479: Aspie to Aspie: Relationships

These are my personal observations about the Aspie to Aspie relationship

A relationship between two people with Aspergers, whether platonic or romantic, can move at a very high-speed when in comparison to relationships between one person with Aspergers and one person without Aspergers (Neurotypical: NT). I believe this is because both individuals are able to be more themselves, without the societal rules and restrictions they are used to either adhering to, struggling to understand and follow and/or adamantly rejecting. When two Aspies meet to form a new relationship, a space is created that allows an open understanding to occur that oftentimes neither participant has experienced before. For the first time an Aspie might feel seen, heard, and/or understood. This can be intoxicating, reassuring, and/or frightening. For some the experience can resemble finding home for others the experience can resemble being forced out of hiding.

Typically, there is an initial spark of excitement and energy, with one or both partners, when he or she realizes that there is ‘finally’ someone who not only speaks his/her language, but provides the freedom for him/her to be authentic and real. In some cases there is also a sense of dread in having been exposed for what seems to be the first time, uncloaked in a manner of speaking.

In referring to a situation in which both parties are pleased to have found another Aspie who ‘gets’ him or her, at first glance, one might assume that such freedom to be ones true self without societal-inflicted boundaries would enable the participants to have a very open and easy, free-flowing relationship, without qualms and without restrictions. Yet, because both participants are in a new and unexpected situation, there exists a high probability that each one will be confronted with certain triggers. New experiences and unexpected happenings trigger most Aspies. The unknown will bring up questions for both participants, and because of the high-intellect and character trait of over-analysis, both will begin to process the friendship.

The processing can take on different shapes and forms. Much of the processing will be centered around analysis of the self and analysis of the other participant’s behavior. Different attributes of the relationship will directly affect the behaviors of the participants. Variables of the relationship include the frequency and duration of conversation, participants’ past experiences in relationships with other Aspies, any romantic thoughts or feelings housed by one or both of the participants, any tendency for fixations or obsessions about new relationships, the propensity for fear to arise based on past perceived ‘failed’ relationships, recent and past hurts from relationships, and exaggerated hopes and expectations based on projecting into the future. Variables also include other factors that are found in mainstream relationships, but tend to have a higher occurrence in relationships with people on the spectrum; these include: the temperament of each individual and the fluctuation of mood, the presence or absence of medications that affect cognitive or emotional responses, sleep patterns, confidence-level, self-awareness, processing speed, environmental and conversational triggers, adapted rules, patterns and structures, and any comorbid psychological or cognitive conditions.

At the onset of a new relationship, some individuals might fall into a state of high-hope, even bliss, based of a type of self-projection into the future, in which the highly imaginiative Aspie can logically recreate a realistic fantasy relationship in his/her head that does not mirror the current relationship but interjects his/her individualized hopes. This fantasy relationship can shift and morph along the same wave pattern as the real relationship, only extending further out into the realm of non-reality. For example, one might start fantasizing about the first time the friends fly across country to have a cup of tea, and in so doing visualize the tea house, the waiters, the menu, the conversation, and such. This can happen in both platonic and romantic relationships, and tends to remove the participant from the here and now and may or may not cause false hopes and expectations.

The initial state of a relationship between two Aspies, including platonic relationships, can produce behaviors indicative of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior, over attachment, over-giving, and what could be named smothering. It resembles codependency, but is not as long-lasting as codependency behavior, and trickles down and dissipates with time. The frequency depends on each individual. This obsessive state could last weeks or feasibly a year or more. The feelings might mimic feelings of what is believed to be the concept of friendship- or romantic-love. But on close inspection there is no evidence of love. Rather there is an over attachment and a high-need to be part of that person’s life. It resembles an addiction. Typically the participant is highly aware of his/her actions and feels a type of euphoria. Even as he or she is aware, he or she is often unable to stop the feelings, thoughts and resulting actions. As a result participants might partake in impulsive actions including detailed queries about the relationship, long dialogues written or spoken, a preponderance of over-giving and/or sharing. The actions are a result of an inner drive to alleviate the stress inside the psyche. The mind wants to release the obsessive thoughts about the other individual and pushes the participant to react. There is a sense of entrapment until the participant acts out. When the participant attempts to instead stuff his or her emotions and actions, the consequence is further anxiety, angst, and confusion. This can lead to grandiose acts of over-sharing and giving of self or to a strong impulse to run and flee from the relationship all together.

