Yes, People with Aspergers can love.

Where do I even begin on this topic?
We have all been told that people with Aspergers don’t have empathy (not true). We’ve been told people with Aspergers can’t really understand love. (not true). And yet I am writing this as I just returned from my honeymoon.

Let me start by dealing with the myths; yes, we Aspies DO feel emotion. Yes we DO have empathy. Yes we DO love.
We tend to have very strong emotions, and while we are guarded about how we put our hearts on the line, we go ‘all in’ once we do.
The issue isn’t that we are not emphatic, it is not that we don’t love. The issue is that we are very empathedic. It is that we love deeply. Overwhelmingly. And as those emotions rush around inside of us, it can be very difficult to articulate in a sentence or two how we feel. For you NT’s reading this; it is like trying to sum up the Bible in a single sentence.
We must come across as unloving because we don’t articulate those powerful emotions well. I admit, it takes a very special person to love an Aspie. It takes honesty. Lieing to an Aspie is devastating. We are very black and white. In my world love equals trust above all else.
It takes patience, we Aspies can be slow to articulate our feelings. Thus we don’t always make you feel loved with our words, but with our actions. It takes understanding and communication.
My wife is amazing. She has spent hours, days, even months trying to understand where I am coming from. And she has helped me to better understand how I need to communicate with her. After all, if I expect her to understand me, then it is reasonable that I should try to understand her. If I expect her to see the world as I do, then I should try to see the world through her eyes as well.

It took us years of building that open, honest relationship. It took me years to fully trust. It took us years to see from each others points of view. It wasn’t always easy, but nothing of value comes easy, does it? We still see things differently, see my post here about the wedding dress.

And now this amazing woman is my wife, my best friend, the person I trust without question.

Do people with Aspergers feel love? Yes, we feel a deep, loyal, consuming love. Are people with Aspergers able to show that love the way NT’s do? Maybe not. But it is not for a lack of trying.
Are there Aspies in the world who give up on love because it is difficult to share those feelings? Probably, but I hope not.

I don’t think the question is ‘do people with Aspergers feel love?’ Maybe the question should be ‘Can an NT and an Aspie make love work?’.
It isn’t easy, but it is amazing when you put forth the effort.
It took me many years to work toward this wedding day. In many ways I fought several emotional battles. But it was well worth every battle scar I earned along the way.

50 comments on “Yes, People with Aspergers can love.

  1. CatAlyst says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been happily married to an NT for over sixteen years. He’s a very patient man. ;-)

  2. Fantastic post! :D My boyfriend and I are both aspie and have been together for about 4 years now, but certain people have always thought it’ll never last, we don’t REALLY love each other, etc, and it irritates me so much. Autism or no autism, most people would struggle to sum up love and/or their feelings for someone in a sentence or two; that shouldn’t be “proof” that we can’t love. Same applies to other emotions too; it usually takes a full-scale meltdown to make me cry, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sadness.

  3. aspiewriter says:

    Congratulations! Love is hard work, all the time! But, Aspie not only love, but as you said, love completely, totally and loyally. It is the all-consuming faithful kind of love that I find the NT world has trouble understanding. Me and my NT husband will be married 16 years this August, and God knows it has not always been easy! In fact, I think it rarely has been easy, but nothing worth having is ever easy. I wish you two the best of luck and all the happiness in the world!

    • Sharon Rose says:

      As an Aspie myself, it has been easy loving my husband, also an Aspie. It did not take us years to build up trust and love. We saw each other’s profiles on, met each other the next week, got engaged on our fifth date, and got married exactly 5 months after we met. I praise God He had His hand on our lives. I’m not saying it’s always easy to understand each other, but we are both good listeners, and that, in a way, is even more important that mushy romance (which we also are good at, ha ha).

  4. Thank you for this post. I have an Aspie son, and I worried about him finding love as an adult. Now I can stop worrying knowing that Aspie’s can find love. Thank you!

  5. Congratulations on your wedding!

  6. […] Yes, People with Aspergers can love. ( […]

  7. Carol says:

    And it’s just as devasting when Aspies lie to us NT’s also!!!

  8. WonderChick says:

    As an Aspie male how did you show your wife you liked her before you started dating? I am an NT girl and hang out with an Aspie guy a lot. I like him but I am unsure of how to know if he likes me or not. I know the easiest way is to just come right out and ask but I do not wish to put that kind of stress on either of us.

