Relationship Standards and Intelligence

Out of interest, do you know what Aspergers (or autism in general) is?

  • No, I might Google it sometime

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Chef

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Hello, I want to start a small discussion regarding the correlation between Relationship Standards and IQ.
Before reading what's below I'd like to say I got diagnonsed with Aspergers yesterday (meaning my brain works a bit different, google it). So keep in mind that social skills are a bit less developed, what I say can be a bit more straight to the point and with less emotion, and can sometimes come across as mean or menacing but it's never meant that way.

Apparently I got very different view on relationship standards than most (if not all) people, and I was wondering if there even ARE people who share the same opinion as me. Most people (really generalising here) have their first kiss let's say between 12 and 16 or 17, and sex "for the first time" between 14 and 18 or 19. The term "first time"grosses me out a lot since it means first person out of I don't know how many. Most people also have multiple relationships and breakups, some even cheat. Others, who don't get the point of marriage, even divorce. People think it's okay to break up, even when they have kids; and those people reproduce with other people again like it's no big deal. That's not respectful towards the ability of creating life.
Also the whole concept of kissing people at parties (drunk or not) or One Night Stands, the whole disgusts me so much to the point where I ask myself: "Am I weird for not thinking that is normal? Because that looks really primitive to me." I don't get how someone could mistreat their body, let alone their privates, like that. To me it's a really low standard.

One thing that really struck me is that people break up over the smallest inconveniences. Or at least think that breaking up is the thing that's going to solve their problems, while it shouldn't even be considered as an option if you're smart enough to pick the right partner. This where IQ comes into play I think. People throw problems away rather than thinking and solving them. Or they try to solve them but they think breaking up is the solution when the solution could be much smaller. The point I guess I'm trying to make is that either people aren't willing to compensate, or they're to stupid to solve problems. Maybe they don't want to compensate because most people always have the most negative assumptions towards other people, like it's the devil they're talking about instead of a human with (hopefully) logical choices and reasoning that the "assuming" party doesn't see yet.

Side Note: I don't go to parties (or even out, but I like eating somewhere nice or the cinema) since my sensory input is fairly high. But almost all my friends do and older family did. According to my parents and friends all of this is supposed to be normal.
2nd Side Note: I really don't get why people consume drugs (except if it's prescripted ofcourse), it just seems retarded to me. My friends smoke and drink, and I'm standing here like "What the hell are you doing, destroying your body and mind because some dumbf**k told you it's fun? And even worse, you actually believe it? Are you telling me you are just as retarded as him?"

In my opinion a relationship should be like this: first you meet someone and become friends. In the following 2 years or so you learn more about each other, earn each others' trust and respect, and maybe you'll develop a crush; and if that happens hopefully it's mutual. Then you start hanging or going out more (Not even talking anywhere close to sex or kissing here). In this "crush" time you get to know each other much more intensively and deeply to the point where you both can make the conscious decision to love the other person. This is not a feeling that goes away like a crush does, which is 3 years max. It's a consious choice with a promise to love the other person; and no matter what happens, I'm not leaving.
This is the point where you know the persons' character through and through, how he or she lives or wants to live, can actually negotiate and solve problems, makes properly deliberate and logical live choices, and actually think and use his or her brain.
This is also the point, in my opinion at least, where kisses and sex start. And after a few years I think it's time for a marriage proposal. That is just proof of the promise you already made a few years back, but with actual property and money put in it.
We solve problems by logical thinking and normal talking; the partner isn't the problem, the thing we come across together is.

But then the hypothesis: I have high functioning autism (Aspergers Syndrome) with a high IQ, does that in any way affect my opinion of human progress since it's not measured by industry but by the value we put on creating and maintaining life?
Or to put it in other words: Am I sane for having this opinion and are there others who think about it the same way as I do?

Side question: Is Aspergers cheating evolution since we have a high IQ but missing some social skills and instructions to life and how to live in this society against someone without AS whom just has a "normal" developed brain with a high IQ?
Now I think about it we might not be able to answer this because we don't know if evolution will climb more towards AS or a "normal" brain with high IQ.

