Asperger's and Dating: Can You Make It Work?

18.01.2019

What's Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's is a disorder of the autism spectrum, which manifests in a person by weakening their ability to make social interactions or/and attacks of repetitive behavior. Asperger’s limits the person’s interests and makes it extremely hard to recognize nonverbal signs and feel emotions.

Asperger’s syndrome is a “hidden dysfunction,” which implies that it is impossible to determine if a person has Asperger’s syndrome or not. People who have this disorder, experience difficulties with communication with other people, so their interactions are limited.

dating someone with Asperger's

When we meet people, as a rule, we can form our opinion about them, basing on their facial expressions, a tone of voice and body language. We can tell whether they are happy, angry or sad, and we react accordingly.

People with Asperger Syndrome are bad at interpreting someone's intonation, facial expressions, and gestures, while most people take for granted. This means that it is more difficult for them to communicate and interact with other people, and it can lead to a great deal of anxiety, fear, and confusion.

Although there are some similarities with regular autism, in contrast to aspis, speech problems are less pronounced, and it seems like, on average, they possess quite a high level of intelligence. They usually have no concomitant learning disabilities, associated with autism, but they may still have some difficulties in learning. They may suffer from disorders like dyslexia, apraxia, or other dysfunctions, which affect a person’s attention.

People with Asperger Syndrome can lead full and independent lives with the right support and encouragement.

Communication Difficulties

Sometimes, people with Asperger Syndrome have difficulty expressing their own emotions and opinions.

  • It is hard for them to recognize non-verbal signs in a regular conversation.
  • They find it difficult to determine the right moment to begin a conversation, and they cannot end it at the right time as well.
  • They may try to use literal phrases and words, but they do not always understand their exact meaning.
  • They can be quite literal, and they find it difficult to understand jokes, anecdotes, metaphors, and sarcasm.

Try to be clear and concise in every social interaction that you make with a person that has Asperger’s.

Difficulties with Social Interactions

Many people with Asperger Syndrome strife for social interactions, but they face difficulties in initiating and maintaining social relationships that can cause them great anxiety and fear. People with this disorder are characterized by the following things.

  • Asperger's and dating problemsThey have difficulties in creating any relationships.
  • They find it difficult to follow all the unwritten norms and rules, which neurotypical people have. This may cause lots of problems in any conversation or social interaction.
  • They consider other people to be fickle and inconsistent.
  • They are very introverted and give the impression of indifference to other people, they alienate themselves from others.
  • Their behavior is weird and, sometimes, quite off-putting to others.

Social Imagination Difficulties

People with Asperger Syndrome may have a rich imagination. There are many writers, artists, and musicians with Asperger’s. However, it is a different kind of imagination, being of social nature. They may face the following challenges.

  • Difficulties in presenting alternative outcomes of situations and predicting what may happen in the future.
  • Difficulties in understanding and representing other people's point of view.
  • Difficulties in interpreting the thoughts, feelings, and actions of other people. Non-verbal signs, body language, and hits are all weird to them.

Some children with Asperger’s Syndrome may have difficulty playing games in which they should pretend to be someone else. They may prefer games and classes, based on logic and systems, such as mathematics. But what about dating with Asperger's? What should you do as a partner of a person, who suffers from Asperger’s?

Dating Someone with Asperger's

It may be quite challenging, you may feel alone and that you’ve made a huge mistake by starting this relationship in the first place. You may think that Asperger's and dating cannot go together at all. But you should remember the fact that Asperger’s is not the end of the world, and it can have little effect on your relationships under the condition of proper treatment. These are just some Asperger's dating tips that we’ve got for you.

Divide household and family responsibilities according to each partner’s strengths

People with Asperger’s are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They prefer organization and planning. They are good at being patient, but when it comes to using sharp and dangerous objects – leave them out of it. Many of them enjoy managing family finances. But when it comes to social interactions, like talking to your neighbor for any reason, they will be afraid of doing it, it will cause them lots of fear and anxiety, leave them out of it.

You're lucky if your partner has slightly different strengths and weaknesses. Separation of household duties makes life easier for both partners and solves one of the biggest potential pitfalls in serious relationships: the tendency of a “normal” partner to feel more like a caregiver than an actual partner in love. If your aspie-partner is aware of his/her goals and duties, then your life together will be much smoother and easier.