    • aspiewarrior says:

      She became my obsession. Not in a creepy stalker way…
      I wanted to spend all my time with her. We talked all the time. I was always willing to help her, or just hang out.
      Above all I respected her. I put her friendship and her happiness first. I did little things to show her I cared.
      We would spend hours every night just talking. Then one day I told her that I was terrified of losing her as my best friend, because I had deeper feelings.
      She is still my best friend. We don’t have long talks every night, but we still talk a lot. Even after all this time.

      • Sharon Rose says:

        I read a book entitled, “The Seven Stories of Love,” and one of the stories is “Obsession.” As a single lady, I frequently developed obsessions with guys I liked. Most did not like me back. When I met my husband, he and I obsessed over each other, but because the feelings were mutual, and we didn’t have to work to earn each other’s love, the obsessive part of our relationship was more balanced. He and I are both Aspies, and we LOVE to hug.

      • linda says:

        love your story and congratulations on the wedding and your marriage! Id like to share my experience with you on dating an aspie man, id like to share my story and get your input please, can i personally email you ? i am in desperate need of getting any answers i can being that i am still very deeply in love with this man and still am in his life but not the way i wish to be. thanks linda

      • aspiewarrior says:

        Feel free to send me your story :-)

    • Bean says:

      Hi I was just reading this post and thought I could help with this question I have been in a relationship with and aspie male and I found the same thing I didn’t not know if he liked me or not but I know now , he would show it in actions such as came over and mowed the lawn,for me he would ring and ask if I would go fishing with him, if he wants to spend time with you he is already letting you know he likes you hope this helps.

  9. Princess Diana says:

    Aspies are like snowflakes – each a bit different from the other. I teach social skills classes and work with many Aspies. I have heard and feel that some do NOT have deep feelings like empathy or joy etc. They admit it and feel left out. So, NO, not all Aspies feel the same emotions. Some are blunted or just not there.

    • aspiewarrior says:

      I agree, we are all very different.

    • Kim says:

      May that be for a reason? Maybe living in a world that does not understand you for what you are shut you down?

    • Hanna says:

      I think you’ll find PEOPLE are like snowflakes in that way, not just people with AS. And if they “admit” they don’t have those deep feelings, how do you know they’re not just CONVINCED of that? It shouldn’t be taken at such face value. After all, being told over and over again by ignorant health professionals with old-fashioned views on AS that they “don’t understand feelings” and being spoken down to about how much of a “problem” they have would have a considerable part to play in it. Them saying such a thing about themselves doesn’t necessarily make it true; it shouldn’t be used to prove a point about them that isn’t there.

      • Eliza says:

        I totally agree as my best friend has AS, he shares more emotions with me then my past non As boyfriends, he dives into a life of film and understands the emotions of all the plots. I do understand that they can be intensely interested in one topic and that overrides all other social discussions and this is where it can be a little difficult. I have also noticed that they are not afraid to rant on in a negative way eg disagree and degrade others on face book, or a social networking page. they are not thinking od the bigger picture and aware of how it may hurt the person they are publically demeaning. I think they have the ability to love but very slow and small steps and they may keep their inner feelings to themselves.

  10. Sally says:

    I have read lots and lots about Asperger Syndrome and nothing explains it as perfectly as does your blog and others written by other Aspies. I commented on another post the other day. Thanks for your reply. I had a relationship with an Aspie once, but he felt he didn’t have the right kind of feelings for me and so it ended. I was broken-hearted. He said he’s not good at relationships. I would give almost anything to have him in my life again, but I have to content myself with his dismissive, inconsistent contact. He conveys nothing, reveals nothing, says nothing. I don’t believe he ever felt love for me: I suppose he’d have told me if he did. Sometimes reading your blog makes me feel wistful. I’m pleased you’ve found love: a life without it is sad indeed.

    • Kim says:

      Be glad he did end it if he did not feel rigth. I lived with a man for 20 years that did not love me deep. I am an aspie and had really deep feelings for him. He kept me because I was easy and available.