If neither participant is aware of these behaviors and the reasons behind the behaviors this can be the end of the friendship or romance, even before the relationship has really had a chance to start. If participants are aware of the behavior, having an open discussion about what is happening has the potentiality to bring growth and understanding to both parties. However, there remains a constant need to reevaluate the standing of the relationship, in order to keep the relationship from getting out of hand. The management of the relationship can feel tedious and exhausting. Both parties have to have the energy and resources to continue onward in order to avoid potential burnout and frustration. Primarily self-awareness, open communication, boundary setting and adjustment, and self-acceptance can assist during the process of building a mutual beneficial relationship. Still, the complexities of the relationship and effort required to maintain a semblance of normalcy and stability can overwhelm one or both participants, no matter what strategies are initiated.

Between two Aspies, a relationship can progress at high-speed. Typically, both participants will share the commonality of higher-level thinking, keen logic, and the ability to connect ideas with ease. There likely will be a mutual understanding of how the other works. This might be very uncomfortable or very refreshing, depending on the state of mind of the participants. The intellectual abilities will lead to a rapid progression through the stages of relationships. More than likely the initial stage of ‘small talk’ or ‘getting to know you’ will be either skipped entirely, happen over a quick amount of time, or be skimmed over lightly. Aspies will tend to jump into the thickness of conversation rather quickly, rather eloquently, and without much consideration for time or outcome. They will be enjoying the moment, not focused typically on interior motives, goals, or what comes next. The time between two Aspies can seem to go ‘magically’ fast, for each has found an active and attentive audience in the other that finally ‘sees’ the person.

At first both parties might truly enjoy the time together; however, sooner or later, one of the participants realizes he or she ‘has a life’ and needs to pull back some. This tapering off period can be very painful for one or both of the participants. The instigator might feel mixed-feelings of guilt, a sense of release, and a sense of great loss. The individual who is not the instigator might feel abandoned, forsaken or jilted. At this juncture, the participants can choose to talk openly about the experience, and realize that setting structure to future encounters can enable them to continue the relationship without the relationship leaking over into the rest of their lives. In some cases, both individuals will come to an agreement about how to continue the relationship with restrictions in place. In other cases, one of the partners may be too hurt and/or frustrated to continue onward. Sometimes Aspies have a hard time grasping the concept that friendships and/or romances transition. Sometimes an Aspie will equate change to rejection and failure. This is not the case. Merely, both parties are readjusting to fit their current lifestyle, comfort-level and needs.

If the relationship continues to monopolize both parties lives there is a high potentiality for burnout on one or both parties parts. One might reach a point where he or she sees no way to escape the intensity of the relationship without ending the friendship/romance. In addition, all relationships bring up individual’s ‘stuff’ (baggage), but the Aspie relationship will tend to bring the stuff up much faster and from a much deeper level. This can be painfully uncomfortable to look at. Again past hurts from the lack or loss of previous relationships can surface. As most Aspies have suffered great loss in terms of relationships, this can be a tumultuous time of self-inquiry, self-doubt, and a sense of hopelessness. Again, open communication and honesty can assist in alleviating some of the pain. Being frank about what is coming up cannot only take away some of the interior angst but additionally provide opportunity for further growth and self-reflection.

During the relationship, one or both Aspies might counter or question the other partner’s implementation of rigid structures. This scenario can present in numerous ways. For instance, one participant might have adapted a survival tactic of not making plans, not making promises, and not making commitments. He or she might be entirely steadfast in this outlook and unwilling to budge. To him or her his adopted tactic could very well be the life-preserver which enables him or her to get through day-to-day life. Asking someone to change or adjust a rigid structure can be detrimental to the relationship. Here is an opportunity to work on individualized self-esteem issues and question what is about another’s actions that affects insecurities and doubts. In a different situation, a partner might have strict rules in regards to how they wish to communicate, indicating that certain words or mannerisms irritate or frustrate him or her. In this case compromise might be in order, or at minimum a deeper look into where the frustration stems from and how the two can work together to assist one another.

In any situation, both parties must be willing to not only build a relationship but discuss the relationship. Wherein some couples or friends could go years skating on the surface of a relationship, the chances of this happening with two Aspies is highly unlikely. The in-depth mind of the Aspie will analyze and dissect. In previous relationships with NTs, the Aspie likely sometimes felt judged, boxed-in, and unable to always be him or herself without consequence. In an Aspie-Aspie relationship these aforementioned feelings are replaced with a sensation akin to being dissected or put under a microscope; this is a result of the other partner’s over-analysis and need to find his or her bearings. This can seem very unnatural to the Aspie, and invasive, but if he or she takes the time to reflect upon his or her own behaviors and ways of thinking, he or she will discover that Aspies have a natural tendency to dissect.

