How do I keep an Asperger's boyfriend?



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Umbie
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:01 am

I met an aspie guy a few months ago and we totally hit it off. Meaning we were making out on a park bench about 20 minutes after meeting for a "first date" downtown and he was amazingly fun and blunt with his speech which I liked alot. Even the rude stuff. I'm a pretty laid back gal and like to tell it like it is. I'm a 35 year old gal and he's 30 with the maturity level of a 17 year old. He rode the bus with me and immediately said he loved me and was falling really hard for me.

The next time we met up a week later at his apartment and had sex twice. He convinced me to spend the following weekend with him at his apartment and we had sex about five times. We had a great time laughing and watching tv and just hanging out.
The next thing I know, he has given everything away in his apartment and ended his lease. He couldn't move in with me until January 1st so he checked himself into a homeless shelter. I meet up with him a few more times and he asks me to marry him. Then he just gets on a bus and goes back to living with his mother in Oklahoma.

I eventually figure out he's gone and I find his mother's address and phone number online and call him up. He seems amazingly happy to hear from me and he misses me and loves me and all that good stuff. He says he just couldn't stand being alone. He had to go home.

Now it is about a month later and I call him after about 3 days of not hearing from him. His mother answers the phone and says I am "hurting him" by calling him. I can't call him anymore. I can call her to check up on him. She knows I care about him and appreciates all that I've done for him. She also says he gave up his apartment and became homeless because the apartment reminded him of me.

He talks about killing himself because he's trapped in Oklahoma and thinks I'm going to kill myself if I can't see him. I'm not. I got to talk to him a bit and reassure him I wasn't going to kill myself and I didn't want him to kill himself and we're both safe where we are right now.

Towards the end of our phonecall he says "it sure was fun!" meaning the whole hanging out with me and being my boyfriend for a month. Then he says goodbye and we hang up the phone. Yes, it was WAY fun. I miss him.

His mother says he's different everyday. She says it is possible although he can't "handle the pressure" of a relationship with me right now, he could easily end up on a bus and waiting on my doorstep to say "hello" in a month or a year.

My questions are:
What do I have to do to KEEP a boyfriend with Asperger's?
Even though he asked me to tell him I loved him, did he run off because I said I loved him?
Is checking in with his mother every couple weeks a good idea?
Is there a chance for this relationship to start over again?
Or do I have to move on like he says (this week) and find another boyfriend who will give me "less drama"?



Shadow50
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:16 am

Umbie wrote:
I met an aspie guy a few months ago and we totally hit it off. Meaning we were making out on a park bench about 20 minutes after meeting for a "first date" downtown and he was amazingly fun and blunt with his speech which I liked alot. Even the rude stuff. I'm a pretty laid back gal and like to tell it like it is. I'm a 35 year old gal and he's 30 with the maturity level of a 17 year old. He rode the bus with me and immediately said he loved me and was falling really hard for me.

The next time we met up a week later at his apartment and had sex twice. He convinced me to spend the following weekend with him at his apartment and we had sex about five times. We had a great time laughing and watching tv and just hanging out.


If this had happened to me, you would have had trouble getting rid of me. I am Aspie, but dont seem to have the day to day instability that your bf seems to have.

One problem I had in relationships is that I made assumptions about what the other person was thinking/feeling, and I was listening to what other people were telling me. Most of these things turned out to be wrong. Your bf may be doing the same thing. I had to make a conscious effort to ignore assumptions and others, and sit down with my partner, face to face, and talk through things that were troubling me, and then accept what I was being told.

Maybe a face to face discussion will help in your situation. Personally, I have extreme difficulty negotiating anything by phone. If I could time travel, I would go back and kill Alexander Bell for inventing the damned things.


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ToadOfSteel
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:17 am

Umbie wrote:
What do I have to do to KEEP a boyfriend with Asperger's?

The first thing that ocmes to mind is consistency. Don't try to be spontaneous or do things on the spur of the moment. Aspies often have intricate plans laid out in their mind as to how they want the day to progress, and doing things impulsively can be an incredibly disruption (my mother has done that to me countless times before...)

Quote:
Even though he asked me to tell him I loved him, did he run off because I said I loved him?

It could have been an emotional overload. That tends to happen with aspies. I get the idea that there's some misunderstanding between you and him, though... You say you love him, but he tried to eliminate every influence of you even though he says he loves you. That usually means that he thinks you don't love him. That could very well be ingrained; I've expressed many times myself that it's a "scientific impossibility" for a woman to love me, which is a mindset that develops among aspies if rejected enough. If he thinks this way, just the affection you're giving him can be very confusing.

