Dating tips for a totally socially inept guy with Asperger's. Any help would be appreciated Please. :)

For some years now I've been pushing myself to get over a lot of the things that have been holding me back in life. I've quit smoking, I've lost a bunch of weight (about 100 lbs), I'm back in school, and things are better than ever. But now I'm looking at conquering the biggest hurdle standing in my way of being able to fully integrate myself into society and get into things like dating, and that's a rather severe case of Asperger's.

There have been numerous questions posted on this topic already but they were all posted by whiners looking for a pity party rather than genuinely seeking advice, and the answers they got reflect that. I'm not looking for pity and I'm trying not to come across as a whiner, I'm just seeking advice on how to conquer what I think might be the last (and biggest) thing in my way of being able to fully integrate myself and enjoy a normal life.

For those of you who don't know what Asperger's is, please Google it. I'm not going to explain what it is here. Wikipedia has a great article on it at link

I'm looking for tips on how I can get over (or at least work around) the socially inept awkwardness and almost total lack of empathy that comes with being an Aspie so that I can enter the dating arena. I've tried approaching women in the past but it seems that it's just not possible for me to do it without coming off as seeming creepy due to the awkwardness of it all, and how I can try to be more successful there. The fact that I'm almost 30 with very limited experience involving women certainly doesn't help.

Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!

Oh and those of you who know (or suspect) who I am, please keep it to yourselves. I posted this as anonymous for a reason :) Thank you.

Updates:
link Sorry, here's the correct link.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • First of all, I would like to start by saying that I hope my advice helps you and that I'm sorry you had to be one of the people diagnosed with Asperger's.

    Regardless, I believe that you can lead a happy life and even get into dating. At first, you might like to talk to women that are the friends of your friend or even a mutual friend. Online dating is really big in this generation so you might want to try that too.

    When you're on your date, you should learn how to let the woman talk about herself so you'll get to know her. Try to recognize at what facial cues or stories to react to in the proper way. You should also decide if this is a woman that you would want to see again. Maybe on the first date you could tell her that you have a disorder but don't make it sound so serious. Try to be warm when you're talking to her. Also, you can practice some topics to talk about before the actual date. Maybe even perform the date by yourself so you are sure it goes well. Finally, when talking, you should have a friend nearby. Maybe you could learn some hand signals that your friend can perform when you are talking too loud or talking about something uninteresting.

    Good luck and remember: open her car door for her, talk about her, and compliment her whenever you feel necessary.

    And don't let failed dates discourage you. Any women should consider themselves lucky for a man who is trying his hardest to overcome something that prevents him from being that much social. [:

    Hope I helped.

    Happy dating! [:

    SideNote: If anything that I mentioned about your syndrome is not correct or doesn't apply to you, I'm sorry and I hope it doesn't offend you. The things listed above were just some of the things I got from Googling it [;

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    • Perfect advice - I'd like to emphasize "Any women should consider themselves lucky for a man who is trying his hardest to overcome something that prevents him from being that much social." -.. This girl knows her stuff and is applying it in a profound way. Great selection on the best answer.

    • This advice is appropriate for someone who's shy or socially awkward, but not for a person with aspergers. People with aspergers have social integration problems and issues with relating to people, things most of us take for granted.

What Girls Said 11

  • So, you've gotten fantastic answers already, but I feel the need to add my 2 cents. Mostly because you've reiterated that your mindset is one that most people simply cannot relate to, and I thought there was more to be said about your question than what you've gotten so far.

    If you were diagnosed with Asperger's in 3rd grade, things like books and hobbies and exercise can give you an enriched life, just like they would for anyone else, and pop-literature like "The Game" or "Men Are From Mars..." will educate you on how the masses think/feel, but they're not going to make you understand women (or men, for that matter) any more than you do now. I mean, really, I'm a 28-year-old woman and I'm still not even sure what I want or feel. The answer isn't in a trendy bestseller, I can tell you that much.

    And that's my main point: if you want to get and/or go on dates, all you really need to know is basic manners and civility. Say please and thank you, feign an interest in the other person, don't speak with your mouth full, that kind of thing. None of those things imply you actually feel anything for the other person (hell, I have the best manners in the world around people I don't know at all,) it's just what we're taught to do and that's the way it is. I don't have autism, but I certainly dislike most of the things I have to do/people I have to talk to on a daily basis- but I do it anyway, and I do it nicely, and for that reason I can navigate the world successfully and get to doing the things I REALLY want to do. So if you want to flourish socially, just learn all those little rules and follow them. If you feel overly awkward in daily life, to the extent that you feel it turns off potential dates, you're probably violating some of those little rules/manners. Figure out what you're doing that is making other people shy away from you, and stop doing it. It could really help if you have a female friend or family member, one who will be really honest with you, to let you know if you're doing something without realizing it. There's this guy at my work who stares for long periods of time- he's a nice guy and means no harm, probably doesn't even realize he does it, but it still makes me squirm when he's staring blankly at me. It's that kind of simple habit that, once broken, will improve a person's social life drastically.

