Love on the Spectrum
How difficult is it for people with autism to find love and happiness?
For some people on the spectrum finding love can be a real challenge. It’s hard enough for anyone to find love, but when you throw in social awkwardness and trouble communicating and reading people’s feelings, finding love on the spectrum is not an easy feat.
The ABC documentary ‘Love on The Spectrum’ provided a great insight to the struggles facing people with autism when it comes to love and relationships. The series took the viewers on a journey through the lives of young people who found it a challenge to start a meaningful relationship.
Take a first date for instance, there is the initial challenge to even ask someone on a date, then there’s the anxiety around meeting someone for the first time, or at least the first time in a romantic situation. Where do you go? What do you talk about? How do you behave? Do you kiss on the first date? Aaaahhh!!! It’s sensory overload at its best.
One thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Your date is most likely feeling exactly the same way as you. They’d be worried about the same things. Knowing that they’re feeling the same as you may not stop your anxiety, but it may give you some relief.
You may wish to practice conversation topics before you go on the date. This will hopefully help the conversation flow more easily for you. Practice with a friend or a family member, pretend that you’re in a restaurant and think about some questions you could ask and also how you can respond to questions with more than just a yes or no answer.
If you manage to get past the first date in one piece, congratulations! There may be a second date and even more on the horizon. How exciting for you. One thing to remember is that with each date comes experience, and like with anything, you will get better at it. You may not find love the first time, but that’s ok, not many of us do. Eventually, however, you may find Mr. or Mrs. Right and will realise that it is entirely possible to find love on the spectrum.