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Old 06-04-2009, 09:35 AM
 
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Hi, I am a 21-year old autistic male. I already live on my own and have a regular job that has some future in it. But to be honest, part of me thinks I really shouldn't bother with women.

Let me give you some backstory: I have a 16 year old sister and she's already a hit with the guys. Anyway, we were talking and I asked her what she thought my outlook would be with women. Basically, she said I was a good guy, but that my quirkyness/shyness due to Autism was a deal-breaker for women. She told me either I lower my standards way, way, down, or I not even try to relate to women.

I dunno, I don't go out and hit on girls very much at all, becuase I don't want to be thought of as "creepy" or a "Hounddog", but sometimes all it takes is for me to make eye-contact w/ a girl to have her give me "Go Away" vibes.

Should I not even bother?
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Mountain View, CA
1,152 posts, read 2,850,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizzles View Post
Hi, I am a 21-year old autistic male. I already live on my own and have a regular job that has some future in it. But to be honest, part of me thinks I really shouldn't bother with women.

Let me give you some backstory: I have a 16 year old sister and she's already a hit with the guys. Anyway, we were talking and I asked her what she thought my outlook would be with women. Basically, she said I was a good guy, but that my quirkyness/shyness due to Autism was a deal-breaker for women. She told me either I lower my standards way, way, down, or I not even try to relate to women.

I dunno, I don't go out and hit on girls very much at all, becuase I don't want to be thought of as "creepy" or a "Hounddog", but sometimes all it takes is for me to make eye-contact w/ a girl to have her give me "Go Away" vibes.

Should I not even bother?
With all due respect to your sister, she's a 16 year old girl. What a 16 year old *girl* wants in a guy is TOTALLY different than what most *women* in their 20s want in a man. The fact she thought shyness and quirkyness were deal-killers is proof positive.

I know nothing of your situation or of the details of your condition. But, in my mind, if you are interested in dating, then you should consider doing so. How you go about it is up to you - but if you are very shy, you may find it more comfortable to get involved with something, meet women and get to know them, then if something clicks, perhaps date one of them (e.g., friend first then date, as opposed to straight to dating). But really, the how is up to you.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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It depends on how severely it affects your social functioning. I'm sure there will be plenty of women (shallow ones) who write you off from the beginning. But I'm sure there will be plenty who deal with and actually enjoy the quirkiness. It takes a special kind of person to understand..and I don't view that as lowering your standards at all.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: I never said I was perfect so no refunds here sorry!
6,465 posts, read 6,223,011 times
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Reminds me of a time when we were going to go fishing and this person was saying well I dont know if I can do it. I never have fished, put a worm on a hook or anything.....well anyway long story short, they baited the hook and caught fish! So my comment to you is get out there and enjoy life.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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I don't have any good advice, or experience with this disorder.

However, I do have a (new) friend whom I suspect has some mild form of autism, or asperger's. He's 25 or so, and has always thought he was just 'different.' It was not until the past month or so that we confronted him, told him that he shows nearly all major symptoms of aspergers, and that he should seek some medical diagnosis and help.

He's a great person, not very good looking, and has a great deal of difficulty communicating with people. He's capable of good conversation, but typically he's either sitting in silence, or giving a machine-like itemization of yesterday's tasks. When it comes to women he's dealt with an endless stream of frustration. He goes for girls who would be out of his league even if he had good communication skills. When they make even the slightest effort to reciprocate friendship, he misinterprets this as a sign to fall in love. Give him an inch, he will take a mile, and he quickly drives women away, to the point that they fear him. Excessive text messaging, love letters, et cetera. I suspect this particular behavior is not a direct result of his disorder, but rather him struggling to compensate and understand.

I don't presume to have good advice for him, or for you, but I'm interested to see how this thread goes. If he asked my advice, I'd be inclined to advise him to lower his standards, or at least to seek out a female that shares his same disorder. I wouldn't suggest that folks like him "give up" on women, just come to terms with his limitations.

