It affects people in different ways. Some autistic people face extra challenges in romantic relationships, while others eschew them altogether. If you are in a relationship with an autistic person, you may be wondering how to deal with some of the things you have encountered. Then, you can begin looking for ways to improve your communication with your boyfriend, such as by anticipating social challenges, accepting repetitive behaviors, staying calm when you are upset, and listening when your boyfriend wants to talk. Romantic Relationships and Autism Dating.
I think this is a myth. I think he has just had to learn how to express them. I think it is more a case of not recognising emotions in others that can be a problem with him. He often intellectualises emotions, rather than feeling them and being driven by them. He knows writing love letters is something you do in a relationship. The other person appreciates it, so he does it. Generally, the relationship has gone well since the start, but there are times when it can be difficult to be with Dan.
He has always been very forthright in his opinions, and stubborn. I can now sometimes win him around, but in the early days he was steadfast in his opinions.
If the outcome was satisfactory for him, then he was happy, even if it were to the detriment of others. If I wanted him to stay in with me, but he had plans to do something, then no amount of pleading would convince him otherwise. He wasn't easy to persuade! Again, he would spend hours consumed by his interests computer games, hypnosis, trying to think of new ideas and products , which he would explain in depth. While it was interesting, this could get a bit repetitive!
In the early years, sometimes things could get too much. Dan would find being in a relationship overwhelming, having to spend time with someone, and having to consider my feelings and what I wanted. We separated a few times over the first few years.
He rarely instigated interactions, and he also seemed to find it easy to walk away. I find that I have to do most of the instigating of the physical part of our relationship. Dan would reciprocate but in the early days he would rarely be the instigator.
Over the years, he has got better at 'spontaneously' hugging, kissing, and saying 'I love you'. Dan really struggles with being spontaneous. Dan and I rarely argue. We have never shouted at each other, but like any couple, we do have disagreements and we do occasionally annoy each other. He goes from one extreme to the other. We have spoken about this. Dan has said he finds it a frustrating aspect of himself he wishes he could change. He can see how ridiculous that response is, and yet he instinctively responds the same way every time.
I could buy him something he has been after for some time, at which most people would show some sign of appreciation, or some excitement at receiving something they really want. An example of this was when I found a book signed by Milton Erickson. Dan had searched the internet every few days for a decade or more, to buy a book signed by Milton Erickson.
He once found one but it was very expensive, so he thought about whether to buy it or not, and within less than a day it had sold. I bought Dan a copy. I have learned that, just because he doesn't display his appreciation, it doesn't necessarily mean he isn't grateful. Some people would see this as him being ungrateful. Eating out, or having others cook for us, can be awkward at times, with Dan showing a lack of appreciation.
To Dan, things are black and white. If I go shopping with Dan, I have to remember that he will give his opinion honestly. I remember when we first went clothes shopping.
I tried on a dress and asked him how I looked in it. He told me I looked horrible in it. I was really upset. He told me I had asked him for his opinion, so he had given it. I have got used to this now. If I want to keep my spending in check when I go clothes shopping, I just take Dan with me!
One thing known about Dan is his interest in hypnosis.
He probably has over books on hypnosis alone, and probably close to books on hypnosis and therapy. Aside from this, he also has a huge collection of science magazines, including every single Focus Magazine since it started in the early s. When Dan gets interested in something, he becomes obsessed and has to learn everything it is possible to learn about that subject. I saw no harm in him learning and developing his skill with hypnosis, so was happy to support him with this. I think it helps him, actually, as he has learned a lot about body language and social interactions from studying hypnosis.
He can definitely cope better in social situations, but that's not to say he likes them any better. For example, if we visit London, he can find this a daunting experience as it is busy and there are lots of stimuli to cope with.
I myself don't like London much either, for similar reasons, so we help each other out in those situations. I sometimes take the lead when I know an area more than Dan when visiting places, which I think helps.
Since having his bike accident in , he has become even more cautious of crossing roads, and will stop what he is doing completely. For example, if he is chatting, he will stop and focus completely on safely crossing the road, then continue the conversation once across the road. I have personally learned a lot from Dan about hypnosis and how it is misunderstood by many and how helpful it can be for people.
Dan is always teaching me about hypnosis, and about other topics I never enjoyed in school. When he learns something new, he will talk about it for hours.
Coping With a Partner's Asperger's Syndrome
Sometimes this can get a bit much, and I have to tell him to stop talking, or I just shut off. I have some coping mechanisms for managing things with Dan. He has always made sofa dens, where he will throw a blanket over the back of the sofa, and have it hang down over the front of the sofa, and will then get into this where it is a confined dark and calm space.
Sometimes, I will make these for Dan when he is stressed and needs to shut things out to calm down. I have also made him tents in the living room by covering dining room chairs with blankets. Whenever we see a television programme with an outbuilding or shed of some sort as part of the property, I joke to Dan that that would be his home, whilst I have the whole house. He is far more comfortable in small, dark, confined spaces, than in open rooms.
When Dan goes anywhere he likes to sit in corners, tucked away and secluded. If we are in a restaurant or shop, Dan feels uncomfortable approaching members of staff, and would rather walk out then speak to someone for assistance, so if he's with me I can ask on his behalf. Not that he's rude or shy, just I think people ask more questions than he cares to answer, and he can get stuck on what he should answer, so he just walks away instead.
He wants things to be blunt and to the point. If we eat out, I have to do most of the talking; likewise, if we order food in a fast-food outlet, Dan prefers me to go to the counter to order.
