Dating can be filled with stress and insecurity, but what happens when you add to this the fact that your date has Asperger’s syndrome? What should you do and what should you not do? How can you make things work?
Here are 10 points to keep in mind when falling in love with one of us Aspies:
1. We prefer to listen
Anyone who knows the basic signs of Asperger’s syndrome will understand this. We’re not that interested in talking, but listening to other people, learning their opinions, or just sharing our thoughts now and then, that we can handle perfectly. And sometimes it takes less of our energy to do it.
2. There is a right way get us talking
It’s better to directly ask when you want an opinion from us. We’re not best friends with indirect comments or sarcasm, although we can learn depending on the person. And be careful when touching on a topic we are interested in: we will talk and talk, and will love it if you share the same interest!
3. Our social needs tend to change
Who says we don’t go to parties, movies, restaurants, and so on? Yes, we may not be fans of going out every single weekend, but some days are OK. Keep in mind that we may prefer to spend a day at home, watching a TV series or listening to music. We may also like going to the library or a museum, somewhere with minimal noise. Now, if your Aspie is a metalhead, things will be a little confusing from time to time, but they will stay interesting!
4. Be upfront about gifts
When there’s something you really love and would like to be given it as a present, it’s better if you share the information. We do have ideas and do try to guess what our significant other might like, but if there’s a detail you know you will love, say it. We won’t have to worry about the endless “is this right?” drama.
5. Hugs? Kisses? We want a relationship first
We prefer to keep a distance when there’s not a solid connection yet, similar to the old days when you had to get to know someone first. You won’t get a kiss on the first date, but maybe on the third or the fourth. We’re romantics in that sense, and there are not many of us left!
6. Don’t overwhelm us with new friends
Please don’t say “I’ll just introduce you to my family/friends” and bring about five people. We’ll be terrified. Think about going one by one, or two by two, giving us enough time to process new people, and do it with enough time between each group. The next time we are at a social event, we’ll go with the flow and will thank you for it!
7. Take the time to learn to get along
Relationships are also about the thorns in the roses and the dark clouds before the rainbow. Even if it’s hard to do when you’re angry, watch your mouth before speaking as we tend to take comments literally. If you’re not getting anywhere in the discussion, take five, calm down and then start again.
8. Let us have our routines
We have a schedule and routines to keep our mind in order and under control. There’s a reason why we do things like that, and yes, “it’s the way it has always been” is valid for us. Changing it can make us feel lost and uncomfortable. It’s better just to ignore those things when you’re still new to an Aspie.
9. Work stress can be hard
Who hasn’t had one of those days in the office? For us, it can be even more stressful than you can imagine so we may be uneasy at the end of the day. Don’t be scared about it. On the other side, if we have an amazing day and love what we’re working on, then you’ll have a great time with us, maybe even a surprise! Who knows?
10. It’s exciting to plan for the future together
So you went through the whole process, you both know each other as no one else does, the feelings are mutual. Maybe it’s time to make it official! Aspies don’t take surprises that well, so if you propose, expect us to be overwhelmed with emotion! If it’s the Aspie who is proposing, then you’ll see us more nervous than ever. Either way, we’re impossibly cute!
Alan D.D. is a writer, journalist, and blogger from Venezuela. After years thinking he was just introvert and shy, he discovered he had Asperger’s syndrome while doing what he loves the most: reading. Since then, he writes about the topic whenever he can, and when not immersed in a book of his or from his favorite authors, can be found most likely at the movies or playing Heroes of the Storm.
This article was featured in Issue 72 – Sensory Solutions For Life