Dating with autism from a girl's perspective


Disclaimer: I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when I was eight years old and have been in therapy ever since.

This myTake is an extension to @Lynx122 's myTake from 15 days ago:
Dating with autism is not fun!

I was recently asked to visit a psychiatrist, and he asked me whether I had been in a relationship, which I denied. He then smiled at me and said "And why do you think that you've never had a boyfriend before?"

In the weeks since the appointment, I have been determined to come up with a detailed answer, these are my conclusions.

1) Overthinking and how fixed routines help

As seen in even this situation, I overthink everything. An example for this is thinking about saying "I love you" for a year and then realising that I fucked up the relationship. A solution to this is to have fixed routines, which is something fairly few people understand. I like the book "The power of habit" by Charles Duhigg because it highlights this. When you have a fixed routine, you spend less of your energy on trivial things like getting dressed or deciding on what you should eat. This is, as widely known, the reason why Steve Jobs wore the same outfit all the time. It preserved his energy. To actually have the energy to overthink, I do this a lot.

What overthinking feels like...
What overthinking feels like...

2) Feeling more, all the time

I feel more than neurologically typical people do, which @Lynx122 explained very well. I haven’t been properly (long and tight) hugged in more than a year because my environment knows that I don’t want to be touched and I can’t ask for it now. I don't want to ask either. So even when I do crave love and affection, it can be too much, there’s no one around to touch me at that point, or they are scared of me, which leads us to...

3) Unpredictable emotional reactions, surprises

Everything may be fine in one moment and then turn into a catastrophe in the next. Being hugged in a wrong moment can make me cry from exhaustion and being overwhelmed, despite being an adult officially. An example, as @Lynx122 already mentioned, is when you have a planned eight hour day without surprises that really feels like twelve hours. Add surprises and changes of plans and you can add at least two hours to that.
So when I come home from an exhausting day and want to focus all of my energy on my partner, I’m likely to break down at some point and freak out over a „small“ thing when really the cumulative annoyances of that day have become too much.

4) Expectations other have of me

Not in the positive way. People have always expected me to perform poorly in life, which probably comes from misunderstanding autism and Asperger's. I'm not someone who needs to be taken care of by our social system, yes, therapy has helped a lot, but expecting me to become a porn star because I'll never be good enough to be on TV for example is ridiculous. I was bullied in middle school and students there would consistently tell me that I should kill myself. I'm still here but it's been quite the ride.

And yet high expectations can eat you up too
And yet high expectations can eat you up too

5) My expectations, modern dating culture

This is probably going to sound ridiculous but I get extremely sad when people don't meet my expectations. I can't settle for someone who I can't speak to about politics, books, life. So far, I have not met anyone I liked, and I'm working on my expectations but I'm still disappointed.

I tried talking to and dating guys between 30 and 40, but since I'm still so young, this is frowned upon. I enjoy meeting people who still enjoy looking at the stars as opposed to always needing a phone.

Dating with autism from a girl's perspective
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Most Helpful Girl

  • Anonymous
    Nice MyTake!
    I got diagnosed with aspergers syndrome aka high functioning autism last year at the age of 21 years old. I am currently in therapy to improve my social skills as I have no understanding of small talk and therefore get very anxious on dates and going out with a friend. Dating has been difficult. I've gone out with quite a few guys to practice and I have fallen in love a couple times but I always seem to feel more and the relationship gets so important to me and i've never met someone who invests nearly as much. Plus I can't put my emotions into words, in text I can, but I prefer not to as it feels overwhelming and uncomfortable and this causes a lot of misunderstandings. I am in a relationship currently, with a guy who suspects he could be on spectrum also. We understand each other really well and have a lot in common. I rarely ever meet people I connect with so I can really relate to the struggle of finding like minded people especially since i'm anxious as well it's even harder for me to open up to someone. Some people take it as an insult that I don't "let them in" and they don't take my autism seriously because I "don't look autistic" and I seem to be doing so well in life which I am but they don't know what goes on behind the scenes like how much my family supports and pushes me forward and catches me when I fall. Most people that i've met i've felt alone with. I haven't been able to share my thoughts with them and we haven't had enough in common. I dated this guy briefly that didn't understand the problem in us not really having anything in common because he liked me so much we should just date. That I don't understand because I could never talk to him because of it, I felt down over not being able to talk about my interests a lot with him because he didn't share them and they're a big part of who I am so it felt like he didn't really like me and was just being fake. It's really difficult! But there is someone for everyone out there. :)
    Is this still revelant?
    • I used to hang out with a lady who is "on the spectrum". We weren't dating but we shared a common hobby. She was divorced but she was married to a guy on the spectrum for many years. A lot of what you describe sounds like her!