In some cases, of course, two Aspies, particularly a platonic male-male relationship, as opposed to female-female or female-male, might not face any obstacles of communication. In other situations the perceived obstacles might seem too daunting, and one or both parties might choose to end the relationship. In the case where two individuals are open and willing to move through the Aspie-Aspie relationship, with eyes wide open and with an open mind, there is the capacity for extreme growth and extreme connection on multiple levels. As in all things, with great sacrifice comes great reward.

…………………………………………………………………..

Afterthought…

“I attach without conscious willingness to one individual sometimes. It is as if I am some type of outlet, and instead of plugging into something, I grasp and try to get this person to plug into me. Like I am some vast void of emptiness that needs another to feel alive. I dive into another reality then, making the person into something he is not. And live there most of the day, as a form of escapism from this existence. I feel safe there, playing out the scenarios and replaying potential outcomes. The imaginative interplay preoccupies my mind and provides an outlet for logical processing and disentanglement of ideas and concepts. I enjoy the reasoning to a degree, but more over I am trapped in a torturous sinking muck of angst. I long to reach out and explain over and over my intimate meanderings and details to the one, and check for accuracy and find myself closer to reality. I long to ask for reassurance that I am okay, that this is okay, that we are okay. But I cannot, for I will ruin the situation further, claiming my thoughts aloud to the other and sounding like a foolish child, burying the both of us in my heaviness. Instead, I stay trapped in an immobile state, over-analyzing the reasons why I can’t stop the inner trappings of my cyclic thoughts. I have revisited my tendency to attach to one, trying to edge my way out and figure out the reasons behind my clinging to this false fantasy. The only thing I can surmise is I long to return to Source, to something that I was removed from, from someplace not here. I long to feel whole again, within the circumference of another’s arms. This someone or something that I long for without limits.”

Advertisements

66 thoughts on “479: Aspie to Aspie: Relationships

  1. I can’t say often enough how much I love reading your posts. So many of them bring Aha! moments for me, and help me to understand many things past and present. It’s like you unravel mysteries which, by myself, I likely never would have figured out. Thank you.

  2. I’ve been going through some relationship stuff and didn’t know exactly why I felt the way I did. After reading this, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who worried about those kind of things. Thanks for the post.

  3. since being a member of an online Aspie community…i know ALL too well the feeling of a ‘new relationship’ developing at “high speed”…..it’s that THRILL and realization that someone FINALLY “gets me”! (among other things)….

  4. Wow. I am lost for words. You’ve hit this dead on…. My husband and I are both Aspies and, you guess if, high conflict, very low communication, even lower ability to compromise, thus solve our issues. But I am so drawn to him. Bonded. Consumed and intoxicating. Sigh* can I play pretend and dream on?? May I?

  5. That feeling of being understood so well is something I have experienced with my online autistic friends. Yes, it is intoxicating; it’s such a euphoric feeling to connect with somebody who understands you without you needing to explain. Great post!

  6. this is my teen daughter and her boyfriend…they are both aspies. This is her first boyfriend and she is 19. As parents we have recently had to place some time limits of their time together and talking on the phone because grades in school were starting to become a problem. My daughter is having a lot of strong anger and depression as a result of her inability to realize that we as parents still make the rules….I am really scared for her right now and while I want her to enjoy having a boyfriend and finally getting to do normal teen things….I am scared for emotional well being…she sees a therapist but her emotions are extremely heightened right now and she feels like he is the only one to help her when she is mad, sad, upset etc. She was unable to talk to him for a little bit yesterday and because of a misunderstanding she thought she was going to see him and then it happened that she was unable to. SHe has a very scary emotional breakdown to where I thought I might have had to take her to the hospital. She also has no other friends…friends that she can hang out with and do things with. This is another huge source of anger and sadness for her….she has tried to make friends with girls at school with no success. We have tried autism groups and no luck there as most people there are boys. Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated at this very difficult time….thank you in advance

    1. At 19 I was with my boyfriend full-time. He was my only friend and the only place I felt safe. I understand your daughter. I wish you the best in this situation. Love, patience, kindness, acceptance… all which you seem to reflect in your post, will get you through. Any change, rules, etc. will put her into a heightened state of depression and clinging to that which she perceives she is losing.

