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.
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.
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.