Relationships and Romance

you're still only a squeezy piplet!
there ๐Ÿ˜‰

It's only the truth @IncendiaryLemon - just stay true to yourself, as cheesy as it sounds, but don't let yourself be taken for a mug either. Respect yourself and know your own worth. Honestly, it took me long enough. I've bloomed very late on in life, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. I feel now that I can move forward armed with more knowledge (and wisdom) gained from previous experience - I'll still make mistakes, granted, but I feel so much more capable at dealing with life in general than I did only a decade ago. I stopped worrying about certain life milestones, or worrying about perhaps not being fully equipped to live the way I'd ideally like. The more I've become content in just "letting things be", the happier I've become. You'll get there, in your own time ๐Ÿ™‚

@Vashdaman - you articulated yourself really well in your post, dude - it's an inciteful and honest account ๐Ÿ™‚

I'm sure many of us could look back and wish we'd done things differently, but all we can do is accept it and learn from it. Even I can admit that the breakdown of my longest lasting relationship was down to me. While I certainly wasn't intentionally trying to cause any emotional pain, my unstable mindset at the time, coupled with just generally not being comfortable in that relationship brought about some irrational behaviour that, looking back on, I do of course regret. But, what's done is done. While difficult, we parted ways and I do believe it was for the best. For so many reasons it just wouldn't have worked out anyway, and in the space of a couple of years, I've certainly learned more about myself and I hope that he is happy in his relationship with someone much more attuned to his life values. Thanks again for such an honest account - we live and learn, as the saying goes ๐Ÿ™‚
 
While it's on my mind, I just want to reiterate the excellent point that @st_owly (witch) made about simple gestures. Neil and I are both very no-frills. Neither of us care about flashy or ostentatious displays of affection, and I've even said that I'd take a cosy night in playing Super Mario over being wined and dined any time; it's just not me. Everyone is different, though, and you could argue that what one person considers to be over-the-top could be pretty normal to someone else; I guess I tend to think of (stereo) typical things like receiving gifts like jewelry or flowers, being taken out to dinner, having a short break booked or any other such thing as being too much for me personally, and would much more appreciate help in tackling something around the house, or a reassuring cuddle if I'm feeling down or have had a bad day at the office, popping the kettle on - these things mean so much more, but also, I think when your partner tunes into you and what you like (because they know you and how you tick), that says so much more to me. They're being attentive; perhaps they've remembered something that you've said, and to me, that really is the mark of showing that you care.

I've always been very low-key in my adult life; I deliberately want to live in an unassuming manner because I don't like being the centre of attention. I don't want to be lavished with gifts like I'm some Goddess or Princess (well, I AM a Princess, technically ๐Ÿ˜œ). I can't speak for all women, but personally, the fact that Neil just cares so much about my well being, and that he'd willingly put himself in harm's way before he'd let anything happen to me, just means more to me than anything money could buy, and is testament to his character. While I'm more than capable at looking out for myself, I find something incredibly special about a man who's willing to protect his woman, even if it's just taking your hand to make sure you don't slip and fall. I'm modern in terms of my attitudes and values, for sure, but I'm still a bit "old skool" about certain things (I'm all for women proposing but I'd much prefer a man to do it personally!) I just can't resist a bit of the fairy tale life ๐Ÿ˜‰. Looking out for each other throughout life is the most amazing and special thing you can do for each other, imo ๐Ÿ™‚
 
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I have to say reading all this is fascinating, Iโ€™m learning a fair bit about human interaction that I hadnโ€™t clocked onto before.

Bit of a long rambling ahead so feel free to ignore at your own convenience!

Being autistic you tend to see the world through a very different lens. The idea of being less social and self-contained isnโ€™t an especially daunting thought to me as it could be for others, though I do wonder how much more difficult the concepts of love and relationships will be whenever it comes to pass.

A relationship isnโ€™t something Iโ€™d really go out of my way to pursue, though at the same time waiting for something to come along isnโ€™t exactly the most practical path to take either. I suppose a concern of mine would be how I present myself to another.

To be blunt Iโ€™m rather well...blunt and straightforward, which some could perceive as cold, though I am a lot better at seeming human when around others than I was say four or five years ago.

When Iโ€™m on my own however? I feel like a well maintained Android of sorts going from day to day in routines and familiar patterns that keep me sane ๐Ÿ˜‚

I sort of wonder to myself could I keep up an aura of relative normality for another, or would I be able to slowly lower my facade and just act like myself around another without deterring them. I feel like I lack, not necessarily a personality but any sort of charisma.

Outside of having decent knowledge on certain subjects (autism powers ftw) I donโ€™t really have many characteristics outside of being rather self-depreciative, though I suppose I am a good listener.

Something I have noticed though is that being around people that like me and want me around has helped me to develop myself further, and even just talking and listening to folks on here has helped in ways I hadnโ€™t really realised until introspection.

