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    cllockhart's Avatar
    cllockhart Posts: 94, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member
     
    #1

    Sep 5, 2016, 10:46 AM
    Social Communication Disorder
    I have been "dating" a man for the last couple months. I put dating in quotes because he wants to keep us as friends with benefits, but from day one I have not felt like this is that sort of relationship. I work with this man and have known him and been friends with him for about 3 years. Last night while talking, he confided in me that he has a social communication disorder. My father has aspergers, so I know what it is like to have someone with a social disorder in my life. I feel like this might explain why he wants to keep things casual.

    When we are together things are great, but I feel like he is always trying to work hard to meet all of my needs. He takes me out to expensive restaurants and buys me gifts, even just small silly gifts that he thinks that would be very beneficial to me. I like him a lot, but I don't know how to go about having a conversation with him about wanting something more serious. I feel like we already have a relationship, but he just doesn't want to call it that. I have been in friends with benefits relationships before and this feels completely different.

    Also, I have a 6 year old son. He has told me before that he doesn't want to have children which is definitely not a deal breaker for me since I am completely content with having just my child. But I also don't want him to be afraid of having children because of a fear of not being able to show them the affection that they need. I'm not implying that he needs to have kids with me, but I just don't want him to not want kids for any reason other than that's just not the life he wants.

    He accepts my child and although he has not met him, he asks about him and seems to care about his life as well. My father never wanted children because of the fear of not being able to show affection. I was a huge surprise to my parents. And my dad was always my favorite person as a kid. He was absolutely amazing with me and is incredible with my son. How can I initiate a conversation about this without freaking him out?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #2

    Sep 5, 2016, 03:07 PM
    Ask him out on a daytime, outdoor lunch in a park with your son for one hour tops. He drives himself there, and you do too.
    You make something like sandwiches if he doesn't cook, and he brings something to drink, and if you all get along, go for an ice cream.
    He and your son call the shots about getting to know each other, and when they want to leave.

    If your son turns out to be a deal breaker for HIM, then it's time to withdraw from the sexual part, and to start dating other men, or none.
    After he meets your son, try to gently talk about it some days later, when he has had time to think.

    You sound like a wonderful woman for him. Good luck. You probably know more about how to talk to him than anyone.
    Does he know about your father?
    cllockhart's Avatar
    cllockhart Posts: 94, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member
     
    #3

    Sep 5, 2016, 03:25 PM
    He does know about my father, I think that is one of the main reasons he talked to me about his struggles. He knows how highly I think of my dad and that I have experience with this. I'm not so worried about him being around my kiddo. I am actually pretty sure he has met him before at our work. And I have seen him interact with children and he does a fabulous with them. We work in the hospital setting and I see him with kids every day in the emergency room. I am not opposed to your idea and I know that will need to happen eventually, but I still feel it is too soon to introduce my son to him. I don't like getting my child involved in my dating life until I am sure that I want the person in it for a good amount of time. But I do like the idea of a picnic eventually. It seems like a very neutral atmosphere.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert
     
    #4

    Sep 5, 2016, 04:04 PM
    I just realized that I don't know what you want to initiate a conversation about, LOL!
    It sounds like you don't need any advice to me. Your sense of all this is good.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,910, Reputation: 10852
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    #5

    Sep 5, 2016, 04:17 PM
    You don't have to even deal with this deep subject at this time, seeing as this is in a very early stage of the relationship. For now it's fine to just have fun getting to know each other and see what develops in the next few months or year.

    Let things develop naturally and then get answers to your questions. Did I mention having fun getting to learn more about him? Then you will better know what's your best approach.

    What's the hurry? The "benefits" haven't worn off yet. No matter what you think that's all he SAID he wants right now, and can you blame a guy after just a few months? I agree with you about leaving your son out of the equation until it progresses beyond JUST friends with benefits, and suggest you NOT expect more than that for your own sake.

    Don't get ahead of yourself.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #6

    Sep 6, 2016, 06:28 AM
    I would not recommend getting into a relationship with a plan to change or fix the other person such as convincing him to want children. Rather, it's a process of discernment - get to know and accept who he really is. Accepting someone doesn't require you to like everything about them nor to progress in your relationship - it's just recognizing they are OK as they are in their lives. If their life doesn't fit with yours, dating is probably the wrong type of relationship.
    Cat1864's Avatar
    Cat1864 Posts: 8,007, Reputation: 3687
    Marriage Expert
     
    #7

    Sep 6, 2016, 07:44 AM
    Frankly, I think you are ignoring warning signs in your own behavior. I read your posts from August 2015 about the "Friends with Benefits" arrangement you were involved in at that time. Then, you seemed concerned about your own lack of intimacy/pulling away. Now, you seem to looking for more intimacy in someone who seems to want less than you do.