Side question 2 (hard): Does anyone know how creativity works? Let me take Lego as an example: I can create to most amazing things out of the limited amount of bricks that I have. Imagine if I had a 3D printer, then I could form every brick I could imagine, but I wouldn't have any clue on what kind of brick I would or even can make. I can build with elements, but not create them. Why?

Thank you for reading all of that! :)
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Most people end up breaking up with even the slightest problems because they enter relationships too quick and with small reasons too (like just to be in a relationship).

Also, people nowadays tend to just dump what doesn't work instead of trying to repair it.

Being in a relationship is a commitment, something that you decide to do no matter how hard it gets (ofc up to certain degree, like if he/she endagers your life directly already then you should probably stay away). But most people right now are simply, if it works its meant to be, if it doesn't then its not meant to be.
 
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Chef

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Most people end up breaking up with even the slightest problems because they enter relationships too quick and with small reasons too (like just to be in a relationship).
Yes, and most of the time that's acted out of horniness or lust, not of love. Can't stand people who can't keep things like that in check (drunk or not).
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Yeah, that's another thing, a lot of people nowadays end up in superficial relationships because it was all due to lust..
 

evmaster

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You're very sane. I'll just end with that.
 

MushroomCake28

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I don't think there's much of a correlation between between IQ and relationship views (I wouldn't use the term "relationship standards" as it refers to criteria in mate selection). Your views are clearly more conservative than average, but you certainly aren't alone in having them. Relationship views vary depending on your philosophy of life and which values you hold. I guess you could make a point in saying that low IQ people don't think as much as we do and prefer to go with hedonistic instincts, thus having one nights.

Biologically for men, it makes more sense to have many partners. The biological mission of human beings is by definition spreading your genetic material, so it makes sense for men to try and spread as much as they can their DNA. That's why men generally have lower standards than women in dating (the majority of men date in the same or lower social bracket as them).

Biologically for women, it makes more sense to want stability and a low number of partners, even one preferably. The reason is quite simple: women bear children for 9 months and in that period they need support. Although less true today, when talking about biology you gotta look at our ancestors and their conditions since we evolved much faster than our DNA. Back in the days (before civilization), people had to hunt, watch out for wild animals, etc. A pregnant women is vulnerable, thus men had to protect them and get food to take care of them. This reflects in today society that women usually date men that are in the same or higher social bracket, and also the fact that there are more mothers than fathers on the planet, and also that a vast majority of women find a mate while there are a lot of men who never find mate (compared to women). Women act as a guardian of natural selection.

There was a study made in which they both selected a very attractive man and a very attractive woman. They both went in a bar and ask as many people of the opposite sex if they would be willing to have a one night with them. For the attractive women, I think about 75% of the men agreed, while for the attractive man, near 0% of women agreed. This is a clear illustration of differences that drive men and women in sexuality. It is also very logical, since sperm is very cheap (one men could impregnate all the women in the world theoretically) and ovum are a lot more "precious".

Before, people were a lot more careful in relationships since having sex usually meant having children. With the invention of contraception in the last century, we completely changed the dating game: people could have sex without the commitment that usually came with it. See that as a positive or a negative, but this is what freed women from nature. There are also other factors that contributed to the casual sex culture we have now, like for example the boom in life expectancy (a lot more occasions to cheat when you live to 75 than if you live to 40), the equality status women gained in society, the ease of modern communication and travel, etc.

Now the rest depends on your life philosophy and your values:
  • Do you value a life of pleasure (hedonistic nature of life) or a moral life (a life of order)?
  • Your religious beliefs (if you have any).
  • What is more important in a marriage: happiness or children?
  • Other stuff.
Everything is a balance, and depending on what you favor, you'll either end up more on the casual sex culture or the more conservative culture: if you think it's very important to enjoy life, you'll weight in more on the hedonistic side, if you think marriage is more important for the children than personal happiness, you'll end up in the more conservative culture. There is no right answers, there is just your personal answer. And hopefully you'll find someone who has a similar world view (cause that's the most important factor in a successful relationship).
 

