Try To Be Supportive Of Their Interests
Dating someone with autism means partaking in their interests. A person with autism likely has a few areas of interest they focus on, and they may be uninterested in activities or topics unrelated to these specific areas of interest.
When they share one of their interests with you, try to be supportive and take part in it, at least sometimes. At the very least, you must be prepared to give them time to explore their interests and not take offense if they seem uninterested in the things you love.
Develop Your Own Rapport
An adult woman with autism probably knows how to read your emotions. She just cant return your serve not the way you want her to. Shes got other ways to show what she feels.
If youre open, shell teach you her love language. All you have to do is pay attention. Actually listen to her words.
A high-functioning chick with autism doesnt try to give anyone faux emotions to lube your social gears. When they flout conventions, theyre actually doing you and themselves a favor. Theyre being sincere. If you return the favor, theyll appreciate it like you wouldnt believe.
Just because she doesnt smile first, that doesnt mean she wont appreciate your smile or eventually return one. And if she doesnt want to talk to you, shell definitely let you know that, too.
Always Be Direct With Her
Girls on the spectrum can understand jokes, sarcasm, metaphors, and innuendos. It just takes a lot of practice.
It helps if you occasionally say things like, Im kidding.
That helps more than you think.
For someone on the spectrum, every new person is a puzzle they have to figure out. We dont assume that anything about people in general applies to the single persons we meet at coffee shops and bars.
The more honest and up front you are, the better. You can open with something like, Youre cute. Can I talk to you?
Most of us love stuff like that.
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They Are Not Emotionless
A person with autism finds it difficult to express clearly, and hence, is often perceived as being low on emotion or even emotionless, which is not true. They are emotional and sometimes experience more strongly than other people . However, they cannot express the same as easily as most people can. You need to understand this and not assume them to be completely indifferent to your emotions.
They Cannot Go On Regular Dates
Going to a bar sounds like a good idea for a date. But for someone on the spectrum, going to the bar may be the most uncomfortable experience. A person with autism can be sensitive to noise and crowds . If your partner is hypersensitive to sounds, plan your date according to their comfort level and preferences.
Learn Her Definition Of Spontaneity
Theres a difference between adventure and spontaneity. Someone on the spectrum has no trouble with one night stands, climbing mountains, or trespassing on haunted private property.
Theres just some decision making involved.
Most people on the spectrum cherish planning and organization. Ive had sex on a schedule for years now, and I love it.
They Like To Follow Their Routine
Individuals on the spectrum exhibit repetitive behavior and activities. It can cause a certain obsessiveness for their routine. Due to any reason, if they are unable to follow their routine, it can cause them a lot of anxiety, which can lead to tantrums . They might not appreciate impromptu dates or surprises. Ensure that you plan a date that fits in their routine and does not disturb it in any way.
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Put Yourself In Their Shoes For A Moment
Imagine running 10 miles during the day. Then, you come home, and your partner wont even acknowledge that you ran 10 miles. Now, how do you feel about that? It probably would hurt your feelings. Remember this analogy the next time you get upset with your partner when they say no to doing something or go along with it but become overwhelmed. They metaphorically run a marathon every day but arent often acknowledged for their efforts. Furthermore, they are asked to change or try harder and that can cause them to feel so sad. So, its important to think about what really matters to you, and be reasonable in your requests of your autistic partner. Recognize how hard they are trying every day to make you happy. It will give you the compassion and understanding to be reasonable with them while respecting your own needs too.
Dont Get Deflated By Her Default Mode
A lot of people with autism cant smile that well, at least not on cue. We can do genuine smiles. In fact, research has shown that fake-smiles use different muscles and neurons.
We also know that women in general are expected to smile all the time, just to appear opening and nonthreatening.
Asper girls cant do it.
They learned a long time ago how creepy their fake smile looks. Its a trip down the Uncanny Valley.
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They Want You To Be Direct And Honest
For those on the spectrum, relationships can sometimes cause anxiety. To avoid unnecessary stress for your partner, be direct and honest in your approach. They also want to make the relationship work as much as you do. They only need you to be clear with what you want and communicate the same with them without hesitation.
Relationship Tips For People With Autism
People with autism crave loving, stable relationships, just like neurotypical people do.
Relationships come in many forms, and people with autism form satisfying, lasting relationships with family members, friends, and partners. The path to quality relationships might simply look different for a person with autism.
