When I was growing up, before I’d even heard of the condition, I spent a lot of time crying because I couldn’t relate to my peers. As you can imagine, this made dating rather tricky.
By the time I was of an age to date boys I was too afraid to talk to most of them. My less than amazing social skills had taught me to expect rejection, ridicule and stressful misunderstandings. Somehow I got from there to being happily married.
How I started dating
My first boyfriend was the friend of a friend. Our first meetings (and many of our dates) were the result of lots of alcohol. I can’t recommend alcohol as a solution to your social and dating nerves but it certainly helped me set the ball rolling.
What I found best for starting new romantic relationships was internet dating sites. My aspergers makes it easier to communicate in writing than in person, plus I hate the telephone! Emailing prospective partners was a great way to get to know them as I was able to assess their interests and education level by reading their emails.
First dates were still nerve racking but I didn’t have to endure the nightclub chat up routines!
Be warned: some sites are aimed at people seeking long term relationships and others seem to cater for more casual flings so if you’re thinking about dating this way make sure you pick the right type of site!
Learning from your mistakes
It’s hard to talk about feelings with someone you care about. The more I value someone’s opinion the more likely I am to want to clam up about things that really should be shared.
Something I learnt from my husband is that you cannot rely on your partner to understand your feelings unless you explain them. This is probably true for everyone but especially for relationships where one or more partners is an aspie.
One person’s logic is another person’s madness. Don’t take it for granted that your understanding of something is correct, or that it is the only valid interpretation.
This was a hard lesson to learn because there’s a lot of ‘normal’ behaviour I don’t get. However, since I started applying this rule the things I don’t understand haven’t been so stressful. Like a kid at school I just have to raise my hand and say “I don’t understand, what do you mean by…”
Some people might think I’m an idiot but luckily my husband isn’t one of them. If someone does think you’re an idiot that’s their problem.