Being on the spectrum doesn’t mean you can’t have a good social life.
People on the autism spectrum can be the most brilliant people- but the worst partners. It’s not their fault- the rules of dating can be hard to understand for people on the spectrum- but there are many ways to have a fulfilling romance still.
1. Get Rid of Routines
According to Help4Aspergers, a website to help people with high-functioning autism, people on the spectrum love routine. Routines are soothing and help people on the spectrum adjust to circumstances they can’t control. However, dating involves meeting new people, going to new places, and changing routines. Changing little things at a time can help people on the spectrum get used to changes that can be disruptive to their lives. If a date wants to go out on a day that’s usually spent watching a favorite show, make sure to DVR the show. Changing a routine can be a great way to add romance.
2. Talk and Listen Often
People on the spectrum often either talk too little or too much. If there’s something a person on the spectrum is interested in, they tend to talk about it constantly and monopolize a conversation. If it’s something they don’t care about, the opposite happens, and they tend to go quietly. Make sure that conversations on dates are more balanced and have an equal amount of talking and listening to a date about topics both people care about.
3. Don’t Care About Gender Roles
Gender roles are meaningless to many people on the spectrum-especially women. There have been studies that have shown that women on the spectrum tend to be more androgynous in their dress and don’t adhere to typical gendered expectations. People on the spectrum can take the pressure off their date, and the old-fashioned beliefs that men should always order for their date or women should always wear dresses on dates. Change up the old gender expectations on a date to get a date out of their routine.
4. Read Non-Verbal Cues
Aziz Ansari got in trouble for this and people on the spectrum can, too- miscommunication on a date. People on the spectrum tend to be very direct and misinterpret non-verbal cues. If a date is looking away or pulls away from touch, take it as a hint that they are not interested in romance at that time. Ask directly if a certain touch or sexual activity is ok with a date throughout any interaction if there’s any lack of clarity.
5. Be Unique
People on the spectrum are often told to change who they are to fit in. They should let go of those cookie-cutter beliefs and celebrate all that makes them special. Many have very creative minds and have interests that are unique, like web development, music, and a love of Futurama.
Many people on the autism spectrum are geniuses, like Albert Einstein and Temple Grandin. People on the spectrum are some of the most caring and conscientious people if given a chance. With patience from a loving partner, people on the spectrum can have a chance at true love.