Carrie Bradshaw sat inside her NYC apartment and each and every week wrote a few words on her laptop via a word document which formed a question about her latest dating article she was writing for her weekly column.
There she would sit as she pondered something mind blowing about men and dating.
We the audience would sit there and follow her and the other ladies’ escapades as they navigated the mine field that is the dating world.
For them they had the rich pickings of NYC, for me I have the rich pickings of nothing.
Samantha was the only one who had her own agenda when it came to men and dating.
For she wasn’t ever going to worry about the pattern on a fabric napkin or worry about getting her son to school on time, or did she have enough money to buy some ritzy designer shoes.
But none of those women had a disability.
They were four white women living their best Oprah lives in the confines of NYC.
I’m here in Perth and I’m finding that the pickings are slim when it comes to finding a date.
The dating world is a scary place to navigate your way through, and if you add autism into the equation, it doubles the pressure and can add anxiety into the situation. But that’s not to say you give up and never date.
I am a member of a number of dating websites but so far not one man has reached out and asked me out on a date. Now I can hear my friends yelling.
“Nick, why don’t you ask them out?”
And my reply is that I haven’t found any that I would consider to be attractive.
I’m ready to be loved and to be in a relationship.
My issue/problem/worry is that when I tell the guy that I’m Autistic he’ll run/make an excuse/ghost me or just not want to get to know me.
Now, I’m not going to list all of my great qualities here, I don’t want people to think that I’m a wanker!
But this is what I’ve written for the bio part of my dating profile.
“Ok, I just have to be real… I’m a bit of a shut-in. Don’t get me wrong,
I like going out for drinks and having fun, but I find more peace and have more fun just
kicking back. I love the beach, watching movies, spontaneous trips, and
learning about all the things I thought I knew but now realise I had no idea about.
It’s a crazy world, let’s be crazy together.
Also, I can also cook a mean baked tilapia or spaghetti dinner.
Let me know if you are interested or just give me some tips on my red sauce??”
Reading this I’m sure you’ll agree that I am someone who you should ask out on a date right? I’ve given you all the deets about me that I feel best describe me, I’ve been a little flirty towards the end with the cooking invitation. So, why then am I still single?
I’m not looking for any sympathy here, let me just be clear.
I’m looking to fall and find love.
I’m just worried/concerned that my Autism may be my barrier to finding that.
I could be wrong; I don’t list that I’m Autistic on the dating websites that I am a member of.
But at some point, over a candle lit dinner it’s bound to come up in conversation and I’m going to have to deal with the fall out if any from telling that guy that I have a disability.
It’s not going to be an easy conversation, but I do think that when the right guy comes along, he’ll be supportive and understanding and it won’t be an issue for him.
If you are about to embark on a date, why not do some role-playing at home beforehand?
Ask a friend to come over or ask a family member and ‘be your date’.
Role play what type of scenarios may take place and see if by doing this simple exercise you can pick up hints and tips on how not to act and what to say.
Or at the very least, build an awareness of how to engage in conversation without offending your date and having them storm of because what you think is appropriate to them maybe won’t be.
If you are lucky enough to go on a date, then here are:
Some Handy Tips:
Make sure that the date takes place somewhere where you are comfortable and won’t elevate your stress.
Maintain eye contact.
Remember to listen before responding.
If you don’t like what they are wearing, they have a wart on their nose, or there’s something else, keep that opinion to yourself. They won’t appreciate it, and anyway, it’s not nice to point out someone’s faults – especially not on a first date.
If you feel that you are getting overwhelmed, excuse yourself and step outside take a deep breath and relax – they are just as nervous as you are!
When you first meet them, find out if they are a hugger or if they prefer a handshake – don’t assume!
Don’t think that the things you’re interested in will be the same as your date. Attempt, through conversion, to find some common ground and don’t rock up in a Star Wars costume! Maybe save that for the third/fourth date?!
If you want to leave, don’t just get up and leave! Maybe pre-arrange with a mate that if you text them that the date isn’t going to plan that they text back with some type of emergency.
And remember – Be yourself!
Carry on the Conversation
If you are a single man and would like to go on a date with me drop me a line!
As always, I can be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.