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Online Dating: Tips for Lonely Adults on the Autism Spectrum

If you find yourself constantly alone, and if you would really enjoy having a love relationship but don't know how to get one, you will want to consider starting with an “online dating” approach.

Too much anxiety and self-consciousness create a bad first impression; therefore, believe me when I tell you that online dating is infinitely better for adults with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism compared to a first-time, face-to-face blind date. Dating sites will help you break-out into the dating scene, and help you talk to potential dates in a more relaxed manner.

Imagine walking into the local pub with 50 strangers in it. If you’re looking to start a conversation with someone, where do you start? (You’re feeling anxious already, aren’t you?!) Do you just sit there by yourself in hopes that someone will come up to you and starting talking? Do you risk being offensive by asking someone if you can buy him or her a drink?

An online dating service is like having a friend go into the pub ahead of you as a “scout,” and this scout picks 5 people who you could go out with. How cool is that?! Of course, this doesn't mean that any of those 5 people are perfect for you, just that they share important traits and interests that are the basis for a compatible relationship.

10 reasons to consider dating online:

1. Most online dating sites have a "matching algorithm," (i.e., a formula that matches people in a way that helps ensure they are compatible, thus significantly increasing the chances of romantic success).

2. Adults on the autism spectrum often tend to be better at writing out what they feel and think (e.g., in chat messages), whereas in “real life,” they might hold back feelings or thoughts, or be too afraid or embarrassed to talk about some things.

3. Dating sites allow you to place a photo along with a personal ad, and some even have audio capability so you can listen to your potential partner’s voice. While this may sound a bit superficial at first, it actually takes the whole "meat market" aspect out of the dating process because it allows you to weed out the individuals that you feel uncomfortable with from the start.

4. For the frugal minded “Aspie, online dating saves you a lot of money. When you go out on a “real life” date, you have several possible costs involved (e.g., gas to and from the date, a meal for two, movie or concert tickets for two, etc.) – and this is just for one date! When you date online, you save all of that money (and if the date does not go as you had hoped, you will not be out any money).

5. If it turns out that a particular “online person” is not for you, you can graciously back out without the awkwardness of a “real life” date.

6. One of the “hidden” benefits of online dating is that it allows you to critically examine what you want out of life (not just out of a potential relationship) in a way you haven’t done before.

7. Online dating helps you meet potential partners rapidly so that you can quickly determine whether or not there is any compatibility. Initial contacts may be through online chats and messaging exchanges, which help you get to know your potential date.

8. Online dating offers you access to potential mates that you would be unlikely to meet through other avenues.

9. When you look for that special someone online, you are able to be yourself, to relax more, and not feel so pressured to impress the other person. You can just be you.

10. With online dating, you get to know the “real” person. Once you have chatted with someone online for a while, you begin to know that person, how he or she feels and thinks, and what makes him or her happy or sad.

So if you’re tired of being single and isolated, consider joining a dating site soon (or how about now?!). But before you do, understand this:

In romantic relationships, many of us are somehow convinced that one particular individual (yet to be discovered) will make us completely happy. This is a myth! The modern idea of romance, the idea that one “special person” is out there, that there is a perfect match waiting for you, is simply bullshit. There is not one specific individual for which everything should be given up so that you can have a “happily ever after.” So, forget about it. Get online and start looking over all the available matches, pick on, then see how it goes. If it doesn’t work, simply go on to pick #2, then #3, and so on. Eventually you will find someone who will be just fine as they are (which won’t be perfect, but that’s O.K.).

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