers to adhereing to basic rules of games and etc once they know and understand them for the most part...

this is a truism.. most are law abiding citizens etc

and very good at boardgames games and others like monopoly and chess etc. because of their strong understanding and often average to very high intellect they can be very hard to beat at games too.

that said most see it as a baisc rule of datin and relationships that cheating is unacceptable by society's rules and standards

so No Cheating isn't a normal AS trait...

the other factors of his past are more likely the influencive reason as to why this man cheats/cheated on you...

fear of committment?, psycological abse by wemon of his family, mom, grandmother, aunts, & sisters etc.

fear of eventuall abandonment or ostichization by you later because of As ...

conditioning by past experience? so he might be making sure he has a back up supportive person if you should leave him?

Who knows.. if you cannot get him to commuicate openly about this it will be very hard to determine what is up...

hang in there... but make sure he knows you love him and really care... that you are doing your best to understand him and you want him to show you effort toward him doing the same to be equal and fair to you too..

take time and work slowly... he'll come around if he really wants you in his life...

you might even have to do something hard for you both... such as give him a hiatus of life without you as a trial period of say 3 months to get him to shocking realization that his life really is better with you close to him in it vs you being distant instead?

let me know what happens and good luck to you

Walt
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I started hanging out with a man with mild AS about 2 months ago. Our connection was quick and intense.

I thought everything was going really well. I loved his honesty, attentiveness, genuineness and intellect.

Two weeks ago, however, he told me he isn't boyfriend material. Not really understanding, I assumed there was something about me that turned him off -- so I asked for feedback. He said there was nothing wrong -- and that he "digs" me.

I wanted to wilt -- but with God on my side, I fought against taking it personally. It seemed like the right thing to do. He called just as often the week after.

This week, however, is different. It is as though he has disappeared. I'm still fighting off the urge to take it personally -- but I'm doing fine. Life is full of wonderful things and, as much as I would like to include him in my life, I won't be devastated if that's not a mutual sentiment. I have no desire to control him.

I have felt as though it's important to just be patient and not aggressive. It doesn't seem as though he favors aggressiveness. So, I've been content to let him initiate phone conversations, etc. (I'll admit -- I guess it feels "safe" to me, too -- but I just don't want to be overbearing. I have this instinct that's the worst thing I could do.)

But -- reading some of the input here -- I'm a little worried I'm NOT doing the caring thing. Do guys with AS appreciate it more if you reach out to them to remind them you're there and that you care? I'd find that very easy to do -- but I'm so concerned about him feeling pressured....

Or is letting them play the lead better?

I can be patient for as long as it takes. But will he construe my patience as some sort of sign I've forgotten about him and moved on?

Any guys with AS have any thoughts?

THANK YOU!
deleted_user
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First of all, AnnieSAF good luck! And rosem111 has some great guidelines! There's actually a lot of good information here and I agree that cheating is not a symptom of AS. I think it can be a byproduct though because aspies are people just like anyone else in that they suffer from fears of abandonment, rejection...other negative responses.
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thanks for all your advice, I was patient with him, but we ended up deciding that it wasn't meant to be. We're still friends and actually have been talking alot more recently than in the past. Go figure lol. What I've learned is that you have to be patient, and understand that there are times when they need to be alone, and it doesn't have to do with you. I guess my fear when I posted this was that he'd cheat on me like the other guy I dated... but he didn't. lol Thanks again for the advice, and good luck to all!
deleted_user
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I too am dating an aspie (i have bipolar) and we have had a month from hell where i thought he couldnt possibly love me after he's been so distant since i found out im pregnant! Ive done a lot of reading about relationships with aspergers and come to realise that he has not been rejecting me (as was my perception) but that this is a serious stress to him! Id suggest reading up about having a relationship with someone with this condition, of course, not everyone has the same difficulties or to the same extent but if you're armed with knowledge you can save yourself a lot of heartache and misunderstandings! Good luck!
deleted_user
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@Anna & BKind

When it comes to me, when I was a child, I would go through "mindsets" where my personality would change with mood, and my mood would change with things as simple as music, colors, smells or even just a feeling that the sun in a certain place in the sky gives me, and it'll change my entire perspective. Nostalgia would bring me into another mindset, or cause me to regress.

One day I may feel abnormally outgoing, and the next I might regress into feeling depressed, anxious, or antisocial, like an emotional roller coaster.

I've gotten better about staying in the same mindset as I get older, and things are seemingly smoothing out, instead of being a slave to my emotions and my surroundings, I can cope a little better with situations due to making myself get out into the world and challenging my limitations (I think this has to do with how comfortable I am with my current situation in life)

Something I've noticed is that, for me at least, is it's often difficult to deal with more than one thing at a time, and it should be taken into consideration that this includes work, social life (if at all), dating, hobbies, etc. But just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's impossible and I've been doing FAIRLY well.