    Socializing, making friends and going on dates really has very little to do with how much you "feel" for people; it's all about making others feel comfortable (you follow the rules and don't eat with your mouth full) and then interested in you (you have stuff to talk about, like swimming or knitting sweaters or saving puppies or what-have-you.)

    I swore I wouldn't let myself ramble on, but I already have and now it's too late. You sound like you've got a great idea for the life you want to live, though, and I think that's the most important thing a person can have.

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  • you sound like a sweetheart, just so you know. You sound mature and intelligent as well. That is quite attractive and respectable in itself.

    You need to find a woman who is willing to work in things with you, and accept you for who you are. She needs to know she cannot change you, just help you.

    IMO, all men and women have a touch of asperger's when it comes to relationships and the oposite sex. We don't all know what to do, or how to do it and it can be a real mess if both parties are not in it together and really trying to understand and accept eachothers differences.

    i'd suggest reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It's my relationship bible and I'm sure it would have some amazing tips and insights in it for you while you are looking for the perfect (for you) woman. Also, I highly suggest watching the movie 'Adam' if you haven't already. It's about a man with the same condition and the woman who fell in love with him and their trials.

    You may also wish (when you're ready) to post yourself on a couple dating sites. Be honest and sincere. It may take awhile (it can be a never ending search for people without this condition mind you) to find the right woman, but it will get you out there, so to speak, and get you working on your new skills.

    Your attitude is wonderful. I think you'll find someone a lot faster then the rest of us poor single slobs.

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  • Lack of social skills can be cured but lack of empathy is a tough one because empathy is needed for a relationship to work. We all have feelings and limits and making callous remarks has dire consequences. My advise would be to date other women who also have Aspergers. You need someone who can understand you and that you can understand. I don't think that you should fret about it and simply allow life to take its course. I believe there is someone out there for everybody. As corny as this sounds in this world inhabitted by 7 billion people 1% must have aspergers. There are 35 million women or more who are capable of getting you. I do not have aspergers but on the contrary my social skills suck and I am extremely shy. However, even if I had more chances to attract a guy if I wasn´t that way I cannot stop being that way because if I did I would not be me. I would be acting the role of somebody else and being me is an essential aspect of being in a loving relationship.

    To summarize... don´t change you to fit the rest of the world. Look for someone that fits in with you.

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    • While I agree with your assessment and thank you for your recommendation, here is the problem: Autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger's are primarily only found in males. The ratio of males to females to have it is about 8 to 1. So all of the Aspie guys out there are fighting over those girls. =/

    • Well you?ve got dimminished odds there... but they are not nonexistant. Join an Aspergers club or website where you can chat with people and when you make contact with a girl you can ask her on a date. There is fierce competition but on the other hand you are getting your life on track and few men have those qualities (even men without aspergers). Give yourself a chance.

  • First off, I know that you think that your syndrome makes you... but you are not your syndrome. Yes I know that with Aspergers it is hard for people with this syndrome to read social situations. however, while I am sorry to hear that you been one of the many who has been diagnosed, I do truly believe that you could live a happy, balanced and most importantly completely fulfilling life. I honestly do believe that there is someone out there for everyone.

    The good thing about it is, that you genuinely seem like a nice guy. So with that being said you have good intentions. You're not here to play games or to toy with girls hearts. (honestly, in my opinion that makes you one step ahead of the game and a the girl who does finally land your heart will be a very lucky woman).

    Now the best advice that I can give you is to just simply be yourself. When you speak to a woman don't focus on being awkward or how nervous you are. Whenever a person is approached or approaches a person that they are attracted to they are nervous. So, don't assume that you are automatically out of the running. Be honest, when you're on a date let her know that she makes you nervous in a good way. Compliment her and do so genuinely a girl can tell when she is being built up on falsehoods. Do the best you can at reading situations: ie: look for body language (eye contact, nervous twitches, facial expressions... etc). Stick to general topics and once those doors open up you can ask basic questions: -what do you go to school for, what do you study, what type of job do you do so on and so fourth. Then you can find a topic out of all the basic questions: ie: What do you study? she replies: ________ you say, Oh that's interesting how'd you get interested in that.