    • Anonymous

      Great to meet like-minded people :) I was diagnosed at eight, which is considered very late over here because people like me usually hang out at psychiatrists when they're really young already lol.
      It's awesome that you've met someone you can be with!

    • VIVANT

      Hey this sounds so much like me!!

    • Show All

Most Helpful Guys

  • Lynx122
    Thanks for writing a myTake based on my myTake :)
    I definitely get what you meant with surprises and unpreditable things. I hate change of plans as well or unpredictable social situations. Sometimes I have a good day and I can just go with the flow when talking to people and not think too much.
    But often my brain kicks in like a defense mechanism or something and tries to predict every possible outcome of a situation and prepare for them and that's what makes it so exhausting and why unpredictable situations are the hardest to deal with because the computing power to keep up with all these probabilities just sky rockets and also you can't interact with other people as well when you're overthinking everything so it just sucks.

    I've tried to have better habits but it's very hard my self discipline is not very good my brain is very demanding and it usually gets what it wants so it's hard for me to achieve my own goals when my brain is pushing me in a different direction. But I will get help soon I hope. I tried to do eveythin alone but I can't at least not atm.

    Don't let other peoples expectations hold you back. Try to just find your own path and measure your success by your own improvement or progress towards a goal not by anything else. I hope you have a fulfilling career :).
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      I'm glad you liked it, I agree with you, life's just different and a little harder.

    • ohshee

      Hi if you ever want to chat I would live to know more about energy and what you feel And how you control the level of energy you let in or share

    • Lynx122

      @ohshee Me? Sure what do you wanna know?

    • Show All
  • razelove
    Well, one of my friends has 3 children who are autistic, besides my best friend Billy being so. Right now he's struggling with that, he wants a woman in his life, but he's non-social, first person pronouns trip him up, and sadly, I don't think it's going to happen for him. I'm not sure about my friend's kids either, only one is very anti-social, and she's great at electronics, so maybe that will balance out. Don't lower your standards if you're young yet, and if no one is meeting them, realize you may need to balance out when you have someone you want to hold for now, vs. someone you want to hold a week from now. You'll do alright, and dating will be uncomfortable, leave you wanting to scream, sometimes in pleasure, mostly in frustration, but that part has nothing to do with autism :)
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • coachTanthony
    If you want to meet like minded people then you have to hang out in like minded places. (Meet up dot com) was a god send for me when I first moved to Dallas Tx. I used it all the time to meet others who enjoyed what I enjoy.

    Check it out... enjoyed the MyTake!
    • Anonymous

      Thank you for recommending this webseite! I checked it out and although there are barely any events in my surroundings it is a good idea to simply go to more events as soon as I'm done with school.

    • Yeah no problem... sorry there isn't more stuff to choose from. I know in a big city there are so many groups you can join. I guess it's hit or miss depending on where one lives.

    • meet-up sucks, for Long Island that is

  • lightbulb27
    I'm a bit fascinated on this as I haven't encountered it so much. I realize you got a "diagnosis" by an expert, but did they do anything to get to the root cause of what caused this "aspergers" and symptoms above and resolving that, so you dont've or the symptoms are lessened? Like... that's the original purpose of going to an expert right? I mean... you started out as a perfect cell, divided trillions of times, a perfect baby... and then around 8... wallah!!! she's jacked up?

    So much of it appears related to control and trust issues. is that right? Like you can't moderate your emotions when tired or after extended stress. It's really normal for females to "dump" on the male when they get home... I'm not saying it is good... it is something that has to be learned and managed and worked out.

    Your writing is very clear and rational, not like something is off. Note that I've seen these kinds of things... like strong mood swings in other females and males and they didn't have aspergers.

    I've seen symptoms like this but she didn't have this... I know her history, but I don't want to project it onto you. She was traumatized as a child... Sound familiar?
    • Anonymous

      Did you mean Vallah/Wallah [turkish/arabic]? Because that means "honestly" or "I swear by god" as I've been told.
      Or did you mean the french "voilà"?

      I'm writing a myTake on growing up with autism right now.
      Autism is a developmental disorder with unknown causes. Some risk factors are known now, but no causes. The earlist possible diagnosis is at 2. Know your facts please.
      I'm not jacked up. My parents struggled a lot with me, the diagnosis explained a lot and we had tried a lot of other things.

