Autistic Dating: Dating Someone With Autism
If you want to learn everything about autistic dating, dating someone with autism is what this blog is about. Unfortunately, there is not much talk about neurodivergent people and exploring romantic relationships. However, just like everybody else, people on the spectrum will also deal with many ups and downs when seeking their romantic partner and maintaining an intimate relationship with them.
People on the Spectrum will not Date Only People on the Spectrum
If you’re uncertain whether it is recommendable to start dating someone with autism, you will be happy to hear that people with autism often date people who are not on the spectrum. The reason for that is because autism is a spectrum, so you will probably not even realize if your crush has autism, at least during the first few dates. Both you and the person you’re dating are just looking for someone to connect with, and autism rarely stands in the way when it comes to dating and relationships.
Consider Good Date Spots
You might think that a dimly lit bar might be an excellent place for a first day, yet someone with spectrum will probably not feel comfortable in that surrounding. A person on the spectrum could easily become uncomfortable or distracted in loud, crowded places. As they usually have heightened senses, people with autism will consider flashing lights and loud noises quite unpleasant. Rather than going to a bar, consider going for a walk or sitting on the bench in the park.
Talk about Physical Affection
When you’ve been dating for a while, you will probably want to hug that person, hold hands or kiss them. People on the spectrum will also desire that physical affection, however, it’s very much recommended to first discuss it with them. Don’t just surprise them by trying to hold their hand when walking as they might not be comfortable with that. When it comes to any type of physical contact, always discuss first their preferences.
If your partner is autistic, they might need a bit of encouragement and practice to start feeling comfortable with physical love. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean they don’t like you, they just need more time to become comfortable with any form of physical touch. Also, your partner might want to avoid some of these forms at first, until they feel more comfortable.
Embrace Their Higher Emotional Capacity
Many studies have shown that people on the spectrum will typically experience emotions and feelings stronger and deeper than those who are not on the spectrum. If you’re not aware of it, these feelings might be completely invisible to you and you might neglect your partner’s current state. Yet, you will be unable to connect with your autistic partner if you don’t understand the depth or display of their emotions.
The best way to understand it is by talking to them about it. Just like in any relationship, we all tend to react or feel differently about certain things, so the more you talk about it, the better you will understand.
Prepare for Brutal Honesty
One thing that most people will say they love about people on the spectrum is their brutal honesty. If you ask them about their opinion, they will give it to you – the good and the bad. For instance, if you ask them if they like your new haircut and they don’t, they will lie to you.
The thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that your crush or your partner has no bad intention while being brutally honest, they simply are sharing their truth. This also means that if they compliment you or say ‘I love you’ for the first time, they mean it.
Just like they share their honesty openly with you, people on the spectrum will take all the things around them pretty literally. This means that you might sarcastically say something or say things during an argument without meaning them, they will believe everything you say.
That’s why it’s recommended to avoid sarcasm in your conversations with a person on the spectrum and say exactly how you feel and what you want. For instance, instead of telling me to ‘shut up’ when you’re laughing too hard at their jokes, you should say ‘you’re so funny’.
Introduce Changes Slowly
A person will autism will prefer stability and familiarity over change and dynamic. That is the reason why they often don’t respond well to changes. They will enjoy maintaining the same interests over decades, so changing their taste in music, movies, food, or fashion will probably not be something you will see with them.
If there is a need to introduce a change in a life of a person with autism, be sure to do it slowly and make sure they are well informed about it at all times. Just because they don’t prefer changes doesn’t mean they are not able to adapt to new situations. It simply means it will take more time.
Regardless of the autism, you are two different individuals who will not agree on everything and do things the same way, and that’s completely fine. However, if you’re dating a person with autism, be mindful of their sensitivities of experiences they encounter and try to be as supportive as you can. Sometimes, they will not be able to communicate if they are uncomfortable with something at that moment, yet as you spend more time with them and get to know them, you will know what they like and don’t like.
When dating someone, it’s crucial to listen and truly think about the perspective of that person, so the more attention you give to your conversations, the better partner you will be to a person with autism.
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