Jump to content
Mental Support Community

My Boyfriend is Autistic


Recommended Posts

I'm currently in a relationship, and my Boyfriend is Autistic. He's on the low side of the spectrum, so it may also be Aspbergers. Does anyone know anything about this?

It's almost like being in a relationship alone. I love him, and I know he doesn't realize it, but he just can't socially engage with anyone. I've introduced him to friends, and he doesn't speak unless spoken to. When he does talk, it's about himself, and it's usually a story about his past that he's repeating. It's frustrating and I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to change him, but is there a way to adapt to this? How can I help him?

He did tell me his Father was not a communicator, and didn't show any positive encouragement or empathy whatsoever. His Sister is also schizophrenic and had the same childhood that he did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

how long have you been with him, Collie?

why does he think he is autistic or has aspergers?

has he been diagnosed?

maybe he's not autistic.

i feel distant from people a lot too, a guy thing maybe?

i used to work with some people with autism. my friends' son is autistic too. he gets really intense into his video games. he doesn't like to be hugged and you have to really get his attention if you want him to listen.

one thing you have to realize is (and it sounds like you know already) that you will never be able to change him. you are right about having to adapt. but, like anyone else each person who is autistic is different. they have issues that are alike, but they have unique perferences. it's hard to say how you can adapt to him.

it sounds like his talking of old good times is a way he tries to make himself comfortable. is there a way that you can help him bring up fun stories. maybe talk about your childhood or something to help him come out of his shell?

i don't know if i'm of any help really though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

This is so hard! My "boyfriend" for the last 20 years (he would never use that term for himself) is on the autism spectrum. I have come to realize this over the last 7 years. There are so many limitations that come with this situation, as you are aware. Another man came into my life last year, seeming to exhibit the romantic & sexual traits I'd been missing all these years. My friend liked him, and was not disturbed that I was making a new friend, as long as our friendship still went on. Afterall, he never wanted to be my boyfriend. Well here is what is freaky. I am now realizing that this new person is probably on the spectrum. I didn't think that could be if he was interested in me sexually. But now I see how extremely limited he wants to be in terms of emotional exchanges. I know there is a fundamental difference between what men are comfortable with emotionally & what women are comfortable with, but this is even more limited, and there is autism in his family.

I'm not writing this to dwell on autism or his issues. My question for you and me is, is there something that we are needing to learn to take care of ourselves? In my case, I thought my lonley times were finally coming to an end, only to find I was right back in the same situation, possibly worse. My friends with autism don't seem to suffer lonliness. They have other issues, for sure, but they are not suffering the attachment pain & lonliness that I feel in a relationship that is rather impersonal in some ways. I do love my friends. I am in pain however, and don't know what to do. And I've never really known any other kind of relationship with a man at this point.

That isn't offering you any answers. I can say with my years of experience that there is NO WAY you are going to change your boyfriend. Those socially awkward traits aren't going anywhere. The question is, as you say, is there a healthy way for us to adapt? Or in my case, is there something I'm doing that keeps landing me right back in this pain? (I'd like to be less lonely!) Can anyone help us? :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

with Asperger's, considered on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum. I have 2 sons with it and wonder/believe I may be a trait carrier.

First, my sons. I have one who is 21 who has a more significant impairment and one who is 15 and less impaired...but I also wonder how much of their impairments have to do with life issues they have encountered along the way.

I have done much reading on the subject and it most likely is hereditaryand occurs in a higher percentage of males than females.. For so very many years it was either not diagnosed or misdiagnosed in many individuals. When you consider just a generation or two ago even autism in its most severe states was under/misdiagnosed. So for generational familial evaluation it can be hard to trace. For instance, I was once told and have seen in writings, that if you have a family member, like parent/aunt/uncle/cousin...who seemed a bit "different" they may have had a form of autism or were a trait carrier and it was in an era when it wouldn't have been/couldn't have been identified.

I have felt for quite awhile as I have studied it myself and made observations of my children in comparison to my family that I am a trait carrier. One good example is the eye contact issue autistics have. I have trouble with that. In society that has often been seen as being equated with someone being shifty or evasive, and sometimes that is probably true. However when one has trouble with eye contact it effects the entire social interaction with the other person --- and that is one strong element of Asperger's--->the social impairment. So when I have trouble with eye contact with someone, it is very anxiety producing for me. I am 46 and consider eye contact to be an extension of respect to the other person, yet have trouble engaging in it. Therefore, I don't want to convey potentially perceived deceit or disrespect to the other person and earnestly try to engage in eye contact. So the cycle begins that I become anxious because I know I can't and I know for certain that it effects the outcomes of my interactions with others who do not understand.

I also see in my sons the irritability they experience with trying to "live up" the norm for interactions.

Interestingly enough what I wonder about retrospectively is how many/much of what I am concerned are Aspie traits are actually or also component(s) of my new found Bipolar disorder??!!!???

Any comments or questions about my experiences or vicariously thru my sons?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply. Here's a question, do you feel lonely around your sons at times?

Here's something that just happened with my friend, and it's very common, I finally started talking in the conversation, sharing something that was interesting to me lately, and he stood up to go home. He truly does not mean to hurt my feelings. I know it is just how his brain works. But over time, with that happening a lot, I start to feel deformed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


People on the autistic spectrum only like talking about what interests them. Then, nothing else matters. You are correct, it is not their fault, but, i am certain in a relationship the g/f wil feel cheated or unfulfilled .