Shaz

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I think a lot of people are in relationships because they don't like to be alone. Instead of waiting for someone "good enough" they just take someone "who's interested in them". I see may wonderful people in relationships with no-hopers who drag them down, and I think it's a low self-esteem thing - they think that's the best they are capable of having. And I think it's a very selfish world today - people want stuff for themselves but aren't willing to go too far out of their way to do stuff for others. I guess I think a lot of people see relationships as "convenient". This is why they sleep around with people without making a commitment, why they don't consider what marriage really means before jumping into it, and why they're so quick to get out of one - either not being committed enough before they started, or forgetting why they got married in the first place.

Some people will say you're weird with views like yours on sex and relationships, and that what you see happening is the norm. But just because they all view it that way, doesn't mean you have to view it that way too (insert lemmings reference). Your standards are higher than theirs, that's all it is. You're prepared to wait for the right person and your relationship with them will mean something. Hopefully their views will be like yours. I have great respect for people who have higher standards in this area and are willing to act differently to the majority.

My son has been diagnosed with Aspergers. I think I have it too, based on our similarities in those areas, but I will never bother to seek a diagnosis. Just knowing what it is, and that it's a possibility I have it, is enough to understand a whole heap of stuff I used to be confused about.
 

MrKiwi

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@Arend Galenkamp Wow... sweet life read here dude. I can relate most of your feelings and opinions towards "normal" youth, I do think the same way you do. Gotta say I'm completely sane and all.

Well, you know... people think I'm weird because I don't go to parties neither smoke or drink, but I do exercise everyday, I love reading, drawing... you know some "thinking", and also enjoy playing videogames, watching anime (still people who thinks this is bad :c)... those who I can trully call friends respect this, but other people (and my family, which kinda hurts) say I'm wrong and I really get confused.

I'm 19 and I have never (Insert sad face here) had sex, a kiss or atleast a girlfriend (or boyfriend or whatever your likes are) but had tons of female friends, (I was rejected recently by my 3 years crush, but thats not the case now) I see my friends hanging and breaking, hanging and breaking, and nobody turns self switch A on... (rpg joke :p)
I really don't get it, what do they look for? love? is love really that... passenger? I don't fall for the first woman I see, I don't care about the body or the first impression, if I like someone is because I know him/her. And here is another detail you should think about, how honest is people about theirselves? Who would openly admit what kind of porn does he/she likes? Most people would say that they don't even watch (Not saying everybody does) So how much do we know about others and ourselves?

Now about the AS...

I don't pretend to say I know everything about aspergers syndrome (I do have an AS friend, and never felt he was... "different"? No offense intended) but what I can atleast tell about you, you feel like being you is odd (I'm betting you think this, correct me if not) And YES it sane for you to think like that, if you rather stay at home (or wherever you rather stay) its okay, you can't expect 7 billions of humans be exactly the same. Actually you can be happy for not being "one of many". The minimal freedom you have is being you.
You know, its usual to hear in psichology that aspergers have "lower emotional intelligence", I can't say yes or no, but does normal people have such a great use of it? For example, why does the bystander effect even exist? Is that normal?
Your question about cheating evolution is indeed complex. First we can't assure where the evolution will lead us, acording to Darwins one main factor is adaptation, and perhaps in a post-apocalyptic future world humans would have a smaller brain a tougher skeleton (For example). Second, what the IQ is, is very relative, but its mostly asociated to a higher use of cognitive skills in resolution of problems, most people don't develop a high IQ but that doen's mean they walk in four feet.
About creativity, this is a personal theory, but I think we just limit our mental skills with common ideas (for example, if I ask you to imagine a tree never seen before, could you do it?) Creativity has to be natural, that means if we force it, we can't achieve it. Even so, its hard to think on not thinking but still thinking (wait... what?)

Guess this is my philosophical answer :)

Any misspelling... I'm spanish >.<
 

Touchfuzzy

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I think trying to correlate your opinions on relationships with your IQ is an attempt to try to justify those beliefs rather than realize that there are as many ways to see relationships as there are people in the world, and that there are many many valid ways of seeing things.

One of the things that people with aspergers/high functioning autism tend to suffer from is an extreme difficulty with understanding other peoples point of view. It isn't a lack of caring about other people, it is a lack of being able to understand other people. Its very easy to try to hide from that deficiency by believing that you are right and everyone else is just wrong, rather than acknowledging that you just may not know everything. I suggest you learn to understand that you will have to work harder to see things from other peoples point of view, but that that means you should try that much harder.

