Men With Aspergers in society

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    Oct 23, 2011 5:03 AM GMT
    Hoping to get some good opinions here. I'm not very subtle about the fact that I have it. I've chosen to embrace it on a certain level. Of course, being from New Orleans I'm already a friendly, talkative little bugger so I've done better than some but I do tend to give TMI occasionally. I was wondering if anyone has experience with befriending or dating with this in the mix?
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    Oct 23, 2011 7:03 AM GMT
    There's a man in the group I sing with who lives with this condition. It really isn't noticeable unless you pay a lot of attention and see that he rocks back and forth a great deal while seated. Other than that, he's perfectly capable of full participation, and participate fully is what he does.

    After over a year, only one awkward thing's occurred. He decided to pursue a hetero member of the chorus and not take "no" for an answer. (I definitely can't fault his tastes. The guy in question scores big in the geeky hotness department.) Last time I asked, the pointless chase was still on. Like anybody else, I've had my bouts with unrequited lust, but like your hypothetical "average person" I don't let them occupy a lot of my time. His object of desire usually hangs out with me and some other people after rehearsals. Earlier this fall he let us in on how he was being dogged relentlessly by somebody. It was suggested that he try to ignore the unwanted attention the best he could. "But I sometimes get fifty texts in a day!" Whether Asperger's Syndrome or just plain cluelessness should be faulted for that level of obnoxiousness is an open question, though.
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    Oct 23, 2011 7:37 AM GMT
    Weirdly, I was just thinking about this tonight on my own.

    There's a guy in town who I think is gorgeous. Clearly, he is not very sociable but when I see him around it's always at social functions. For some reason he leaves when he see's me. Something about me makes him uncomfortable and I don't know why. I've always wanted to ask him but we've never conversed.

    This makes me contemplate the social level and depth it has on some.
  • LJay

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    Oct 23, 2011 1:42 PM GMT
    A puzzling set of posts. Could someone explain the major traits of Asperger's for those of us who are not well versed in the particulars?
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:32 PM GMT
    LJay saidA puzzling set of posts. Could someone explain the major traits of Asperger's for those of us who are not well versed in the particulars?


    Aspergers is:
    - mild form of autism
    - individual's have difficulty with interpreting and reacting appropriately to social interactions and social cues.
    - interests can be focused intensely on certain things
    - can also have physical "ticks" that they repeat over-and over (like flapping their hand around for no reason)

    Some people have it mild, and have learned to be well adjusted (so you wouldn't even think they had aspergers), and others not so much.

    Honestly, aside from the physical ticks, someone with aspergers can learn to get over the social thing by just putting the effort in. People wouldn't even notice then (as a guy at my highschool did, who is now sought after by many women and has a real hot girlfriend).

    Roadster, I wouldn't worry about it. Lots of people enjoy the TMI anyway because it's funny.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:57 PM GMT
    My biggest problem is more the combination of it and the way I was raised. My family was very strict about what was proper and what wasn't (to put it simply) even going so far as to shush me one Saturday night when we were crossing bourbon street, saying i was talking too loud and it was "socially unacceptable". Now while I know they're full of shit, years of them feeding me this crap has made me very self conscious so I often worry about stuff that I shouldn't.

    And to the fellow with the persistent friend, that could be a little of both. Aspergers can keep you from getting "hints" from people. There's a girl in my complex who I hung out wit one night who's a real nice gal, also the sister of one of my dads employees it turns out. Well I told her to text me so we could exchange numbers but she never did. I've seen her a few times and we've chatted briefly but I can't tell if she forgot to do it or just doesn't want to. But then i have hi-functioning aspergers and no ticks. Your friend might have a more mainstream case.
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    Oct 23, 2011 3:28 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer saidMy biggest problem is more the combination of it and the way I was raised.

    So did you say if you've gotten a formal diagnosis of this condition? Or could this be solely a result of your childhood upbringing?

    I went through some of these issues with my oldest son, working with a child psychologist/MD. It seems one school of thought contends that Aspergers is actually a form of autism. Whether it is or not, and whether that has relevance to dealing with it, may be less important than simply knowing some people have these outward symptoms.

    And for just viewing it as producing some quirky and at times eccentric behavior, but essentially benign & harmless. As my late Mother used to say, everybody's different. I like your attitude regarding it.
  • calibro

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    Oct 23, 2011 4:01 PM GMT
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    Oct 23, 2011 4:04 PM GMT
    My sister has something between Asperger's and high functioning autism...

