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The Asperger syndrome partner has different skills and needs from their partner and these must be identified and understood in order to avoid problems. Due to the nature of our work, we are sometimes unable to take calls.
It gets easier after a while and the results are incredibly worthwhile – making an effort for the person you love means that they are able to be a more relaxed and giving partner. Unfortunately, there is little specialist support for couples of an Asperger Syndrome relationship and generic counsellors who do not understand how Asperger Syndrome can impact on a relationship may completely misread what is really going on. (2003) Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships. The quickest response to your enquiry is likely to be via email.
A lack of deep understanding of Asperger Syndrome can lead to a partner feeling unimportant and unloved, although this is rarely the case. Our trainers and consultants are all highly trained, experienced and published authors in their field.
The truth is that the partner with Asperger Syndrome has their own ways of demonstrating love and care and may not know that this is different to what is expected – only their obvious repeated failures and the distress of their partners give them a clue that something is not quite right, although that may have no idea how to fix it. We provide a whole range of support and expertise to both organisations and individuals and families, so please contact us to see how we can help.
However, there is remarkably little research examining this aspect of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) or strategies to facilitate successful relationships.
We know that young adults with Asperger’s syndrome have significant difficulty developing peer relationships and are developmentally delayed in knowing what someone may be thinking or feeling.
The aspects of autism that can make everyday life challenging—reading social cues, understanding another's perspectives, making small talk and exchanging niceties—can be seriously magnified when it comes to dating.
Regardless of whether two people are meeting on a prearranged date or striking up conversation in a casual setting, each one’s emotional response is determined by the assumptions they make based on a multitude of factors, from body language, facial expression, and eye contact to manner of dress, choice of conversation topics, and tone of voice (the same principle applies to online dating, although the cues are different).
Typical children do this naturally and have practised relationship skills with family members and friends for many years before applying these abilities to achieve a successful romantic relationship.
Young adults with a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning autism also have conspicuously limited social conversational skills or ability to communicate emotions, especially affection.
I remember feeling disgust and then curiosity the first time someone explained the concept of “dating leagues” to me, or being stunned to learn that a girl who invites you to a hotel room to “just chill for a night” might actually mean the opposite of that, or that one who keeps postponing seeing you again is blowing you off. A lot of the “obvious” rules about dating are actually pretty arbitrary, so we aren’t instinctively aware of them.
Others with AS have told me about similar stories, all linked by a common theme: We experience dating, as we do all other social rituals, as non-native bumblers, struggling to comprehend a culture of Byzantine complexity (in our eyes) and lacking the unassailable logic of being entirely direct, straightforward, verbalized, and emotionless (which is clearly reasonable … I recently had a conversation with a friend who commented that people with AS should “just use common sense” when navigating the dating scene.
They also can have an extreme sensitivity to particular sensory experiences.