Then again, you also mention that he has the maturity of a 17-year old. AS is no excuse for immaturity. In fact, most aspies I've met are actually more mature under general circumstances than other people, although more prone to meltdowns and the like if overly stressed.

Quote:
Is checking in with his mother every couple weeks a good idea?

If the mother doesn't mind, then yes. It depends on the mother in question. Sometimes the mother will not want some NT woman (i'm assuming you're NT unless you tell me otherwise) that likes her aspie son to go anywhere near that son because the mother feels that the NT woman in question is a manipulative person, but if she still talks to you then checking up on this guy is probably a good idea, and will reinforce the notion in the mother's mind that you really care for her son...

Quote:
Is there a chance for this relationship to start over again?
Or do I have to move on like he says (this week) and find another boyfriend who will give me "less drama"?

With aspies, most will forgive and be able to continue as if nothing's happened, but none will forget... aspies have incredible long-term memory that will make them recall events years in the future with perfect detail. Most likely he needs some time to process all this new input that he's never experienced before...



Umbie
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:27 am

Yeah. I feel like a face to face discussion could help alot. I hope he will show up eventually and feel really safe in my apartment. Maybe stay awhile. I don't feel like giving up on him.

I'm hearing alot about stability and security. I'll work on that.

I think I kind of made him have a meltdown...seems pretty obvious to me now. We got along amazingly and had too much fun for sure. I just hope he can do the whole "starting over" thing. I am willing to take it more slow if it will keep him stable.

Thanks for the advice.



Death_of_Pathos
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:30 am

Gave away all of his stuff and moved into a homeless shelter?

Might be more then just Asperger's.

Good luck, Im glad for the both of you. It sounds like the sort of thing that can work out swimmingly if everyone just lets it.



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Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:43 am

Any sympathy I might have had left is all gone at this time of the night. Now I am just vindictive (more than usual). Oh well.

From your description, I can't stand this guy. Just be a good little NT and go back to dating your own kind. No wonder no one can stand me. I am just like this guy, except that I have not gotten lucky.

When an aspie cannot handle an NT he is immature, but when an NT cannot handle an aspie, she is normal. In reality you are both morons and deserve eachother.



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Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:54 am

Umbie wrote:
I met an aspie guy a few months ago and we totally hit it off... He rode the bus with me and immediately said he loved me and was falling really hard for me... The next time we met up a week later at his apartment and [TMI]... He convinced me to spend the following weekend with him at his apartment and [TMI]. We had a great time laughing and watching tv and just hanging out.

The next thing I know, he has given everything away in his apartment and ended his lease. He couldn't move in with me until January 1st so he checked himself into a homeless shelter. I meet up with him a few more times and he asks me to marry him. Then he just gets on a bus and goes back to living with his mother in Oklahoma.

I eventually figure out he's gone and I find his mother's address and phone number online and call him up. He seems amazingly happy to hear from me and he misses me and loves me and all that good stuff. He says he just couldn't stand being alone. He had to go home.

Now it is about a month later and I call him after about 3 days of not hearing from him. His mother answers the phone and says I am "hurting him" by calling him. I can't call him anymore. I can call her to check up on him. She knows I care about him and appreciates all that I've done for him. She also says he gave up his apartment and became homeless because the apartment reminded him of me.

He talks about killing himself because he's trapped in Oklahoma and thinks I'm going to kill myself if I can't see him. I'm not. I got to talk to him a bit and reassure him I wasn't going to kill myself and I didn't want him to kill himself and we're both safe where we are right now.

Towards the end of our phonecall he says "it sure was fun!" meaning the whole hanging out with me and being my boyfriend for a month. Then he says goodbye and we hang up the phone. Yes, it was WAY fun. I miss him.

His mother says he's different everyday. She says it is possible although he can't "handle the pressure" of a relationship with me right now, he could easily end up on a bus and waiting on my doorstep to say "hello" in a month or a year.

Umbie wrote:
My questions are:

What do I have to do to KEEP a boyfriend with Asperger's?
People should get to 'keep' partners like people 'keep' animals or something. Relationships shouldn't be about being someone's keeper, they should be more about mutual respect and admiration, about the other person wanting to stay with you, wanting to be in a relationship. There are the old cliches about caged birds and if you love someone you set them free, wanting to keep someone sounds restricting and as though they're having someone else's will imposed on them, when it should be about willingness and free choice. Or at least that's how I see it all anyway.

