Tips for Being in a Relationship With a Man Who Has Asperger's or Autism

By Rheyanne Weaver HERWriter
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Tips for Being in a Relationship With a Man Who Has Asperger's or Autism 3 5 31
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Being involved in a successful romantic relationship can be difficult for most people. Consider all the breakup self-help books available, the movies portraying cheating significant others, constant fighting and dramatic breakups, and your own relationship history.

Do you think these difficulties increase or decrease for someone with a mental disorder? Let’s just say that it’s not easy to have a relationship while trying to function “normally” in the world.

For people who have Asperger’s disorder or autistic disorder, social interaction is complicated. Although people with Asperger’s are thought to have high-functioning autism, they still have social problems. For example, people with Asperger’s don’t contribute as much socially and emotionally, and they don’t know how to use nonverbal behaviors as well, like eye contact, according to an abnormal psychology textbook.

Interaction and emotional reciprocity are important in relationships, so it’s no wonder that it would be a challenge for someone with Asperger’s or autism to be in a relationship. Although this doesn’t happen for everyone, it’s a stereotype that someone with these disorders will not share his or her emotions as frequently. For example, they might not say “I love you” or show affection as often, because they don’t understand and express emotions as well as the typical person.

If you decide to be in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s or autism, it seems there are some things you have to consider to help the relationship work. Keep in mind, this may not apply to everyone who has Asperger’s or autism. There is the proposed autism spectrum disorder, which places autism and Asperger’s together. Basic symptoms will be the same, but specifics may differ.

This is what I have observed after being in a short relationship with someone who thought he had Asperger’s and through reading different articles:

1) Don’t assume the other person is uninterested, just because he isn’t telling you he likes you or finds you attractive. Decide what you think of him and let him know.

Add a Comment105 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Should Aspergers be described as a ' mental disorder, ?'
What's everyone's thoughts on that?

August 3, 2015 - 1:38pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

No, it should not be described that way. Mental health disorders are a different ballgame to this kind of neurological brain disorder. 


August 3, 2015 - 4:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

There's nothing about dating an autistic woman, I found this really useful blog here

Great for guys trying to be understanding

August 3, 2015 - 12:33pm
EmpowHER Guest

HI I am living with a man that had asperger I ,in the begining our relacion was pretty much normal but I was always asking him why he dont kiss and huggie every time like normal relationship .

First i didnt know that he has the problem asperger . The only thing i like from is that he is so sweet with my kids and his kids .
I am Latin and you know that we are very romantic. Something I getting tired

August 2, 2015 - 9:53am
EmpowHER Guest

I've been dating this guy with aspergers for almost 7 months now. In the beginning of our relationship we were very close and intimate but after I was diagnosed with anxiety I was unable to be intimate again. It made me very uncomfortabl . We went to therapy for it and I discovered that me unable to be intimate was because when I was younger I was molested by an older cousin for a really long time and I never dealt with those feelings so now its really affecting m . He knows this but he would still ask for small intimate activities. I would say no but he would keep asking and begging until I finally said yes so he would leave me alone. He's sexually frustrated I know. But he doesn't understand how I feel about sex. How can I enjoy something that was used against me for so long? My feelings from so long agoare very confusing to me. So recently he started having sex with me while I was sleeping and I woke up panicking and he started panicking and apologizing like craz . I started pushing him away and that's where he started crying because he really loves me and he feels guilty. Now my feelings are even more confusing and I don't know what to d . I want to break up with him. But he has aspergers so I don't know if he really understands why what he did was wrong and everyone keeps telling me that it was a mistake and I know that but I don't know if I can trust him agai . I don't know what to do.

April 17, 2015 - 2:23pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks so much for sharing your story, I'm sure it wasn't easy to write. 

Firstly, he had absolutely no right to have sex without your permission, I don't care what his "diagnosis" is. Of course he should feel guilty! Men with Aspergers are not excused for this and nor would they want to be; they are no more apt to this behavior than anyone else. Of course he knows what he did was wrong, he's not suffering the kind of intellectual impairment that might be a mitigating factor here. 

Listen - you need to take Aspergers out of the picture, that's neither here nor there in your case. I don't think you are in a position to be in any kind of sexual relationship right now and you know it, I can tell from what you wrote. It's ok to break up with him - so what if he doesn't get it? You have been sexually abused as a child and you need to take care of you before you can worry about anyone else. This isn't selfish; it's being good and right and caring, to yourself. 

Everyone else needs to stay out of your relationship, I'm horrified to read they are putting their opinions in here.  

Be on your own, get therapy, heal,  and find inner peace.  It will happen in your own good time.  And then, at some stage, you will be ready to share your life with someone. But right now, you need to care for you. Do it and you won't regret it. 

Stay in touch with us, ok?


April 17, 2015 - 3:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

"Everyone else needs to stay out of your relationship, I'm horrified to read they are putting their opinions in here. "

Hang on. Who's "they" that you are horrified by. First of all, nobody has a right to pressurise anybody into sex, whether they have Asperger's or not. That I agree with. I have all the sympathy in the world or what happened to her and pressurising someone into sex does not have anything to with Asperger's. When I gave my opinion on here, it was in reply to people who were claiming that "all" people with Asperger's are abusive and that's not true. I wrote my opinion because , as someone with Asperger's, I felt like I was personally being attacked due the generalisations, it had absolutely nothing to with anybody else's relationship.

Anyway Anon, I do agree that you should probably leave that relationship for your own sake.

April 26, 2015 - 9:48am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)


If you read back to my post, I was referring to the poster's friends who are telling her that what he did was a mistake (but to essentially get over it). This is her relationship with someone and her friends' need to keep out of deciding whether she should stay or not.  My advice is that she heal (due to her past) on her own, without the complications of a troubled relationship. 

I mentioned nothing about anyone here giving their opinions. 


April 26, 2015 - 4:08pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Sorry, I misunderstood.

April 28, 2015 - 6:37am
varah (reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks so much! I made an account so I can start helping myself and vent my feelings.

April 17, 2015 - 6:26pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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