It pretty much goes without saying that I've never really been that great with the opposite sex. Instigating significant relationships is probably one of the biggest challenges to people with Asperger's Syndrome (AS), fraught as they are with everything we're not. It requires much non-verbal communication, flirting, conversation skills, showing an interest in other people, eye-contact, subtle body contact and so on and so forth.
Before my diagnosis I'd always done my best, you know? I mean, God loves a trier. It usually takes me a while to get comfortable enough around someone to talk at least semi-freely instead of being all tight and nervous and self-conscious. It's bad enough with everyday people, but faced with a girl I find attractive or like and it seems to render me fairly useless. I just clam up. It's not so bad if it is with someone you are around a lot as you get a chance to get comfortable and relax, but I'm not around women a lot. When most of the people you meet are in small bites I just lack the skills to make those instant, lasting impressions. I lack that "confidence" that women seem to value above all else.
Since my diagnosis I kind of know how Adam felt in the Garden of Eden. Although I've always had AS, plucking my diagnosis has opened my eyes, made me aware, and made me ashamed. Although I've had girlfriends in the past…now I can't see how I'll ever have one again, which is odd because I'm still the same person after all. Now that I know what is wrong with me the fear of failing is stopping me trying. I seem to resign myself to "this isn't going to work so why bother" right from the outset. In fact when I think about it, it's almost as if I've been subconsciously pushing women away my whole life. Women don't really dig the facial hair, and I'm certainly no Schwarzenegger but my body type is already beyond what most women would "go for."
And that's just the initial flirty stuff, how would I ever cope actually going out with someone again knowing what I know now? Could I put myself through "Why do we never just talk" again? Could I put myself through "Let's go down the pub" again? Could I put myself through "Come meet all my friends" again? Could I put myself through "Why are you so rude" again? Could I put myself through "You never listen to me" again? Could I put up with making all of the sacrifices again? Could I put up with having to keep my flat clean again? Don't get me wrong, there are plus sides to relationships too; it's great always having someone to text or email just to say about something funny you thought of, or something interesting you've heard. It's great having someone to cuddle and sometimes go places with. But I can't help seeing a relationship as the greater of all evils.
I guess the truth doesn't always set you free.