I suppose for now itโ€™s a slow burn in the form of an uphill battle in terms of developing my personality and how I present myself to those around me, though just being comfortable with expressing myself like this on the forum is a sign of progress!

Apologies for the ramblings- it is very difficult to put these thoughts into words!

*does best Catherine Bartender impression* โ€œAnd thatโ€™s the HWR trivia for tonightโ€
 
@HWR - please do join in ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™‚ if there's anything that you can take from what users here contribute, then great. For what it's worth, I'm just speaking from past experience and the place I'm in now - even I'm still learning about myself and the world around me, and it's always interesting to hear other perspectives ๐Ÿ™‚

Personally, I think you put yourself across in a very articulate manner (that post was really well written, so major props). I also think you interact really well with people here. I'm careful about what I say regarding Autism and the spectrum, simply because I'm not so knowledgeable about it and haven't had the exposure to it, but one of my distant cousins is autistic, and he's been (not sure if he still is) in a relationship ๐Ÿ™‚. I think so long as people are respectful of each other and each other's needs - as I mentioned in a previous post being attentive to one another is (to me, at least) really important.
 
Many thanks, dude. It made for a really interesting read, especially highlighting mental health issues - top job ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘
No worries, itโ€™s been received quite well and actually ended up in the physical edition of Artefact Magazine. I was surprised and honestly think Iโ€™ve peaked early in terms of quality ๐Ÿ˜…
 
No worries, itโ€™s been received quite well and actually ended up in the physical edition of Artefact Magazine. I was surprised and honestly think Iโ€™ve peaked early in terms of quality ๐Ÿ˜…
No worries ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘

Nah, don't say that, dude. You're still a piplet like Incendiary Lemon ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

Plenty of time, yet ๐Ÿ˜Š You even mentioned introspection in your long post. I personally think that's a good thing. I'm very introspective myself, but have only recently learned how to use it positively and constructively, rather than just beat myself up about things. I think there's a lot to be said for self awareness, and indeed awareness in general, as sadly, I think many people in this day and age are so caught up in their own little world's they don't notice anything going on beyond their own noses!
 
I've even said that I'd take a cosy night in playing Super Mario over being wined and dined any time
And this is just one of the many ways in which Aya is so bloody amazing. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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@HWR: Fascinating post above, dude. It was a very insightful read, as was your article. (I read that when you originally offered the link in the convo thread a while back.)

My friend since primary school is on the milder end of the autism spectrum, so I have some personal experience of it there, in terms of the potential challenges it can create in terms of building and maintaining long-term relationships. He was in a relationship with a woman he met on a dating site a few years ago, and although that didn't quite work out in the end, it was actually to do with his shift patterns changing and shrinking the opportunities for meeting up (since they lived in separate towns), rather than anything related to any facets of autistic behaviours.

I can't remember if you ever got around to watching that BBC iPlayer programme about TV nature presenter Chris Packham. His long-term partner is completely unfazed by his autism too.

And I find your writing here very interesting to read, for what it's worth, so I think you probably have a lot more latent character than perhaps you've been able to fully unlock in person thus far, but that can surely only improve over time with experience. You're still a young guy.
 
I have not watched that documentary yet, though I did watch one about Gary Numan that was very fascinating. As for my writing it is the best way for me to express myself, as when I talk I tend to fumble along the way.
 
As for my writing it is the best way for me to express myself, as when I talk I tend to fumble along the way
Funnily enough, Aya and I were talking about this only earlier on. I was saying how my friend that I mentioned before would admit that there's a gap between how he comes across in a medium like messaging, and how he comes across in face-to-face interactions. He puts it down to simply having more time to process things in a slower form of communication.

Is that true for you as well? Like, there's better opportunity for editing, as it were?
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Funnily enough, Aya and I were talking about this only earlier on. I was saying how my friend that I mentioned before would admit that there's a gap between how he comes across in a medium like messaging, and how he comes across in face-to-face interactions. He puts it down to simply having more time to process things in a slower form of communication.

Is that true for you as well? Like, there's better opportunity for editing, as it were?
I think this is true for a lot of the more socially inept among us. I'm not on the spectrum (to my knowledge) but I am still rather dire in real life social situations. I trip over my words, I can't always think of the right things to say, I get really uncomfortable and awkward sometimes, and I'm quite terrible at actually making a conversation last. There's something about the medium at text that does away with all of that. You can properly think about what you want to say, there's no rush for a response, no body language to read or put back across, or eye contact that puts you under pressure. It lets you be thoughtful and eloquent at your own pace, and better allows you to put across exactly what you want to. Being better in person is something I'd love to be able to do, yet in all my 21 years, I have yet to properly get the hang of it!
 
Funnily enough, Aya and I were talking about this only earlier on. I was saying how my friend that I mentioned before would admit that there's a gap between how he comes across in a medium like messaging, and how he comes across in face-to-face interactions. He puts it down to simply having more time to process things in a slower form of communication.