    • Cherry Anne says:

      I have recently lost my best friend and lover for exactly this. He is slightly Aspie. Everything was smooth sailing, we are best mates, hanging out, enjoying each other and having loads of fun I told him how amazing he is and I was very much in love with him he is 17 years older than me. He had told me he had difficulty expressing love but he was super affectionate in front of people with me, we always had such a great time. He told me a couple if times he was in love with me, that I make him feel relaxed that he can just be himself with me, then one night he came to me and said he could never l love me the way I wanted to be loved but then he was doing just that, I was asking for nothing nothing more than what we had and to let it just grow. We have been best mates for a couple of years.
      He said coldly to me that he used me for sex and nothing more but I know that he didn’t mean that as that us not something a man like him would say.
      I have made the mistake of trying to convince him I love and adore him and have come across maybe needy but I am not I’m confident and outgoing and don’t NEED a man I just want my mate back. He won’t answer any of my msgs. I am very very sad for the loss of a great friendship. I have cut all contact now and am hoping he will change his mind about our relationship sometime soon. He is amazing and a beautiful man.
      It’s all very sad :(

  11. The question is not will I love, it will he love me back. I just don’t think I will ever be attractive to any guy I find attractive. I very strongly disagree with the tone of this blog. As far as I’m concerned, we(autistic people) are not worth the air we breath.

  12. The question is not will I love, it will he love me back. I just don’t think I will ever be attractive to any guy I find attractive. Please don’t ban me like wrong planet did. I’m so lonely.

    • Spencer says:

      Hey, Audrey. Your physical appearance isn’t something to be concerned over. Human beings, contrary to what biologists claim, are more than just mere animals. We fall in love for all sorts of reasons. A relationship based on mutual sexual attraction is just lust and isn’t worth getting into. If you’re worried that you’re “ugly”, don’t be. If a guy is clearly only into you for your body, he’s not worth getting into a relationship with.

      I didn’t date much simply because I never saw it as “necessary” in my life (Aspie brains operate on a principle of necessity, as you know). Maybe that was a good thing, though. But now that I’m more mature and am learning to see the inherent value in pretty much every person, that might change. So maybe I’m not the best to give you advice. But I will say that it’s not about how “attractive” you are on the outside. It’s who you are as an overall person that matters.

      Some people can’t look past the fact that our condition gives us certain idiosyncrasies, and that these idiosyncrasies shape the way we see the world, how we conduct ourselves in front of other people, and what we enjoy doing. But those people are simply bigots–or perhaps, even worse, covering up their own insecurities and quirks, which, unfortunately for them, don’t have a name. Wouldn’t that be awful, to be a “normal” person who had some issues that didn’t fall under any diagnosis, knowing there was something different about you but never knowing what it was and not knowing how you could manage it?

      But always remember that there are plenty of kind people in the world, people who will value you for who you are. I want to be a little bit better socially so that I can make some friends and enjoy life a bit better (not that you have to be extraverted to enjoy life or anything, it’s just a personal choice I’m making), but the only people really worth getting to know are the ones that you can be yourself around. I’m fine with adopting a bit of a social guise for strangers and just for navigating life, but if you try dating try to find a guy that can look past your mannerisms to see all of you–the real you. You are not just an Aspie, but the sum of your parts. You are everything about yourself. Having Asperger’s doesn’t affect your personality, your attitude, your worldview, and your value to God. Be sure to remember that.

      And as for your remark of “We autistic people are not worth the air we breathe”…I can understand how you’re feeling. Sometimes I just hate who I am and what I, in some ways, have made myself, and in some ways what I feel like other people have made me. I don’t know who to “blame”, really. But the truth is that I really have no one that needs blaming.

      I don’t know if you’re religious–a Christian, specifically–and I wouldn’t be too surprised or shocked if you weren’t, and I don’t know if you have any history with the faith, but one thing you need to know is that all of us human beings are made in God’s image. This means that although we are all inherently corrupt and flawed, we are still capable of so much good–even if we have Asperger’s. We’re capable of feeling love, as Aspiewarrior has been saying, even though for me it was always hard because I thought no one really deserved love. But that was because I felt unloved (I wasn’t, of course). For me, letting Christ run my life was enough to turn my bitterness at the world and how it had made me feel alone into a life in which I now want to try and make better for myself. I know now that God loved me even though I was a jerk to everyone around me and couldn’t see that I needed to change just a little bit. I know now that the things I think are important are just minor things that God can help me overcome if I just trust in His power. All of us Aspies are searching for love and acceptance, really, and God gave that to me in an experience I still don’t quite understand. It just felt like a hug, really–the perfect hug, a hug that conveyed love and affection without the awkwardness or sensory issues. God loved me even though I was “weird” and different. And He will love you, too, if you just accept Him. No family member or boyfriend could give you that perfect, unconditional love. It’s very hard to explain, and I don’t understand it myself. But I know that even though plenty of people love me for who I am, God loves me the most. Not that you should date God, though, that’s weird XD

      What I’m saying is that relationships aren’t everything. You are valuable to God no matter what your talents are in life or how you conduct yourself. If you let Him, God can take your autism and use it for His glory, and to better yourself as well. He’ll diminish all of the bad things and magnify all of the good things about it. That’s what I see Him do in me every day, even though it’s a slow process.

