Understanding Loneliness In Autism – Personal Experiences And Practical Tips

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Yes, it is common for people with autism to experience loneliness. This can be due to difficulties in building and maintaining social relationships, communication problems, or other challenges related to autism. However, it’s important to note that each person with autism is unique and experiences loneliness in different ways.

For my part, I made a decision in 2007. I had just turned thirty and felt that I couldn’t live my life like this anymore. At that time, a typical day in my life looked like this:

  • Get up
  • Morning hygiene
  • Breakfast in the car on the way to work
  • Work
  • Drive home
  • Make dinner
  • Surf the web/play games/watch TV
  • Sleep

I avoided my colleagues at work because it was mostly like a clucking henhouse, so the only social contact on a typical day for me was when I met a customer. I had a few friends I would have a beer with sometimes or just chat with, but I had no one I could talk to about everything.

Social media and other technologies can help establish and maintain social relationships in a comfortable way. That is only a small toolbox for making new associates. Think about your toolbox and use it.

What can you do to reduce loneliness?

  • Try to participate in activities and gatherings where you can meet new people and build social relationships.
  • There are many associations and groups for people with autism that can offer social interaction and support.
  • Social media and other technologies can help establish and maintain social relationships in a comfortable way.
  • Practicing and training in social interaction can help improve social skills and reduce loneliness.
  • A therapist or clinical psychologist can help identify and manage loneliness and other challenges related to autism.

It’s important to remember that building social relationships takes time and that it’s normal to experience occasional loneliness. But with patience and effort, people with autism can establish and maintain positive social relationships.

My wife and I met 2009 and we are still together.

What did I do? As I mentioned, it was in 2007 that I made a life-changing decision. I set goals for how I wanted my life to look in 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. In all the goals, there was one thing at the top of my wish list: someone to share my life with. So, to achieve this, I did what I always do—I started with research. I looked at various tips and options for how to meet someone. I was pretty sure that if I met someone and it felt right, I would manage the rest. My research showed that at that time (2007), the most common places to meet a life partner were at work, school, or some social activity. Meeting someone at work seemed pointless since my colleagues and customers who could even be considered as options were either taken or completely uninteresting to me. Associations and similar things didn’t seem appealing either, as I had already explored that for many years. An emerging trend at the time was meeting someone online. This suited me well, as I spent a lot of time at my computer anyway. So, I began my journey with various dating sites, and it took only a year and a half before I met my future life partner.

Be honest, that is really the only advice I can give you that works.

But are you done once you meet someone? No, that’s just the foundation; you need to build and maintain the relationship. I have always been quite good at building new relationships, but maintaining, nurturing, and strengthening them is difficult. My wife and I have been close to breaking up many times in the first years, and I think it’s only the longing to have someone there that has kept us together at times. I can never give you good relationship advice except for one thing: be honest, in everything. Because even if it’s hard to tell everything, you have to, to have a healthy relationship. I think that was the biggest thing that changed for me in 2007, because in my analysis of my life then, I realized that I was often dishonest with others and myself.

Do I still feel lonely? Yes, sometimes I do, even though I have a wonderful family that is always there. Now, I never lack someone to talk to, but I often miss a friend who could be there just sometimes. Someone I could meet once a week to just chat or do something fun together. That’s the next on my list, a friend. I wish there was some contact forum for like-minded people like me, but I haven’t found one yet. But who knows, maybe I’ll find a new friend around the corner

Please feel free to share your story in the comment section. I would love to hear about your success. And i know that everyone else want to know about your failures.


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