Last edited by le roi; 06-04-2009 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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/\ Well, I understand like any other guy, there are rules and customs and everything else that applies to "The Game" as they say. I know I have to work on my appearence and I hope to have a good career going pretty soon. I don't see Autism as some sort of "Free Pass" or something.

But to a great extent, women talk a good game about "Acceptance" and "What's on the inside" but the actions don't always line up. I'm not asking for Giselle Bundchen or Adriana Lima but just a girl next door type who's likes things a little "different" herself.

Like I said, I don't really approach girls too often, and I've tried to avoid going down the obsessive road like some of my friends, since I have seen first hand it doesn't work. But when girls won't even come near you in public, something's wrong, and I would be lying if I said it doesn't hurt or make one bitter...
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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The last statistic I read was that one in 150 Americans has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, so you're certainly not alone. Have you contacted any Autism Support Groups? There are probably a lot of young men and women who have experience working around their Autism to form relationships. You could get some great advice and make a few friends along the way. I'd suggest you search online for groups in your area.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:58 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,205,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizzles View Post
/\ Well, I understand like any other guy, there are rules and customs and everything else that applies to "The Game" as they say. I know I have to work on my appearence and I hope to have a good career going pretty soon. I don't see Autism as some sort of "Free Pass" or something.
Well, you certainly know more than I do about the disorder.

It was my understanding that the rules and customs to "The Game" are very difficult to grasp if you have autism. My hazy understanding is that you have to detect patterns of behavior from watching others, rather than intuitively understanding these rules as you go along.

Quote:
But to a great extent, women talk a good game about "Acceptance" and "What's on the inside" but the actions don't always line up.
Indeed, many men understand this, and the most successful men learn to exploit this.

Quote:
I'm not asking for Giselle Bundchen or Adriana Lima but just a girl next door type who's likes things a little "different" herself.
This is not an unusual perspective to have. All you're really saying is that you've accepted less than perfection, which you must acknowledge is meaningless.

Quote:
Like I said, I don't really approach girls too often, and I've tried to avoid going down the obsessive road like some of my friends, since I have seen first hand it doesn't work. But when girls won't even come near you in public, something's wrong, and I would be lying if I said it doesn't hurt or make one bitter...
That is completely reasonable.

I hate the idea of advising anyone (referring to my friend, particularly) to lower their standards. But if you acknowledge that "Something is wrong," as he did, then adjustments should be made somewhere. Like they say, the definition of insanity is repeating the same approach and continuously expecting different results. Anyway, best of luck to you, let me know how things work out.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,369 posts, read 18,010,899 times
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My advice to you is don't sell yourself short. Just be yourself and make new friends. Perhaps one day one of those friendships will blossom into something more. Meanwhile, put yourself into social settings that will allow you to meet women with common interests. Perhaps taking some classes or joining certain social clubs may help. What are your interests or hobbies?
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:20 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 5,066,822 times
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"Autism" has become an umbrella term under which many different manifestations get lumped together, so all autistics are different, and I can't make any assumptions about the OP's particular difficulties. A common feature, though, is difficulty in perceiving non-verbal clues, choosing words diplomatically, understanding sarcasm, maintaining a conversation (as opposed to serial monologues), etc. In relationships, where so much depends on non-verbal clues (especially in the beginning), this unfortunately can be a major hurdle. Neuro-typicals who have no experience interacting with autistic people can find it extremely frustrating when their SO doesn't "get it" without having everything explained literally or who can't carry on a conversation like a game of ping-pong. I know, when we are theorizing, it's very easy to draw bright-line rules between "shallow" women and women who don't mind absolutely anything, but in reality, some things are just darned difficult. Just being brutally honest here.

One suggestion I can think of is some kind of therapy or socialization class. There has been an explosion of services for autistics in the last few years, and I am sure there are classes where grown-ups can be trained how to interact with the opposite sex. High-functioning autistics can learn intellectually many things that are instinctive to NT's.
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