    I realize that I am not there and have only your posts to go by in understanding what is happening. So, please, give additional information if you think I am completely wrong.

    "They" say women tend to be interested in/marry men who remind them of their fathers. I think that may be very true with your current relationship. Since your father seems like a great person, there is nothing wrong with finding a man like him. However, in this relationship (there is a relationship even if it is friendship and not Love,) I think you may be ignoring or dismissing his thoughts and needs because you think you know what he wants or should want or because of how much you want "more".

    He has told you he doesn't want to call it a relationship. He has his reasons. They may be the ones he has given you or he may still be holding back. He doesn't want children. Once again, he may have given you a reason he thinks you can/will accept. It doesn't mean it is the only reason. You need to decide if you can accept what he says.

    Buying things may be his way of showing he cares. It may be his way of keeping things less intimate. To him, gifts may mean less than they do to you, how ever personal they may be. Gifts can mean he values the friendship. They do not have to mean he is interested in "more".

    You say that you have known each other and have been friends for three years. What changed a couple of months ago to turn the friendship into one with benefits? How did he act before sex became part of the friendship? How much has really changed between you? How much of the change is how you perceive the friendship/relationship?

    Please, for your own sake, give some thought to what your own needs and motivations are. Be careful that you aren't trying to turn him into who you want him to be instead of the individual he is. Even if it is only in your own mind.

    Best of luck and happiness to you and your son.
    cllockhart's Avatar
    cllockhart Posts: 94, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member
     
    #8

    Sep 6, 2016, 08:47 AM
    Nothing really changed per say. We just started having more personal/in depth conversations. We hung out a few times outside of work, then he started inviting me over, then hanging out at his house turned into more. Sex isn't a big part of our relationship. We have only had sex on 3 occasions over the past few months, even though we see each other outside of work nearly every day. It's difficult to say how much has changed between us because we are keeping things a secret at work because I am actually his supervisor. So at work we try to act the same as always, but outside of work things are different.

    As for trying to change him, I honestly don't want to change him at all. I think he is an awesome person. If he doesn't want kids, he doesn't want kids. I don't want anymore children so if he did, then I wouldn't want something long term with him anyway. I just don't want him to think that he wouldn't be a good father because of his social skills, because I have seen first hand that someone lacking in communication can be an amazing father.

    I think the reason I want to discuss some of this with him is he has helped me with some of my personal issues. We've had discussions about my intimacy issues and he has helped me with them by forcing me to face them. He reassures me about my insecurities and makes me feel good about myself, which I have never gotten from anyone. I want to be able to do the same for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1864 View Post

    You say that you have known each other and have been friends for three years. What changed a couple of months ago to turn the friendship into one with benefits? How did he act before sex became part of the friendship? How much has really changed between you? How much of the change is how you perceive the friendship/relationship?

    Please, for your own sake, give some thought to what your own needs and motivations are. Be careful that you aren't trying to turn him into who you want him to be instead of the individual he is. Even if it is only in your own mind.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 53,910, Reputation: 10852
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    #9

    Sep 7, 2016, 06:18 AM
    You are putting way too much thought into this sex/dating/friendship with a CO WORKER WHO IS A SUBORDINATE! Cool those expectations, hopes, and dreams until the honeymoon (LUST) is over, and reality and objectivity (Common Sense) can return.

    Sex isn't a big part of our relationship. We have only had sex on 3 occasions over the past few months, even though we see each other outside of work nearly every day.
    Sex is what makes this a "Friends With Benefits" thing, and you both are SECRET LOVERS. An agreement of free, no strings attached sex, that can change at any time for any reason. You both are free to explore other options, and opportunities, and THAT will change this relationship totally for ONE or both of you.

    You have already said it seems like more than it is...

    When we are together things are great, but I feel like he is always trying to work hard to meet all of my needs. He takes me out to expensive restaurants and buys me gifts, even just small silly gifts that he thinks that would be very beneficial to me. I like him a lot, but I don't know how to go about having a conversation with him about wanting something more serious. I feel like we already have a relationship, but he just doesn't want to call it that. I have been in friends with benefits relationships before and this feels completely different.
    The only difference is you are in the middle of things with a new guy, and are HOPEFUL of more... AGAIN. Probably because you have yet to see the downside of this fellow... YET!

    Or see it but fail to acknowledge it! Only time will tell, so chill! I admire your guts to take the risk though.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #10

    Sep 7, 2016, 07:25 AM
    I wasn't aware this was a coworker until that was just mentioned....

    This sort of thing with a CoWorker is likely to end badly for either or both of you at some point. 35 years of working since college I've never seen it not end badly even when they WEREN'T subordinates... If you are then at which time legal issues can be brought up if and when that happens that otherwise wouldn't apply.

    Like I'm fond of saying... best not to poop in your own back yard...

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