Are you an adult with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger's? Are you in a relationship with someone on the autism spectrum? Are you struggling emotionally, socially, spiritually or otherwise? Then you've come to the right place. We are here to help you in any way we can. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile...

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Traits that Some Women Find Attractive in Men with ASD

Men with ASD (high functioning autism) have many qualities that can be attractive to a prospective partner:

• A lot of men on the autism spectrum seem to really see women for who they are, not being drawn into the cultural limitations that women must fit a certain mold.

• An appealing factor for the woman might be the fact that her ASD partner is not the “macho type” and doesn’t wish to spend time with other men at sporting events or drinking alcohol.

• I have had many women describe to me how their ASD partner resembled their father. Having a parent with the signs of autism may have contributed to their choice of partner as an adult.

• Many women describe their first impressions of their partner as being kind, attentive, and socially or emotionally immature (the “silent, handsome stranger”).

• Often the partner on the spectrum is more reliable, honest and steady. As a result, there’s usually much less “game playing.”

• Physical characteristics and attentiveness can be important, especially if the woman has doubts regarding her own self-esteem and physical attractiveness.

• The ASD partner can be admired for speaking his mind, even if the comments may be perceived as offensive by others, due to his strong sense of social justice and clear moral beliefs.

• The attractiveness of a person with an autism spectrum disorder in a prospective relationship can be enhanced by intellectual ability, career prospects, and degree of attentiveness during courtship. Sometimes, however, this attentiveness could be perceived by others as almost obsessive, and the words and actions appear to have been learned from watching and rehearsing lines from a romantic movie.

• The intellectual depth of an ASD man can be very appealing as well.

• The man’s lack of social and conversational skills can lead to his being perceived as the “silent stranger” whose social naivety can be transformed by a partner who is a natural expert on empathy and socializing.

• The person on the spectrum can be a late-bloomer in terms of relationship experiences, which also can be an attractive feature.

• Lastly, there may be no previous relationship “baggage.”


==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Interpersonal Relationship Skills for Ladies on the Autism Spectrum

Ladies with ASD [High-Functioning Autism] face a unique set of challenges. They may have a more difficult time with relationships, career, college, and other aspects of their life than their "typical" counterparts. It may also be more difficult for these ladies to get the help and support they need than ASD men, because many females on the spectrum  were not diagnosed as kids, and the disorder is stereotyped as affecting males more often - and to a greater degree. If you're a woman with ASD and find yourself struggling with interpersonal relationships, then read on...

Relationship tips for women on the autism spectrum:

1. Ask questions of your non-autistic partner. Gather as much information as you can about the situation you're facing together. Faced with having to operate without an intuitive understanding of how your partner feels and thinks, you may rely on your logic and assumptions. This can be dangerous!

Remember, your mind works differently than your partner's. A great strategy can be simply asking questions. For instance, instead of assuming that your partner is ready to end the relationship over a fight, ask for clarification. Good questions can include, "I'm wondering if you feel…" – or - "Can you tell me more about that?"

2. Decide how you would like to pursue and operate in relationships. This takes thought. Do you want to connect with others? Do you experience loneliness? Do you want to increase your ability to talk about your inner world or negotiate problems? Not everyone aspires to these ways of relating. Decide for yourself if you do.

If you decide to work to strengthen your connections, you may benefit from learning to monitor your "togetherness tolerance." Aspergers women often are helped by frequent breaks, shorter visits, etc. Your level of need in connecting with others may differ vastly from that of your non-autistic partner. This is fine, and may serve as a great balance for your relationship.

3. Don't give in to feelings of hopelessness or futility. Women with ASD can at times feel overwhelmed by frustration. There are times they can feel that no amount of effort on their part can ever change their ability to understand how their non-autistic partner operates. This is sometimes true. No adult can ever really become an expert on their partner's perceptions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The best strategy may be becoming an expert on yourself. This can serve as a foundation for learning new skills, having compassion for yourself and even learning to laugh at how different you and your partner may approach problems and issues.

4. Find help. There is no substitute for consulting an expert, a communication coach, a therapist, or a well-written manual. Remember that though you may have not received the understanding of relationship nuance through osmosis, like most adults, you can learn skills that can close the gap you may feel between your ability to relate and the abilities of others.

5. Hold tight to the truth that your thoughts and emotions matter. Though they may be expressed differently (or not at all!), your feelings and perceptions are valid, and are worth just as much as your partner's feelings and thoughts. This can be a difficult perspective to maintain, especially if your partner is articulate and quick. Remember, working out a problem is not a verbal jousting competition, though it can sometimes feel like one.

6. Don't be too quick to judge yourself harshly. Women on the spectrum often provide wonderful advantages to their relationships, such as:
  • heightened desire to do the right or moral thing
  • refusal to become violent or aggressive
  • inability to participate in the emotional "games" so many adults struggle with in relationships
  • being grounded
  • being logical and rational

As always, self-acceptance is the best position to take as you navigate the wonderful – and sometimes terrifying – frontiers of intimacy.

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