Relationships are complicated. There is a lot that people will never understand about them without being in them, and even more that even those in relationships will probably never understand. Its messy, and about the only way you'll really understand them, is to live through them, make mistakes, and learn. If you go into it thinking you already have it figured out, I guarantee that you'll mess it up. And after those mistakes, if you continue to double down on the idea that you know the right way and everyone else is wrong, then you are going to mess it up even further.

I've done a lot of things you seem to consider stupid. I also have an IQ in the genius level (I say this not to brag, I actually think IQ is a flawed testing, but you brought it up, so we'll use that). I fit the average for first kiss, and losing my virginity, I drank a lot in my early 20s, now I enjoy a drink or two on occasion, there are some of the things I've never done, but you have to realize that a lot of that is tied to personality and not how smart you are. Other people aren't WRONG for having a different personality than you. Let them enjoy their life, and you find the right way to enjoy your life. I mean, if they are berating you for not enjoying what they enjoy, screw that, but you also don't need to be doing the same.

And as far as relationships: I've been happily married for nearly 18 years. And I'll tell you now that learning to understand her meant way more than any "logical" plan about what the right way to do relationships was in making it work.
 

Xenphir

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See for me, I had a good friend with Aspergers and he was high functioning. But his views on relationships were quite different. He was poly amorous. He had two different partners at the time, one for sexual needs and one for emotional needs, in which he claimed one person could not fulfill both. I am monogamous so we stayed just friends, and eventually I moved away to another state. It varies a lot still. I don't know what his teen years were like I'm afraid.

Then theres people like myself, and others I know who also don't care for the young partying "scene." Who do not care for drugs or early sex just for the sake of doing them. I was an introvert so also not socially involved but it still never appealed to me. My friend with Aspergers said he's pretty sure I could be too, but the doctors just said I have depression and anxiety for now, and that I'm simply a "quick learner." I graduated from high school 2 years early and took forever to find a partner. I was super picky. I tried to get to know quite a few people but none of them seemed to be what I wanted "logically." I looked for partners with a stable employment above all else and preferred those that could drive and had responsibilities so that I knew they could help take care of the household. That seems more logical. But I also wanted someone to joke with and go on adventures with, which is more personal.

I met my current boyfriend online about 18 months ago. He moved in about 9 months ago. I consider that we progressed pretty fast, doing things like making out in the first week of meeting in real life. But we still haven't had physical sex. It isn't even because we are not ready for kids, as I cannot biologically have them anyway. We just don't... care for it? We plan to marry either late this year, or in 2020.

So basically it matters more so on people's views like religion. If its okay to do so beforehand or if they were raised being told not to until after marriage. It matters on the people's situation. If one of the two partners has a chance of getting pregnant, but they cannot afford it, they might wait. If someone doesn't really care what happens in the future and only lives in the moment, they might have things like one-night stands and just try to practice safe sex.

IQ may play a minor role though. Someone who has thought about the future and what they want might choose to wait until they can afford to care for a child. Someone who hasn't thought about it at all and just wants what they want in the moment may have less IQ? I don't really think its that though. Because you have people like myself that know we can't have kids and still don't care to. Mostly how people are raised and how they view themselves and the world around them.
 

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I'm not nearly enlightened enough to understand how the human mind works and I'm not going to bother speculating - even theories developed by great scientists who have spent decades rigorously studying conditions like Asperger's are heavily disputed by other great scientists.

What I will say is that I used to have almost all of the feelings and beliefs you expressed about love, lust, character, and sharing bodily fluids. After a lot of years, some of those beliefs softened or morphed; others stayed exactly the same. I think it had a lot to do with the people I was around, the ways they could enjoy life but do it responsibly... and learning how I wasn't the only one with a lot of these deep thoughts or philosophies. That all made me more comfortable. Just getting more comfortable with my body was good too.

Don't think of it as something you need to work on; what you are feeling isn't a deficiency in any way. It's just what you are right now. Be comfortable with it; accept it as who you are because otherwise it will be hard for others to accept it. You don't need to seek out partners who you don't respect just so you have a partner. At the same time, if you can't find people you respect, people you're passionate about or attracted to, and you can't find them anywhere... you will have to look a little harder, and learn to appreciate people more, I think.

