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alphabetsoupp

Feeling lost regarding Asperger boyfriend's mixed signals

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alphabetsoupp

Sorry, this is long. I have no one who would understand this situation and I feel helpless/lost. I am hoping someone with Asperger’s, or someone that has been with someone with Asperger’s for a long time, can lend some insight. I would appreciate it more than you would ever know. 
 

Background:
 

I’ve been dating a guy with Asperger’s for 10 months (the first time I’ve encountered anyone with it). While we’ve had a few minor fights (which happens), our relationship has progressed really well. The only serious issue, thus far, was me finding out (several months after) that several weeks into us dating/sleeping together, he was also trying to date this girl he (his words) “fell for hard.” They only went out twice and we weren’t official, so I didn’t have grounds to be mad, but it still upset me and he said he understood why. During that time he didn’t hang out with me any less, and didn’t seem any less interested, leaving that situation to be a mystery. Anyway, we have a lot in common (sense of humor, hobbies, ect.), we talked daily, he always hugs/kisses me and we continually make future plans together. A month ago, I moved in with him (his idea, the place I was originally moving into didn’t work out) – I have my own room, which I sleep in most nights, but still the commitment of “living together” is there. I was nervous at first, yet it worked out really well, and I thought things were going great.

 

The issue:
 

For the past few weeks I’ve felt a disconnect with him (I have been really busy and stressed, but I was hoping he would take that into account and understand). This disconnect caused me to feel sad/lonely. In the past, when I’ve brought up issues he has been very supportive and even though he doesn’t necessarily say much, I get the feeling of knowing he cares. I tried to explain this sad/lonely feeling to him, but he didn’t really understand. The conversation consisted of several talks spanned over a few days and I got pretty emotional by the end, as I was frustrated at not being able to convey the information in seemingly the “right way.” I asked where he thought our relationship was at, he said, “scale of 1-10, it’s a 7.5, where 10 would be getting engaged.” I thought we were okay, I left for the night, and when I came back he, nonchalantly, broke up with me, only saying, “I don’t think we should date” and immediately following it up with, “but you can still live here and we can still work out together.”

I was naturally really upset, told him I couldn’t do that because it was too hard, told him I felt he was just throwing this away hastily, but eventually left because I couldn’t fully process what had just happened. The next day, he was extremely mad at me for not wanting to be his friend, saying his friendship must not be worth it to me (I still don’t understand how he can be fine going from dating to friends instantly and not seemingly be affected by it). The next day (now two days post-break up) he said he would be willing to talk more, which was the first time he’s ever initiated talking about a serious subject. He told me he felt I took simple topics and made them super complicated, I seemed sad most of the time and asked what I wanted out of this conversation. I explained the complication came from me trying hard to explain something, the sadness was frustration, I didn’t want us to break up and I didn’t want him to throw this away because of one “hang up.” His response was to randomly ask me if I wanted to have sex, which for some reason, I agreed to. After (we usually cuddle, but he just got up instantly, asking if I wanted to eat food) he talked about this trip we had planned for the weekend (3 days away), I said I wouldn’t go as “just friends” and he replied, “give me a few days to get back to normal.”

After that, I didn’t text him a lot, didn’t try to hug/kiss him, giving him space to figure things out. We would hang out/talk when he initiated, however, it was much less than before. We didn’t do anything “coupley” like we used to, except he made it a point to say goodnight and hug me before going to sleep (one time he kissed me). We didn’t go on our trip (for unrelated reasons), yet he said we are going to reschedule for a time in the near future. After 3 days, before sleeping I said, “No pressure, I was just curious where you were at with the needed a few days,” and he replied, “I need a few more.”

 

Where I’m at now:
 

It’s been 3 days since me asking where he was at (6 days after his initial “I need a few days”) and the situation remains the same. Activities we would normally do together, he would either do alone or with someone else, and would invite me only if I happened to be around him when the plans were made. However, he will speak of future plans with me, such as short trips out of town to go hiking, and long term plans, specifically his best friend/best friend’s girlfriend invited him to South America for 2 weeks in December and he told me if I wanted to come, he would ask. He also periodically will text me consistently for hours. Yesterday, we hung out all night, but it felt like we were “just friends”. The atmosphere isn’t awkward, but it’s definitely off. We watched a movie, yet sat on separate couches, something we’ve never done before. Later, we went to his room to watch another movie, had sex again and just sat next to each other, touching, but not embracing. Occasionally I tried to kind of stroke/caress his arm or back, but he seemed to recoil. Eventually I went to bed and, like always, he hugged me good night.

