An Attractive Terrific And Nerdy Prospective New Woman

An Attractive Terrific And Nerdy Prospective New Woman

To be clear, this is not the new woman.  I think this is Winnie from The Wonder Years who grew up to be a cute math nerd.  Or maybe it’s someone else.  

 

Yes, you read the title corrective.  J.R. has a possible probable new woman in his life.  When last we spoke about the topic of dating on this blog, I had sworn it off, written a book about cross spectrum dating, had it published and it’s now available on Amazon and Kindle.  Yes, that was a shameless plug, but at least it’s out of the way.

The last relationship I had wasn’t amazing and my subsequent online encounters were horrible at best.  I’m fifty-two and I had women in their sixties and even early seventies sending me messages.  Sorry, but at my age, I’m not looking for a cougar.  The last time I was online. two women flat out said that they could never date a guy with a service dog.  That really bummed me out and I swore off online dating forever.

Fast-forward a few months and, “forever,” is apparently over because I decided to give it one more shot.  The first two days were filled with wonder at women who try way too hard to make themselves look sexy, women who make me wonder what, “average,” really is in this country and women with profiles that make you want to run.

I’m pretty picky about who I send messages to.  I actually read the woman’s profile–a foreign concept to many–and when I send a message I reference things in that profile so they know I did more than look at pictures and send a message.  The third night I messaged a woman I’ll call Jo.  It’s not her real name. but it’s not a bad one. I can think of a lot worse fake names for a new woman in my life.

In three nights I found one woman that I was interested in sending a message to and I decided that was it.  If she didn’t message me back, it was all good and I would go back to the dating underground for the foreseeable future.

But something amazing happened.  This woman, who I found both attractive and intriguing based on her profile, messaged me back within a few hours.  We messaged for a while and then eventually moved to text for a day and then to talking on the phone.

After a couple days of conversations with no lulls or weird moments and after having made a date for Sunday, I decided this girl was what I was looking for and I could see us getting along.  It was then that I started thinking about when I should tell her that I have Asperger’s. 

In case you wonder why I need to tell her about my Asperger’s before our first date, the fact that I have a service dog makes it kind of necessary to drop that bomb early on.  A black lab in a service vest is hard to hide on a date…

The sparking conversation that I was offering up was certainly helping, as was my occasional wit and partial charm, so I felt very relaxed in telling the new woman that I’m up on the spectrum.  I thought it would go well, but it was even better than I imagined.

eye roll JR Reed Not Weird Just Autistic https://www.amazon.com/Aspergers-Guide-Dating-Neurotypicals-Married-ebook/dp/B07CRXSLVR/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525282665&sr=8-2&keywords=an+aspergers+guideJo has personality, which I love, and I’ve gotten the eye roll emoji more than several times after texting things.  I don’t mind the eye roll when it’s done in fun, which is how I’m pretty sure she means it.  As I said, she has a personality which keeps the conversations fun and both of us laughing.  Also, I’m sure I’ve gotten the eye roll many times on the phone, I just can’t see it.

It’s amazing how connecting, or at least feeling the beginning of a connection, with someone can make you feel great.  Not that I was feeling bad before, but it’s nice to know that there’s someone you’re interested in who is interested in you as well.  Though we’ve “known” each other less than a week, it was cool to have her encourage me and wish me luck as I went to my book signing the other night and to actually like me for who I am.

I’m not one of those people who sugar coats things and tries to make myself look better than I am so that I can woo a woman my direction.  I’m simply myself and if she likes me, then wooing may take place at some point.  Why would I pretend to be someone I’m not so that she likes me, knowing I can’t keep that charade up forever? 

All that does is waste people’s time and both people end up getting hurt and I don’t want to hurt anyone.  That’s not how I roll.

So the bottom line is this, now I get a fresh start at creating a great relationship with a new woman and I get new (potentially) very happy chapters for one of the books I’m writing, Asperger’s Is My Superpower.  

What will happen Sunday and beyond?  I don’t know.  To quote singer Natasha Bedingfield, “The pen’s in my hand.  Ending unplanned.”  I’m taking this ride on faith, some good intuition and am going to have fun seeing where it takes me.  Or, I guess, takes us.  I’m making no assumptions, not looking too far ahead and should things look like they’re starting to work out, letting communication be what pulls us closer together.

When you find a new woman who is attractive, terrific and nerdy all at the same time, that’s a woman you want to keep around and see if you two can build a solid relationship based on friendship, honesty, and trust.   

