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My autism is showing? Conversational skills on OLD.


In Search Of... Having a hard time forming friendships or finding companions, lovers, or associates? Is someone pursuing an unwelcome relationship with you? Talk about your experiences here.

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Old 13th February 2019, 4:58 PM   #1
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My autism is showing? Conversational skills on OLD.

Hi, I've been getting a few swipe rights on people that claim to like me. I say OK sure, explore a new population, let's see how it goes.


Trouble is - I can't seem to sustain a conversation with them past a few lines. The common theme of women of women I've been attracted to in the past is - they are super smart about something, and have a bit of sarcasm. I approach this with the attitude of, I am willing to completely suppress all of my hobbies in favor of getting to know the lady - but the conversation hasn't gotten really interesting.


Any tips on what to talk about that is better than commenting on their photos? Just getting a string of bad results so I thought I would ask for help.
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Old 13th February 2019, 5:50 PM   #2
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Hey Garcon, I wouldn't be comfortable with someone who suppressed all his hobbies to get to know me. I'd like to think that I'd turn the conversation around with "ok, enough about me....let's talk about you" but if I failed to do that, I'd walk away mortified that I'd just talked about myself the whole date.

I much prefer banter. Back and forth, getting to know each other, a bit of joking and laughing.

Edit...Oh wait...you're talking about still being online. Take my advice for meeting in person and someone else can help you with the early stuff.
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Old 13th February 2019, 5:53 PM   #3
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Tell them a little about your hobbies and then ask what they like to do for fun as well as on a daily basis .
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Old 13th February 2019, 6:12 PM   #4
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I've had universally bad results talking about my hobbies, because people just get impressed about what I do, and then become jealous, and then the romantic interest falls away. Hence I only reveal crumbs these days
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Old 13th February 2019, 6:14 PM   #5
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<snip>, I am willing to completely suppress all of my hobbies in favor of getting to know the lady - but the conversation hasn't gotten really interesting.
I think being willing to deliberately, actively, willingly suppress any side or part of yourself that is important to you, and/or to how you see and relate with the world, is a recipe for disaster down the road.

I may be very old-fashioned in this, but I think that being able to speak intelligently and coherently about current events, in the areas that interest you, goes a long way to be able to make 'small talk'.

Whether it's science in general, or a specific branch; or chess, soccer or Formula E; or saving the planet, in general or a specific segment; or new methods in psychology, education or societal reform;
or in the entertainment or fashion industries; or technology, in general or a specific area; or whatever the heck else...

If you make yourself knowledgeable enough to be able to speak cogently on the matter, then you're going to put yourself way ahead of the game, from other males and females...you know the ones...
...those people who think that sarcasm and inane comments count for intellectually stimulating or witty conversation.

For myself, unfortunately I do not have the time to actually keep up with all the stuff in the world that I'd like to, so I have my 'top five or six' that I really get into,
and then just 'skim the headlines' at the BBC, for the rest. Entertainment/pop culture is really not my thing, so I'm upfront honest about that if/when it comes up,
and just say, "I have no idea what you're talking about". (Now, if I was interested in that person, for just plain friendship or for romance, then I'd put on a smile and some interest,
and just say, "But, I'd love to hear your take on it, and what about it makes you interested / so passionate / <whatever vibe s/he is giving about it>."
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Old 13th February 2019, 6:20 PM   #6
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<snip>, and then the romantic interest falls away.
EDIT to add to the above: Why in heck, or how in heck, can you sustain romantic interest in people who get jealous by your interests or your accomplishments...
...which you've earned through your own hard work of studying/mastering of the topic(s)?
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Old 13th February 2019, 6:48 PM   #7
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Why do I get such a tiny interest in my skills? Like one person in one social circle, and another one in another social circle across town? Seems out of the ordinary.
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Old 13th February 2019, 6:53 PM   #8
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I've had universally bad results talking about my hobbies, because people just get impressed about what I do, and then become jealous, and then the romantic interest falls away. Hence I only reveal crumbs these days
Wait... are you being sarcastic here?

Women are impressed, and then become jealous? What are you, a personal trainer to the most beautiful women in the world or something?

I can think of very very few things that would at the same time impress a woman yet cause romantic interest to fall off.

Usually if you have an impressive quality, or in this case hobby, they would be drawn TO YOU, not away from you.

So what hobby do you have that is just so impressive women can't handle it?

Back to the original question - talking about photos doesn't sound like a very interesting conversation.

How about ask her what she did today. If she worked, ask her about her line of work. If she worked out, cooked, went to school, watched the kids whatever - those are all conversation starters.

Ask her about her hobbies, about how she feels about the town she lives in.

I don't know, I am a talker and can start a conversation with just about anyone by asking about their life, and then identifying with it in some way I can relate to. In that way, I am telling them a bit about my life, while learning about theirs.
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:00 PM   #9
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I've had universally bad results talking about my hobbies, because people just get impressed about what I do, and then become jealous
Can you tell us more about your hobbies? What do people do which makes you think they are jealous?

The only reason would imagine jealousy would be if your hobbies take you away from your partner and they don't get enough of your time.
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:06 PM   #10
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I was chatting with a teacher today, and I asked her about her favorite child moments - as I was trying to bond on the common love of being around small children. She said, I don't pick favorites. I couldn't think of anything positive to respond to that. The rest of the conversation became a list of questions

My favorite hobby is talking about the cultural self-insight and self actualization that comes from living in many different countries. I'm Asian, and brought up in Canada, the United States, and the UK. I'm most impressed with people who have lived in more than one culture. My other hobbies include playing a few instruments, talking about physics, exercise, swimming, biking, travel, singing, weightlifting, marine biology, and the dorky guy habits of fixing computers and playing with trains.