    Thats the way to build a basic connection. It's the same way that people talk on her, you open the gates to allow people to be exactly who they are and they will speak to you. Pick things that cue your interest and learn about them. Once you learn about who they are they will then feel intrigued to learn about you.

    When you wrote this you sounded genuine so be that guy, genuine people are warm and naturally inviting this will allow you to really be open to the possibilities of meeting someone of quality. Don't forget that you do have your own self worth to be true to. Remember the guy you are. don't focus on your syndrome focus on who you are at the core and once you learn that you are a good guy with a level head and a good heart you will be come _______ living with Aspergers. You will not be an Aspie, you will be a guy with a fantastic life a wonderful one day wife and you will have a syndrome. That's all

    Best of luck to you! I wish you all the best!

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  • I think you're being really hard on yourself ---- focusing on awkwardness. Dating is awkward for anyone but I sympathize with having the challenge of Aspberger's. Were you diagnosed? Yes, you may lack empathy... but I would advise when the time is right ( after you've dated a girl a couple of times) to explain to her what this condition is so she can understand. You will be surprised at how understanding people can be. I would get comfortable being in a group .. join a club - take a class - take up a hobby - meet people who enjoy what you do and that will take some of the pressure off. You are not a freak - You are someone with a challenge. We all have some kind of challenge and we learn to compensate. Be confident and do not let this condition rule your life. I'm sure you're a wonderful person with much to share. Go slow.. and meet people. When you become comfortable -- then you can ask for a date. Good luck!

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  • You got to surround yourself with friends, good ones, net work, try to get to know people more and their female friends I suppose and maybe drop a hint 'hey I'm looking for a girl, a partner, a relationship etc'.

    You're gonna do fine if you use common sense, get healthy, be in shape, enjoy life and conquer your problems. they say the mind is your greatest fortress, it's very true. If you're strong in mind, then there's nothing you can't conquer. best of luck to you ;)

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  • self awareness can be the best gift we give ourselves and educating yourself is the best place to start. watch others behavior, even if videos, to learn how you differ from them. don't force yourself to try to be someone you're not but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. mostly embrace your strenghs, some things about having Asperger's can really be an asset, such as narrow interests and obsessive behaviors, a photographic memory for some. these can all be wonderful tools to be very good at certain things and make up for deficits in social aptitude. finding the right person to appreciate that will be worth the wait.

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  • I know you already chose and answer, but reading up on personalities and body language would help. Being able to read people's faces and tell how they feel would totally give you an advantage. I have this guys book and it is a life saver. And, when I have the money I would love to try his home training thing. Google Paul Ekman's face training and try the demo.

    PS- There are plenty of books you can find for free on non-verbal communication and body language that will help you understand people. I work in sales, and it has given me quite the edge.

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    • It's difficult for me because I don't really use body language myself. And eye contact is a struggle for me.

  • You know, a student of mine (with Asperger's syndrom) recently started dating and aside from the rough patch he faced in weeks 3-4 of the dating process with his girlfriend, she seems to be happy as a clam.

    You need to find a girl who is more on the calm, quiet side. Also, try not to give her ALL your information on a specific topic. It's a little too intense. Lastly, focus on your positive traits and on your sense of humor. SMILE and remember to make eye contact!

    Okay?

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    • I have issues with eye contact. Trying to work on that. But it's rough.

    • I know. It's a common area of difficulty, but something you can overcome with practice. :-)

  • Talk to a therapist if you can't get over these issues on your own

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    • They're not "issues" that can be dealt with by a therapist. It's a neurological disorder, not simply a mental or emotional one. The only thing therapists can help with is the depression that many Aspergers patients have on the side, and that's not something I deal with.

  • What types of situations do you think you have been in that were adversely affected by your Apergers.. I ask because I wonder if you asked because you experience it, or were told you have it , that you are concerned. reading the overview it does not sound different then most young people I know. sort of into what they are into and stopping only perdiocally to talk to the other person. plus given that people are always saying guys are not very empathetic (I don't agree with this) or can't pick you cues mean they'd all have Asbergers, it also sounds like it could be a leaned behavior it would protect people who did not want to be rejected, you get into your own thing so you don't feel pain. plus when people are obsessive with work- that is also ow hey act.. kind of a chicken and egg thing-most scientist sound like they have Aspergers, did thy become scientists because its how they think with Aspergers or did they develop it. Sound like very little is known about it and its tossed around too easily.

