My family and I took a vacation in Venezuela, South America one summer.
We found ourselves in the middle of a town whose streets layout made no sense, and we wondered how we were going to get from point A to point B, since there were no street maps or guides available.
Dating can be like traveling in a foreign city with no map.
It’s helpful to have someone describe the journey (dating), tell you what to avoid, and tell you what to do to make it a good trip.
By reading these autism dating articles I’ve collected, you’ll better understand the dating process.
You’ll find out that you’re not alone.
You may feel as though you’re the only one struggling with your particular difficulties. The truth is, we humans are far more alike than different. This is even more true for those of you on the autism spectrum.
As you read the experiences in these articles, (or view them on video), you’ll see that you’re not alone, and you’ll be encouraged to continue putting yourself out there in the dating process.
2. Learn both positive strategies and behaviors to avoid.
Any process, from cooking, driving, learning a language, and even dating, contains steps that are helpful, and things that are not.
These articles give us hints of how to date successfully.
5 Intriguing Autism Dating Articles
This Awesome Teen and Her Mom Started a Dating Site for People with Autism
Wrong Planet members expressed mixed responses to Spectrum Singles, started by teen Olivia Cantu, and her mother, Kristen Fitzpatrick.
Some feel that the Aspergers dating quiz isn’t accurate, and other are offended that they have to pay for membership at the site.
But others are glad for a site that represents them, and took what they call a balanced and realistic view of the site.
Online dating has its pitfalls, but this site shows some promise.
P.S. I received a correction from Kirsten Fitzpatrick –
Our monthly membership is not $75. Our monthly membership is $9.99. Just to give you an idea, this price is what Match charged for their monthly membership over 20 years ago.
“Are You Angry With Me?”: Dating as an Autistic Woman.
Hope Whitmore found out that neurotypicals unfortunately don’t always react well to finding out that their dating partner is autistic. Her first college boyfriend thought she was quaint, eccentric, and cute. But he ignored and dismissed her when she told him she was autistic.
Unfortunately, autistic women have tended to be invisible, given the stereotypes of autism in the media and in literature. Even men who don’t present according to an average person’s stereotyped understanding of autism may encounter disbelief and denial when they disclose to a dating partner.
Dating on the Autism Spectrum
I don’t think the writer of this article was autistic, and some commenters objected to some of her points of view.
However, the article did shed light on some of the challenges autistics face in dating non-autistics.
Making small talk, reading facial expressions and cues, and knowing when the other person is interested in taking the relationship further can all be daunting.
In the article, you may find the video from PEERS, starring Alex Plank, helpful in the way it explains flirting, step by step.
Autism and Relationships, by Laura Paxton
No, it’s not a dating article. But it is a video!
Laura talks about autism and dating from the inside perspective as an autistic woman. She talks about thought looping, celibacy, obsessiveness, clingy-ness, being realistic, and staying grounded.
Laura also challenges neurotypicals/non-autistics, to take time to understand the autism spectrum. If you’re reading this, and you’re interested in, or actively dating an autistic/Aspergers person, know that if you are understanding, and given your partner space to pursue their interests, they will be devoted and loyal companions.
How to Get a Significant Other if You’re Autistic, by 18 co-authors.
I like crowdsourced articles on WikiHow, because they draw from many author’s perspectives.
Check out this Wiki-How for step by step directions.
I hope you’ll find some of them helpful.
Do’s and Don’ts From the Autism Dating Articles/Video
- Don’t expect that non-autistics will immediately embrace and accept your autism. Give them time to process and think through it. And if they refuse to accept your autism, you don’t want to be with that person.
- Don’t give up! Yes, it’s hard to make friends, to go through the motions of small talk, reading body language, and maintaining a relationship. But it’s do-able, especially when you find the right person.
- Don’t try to earn the other person’s love. Some of these articles, and other threads I’ve read at WrongPlanet emphasize feeling good about yourself independent of the other person.
- Realize that you deserve a place to belong.
- Adopt the right mindset about dating. Like social skills, you can learn dating skills over time, with practice, and the right about of support. Join a community (like the Thrive with Aspergers community), where others can support you as you venture into the world of dating.
- Get the book, Love Factually (not an affiliate link). I heard Dr. Duana Welch on this Art of Manliness podcast episode. The advice applies equally for men and women. Listen to the episode, then decide whether you’d like to buy the book.
- Check out Aspergers 101’s facial expressions video clips to study and better understand facial expressions.
- Read my articles about body language.
- Devour Dan Wendler’s free materials at ImproveYourSocialSkills.com. You can become a member for as low as a one time fee of $5, or as much as you wish to pay. Also, you can sign up for conversation coaching on his site.
- Read my articles about starting, maintaining, and ending a conversation.
photo credit: Summertime Love & Ice Cream via photopin (license)
What dating articles and resources do you recommend? Please share below!