Will we click and build something together?  Who knows.  Stay tuned and you’ll find out.  Better yet, enter your email in the upper right-hand corner where it says, “Get new posts by email” and you’ll be one of the first to get the fresh dirt on all this. 

 

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook groupAspergers Life Supportrun by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in purple.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

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Aspergers dating- navigating potholes

Aspergers dating- navigating potholes

I’m not sure why a majority of my blog posts contain disclaimers at the top, but they do.  It’s probably to keep my Asperger’s butt out of hot water from other people, but either way, this is my disclaimer when it comes to Aspie dating. 

Dating between two NT’s (neurotypical’s or non-autistics) is tough and can be downright insane at times.  Now imagine if one of you is on the Spectrum and it can be a circus.  That’s because our brains are wired differently.  One set of wiring isn’t better than the other, they’re just two different ways of thinking, reacting and navigating our way through life.

  Dating is a two-way street.  There has to be both give and take or it’s not a real relationship.  What I say in this piece, even though at times it may sound like a slam on Lilly, the woman I dated that I use as an example, it’s not.  The same, or similar. could be said about me.  As in any relationship, each person contributes to both the good and the bad.  That being said, here we go…

log cabin datingIn early August I moved to the Ozarks from Southern California to enjoy a lower cost of living, nature and a more peaceful life.  As you can well imagine, So. Cal. is nothing but sensory overload and that’s not good for us Aspies (those with Asperger’s).  Here I’m among trees, lakes and occasionally have deer in my front yard.  Plus, I live in a log cabin, which is pretty cool.

In October I started dating Lilly (not her real name).  I had just gotten my autism service dog, Tye, and this was my first time dating with a black lab as a chaperone.  I was very upfront about my condition and the fact that not only would Tye be on the date, but if we continued to date, it would always be a threesome of sorts.

Get your mind out of the gutter because that is NOT what I meant!

Lilly was fine with it, which quite frankly, surprised the hell out of me.  I expected that women would see a guy who owned up to being autistic and had to have a service dog to help him stay calm and relaxed and take off running for the hills, pun completely intended.  Even if you didn’t get the pun (Ozarks…hills) it was funny to me and that’s what really matters.

I get down on myself quite easily, which is why I figured that a nice, attractive woman would want no part of a guy who had to rely on a canine to make his life better, but I was wrong.  The first date was great, as was the second, third, fourth and probably even the fifth.  Things were humming along nicely until shortly before Thanksgiving when Lilly invited me to go with her to her hometown to enjoy the holiday with her family.

Ask any Aspie what it’s like to be in a closed setting with a lot of people you don’t know and they will tell you that it’s terrifying.  I knew from past family holiday gatherings that it would be a very difficult experience for me and that’s why I told Lilly several times, even as recent as the night before Thanksgiving, that I was considering staying home with Tye and just cooking a chicken.

I knew she wanted me to go and meet her family and I know that she told me she had prepared her family for the fact that the guy she was dating was autistic and had a service dog.  The mere thought of meeting all these people and having to talk to some of them freaked me out like you can’t believe.  To say she wasn’t happy that I was considering staying home is a huge understatement and so I did what any good boyfriend would do.  I sucked it up, brought extra anxiety pills and went with her.  Big mistake!

It was everything I expected and more. We came in the back door and I planted myself in a chair and didn’t get up out of that chair until it was time to eat.  She asked me several times to come mingle and every time I said no, I could see her frustration growing. 

Sorry, but there was no way I was going into the kitchen and the main part of the house because that’s where most people were and so at mealtime Lilly fixed me a plate and brought it to the table I moved to, about eight feet from where I had been sitting the past few hours, mostly alone, while she hung with her family.

After dinner, the room I was in started filling up and so did my body with panic  I took Tye out for a short walk and when I came back inside, there were even more people in the room and the panic attack went from Code Orange to a full-on Code Blue.  I told Lilly I was going out to the car and she could come out whenever she wanted to.

Whenever she wanted to, turned into more than an hour of me sitting in a freezing car and partially fuming because the woman I was dating didn’t care that I was having a panic attack and was in total discomfort.  After a half dozen texts from her, almost demanding that I come in and me responding that I was staying put, she finally took the clue that I wasn’t coming back in and stopped texting, though she stayed inside with her family.

are you dating an AspieWhen she finally arrived at my car, she told me that her family wasn’t happy that I didn’t come in to say goodbye.  She also informed me that she told her family I had stomach issues and that’s why I was in the car.  I was upset that she hadn’t been honest and told them I was having a panic attack.  In my mind, she was embarrassed about me and that’s what started the off again portion of the on again/off again relationship. 

