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Autism & Love: Some Tips For That First Stage Of Dating

old-movie-dateHey guys. I’ve been meeting a lot of autistic people lately. Like more than usual. And as a chick who’s had a fairly illustrious love life over the years, people sometimes ask me for advice.

Here’s some tips for both sexes. (I’ll get more specific in later posts.) And if at any point it feels like I’m preaching at you, remember that I only know these things because I’ve made all of these mistakes myself.

Don’t Be Clingy

Just don’t. It’s hard; I know. Since we grew up with people dipping out on us at unpredictable times, we need constant reassurance that whoever we’re interested in is going to keep talking to us. But you can’t do that in dating. It looks desperate. More importantly, it puts pressure on the person you’re interested in. They might be trying to figure out how they feel about you for a myriad of reasons. So if you just had a great third date and you want to be the first to call, the next day will suffice. Don’t text immediately afterwards and say “Let’s do THAT again!”

Sure, waiting to text feels like playing games. But you don’t text your friends every second, do you? Think of this the same way. It’s always been hard for me to toe the line between eager and aggressive. Incessant texting is aggressive.

Don’t Get Too Obsessed

I know this new person is the most exciting thing in the world to you right now. They match up with you in the oddest little ways. But this is new, remember. You don’t know what this person is like day-to-day.

If it’s someone you know a bit and you’re still obsessed, you’ve earned some stripes. But still: the things you love about them are the types of things you most value. Like intelligence. You have to think about the boring parts too. Are they patient? Tolerant? Do you think they’d be likely to cheat? No one wants to think about this stuff from the get-go because it’s not sexy. But the sexiest people don’t make good long-term partners tbh.

We all have crushes. They hurt. But they fade. Not as much or as fast as people say they do. But they do fade. Infatuation is part of life. Aren’t you spergs glad you get to be part of the pack for once?

Don’t Tell Them Everything About Yourself

For people on the spectrum, pushing emotional closeness with partners is a quick route to getting the intimacy we need in general. We tend to not get as close with our friends. A lot of NTs move fast too, but they have a bigger support system for when it falls apart. If you’re emotionally reliant on people you don’t know will be around next week then you’re going to get pretty depressed.

The most important thing is to keep yourself grounded while not giving the other person too much power. Withholding your feelings might seem manipulative, but it allows a potential relationship room to grow.


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Autism & Love: Some Tips For That First Stage Of Dating

Gwendolyn Kansen

Gwen Kansen is a mental health writer in New York. She likes food, karaoke, and smart-but-campy books & TV. She's hoping to capture a little sliver of life on here that might not be the first thing you'd see.

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APA Reference
Kansen, G. (2016). Autism & Love: Some Tips For That First Stage Of Dating. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 10, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 May 2016
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