    She is an absolute GENIUS, she has perfect pitch (Like textbook perfect pitch, not American Idol Perfect pitch... she has the robotic kind), she picked up several (Okay like 12) Instruments and taught herself how to read and write music, she can paint and draw perfectly accurate scenes from memory (hell, she can remember what my mother was wearing on her second birthday) she scored a 1590/1600 on her SATs... Genius.

    But she, at the age of 23, has never had a boyfriend, or even a best friend lasting more than a year or two. She pushes people away, she is not shy to ask for things for free (Money, instruments, food off your plate), constantly gives TMI, has obsessions (usually musicians or strong females), has a strange attraction to anatomy and death, etc etc etc..

    The worst part? She knows that she does these things (she's a frickin' genius, durrr). She can't turn it off.

    I'd definitely like to hear some insight into how people control their Asperger's, She is my closest sibling, we get along like nobody else in my family, share a wave length. Here I am, the social butterfly of the family... With an affinity for empathy, the therapist to all of my friends.. I seem to "get people". Trust me, don't EVER try to lie or hide any feelings from me, I'll pick up on it. Social cues, bingo. The exact opposite in this way from my sister... I'd like to help her, can't stand to see her suffer. It's a lonely condition. WUT DO, FORUM?

    (Shit, I don't mean to steal the thread... Asperger's moment icon_redface.gif )
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    Oct 23, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer said Aspergers can keep you from getting "hints" from people. There's a girl in my complex who I hung out wit one night who's a real nice gal, also the sister of one of my dads employees it turns out. Well I told her to text me so we could exchange numbers but she never did. I've seen her a few times and we've chatted briefly but I can't tell if she forgot to do it or just doesn't want to. But then i have hi-functioning aspergers and no ticks. Your friend might have a more mainstream case.


    I had a friend in HS whose sister had Aspergers. She was a walking encyclopedia about stuff that interested her, and it was kind of neat. Most people have a few subjects that they 'know all about' but this girl had soooo many different interests. It was astounding. She can tell you all about anything Disney.

    Some things that I found strange.

    1. She didn't like to be touched, especially on her arms.
    2. Vocal inflections were often missed and her family seemed to find this a constant source of amusement. Made me mad.
    3. Sarcasm was often lost on her, or else she thought people were being sarcastic when they weren't.
    4. She wouldn't keep eye contact when speaking with you.
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    Oct 23, 2011 4:58 PM GMT
    Become a stand-up comic or be elected to Congress where your quirks and awesome oddities can be capitalized on!
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    Oct 23, 2011 5:06 PM GMT
    My 16 year old has what was diagnosed as a combination of ADHD and mild Asperger's when he was 9-10. He always was very fidgety, made inappropriate comments at the worst possible moments, and had a really hard time making and keeping friends. He's incredibly intelligent, and becomes very obsessive about whatever catches his interest of the moment (right now it's Doctor Who and Assassin's Creed).

    He's been on medication for the ADHD, and through counseling has really made great strides in the social and classroom arenas. So much so, that a learning support professional was sent into his classroom to observe him, picked out the wrong kid to watch, and remarked to us that if someone hadn't pointed him out, she would have never suspected that he was an Asperger's kid.

    I worry about how he'll function after high school in college and work environments without our help, but all we can do is prepare him the best way we can for living on his own, and hope all the work we've put in up to now sticks with him and allows him to thrive.

  • Oct 23, 2011 5:06 PM GMT
    calibro said


    Dammit, you beat me to it. See, Assburgers isn't real. It's a fake disease.
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    Oct 23, 2011 5:16 PM GMT
    I saw the movie "Adam" on HBO and was completely sucked in. It's a pretty good movie, actually, about a guy with Asberger's. I've researched it online a little and had discussions with my sister about it (she's in the mental health world). I think it's pretty fascinating and think that telling people you have it goes a long way to help them evolve. You actually educate others and help them to see the world in a completely different dimension.

    I hooked up with a guy a couple years ago that I thought was "really weird" so I stopped hanging out with him. I thought I might wake up one night and find him in my yard or something. After reading about Asberger's I'm convinced he had it. Had I known, I would've acted completely differently. My loss I guess.
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    Oct 23, 2011 5:21 PM GMT
    Its kinda common here in Silicon valley. It goes hand and hand with geekiness and 80 hr work weeks since these guys don't generally have a social life. I dated one but the compulsive behavior is tolerable only in
    short bursts; a three day weekend is not bearable if the compulsive is foscused on you so. I would find things that were interactive that would channel the repetitive behavior like canoeing. If you ever wonder where video games come from look no further.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Oct 23, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    OK, so you all need to watch Roadster, since he's absolutely adorable in his vids. His lips look... super kissable icon_smile.gif

    At any rate, I think it would be quite possible that I wouldn't know you have Aspergers at all. If you asked me, I would just think that you have a tendency to be hyperfocused and a bit quirky.