      Just remember that you are special, and although no one really has a “right” to be loved, it’s a privilege that God is willing to bestow upon all of us. God bless :)

  13. Andrea says:

    I’m a young aspie woman in college and this gives me so much hope :) I haven’t been in a relationship but I’m very soon going to tell the guy I’ve liked for the past two years how I feel about him. I’d go to the ends of the earth for someone whether they’re NT or Aspie!

  14. Curtis says:

    Going on the hunt for my prey, spreading my tail-feathers like a peacock on display. I was always uncomfortable with that, those rituals of courtship, those “social” norms that seemed so abnormal and meaningless to me. Ignorance is bliss, or so they say. I spent my life pondering the “why” of everything I experienced; once those answers were found, whether through biological, evolutionary or genetic thought, I found myself locked out, forever to be just an observer of their blissful ignorance within. I have no regrets.

    Love is observing the actions of another, their benevolence and persona to the world as it relates to you. Do they value “you”?

    Love takes time-only lust is instantaneous.

  15. mb says:

    wonderfull article–thank you

  16. WarriorRegil says:

    Hell yeah you go tiger! I like this highly intelligent kid at my school, with a vast knowledge of science, but he obviously has a preconceived notion that I am a moron. (Sigh) Middle school life is not easy for an aspie!

  17. Akira says:

    I’ve fallen in love with a male aspie I’ve known him for over a year now and I’ve gotten to be good friends with him, however I recently found out he has a girlfriend but he says she’s not apart of his life.
    I told him I love him and he was understanding, thanked me for my honesty and has become more affectionate since then.
    I would enjoy a relationship with him I’ve been told he has a flirty personality not out of malice but I can’t help but notice he likes me, and now I don’t know what to do.
    I’m possibly an aspie myself so I understand him better and know more about him than all of his friends he tells me.
    We went out on one date and he gives me hints that he wants to become more than friends sometimes, but other times he seems afraid to tell me how he really feels.
    He’s been rejected in the past before so I don’t know if that is the cause of it or what, plus he was divorced recently.
    He says he wants to get to know me and relax around him and will sometimes have outbursts showing he really cares about me, plus he wants to spend time with me but lacks the funds and other things he wants to do and never calls.
    I’ve chased him which was the wrong thing to do and instead I’m going to be his friend from now maybe one of these days he will come to me.

  18. jean says:

    I am in love with an aspie, he told me he liked being with me, was comfortable with me, but broke it off. Then weeks later came back, thought everything was fine, then he disappears again. I understand and tried to let him know how I feel, but he doesn’t get it!

  19. stephen says:

    I am waiting for diagnosis of Aspergers and my life has been a struggle. I have never been in a relationship and i’m 43 years of age too late perhaps, but that is not my main issue.

    I have always had problems with authority figures, teachers bullied by older kids, but the last straw was when I was made to do PE in my underpants, my response?
    I burned the changing rooms down next to the pool after school finished and no one was around, i’m not proud of it but you can only take so much crap.

  20. Ania says:

    I am an aspie and I can love, but I’m struggling with keeping connected to the people I love. I lose interest. Inside I do love them, But I get so absorbed in something other or get so bored in the activity we are supposed to do together that it seems to them like I go away even when I’m present. They often get confused. Same with people I meet. I want to be friends but they are long gone before I notice. I can only keep up if the interests parallel. But even then I can’t advance in that relationship.

  21. Karin says:

    I’ve been dating a great guy for the last year. He has ADHD and Asperbergs. I am NT.
    We are both in our early 40s.
    For the most part there are some really wonderful things about dating somebody with mild Aspbergers (or at least the way how it affects him -I am sure everybody is different)… like for better or worse if I ask a question I get the truth/unedited answer. I don’t have to wonder if he is just making stuff up. You get what you see. lol

    He also is super affectionate and observant. If I forget to kiss him hello he notices and will mention it. I love how much he loves to hold my hand, kiss, hug etc. even in public.
    Things have actually gotten much easier/better over our last year of dating. We both have grown and learned how to be better in this partnership.

    Some things are still puzzling to me though. And because things are so wonderful most of the time when those ‘weird’ things pop up it’s still a bit startling.

