If there is one thing that has confounded me in my 43 years on this planet, it would have to be relationships. I’ve learned that when you are someone on the autistic spectrum, you encounter the enigma of relationships.
It’s not that I don’t want relationships. It’s just that I don’t really know what to do with them.
My adventures in romantic relationships is for another post. Right now I want to focus on friendship, because it has been the most challenging type of relationship. It’s not that I don’t want friends; the fact is I really desire friendships and there have been people that I really want to be good friends with. But the problems with communication makes it very hard. Sometimes I hold back, scared to move forward and what to do. Sometimes I charge ahead and I’m waaay too forceful or say something that might creep people out. And sometimes, I’m just a big asshole that says really cutting things to friends not really knowing how hurtful they really were. Friendship is difficult for me because I don’t know how to best proceed. Since I have a hard time with social cues, I have to basically operate blind-which usually ends up a mess. Friendship for someone with Aspergers is like entering a room where everyone is speaking German, everyone that is but you. You keep trying to speak in English to them and they respond in German to our mutual frustration. It places a barrier between people, because you can’t ever get close to someone because, well they speak a different language.
I don’t want to give the impression that I’m sitting around all alone. I do have friends. Just because we don’t speak the same language, doesn’t mean we can’t be friendly.
But it’s that lack of a common language that makes it hard. The only way around it is to learn the language, which isn’t always easy.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to form a close friendship with someone. But I guess I can keep trying.
Note: The Art of Manliness has one of the best blog posts on the history of male friendships. An interesting read.