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How To Meet People
In an ideal world, we easily meet people who end up being our friends for life. But the truth is that it can be hard to meet people in today’s tech-focused world. If you don’t organically meet people in your day-to-day life, options exist.
- Build on shared interests. People with ASD often have narrow, focused passions. You might love astronomy or dinosaurs or French cooking. You’re in luck. Plenty of clubs form around interests just like this, and there, you could find a friend or partner who shares your focus. You already have something in common with this person. That could be the foundation upon which you build a relationship.
- Look for meet-ups. Head to sites like Eventbrite or Meetup and search for “autism groups.” Many communities host events that cater to the autism community. You gather with a group of others looking for companionship, and you enjoy fun activities together. If you find someone you like, ask to spend more time together.
You Need To Be Careful About Who You Let Into Your Life
We all have fears of someone hurting our children. It seems the news is full of stories of how moms boyfriend or dads girlfriend harmed a child. Parents of children with autism need to be even more careful. Unfortunately, people who prey on children may even target those with special needs, as these children are more likely to be unable to tell anyone that they are being hurt.
Is It Possible To Have A Relationship With Autistic Person
Autism dating may seem challenging given the symptoms of this condition, and some people may even believe that autism and love are impossible. The reality is that this is a misconception.
While individuals with autism may have difficulty with communication and social interaction, many do desire intimate relationships with others.
A recent study with over 200 individuals with autism found that those with autism had the same interest in romantic relationships that individuals without autism did.
That being said, those with autism had more anxiety surrounding relationships, and their romantic partnerships tended not to last as long when compared to those without autism.
What can be concluded from this is that individuals with autism want to experience relationships.
The answer to Can autistic people love? appears to be yes, but autism dating may be more challenging since those who live with autism can have difficulty meeting new people, leading to anxiety with autism and romantic relationships.
Dating someone with autism and having a happy relationship is possible if you are willing to learn about the condition, be supportive of your partner, and make some compromises to accommodate their needs.
The autism dating tips below can help you with loving someone with autism.
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As An Autism Therapist I Am Passionate About Helping Neurodiverse Women Thrive
One of the most common things women with autism bring up about dating is their wish that their partners would be direct. They say: I just wish they would tell me what they actually mean. Although many autistic women are very empathetic and have a remarkable capacity for love, social nuances may still allude them. Ultimately, what may make a relationship very challenging and stressful for a woman with autism is indirect communication and sarcasm.
Likewise, their desire to communicate in a direct way may make their partners uncomfortable. Often autistic teens and adults say what comes to their mind. They may be so direct, that this makes neurotypicals uncomfortable. For example, if a woman with autism wants to recharge her social battery and spend time with her special interest, she may simply say, I dont want to hang out with you. This statement can really hurt her partner if they dont fully understand why she needs alone time.
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Dating An Autism Parent Vs Dating Any Other Parent
At the end of the day, dating someone with an autistic child isnt much different than dating any other single parent.
Yes there are additional time constraints which can be challenging. One of the biggest differences might be in how long it takes to be introduced to the child!
Many people on the autism spectrum do not handle change very well.
You have to be worth the stress an autistic child may have over the change of you being around AND most autism parents want to feel secure that you will continue being around, or else they will have to face the stress of THAT change should you ever leave.
Thats a lot for someone to consider before introducing someone important into their kiddos life.
The Challenges That People With Autism Face When Expressing Emotions
People with autism have all the same feelings as everyone else in fact, studies have found that their feelings can be more intense than those of neurotypical people. However, people with autism do not show their emotions in the ways that are socially expected of them, so they are often misinterpreted as apathetic. John Elder Robison, autism advocate and author of Look Me in the Eyes, has personally experienced this phenomenon: Because we dont show , people make the wrong assumption about our depth of feeling about other people.
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Tips And Resources For Navigating The World Of Autism Dating
A specific component of the dating world that people with autism struggle with is flirting. PEERSa UCLA program that educates teens and young adults with autism about dating etiquettebreaks down tips for flirting into manageable steps that are easy for people with autism to grasp.
For example, PEERS offers the following list of tactics for initiating contact with another person:
- Notice the other person and briefly make eye contact.
- Glance away .
- Give a slight smile.
- Begin a casual conversation and find common interests.
- Use a common interest as inspiration for a date activity.
- Assess their interest level first by asking What are you doing this weekend? If they say, Nothing, thats probably a good sign that theyre interested in going, and you can feel confident asking them out on a date.