  7. i get your blog. have not made a coment on your blog for a while

    because you have NOT replyed to me when i have . i even left me

    e.mail .CONSIDERING YOU HAVE ASPERGERS AND I DO HOW DISAPPOINTING

    NO REPLY FROM YOU.

    your blog on RELATIONSHIPS very well done ..i was very impressed

    i take part in a lot lot research from lot universities .have a

    lot results as well including relationships//sex .

    you talking on a subject like relation ships YOU are helping

    people so talk more and SAY HOW YOU FEEL how YOU are effected .

    mark________________________________ > Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2014 15:03:56 +0000 > To: mkentdad12@outlook.com >

    1. Hello Mark I always read and appreciate your presence and comments. I apologize if I missed an opportunity to reply. I can imagine how that might upset you. I do not however exchange emails with anyone from my blog. Best wishes.

  8. I dated an Aspie guy. We were both age 50. it was wonderful, at first. After a few months, he did an abrupt change. Seemed very narssisitic. I did all the giving and was over-giving. He did a lot of passive-aggressive stuff. It was like he got me “hooked”, I fell in love, then I was suppose to be absorbed into his life. He wanted no one to depend or count on him for anything.
    I read lot’s of Asperger relationship books. That 22 things a women needs to know….book, helped a lot. She said even Aspie women have as much trouble dealing with an Aspie man as NT.
    He refused to open up and talk about things. He would get upset and I was always to “blame”. I was called everything from a drama queen, to schizo, to a negative thinker.
    I tried everything, even just leaving him alone and ignoring him. it was like he was always sabotaging things that we worked out.
    There was no romance. We could only talk about his interests. I realized if I moved in with him, we’d be room-mates and both have our separate lives, including separate bedrooms.
    I got so burned out. We broke up and I spend months recovering afterward, physically. I had extreme fatigue, IBS, my thyroid went crazy and I had bipolar-like cycles.
    I don’t know if I could ever trust dating an Asperger’s man again!

  9. I’ve met this gorgeous crazy part-Aspie guy and I’m in the bit where you daydream panic have had quite a few meltdowns worry its not going to come to fruition you name it- blimey he’s gorgeous!

      1. and to top it all he’d left me for a NT and not even had the decency to tell me just told me to delete his number. I assume she’ ll find out he’s an Aspie and it’ll return to him threefold.

  10. my romantic “relationship” with an aspie, if you could call it that – is why I landed here on your sight. First I figured him out, and then I started to figure out why I liked him — and why most men don’t interest me at all —we had interesting engaging conversations on top of physical sparks. Conversations that were truly two sided — prior to him the only other men I felt strong romantic feelings for were patient listeners who listened to my never-ending stream of observations and thoughts , but…. I got bored and out of love because their conversational contributions began to seem too predictable, unresponsive, or uninteresting once I got to know them well enough.

    Right now my aspie is in a tailspin I think regarding out connection. It all occurred almost exactly as you wrote. Very comforting and magical at the start — but as soon as he realized we might actually form an adult relationship — and because of the nature of his work lifestyle — that would have to be intentionally carved out through thought and communication rather than passively accepted out of routine as his prior relationships (“they just kind of started with a one night stand but I am not sure how”) — he froze and shuts me out most of the time nwo. although I can see he still is very attracted to me and perhaps subconsciously wanting to reach out more than he does…. his discomfort makes me feel supremely self-conscious and anxious about communicating. Its like normal anxiety of overwhelming the neurotypicals in my life with my intensity x100 because I care about him and want so badly not to cause him anxiety and know that this is so easy to do. Yet conversely I don’t want to leave him in his isolated world with nobody to talk with.

    And so it remains, an issue taking up a large part of my world of thought that I have no ability to solve….. exhausting. I wish I knew more about how to communicate with him when he is in this state. Right now, I just communicate when I have a thought or observation regarding our shared interests and he seems to always really appreciate that and sometimes seems relieved that I still bother to reach out…. but considering the mental space my feelings for him are taking up, I would rather give up then continue this type of strained friendship indefinitely.

