Some perceive that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) don’t like to get involved with other people romantically. The truth is they also experience those feelings the same as the neurotypical individual. They may feel attraction and love.
Those with ASD have a hard time picking up non-verbal social cues which results in them feeling awkward and lost, especially when it comes to dating. There’s no need to worry anymore, here are some tips to have that stress-free date.
You probably will meet the girl you like by having a common interest – same church, workshop/seminar, work/school. If you are too shy to approach her for a conversation openly, you can start by eye syncing and desyncing. Do not gaze for too long as it may come across as creepy. Look at her for a few seconds, then look away. When you look again, and she reacts with a smile, then it’s time to go for it!
Start A Conversation
Since you may be sharing something familiar with her, you may use this as a conversation starter. As you converse, make the conversation mostly about her. However, do not forget to share some things about yourself too. It may be a good time to get her number or Facebook. You can say that you may want to contact her when something similar (like the workshop or seminar) comes up. Remember, “For the partner on the spectrum, confusion about doing or saying the right thing, coupled with an inability to grasp the unwritten rules of social engagement, can cause great anxiety, frustration, and often depression. The world is processed cognitively, with logical thought patterns.” Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC said.
Connect With Her And Exchange Messages
Online communication nowadays is equally important as a personal one. It is essential to building on communication first before asking her out. A good rule of thumb is you should have at least three conversations with the person you are interested in before asking her out.
On Facebook, you may like her posts, especially those you share in common. After letting her have a feeling that you’re there, and that you notice her, you may send her a message. Starting the conversation with a common ground is always safer.
It is better if you have a mentor, preferably a girl, to advise you. “Am I supposed to answer her text right away” or “Does she seem bored” are some of the questions you have and may opt to ask your mentor. She can help you in reaffirming if the girl is interested in you.
Remember, acting clingy will put off the girl you like. It will always be a plus for you if you bring out your sense of humor and playful side whenever possible. Search for the proper etiquette on exchanging messages (SMS) with the other person.
Asking Her Out
If you are sure that the girl is interested in you, you may ask her on a date directly. However, if you’re still weighing, you may opt to insinuate a date rather than ask her directly.
Where you will be going will depend on both of your interests. It would be better to go somewhere where both of you will enjoy it. If she enjoys going to bars, but you don’t, suggest going somewhere you both like so that you will be comfortable and at ease.
“Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) progress similarly to their typically-developing peers in terms of sexual health.” –Catherine Davies, MEd, MSc,CPsychol, LMHC
Take a bath, brush your teeth, and take care in choosing your outfit. You may opt to buy her a small gift to give her on the date itself. It is good to choose something that she previously expressed her interest in so that she knows that you listen and pay attention even to the little details about herself.
Make sure you compliment her appearance. As the date progresses, observe her body language. Her body language is a massive indicator if the person is interested or not. Look if she’s leaning in closer to you if her crossed legs are pointing at your direction, and if she laughs at your jokes. These are some of the signs that your date is going well.
“Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is more common that we realize and there are increasing numbers of high-functioning adults who are self-identifying or being diagnosed.” –Eva A. Mendes LMHC
Finally, act natural. Don’t forget to be yourself. Of course, as your relationship progresses, you’d want her to fall in love with your true self, and not with your calculated moves. Remember that having ASD does not make you less likable and lovable.