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    • Yes I have been diagnosed officially. I was tested as a child because I would go for days at a time without speaking at all. It's just what felt natural to me.

    • Also I have had girlfriends but I have a hard time holding onto them because it's not in my nature to be physical with anyone. Things like kissing and being sexual, they just feel alien to me. It's not in my nature to do those things at all because There's no link between emotional and physical to me. It's not a natural act for me to want to kiss, or to be sexual because I just don't use physical acts to express my emotions. There's no link between the two whatsoever.

    • Wow me neither I hate touching people :) but I've had sexual abuse I think that has more to do with it.

What Guys Said 8

  • From the very little I know about aspergers I'd make the two following suggestions...

    1) Practice makes perfect. If you're willing to chat with strangers, as often as possible, AND you're willing to pay attention to the types of responses you get, you'll likely start to develop the appropriate pattern recognition that everyone else seems to do much easier than you. It sounds like it's these social cues and body expressions that might be the most challenging for you... but which you'll gain the most insight from should you force yourself to pay attention, a lot.

    But I pretty much tell every guy this... be social, talk to everyone, and learn the art of small talk. It's from small talk with strangers that we develop the experience and the confidence to transition our attention to more desirable company... beautiful women. And since women wind us guys up so easily it's best to be so good at small talk that it's automatic. And it takes time before small talk can feel automatic.

    2) Consider practicing small talk, flirting, conversation, etc, online. Dating online is one of my favorite things, ever. So perhaps it'll be a great place for you to excel?

    You're already well spoken and express intelligence thoughts and opinions. Transition that to online dating and you just might have an advantage over other guys who can't string a sentence together?

    Good luck!

    ~ Robby

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  • My son Christopher has mild Aspberger's, and he knows it. He's in his own world (read space-case) He's just jumping into college life (he's a freshman) as though nothing is wrong.

    It's as awkward as you make it. People (especially women) at the college level can be understanding --- or critical. All you need to find is one! Or optimally several so you can have friends.

    Chris described himself as ``the scrawniest kid in the third grade.'' You wouldn't believe how the girls understood and protected him from the bullies.

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  • I also have it. I was diagnosed as a kid and an adult. I was very socially awkward in school and didn't have any friends until seventh grade. I've never had a girlfriend either. I've had a couple girls show interest openly but at the time I didn't know what to do about it.

    In a strange way, it's made me more socially aware. Probably because I had to learn my social skills by years and years of repetition. You learn the same way you would learn mathematics or reading, lots and lots and lots of repetition. And it takes a ton of repetition to nail it down but the advantage is once you do, you'll understand it better than anybody.

    The disadvantage, though, is that all that repetition results in a lot of failure. It's unavoidable. And if you're like me, growing up like that makes you introverted as all hell. It also makes you prone to depression which I've been dealing with for the last ten years and I think that's been just as damaging to my dating life as AS.

    Starting out online is a great way to overcome that, though.This site has been a HUGE help for me. I've met a lot of girls on this site who are just great people to talk to. It's really helped me out. I've also put up a profile on POF and with any luck it should get me going.

    That said, I've also read tons of PUA (pick up artist) literature. I took an intense interest in it like only a guy with AS can. That also helped me a ton. It explained a whole lot of things that previously made no sense to me. It also helped me relate to and understand women better and let go of the bitterness I had towards them.

    Yeah Asperger's really can cripple your chances of success with women but if you decide to stop being bitter and do something better, you've taken the first step.

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  • I also have been diagnosed with Asbergers and I also used to be socially awkward, especially when it came to women.

    Read "The Game" by Neil Strauss. Its about a bunch of guys who teach classes on how to date, which actually work. Its a true story. it changed my life.

    They break down everything from body language to tone of voice, etc... Tell you how not to be perceived as creepy, and what people find fun. Its very eye opening. It is EXACTLY what you are looking for. Read it dude. it can help.

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    • The Game would definitely help, it's well written and entertaining while giving great advice.