Like I said, I have no idea whatsoever if this all has to do with IQ or Asperger's or brain function in any way. I'd be arrogant to even make an assumption. So all I can do is say what I've found from my experiences, and to assure you that you're not the only one feeling this way and even if (in my opinion) it can be really hard to express, it turns out there are other people out there thinking the same things we are right now. You're normal, even if you're not in the majority.

As for your last question on creativity - one thing that I found has made me much better in my creative design pursuits (and a great generator of ideas in general) is to ask myself why something works so well and then to break that answer down to the most minute, nitty-gritty details I can. You end up finding a lot of answers you weren't expecting. Why was a movie so great? Because it was relatable. Why was it relatable? Because it captured moods you've felt before. How did it capture those moods? Through dialogue, but also through the timing and cinematography during certain lines. What about the cinematography contributed to those moods? Stuff like that - keep going deeper and deeper until you break it down into its finest, most subjective elements. I think that's a great practice in creativity. That might help you figure out how you'd design your ideal "brick" to build other things with.
 

gstv87

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TLDR answer: people are stupid, and they think that imitating is belonging.

I would give you the long answer but I really DON'T want to write right now, and as Wavelength says, we can't possibly understand how the mind works.
If you conclude, by your own analysis, and based on something as subjective as "feelings", that certain attitudes seem idiotic,.... then maybe they are.
That's why I don't tell people to change their attitudes, and instead encourage them to continue on their course to oblivion. Hopefully in a couple of decades, when stupidity is generalized, we'll have less people around making a mess.

In fact, we're here right now, because our ancestors fought off factors that would have killed off inept or inapt people, such as diseases: don't clean your hands, get typhoid fever, die; don't watch your step, step on a nail, get infected, die; share needles, get a blood condition, die.
Sometimes the best way to help, is to step aside.
 
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LaFlibuste

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I haven't read what everyone else has said, sorry. Also I'm not going to make any sort of assumptions about you or Asperger or whatever, I'm far from being a specialist. But I there's just a few things I'd say about relationships in general:

So while I'll grant that we're in somewhat in an era of disposability rather than repairability, traits that have somehow/somewhat extended to relationships too, and that yes people do sometimes move to quickly into relationships, or do so for the wrong reasons (like getting married or having kids because you think somehow it's going to strengthen your couple or whatever), breaking up is sometimes the right thing to do, even if there are kids involved. I mean, parents breaking up can be devastating to kids depending on how it's done, but is it really better if the parents are just constantly on edge, constantly arguing, there's no love in the house? What kind of environment, what kind of example does this set for kids? Wouldn't it be much better to just separate and grow from there? And you have to consider that people can change overtime, and that little annoyances do pile up. It can be repaired or prevented if you are made aware of it in time and work on it, but sometimes people don't for various reason: job stress, kids, etc. And it can reach a point of no return.

Also while I understand how the concept of one night stands might gross you out, and there are definitely unhealthy extremes, I think it is healthy to have a few tries. It was not better when people just got married with their first love (if there ever was love) at like 18 years old and were stuck with that person for the rest of their lives, believe me. I mean, being in a relationship is a learning experience. You discover what you like and what you can't stand in a friend, a roommate, in a romantic and sexual partner. And it works both ways. Maybe that person who you thought was good looking and super interesting turns out to be a total slob, or having a much higher/lower sex drive than you do or whatever you couldn't have found out unless you had been in a relationship with them, and because of it your relationship falls apart. Obviously you are never going to find a 100% perfect match, and if you did it might drive you crazy in the end anyway. And there are things that can be worked on, but others that cannot. But my main point here is that being in a relationship, kissing, having sex, etc. are things that you can learn and get better at and during which you learn about yourself. You can't expect to be perfect on your first try. It's like when babies learn how to walk: some are careful and start later, some go at it quickly and fall a lot, but they all fall a few times, get a few prunes, cry a bit. Failing is part of learning, it's normal, it's healthy. And relationships are no different in that regard. Also there's not necessary one "perfect", there can be as many different "perfects" as there are people. Your perfect might not be your partner's. If it's close enough, you might be able to work through it, but sometimes not...