My son has high functioning autism . I'd like to one day for him to have a girlfriend and lead a normal life as an adult too. He has cognitive delays though , even though he is high functioning. This leads him to easily being taken advantage of.

i know that he has narrow interests and is constantly repeating himself on his areas of interests. He sounds like a broken record at times. And it is annoying.

He's 15 yrs. old. However 3 in three years he is legally an adult. That is scary to me. His mind is that of a 6 yr old, and his emotional level is that of a 3 yr. old at times.

As his mother I wanthim to be able to do as much as he can and be independant, however, feel like i need to protect him too because he is so vulnerable and navie' .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest ASchwartz

Hi mscat and all,

Is your son going for training so that he can learning coping behaviors? Same question for all of you, actually. In fact, were your children identified by teachers, doctors, yourselves, for training? I am just curious. I have found that help is uneven. Some people get the help they need with their children and others do not. I do not know why???


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son also is high functioning Autistic...

Like every one else my story is different..

I totally see it would be difficult for someone to have a romantic relationship with him...

I am his mother and I give to the relationship whether or not he gives back... It is how it is... I feel fortunate that he is Very Affectionate with me... but there is always that something missing...

I look at it like almost being self centered... They simply can not help it nor do they see how it hurts others or relate....

For someone in a relationship with an Autistic person I think is going to boil down to "What you expect Vrs What you will receive"

I think He can learn to adapt to any situation and he can learn to function in a normal relationship Autistic People's biggest hurdle will be his willingness...

I have always said for my sons to have a girlfriend, she will have to be REALLY patient...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once I realized that I was dealing with autism, a lot of confusion became clear. I agree, if you change your expectations, relating to someone with autism gets much easier.

What I've come to realize is that the dynamics of autism match my transference patterns from childhood! My parents were distant, uninterested in knowing me personally, & totally wrapped up in what was going on for themselves. By the Freudian rule, of course I would fall in love with an autistic person.

So separating all this out... I need to see my needs & heal my attachment pattern so I am not trying to get something from someone who cannot give it to me. That will free them up to be who they've always been, without dragging them down with the wrong expectation. They are both quite lovable and fascinating individuals.

Maybe I'm supposed to learn from them how not to be so needy toward others for my happiness. The difference between my friends with autism and my parents is that they have passionate interests and joys, whereas my parents were mostly pretty miserable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All

I used to care for a girl who was Autistic. She was 16yrs old and bigger than me, but had the mind of a three year old.

I used to go there at 07.00am of a morning to get her ready for school. She was always up when I got there. There used to be two of us (carers).

On entering the house, there used to be either all video's scattered around the floor or all photographs on the floor. I'd go to put them all away and no sooner I was tidying up and she'd be getting them all out.

What I did learn about Autistics though is, they don't like change. EG- She would have her cerial then toast then drink. If you disrupted her, she would throw a right tantrum. No matter how long she took eating her breakfast, you had to wait till she finished.

She was still incontinent, wearing adult pads. So when she had finished her breakfast, you would take her to the bathroom for a full bodywash. She would only have a bath/shower once a week and that was a battle with her. You had to amuse her while you were washing her. So one carer would wash her and the other carer had to read her book out loud, also with the expressions. she would imitate you while you was reading.

You had to go and check her bed to make sure it wasn't soiled, and rewind all her video's that she had watched in the night.

She had this thing with mirrors, she loved them. She would have mirrors all over the house, next to her bed, in the living room. When one of her parents got cross with her, she would always go to one of these mirrors and look at herself in it and start smiling at herself. Then no sooner she'd look in the mirror and smile, that if anyone walked past her, no matter who it was, she would smack them and then go back to the mirror and smile at herself.

You had to keep her occupied every minute of the day.

Like I mentioned previously, Autistics, do not like change!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Hi mscat and all,

Is your son going for training so that he can learning coping behaviors? Same question for all of you, actually. In fact, were your children identified by teachers, doctors, yourselves, for training? I am just curious. I have found that help is uneven. Some people get the help they need with their children and others do not. I do not know why???


Matthew has had a Dx of autism at the tender age of 3 1/1 yrs. old. He has indeed been in Special day classess and had services through the Regional center for yrs.

I have him go talk to a counselor too. Mainly, because i am a single parent, and he needs to be able to share his feelings openly with a man he can trust, at times of need. I know i am just mom, and their are going to be things that I will not be able to help him with. I respect that. my son does have my brother though and grandfather for a role model too.

I have been told to get my son in a adult program when he hits the age of 18. we live in a little town in CA. i'll need to move to Fresno in a few yrs. so his needs can be further met.

I do not want him sitting home all day playing video games, and eating. He does love to eat!

I want the best for Matthew , and if that means moving to a big city where their are better services provided for developmental delayed adults then i will make that sacrifice. Matt is a Sophmore in High School. I want him to finish his schooling right where he is, then we wll move on.

It has always been about what is in the best interest of Matt. He is what keeps me going. and Despite my issues, I have to set that aside and focus on him.

Matt is high functioning , however, still very chalenging to deal with. The repetiviness is annoying to say the least, however, what can I do? Nothing. It is the autism, and I try to help other family members understand that in him. the narrow interests, and boring one sided conversations. Dates, and yrs. are a particular favorite in Matt. He is relentless at times what he wants to focus on. It is hard not to lose patience , and say to Matt, Who cares when the Bad News Bears first came out? And No I was not born in 1961! don't ask me again! Blah !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...