- Exchange contact information and select a day and time for your date.
Dating Someone With High Functioning Autism
The term high functioning autism is used in relation to people who have explicit symptoms of autism, but at the same time, their speech skills and level of intelligence are well developed. It is opposite to dating someone with mild autism. When looking at people with high functioning autism, many usually notice only their advantages.
Especially, after it was hypothesized that Bill Gates, Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton are among them. In fact, not everything in the garden is rosy. People with high functioning autism are much harder to cope with life than others. Despite their apparent adaptation to the environment, they are just as hard to interact with the world as other autists. They have a similar reaction to touchy situations, and it often surprises those around them who think that they are dealing with ordinary people. Reactions of surprise and bewilderment from colleagues, relatives, and friends can additionally traumatize a person with high functioning autism. It leads to depression. Therefore, they suffer from difficulties at work and in building romantic relationships.
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Tips For Neurotypical Friends & Partners
People with autism are much the same as everyone else. They want companionship, they have hopes, they dream big. But sensitivity to the diagnosis and the challenges that commonly come with it can help friendships to grow.
If your friend is autistic:
- Take things slowly. Autism rigidity is real, and it can impact new friendships. Before you plan a surprise dinner or switch up dinner plans, talk with your friend. Some people with autism need time to process decisions, even when they’re small. Respect that tendency.
- Be generous with space. Some people with ASD describe feeling overwhelmed at work or school and exhausted at home. They spend all day trying to keep symptoms in check and keep coworkers comfortable. When they arrive at home, they need time to decompress. Don’t intervene with repeated calls, visits, or chatter unless the person invites you to do so.
- Be explicit. Some people with autism struggle with nonverbal communication, and you might interpret their silence as indifference. If you’ve had a hard day and need support, explain that need in clear terms. Talk about what you need and when you need it. Don’t expect the person to read your mind.
- Ask questions. Some people with autism explain that they need to stim after hard days. This may seem unusual to you, but it may be soothing to them. If you see behaviors you don’t understand, ask about them. Listen to the answers without judgment. You could develop a deeper understanding of the person.
Learn What Kinds Of Gifts She Likes
Someone with autism has their own love language, and its a little different from the ones Gary Chapman talks about.
In the end, shes just like anyone else. You cant get her things that normal people like, and expect her to appreciate them. Hint: She probably wont appreciate concert tickets to Katy Perry.
You have to figure out her world what she needs and doesnt fully know. Its not even that hard. You just have to observe.
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Icipate In Group Activities
So, if you dont see yourself starting a conversation in a bookshop with someone you like or opening a dating profile, whats left for you? One of the best ways to meet a person who will share the same interests as you is by participating in a social group or club activities. Group activities will typically be less stressful for an individual than one-on-one situations as the focus is on the activity.
There are various groups you can start participating in, from sports, arts, business, and so on. If youre not a fan of any particular sport or art. You can always look for events at a nearby museum or restaurant. Maybe it will be karaoke, movie quiz, sports trivia, or something completely different.
Dont Spring Surprises On Her
With autism, you dont get overtaken with urges or impulses. Theyre muted. We eat the same thing for weeks and months on end. Inviting us for Indian food on less than 24 hours notice?
A spectrum girl isnt shy or timid. She doesnt need to be shown how to live in the moment. To her, your spontaneity just looks like youre disorganized, and dont know what you want. If youre interested in her, appeal to her sense of adventure. Give her time to think and plan. Dont ambush her with surprise trips, and then get all sulky when she says no.
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They Take Their Time To Adjust
Since they are so accustomed to a routine, changing their habits and adjusting to anything new may not be easy. In case you shift to a new house or start living together, the experience can be overwhelming for them. So, you need to introduce changes to them slowly and gradually. Give them time to adjust and do not rush into anything.
Once You Find Someone Special Share Your Life
If you are lucky enough to find someone who you truly care about, be open to sharing your life with them. You need to slowly let them learn about your children. Invite them to spend time in your home and relax. Its so hard to relax when you feel someone is judging your children and your home, but you have to remember this person wants to be here. And, the reality is, if the person cannot handle sitting through a meal with your child flapping or beeping or bouncing, this is not the person for you. Of course, you will be nervous, but try to remember this person is willingly coming to your circus. They may not know what to expect, but thats OK! You can learn together! You never know what they might teach you after all, sometimes fresh eyes can see solutions that tired eyes miss every day.
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