    Thanks for this site. It really helped me understand myself and how even with my empathy, imagination, wild creativity, emotions, I likely do have this … and there is more too my challenging life then the add diagnosis I received earlier in life. (btw your extended checklist was nearly 98% checked or had “not anymore” written beside it … I was a lot more into counting, organizing, pleasing others and less philosophical and actively creative before I accepted my self and began pursuing goals and projects I actually enjoyed (no need to add up or count to determine things are ok if you actually feel okay more often. My favourite item on the list was ‘listening to the same music repetitively’ …. omg this is the most comforting thing in the world… I feel almost empty when I don’t have a song that I am doing this with)

    1. thank you for your wonderful words; I enjoyed knowing an aspect of your journey. Have you considered asking him what he needs? I have found with aspie men I have talked with that being as direct and as revealing as possible might cause an initial anger or defense, but generally really opens the lines of communication. I wish you the very very best 🙂

      1. ” prior to him the only other men I felt strong romantic feelings for were patient listeners who listened to my never-ending stream of observations and thoughts , but…. I got bored and out of love because their conversational contributions began to seem too predictable, unresponsive, or uninteresting once I got to know them well enough.”

        This man is really me. A patient listeners and no talking.
        boring person….

  11. I identify so much with your observations, and your history, and here I think you have unravelled a complicated set of parameters and states of mind and made them easy to comprehend for everyone.
    There is one thing that I found very challenging though – your statement that there was no love or it was not about love.

    Yes there is obsession, desire, mania even, but to say that love is not a part of this seems a little odd. Perhaps it might be better to say that love is a part of a relationship, in the same way as part of our other passions. For example, I love horses. I love my ex even though he hurt me so much and I have had to let him go . I love the smell of fresh cut grass. Equally.

    For me aspergers means I fall a little bit in love with everyone and everything around me, lose myself in them. Does that make sense?

    1. yes, I didn’t mean it as no love, but that the obsessive part isn’t love. I currently believe that any form of fear or attachment is not love. True love is able to release fear and attachment of loss or want of ownership. I love everyone.

  12. I am 35 and was dx’d with AS years ago. I have had lifelong struggles with both NT & ASD folks. I believe I come on too strong and have always had a tendency to monopolize them (without the intent to be mean to them). It is a 2 way street. I am blessed to have a NT female friend who is 79. Variety is the spice of life! I pray for more interaction with kindly & very patient people (on or off spectrum) who I can see on a regular basis.

  13. I am now obsessed with your post so much helpful that I should remember or see this every day… But you say identifying world on my own philosophy and experience is important. How could I use this. May be I am too hurry to enhance my capacity.

  14. I can’t agree more with you that aspie-aspie relationship can develop so very quickly. I was in an aspie-aspie relationship. There was an enormous amount of positive energy and so much chemistry right when we first met. He looked weird, nerdy, funny, but intelligent and so passionate about his medical neuro science reading thingy and he just melted my heart. I was obsessed with my own stuff too. So we were unstoppable when we shared our stories. I found him a very good listener while I truly enjoyed listening to his new discoveries. I was never tired of listening to him and he seemed to be the same. It was a very melancholic but funny relationship, also very loyal and transparent. We were lucky that we got along very well in all aspects and we developed emotional interdependence in such a short time. In our case, a week! Just couldn’t getenough of him and he kept on telling me that he went to work and all he did in his workshop was “smiled and nodded. I couldn’t concentrate.”. Then he told me “I was thiniing of you last night. Then I woke up this morning thinking of you.” There was only one person in this world that I could share everythign with including the most awkward or the darkest secrets. Basically I felt as if he was me and I was him and that was the most relaxing time of my life. No pretending. Nothing to worry about. Total freedom!!! Somehow, it took us around two 2 years to be very very sure that we were in love! Bascially I didn’t know what exactly love meant. So we just kept telling each other the anecdotes and what we feel (e.g. I feel so lucky to know you, I feel malancholy when driving off your place, I like how you feel, I think I kissed you the most in my life just this week alone) but we couldn’t name it ‘like’, ‘love’ or what. I also found out that he meant what he said. If he said “I only talk to you and no one else’.. that’s it! He was loyal and truthful.

    Unfortunately, he passed away unexpectedly. I lost my best friend and everything. I don’t think I would be able to find anyone to replace him and I don’t think I would want to do that either.

    I start Googling aspie-aspie relationship and I am happy to know that someone has blogged about it. Thanks for this!!

