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Home / Relationships

Five tips for dating someone with Asperger’s syndrome

 People with this condition can love and need to be loved as well (Image: Shutterstock)

Considered a high functioning autism disorder, Asperger’s is a developmental disorder that falls on the autism spectrum.

Affecting more males than females it may affect their ability to relate to others and they may have severe impairment in language development.

Although there is still very little research on autism spectrum disorders it doesn’t negate their need for dating, loving and being loved.

Another misconception people have is they only date people with autism and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This however does not mean it is a walk in the park.

Considering how complex relationships are usually, they are even more confusing for autistic people and for neurotypical people alike.

Due to communication challenges, rigid behavioral patterns and sensory sensitivities which means people with Asperger’s may have trouble with touch and sound this may affect how they react to certain emotions and how they express themselves.

If you find yourself in such a position, here is how to have a successful relationship with them:

  • Give them time to process
  • Making small decisions such as picking what to wear for a dinner date to big decisions like when to get married or where to relocate to can be overwhelming for them.

    Serious transitions in life that need some thinking may be difficult for them to comprehend at first and thus a person with Asperger’s may need some space and time to get around it.

    Just because they may pull away or ask for time does not mean they do not love you.

  • Communicate properly
  • As much as they may have difficulties with communication, be as open as you can be, ask questions if you must and help them understand what you mean.

    The same way you can’t read anyone’s mind don’t expect them to do the same leave alone filling in the missing blanks.

    If you must put it in writing for them to fully get it do so and don’t drop hints expecting them to get your cues because you will only frustrate them.

  • They may not express their emotions
  • If one of your love languages is words of affirmation you may need to find a way around it. People with autism are not the best at expressing their emotions and some of the words you may least get to hear are, ‘I love you.’

    That however does not mean that they do not have strong feelings for you. Once love between the two of you has been established and you are years into the relationship, they do not see the need of further vocalizing their emotions.

  • You need to be patient
  • Considering the challenges they have, opening up the first time can be very difficult for them. You need to keep the conversation going on for longer until they are comfortable enough.

    They are not great at social skills and therefore you need to do more than the usual. Things like flirting may not be obvious to them and for that reason you have to be upfront.

  • Understand them
  • People with Asperger’s are expected to do so much to make their partners happy despite challenges they have no control over. This can make them sad when their efforts go unnoticed.

    Put yourself in their shoes and have compassion. Be reasonable and respect what they are bringing to the table.

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