Whether you are a Neurotypical Person or an Autistic Person, dating someone an autistic person can be just as amazing (if not more amazing) as any other relationship. However, there may be some challenges when it comes to things like communication and body language.
We’ve come up with 5 things to know that will be really helpful in your relationship:
1. EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS
Sometimes it can be difficult for an autistic person to express their feelings and emotions. You may think that they are being distant or that their feelings have changed. In reality, they may feel as in love as you do but don’t necessarily feel the need to say it as often (if at all) they may be expecting you to know how they feel.
Alternately they may be so happy and excited about the relationship that they are over sharing their feelings and emotions. It’s okay to mention this if you are finding it overwhelming and you can work together to find a happy medium.
2. HUMAN CONTACT
Some autistic people do not like to be touched. Others may like a light touch, while others may like deep pressure. Because your partner does not initiate or react well to human contact doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel close to you.
If your partner does not want to cuddle it may be that they are sensitive to touch. This is something you can discuss and find alternate ways to be close with each other. If they like deep pressure then maybe try massage or if they prefer light touch then maybe tickling their back.
Routine can be very important when dating an autistic person. Try to avoid spontaneous plans and surprises. When planning dates involve your partner in the planning so that any dates can fit into their routine. Whilst surprises might seem romantic they can be very distressing for autistic people.
Communication can be difficult for autistic people. You may need to adjust and adapt the way you communicate to make things easier for your partner to understand. Sometimes communicating via text or letter can be helpful, especially if you have had an argument and communication may get misinterpreted. Sometimes your partner may be physically unable to talk if they are burnt out or tired. Messenger can be great to communicate during these times.
5. CANCELLED PLANS
An autistic person may cancel plans because they are burned out or tired. You could suggest staying in with them and chilling out but if they need some time alone it isn’t anything personal. Sometimes autistic people just can’t function and rest and recovery is very important. If you feel comfortable it might be a nice idea to let your partner know that they don’t need to mask around you which could relieve some pressure.
According to Wikipedia dating is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others … the thought is enough to make us want to go hide under our beds!