    1. I am sorry to hear of your loss as well. I hope you will find and develop other relationships both platonic and romantic in your own time. I lost my mother last year. She was like an autism whisperer.

    2. Kay, I hope you’re still subscribed to this thread even if it’s from 2 years ago. I read your post 1 year ago and meanwhile I started to write a book for which I really would like your input – at least your permission to reproduce your post.

    3. btw: the post from me from November 13, 2015 at 4:23 am was meant to be addressed to you but back then I did not click on the right reply button. How are you doing these days, a year later? Has life tried to make it good again with you? I cannot even start to imagine how it is to experience loss, even if I try it at least a couple of time every week, just in case you know, aspie brain being preventive and stuff, pff…

      Many thanks for your answer and the permission to use your post! Would you want to add/amend content and get in touch before or after publication (first in two other languages then in English), please do!

      I just don’t know how to give you my email info without having it published on the same page where my original comment from last year and I wouldn’t like to upset people I know if they would google me back here – nobody knew and just a handful of people now know what I was planning back then.

      My book will surely interest you, you googled its subject to end up here in the first place 😉

  15. I empathize with you, having lost everything last year, contemplating suicide as a logical choice, I was surprised, a year later to meet another person with whom I FINALLY can communicate. After 40 years of failures, everywhere. I’m freshly diagnosed autistic and she has a lot of traits as well. We cannot live together because we both understand we need our own space and time, we have a structured schedule in which we blend in harmony. I know life is unpredictable and sometimes brutal, life taught me that, but now that I know that I can be wanted and understood, I can’t find any logic which would lead me to suicide again. I thank you deeply for your post which I read already months ago when I was looking for answers about aspie-aspie relationships, you gave me the hope which was needed in the first months of adjustments with her. There are NO books about aspie-aspie, only dramatizing books about mixed relationships, all mostly or completely negative. A lot of love to you.

    1. thank you so much for sharing your journey. I am with an Aspie partner now and it has it’s new set of challenges. Thank you for understanding. I am very happy for your new place in life. Best to you!

  16. I think i may be an Aspie and was in a relationship with a guy who I think may also be one. We were friends and then when he expressed interest in me, I said of course.

    I was blindsided by how horny and affectionate he was. I needed alone time, but he didn’t. I ended things after a month, but I think our friendship may totally be in trouble now.

    Anyway, just saying this entry really cleared up some things!

  17. Your “Afterthought” – this is absolutely where I am now. I have no clue what to do about it. I can’t beg for reassurance. I try to give him space, but I am terrified that his need for space means he’s drifting away. And I get so sick of the stress and pain that I think, Right, that’s it, I cannot do this.

    You talk about the need to communicate these things. I think we will have to, although I cringe at the thought. But if all I’m doing is being scared to drive him away, it’ll fail anyway. I am so scared, so scared, so scared, of all of this. I think all relationships were terribly hard anyway, even with NTs.

    Thank you.

  18. Very accurate, very true…but alot of this is applicable to NT relationships as well…Also the spin is quite negative. There are ALOT of great benefits to an aspie/aspie relationship that wern’t covered moreso just the “darker aspects”…

    1. Hi Ladeda, could you please tell me more about the big benefits, from your experience, from being in an aspie/aspie relationship?
      If you have time, of course.
      I personally believe that it’s actually better than non-aspie/aspie.

      1. This post was written some time ago. I am in an aspie-aspie relationship and the benefits for us include no game playing, feeling at home with the person, being able to be our complete self, understanding our anxiety and other challenges, having a deep understanding of how we process and see the world.

      2. Hello again!
        I read your post again this week, almost two years after the first time I read it for the first time and I must say that it’s only now that I have had enough experience with my aspie girlfriend that I’m able to fully grasp how thoroughly correct, complete and nuanced your post about aspie-aspie relationships is. It’s almost hard science haha. I’m jealous of the perfection of it…