Again, I’m not saying this to make her feel bad, but it hurt that the woman I was dating seemed to be ashamed of who I really was and couldn’t share that with her family.  Also, I was hurt that she was really upset at me for having the huge panic attack I had warned her about for weeks and which could have been avoided if only I stayed home.

That three-hour drive back was extremely awkward.  I was fuming and she couldn’t get why.  After a couple weeks, we talked (though she still couldn’t figure out why it was wrong to not tell her family the truth) and we tried again.  This time I think it probably lasted all of a weekend. 

It didn’t matter how many times we talked about communication, there never seemed to be much of it that went right. I could go on and on for hours, but the bottom line is that it would all turn into a disaster sometime between her arrival on Friday night and Saturday night/Sunday morning.

I liken a relationship to driving down the same road every day.  One that the city needs to fix in a big way.  That road is full of potholes and you can either hit them and throw your car, and your back, out of alignment, or you can learn where they are and navigate your way around them so you have a smooth commute.

We tried to navigate the potholes a few times, but nothing ever seemed to work for more than a week at a time.  Communication between us was horrible and once the communication broke down, so did everything else.  Lilly lives about forty-five minutes away with roommates and I live alone with Tye, so most weekends she would come down here.  There were times that by Saturday night I was ready to have her pack up and head home. but I rarely said anything because of the extra drama I knew that would ensue.  Does that make me a wimp?  Probably, and I own that, though not proudly.

Not every Aspie on NT relationship is bad.  There are several people I know who have very successful relationships.  One person I know, Darrin, has been married to an NT for twenty-five years and a high school friend, Sally, is in an amazing marriage with a guy on the spectrum that she met online.

As I mentioned before, communication is key.  The couple almost has to develop their own language to communicate properly and they can’t be afraid to ask for clarification if something isn’t clear or if they think the other person is talking down to them.  If they’re truly in love, or at least in deep like, chances are that it’s a misunderstanding and not the other person talking smack to their partner.

I could go on and on for many chapters and possibly even a book on this subject, but the last big tip to leave you with today is to develop a respect for each other and the differences between the two of you.  The reality is that the Aspie has certain limitations, many of which are social, and the NT partner needs to be ready, willing and able to pick up the slack and lift the other up. 

Just as autistic kids have meltdowns, so do adults.  If we allow ourselves to get overstimulated, more often than not the proverbial you know what will hit the fan.  I know my limitations as far as stimulation and sensory overload go, and my partner, if indeed I ever decide to date again (and right now that’s a HUGE if), needs to know as well and needs to be able to see the warning signs.  If our partners know our triggers and can help us manage them, that is more of a blessing than an NT could ever imagine,

There will be many more blog posts on dating over the weeks, months and years to come and now that I’m writing this, I realize how much there is to talk about, so maybe an e-book is in order.  We’ll see.

Now that you’ve heard my story, I want to hear yours and so do the rest of the readers.  Give them to us, both good and bad.  What worked for you and what didn’t?  Unless we come together as a community and share, nothing will ever get better.  See the comment box below?  Use it.  Please!

 

Before I go, I belong to a closed Facebook group, Aspergers Life Support, run by some terrific people.  There’s a link on the right or you can click on the words in red.  If you have Aspergers or are a loving NT of an Aspie, I definitely suggest asking to join the group.  They’re great people and have helped me on many occasions.

 

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When families don’t understand Aspergers

When families don’t understand Aspergers

Disclaimer:  I say what I mean, so when I say, “I feel like,” I mean exactly that.  I feel like….whatever.  It doesn’t mean that I am, it just means that I feel that way.  It’s an Aspergers thing.

 

I love my mom, my younger brother (my only sibling) and my twenty-year-old daughter, my only child.  My dad passed away from colon cancer in 2002, several years before I was diagnosed with Aspergers, so he never knew about it.  He probably just thought I was weird and couldn’t accomplish anything.

  I also know that my family loves me, even if they don’t understand me.  I don’t think it’s for a lack of trying, I just think our brains are wired different and thus we have difficulty communicating.  It’s the same with a lot of us with Aspergers and the NT’s (neurotypicals, or non-autistics) in their lives.

Over the years my mom and I have had some epic arguments, mostly due to miscommunication.  In the end, we both realized that we were on the same page, but getting from point A to point B was a huge battle.  It still happens and it frustrates the hell out of me and I’m sure it does the same to her as well.