  • Are you certain that it is Asperger's? Or is it "Love-shy" complex? You see, by technicality, I have been diagnosed as "borderline", but with emerging newer diagnosis, I am no longer diagnosed as "Borderline" because I do not have all of the tale-tale signs. However, I do have the tale tale signs of "Love-shy" complex. I'd be the first to admit it. There are a lot of "fringe" studies on the Love-shy complex and quite frankly it is not widely accepted as a pathological mental status. Nevertheless, Your situation almost sounds like a form of love-shy complex. Those with Asperger's can have love-shy complex, but not all with love-shy complex have Aspergers. I do not whine about my situation, I take the logical approach. I learned how to trick myself into getting over it by being a "Sneeky" type of person concerning women I am attracted to, by gaining intellegence about her. If she is single, figure out her likes and dislikes... Wherein I may do something like; taking her to the next concert of her favorite band, or taking her to a restaurant where she can eat her favorite food... Largely indirect, but somewhat effective. Admittedly, I haven't dated in over 7 years, but the situation worked for my last 2 girlfriends... The first of the two were a huge Rock fan, and prefers old school rock. I took her to a concert for Ozzy Osbourne... My second one loves Karaoke and beer... So we met at her favorite Karaoke bar in Nerima and had fun drinking and singing old Japanese Songs...

    My advise for you is to develop a methodology. You can develop a system that works for you. It is a matter of facing your phobia and finding it's weak point and attacking it at it's weak point.

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    • Yes certain. Diagnosed in third grade. They said it's a rather severe case at the time because I would go for days at a time without speaking.

    • Also, my problem isn't with girls. It's with people in general.

    • I see... I am afraid I have not a solution... My issue is it is difficult for me to directly communicate with someone I find to be "attractive"... That is the difference between "Love shy" complex and Asperger's syndrome. Albeit, I do not attempt to communicate with people I believe I will "waist my breath" talking to. Not saying I have a superiority complex, but people that I know I have no commonalities with. It was assumed I either had Asperger's or antisocial affect. Not the case.

  • DONT LISTEN TO WHAT WOMEN SAY...ha ha their advice on how to succeed with them and who they actually get with are two different things.

    on politics and religion and science I listen to women...on what works with women I listen to the dudes they just got with. :)

    be yourself. hang out with girls. try to never owe a woman anything. and enjoy their company for the delightful multifarious creations that they are. women constantly amuse me. the biggest thing I would say is this. when it comes to girls its good to know and be friends with as many as possible with one proviso. don't ever get stuck in a friendship with a girl you are trying to turn into something else. and therefore always be able to say next.

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  • I have two suggestions:

    1) Work on trying to get some good friends, if you don't already have them. They will help.

    2) Try online dating first, since you're obviously an articulate person and the playing field would be more even for you there. Having a trusted friend help you there would also be good, since they can check to make sure you don't say anything that might come off wrong.

    I can tell you that I'm about the same age as you, and I find dating to be very difficult...and I don't even have AS.

    I am somewhat familiar with the difficulties that AS causes though, since there are a lot of people in my field who have that.

    I think the first thing you need to decide right now is whether your priority is to "date" for confidence building and to feel more normal (which you mentioned), or if you're looking to building a long-lasting relationship with a woman.

    If you're just looking to try the "dating game" because you think that's going to help your personal development, then the best thing you can do is to just look at it like it is...a game. And the only rule to being good at playing this game, is that you have to be willing to lose.

    In this case, losing means being rejected. Everyone gets rejected some of the time. Some people get rejected almost all of the time. But to be good at this game, you have to be willing to play no matter whether you win or lose. The truth is that even if you were told the perfect strategy to playing the game, and you were able to completely overcome your AS, you'd still get rejected a lot because so much of this game is based upon luck.

    Yes, being awkward may increase the probability that you'll get rejected faster, but the question is by how much. You could be perfectly smooth, make eye contact and have all the right body language, and still get rejected.

    So if playing the game is your primary objective, then rather than improving your technique, what you should probably be focusing on is increasing your exposure to women you could ask out. Join as many social groups as you can, go to as many events as possible, volunteer, etc. Then just make a point of going up to women, introducing yourself, and asking them out. If you roll the dice enough times, eventually one will say yes and it may happen sooner than you think (because girls will often forgive awkwardness initially if they meet a cute guy under the right circumstances).

    Then you have a date. Succeeding on a first date would probably be even harder for you than getting the girl to go out with you in the first place, because the girl has a lot more time to study your behavior closely. The AS may get in your way.

    As mentioned above, it's perfectly reasonable that you may not really like the game itself, and just want a relationship with a woman who loves you. If that's the case, then try things like the online dating I mentioned and also going the friendship route with women to get their trust first. I can't write much more, but it's a different goal.

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  • I'm 22 and never had a girlfriend, always been single, I have Asperger Syndrome, I just can't picture myself ever getting a girl

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