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I am starting to feel really discouraged. I am 37 years old and I have never been married before and have had a series of relationships that went straight down the toilet. I haven’t dated anyone in two years. -Anonymous woman, on Wrong Planet
When I started counseling other people, I felt like a child learning to walk. I had to learn how to sit, how to focus on the other person, how to listen with empathy, and what felt like a million other components. At first, I was a nervous wreck.
But with the right tips, I started to become more comfortable. My counseling supervisor and the counseling frameworks I learned gave me a road map to the world of counseling others.
In the same way that the right tips helped me become more confident, I’ve looked for dating tips for women that can help you, as an Aspergers woman, feel more comfortable dating men.
You wonder why it’s so hard to date. You wonder if you’ll ever meet that right person.
Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, writes that
“Dating is a place to practice how to relate to other people.” Dr. Henry Cloud #quote
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I like this thought, because it takes the pressure from the process.
Before I get started, please watch AnMish talk about the positives of being an Aspie. Just viewing this video should start helping you think and feel even better about yourself.
Like Who You Are
Value who you are as a person. I’ve struggled with putting myself down in the past. Low self-esteem didn’t help me with dating. When I felt down about myself, I didn’t really want to go out and meet women, because I didn’t feel good about myself, and therefore couldn’t imagine how a woman could love and accept me.
I had to make personal growth a priority and learn accept myself before I was ready to take the risk of personal rejection that comes with dating.
Are you happy with who you are? If not, please make a personal growth plan, and pursue self-acceptance.
Know Your Unique Characteristics as an Asperger Woman
It’s helpful to know all aspects of yourself, including how Aspergers influences you.
Do you have Asperger’s? That’s the starting point.
Take an online Aspergers quiz to take an initial screening.
You’ll also want to bookmark this great set of resources for Aspergers women from Wrong Planet.
And here’s a great list of female traits of Aspergers, from Rudy Simone, author of Aspergirls.
Appearances Matter, To an Extent
I found this tip from Rudy Simone, as quoted in her interview, Aspergirls: Some Kind of Girl Hero?
First, make the most of what you have got. If a girl with wild unkempt hair and badly matched clothes wants to go out with someone and hasn’t had success, I tell her to find a style of grooming and dress that shows who she really is, but is cultivated–a garden is more inviting than a meadow full of weeds.
Second, obey cultural gender roles to a degree— e.g. do not call him 14 times a night to see what he’s up to. Let him call you whenever possible. We have a tendency to desperately want to maintain a thread of communication with someone we’re interested in and we can go overboard. Learn that it is OK to not speak to someone every day. It doesn’t mean that they don’t care or that they don’t like you.
For more information, read Personal Hygiene: Who Gives a Care?
Become More Comfortable with Conversation and Friendship
Conversation and friendship precede dating.
If you want to practice conversation skills, Dan Wendler of Improve Your Social Skills website (himself an Aspergers adult), has hired conversation partners who will help you practice your conversation skills. Go to his Conversation Partners page for more details.
Find Places to Pursue Your Interests in the Context of Other People
Meetup.com is a site where you can search by groups and interests for people interested in similar topics as you.
VolunteerMatch will help you figure out what types of causes you want to volunteer for and then pair you with an organization that is a good match for you.
This is a partial list: if you can think of other good places to connect with people in a safe environment, please let me know in the comments section after this article.
Get to Know Others Online
Wrong Planet’s forums are a great place to connect with others and to discuss coping in life topics like Love and Dating, Making Friends, School and College Life, and Work and Finding a Job.
Friendships developed on-line can possibly also develop into offline opportunities to meet in person.
Here are some online dating safety tips for women that apply not only to dating but also to just getting together with anyone you meet online.
For more tips on staying safe, Lynne Soraya’s (the author is an Asperger adult) book, Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum is a good resource.
How to Know If He’s Interested
Once you form an acquaintance, how do you tell if he’s interested?
It starts with understanding body language. Please click here for a list of my body language articles from this site. Read them and get comfortable with the concepts there.
Here’s a helpful Wiki-How on How To Tell if a Guy Is Interested in You.
How to Know If He’s Taking Advantage of You (Relationship Self-Defense)
Aspergers women have recounted many unfortunate experiences of being taken advantage of by men.
Here’s a helpful forum thread from Wrong Planet, Tips on How To Tell If a Man Has Good Intentions.
Before I met Vicki, my wife, here’s a story of my dating life –
I came to the United States in 1986, fresh from Brazil, having never dated anyone seriously.
I asked one girl in college out multiple times, and could not see that she was not interested.
I asked another girl out, and she said yes, only to never show up for our date. Awkward.
I went on a couple of dates with another girl, but as she showed some interest, I didn’t know where to go from there (hint: I had low self-esteem, did not know where I was going in life -I was just out of college, but was still uncertain of my career direction), so I sabotaged the relationship and it went nowhere.
These are just a few of the very awkward encounters I had with dating.
Somehow, in all my bumbling, I slowly started learning more about myself and my own hangups, my need for personal growth, and my need to develop more confidence. Each awkward encounter was like a toddler learning to walk. The toddler takes a few steps and falls, but then gets up time and after time, and eventually the day comes when she walks across the room.
Take steps to get to know and like who you are as an Aspergers woman. As per Rudy Simone, remember that grooming and hygiene do matter, to a degree, in meeting men for the first time. Work on your conversation and friendship skills. Find safe social arenas to practice meeting and talking to others. Learn how to tell if a man is interested in getting to know you more. Trust your intuition when getting to know men, and learn how to spot and defend yourself against manipulative men who would try to take advantage of you.
photo credit: CliffMuller via photopin cc
Those are some dating tips for Asperger women that I found. But I know this list is incomplete. I’m waiting for your input! Please share your dating tips below!
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