 

I have no idea what to do. I want to respect his need for space, however, I feel after 6 days he should know how he feels about the situation.  Since the initial break-up, I’ve looked at a lot of forums and gained a lot of insight I didn’t have before. If I could have that initial conversation over, I would approach/handle it much differently. I want to explain to him I’ve never encountered someone with Asperger’s and while looking up things on Asperger’s (which I did a lot when I found out) has allowed me to understand some things, I might not always go about it the “right way, ” only this trial and error will help me (for example, if you looked up a bunch of videos on, say, painting. You will understand what they are saying, gather useful tips and techniques, but when you go to apply them you aren’t going to instantly be the best painter).

Should I ask him again where he is at? I would really like to know what’s going through his mind. He acts totally normal to me, but in the sense of just a friend.  I also want to tell him the things mentioned above, that I’m doing the best I can, my heart is in the right place and I need “some slack” as I’ve never dealt with Asperger’s before now. I don’t want to push him away, but it’s really hard to keep acting “fine” when I am getting so many mixed signals. I understand the possibly he might just not have feelings for me anymore, which if true, is obviously something I can’t change. However, given the timeline of events, it doesn’t appear to be the most prominent reason.
 

Summarized, in one month: moved in together (his idea), said “I love you” to each other (he initiated), progressing well, he became slightly distant making me feel sad/lonely, I attempted to explain this, he really tried to understand yet didn’t really, casually broke up with me, essentially said we won’t break up but he needs time, doesn’t invite me out but makes future plans with  me, several days has turned into almost a week with no change.
 

Any advice on this would be so helpful and I would be beyond grateful. Thank you so much. 

 

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Dr-David-Banner

Sorry nobody has answered you yet. I did read this last night but I think it would help if you summarised your points and narrowed it down a bit. For example, whether friendship is the same as a relationship and so on. I'll try and get back to it but if you can outline your questions specifically maybe we can all help with some advice.

Hope it works out for you.

 

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RiRi

I'm also sorry that no one has answered you yet, I actually hadn't seen this thread, I don't think. I also agree with Dr-David-Banner, summarizing your points and making shorter might invite more people to answer. 

I would like to mention that not everyone on the spectrum is the same and that there are multiple ways to interpret your situation. Based on what you've wrote, it seems like you're really trying to make things work. Him including you in his future plans, but not in the present such as not inviting you to the South America trip could mean 1) He needs his space, and trust from your behalf will be needed, although it might be hard as he's kind of lost it when he dated someone else while being your boyfriend or 2) He sees you as someone he would marry, but is not yet ready to settle.

He might be the type of aspie who only communicates when you initiate conversation with him and sometimes not even so I think give him some more time before you go up to him again. But, do stop having sex with him. If you guys are on break, I think it should be a break from everything, including that. Maybe that will induce him to finally talk to you. And if communicating by speech isn't working as he's not really grasping what you're trying to tell to him, then do it by writing. If nothing works, as much as it may hurt you, you should break up with him. It already seems like this situation is already emotionally draining you.

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collectingrocks

I don't speak from experience but it may be that he goes cold on people when he desires his own space. It may be he is overwhelmed? But I don't get this "having sex" business. Either he is using you, or it's his way of telling you that he does love you and wants "in" in this relationship but struggles to tell you verbally. It may be he is unable to verbalise his real feelings? I'm a married Asperguy but as much as I love my wife dearly and want to be with her, there are times when I do need to be alone (which she fully understands).

 

Perhaps he is better at communicating through writing? How about you write him a nice email/letter and see how he responds?

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lifeis

From reading your post I think you did the right thing by trying to get him to explain how he feels/what the problem is. You have to understand that to him you being friends and you being in a relationship are two states of the same thing. He may still care for you in the same way regardless of the relationship status. I think he may have thought that you would be happier as just friends and may have been bottling up how overwhelmed he was becoming by the issues in your relationship. Now you have allowed the relationship to devolve into a "friends with benefits" type status. Any man, not just one with aspergers would prefer this. You are still having sex with him without any responsibilities on his part. In my view you should probably withhold sex until you are back in a proper relationship, although this could make him pull out of the relationship all together. Its just something you'll have to weigh up I guess.

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alphabetsoupp

Thank you all for your responses, and sorry this is long overdue.  I thought I would get an email when someone responded, so when I didn't receive one, I just assumed no one did. I actually came back to this forum to try again, by submitting an update to this post (as new things have happened) and noticed these responses. Again, thank you so much, I'm sorry I didn't say that sooner. 

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