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

By Rheyanne Weaver HERWriter
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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 Comment62 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hello. If anyone could give me any advice on my current situation that would be really great. I've recently become involved with a 30 year old man who'd behavior was very confusing to me. After having a very honest conversation he revealed to me he has Aspergers. Now so many "quirks" made so much sense. Here is my problem/question though. His obsessive focus seems to be dating, online dating to be specific. Tinder, sites, you name it. He wants to continue to be close with me, spending time, sleeping over at his place constantly, cuddling, etc (He's allergic to dogs so he can't sleep at mine). But, we don't have sex. He will joke about us having sex but will save any real sexual contact is with the girls he meets on tinder or a couple times he initiated with me when he was intoxicated but I was on my period. I'll say things like "if I was a tinder girl you would want me" and he'll say "but if I treated you like one of them I wouldn't talk to you again after a week or so". He refers to me as his friend. When I say I'm not sure if I can continue to be just his friend or sleep over any more he says, he hopes not b/c he loves spending time with me and he would be hurt. It's the brutal honesty that's making it tough. He started off very attracted to me but (while holding me close in bed) will say he could never date me because I have a dog and small breasts. It makes no sense to want to spend lots of time with someone but not want to date them, for me. It's like he has to have lots of women wanting him all the time b/c he grew up isolated. I've been researching like crazy because I care very much for him and want so badly to understand, approach the right way and be a potential partner. However, it causes me a lot of pain when he says those things while he has me snuggled into his chest. I don't know how to proceed or if I should proceed at all. A friend confided in me that her husband also has it but she really had to pursue him and it wasn't easy at times. I'm afraid that if I take that route, it's only a matter of time before he sits me down and says he's met a tinder girl with no dog, small waist, and large breasts to be in a relationship with. I know I'm falling in love with him and its terrifying. Does anyone have any similar experience or advice? I'm trying but as many of you know it's very hard to not respond emotionally as a non aspie to aspie behavior.

December 4, 2014 - 3:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

It's this website:

December 5, 2014 - 4:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This rings some bells; I've heard a story before where the Asperger guy refers to the woman that she's just a friend. While clearly others would call it a relationship. He's likely not going to change. His Asperger mind is messing with him and this will leave you lonely, frustrated, unfulfilled and unhappy in the end. I've mentioned a good website a few posts back, it might help you to visit and read. A life with an Asperger man is not easy and I know what I'm talking about, I was in love with (and almost married to) a man that I am sure has Asperger's. He only doesn't know it.

I truly wish you happiness, but don't stop using your head and listen to yourself and be true to yourself! All the best to you!

December 5, 2014 - 4:15pm
EmpowHER Guest

The writing was on the wall, the sirens were blaring, something was off but i could not pin point it. I thought i was dealing with a sociopath or a narcissist. After reading this article it is completely clear the man I loved had aspergers. Maybe if I had read this earlier I would have better understood his frame of mind. Maybe he loved me I dont know. He never complimented me I have no idea what he even saw in me. His treatment wasn't better he would not call for over a week or send a text. I could have been in the hospital and he wouldn't have known.
He was brutally honest with me a few times. I value honesty and literally hate liars but this person's honesty left me feeling hurt and insulted. Looking back I want to laugh but when you care about someone and their honesty is like ripping a piece of your soul it is a no go. I cant deal with that. I need to be with people who support me.

October 20, 2014 - 11:49pm
EmpowHER Guest

How can I tell if a guy has Aspberger or ADD? He swears he has ADD but I want to know how to tell the difference if there is one.

September 29, 2014 - 2:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

If you google a bit you'll discover that many times, those two (or ADHD) go together. Many times, the AD(H)D is earlier diagnosed. What makes you think he has Asperger's?

October 9, 2014 - 1:14pm
EmpowHER Guest

So relieved to read that the partners of AS have been through so much and yet have remained strong and supportive of the AS spouses/partners. Thanks for sharing.

August 8, 2014 - 10:09am
EmpowHER Guest

Pretty sad stories I just read here. I quit the relationship with a man I dearly love(d). I couldn't understand his distant behaviour. Very quickly he wanted to get married, but it was all too soon for me. I doubted a lot. How could say he loved me and wanting to get married, while he hardly knew me personally? He didn't ask about my past, my family, my thought, feelings or dreams. Heart to heart conversations were absent. Then what is it he loved about me? My taking care of him and being there for him? In the end of our relationship, he suddenly demanded certain things from me, things that he had read in the bible. He took them to an extreme, as his world view is black and white. Never in my life I felt as lonely, unwanted, unseen and uncherished as in my time with him. I almost ignored my feelings, out of love for him. But neither of us would have been happy together. Although it broke my heart, I left him. Of course he didn't understand and the sad thing is.... he never will. And I.... I left the love of my life behind, for my own sanity.

June 11, 2014 - 2:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I too was in the same situation and still am. The relationship has left me weak and feeling unwanted and confused but I promised him that I would never leave regardless of our situation. I would always be there for him but there are times when I disappear for 10 days and he doesn't look for me. I know it bothers him because he acts strangely after but it's the only way I can reset my brain to deal with him again. He doesn't I know of his situation. He has a hard time talking about feelings and refuses to explain why..I know why now!

November 6, 2014 - 11:20am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, I'm the woman you responded to. Sorry to hear about your situation. It's horrible that it has left you weak and feeling unwanted and confused. What made you promise him to stay no matter what? Who's is taking care of YOU? There are a lot of women in your situation on the website I mentioned here twice. That might help and encourage you a bit. I wish you love!

November 17, 2014 - 11:51pm
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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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