Aspie Dating: 10 Things To Keep In Mind When Looking For Love
Individuals with high functioning autism may be interested in online dating or even a double date with a trusted friend. It is important to talk to autistic people about online safety and have a protocol in place to keep them safe.
This is true for autistic teens as well as adults. With all the electronic communication available, there are dangers that need to be taught.
Ease Of Use Mobile And Desktop Version
From the moment you open the registration page for Aspie Singles, you immediately can feel the effort thats gone into it.
This is a real labor of love by a team that clearly wants to give people with autism a space where they can find someone special in their lives.
To start your journey here, you will undertake a lengthy registration process.
Thats because it not only gets the basic details needed from a potential user, for example, a username, password, email address and screen name but also includes the completion of a full profile.
And the profile is comprehensive, starting with gender.
For that alone, users can choose from 10 different options.
Not only can you select your gender, but what you identify as, as well.
Thats progressive and its to be commended because not many commercial dating sites give these kinds of options.
The rest of the profile creation includes the regulars, for example, questions about appearance, lifestyle, habits, languages and what the user is looking for when it comes to a partner.
Its going to take at least 10 minutes to get the profile completed.
Once thats done, the site takes you through a run-down of how best to use it.
I love that because many people with autism might not ever have tried a dating site just because they feared they never would fit in.
Not only does Aspie Singles make you feel at ease but they guide you as well.
You can also choose a member payment plan if youd like but we will cover that a little later.
Hiki The Best Platform For Autistic Dating
Hiki is the first dating app that offers people with autism a targeted matchmaking service. Whether you are looking for true love or just want to make new friends, Hiki provides the perfect platform.
Unfortunately, Hiki is based in the US, as are the vast majority of its users. However, if you live in the UK, you can still join Hiki without discrimination or difficulty however, you may find it increasingly difficult to meet others in real life. Depending on your geographical location, this could prove challenging.
The goal of this site is to make dating easy and safe for members of the autistic community if you live outside the US and feel that Hiki is still good for this, you will enjoy it.
However, if you use Hiki and get involved in a relationship with someone you cant physically meet, this could present a bit of a dilemma. So you should always take this factor into consideration.
Otherwise, Hiki delivers everything it promises. It provides a safe space for autistic people to meet and date, and it does so exceptionally well.
The design and features of this app make it easy and even enjoyable to use, as the developers have spared no expense in making it high quality. Overall, this is a great provider and it is highly recommended for those looking for love and friendship with other autistic people.
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Relationship Challenges For Those On The Autism Spectrum
A common misconception by many is that an autistic person is unable to have a romantic relationship. It is thought that they are not self aware enough and lack the social skills to connect and make the big time decisions necessary for a potential date.
That is the furthest thing from the truth. There are people on the autism spectrum that could make their main interest dating and the one person they have a committed relationship with.
Does Gender Affect People With Autism Differently
People with autism dont all behave or think the same, including in romantic relationships. There are a variety of factors and idiosyncrasies when it comes to how autism affects a partner, including gender.
Some research suggests that autism differs between men and women. Here are some notable points to keep in mind when dating an autistic man or dating an autistic woman.
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The New Dating App Helping People On The Autistic Spectrum Find Love
A new dating app is aimed at the 70 million people who identify as being on the autistic spectrum.
Launched on Tuesday, Hiki takes its name from the Hawaiian word for “able” and is the brainchild of 28-year-old developer Jamil Karriem.
Karriem’s cousin lives with autism spectrum disorder and told him he was lonely and afraid he wouldn’t be able to find a romantic partner. Karriem, whose girlfriend had just left him, empathized.
” it wasn’t until a few weeks later that it dawned on me that while we both felt scared of the unknownand we both yearned for meaningful connectionI had a myriad of platforms at my disposal where I could put myself out there,” Karriem wrote on Medium. “Moreso, I had the privilege of being able to go to loud bars with flashing lights any night of the week. He didn’t.”
Though Karriem is neurotypical, he knew that he needed people living with autism to bring Hiki to market: One of his two designers is on the spectrum, and Hiki’s five-person advisory council includes two people with autism and three educators with more than 30 years experience working with ASDs.
One in 59 children in the United States is born with autism, according to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundationmore than with HIV, diabetes and cancer combined. The online dating industry is expected to top $12 billion by 2020, but there’s yet to be an app for this sizable population.
Aspie Singles: A Dating Site That Connects Men And Women Who Are On The Autism Spectrum
Hayley Matthews is a renowned lifestyle editor who’s appeared on countless popular lifestyle publications and websites. Hayley is the Editor-in-Chief and handles editorial duties, social media engagement, and partnerships.
Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingNews articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.
The Scoop: For singles on the autism spectrum, it can be hard to meet people on mainstream online dating sites who fully understand and accept them. Thats why many turn to Aspie Singles. The site connects men and women who have autism spectrum disorders and offers advice for dating online. Today, Aspie Singles has become one of the largest online dating platforms for daters with autism.
Over the last two decades, the number of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders has increased significantly. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 160 children is on the autism spectrum. While children are typically diagnosed with ASDs, some dont receive a diagnosis until adulthood.
People with ASDs experience the world differently than others. These differences can make connecting with others difficult, especially those who dont understand how people on the spectrum think.
Aspie Singles connect daters who are on the autism spectrum.
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Why Is Dating So Hard For Asperger Singles & Autistic People
The online dating process can be intricate. On the road to your first date, you may have to spend a lot of energy getting your profile details filled in, uploading appropriate pictures and manoeuvring your way through lengthy chats or even phone calls.
Eventually, once youve found someone who makes you happy, its all worth it however, when youre in the midst of it all, things can be quite overwhelming and frustrating.
Many British singles are hesitant to embark on their journey of online dating, and for people with a disability, it can be even more daunting.
Here are some hard numbers on statistics regarding autistic dating:
- 30% of young adult internet users in the UK actively use dating sites.
- 41% of autistic adults have been in a romantic partnership for more than two months.
- 44% of autistic adults who use dating sites said they had long-term relationships that lasted an average of 2.65 years.
An alternative approach to online services are regular social events, such as Speed Dating, which are frequently held in major Cities all round the United Kingdom. Offline dating events in the United Kingdom can be effective, but tend to focus on speed dating and are generally more recommended for outgoing and extroverted personalities, rather than people diagnosed with autism.
Why You Should Care
These apps are aimed squarely at the romantic aspirations of the autistic community.
- A new wave of dating apps is emerging, focused on people on the autism spectrum.
- Standard apps, while open to people with autism, arent tailored to their needs, resulting in uncomfortable experiences.
About a decade ago, Dutch web developer Douwe Boschma found out he was on the autism spectrum. One of the struggles that led to was in his dating life. It was very hard for me to connect with people when they didnt know that I was autistic, he says. So I got this idea of building my own dating website.
In 2016, Boschma, now 50 and married to a woman who isnt on the spectrum, launched Aspie Singles, a dating site focused on the autistic community. Its become a thriving group of about 4,500 people, a side project to his day job that he hopes will help people experiencing the same problems he faced. The site normally gets about 15 or 20 new sign-ups per day.
Boschma isnt alone in recognizing the unmet demand among people with autism for dating platforms that cater to their specific needs. The CDC estimates that more than 1 percent of the worlds population is on the autism spectrum, meaning more than 70 million people. Standard dating apps like Tinder are open to people with autism, but are designed for those who are neurotypical people not on the spectrum. That makes them far from ideal as platforms where people with autism can sell themselves as a potential partner.
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Why Should A Successful App With Millions Of Active Users Care About Any Of This
Ahh, now thats a great question. Its also a question that requires two answers.
1. Its our civic duty as designers.
Dating apps are riddled with scammers. In 2018 alone, dating app users reportedly lost a combined $143MM of their personal savings to online romance scams, with a median loss of $2,600 per person.
These scammers feed on desperate individuals, enticing them to connect and chat, and then subsequently convincing them to send large sums of money.
Given the lack of dating resources currently available to users on the spectrum, these individuals have become the primary targets of said scammers.
One of our most important roles as designers is to generate empathy for the user. This empathy effectively improves the likelihood that our research and design improvements are understood and properly implemented by non-designers.
If the notion of an autistic person who has never been on a date in their life losing $2,600 of their precious income to an online scammer while simultaneously having their confidence depleted doesnt make you feel some sort of empathy, then I dont know what will.
2. Its a strategic business opportunity.
1 in every 59 people have autism, a number that has ballooned by 32% since 2012.
Based on those figures, that means there are currently 4,152,000 adults on the spectrum in the U.S. alone.
Who Should Be Redesigning For Those With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Every digital product, whether its a dating platform or not, should be designing with these users in mind.
However, I chose to center this case study around the dating app Hinge for three reasons.
If youre a member of the design community, you know how prevalent the topic of accessible design is right now.
When designers talk about accessibility, they are often referring to people who are color blind, have low vision, or are deaf. Research on and the implementation of design tactics pertaining to the needs of users on the spectrum is almost nonexistent.
However, whether it was intentional or not, the dating app Hinge has done a phenomenal job designing for users with ASD based on the little information we have.
