In responding to my previous question about “space,” there was an assertion made by Jane (not her real name). “If nobody is making an effort to get together, then that is definitely too much space.” It was stated that… “Relationships cannot flourish without time to bond.” How do you feel? Do you need your me time ? My response was, “what if that’s the problem? What if people really don’t want to bond?” I speak about this in my book, “Confessions of a Reformed Cougar: Younger Isn’t Necessarily Better” Get the book.
From a personal perspective, I completely understand the sense of loss and pain involved when you have put your heart and soul into a relationship and it goes south. Humans respond negatively to pain. I suppose as a defense mechanism, we could determine that it’s just easier to have serial relationships that are “safe.” Rather than putting in the work to build a lasting relationship and end up getting badly hurt.
How do we resolve this issue? At what age do you come to the realization that you are too old to be “bed hopping” or “relationship hopping?” When do you grow up and settle down? Come on now, don’t be shy. Lend your wisdom and insight to help us answer these questions.
Join the discussion!
So…before I said I didn’t date much in high school and college. As it turns out, I had a “steady beau” in both high school and college. It seemed as though I had to put forth such an effort to get each of them that I didn’t feel the need to “play the field.” Also, young ladies who had multiple boyfriends back then were not looked upon favorably. There’s also the fact that most Aspies are quite loyal and often stay in relationships long after we should have been gone.
Now that I’m a grown-up, I’ve begun to weigh the pros and cons of being in a “steady” relationship. On the one hand, you have someone who’s always there to support you when you need them. On the other hand, you have someone who’s ALWAYS THERE… What if you’re the type of person who likes to have their own space? When you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, you have to consider your significant other’s feelings and needs. You also have to put the shoe on the other foot as well. What happens when you’re the one feeling down and you need comforting but you have pushed your partner away and they really aren’t feeling like taking on the role of supportive partner? The answer, in my opinion is you can’t have it both ways.
There has to be give and take as well as compromise in a healthy relationship. As you spend more time together and learn to respect each other’s boundaries and needs, you can learn to give each other space as well as supporting and comforting each other when the need arises.
Now allow me to play “Devil’s Advocate” for a moment. Is there something in between for grown folks who want to have the comfort and support of a significant other but not the commitment. Can you get your physical needs met without being in a marriage or relationship? Would you consider that immoral? In my observations, there seem to be a lot of folks out there who want to have the milk without buying the cow…
Let’s save that for another discussion. In the meantime, check out my new YouTube Channel – “Aspie Cougar.” As soon as I post this blog, I’m going to add a question for us to mull over. I hope you will join the discussion with the grown folks.
Intro to my new You Tube Channel
I have a lot going on right now. I’m still trying to help my boy get adjusted to Middle School. Yes he’s been back in school for a while but it takes us a bit longer to get used to new situations. However, we always finish strong. The workload has increased for him so he has to reconcile in his mind that he is going to have to put a bit more effort into his school work now. That’s the thing with people who are brilliant; we know we are brilliant so we have to accept when something is a little more difficult that it’s going to require more of our time and attention.
There have been so many things “pulling” at me lately… I have to try to make a living while giving my son the time and attention that he requires. Please understand, I am not complaining, I’m really not. And please don’t think that I’m making excuses. I have been doing some research and it has come to my attention that I need to focus my efforts in other areas. I’m just glad I found out this information before I wasted anymore time and effort. But you see, the best writers also do copious research. Doing the necessary research helps us to be authentic and believable. I guess my son and I are actually having the same issues…adjusting. As the level of difficulty increases, the level of effort must also increase. So I apologize for not posting more regularly. I will not let it happen again. I believe that I have made the necessary adjustments and I now understand that I must adhere to the schedule that I created in order to get everything accomplished that needs to get done.
I saw the most wonderful story on Facebook the other day. It was about a couple who are both on the Autism Spectrum and they were married Saturday. This is particularly encouraging for me because I’m always reading about how difficult it is for folks on the spectrum to navigate the dating scene. Since social awkwardness is a major trait in High Functioning Autism, I have to say this may be a fair assessment.
I did not date a whole lot in high school. I didn’t date much in college. I prefered to have a “steady.” I’ll elaborate on that in the next installment. Nevertheless, I didn’t know I was on the spectrum at the time so I just figured I was yet another awkward teenager…
I have been married twice. The whole “marriage thing” has not worked well for me. Maybe I just haven’t found the right person…huh? To be fair, the demise of my second marriage had some mitigating circumstances. No, I will not reveal them here. After all, I have to give you some motivation to buy my book: “Life is a Precious Gift – live it with NO REGRETS.”
Many of us are raised in the judeo-christian tradition of dating to find a lifelong mate. I have never been one who was much of a conformist. I believe that you must do what is best for your happiness and sanity. That being said, I was happily married but… I have an adventuresome spirit. The person I marry must understand that. Now he is more than welcome to come along with me as I explore. Clubbing is absolutely not a requirement but I like to do that too, occasionally. And I have no problem staying home and relaxing in front of the television or hey, here’s a concept – carrying on an intelligent conversation. But I’m not going to be a happy camper or very easy to get along with if I can’t get out sometimes and do stuff. Trust and believe, if you do not want to join me, you do not want to be the cause of clipping my wings unless you are ill or in dire need of my attention.