Umbie wrote:
Even though he asked me to tell him I loved him, did he run off because I said I loved him?
No idea. Only he knows why he ran off. It sounds as though he's very impulsive though. There are a couple of possibilities (although not the only ones by any means) that sprang to my mind. You're NT? If you spent a lot of time with him hanging out and had a great time laughing, is it possible you might have said something jokingly that he could have taken literally? If one minute you're saying you love one another, but maybe you're watching tv and, for example -- you're watching sitcom with a domestic setting about a family, the dad/husband character burns the dinner or leaves his laundry lying around, and the mum/wife character reacts annoyed -- and you're watching a programme like that with an Aspie, and you remark, hey if my husband burned the dinner or left his socks on the floor, I'd divorce him! And you think you're making a lighthearted joke, a comment about a random, fictional situation... whereas an Aspie can sometimes take things very, very literally.

I'm wondering whether you maybe said something in a lighthearted and joking manner, or made some other comment that you've perhaps forgotten about, because it wasn't serious and you didn't mean it, but maybe an Aspie would believe it. But maybe he took some silly comment you made and took it to heart and was secretly upset about it and felt rejected by you?

I think NTs can appreciate things in relationships that are meant, and what's not meant. Another couple of examples, again, minor domestic stuff, if you're a couple, and someone puts an empty milk carton back in the fridge or empty cereal packet back in the cupboard, and the other person comes across them and says Look, just throw them away, won't you, if I find another empty milk carton in the fridge, I'm leaving you! Or makes some silly joke like that, well, of course, an NT would know that was said as a joke or in exasperation. And they would know the other person didn't really mean it, they would know that what was actually true was all the 'I love you's and 'I want to be with you forever's.

Aspies can get very confused if there are 'mixed messages'. An NT wouldn't see that as mixed messages, they would differentiate between what's *obviously* (to an NT) true, and what's *obviously* (to an NT), a joke or a sarcastic comment. An Aspie could get into a tizz about Ooh, she said she loves me, but now she's threatening to leave me if I put empty milk cartons back into the fridge, and I have a really bad habit of doing that, so she's splitting up with me. An Aspie might place 'equal value' in truth terms to both those kinds of comments, the real, emotional, feelings stuff, and the silly or jokey or sarcastic comments.

Another possibility might be that he has some depression or bipolar disorder issues, maybe there's a dual diagnosis thing going on? It sounds as though he's into you when you're chasing him (which reassures him that you do, really, want to be with him), but cools off when you're waiting for him to make a move (he's wondering why you've backed off and why you're not chasing him, he's feeling insecure and unwanted and he starts backing away). Of course, I'm being hypothetical, because I've no idea what he's actually doing or thinking or feeling. But in a relationship with Aspies, it requires a lot of hard work in terms of communicating openly and honestly and trying to bear in mind issues of mixed messages, and trying to avoid them, or reassure the other person that it wasn't meant literally, what was said was a joke or sarcastic or being silly.

Umbie wrote:
Is checking in with his mother every couple weeks a good idea?
I don't know. Ask his mother to be honest with you? Explain your confusion about the situation, and how you're not quite sure what went wrong and ask if she can shed any light on the situation? And depending on what her answer is, it might or it might not be a good idea to stay in touch.

Umbie wrote:
Is there a chance for this relationship to start over again?
Not if it carries on this way, with both of you failing to communicate properly. There would only be a chance if you had a full and frank discussion about what went wrong, what's going wrong, clear up any confusions about who said or did what, and what was actually meant. We all tend to make assumptions about what someone else has said, interpret it in the light of our own experiences and life history, but it's best to try to talk and to clarify.

Umbie wrote:
Or do I have to move on like he says (this week) and find another boyfriend who will give me "less drama"?
It depends what you want. He's assuming that you don't want or need the drama, he's pushing you away. Whether that's because he's gone off you and no longer likes you, who knows? Or it could be that he still really likes you, loves you even, but is self-sabotaging the relationship, due to insecurities or maybe previous bad experiences?



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Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:47 am

"It sure was fun"... :roll: Sounds like yet another ungrateful idiot giving Aspie guys a bad name (as if our reputation wasn't shitty enough already...)



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Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:56 am

Aspergers is not the problem here.


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Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:56 am

Cyberman
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:06 pm

TheMidnightJudge wrote:
Aspergers is not the problem here.

But as always, it was immediately assumed to be the problem.



