neurodivergent

It’s All Right: There Is No One Right Time to Start Dating

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.

Support from the Start: How to Talk About Disability With A Disabled Partner When You're a Nondisabled Person

Disability may feel scary if you’re new to it - there is a lot of language involved to learn, maybe more medical information than you feel capable of handling, or you might have a fear about possibly being cast in a caregiver role more so than a partner. All of these fears can be dispelled or addressed through ongoing, healthy communication. In my experience, disclosure is an ongoing conversation and there is no single “correct” way to do it, but there are ways that our partners can be stronger allies.

It's Never Too Late To Start To Date

Being autistic, some things just haven’t come as naturally for me as they seem to for other people. Unfortunately, these have included hallmarks of American life often used to symbolize being “an adult” like driving on my own or getting my first paid job. But human beings are not on a strict timetable to do all the same things at the same time. This is just as true of dating like anything else. Just because you (or I) haven’t been actively dating when a lot of other people in your life have doesn’t make you (or me) a failure. You’re just on your own timetable. So am I.