    I have the problem with being hyperfocused or obsessed with subjects beyond the span or interest of the average person, but when dating I have to just set up a specific system in order to not display too much of that in the relationship.

    I think you could find another very passionate person to date. You certainly are interesting and have quite a bit going for youicon_smile.gif
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    Oct 23, 2011 5:40 PM GMT
    Okay, let's see. I was formally diagnosed with aspergers and, before that, old-definition ADD. I do the encyclopedia thing too but I never completely let go of the information either. I recently used my knowledge of Volvo redblock engines to explain to a friend why his carbeurated chevy truck was running funny (he was missing the preheat hose).

    I'm not sure how useful my methods would be since they basically consist of embracing it (also I have high-functioning aspergers). I have low self-esteem (not afraid to admit it) from my parents basically hyper-focusing on every little (and big) mistake I ever made without spending half that time on my accomplishments. I'll eventually put that right on my own but not until I'm completely free of them. And that complicates my otherwise well-managed aspergers, making me second-guess myself constantly.

    I sometimes flinch if someone grabs me by the arm but I attribute that to the "physical" nature of my dad's discipline methods (and his misuse of them)
    I also occasionally miss vocal inflections (but then this is a hallmark symptom of the disorder)
    I have a HUGE issue with sarcasm. It's better now. I try and associate basic patterns with individual people and assume those patterns. I have keywords that I will not accept however that trigger a negative response telling me they're either serious or I just plain don't like what they said.
    Eye contact was something I struggled with growing up. I still have issues with it when it comes to cute guys. I always look away if they glance up. I'm sure it looks like I'm a straight guy avoiding their gaze.

    Catch status is much appreciated icon_smile.gif

    Stand-up is listed as one of my interests in fact.

    I too get the "no way do you have aspergers" but one time I met an older woman whose grandson had it and when I tried to strike up a conversation she got rather irked and became rude. I hope that's not how she treats her grandson.

    I really wanted to see Adam but my jobless ass can barely afford basic cable and Internet, lol.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:19 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidMy sister has something between Asperger's and high functioning autism...

    She is an absolute GENIUS, she has perfect pitch (Like textbook perfect pitch, not American Idol Perfect pitch... she has the robotic kind), she picked up several (Okay like 12) Instruments and taught herself how to read and write music, she can paint and draw perfectly accurate scenes from memory (hell, she can remember what my mother was wearing on her second birthday) she scored a 1590/1600 on her SATs... Genius.

    But she, at the age of 23, has never had a boyfriend, or even a best friend lasting more than a year or two. She pushes people away, she is not shy to ask for things for free (Money, instruments, food off your plate), constantly gives TMI, has obsessions (usually musicians or strong females), has a strange attraction to anatomy and death, etc etc etc..

    The worst part? She knows that she does these things (she's a frickin' genius, durrr). She can't turn it off.

    I'd definitely like to hear some insight into how people control their Asperger's, She is my closest sibling, we get along like nobody else in my family, share a wave length. Here I am, the social butterfly of the family... With an affinity for empathy, the therapist to all of my friends.. I seem to "get people". Trust me, don't EVER try to lie or hide any feelings from me, I'll pick up on it. Social cues, bingo. The exact opposite in this way from my sister... I'd like to help her, can't stand to see her suffer. It's a lonely condition. WUT DO, FORUM?

    (Shit, I don't mean to steal the thread... Asperger's moment icon_redface.gif )


    I am still way horrible with the social cues. I don't think that is something you can just "work on" - I never have any idea when I have said too little or too much, when someone is itching to run away from me but they are too polite to, or on an awkward date when someone is trying to get close for a certain reason.

    I work in a highly complex quantitative field and I work very independently, it has been working out alright so far. In the past I have gone job to job very rapidly (e.g. two weeks) and I have never been in a relationship. My best friend has been my best friend for a full year now and I am quite pleased with that, it means I am improving in some small way over the course of time, I have never really been "close" to anyone in this way - although we have never hugged.

    A highly recommended read: An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks (the titular story about his encounters with Temple Grandin)
    Helps explain, in a highly clinical fashion, how we feel like anthropologists on Mars.

