While I was at autism camp, I noticed a common theme among many of the guys between the ages of 15 and 50. They were hoping to find a girlfriend. They weren't particularly picky about potential girlfriends. Basically, there qualifications were, the person had to be female and somewhat in their own age group. I also noticed that they seemed to be going about it all wrong. I decided to write a a guide to help autistic guys find a girlfriend, or boyfriend. This will be the first part of a series.
First, a full disclaimer. I am, in no way, an expert at dating or relationships. In fact, I have zero interest in dating or relationships myself. However, I am very observant, and I've been around a lot of different people from all walks of life. My advice is just that...advice...and not a guarantee that everyone who follows it will get a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Second, I realize that some autistic guys are gay. I am going to try to use gender neutral terminology, instead of writing "girlfriend or boyfriend" over and over again. I'll just say "person" or "significant other."
Now, my first piece of advice for guys is this...work on your own self and your life. While there are people out there who want to be in a relationship where they will "fix" or "save" their significant other, most people do not want their significant other to be so dependent on them for happiness. If you are just sitting around, day after day, waiting for that special guy or girl to come along, this may be your first problem. Your potential significant other will be more attracted to you if they see that you already have a full life.
Make a list of the things that make you happy and the things you enjoy doing. Add to the list some things that you might enjoy trying. If you are having trouble thinking of things, here is a list of possibilities you could explore:
- Cooking. (If you don't know how, read a book, watch a video, or take a class. Imagine, someday you can cook a meal for your significant other!)
- Home-brewing beer. Its quite popular these days, and it is something you can do alone without leaving the house.
- Leather working. I'm not sure what this is, but I saw it on a list of "manly" hobbies.
- Board games. There are tons of cool games now, so you're not just limited to Monopoly anymore. There are some very complicated strategy games. Many groups have regular "game nights."
- Rocketry. This involves making model rockets that actually work! I don't think they will really go all the way to space though. But that would be cool.
- Archery. This is a cool physical sport that you can do alone or with friends, but does not require you to be on a noisy and boisterous team.
- Cycling. This is another physical sport you can do alone or with a group, and you can do it just about anywhere.
- Photography. Many people are great at visual perception. Show the world what life looks like through your eyes!
- Fish keeping. You can get an aquarium and learn all about different fish and their habitats. Fish are also very calming to have around.
- Gardening or plant keeping. Surround yourself with green life! Gardening is also good for your health...especially if you grow some vegetables and then eat them!
Pick up a hobby or two, do more of what you enjoy, and try to give yourself a life where you are happy, with or without a significant other.
Also, if what you really enjoy doing is staying home and watching movies or playing video games, that is okay...but make sure that you are doing it because it really makes you happy, not because you can't think of anything better to do.
One warning though...if you are anything like me, once you find something you really enjoy doing, it is very hard to think about anything else. If you still do want to find a significant other, be sure to leave some space in your new, happy life for them! They will want you to be able to spend time with them, listen to them, and pay attention to their interests, as well!