For many people with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder, just making friends is a challenge. So when it comes to dating and long-term relationships, it can be even more challenging.
It is a struggle that is experienced by both men and women, and it is not isolated to any particular age group.
Although it is difficult, it is possible to not only find dates, but find someone you can have a lasting relationship with.
Society has for years pushed the idea of “The One” – you know, that one perfect person we just mesh with and it’s with that perfect match that we can have our “happily ever after” story ending. Well, to be blunt, as is the Aspie way, that’s just a fairytale.
In reality, the relationships that work boil down to a high level of compatibility and the right set of circumstances that makes everything come together….
Attraction + Connection + Timing + Choice = Relationship
Let’s take a closer look at the main components of lasting relationships….
No relationship will last if there isn’t physical attraction. It’s not shallow, that is just a fact of life.
If you aren’t physically attracted to them or they aren’t physically attracted to you, then you’re probably better off just being friends and nothing more.
But as powerful as attraction can be, you can’t build a relationship with attraction alone.
Connecting with someone on a deep, emotional level is actually pretty simple in theory, but more challenging in practice.
An emotional connection is established by making yourself vulnerable. You do this by revealing sensitive things about yourself that create an emotional response in yourself and the other person.
Now, that doesn’t mean you break down and cry, but that what you share actually means something to you. Perhaps it’s something you’re passionate or excited about, or you share some painful memory from your childhood. When that person empathizes with you and supports you, you will feel a connection with that person.
The other half of connection is feeling that they are like you. We all are naturally drawn others who are like ourselves – who share our interests, views, passions, and/or hobbies. It’s because they can share in our joy and excitement, as well as understand our sorrows or pains.
Have you ever run into someone you know at the store? That is timing.
To build a relationship with someone, you need to be in the right place, at the right time, and be given the opportunity to establish a connection with them.
The circumstances must also allow for a relationship to exist – by that I mean they need to be single.
Timing is really something that is out of our control, but, we can create more opportunities and increase the chance of meeting someone who we can be attracted to and connect with by meeting more people.
For an Aspie, that is a daunting task, but a necessary one if you want the best chances at meeting someone.
Every person in this world wants to be accepted, understood, loved, and appreciated. They may not be aware of it, they may not even think they do, but it is at the very core of our nature.
We are born with the ability to choose what we do, how we spend our time, what we think about, and who we love. We may feel that we are powerless or don’t have a choice, but we actually have a lot more choice and freedom than we dare admit.
We have the power to choose whom we love – we do it by…
- choosing to allow ourselves to think about them
- choosing to take actions that help or do something nice for them
- choosing to endure or put up with things that annoy us
- choosing to sacrifice our needs or desires for them
- choosing to tell them or express to them how we feel
We can choose who we love and how we express it. Emotions are powerful things, and they can drive us to do some particularly crazy things, but the choice is still ours.
As much freedom of choice as we have, those whom we admire also have that freedom.
These are the 4 keys to building a lasting relationship.
The greater the level of connection and attraction, and the more devoted each is to choosing to love their partner, the better the relationship will be.
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Hi! I’m Lisa Anthony, the founder and editor of Life with Asperger’s.
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 29.
If you need help with anything, I’m here!