    For example I know he puts great effort into this relationship… but he has never said I love you. In fact when I do say it it really seems to throw him off.

    He has gotten so much better about other things but the ‘I love you’ might be a bit too tough.
    I don’t say it often. I am wondering if I should stop saying it all together.
    He is intelligent and kind and can hold a conversation perfectly well.

    But I say ‘ I love you’ and he responds with something TOTALLY unrelated:
    a comment about a game we just watched or a weird joke about something.

    In other words his response is so obviously out of place that I can tell he has heard me but does not want to reply to the I love you.

    He is trying so hard in so many other ways and I do feel loved. I know I am very important to him.
    So… best guess what should I do? Do you think he likes hearing that I love him? Or do you think it just stresses him and I should stop?

    • ann says:

      I really hope someone answers the above question because I am experiencing the same situation in my relationship.

      • Karin says:

        Hi Ann. I am the original poster so don’t have the answer to that specific question but I can tell you what does work well for us.
        Somehow the ‘I love you’ thing seems to be too inclusive. It reminds me of early on when all I wanted to know was if we were in a relationship or if this was more of a casual thing. I asked him ‘do you want to be with me?’ and he could never go past ‘I don’t know’. Drove me nuts! Why be with somebody who isn’t sure if they want you!
        It was many arguments later that he explained that to him he couldn’t answer this because there could be some fatal flaw/incompatibility that we are not aware of yet and then once we found out we would not want to be together. For some reason he took the answer to my question as some lifelong contract while for me it was just about the ‘now’.
        Okay back to what works for us. He seems much more comfortable if I tell him specifically what I admire about him. That’s something concrete and he is happy to reciprocate with a detailed list of things he really likes about me (ranges pretty widely from intelligence to toes lol)
        It shows each of us how special we are to each other and it is actually pretty cool to hear exactly what the other person is attracted to in you. ‘Love’ is kind of a fishy thing.
        Identifying the different qualities really does feel more certain and secure.
        That being said if I slip an ‘I love you’ he will just have to live with it for now.

  22. Rico says:

    Well Asperger people rely on facts.. and as far as I go are obsessed with rules. Rules need to be kept no matter what.

    It is like my girlfriend leaning over to me in bed asking “will you be with me forever”. I know – and probably all Asperger people know – the simple and expected answer is “yes”. But then again, what if something happens? Feelings change and accidents happens. As an Asperger person, words like forever do not exists, yet words like never do.

    Also we are – at least I am – very acceptable. Once my girlfriend came over to me telling she is going to leave and move back to her parents. So I all I could say was “Okay”. “See you do not care”, “I could just leave now and you would not be hurt”. Of course we/I care, yet we/I will always put her needs above ours/mine. If she feels like leaving I/we am/are never going to stop her.. more like wishing her good luck on the way and a better live we could offer her.

    • Karin says:

      As an NT I would find this question a bit charged too. I don’t think ‘yes’ is the answer I would be willing to give or expect.
      I think if I am happy in the relationship, the answer I would give or hope for would be along the lines of ‘I would like that’ . :)
      Even NTs can’t predict the future… ;)

      • Karin says:

        In other words I don’t expect my partner to lie to me or predict the future…but it would be nice to hear something reassuring in regards to how he feels about me/us/the relationship…
        ‘I would like us to be together forever’ would work for me.
        Haha I am definitely not as adventurous as your girlfriend. I don’t think no way would I ask that… there’s no telling what he would say!
        So often I just rather enjoy all the great things and not ask too many questions for fear of getting some mood killer answer. I have started to just go by actions rather than verbal expressions of ‘love’

      • Rico says:

        Well yes, yet in a way we learn some kind of ‘standard’ behaviour and responses.

        Like the actual simple sounding question “How are you?”. The honest anwser I used to give would be like ” I don’t know”. However to avoid all the weird following questions and debates we learn to say just “fine”, “okay”, “not bad”, w/e. Even saying bad or not good has a downside since one is mostly required to tell a reason which might aswell be hard to give.
        Imagine coming home from a two days trip asking your spouse “Did you miss me?” and getting a prompt “No, not really”. That is not meant negative at all, but I will skip the explanations on this :)

        I mean for me feelings are feelings, they can change any second and they can not be expressed in words most of the time. Also in a way it is a chase of obsessions.. I can be totally crazy about a thing for months until one day without any reason it gets replaced by another one. Yet there always is an obsession to follow.

