written by: Debbie Roome
• edited by: Paul Arnold
• updated: 2/18/2011
Parents with Asperger’s children often look ahead and wonder if their child will be able to date one day. Read on to find out the possibilities and problems of Asperger’s dating.
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Asperger’s Dating as a Teenager
Teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome are generally more immature than their peers. This means they may become interested in dating at a later stage of life than their school friends. Typically this will be in their late teens. As with other teens, the dating game is often difficult and rejection and heartbreak may result. Here are some of the common problems of Asperger’s dating as a teen:
Asperger’s teens are often naive, and unscrupulous people may take advantage of their innocence. It is important for parents to ensure their teen understands sex and its dangers before allowing them to date.
It is not uncommon for a teen with Asperger’s to neglect their personal hygiene and grooming. For dating to be successful, parents and siblings may need to help them with clothing choices and remind them to brush their teeth and wash their hair.
Social skills are a weak point in a person with Asperger’s and a teen may be awkward and unsure of how to behave on a date. They can be helped in this area by role-playing and social stories.
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Asperger’s Dating as an Adult
Asperger’s dating as an adult is normally on a more serious level than dating as a teen. Many date with a view to eventually marrying and this is a possibility. While adults with Asperger’s syndrome have certain disadvantages, they also have strengths that can add to a relationship. Here are some interesting facts about Asperger’s dating as an adult:
Clubs or courses that focus on a specific interest are common meeting grounds for adults with Asperger’s. The interest may be dogs, astronomy, trains or various other things.
Certain personality types attract, and a person with Asperger’s is often drawn to someone who provides emotional support and guidance. Conversely, the partner may find their needs being met by the sometimes obsessive attention paid to them.
Adults with Asperger’s syndrome are usually upright, honest and reliable and will be faithful to a dating partner.
Adults with Asperger’s are often less concerned about age and culture than others around them.
When an Asperger’s adult dates someone without Asperger’s, there may be friction over the amount of time spent with other people. A person with Asperger’s is normally content with their own company and finds double dating or socializing in a group stressful.
People with Asperger’s find it hard to express emotion and may seldom declare their love to a partner.
Asperger’s dating can be accompanied by problems with physical contact. If an adult has not received an appropriate sex education, they may pick up information from pornographic material and behave inappropriately towards a date.
While some dating experiences may be short lived, others may eventually lead to marriage. In these cases it can be helpful for couples to seek counseling if one of them has Asperger’s syndrome. Understanding the differences in the way an aspie thinks and behaves can create a stronger foundation for the marriage.
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The complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007