2. Theyre already matching users based on very personal details and attributes.
If youve ever used Hinge, you know that the platforms main differentiator is the ability to prioritize your dating options based on a set of preferences, thus ensuring you only view profiles that align with your interests while excluding those who dont.
These preferences include extremely personal attributes, such as ethnicity, religion, height, political views and even the users education level.
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How Can Dating Apps Improve Your Chances Of Finding Other Autistic Singles
For many people who suffer from Aspergers syndrome or another similar autistic disorder, finding a partner can be even more difficult than it already is. Fortunately, a number of dating apps have been developed in recent years to make it much easier to connect with and get to know other similar minded individuals.
Unfortunately, most of these apps and dating services have not been directly tailored towards people with ADHD or Aspergers, but rather developed for a broader audience. Nonetheless, when it comes to online dating, the chat feature and some pleasing photos can help with landing a terrific long-lasting first impression and eventually result in a fulfilling relationship.
The Basic Membership Includes Access To The Discussion Forum
More than 3.5 million Americans are currently living with an autism spectrum disorder. Some have a mild case that presents as an unwillingness to depart from routines or a difficulty in sustaining relationships. Other cases are more severe with symptoms including being nonverbal or unable to make eye contact.
The mainstream dating world can be overwhelming for an individual with mild autism and impossible for someone with severe autism. Thats why Aspie Singles has stepped in with an unintimidating networking solution.
The Aspie Singles dating site has the profile browsing features and search tools that are standard for online dating. What sets it apart is its community-building features. The site has an active discussion forum where members can ask questions and share their experiences as a person with autism.
Members can take their time building friendships and relationships on Aspie Singles.
Aspie Singles is a dating site where people across the spectrum can communicate and connect as they see fit. It can be a space for making friends, testing social skills, or even finding a romantic partner.
The Aspie Singles site offers a free membership plan that includes access to the discussion forums and dating profile gallery. However, the free membership does not include unlimited private messaging. Single women can chat for free on the dating site, while single men must upgrade to a paid membership to send private messages.
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The Spectrum Compatibility Test
This is the main feature that sets SpectrumSingles apart from other dating sites. The 184-question Spectrum Compatibility Test is essentially a prerequisite for creating a profile, which Cantu established in order to match members based on a variety of the spectrum attributes. Upon completing the test, the member is assigned a color based on their form of autism. Cantu, for example, is a Blue.
Typically, it will be arranged so the user can communicate with other members who have the same color identification, but it is also possible to branch out. It is optional to include other colors of the spectrum in their match results so members of those classifications know they might be interested.
The innovative Spectrum Compatibility Test narrows the field from thousands of prospects to match your spectrum attributes with a select group of spectrum compatible matches.
Not only did I want to create a website for people on the autism spectrum to connect, but I also wanted to create the first compatibility test for people on the spectrum, Cantu said. Each one of us are unique. Some of us are introverted, quiet types , and some of us are outgoing types. Some of us can tolerate certain environments, and some of us cannot.
The test helps narrow the search down by grouping individuals together based on characteristics or tendencies such as these.
Reading And Sending Signals
The social signals involved in dating and flirting can be complex, inconsistent and subtle. Interpreting them presents a challenge for most everyone. It can be particularly difficult when ASD interferes with the ability to read and respond to social signals. This can produce confusion, discomfort and frustration. When social cues are missed, your date may feel that their messages or feelings arent being heard or validated. This takes some extra attention and communication on your part it is important to ask follow-up questions and clarify if you are not sure how to interpret a subtle cue.
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Is It Hard To Date Someone With Autism
There is a show on Netflix called Love On The Spectrum, which follows young autistic adults as they navigate relationships, dating, and falling in love. There are individuals that have a meaningful connection and form a committed relationship after their dating relationship takes the next step.
Difficult moments when making eye contact, understanding certain situations and feelings, and maintaining conversation were difficult. There was one date where a cast member, Michael, goes on his first date and is asking his date questions. She becomes overwhelmed and the date is ended, leaving Michael wondering if he did something wrong.
Having a level of self awareness and an awareness of the surroundings and the other person on the date is difficult even for neurotypical people, so when it comes to people with autism, having romantic relationships can be a challenge. This can lead people to think that dating someone with autism is challenging.
An interview by Hurlbutt and Chalmers with an adult male on the autism spectrum indicated that the man felt he drove away women because of how often he called them and didnt recognize their feeling like they were being harassed. It can only take a moment of misunderstanding feelings and body language that can lead to feelings of harassment, affecting the dating life of autistic people.