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Adult Autism Does Not Have to Hurt Your Relationship | The Essential Guide To Autism

Adult Autism Does Not Have to Hurt Your Relationship


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Those who have been diagnosed with high functioning adult autism have the opportunity to live relatively normal lives.  This includes having a job, being in a relationship and even starting a family.   However, developing an intimate relationship with another person can still be a difficult process for a high functioning autistic, though certainly not impossible.

The following are 10 tips on how to manage adult autism and have a healthy, strong relationship.

1. Don’t rush into anything – Developing an intimate relationship with a person is often a slow-going and temperamental process, regardless if one is autistic or not.  Therefore, although you may find it difficult to begin dating, remember that you need to start somewhere, and the more practice you have at this form of social interaction the easier it will become.

2. Educate yourself on social interaction – Television, movies and books are ideal ways for autistic children and those with adult autism to learn about adult social interaction in intimate relationships.  T.V. shows, movies or books that depict emotions are excellent choices.  Although these adult themed books and shows may be trivial, they are still educational and can help a high functioning autistic better understand social interaction

3. Control Compulsiveness – Autistics tend to resort to compulsive behavior when faced with a social situation that is new or lacks certainty such as dating or meeting someone for the first time.  Compulsive behavior is a huge turn-off, because your date may feel they are pressured or intimidated by your sense of urgency.  This overwhelming feeling can make a person lose interest fast. 

4. Physical appearance – Although you may have heard that appearance doesn’t matter when it comes to starting a relationship, think again.  It’s important to like someone’s personality, but you also need to be physically attracted to them.  Therefore, regardless if you are dating a non-autistic or an individual with adult autism, keep yourself well dressed, groomed and healthy.

5. Avoid social blunders – Make sure you are aware of what is considered appropriate and inappropriate to say on first dates to avoid social blunders.  For instance, you should avoid sensitive subjects such as sex, past relationships, religion, personal problems, money and other personal matters that can have negative repercussions. 

Instead, try to make you conversation as casual as possible by focusing on personal topics of interests.  This doesn’t mean only talking about what you like, but also what the other person enjoys.  Try finding a topic you’re both interested in.  If the other person brings up a conversation you don’t feel comfortable with, simply tell them you don’t feel like discussing it at this time.

6. Know your intimacy comfort level – Don’t be afraid to say “no” to a level of intimacy you are not comfortable with, and don’t push your partner if he/she is not ready either.  You should both be comfortable with your intimacy and be able to discuss it openly before engaging in anything serious. 

7. Confide in someone you trust – If you have questions about dating or your relationship, it may be a good idea to address your questions and concerns with a close friend and/or someone you trust, whether they have adult autism or not.   Just make sure you can completely trust a person and value their opinion before you confide in them.

8. Protect yourself – You need to protect yourself when dating.  You can’t assume that the person you are meeting is a safe and trustworthy individual.  They could be an abuser, user, carrying an STD or may be the nicest, honest and reliable person you could ever meet.  The point is, a stranger, even if they appear friendly is still a stranger.  Always keep your personal safety in mind and don’t do anything you don’t want to do.

9. Connecting online – One way for an autistic to meet and interact with others before starting physical communication is through an online dating chat site.  One of the best things about having introductions online is that you can’t misread signals.  However, remember not to give out personal information online, and it’s best to take someone with you if you decide to meet someone that you were introduced to online- and always in a public place.

10. Don’t let rejection get you down – Rejection can and will happen, so don’t take it personally and stop you from dating.  Remember, there are plenty of other people out there, and the more people you meet and dates you experience, the better you will become with social interaction and building a meaningful adult autism relationship.

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