      And no, I don't know why you would think that I was traumatised as a child, because I wasn't, I had a very good childhood. My parents were very supportive but like I said more in my next myTake.

    • I meant it as an expression of "and so there it is" and thought was french, but I'm off.. I heard a french person say it, but not spelled right. I know little about autism, but I was seeing relations to other... traumas. Maybe the bottom line is it is mind development, however it occurs?

      I'm drawing from these concepts/theories.

      See the earliest stage which I understand is to be from conception to 2. In other words, when your conscious wasn't quite there, a developing person could take impacts emotionally. so would there be fear and traumas and such that occurred that early. Ex. like my mom smoked, that would be impactful to some extent. Is it impactful if mom took some kind of innoculation, or who knows. I'm curious, seeking, I don't know.

      I'm not saying all of this is fact and I went off the edge of your post... but your post was a lot about the relational challenges of dating with this diagnosed behavior. I've seen some of those in other people who did not have autism, but had early sexual abuse... which would have been their trauma... not saying you had that.

    • If believe in "God", maybe god can give greater insight... as parents may not know/recall or may not share what experiences could have been impactful... e. g. they may feel guilt? Sometimes we block stuff out or just don't think it is impactful, but it really is. For example... if a mom yells at young daughter "don't run on the road"... daughter leaps to action and runs onto road! Then mom yells at her as if she doesn't listen, is dumb and disobedient, and she's mad, and daughter is confused. The flaw here is in moms communication... the human mind lops off the first part and does the later part as a command.. she heard "... run onto the road" and did what mom commanded. Thus what seems a minor thing can mushroom over time into great disfunction, distrust. We want to hear positives, love, not negative fear. It's emotional energy...

      I look forward to reading your story.

    • Show All
  • GreenGold1992
    I also have Asperger's syndrome so I can relate to this very much. I think my problem is I don't get out enough cuz I don't always have a way to get around. But even when I do get out, I don't always know what to say when approaching women and reading into whether they're interested or not.
    • Anonymous

      I'm glad you liked it, I wrote this take for people like us to show Aspies and people with Autism on this platform that it's okay. We're not the same but we share some problems :)

    • I couldn't agree more

  • Pistolpete90
    There's a fascinating Australian show called "Love on the Spectrum" which follows several people with Aspergers/Autism on their quest for love. I absolutely love it.
    • Anonymous

      I've heard about it before. I'm disappointed by the portrayal of autistic people in shows like the big bang theory and the good doctor, so I usually don't watch films/shows like this.

    • Fair enough, but Love on the Spectrum is a documentary. Provides really good insight for the wider community.

  • IntrovertedAj
    Hang in there and be patient. When the right person comes along it will make all the difference in the world. Unfortunately people aren't so understanding and accepting of those of us who are different and have different requirements. There will be someone who understands. You've got a great head on your shoulders. Remember that you can do anything you want.
  • NYCstreetPhotog
    Great mytake! I wish you the best in your endeavors, and know, that it is my very strong belief that everyone has their lover out there, waiting for them.

    Continue to go through counceling, and try not to get discouraged! Hell, just having the courage to write this shows you have the strength to do great things. I'm sure you'll find the one man that you will be very happy with! :)
  • hsshannah96
    I struggle a LOT

    I will be alone forever I’ve decided
    • you do not have to be alone forever ! just try joining an online dating site for those with your type of special condition ! my brother Terry has autism , Asperger's and is a high functioning Savant so try joining a dating site for others with this condition too ! Thanks

    • @MissDawn7961 I am not a savant
      I’m kind of dumb

    • @MissDawn7961 it isn’t a condition. I am not “disabled” enough in public for it to be a condition for me. It’s just a neurotype and brain wiring.

    • Show All
  • SirRexington
    I found this very insightful and interesting because I have pervasive developmental disorder, which is very similar to Asperger's minus the delay in speech.
    I have trouble connecting to people. My body is sensitive to touch and I'm easily made uncomfortable by it. But I do like hugs from people I like. Kissing has never been my favorite though. I'm not a ladies man. I'm I'm not good at talking to women and I haven't been in a relationship in several years. I want a relationship but I know it's going to be hard and right niw my life is difficult enough. I know I would drag down whoever was with me. A girl would need to be very patient and understanding to put up with me and my situation, beyond just my disabilities. I'm afraid of being alone. I spend all my time researching and studying. That and writing. I write songs and scripts, its something that I get lost in.
    • Anonymous

      I don't have a delay in speech, I'm currently working on a myTake on growing up with autism where some of my symptoms are elaborated further. It really depends on the person

    • I figured you didn't have a delay. I did however. I never spoke true words until i was about 6 according to my mom.