    1. About Autism and relationships
      Have you ever heard about all the problems couples have when one of the two is autistic? Autism, yes, it’s this terrible thing you’d really not wanna hear as an answer to your questions about yourself or someone you love. Well, unless you’re one of us. Autistic. Au-tis-tic, or Asperger, or Aspie – that’s even cuter, like something pretty much alive and with a bigger, larger destiny.
      Never mind, don’t mind my words but mark those: life is easier with someone, but to us Aspies, that’s something which society doesn’t seem to grant us easily, or for long, if at all. We know much too well why because experts wrote, write and will write books about how to deal with autism in a relationship. Ever heard of the Pygmalion effect? Or the Cassandra Syndrome? The consensus is that from the point of view of the experts we’ve got little to no chance to have a balanced and happy life in a relationship – or without, as a fact. They are categoric, even with their advices, therapies and coaching, it will be at least a struggle, and very often a failure. And…
      – they are right.
      But they are very, very wrong as to the reasons for that. By the way, did you know that suicide rates are much higher than average in the aspie population?
      I therefore don’t need to explain how important it is for us to have someone in our life. Anybody knows that. So why is it so difficult for us? Let’s see what people can read in books:
      – We’re not empathic, we can’t read body language, we have mental issues associated with our autism, we are too chaotic, or too rigid about routine, we’re too something, anything. We even cause mental problems to others: the Cassandra Syndrome. etc.
      And so it is all what we know about autism that points to the fact that we’re the very reason our relationships can’t work, or with difficulty, therefore we may need to be in therapy.
      What a bummer! So let’s make an experiment where we’ll change the perspective: imagine that in your neighbourhood the majority of people are autistic. Take some time to picture how it would sound like, look like and be like. Tell me now who, who would have to comply to our ways, now? Who would have to adapt and go to therapy?
      I asked this question during a session with a psychotherapist specialised in autism, there was a blank while he tried to grasp the concept and its implications, but none succeeded to materialize in his mind. Did you also have trouble with this little exercise?
      That’s natural and perfectly human to experience trouble thinking about what we were denied maybe already several times in our live. We grieved, mourned and sometimes even accepted to be denied the right to be happy with someone. This, people, is called the Pygmalion effect. Remember all those facts written and told by such figures of scientific authority? We believe them, it’s a fact. They are right simply because that’s how things are, aren’t they?
      Or are they not?
      See, this version of things got a crack in its very own supporting structure once I met a very special someone, someone it seemed I knew already even before we formally met, just seeing her looking at me, directly, without filters, like when a cat looks at you, no facial expression to understand what they mean – but no question, they’re looking at you right in the eyes.
      Why so familiar? I understood later that I’d seen that look quite often on pictures of some kids or people with autism, especially when they don’t try to pose for the picture. You can just see how much they are all the same inside, like a very adult gaze on a very naive young face, or the other way around – often this contradiction between age, face expression and the impression their eyes give. In those very moments they are themselves and I can recognize them.
      But I knew all this stuff about autism in relationships, so logically being both autistic meant double trouble, that’s also what the psychotherapist was certainly thinking every time me and my new special girlfriend went to see him, during the process of assessing if I could officially be diagnosed as autistic, on top of already having ADHD. I eventually got the official diagnose but there were quite some embarrassment about the lack of needed therapy:
      -but it must difficult for you sometimes, no? no? No, okay. What about needing some time to be alone?
      -oh that? No, we dealt with this possible issue early on, we decided that the best solution was to keep on living where we already live, each of us at home, so we visit each other half or a third of the time.
      Silence. I can still see him looking hard for some questions about some treatable issues, something to justify we being here, alas to no avail.
      We indeed had to deal with all possible issues in the first 5 weeks of our not-yet-so-called relationship. Basically those issues were the ones which need to be addressed at some time in all non-autistic relationships as well, but for them it mostly happens later over the years. Those issues were like: babies versus no babies, living together or not, betrayal possible or not, and if yes what then? Even death. Everything means everything, down to the smallest details like how to communicate by phone or texted messages, or how often. And then we were done, 9 years of marriage counselling in 5 weeks. All hail our autistic brain! And its uncontrollable need to focus and look for answers, well yeah but sometimes I wish it would take a vacation haha.
      So after that we decided to call it a relationship -for the sake of having an answer when people ask, also because if we’d say we were boyfriend/girlfriend our close family would feel we need to step to the next steps and we were like: why? we liked it like that it worked fine, so thank you but no thanks.
      Basically, it’s back then I understood I was actually normal and could have the right to feel accepted and understood, vice-versa I could finally see logic in someone’s behaviour and thinking, it was like at last meeting someone from my home town while being far abroad. Such a relief.
      All this started a thought process which led me to more questions about autism and relationships, and in there I must say I had the luck to stumble upon this blog, which confirmed my first impressions weren’t the product of luck or anything, it was a fact: aspie-aspie relationships can be a success, much more than when only one of the partners has autism.

Thank you for your comments :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s