Get used to being accidentally offended

Another thing about dating someone with Asperger's is their unintentional lack of empathy. It can be hard for people with Asperger’s to identify why their actions were offensive to their partner or someone else. First of all, you should get tolerant of this, your aspie-partner doesn’t mean any harm to you by saying mean stuff. But when it comes to social encounters, a person with Asperger’s has to be guided through these situations. If the aspie-partner did something wrong – it should be pointed out to avoid a repetition.

Obviously, it is not so easy to conduct such a conversation calmly and friendly. When dating someone with mild Asperger's, you may feel like you are fully in control of your partner’s actions. Yet it only takes some experience from a person with Asperger’s to get somewhat more comfortable with social encounters. You should help your partner with receiving this experience. While all of these social rules and ways of interaction seem native to us, people with Asperger’s perceive it as a piece of knowledge that should be learned.

Consider that people with Asperger’s have their good and bad days

One of the biggest Asperger's and dating problems are panic attacks. Their regularity varies from case to case, one thing remains the same, days in which anxieties will surround your aspie-partner are unavoidable. Everything can be regulated, and you may reduce their frequency in many different ways, but they will still be prevalent.

Here’s a Situation That One of My Close Friends, Who Is Affected by Asperger’s, Went Through

“A month ago, I found myself in a long line at DVM, it caused an attack of perseveration (compulsive stereotypical repetition, it often goes against your own conscious feelings and intents). Even though I knew what was happening, it was very hard to control myself, I was losing my grip on the situation and my thoughts, and even worse – it was all out loud. Not that I really wanted to recalculate the time of our potential waiting, I was counting the number of clients served before us, and even using this strange DVM numbering system containing six different prefixes. And I didn’t enjoy seeing these annoying clerks, going back and forth, thereby increasing the time we had to wait, or constantly referring to an arbitrary list of necessary identity documents. I just could not resist this, although I knew what was going on around me, I realized how my attack exacerbated the stressful situation for me and my husband.”

Situations like that can exacerbate a wide range of symptoms of the Asperger’s syndrome

dating a guy with Asperger's“When I am under stress, I’m clumsier, I don’t want to be touched, and it is hard for me to change my focus from one thing to another. I often get stuck on random things, and I can’t get them out of my head. In general, my thinking gets a lot worse, and I will most likely find it difficult to focus on the sounds around me. Symptoms, which usually do not affect my daily life, become a significant obstacle in anything I do. I know it’s difficult for my partner to handle a stressful situation, and, on top of that, deal with someone else’s panic attack, but I cannot do anything about it. Such moments put our relationship to the test, and I'm still looking for ways to make these attacks easier to handle for him and for me."

There should be a balance between the sensory sensitivity of the aspie-partner and the physiological needs of the neurotypical partner.

It is hard for people with Asperger’s to react properly to sudden touches. While it can be quite normal for a neurotypical person, in case of aspies, a sudden touch may provoke an attack altogether. Some types of touches, especially those that are unexpected, are very likely to be unpleasant for people with Asperger’s. They find it to be very stressful if they are touched while concentrating on something.

Due to the fact that aspies do not receive many non-verbal signals, involved in intimate relationships, they largely rely on the intellectual side of our brain to process how the intimate moment will continue. All of this is very difficult for a neurotypical partner who, naturally, craves the physical manifestation of affection.

If you are dating a guy with Asperger's – then it may be hard to get him motivated and ready for sex. If you are dating a girl with Asperger's – then it will be difficult to find the right time to approach her with intimacy.

Liane Holliday Willey, a well-known writer, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, once included the need to hold her husband’s hand for five minutes a day. It’s not like people with Asperger’s are cold and unloving, it’s just that they should be reminded of things like that. Now with that out of the way, let’s list some Asperger's dating sites.

Dating Sites for Asperger's

While it is completely normal for people with Asperger’s to use regular dating services like Tinder, there are still lots of dating sites for people with Asperger's. Here are just some of them:

  • https://www.aspieology.com/
  • https://www.aspimeetz.com/
  • https://www.aspie-singles.com/ - the biggest Asperger's dating site out there.
  • https://www.spectrumsingles.com/

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