  • Matt57
    First off, I want to thank you for still being here as you spoke about in point #4, because you seem pretty cool. As much as I try to improve myself to the point where I don’t feel like I have it anymore, some of the things you’ve wrote about hit close to home and are something that won’t go away for me any time soon.
  • soleil2666
    I don't know if I've inspired this 'long posts' series by my complicated/multilayered views, but I'm not managing to read all of it! (sorry)

    In as much as I know about aspergers' (a guy from work whom I could surprisingly - or not so surprisingly being somewhat overwound to a point of mild autism (some of it self-engineered as it helps with extreme focus required at my former job)) - Aspergers' are veeeeery sensitive to every single thing that changes in the emotion space/room or private conversation atmosphere.

    I would say, first - Relax! Find something physical to do, that gets you tired (exercise, but even better some useful physically tiring work - cleaning, moving boxes (in my case, car repair/mechanics or making things from metal relaxes me no end - especially seing a beautiful finished product or a shiny new piece fitted just where it should be - for a fraction of the cost of dealing with a mechanic who would break something on purpose to extract more money from me down the road))

    Once you build up some of your own safety ground/kind reality re-enforcing behaviours, dating should not be a problem. Just bare in mind that 80% of people online, and probably around 60% in real life, are highly strung/worked up, and that as someone very sensitive you might absorb their anxiety or pent-up anger (which you should avoid - those are the kinds that would do badly in dating towards anyone, it is not your job to save them from themselves). For some of them, things just take time (to relax, to find the space on the inside to understand what it is they want, and more importantly - need - and to connect with themselves as much as to connect with someone else).
    • Anonymous

      Nah, I’ve never seen any of your posts before. Also, I started writing this a week ago.

  • dbr1987
    You know what you should do... you are searching in the wrong corner.. You need a guy who sweeps you of your feet. I once datet a girl with pdd NOS and i swept her of her feet. Regardless her expectation. I think you are interesting. I like complicated women. This is normally a whiteknight comment but i am genuine. Good luck in your proces
  • bekahsunshine
    You are brave to do this my take and i have Aspergers as well and I'm getting married soon i would love to talk to you more some time in the future. But you are very brave to out this out there and i appreciate it!!!
    • Anonymous

      Congratulations!!! I'm currently working on a myTake on Growing up with Autism :)))

  • Kayla45
    I also have high functioning autism, and I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, especially the unpredictable emotional reactions, it's amazing how people treat me too, some people intentionally treat me like I am disabled..
  • mrsingle
    None of these stop guys from asking you out, they aren’t dating problems only your own personal problems. Guys with aspergers have it 100% harder and many die single and virgins because of how society expects the men to do everything to get a girlfriend
  • Titanic1912
    I know what it’s like to be in your shoes. I’m autistic myself but all I did was ask God to guide me through. And I ended up getting through elementary school, barely make it through middle school, zip through high school and suffer for two years through Hell’s college. I have an Associate of Arts degree and a fine job. If you call on God, He will help you with whatever you need.
    • Anonymous

      I'm very religious but still believe that I have to work hard myself for God to be able to guide me.

    • That’s how I did it. Remember Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

  • MementoMori_
    What's wrong with dating in Autumn?

    Oh Autism!

    Nevermind. :)

    I'll tell you this, however bad your issues, it can't be any worse than some of the girls I've dated recently who weren't diagnosed with *anything*.
    • PS I don't like normal people. They're boring. Fortunately, there aren't any. Everybody has something going on that isn't normal.

  • lilyanony1
    I like this and felt I could relate, you write really well. You're also a kind and gentle soul. You will find someone, everything happens at the right time... Xx
  • gym4ever
    Just belive in ur self and try to control it. Its all in your head. You chose how you wanna feel.
    • Anonymous

      Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder affecting mostly the brain. Yes, it's all in my head, and no, I don't always choose how I want to feel. I will write another myTake on impetuosity and how it's affected my life some day so stay tuned :)

  • talloak
    Very good take. There are so many social difficulties that you raise for dating on the spectrum. But I also see some internal conflicts. You mention that you both crave affection and react to an excess of affection. I suspect that there is also a conflict in attention given and received from another. I bet that your natural intensity of focus shows up in how you pay attention to a partner. But you also need much more space than most, at which point the attention is turned off. This is going to be really confusing to most people. Also, the timing will not always coincide with when your partner needs attention.