      • Karin says:

        Oh I totally get the thing about the ‘how are you’. I grew up in Europe so English is not my native language. Even in school we learned that ‘how are you?’ is more of a greeting than a question…that people will not expect an actual answer to this question.
        So when I moved to the US, it really stressed me out to be asked ‘how are you?’. Since it was more a greeting than a question I initially just answered with ‘Hi’ -which made me just seem like a weird foreigner. LOL.
        Trying to avoid a real answer was stressful and humorous. After about six months here I figured out I could just say ‘Fine and you’ and not stress about the greeting vs question dilemma. LOL

        Rico, it’s that need for permanence/absolute that I just don’t get with my partner. I am not asking for forever. Why can there not be an answer for that moment?
        Nobody is making you (or him) sign some contract. Yes feelings are fleeting… but why not enjoy and express positive ones while they are there?
        It feels like by not acknowledging the good stuff when it’s there- just because you can’t guarantee that it will still be as good two weeks from now- you sort of deprive yourself and the other person of the present

  23. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for this. I am married to an aspie. I have my doubts a lot if he even feels love towards me and the kids. Have seriously thought about leaving because of how lonely it gets with him. Your article really helped. Once again thank you.

  24. anon says:

    The more i read, the more i’ve come to realize that all people with AS should be shipped to an island and bombed. Don’t trust anything that has no emotion when something/one dies.

    • Spencer says:

      That’s de-humanizing and insulting. I have felt emotion when people died, people express grief in different ways. We just take our emotions very seriously and take great care with who we choose to love and how we show it.

  25. Gabrielle says:

    My 19 yr old aspie son would like to date, is OK with the courting type ‘date’… One of my NT couples courted ie. Strongly Christian and chaperoned by a parent or sibling and now they’ve been happily married with 2 children. I’m thinking to give some social structure would make my son feel safe and give guidelines… Any thoughts from other Aspies?

  26. Spencer says:

    By “courting”, do you mean the sort of thing that homeschoolers do? (Homeschooling and Asperger’s is an interesting topic, but too long for me to give my thoughts on).

    I think that’s perfectly fine for an Aspie, but the issue with that is that the parent of the child the Aspie is dating isn’t going to understand that the Aspie doesn’t know all of these social rules. The common stereotype about homeschoolers is that they “have no social skills”, but the truth is that social skills develop on their own with NTs. The parent of the NT homeschooled child will know this and might make some sort of assumption if your Aspie child “messes up” in some way without knowing it–say, not holding a door open or something. Since the parent of the NT child is going to consider every courting thing as a pre-requisite for marriage, he might decide right then and there if he has strict standards that your Aspie child is “unworthy” of his NT child if he doesn’t understand why they are acting the way they are.

    I never dated in high school, but if I had I would have hated having a girl’s father watch me all the time. I’d be very self-conscious and fear a mistake, and my parents probably wouldn’t have helped since they would have been telling me, “You must be on your best behavior, blah blah blah” (they’re NTs). I personally think that if I had been homeschooled and my parents had done that sort of thing, it would have been awful for me since all of the fathers of the girls I would attempt to date would probably deem my “unfit” for some reason or another. They’d look at my interests in addition to how well I performed on a date, and since most Aspies don’t have “typical” interests, I’d probably be disliked.

    Is your son the one wanting to get married and start a relationship, or are you making him? I don’t mean to be rude or question your judgment, but if it’s your idea and not his to start courting then he might not see the point in it if he knows that he won’t be able to impress a girl’s father and get his permission.

    Also, one thing to note is that if you teach him these “rules” for courting and all that and do everything so that the father of the girl will certainly approve of him, then he might get very confused or irritated that not everyone does this. He might be upset that you taught him a set of rules that not everyone follows in relationships, at all times and in all places. He might not like seeing how non-Christians or just non-homeschoolers will “date” instead of “court”, and he might not like seeing how other people his age are allowed to have sex or go on dates without chaperones, etc. (Not that I’m condoning these things, although I doubt that you’ll have to worry about your son having per-marital sex if you teach him why he shouldn’t do that).

    So if you want him to start courting just tell him the rules and make sure he knows that not everyone follows them, and let him know that just because some father doesn’t approve of him it isn’t necessarily his fault. Furthermore, if things keep going badly then make sure you let him realize that it’s ok if he never gets married and stays single all of his life. That whole, “By age 20 you are a loser if you do not have a regular sex partner” mindset of the culture has been really discouraging to me. So just encourage him and let him realize that a lot of people conduct relationships in different ways.

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