Also for background I'm someone who has had their "first time" at 18 with his first girlfriend, has had 4 girlfriends ever and who would generally go by this motto we have in french: "better alone than badly accompanied". I have now been in my current relationship for 10 years, married for 4, and a one and a half daughter. So, you know, I'm probably on the less extreme end of the spectrum, relationship-wise.
 

Touchfuzzy

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A lot of people in here seem to be going the route of "Other people are stupid not like enlightened folks like me" and I'll just say without calling anyone out specifically, that that kind of arrogance and dismissal of views other than your own is a pretty nasty trait and will probably not serve you well in life.

One of the things I've learned as I've grown older is that I don't know near as much as I think I do. And I'm a pretty smart guy.
 

Matseb2611

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I share vast majority of your views to be honest. Never been a fan of parties or losing one's dignity and self-respect by having one night stands while drunk. It's not my thing at all. Changing many partners throughout life is pretty bad for us, because it desensitises us towards a sense of closeness and intimacy. The more people we go through, the more desensitised we become (meaning each subsequent partner will satisfy us less and less with the same amount of effort). It also shows an inability to stay committed and take responsibility. So, having had a lot of sex partners isn't something to be proud of. I definitely agree with you there.

I think the only aspect I'd see differently is I wouldn't enjoy to have to develop a romantic relationship for so many years before anything substantial happens in it. I think a few months and up to a year is enough to get to know someone to the point of knowing if they're a worthy partner for you, assuming you communicate with them somewhat regularly. But of course, everyone's pacing is different, so I totally understand if some people prefer to take their time. :)

I would also say that there are many interesting concepts in psychology that have been very eye-opening for me when it comes to relationships. One of them is Carl Jung's concept of anima and animus. Anima/animus is one of the parts of our psyche and it pretty much plays a key role in our relationships with the opposite sex (assuming here that majority of people are heterosexual). Usually when we end up with partners who are bad for us is because we haven't developed our psyche properly. The way anima and animus works is that it requires healthy relations with people of the opposite sex in order to mature over the course of life. These relations don't have to be romantic. In fact, it all starts with our relations with the parent of the opposite sex, and later in life moves onto other people.

So, anima is a feminine side of a man, and animus is a masculine side of a woman. By interacting with members of the opposite sex in a healthy manner, we develop that opposite sex side of ourselves, meaning we learn to better relate to people of the opposite sex and to see them less as a stereotype and more as an individual. When we see people as stereotypes, we build unrealistic expectations and tend to get attracted to people for all the wrong reasons! And this happens beyond our control because it happens on a subconscious level. This undoubtedly will lead to a failed relationship sooner or later! In the words of Carl Jung - "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate".
 

gstv87

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losing one's dignity and self-respect by having one night stands while drunk
and the fact that people understands what you mean by that, the concept, the idea, the picture of it, is what worries me.
"Ah yeah.... I get it... I've been there"

imagine having to explain that to an alien (or not as far off: a kid.)
-"Why do people do this?"
-"Because we're stupid." (which is a much more less embarrassing response than "Because it's expected from us!")
-"Ah, so you strive to achieve the utmost level of stupidity."
-"Ye..! I mean, NO!"
-"Is stupidity a socially commendable achievement?"
-"No!"
-"Why do it then?"

I mean, it only takes you two seconds to think about it! We ARE developed to the point where we can analyze that in such a short time span! lol
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate".
exactly! they don't put themselves to *think* about it!

the problem comes when you pair that with the simplest training method ever: reward after action.
somebody acts in a certain way -> they get rewarded -> they'll act that way again for a bigger reward.
when you have a society that spins around rewards and recognition,..... this is what happens.
(and it can also get to the other end of the spectrum in extreme measure: excessive recognition and obsession, leading to self-destruction. Japan/China/Korea's problem with overworked people: they live to work and they're expected to live to work, because they're driven to, not because they want it, through twisted reward feedback.)
 

Touchfuzzy

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I'll say it again since no one seems to be listening: No one should shame you for how you live your lives, but you also shouldn't be shaming others for how they live theirs.

Stop trying to use the personal ways you want to live your lives to act superior to others.

The level of judgmental attitudes in this thread is appalling.
 

Kes

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I wonder if people have stopped to look carefully at the basic premise of the argument being put forward here.