    Probably horrible to admit but after I have been drinking I am much more "normal." This was my key to success in college and graduate school. I have tried applying that to dating however the last three guys I have gone on dates with were lightweights and drank so much they blacked out.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:28 PM GMT
    I talk more and about more "varied" topics if I drink. Doesn't stop me though.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:34 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidIts kinda common here in Silicon valley. It goes hand and hand with geekiness and 80 hr work weeks since these guys don't generally have a social life. I dated one but the compulsive behavior is tolerable only in
    short bursts; a three day weekend is not bearable if the compulsive is foscused on you so. I would find things that were interactive that would channel the repetitive behavior like canoeing. If you ever wonder where video games come from look no further.


    Unfortunately you're confusing terms. Unless you're speaking strictly in a local context, "geekiness" and aspergers do not go hand in hand. What it CAN do is exacerbate other antisocial tendencies and conditions. Software engineers usually have some degree of OCD. I've taken programming courses and gave up because I wasn't OCD ENOUGH.

    Aspergers itself has almost no correlation with serious compulsion aside from our fixations on certain interests. And all that does is clear up compatibility issues early since you know EXACTLY what you're getting yourself into.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:39 PM GMT
    My last boss had Asperger's. The difference between him and a lot of the posts here, is that he made little or no effort to work with it. He held everyone around him in complete contempt and I can't count the number of bridges he set fire to on a monthly basis.

    I have met and have many friends with varying disabilities, and I have my own. All of these relationships have been productive and successful when people are patient and put forth good faith efforts to work together constructively. But the most demoralizing experience of my life was working with someone who didn't put forth any effort, and who, in fact, acted out on his own impulses to intentionally hurt people. This was the first time in my life where I truly had to walk away from someone in order to protect my own health, and that was very hard for me to do.

    --I don't want to offend anyone with this, but I saw the thread and though I would just offer an objective story.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:45 PM GMT
    westanimas saidMy last boss had Asperger's. The difference between him and a lot of the posts here, is that he made little or no effort to work with it. He held everyone around him in complete contempt and I can't count the number of bridges he set fire to on a monthly basis.

    I have met and have many friends with varying disabilities, and I have my own. All of these relationships have been productive and successful when people are patient and put forth good faith efforts to work together constructively. But the most demoralizing experience of my life was working with someone who didn't put forth any effort, and who, in fact, acted out on his own impulses to intentionally hurt people. This was the first time in my life where I truly had to walk away from someone in order to protect my own health, and that was very hard for me to do.

    --I don't want to offend anyone with this, but I saw the thread and though I would just offer an objective story.


    I know where you are coming from. My dad, a very "man" man, refuses to try and improve our relationship. I pit forth all the effort and he just smashes it down. I'm a lot like him and hate it, which is why I try so hard to avoid that particular facet of his personality.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:46 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer said
    westanimas saidMy last boss had Asperger's. The difference between him and a lot of the posts here, is that he made little or no effort to work with it. He held everyone around him in complete contempt and I can't count the number of bridges he set fire to on a monthly basis.

    I have met and have many friends with varying disabilities, and I have my own. All of these relationships have been productive and successful when people are patient and put forth good faith efforts to work together constructively. But the most demoralizing experience of my life was working with someone who didn't put forth any effort, and who, in fact, acted out on his own impulses to intentionally hurt people. This was the first time in my life where I truly had to walk away from someone in order to protect my own health, and that was very hard for me to do.

    --I don't want to offend anyone with this, but I saw the thread and though I would just offer an objective story.


    I know where you are coming from. My dad, a very "man" man, refuses to try and improve our relationship. I pit forth all the effort and he just smashes it down. I'm a lot like him and hate it, which is why I try so hard to avoid that particular facet of his personality.


    That pretty much sums up my last experience. The best people in this world are those who are patient, who can look past differences, and embrace working together icon_smile.gif Unfortunately though we can't be eternal optimists- successful relationships are a two way street.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:51 PM GMT
    I deal with it in a mild form. I can't offer much help since I have not had a BF since high school by choice.

    My only frustration is being bad at picking up on sarcasm or undertones in peoples voices. Aside from that I can be TMI when drunk but I think that is pretty normal anyways.

    Only one person has ever guessed about this, so it's def not an obvious issue.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:58 PM GMT
    And now that I've just checked your (Roadster) youtube videos, I've concluded you're adorable.

    Don't over-think it. You'll find someone.