Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.
It's really quite beautiful that you love him and want the relationship with him to blossom. I work with teens and young adults who have Asperger’s. The experience you relate is typical for Asperger Syndrome (AS). So, I need to caution you about thinking that he does "feel" it but just doesn't recognize it. Why?
Because what you are referring to is his feeling within himself that emotional connection. But the disorder of AS is really centered on the person's not having access to emotional connections in a self-aware, developed way. This is why it's a developmental disorder. Instead, someone with AS learns how to understand the "rule" behind the action. For example, if you are hurt by someone saying something to you, he can learn to "read" a look in your face that signals to him that you need a certain type of response from him. The same with love. How?
He can learn that when he recognizes that he thinks of you as special in his life, that there is a closeness between you two, that this means he has an emotional connection. That he needs to do certain things that make this connection grow. He then can learn the intricacies of noticing what your feelings may be expressing, etc. Step by step.
Yes, this is dispassionate in the way that our normal "wiring" operates. But in his internal world, this is what gives him the chance to interact, to learn the rules that we pick up and learn intuitively. He has to do it as a conscious learning. That's the difference. And you become a bit of a teacher for a while as well as his loved one. You see, he is telling you the truth if he has AS; because he has no other way to know what love is.
Now I want to give you some books to read. I'm going to give you a lot of books to choose from because they are all worthwhile. I'll give you the Amazon pages so you can look at them before deciding.
This first one is important because it has a focus on relationships. Solutions for Adults with Aspergers Syndrome by Juanita Lovett. Amazon page:
This one was written by an adult with Aspergers! I think that says enough, don't you? the title will say the rest. Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety by Nick Dubin. Amazon page:
Now this one I want you to read because it's the one written for people who live with adults with Aspergers! The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome by Maxine Aston. Amazon page:
Okay. I've overloaded you perhaps. But I hope you can see how each one of these has something else to contribute to you in helping him in his growth and development. Because if you're prepared for what his world is like inside, then it could work.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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