written by: Debbie Roome
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 5/29/2011
Individuals with Aspergers may desire to be in relationship with another person, but are not sure how to meet a suitable date and make a good impression on them. Read on for advice on how to do both of these.
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Seeking a Suitable Date
People with Asperger’s often mature more slowly than their peers and the desire to date may become apparent at a later age. Although they are keen to find a partner and someone to love, they may be unsure as to how to do this. Here are some suggestions for how to look for a suitable date:
Aspie singles should first think of the places where they spend their time. These could include school, college, place of employment, church, hobby groups, sports clubs and social clubs. All of these are potential places for finding a suitable date.
A person with Asperger’s often has a special interest or hobby and if they find someone who shares this interest, it can be a good starting place for a relationship. With this in mind, they could join clubs and attend shows that focus on their hobby.
Many Aspies dislike large social gatherings and parties. As these are good places to meet new people, it may be worthwhile attending for short periods of time. Arriving early is a good idea, as there will be less people and noise.
People with Asperger's are often more competent socially over the Internet and may prefer an online relationship. Communicating electronically bypasses the problems of awkward body language and speech delivery but can also leave the person vulnerable to predators. Any online dating needs to be judged carefully and if using a dating site, choose one that is reputable.
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Making a Good Impression
Aspie singles often have weaknesses in a number of areas that could hinder them from impressing a date. Here are some suggestions of how they can present themselves in the best way possible:
Many people with Asperger's tend to neglect their appearance. When thinking of dating, it is a good idea to have a personal makeover first. Friends or family could help with this or find a good department store offering free styling advice. Areas to consider include updating clothing and shoes, getting a fashionable, easy-to-maintain hair cut, and for women, learning to apply tasteful makeup. Regular visits to a dentist are also suggested.
Personal hygiene is important when wanting to impress a date. Make sure hair is washed, that you are freshly showered and that your teeth are brushed. Light perfume or cologne are a good idea if they can be tolerated.
Social skills are generally poor for Aspies. However, with perseverance, they can learn the rules of body language and conversation. Practicing conversation openers is a good idea, as is learning to stand in a relaxed manner. A therapist can help with these or the person can learn by watching and imitating others.
When dating, it is important to show interest in what the other person is saying. Listen carefully and respond with a comment that shows you are listening. Communication is a two way thing and needs to be constantly worked at.
Some Aspies have a special interest and tend to launch into long monologues about it. This can be boring and off-putting to a date. Again, showing interest in the other person is suggested.
Eye contact is important, and body language should be relaxed. Work on showing expression, laughing at the right times and smiling.
Many Aspie singles desire to date and being prepared is the first step in the process. Following the above advice can be helpful in setting a good foundation to work from.
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The Complete Guide to Asperger's syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007