    For these reasons, I think you need someone who is more emotionally secure than most. That would explain why you do better with more mature men. I'm sure there are mature younger men, just not as many.
  • something_memorable
    Not sure what to say really. I want to say i feel sorry for what you go through, but you probably dont want my pity and i understand that. I want to suggest some solutions that would make it easier for you to live your life, but i dont know any.

    I guess the best show of solidarity i can offer is that i read this and it really stuck with me how people who think and feel in unique ways are amazing and so full of potential. Your words matter and remind us all to be more considerate towards others.

    Take care😊
    • Anonymous

      That's a great reaction, thank you very much, your words are very kind and definitely appreciated!

  • ohshee
    Your insight is so very cool I would live to know more about energy and what it feels like to you
  • Twalli
    I hate to say this, but I sound like a guy you could like. I hate to say it because I am already dating someone and she knows exactly how rare people like me are.
    • Anonymous

      That is quite arrogant. You must be very full of yourself.

    • Twalli

      Not at all, I doubt you'd find me good looking. I am still not 100% sure why my girlfriend did/does. I just accept she does. I meant from a personality and interest standpoint. Having lived with the same type of ASD you have for all of my life I can relate to and understand most of your points. I guess the biggest difference is that I was never told what I can't do, only what I can.

    • Anonymous

      It's very encroaching of you to assume we have the same type of ASD - you have Asperger's too, so what?
      That doesn't mean that we could get along, and neither does it mean that we would make a better couple than literally any other two people on this planet.

    • Show All
  • Heyheyheye
    Iam also Asperger and I dont have girlfriend but I think this depends more of the personality and ideas
  • CandyCaneZoe
    I dated a woman with bipolar before. Not the same thing, i know. But that was interesting.
  • terrancemac34
    I think number 5 was definitely the views I agree upon as well.
  • CaptainSmartass
    Thanks for that. I really enjoyed your take. It's nice that you haven't given up on dating, like I have...

    • you do not have to give up on dating at all unless you really want to ! you can try an online dating site for people with autism and other such special conditions

    • Anonymous

      @MissDawn7961 what makes you think I - with mild autism - would want to date someone with „special conditions“? That’s like saying you should only date someone your age.

  • NatalieKeller95
    oh please women with Autism aren't as fucked up as guys with autism, autistic guys are hopeless,
    • I can see where you are coming from.

    • Year3000

      I have Anti social personality not ASD but I’ve dated a lot.

    • Erm, we can read, you know?

    • Show All
  • mike125800
    I'm sure that he would understand and take your issue into consideration
  • bananathunder
    awesome MyTake... this one hits me really close to home. Thanks for the perspective :D
  • bamesjond0069
    I would imagine older men are more suited to you. You also sounded like you thought so too but that its just weird. Its not really, only if you live in a very liberal area i guess. Im still getting over it. My family is from a liberal area and they make comments all the time about me dating girls 10 or more years younger than I but nobody where i lives seems to care or say anything. I think if thats what works for you, you should just do it.

    Also, why not date men with autism? Just wondering.
    • Anonymous

      I’ll PM you

    • Anonymous

      If you let me that is :D

    • Sure you can.

    • Show All
  • FictionalCharacter
    Interesting MyTake
  • livingthelife19
  • sean1234
    People like you need Jesus, autism cured.
  • Junen
  • KaraAyna
    Good take
  • dchapsuli
    Omg i fucking love this <3
    • Anonymous

      Thank you, glad you liked it :)

  • BigDaddyEric6969
    Do you
  • Anonymous
    I've dated girls with autism & aspergers syndrome and other stuff before but I'd never get serious with them, I just like how easy they are to manipulate into having sex.
  • Anonymous
    Autism always negatively impacts a persons social-skills and conversation-skills, social abilities, social interactions.

    I've always felt for many years now, that autism will hurt a guys chances in dating more than a girls chances in dating because historically, traditionally, guys are expected to make the first move and do the heavy-lifting in the interactions, conversations with girls, women, etc.

    It has bothered me a lot, when people make comments saying "theres no point in worrying about who has it worse, a better mindset is to take and accept responsibility for every part of your life"

    that's a fact of life that guys, men, are expected to do more than girls, women do, I know for a fact that's true, even some sources back it up.
    • high functioning people can learn better social skills though

    • Anonymous

      @NatalieKeller95 ya, it seems the mans social skills or conversation-skills need to be better, more advanced than the womans because guys are expected to do what I mentioned up above in my post, I never liked it, but oh well, disliking it won't make it go away unfortuneately.

  • Anonymous
    get Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
    • Knock off that Autism Speaks propaganda, you coward.