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Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:18 pm

hm. maybe hes just shy and not ready to commit? i dunno. that sounds like me though, if i found a hot girl i'd give all my stuff away that i didnt like wich would be mostley everything, but i wouldnt make out in public like that or live with my mother


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LePetitPrince
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:21 pm

he asked you to marry him just after few weeks? wtf?



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Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:37 pm

Cyberman wrote:
TheMidnightJudge wrote:
Aspergers is not the problem here.

But as always, it was immediately assumed to be the problem.


So what is the problem? If you guys are AS, you're not being DIRECT in your responses.

I don't see any assumption on the part of the OP that AS is the problem. She's asking the AS community for help in understanding her AS BF so that she can improve both their situations.

I would probably talk with the mother more and try to get a reading on her. Keep in mind that AS is genetic and she may be on the spectrum as well. Maybe if she understands that you really care (no ulterior motives) maybe she'll open up and talk to you more. She might be open to a visit. If it's a situation where "no girl is good enough for my kid", you'll probably be out of luck unless he leaves her.

I also agree that there may be more than just AS here. Definately some depression. During my 20s, I definately had times where I planned being homeless. Never went through with it, but in general it was times where I was feeling bad, misunderstood, and overloaded. The thought was that I could run away, be forgotten, and not have any responsibilities to deal with. This may be why he's at home now - it's a familiar environment where "mom" may take care of everything for him. I think it's fairly common for parents of AS to let their kids grow up without responsibilities because experience has taught them that responsibility brings stress which brings meltdowns.

If you do get to talk to him, I think you need to start with:
1) You care for him and want to see him
2) You get worried about him when you can't talk to him
3) You're not going to harm yourself and don't want him to harm himself

Beyond that, I really think you need to address the running away problem. At a minimum, you need him to explain to you why he's doing this. I think it's better if you treat "not explaining" as a worse behavior than "doing". That's how it works in my marriage, anyway. It's ok if I say I'm overloaded and need to go to a quiet place, but it's not ok if I just disappear without saying anything.

And of course, you'll need to figure out if you're ok with this. He may be the type of guy who disappears for long periods of time. Is that ok in a relationship? If not, that's ok - he's not the right guy for you.



Umbie
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Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:19 pm

He also said he's got depression and he's bipolar. I've seen him in these times. I actually think that's a large part of it. But his mom just says Asperger's is the problem. That's his main diagnosis.

I haven't been diagnosed with anything yet but I think I might have Asperger's and I'll be seeing a doctor in the next month to find out where my brains are. I don't think of myself as NT.

I don't have a problem with his Asperger's. But there is a communication problem from the distance we're at right now.

The only TV I watched with him was wrestling, football, and some porn his best friend had lent him. All of it was really interesting to me and I don't remember saying anything light-hearted, but you never know. I liked the wrestlers beating each other with metal chairs!

His last girlfriend was hit by a car while he was living in Oklahoma and died before he could get back here to see her. That was about three years ago. That, and living with his mother who he hates but depends on for stability, are his previous traumatic experiences. And they are pretty traumatic. We talked about his girlfriend alot.

I'd like to have a frank discussion with him, and I hope in a month or two he will be ready for one.

The whole "keep" him thing is the only way I can think to word it because I "lost" track of him alot. Then he'd call me and say he was staying at someone's house, or he lost the charger for his cell phone. He doesn't drive and I didn't drive at the time so we had to bus places to meet up with each other.

He grew up in the area where I live now and this is where is friends are. He goes back to Oklahoma for stability, then he comes back here every few years to check up on people. He says once his grandparents pass away, his family is moving back here. He said that's when he would be coming back.

I don't want to stifle him. He said he'd be perfectly happy living with me, surfing the internet, riding the bus, and writing. I'm not gonna tell him what to do, and how to do it, and for how many hours a day he needs to work to buy me stuff like a normal girl.

The problem is he can't live with me right now. My roommate isn't moving out until January 1st. He couldn't handle the waiting but now he's stuck somewhere he doesn't really want to be.

I'll work on learning more from his mother and hopefully gaining her trust. She told me she would love nothing more than for her son to have some piece of normality in his life. He wants a normal life with children and marriage. Just RIGHT NOW, that isn't gonna happen.

I'll get my life a bit more stable and then we'll have that frank discussion and see if it can be worked out.

I don't mind if he disappears and needs to be alone or even go live with someone else for awhile. I can understand that. I do actually feel that not explaining is worse than doing. Hmmm.

Thanks.



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