"People with a lower IQ don't know how to have relationships, only people with high IQ know."

Now go out into the real world and look around you. Is that true? Do all the high IQ people have wonderful, fulfilling, long term relationships which go smoothly and bring bliss? Do all the people with lower IQ have appalling relationships which are bitter and destructive? If you cannot answer "yes, without exception", then you have to say that maybe IQ is not the causative effect. Maybe you have to admit that it's a lot more complex than that. Maybe you have to admit that, actually, nothing as complex as human behaviour can possibly be reduced to one single factor.
 

Indinera

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The biological mission of human beings is by definition spreading your genetic material, so it makes sense for men to try and spread as much as they can their DNA.
I'd just like to say that we don't all want to "spread our DNA". I've always found this premise pretty reducing as I do not relate in the slightest and never cared less about that. Surely I can't be the only one?
 

Ms Littlefish

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Something I want to get out right off the bat is that anyone; ANYONE, should leave any relationship they see the need to leave. People change, circumstances change, life changes. The deterioration of relationships is not a single moment in time or happening in a vacuum. It is sad, but standing in a sinking ship is sadder. Depending on how complicated your relationship is, go to counseling and therapy. Try to work it out. But, if you can not reconcile? Leave. "Staying together for the kids" just gives your kids a toxic, twisted example of what love and partnership should be like. It's better for the children to have two happy parents alone than two miserable parents together. You, the individual, are also of the utmost importance. If you are not taking care of your emotional and physical needs as an individual you are not able to fully thrive as a beloved partner, an attentive guardian, or a reliable friend or family member. You do not come last. If there is abuse in your relationship. NO EXCEPTIONS. Leave. Now. Anyone who physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially abuses you cannot be reconciled with. It's not even advisable to do couple's therapy because they will only learn new tricks to torture you with. Leave.

So. That said. My husband does have Asperger's and all I can really say is that aspies are as different and complex as any other person. My midwestern sensibilities (land of humble pie) detest even writing this next clause, but we're both fairly intelligent. Or, similarly educated at least. We went to the same university, have the same level of degree, and both work in STEM fields. That said, I don't know how much that really matters. I could point to studies that do seem to indicate there are better outcomes if you're around the same education level, but it's infinitely more complicated than that.

What makes a relationship work is being able to trust that person, being able to fully and openly communicate with that person, having similar values and beliefs as that person, and being respected by that person. I could go on and on. You don't have to see eye-to-eye on everything but it's probably best if you are with someone you can explain your point of view to without being shut down and left feeling unheard or talked down to. A partner is your equal.

My relationship with my husband works because of the same old reasons. My husband does not have low emotional or social intelligence; which is commonly stereotyped to people on the spectrum. He has trouble explaining his viewpoint and feelings. He can get extremely frustrated when the words won't come to him. He feels shut down and demeaned when he cannot get his feelings out and I've already moved topics. Remember! That's bad for any relationship! Not just romantic ones. I wanted to get to the bottom of that. It turns out it's because he doesn't think with words, only pictures. If he thinks a word, he will see the word written out instead of hearing it in his head. That fascinated me! But, more importantly, I learned how to ask him the right questions and say the right things to him. It really improved our communication. First, I have to slow down. That's actually a challenge for me! I'm very quick! Second, instead of saying "What do you think?" I say, "What do you see?" We start with the picture he's seeing and I patiently wait for him and sometimes help him (if he lets me) string together the words. I always pull away if I sense he's struggling to turn the picture into a sentence and just let him continue working on it at his own pace.

Our relationship is working because we lift each other up, listen to each other, and respect each other. Our similar education level probably does not hurt but we didn't pick each other and stay together because we were "smart enough" to. As you can see, there was a significant problem to overcome but it was almost entirely an emotional and social one. I personally would struggle to be partnered with someone that has low emotional intelligence, and my husband is emotionally intelligent. He just has a different lens. I'm a rational person and part of that rationale is realizing and acknowledging that feelings are real and valid. There's a lot to (try to) unpack in this question but we learned to communicate our feelings better and that's what really connected us. We don't drink, we don't do drugs, and never "slept around." We've been together for ten years, and sure, we had those similar values (nor do we look down at the alternative) but it's not the reason we survived.
 
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