Dating and relationships are hard enough to navigate without throwing the challenges of Asperger’s into the mix. It can seem overwhelming to even think about asking someone out let alone getting through the date itself.
Approximately one in fifty-nine children are recognized as being on the Autism Spectrum and even more go through their lives without a diagnosis. That means there are a lot of individuals in the dating world who face the reality of dating with Asperger’s. That doesn’t make it any easier to do.
Keep reading for some dating tips to help you face some of the unknown or more difficult social aspects of dating and relationships.
Finding Someone to Date
People are creatures of habit and tend to spend their days in the same places, surrounded by the same people doing the same things. It’s not always easy to meet someone to date in the first place.
If your current circle of acquaintances doesn’t have any prospective partners you may want to widen your circle.
Your Friend Circle
The people you already know and trust may have a friend who is perfect for you.
Let your family and friends know you’re ready to date. They can make the process easier and help you find someone who is a good candidate.
Trusted loved ones can offer a wealth of information and support as you start dating as well. If they do introduce you to one of their friends you can learn more about the person and feel more at ease that someone who loves you knows them and believes they’re a potential mate for you.
New Activities and New People
Trying new things can be scary and meeting new people can be intimidating but adding new places and people to your week can be one way to ease into the dating scene.
Not only does it widen the dating pool of prospects but also gives you opportunities to practice adjusting to new social situations and using some of the skills that it takes to have a successful relationship.
Start with activities you already enjoy and take a person you trust and like with you.
If you love drawing or painting you may consider attending a local art class. This also gives you the benefit of knowing you have at least one thing in common with the people there so you’ll have something to talk about.
It’s much easier to come up with something to say and feel less awkward when the conversation is online rather than face to face. You need to be cautious and find the right online forum and community to meet people online.
One of the positive things about meeting people online is that it gives you a chance to take your time and progress the friendship or relationship on your terms.
You have more control over when you interact and the opportunity to get to know the person before the pressure of alone time together.
The First Date
Asking someone out and going on the first date is nerve-wracking for anyone. When you’re interested in someone it can be hard to know how or when the right time to ask them out is.
One of the many strengths of people on the spectrum is their persistence. This, however, can seem off-putting if you are relentlessly pursuing a love interest.
Asking Someone Out
Whether you decide to ask someone out online or to do it in person it’s good to be confident and direct about liking someone but important that you respect their feelings as well.
You can’t go from an acquaintance you only say hello to right into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Consider the relationship you have with the person and what level of friendship you have. It may take some time to work up to asking them out.
Asking someone out can be scary. The easiest way to ask may be online through a message or email so you can plan what you’re going to say without stammering over your words. Offer some suggestions of places to go and things to do.
Choosing the Right Place
Where you go on your first date can make all the difference.
Make sure you choose a safe place for you. While crowds can sometimes be overwhelming it’s important that for a first date, especially if you are meeting someone from online for the first time, you choose a public place.
Perhaps meet friends for dinner at a restaurant or if you like movies or plays to attend one together. This will cut down on the need to come up with a lot of conversation during the event but give you something to talk about afterward.
Choose an activity and place that you feel comfortable.
A first date is an anxiety-provoking enough experience without adding a new place to stress you out. Ensure you have your cellphone and someone you trust close by so if there is an issue or you need support there’s someone there to help.
Take it Slow and Get to Know
You can take as much time as you need to get to know someone and let them get to know you. Don’t let anyone push you into situations or commitments that you’re not comfortable with.
Many people don’t understand the challenges and gifts that come along with being on the spectrum. Be honest about what you need and what you’re feeling. The more a person you are dating understands about you and Asperger’s the easier it will be for both of you.
Be Honest and Set Boundaries
You’ll avoid a lot of conflict and miscommunications by being upfront about who you are and what you need.
Your date will be better able to offer support and react appropriately to difficult situations for you if they know which social situations are a struggle for you.
If you prefer not to be hugged or touched without warning, let your date know so they don’t inadvertently cause you unnecessary stress. Offer suggestions for what they can do to make it easier for you.
A relationship is between two people so ensure you listen and understand their needs too.
Dating Tips From Family
While you don’t want others interfering with your relationships it can be good to get some dating tips from family and friends. They know you. They have some idea of what worries you and what makes you happy.
Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice.
You can also find some great advice and make some great new friends in our Special Bridge community. So join Special Bridge today and be one step closer to the relationship you’re dreaming of.