I'm just feeling a little bit in the doldrums for not having had a conversation about these things in a while. My immediate circle talks about American current events (which I can hold a conversation in, but I'm not a Republican haha), football, and beer (which I have zero experience in and zero interest in). I exclude myself from 95% of social events where I live because I can't honestly bring myself to talk about craft beer and football teams.
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:29 PM   #11
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It is hard for us to know what is happening because we are not privy to your conversations (which is quite right!). Women are attracted to you, so that's a good start.

I suppose the thing to remember - and this works both ways - is that a conversation works best if both people are sharing. This means talking a bit about your interests then asking the other person about theirs. I would not go into detail initially, just say what a couple of them are and say you have other interests to. Give the woman a chance to ask more. Ask her about her interests.

If the conversation is not going well and she's losing interest, then you may start to get the blunt replies that go nowhere. She may be losing interest because you are doing all the talking or you don't seem interested in her. Or she may lose interest because her needs are different in some way to yours (e.g. she may be looking for someone to look after her; you may be looking for someone to share your hobbies).

None of the above is anyone's fault; it is simply a mismatch. You need someone intelligent who can talk about your interests with you (as well as hers of course). If she is looking for dancing, wining and dining, then maybe you two would not be a match.

It's not always easy to find someone on a similar wavelength, but it is possible. Maybe you need someone a bit more geeky than usual. If you have a profile, then maybe put that on there, if it is true. Attract the very women you would enjoy being with!

It might be better to consider alternative places to meet the kind of women you'd get on with. Science interest forums perhaps, gaming rooms. Ask yourself where your kind of woman would hang out.

One thing I would say is to bear in mind that it is very easy to get distracted by an interest and maybe to go off on a tangent rather than keep to the main conversation. I have a friend who does this: we talk about something and he suddenly picks up on an aspect of it and goes off at a tangent. When this happens after he's asked me what I think of something or what I am interested in, it is rather irritating. My side of the conversation never gets very far. He is a good guy though and incredibly intelligent; I learn so much from him I don't mind listening a lot. It's just worth bearing in mind that the conversation is best if it is genuinely 50/50.
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:30 PM   #12
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Its a bit curious that you include “talking about a subject” as a hobby. I suppose it falls within the definition, but most people consider actions – like playing instruments as hobbies.

I will say, I quickly perused a few of your threads – you can come off as fairly arrogant. I am not trying to say this as an insult, you mentioned autism, so perhaps you are not aware of it.

Okay, so your favorite “hobby” is discussing the merits of living in multiple countries. That’s a topic that some (not all) may find interesting, and an even smaller segment would be able to identify with. Basically it’s a conversation that women on OLD probably can’t participate in. I don’t know that they are jealous – and thus reject you romantically, I think your causation and conclusion may be off here.

World travel is sexy, superiority and arrogance is not.

I will tell you a bit I have learned from having a diverse social circle. The interesting conversations I have with attorneys that work in the same field as me would cause others to be lulled to sleep by boredom.

The experiences I can talk about and relate to my fellow equestrians with – would make my blue collar friends think I am a snob. The crazy stories one group can relate to, would absolutely shock another.

There is a lot to be said about chartering to your audience. If you are talking to someone who has never left their home town, stories of your world travels make you unrelatable to them.

I lived in Switzerland as a kid, and traveled much of Europe – I would find a conversation about the “cultural self-insight and self-actualization” of living on different contents interesting. But if I had never left the states, I don’t know that is a conversation I would enjoy. On the same note, when I meet people who have traveled or had similar experiences to mine, we enjoy talking about them. If I meet someone who has never traveled, and does not have any interest to, then we talk about something else.

All of this world travel and you settled in Mississippi? Again – from reading a few of your threads, I am betting you would fit in much better here in San Francisco!

Its fairly easy to find conversation, even among men that ranges much broader than football and craft beer! (although I admit we are drowning in craft beer).
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:41 PM   #13
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Mississippi is where my graduate school lead me, I'm finishing in 1.5 years. Hopefully can find some more worldly people soon =)

It's not helping that the women around me either don't care I exist or would never date Asian. I'll keep on digging around for clubs where geeks may reside =) At the moment I can only attract really morbidly obese people, which I can't honestly build a long term relationship with.
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:49 PM   #14
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Mississippi is where my graduate school lead me, I'm finishing in 1.5 years. Hopefully can find some more worldly people soon =)

It's not helping that the women around me either don't care I exist or would never date Asian. I'll keep on digging around for clubs where geeks may reside =) At the moment I can only attract really morbidly obese people, which I can't honestly build a long term relationship with.
I’m going to ask this question bluntly. Hope you don’t mind...

Since you have brought up being out of place in Mississippi so many times in your threads, I’m just wondering if you didn’t have a better option for graduate medical training? I suppose the vast majority choose grad programs based on a number of factors, and geographic location is one of them.
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Old 13th February 2019, 7:52 PM   #15
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only one choice was available.
in answer to another user, what Im really trying to suppress is arrogance. I grew up around Oxford university graduates, so been trying to have great social skills since.
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