“I’m hopeless at small talk and have a problem making eye contact."
Gary Numan English singer, composer, and musician
I’ll Share Some Tips to Help Loosen Your Tongue – But First, A Story
I remember the first time I was learning to drive a car. The car had manual transmission, so I had to shift gears by hand. At the time, I was living in Connecticut, land of hills and valleys.
The worst part about driving a stick shift car is when you have to drive up a hill, and you’re first in a long line of cars at a traffic light. When you shift into first gear, you have to be able to smoothly let up on the clutch, or you’ll roll backwards and hit the car behind you.
I was a nervous wreck on those first drives in that car. My father (or mother), depending on who was brave enough to “instruct" me during the ride, eventually walked me through. There were a few times when the car seized up, and the engine died. But after more than a few trial runs, I started learning how to drive the car.
Dating is like learning to drive the car. You need to understand some basic tips and experience from someone who’s been there. In my case, my father and mother coached me.
And in the world of dating, I made a few mistakes.
But every next experience got a bit better. Here’s some Aspergers dating advice to help make your dating experience a little easier.
“Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.” John Maxwell. Tweet This!
Aspergers Dating Advice Tips
These tips come from an article called 10 First Date No Fail Conversations, and from Chat for Adults with HFA and Aspergers’ blog entry called Longing for Romance: Tips for Aspies
A first date is an opportunity to get to know someone as a friend. Don’t get too excited. Don’t be too nervous. Relax and have fun.
Don’t ask about her past boyfriends or dating experiences.
You can ask if she has any brothers or sisters. Avoiding the parents, at first, can be helpful,if she went through divorce or separation at an early age.
Have you traveled anywhere special? Or you can ask where she would like to travel in the future. You can learn about her interests, and even offer to take her there sometime (but don’t offer anything like this until the relationship is well established – like 10 dates later, unless she brings it up first)
Ask her about what kinds of foods and drinks she prefers. You can also talk about what kinds of foods and drinks you prefer. Yes, this may seem boring to you, but it gives you something to talk about 🙂
Ask her about her education and her job. Compliment her on her achievements, both academically and in her career.
Ask her about her friends. Friends can tell you a lot about a person. She’ll enjoy talking about people in her cricle of friends, whether online or offline.
Ask her about her interests. Does she like certain sports? What kind of music does she like? What kinds of video games does she play? You’ll find out whether you have interests in common with each other. You can also share your interests, but don’t go on too long about them.
Study her body language during your date. If she is having a good time, you could mention things you can do in the future. If you are a woman with Aspergers, here are 11 body signals to watch for in a man.
Ask those closest to you for critical feedback about your personal strengths and weaknesses when relating to others around you.
Prior to the date, use relaxation and visualization to prepare yourself for the date. Sports psychologists recommend these techniques to athletes, so why not use them to help you relax before a date.
Pursue co-ed activities that interest you (biking, hiking, photography, volunteer or charitable organizations, literature classes). Attend or participate once a week, every single week of your life, until you are in a relationship. “Once you are attending your activities on a regular basis, begin to ask individuals out – one after the other. Usually coffee or lunch dates work best for a first date. Start by chatting with the new person about the activity you are both participating in, and then casually ask if the person would like to get together ” (from Chat for Aspergers with HFA and Adults)
Other Articles and Resources for Aspergers Dating Advice:
Asperger’s Test Site wrote a helpful article called, The World of Dating and Relationships.
Improve Your Social Skills. Daniel Wendler, himself an Aspie, has researched and practiced social skills to the point that he now coaches others. His basic foundations lay the framework for relating, and his advanced guide for members talks about meeting people, group conversations, and dating. His prices are extremely reasonable [I’m not an affiliate], and for $5, you can get information on the dating material/tips.
Picture: photo credit: Geoff LMV via photopin cc (About the picture: this is how we sometimes feel when we try to relate to others, especially when we’re in an uncomfortable situation — we want to hide. Hopefully, this article can help you take your hand away from your face, metaphorically speaking, and feel more comfortable in a dating situation).
What’s your experience with dating been like? What dating advice would you give, whether to Aspergers people or people in general?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."