So what is the take away? Many people on the Autism Spectrum have narrow or focused interests. If you’re going to date someone, I would start with looking around at the establishments or events that you frequent. The couple I mentioned at the beginning of this post met at an Autism Support Group. Don’t have one near you? Start one! In order to date people, you have to meet people. Finally, take the pressure off yourself. Everyone you date does not have to eventually become your spouse.
So the other day, my son comes into my room to announce that he would like to take skate boarding lessons. He’s been practicing on his own but apparently, he is not pleased with his progress nor the pointers that I have been giving him (Stop laughing! I was once pretty good). Even his beloved You Tube has failed him this time. Now being the concerned and involved parent that I am, my reaction was, “I’m sorry, what?” Ignoring my reaction he then says, “Can you ‘Google’ that and find out how to make it happen?” Why yes son, I suppose I can but why would I want to? But then it occurred to me, I have been going round and round with a few of my friends that are aware of my son’s Aspergers and they insist that I need to sign him up for flag football or basketball. When I talked to my son about it, he was alright with it but definitely not thrilled. I am a huge football fan. He is not.
Now before we go down this “you’re the parent and he will do what you say” road… I know that. He knows that. You see, I don’t feel disrespected if my child wants to do his own thing. I can already see my boy’s persona forming. He’s very much an independent thinker but he respects other’s opinions. I cannot for the life of me to get folks to understand, we/he may look perfectly normal (whatever that means) but we (people with Aspergers) are wired differently. As long as he understands that he must be respectful to adults always, and that he must treat others as he would like to be treated, I do not feel the need to impose my will on him. We actually had a conversation with his older brother too when we were contemplating signing up for football or basketball. I thought his brother said something rather profound when giving his input, “if you’re not going to commit to it and give it your all, don’t even bother.”
So next week, we will make a reservation and take our first skate boarding lesson.This will accomplish the same goal as flag football; I think. He will meet and interact with new people. He will engage in some physical activity and get out of the house. One thing is for certain; we are going to do what works for us. Less stress, more enjoying life. NO people pleasing. Life is a Precious Gift – live it with NO REGRETS
You may have heard the slang term, “Let’s just keep it 100…” I thought about using that for a headline but then I decided that maybe that was just a little too “hood.” But I do want to reveal a few things about myself today. I got this idea from a post I did on Facebook a little while ago. My son used to love to wear his Spiderman costume everywhere he went when he was little. As I said on Facebook, I was uncertain whether I wanted to expose him to possible ridicule but most people just thought it was cute. In fact, the day we were at Aquatica, a few young ladies asked if they could take a picture with him. Back then, he didn’t mind taking pictures. But my whole point in bringing up that story is he was unafraid to be himself back then. He still has a bit of a rebel streak now. He prefers to wear his hair long. I don’t really mind; it is after all his hair. I would like to take a little credit for helping him to have the confidence to be himself.
I want him to have that feeling much earlier than I did. It has literally taken me years to understand that I can be myself and not have to worry so much about what other people think. I talk about this a little in my book, “Life is a Precious Gift.” Yes, shameless plug!
Now for the big reveal… I like to dress up for Halloween. I think it’s great fun pretending to be someone else for the day and night ( I also love grown up Halloween parties where I get to have a few drinks). I enjoy a decent cigar, occasionally. I know this is somewhat unusual for a lady but I love football, cooking on the grill and beer too so there’s that… I love bending the hell out of traditional gender roles. I am totally heterosexual but I hate dresses and I love business suits.
So there you have it – BE YOURSELF! Screw whoever doesn’t like it. Enjoy life, you only get one. Be happy, be kind, be dazzling and love EVERYONE for who they are. God did not make any mistakes when he made us.
Golf is a great stress reliever for me.
I feel like I’m off my game somehow… I don’t know how to explain it? I may have briefly touched on this in a previous blog, I don’t know? But I know I mentioned it in my first book, “Life is a Precious Gift” I know I mentioned that for a long time, I didn’t feel like I knew my true self at all. I mentioned feeling like I had spent so much time imitating “normal” behavior that I didn’t know what MY normal behavior looked like.
Thank God I rectified that situation and “found myself…” But you see, that’s another thing about Aspies (people with Asperger’s Syndrome ). Things can be sailing along wonderfully until the stress level increases or our routine is severely disrupted and then we are off our game.
Well, my life has definitely been disrupted in the last six months or so… But I thought I was handling it: Spiritually, physically, mentally doing the things I needed to do. But today, this morning, I wonder…? Some days are perfectly fine. Other days I feel completely overwhelmed by life in general. And what is my solution…? Shutting down completely,,,staying in my Woman cave watching television… not answering the phone…not writing for my job…(if I don’t write, I don’t get paid). Shutting down is no longer a viable solution. So how do I rectify this? Getting back into my exercise routine would help. Maybe getting back to church on a more regular basis. Although, more consistent prayer and meditation would be helpful as well. Doing exactly what I’m doing…writing. And I don’t mean for my job. I mean for myself.
You see, I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you all but I can’t share everything. Some things are just for me, my composition book, tablet, laptop and God.