Many social norms, macro or micro, can make it seem like the ideal — or even only! — time to start having dating experiences is in high school. You may get the message that doing it any other time, even just waiting until you’re in college, puts you at some kind of disadvantage. To go against that grain may inspire some social judgement of you and, at least in my case, leave you wondering if you’re just fulfilling a harmful stereotype about what autistic people are capable and incapable of doing. Even if it’s impossible to remember amidst the din of outside messaging world, there is no one right time for dating. That’s as true for neurodivergent folks, including those of us on the autism spectrum, as it is for neurotypical members of the world.
Two smart, insightful and autistic people who like talking about relationships walk into an interview. What comes out is this fantastically rich conversation between Scarleteen columnist Douglas Laman and Love and Asperger's author and therapist Kate McNulty.
The options for people on the Autism spectrum looking to go out on a date are few. This lack of options can help to compound problems people on the Autism spectrum already have with dating. Navigating social hurdles, like avoiding over-talking, while being on a date is, on its own, a plenty daunting prospect. Realizing that the options for a backdrop to a date are exceedingly limited is just adding salt to the wounds. Together, these challenges can make a person feel like the prospect of going out on a date at all is far more trouble than it’s worth.
What happens when sex gets tangled up with your brain's wiring?