I believe that they all accept that I have Aspergers, but I can tell you for a fact that they don’t truly understand what it’s like to be me.   In writing this, I mean absolutely no disrespect to any of them and I hope and pray that I don’t get any flak from them after this is up.  Fingers crossed.

When my mom and I talk, often times my brain knows what it wants to say, but when it comes out of my mouth, it comes out in a way that she either doesn’t understand or she thinks that I’m trying to be difficult and start a fight.  I’m not.  I’m trying to figure out a way to communicate my thoughts to her, but I’m having a hard time.

It’s the same when she tells me things and I explain that I don’t understand and ask if she can say it in a different way.  I get told that I do understand and I’m told to, “Stop it.” 

Stop what?  Stop having Aspergers?  That’s something I can’t do.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten off the phone with her or left her house and cried on the way home because I’m trying my best and it’s simply not good enough.

From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been told by my mom that I’m not living up to my potential, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that she’s right.  I keep telling her that in my logical Aspergers brain, not living up to my potential is the same as failing.  I mean, if I was living up to my potential I would be succeeding, right?  It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her, it never sinks in and I continue to hear it. to this day.

She’s right, though, I’m not living up to my potential.  Those with Aspergers tend to have a high IQ.  I say this not to brag because once I finish this paragraph you’ll realize that in my case it’s nothing to brag about.  My IQ puts me in the 98th percentile of Americans, yet I don’t even have a bachelors degree.  I find college tedious and the truth is that I’ve really done nothing with my life.  I struggle financially, have a hard time with relationships and feel like a complete loser a lot of the time.

I know I can be successful in life if I could just figure out how and could get the right situation, but so far that hasn’t happened.  Once again, fingers crossed.

My relationship with my brother who is three years younger than me is different.  He doesn’t understand me either, but we generally don’t fight like my mom and I do, though when we do it’s typically a blowup. 

In his case, he generally thinks I’m being negative.  When we discuss doing something or a situation, my Aspergers brain starts running every possible scenario and coming up with possible outcomes.  It’s whirling away a hundred miles an hour and when I tell him that something won’t work at all or that it won’t work the way he thinks it will, he tells me I’m being negative and to stop it.  I remind him that I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic.  But it doesn’t matter because I’m just wrong.

I do my best to stay quiet and out of things, but I want a relationship with my family, so, even though I know it’s not going to end well, I stick my nose in and offer my two cents.

Please don’t think I’m putting this all on them because I’m not.  Just as I want them to try and understand how to better communicate with me, I try to understand how to better communicate with them.  But again, it doesn’t always work out so well.

Aspergers CycleFor a long time, I’ve wanted to build this website and write the book that I’m now starting so that I can share my experiences and hopefully begin to advocate for the high functioning autistic adult community, but I didn’t because I’m not living up to my potential, so why should I even bother.  All it would be is a waste of my time, energy and very limited resources, I figured.  Plus, who would want to read about the life of some loser who hasn’t really accomplished anything? 

I can’t tell you the number of times I sat at my desk and stared at a blank computer screen for up to an hour, afraid to start typing because I knew what would come out would be crap and the last thing I needed in my life was another failure.  But I did sit down one day and what should have taken me a couple days to build took a couple months and with the support of a good friend I made in Missouri, I started writing and am now sharing my experiences.  

Will people read any of this?  I have no clue.  Will my family be upset with me for sharing this?  Probably.  Is it a waste of time?  I’m not sure yet, but it’s probably therapeutic in some form, so I guess it’s not a total waste.

My self-esteem is in the toilet and has been for years.  I do my best to put on a brave face, but it’s really just a mask to hide the pain I’m feeling on the inside.  I don’t blame my family for any of this, but I wish we had a better relationship because I believe that if we did, it would help just a little.  Most of the time I feel like the only one who understands me is my autism service dog, Tye.

I’ll just keep trying to find better ways to communicate with my family and hope that they’ll do the same.  I’ll also keep trying to find something that I can be successful at and be able to support myself the way I need to so that I can stop feeling like a loser and learn how to be happy.

How about you?  Do you have problems communicating with autistic family members and NT’s?  If so, how do you succeed?  Please share your tips with us as I want this site to be a forum and a place where we can all share and learn.  If you’re a professional in the field and would like to write something, please use the contact page.  I would love to have your input and expertise on here.

As this is a new site, I’m asking that you spread the word and share it with others that you think may be interested.  You can also follow us on Twitter @NWJAutistic as well as on Facebook. www.facebook.com/notweirdjustautistic.

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