Is that true for you as well? Like, there's better opportunity for editing, as it were?
Definitely, when writing I find it easily to articulate my viewpoints (even if I do repeat myself on occasion) whereas when talking to people I feel like my dialogue takes several steps back (and thatโ€™s when Iโ€™m sober ๐Ÿ˜…)

When talking with people you get less time to process a response. Half the time Iโ€™m just sort of a โ€œyeahโ€ or โ€œhmm-hmmโ€ kind of person, as I prefer listening to talking.

@IncendiaryLemon and his point about making conversations last is definitely something I can relate to. Even with my closest friends dialogue can sometimes be limited, though I think theyโ€™ve gotten used to it by now.

I guess Iโ€™m someone who doesnโ€™t feel the need to always be conversing with another in order to be comfortable with them. I enjoy the silence as Depeche Mode put it. I honestly donโ€™t know how people can constantly talk and not run out of dialogue!
 
I trip over my words, I can't always think of the right things to say
This is something I honestly would've said in the past too. Then, for some reason, as recently as only a few years ago, I would say, something just mysteriously clicked. I think it originated out of simply getting sick to the back teeth of fretting over how I was coming across. It felt like that kind of took the restrictors off me.

Sometimes things just unexpectedly drop into place over time, I guess. It's difficult to really rationalise.
 
Being better in person is something I'd love to be able to do, yet in all my 21 years, I have yet to properly get the hang of it!
It takes time dude, trust me. I used to be really bad at talking to people when I was younger, and it's only in the past few years I've really been able to just come out of my shell and really try to embrace being able to communicate positively with people. I think a big part of it for me was the fact that my Mum used to talk for me in social situations, to the point where friends or relatives would always point out how quiet I was. Even now, my Mum will often communicate certain things to me as though she's putting the words into my mouth, for fear of perhaps not getting the answer she wants to hear. I think as well, due to anxiety and low self-esteem in my younger days, I used to dwell on things I'd say to the point of worry. For days I'd wonder what someone might think of something I'd said - how they'd taken it, if they thought I was stupid, and honestly, it would wear me out!

Things changed for me when I graduated uni, and I had no choice but to step up and try to change my attitude for the better, because anxiety and low confidence were getting me nowhere. I started small (saying "hello" to a cashier when buying something and actually making eye contact), and from there just "faked it until I made it" basically. I observed my colleagues when I got my first job in retail, and how they interacted with people, and wished I could be more like that, so I applied it in my job and every day situations. Little by little, I noticed improvements in how I carried myself and how my entire attitude and character had shifted so dramatically; I barely recognise the person I once was now. It's all about baby steps, and remembering to be kind to yourself when you make any kind of progress, however small. Saying "hello" to a cashier was a BIG thing for me - normally I'd just give them my money (I still use cash - I'm old skool) - say thanks, and be on my way. But when I made the effort to add the eye contact, I got a real buzz, and I felt really proud of myself.

It's cliche, but self respect and thinking more positively in general play a big part. I used to be very negative and cynical, and I viewed the world around me as a cruel place. It still can be, of course it can, but I choose to see the good in things nowadays, because it is there. I've become so much more curious, and not afraid to ask questions, and I think over time, I've developed a stronger sense of awareness and empathy - again, these things (in my view, at least) play a part in helping to communicate in a positive way. It took me years, and I'm still learning, but you can do it if you really put your mind to it and be kind to yourself along the way :)
 
Also, Aya would like to remind you that in the big scheme of things, you're still only a piplet! Time and opportunity are very much on your side. :)
You're still a young guy.
Not to put a downer on the love-in here, but people have been expressing similar sentiments to me for the best part of 20 years now, and it no longer comes across as much more than an empty platitude designed to stop people from killing themselves. No offence intended. I'm sure people are only trying to help, but hope is not something I'm big on and can lead to horrible disappointment and resentment when the promised future doesn't come to pass. No-one can genuinely promise anyone else a positive future.
 
No-one can genuinely promise anyone else a positive future.
Personally, I'm only speaking from my own experiences. I'm not suggesting in any way that "this is definitely how it's going to be", but if anybody can take anything from what I contribute, then great. My influence only extends as far as the stuff I post; beyond that it's up to each individual to decide what they make of it - I can't make someone see something a certain way, but people can choose to see things positively and want to proactively make changes or see things differently, as opposed to just wallowing in negitivity and cynicism. I've been there myself, and I've managed over time to pull myself out of it. I now choose to see the good in things, and I always try to approach things positively and contructively, because I see first hand in my own household, that negitivity and disregard for the harsh reality of the situation at hand just doesn't do anything beneficial.

From my own experience, I'm always willing to chip in with my two cents where I feel I can, but I also know when people are beyond help, and I just won't waste time trying to help those who won't do anything to help themselves. I don't profess to be a "relationship guru" by any means, but there is enough sadness and terrible things happening in the world today, and far from wanting to fill anyone with a sense of false hope (I don't do that), I like to think that my positive nature can at least bring some hope and cheer to people.
 
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