People with Asperger’s syndrome are often more immature than their peers. This means that they often only start dating as an adult. Read on to find out how they can be successful as they start looking for a partner.
Challenges in Aspie Dating
Aspie dating is not unusual but has unique challenges that will generally need to be addressed as time goes by. There are a number of factors to consider when looking at Aspie dating and adults with Asperger's could consider the following points.
- Aspies are normally more emotionally immature than their peers, and this can put pressure on dating if the people are the same age. It may work better for a person with Asperger’s to date someone who is younger by several years.
- People with Asperger’s syndrome need time to themselves. If the other person does not understand this, they may feel rejected and unwanted.
- Communication may be difficult in Aspie dating as body language skills are generally poor. The person finds it hard to read facial expressions and posture and interpret the other person’s feelings. If unsure what someone is thinking or feeling, ask them.
- A person with Asperger’s takes spoken language literally, and this can also lead to communication difficulties. With time and patience, this can be improved but may cause confusion when their date uses metaphors, similes and other figures or speech.
- Aspie dating can be complicated by their tendency toward obsessions and repetitive behaviors. In some cases, their date can become the focus of their obsession and they pour great effort into the relationship. This may be flattering to the other person but can also be overwhelming and a little strange.
The Problems of Aspie Dating
Aspie dating may be accompanied by several problems. These are not insurmountable but can have a negative impact on the dating process.
- A person with Asperger’s may not understand what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to physical contact. If they have not been taught about sex and have picked up knowledge from watching movies or pornography, they may behave in a manner that their date finds disturbing. It is important to learn the right way to treat a member of the opposite sex.
- If Aspie girls date at a young age, they may be vulnerable to advances by unscrupulous males. They need to know what is acceptable and how to leave a situation if they become uncomfortable.
- An Asperger’s person is generally not given to terms of endearment or displays of affection in everyday life, and this can leave their date feeling unloved and unappreciated.
- A person with Asperger’s may be overwhelmed if their date likes to socialize in a group setting. While they may be able to converse fairly well one to one, following conversations among a large group of people is sometimes impossible. They end up feeling embarrassed, miserable and left out.
Aspie dating is not for the faint-hearted but can result in long-term relationships and, eventually, marriage. The key to success is for dating couples to take time to understand each other’s perspective of the world and work on communication and social skills.
The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007
Pretending to be Normal by Liane Holliday Willey, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999