I've been with my girlfriend for a little over 5 years now and our plans continue to move closer to getting married, having a home and a family, and since I'm a little slow when it comes to processing things, I'm not exactly positive how well I'll deal, but who ever knows until you give it a shot.

As far as cheating, I've never cheated, and would consider it multi-tasking, which is something I'm not good at. Just kidding! I love my girlfriend and wouldn't even try. I wouldn't rule out any Aspie from cheating, but we vary just as much as anyone else.

Something that I have difficulty with is thinking on my toes. I have problems processing information actively unless I'm having a good day. Something that really helps people with AS or Autism is being physically fit and eating the right foods, dealing with one thing at a time, and perhaps even breaking that thing down into smaller, organized steps!

Living happily with AS, or someone that has AS can be a tedious process, but the good points are there.

I'm an affectionate person with someone that I feel comfortable with. I feel that I need someone to show me affection, both physically and verbally, and that I need to make an emotional and spiritual connection with my significant other, which takes being extremely comfortable with her.

The best thing I can say is that you should find out what makes your Aspie comfortable (to where they can function optimally), what they are like at their best and their worst, and then figure out whether or not that is what you need in a relationship, or if that's something you could deal with, or should deal with.

Aspies can vary from angry to empathetic, anxious to depressed, slow and meek, to hyper and aggressive. Some show all of these traits at different times, and some are only mentally capable of showing maybe one or two of these traits at the very most due to lack of emotional ability and perception.

I've been through all of these feelings, but I've been mostly comfortable lately, at least until I'm done with school, then a new world opens up; my career.

I hope some of this information helps and if you want to talk or need to talk, add me as a friend and shoot me a message.

-Chris
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My advice to you, is simply to know you are not alone, because i have been near heartbroken...not even near, heartbroken in the past year or so because of a relationship with my ex girlfriend.

Now, i have a younger brother (18) with Asperges, and we brought him up good, but not amazing in terms of him being an Aspie.

I just want to say how lovely it is to hear people with the same problems, because i feel after many relationship breakups, mainly by me to be fair, this one left me...100000 times more devastated than every single one put together,
i have fought to get her back and still do even though i know i should not, i have pushed her further away to see if she comes back, i have tried to get her to 'want' me.
But none to avail so far.

And i don't know why, why do i fight this like no other?

If i may ill tell you about our relationship briefly, because it has a huge dwelling on why we are not together.

So we get together, in college, i knew she was an extremely shy girl from the get go, i was her first kiss and still to this day she finds it hard to french kiss, she doesn't compute the relaxation and movements, i guess, however to cut a long story short, i was practically her and my first at everything, although i lied to her and pretended i wasn't due to my own insecurity's, only later on in life when i did tell her the truth did i find out it was so much better and the relief on her face, i still remember to this day, it was beautiful :) Her smile literally does make my day.
I finished the relationship several times in a short period, each one to her dismay and horror, she cried and cried, to my dismay also, as i had never seen her show emotion like it. It was literally like a black and white, more than extremes.
Cut a long story a little shorter, she eventually didn't take me back, and i begged etc,and she wouldn't have none of it.

Why did i and still, to a less obvious extent,do it? To a girl whose relationship with me, was terrible, i need someone that shows me love and she couldn't do that, which was at the time unfortunate, however now, i see more than ever she is quite simply the most beautiful thing on the earth.
It worries me when i see her naivity to the world, but i guess you just have to let an aspie see what the worlds like them self, am i right?

I never got to be her first, even though i know no one right know could care for her more than i do, i messed up, due to my lies, and i think and hope she knows that. However,i ask, is this one of the reason i am so magnet-like attracted to her still...would it go if we became that close even if it was just for an hour, or would the longing for a relationship be stronger?

Here where it gets even more messed up, i have the most beautiful girlfriend right now, who literally does tick every box on any paper you can bring up, and its not fair on her.

Are my feelings of help for my ex because of my younger brother and realising i could have done more for him?
Do i just want someone to talk to? I think my love, for her, really was that strong, i lust everytime i talk, but i know the relationship will not satisfy if it ever did start again, to see her everyday without choice makes it harder, when shes messages me daily, it makes it harder, does she want me back in her life and is she just scared?

Guys, Women, Asperges opinions on my outlook...experience, anything, i would LOVE to hear from you, please help, i just want someone to help me, to listen to me and to talk to about it because i have never felt the guilt, love, longing, like this in my entire life. Ever.
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Let me just say this: I've been dating an aspie for over six years, and she is the sweetest, most loyal woman I have ever known. I know she would never cheat on me.
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im an aspie thats happen to be single.
and when im in relationship, im 100% loyal and faithful.