I saw the most wonderful story on Facebook the other day. It was about a couple who are both on the Autism Spectrum and they were married Saturday. This is particularly encouraging for me because I’m always reading about how difficult it is for folks on the spectrum to navigate the dating scene. Since social awkwardness is a major trait in High Functioning Autism, I have to say this may be a fair assessment.
I did not date a whole lot in high school. I didn’t date much in college. I prefered to have a “steady.” I’ll elaborate on that in the next installment. Nevertheless, I didn’t know I was on the spectrum at the time so I just figured I was yet another awkward teenager…
I have been married twice. The whole “marriage thing” has not worked well for me. Maybe I just haven’t found the right person…huh? To be fair, the demise of my second marriage had some mitigating circumstances. No, I will not reveal them here. After all, I have to give you some motivation to buy my book: “Life is a Precious Gift – live it with NO REGRETS.”
Many of us are raised in the judeo-christian tradition of dating to find a lifelong mate. I have never been one who was much of a conformist. I believe that you must do what is best for your happiness and sanity. That being said, I was happily married but… I have an adventuresome spirit. The person I marry must understand that. Now he is more than welcome to come along with me as I explore. Clubbing is absolutely not a requirement but I like to do that too, occasionally. And I have no problem staying home and relaxing in front of the television or hey, here’s a concept – carrying on an intelligent conversation. But I’m not going to be a happy camper or very easy to get along with if I can’t get out sometimes and do stuff. Trust and believe, if you do not want to join me, you do not want to be the cause of clipping my wings unless you are ill or in dire need of my attention.
So what is the take away? Many people on the Autism Spectrum have narrow or focused interests. If you’re going to date someone, I would start with looking around at the establishments or events that you frequent. The couple I mentioned at the beginning of this post met at an Autism Support Group. Don’t have one near you? Start one! In order to date people, you have to meet people. Finally, take the pressure off yourself. Everyone you date does not have to eventually become your spouse.