If he is going to order the food, though, he rehearses in his mind what he needs to say, and when he gets to the counter, he just wants to say exactly what he has rehearsed. Once he has been through this, he is still feeling angry when he has sat down, and other irritations are then more likely to also annoy him, like people getting in the way, or being noisy. I know now, that he then has to spend time eating quietly and not talking, and instead just focusing on calming himself down. All in all, it is easier for me to get the food…!
Normally if we go somewhere by train Dan will get the train tickets and I the lunch. I have to check the distance for myself. We once went for a summer walk in the countryside around where Dan grew up, and what I thought would be a leisurely walk ended up being a several-mile trek!
His perception of time is equally as baffling at times. He can do something for many hours and think just a couple of minutes have passed. This can be especially frustrating at bedtime, when Dan will say he will come to bed in a minute, and hours later, he will come to bed believing just a few minutes have passed.
I sometimes struggle with Dan and his reaction to situations. In one of his jobs, he was not in a good place, as it was too overwhelming for him. Also, he was facing discrimination, and changes were being made which were knowingly making his work environment the opposite of how he needed it to be, in order to work calmly, comfortably and well.
His stressed and frustrated attitude was hard to shoulder as I care for him so much, but the way in which he would go on about it would be more extreme than the average person. It would make me in turn feel frustrated at him for his attitude, but mainly because I felt helpless.
I would try to avoid conversations that might bring up his work, as I wouldn't know what to say. Dan would then say he felt like he couldn't then talk about how he was feeling, which again was not a situation I wanted.
That is when he is at his best. Dan and I have been together for fifteen years, so changes to how he is and how he handles things have been gradual, and not so easy for me to notice. Perhaps like a child growing up, you only notice properly in hindsight. One of my main criticisms of the popular TV show " Atypical ," for instance, is how the main character would behave in cruel ways toward other people but be given an implicit pass.
That is not OK. I'm not going to say that I have all the solutions. That said, I can't imagine that encouraging people to pause and think about how the people around them must feel is ever bad advice.
Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. Ads are currently disabled. Please sign in with Facebook or Google below: If you have an older Salon account, please enter your username and password below: First, get to know what he likes to do, and show genuine interest in those things. Laugh at his jokes.
Dating someone on the autistic spectrum
Don't force anything on him. Talk about what you like and keep it simple, spoken words aren't a strong point. Don't expect group activities from him, they're a pain. Give him time to understand you want to be his girl.
Why do people with Asperger's make noises? Will this go away when they are an adult? If not, does this mean that they are getting "worse"? Noises are often a type of stimming , which can be used to focus, self-calm, or something else. It's similar to how you might rub your eyes or tap a pencil when you're upset or trying to think. It serves an important function for the person. Every autistic adult is different; some make noises often, some only do it sometimes, and some don't do it at all.
This doesn't make one person "better" or "worse" than another. If the noises are disruptive, you can gently ask the person to switch to an alternative stim , such as listening to music. Not Helpful 2 Helpful I believe it just feels good to let out those noises; it's a way of coping with stressful stimuli. My boyfriend with Asperger's goes out with other women for dinner without me. I feel worried that he likes their attention more than mine. What do I do? Tell him how this makes you feel.
Chances are, he doesn't know that it is concerning you. I also have Asperger's and I struggle to understand body language and facial cues. Be more direct, it will probably help a lot. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 9. How do I deal with an autistic boyfriend who finds more enjoyment with being online playing computer games all the time than spending time with me? He would also rather text than talk face-to-face.
Recognize that your boyfriend's wants and preferences are a little different from yours, and just like in any relationship, you two will need to negotiate that.
Work on using "I" language and an NVC approach, such as "I miss you, and want to spend more time with you.
Can we make a plan to do that? Keep in mind that he may express himself way better in text, so he feels more comfortable this way. See if you can work it out together. Otherwise, if your wants and needs are too different, perhaps you aren't a good match. Give it a try, and see what happens. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 4.
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips If you want to go out with him, don't expect him to ask you out.
Many autistic people do not know how to ask people out.
What dating an autistic man is like
Try asking him yourself. Make sure he sees you as his girlfriend, rather than simply a friend who happens to be female. With autism, unless you tell him verbally and plainly that you see him as your boyfriend and that you intend to be his girlfriend, he might see you as a platonic friend, even if you do the things for him a girlfriend would do.
Warnings If you can't handle the things he does, break up with him gently. He deserves someone who loves him completely and can handle him at his best and worst. You shouldn't have to deal with the stress of a relationship you can't handle, or the exhaustion of trying to change someone.
JP Johannes Paulus Dec 5, Also, the drawings are beautiful. JW Jackie Walker Oct 23, I decided to be direct. AW Amanda Weir Sep 4, We are fixing to go to court, and I am concerned he may act inappropriately in front of the judge, but I cannot directly express my concerns to him due to the nature of the courtroom setting" FL Finn Larson Mar 20, This really helped me in having sexual intercourse with him, as every time we would touch he would have an autism meltdown.
K Keelin May 31, Thank you so very much for this article!
It is very very helpful and gives practical examples that I can use with my bf. DS Dana Shelley Jul 18, SR Snehang Rai Mar 23, He has autism but I still love him and I want to help him.Dating Nathan (And His Autism)
BF Bob Franklinn May 15, ZH Zoe Hall Nov 13, JK Jane Kamlew Jul 11,