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For better or worse, there is a music to dating, and while people with AS can understand the verses (and often have a distinctly straightforward way of expressing ourselves that can be refreshing), we struggle with the pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, and texture. While this is partially due to the insecurity caused by disproportionately experiencing various forms of social rejection for years and years, even people with AS who received predominantly positive reinforcement in their early lives can still feel detached and isolated due to their inability to fully communicate with others.This could be compared to speaking a different language, although that analogy would imply that individuals with AS could at least "speak" to others with the condition, when in fact AS manifests itself so differently from person to person that we are generally as unable to relate to each other as we are with the non-AS population. Thato Molamu is the sensei master of speed dating and he's even hosting a show about it.Thato hosted a speed dating event last year under his company, Gateway Media, and it was such a success, he decided to take it to screens. Remember that first impressions are everything, so how you presentyourself is important. Improve your impression skills to make an impression in two minutes. and assumes you do too." Of course, one of the twists of having AS is that you tend to develop an outsider’s perspective on social rules in general, and the world of dating is no exception. A lot of the "obvious" rules about dating are actually pretty arbitrary, so we aren’t instinctively aware of them.I remember feeling disgust and then curiosity the first time someone explained the concept of “dating leagues” to me, or being stunned to learn that a girl who invites you to a hotel room to "just chill for a night" might actually mean the opposite of that, or that one who keeps postponing seeing you again is blowing you off. I recently had a conversation with a friend who commented that people with AS should "just use common sense" when navigating the dating scene.Second, my own best friend, whose existence in my life is inextricably linked to my time in DC, is leaving town. Priorities shift, and suddenly friendship starts to seem like a luxury, maybe even a waste of time that is now in ever shorter supply.
For two hours, scores of women paraded in front of me like a Golden Corral buffet. But the truth is there are two events looming in the distance that are going to happen whether I like it or not.
Others with AS have told me about similar stories, all linked by a common theme: We experience dating, as we do all other social rituals, as non-native bumblers, struggling to comprehend a culture of Byzantine complexity (in our eyes) and lacking the unassailable logic of being entirely direct, straightforward, verbalized, and emotionless (which is clearly reasonable… Few pieces of advice are more frustrating to a mild autistic, since "common sense" in dating involves intuitively knowing the assumptions that others will make about you based on the cues you give off through what you say and do — which, of course, is precisely what AS causes you to miss.
Regardless of whether two people are meeting on a prearranged date or striking up conversation in a casual setting, each one’s emotional response is determined by the assumptions they make based on a multitude of factors, from body language, facial expression, and eye contact to manner of dress, choice of conversation topics, and tone of voice (the same principle applies to online dating, although the cues are different).
While the merely awkward are at least subconsciously aware of these variables when they’re engaged in an interaction, someone with AS is wired to assume that (a) if someone finds us attractive, they will directly and immediately state it from the get-go and (b) they would want us to do likewise.
The idea that people communicate interest other than through what they actually say, or that even what someone says is fraught with layers and nuances — none of this occurs to us, since our instinct (which we assume the rest of the world shares) is to just say what we think and feel at length without any filters.
In romantic dating, there’s an easy way to gauge whether you want to get to know someone, and it usually boils down to answering a single question: “Do I want to see this person naked?