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Helping friend with Asperger's to start dating

(9 Posts)
TurnstileFortunes Thu 12-Sep-19 00:03:15

I've got a friend who's got Asperger's, and wants to find a girlfriend. He's 30, and was previously in a long term relationship with a girl who also has Asperger's, but that has been his only relationship to date (I don't think he had his first kiss until he was in his mid 20s; they met through a group for people with the condition and she asked him out)

He's a really sweet man, and while he comes across as quiet and perhaps slightly awkward, he's perfectly capable of friendship with neurotypical people and I enjoy spending time with him. He works full time, lives in a flatshare, etc etc. He does, however, lack confidence with many things in life - women in particular being one of them.

He'd do best getting to know someone before asking them out, and I fear he's going to be eaten alive by internet dating. There's no one within our social circles who is suitable, and I'm not entirely sure what to suggest in terms of ways for him to meet potential girlfriends, or how to help him build confidence when it comes to asking a girl out.

Any suggestions gratefully received!

1066vegan Thu 12-Sep-19 00:18:40

I'd suggest online dating but look for one based on a particular interest or set of values not a general dating site.
Eg I have friends who have had successful dates through Guardian Soulmates and Classic FM dating. I should imagine there are sites for most areas of interest.

Having a shared interest, hobby, political, religious or ethical belief might be a more promising starting point than the kind of site where people just keep swiping until they see someone they fancy.

1066vegan Thu 12-Sep-19 00:22:29

Ps I'm autistic (would have been diagnosed with Aspergers if it was still being used). My dp, my dd and all of my friends are neurotypical so relationships between people with different kinds of brain makeup can definitely work.

TheNestedIf Thu 12-Sep-19 00:30:36

Would he be comfortable trying an organised singles night where he can get to know people and maybe take part in some ice-breaker activities?

The Single Solution is a good one, if he's up for it and if they run sessions in your area. It's where I met DP, whom I've been with for well over 9 years and whom I'd never have met on a dating site.

ShippingNews Thu 12-Sep-19 00:49:32

I'd suggest that he might want to do some kind of volunteering , rather than jumping in to dating . If he was volunteering in a field which interests him, he'd work with other people who also have that interest. This can lead to friendships and possibly some closer relationships as time goes on. At the very least he'd have opportunities to get to know other people , which would be good for his social experience.

Moomin8 Thu 12-Sep-19 00:54:02

I have Aspergers. The main issue for us is that we're taken advantage of easily and we expect people to say what they mean and mean what they say. It's been a hard lesson in life for me that for some people, talk is cheap.

I've found relationships with NT people challenging because they think I'm strange or my unusual personality is unsettling for them. OTOH relationships with other autistic people haven't been easy either because who reads the emotions when both of you are on the spectrum?

It's not easy...

TurnstileFortunes Thu 12-Sep-19 08:55:40

@TheNestedIf I've had a look and alas the Single Solution doesn't seem to be running any more.

Part of me is tempted to go with him to speed dating (I'm also single) as he'd have a bit of support but also be forced to talk to other people. I'm not sure he'd manage walking into a room of strangers and making conversation without some form of structure!

I've encouraged him towards volunteering in the past but he's reluctant as I think it's something he was pushed into in the past before he had a full time job. I probably need to emphasise the shared interest singles bit more.

I'm not sure he's ever chatted a girl up in his life. He could do with evening classes in that, but strangely I'm not sure they exist! I've not looked but presumably if you go looking on the Internet for that sort of thing you'd find a mix of "pick up artists" and incels, which is the very opposite of helpful.

TheNestedIf Thu 12-Sep-19 14:54:19

Sorry about that @TurnstileFortunes. There's a site called www.designmynight.com that might help if you're near London which has details of similar events. Otherwise, it's worth a google for events near your friend.

Even speed dating, might help (full disclosure, I had never done it before but it was that part of the event where I met DP). It puts a structure around meeting new people. It also removes any restrictive criteria someone might think they want and might put into a dating site form.

Good luck to your friend.

TheNestedIf Thu 12-Sep-19 15:02:42

Oh, and you too if you decide to join him.

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