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The Autistic Dude's Guide to Getting a Girlfriend or Boyfriend (Pt. 3)

The Friend Zone

One thing I have noticed about many guys with autism is that, when pursuing a potential girlfriend or boyfriend, as soon as they are introduced to the person, they immediately ask the person on a date. This may work sometimes. But my advice is to start out in the "friend zone." Here's why. 

Right now I can only personally speak from a girl's point of view. In my experience, girls get into relationships based on their emotions. They want a relationship with someone who makes them feel happy, safe, and loved. If someone makes them feel that way, then it often doesn't matter what the person looks like, what their job is, their background, or anything else. 

If you are a complete stranger to a girl, she will not yet have any reason to feel happy, safe, or loved around you. When you walk up to a girl and start flirting with her, she will often be turned off. She may shut you down completely and want nothing more to do with you, ever, ever, ever. (There are times when a girl is actively looking for a significant other right at that moment and may flirt back, but if you are being introduced to a girl at a social event, at work, at a friend's house, etc, she is often not in the mood to deal with amorous advances.)

It is a good idea, in these situations, to just concentrate on being a friend. Hang out with her in group situations, such as one of the Meetup groups I mentioned in my last blog entry. Ask her neutral, friendly questions. For instance, you can ask her about what she likes to do for fun. If you know about any of her interests, you can ask about that. Here is a good example. If you see that a girl is wearing a bracelet with a dog on it, you could say, "Oh, do you like dogs? Do you have a dog? What's his name?" Or if she mentioned she is in college, you could ask what classes she's taking and whether they are difficult or easy. Avoid asking, "Are you married?" or "Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?" 

Do not ask for her phone number right away. If, for some reason, you know her phone number, do not immediately start texting her or calling her. You have to ease into these things. 

Start with finding her on Facebook and sending her a friend request. If she accepts your friend request, you can comment on a few of her most recent posts. But don't comment on every post she's ever made, because that might seem like stalking. (If she doesn't have Facebook, you'll obviously have to skip this step.) 

Try to keep looking for opportunities to hang out with this person in a group setting. This will give you the chance to create some shared experiences and memories together. Then you will be able to say things like, "Remember that time when..." This will start to create a bond between the two of you. 

By this time, you should have figured out whether the girl is married or has a boyfriend. If she is indeed single, you can start inviting her to do something with just the two of you, instead of in a group... or invite her to join you with a different group. For example, if your family is going to the beach and you know she loves the beach, you could invite her along. This can be a great idea because it will make her feel more bonded to you, since you are the only one she knows there. 

This may seem like a slow process, but hopefully you will be having fun along the way! 

Now, if you want to ask her out on an actual date, you can. 

But I must add a word about asking a neurotypical girl out. Remember how, in one of my previous blog posts, I mentioned that some neurotypical people may be nervous about the idea of dating an autistic person? They may have never imagined themselves being in a relationship with an autistic person, and they're worried about how it would change their life. 

If you ask a neurotypical person out, there is a big chance that they may say, "I'd rather just stay friends." 

There could be a few different reasons for this. Number one, she's just "not that into you." In that case, you can either stay in the Friend Zone and see if things change, accept that you're just going to be good buddies, or back away slowly. 

Number two, she could be nervous about dating someone with autism. She may be worried about how it would change her life plans. If this is the case, your choices are more or less the same as I mentioned in "Number one." Either stay in the Friend Zone and see if things change, accept that she's just a good friend, or back away slowly. 

Number three, she may not think of you as an equal. She may think of you more as "little friend," or "little brother." Neurotypical people often like to be in relationships with people who match them intellectually and socially, and she may not think you match her in these ways. If this is the case, you may want to think about whether you even want to stay friends with her. Are you happy with the role of "little brother?" Personally, I would be okay with it, but other people's sense of pride may be hurt by that role. 

If you're trying to start a relationship with a neurotypical person, you could try to find out if you have a chance. You could say something like, "My friend and I were talking about whether autistic people and neurotypical people ever work out well as couples. What do you think? Hypothetically speaking, would you ever date an autistic person?" Of course, she could lie and say "yes" when she means "no," but at least it would put the thought in her mind. She might start thinking about what it would mean to date an autistic person, and realize that it would not throw her entire world off of its axis, after all. 

If you start out in the Friend Zone, you will either end up with a significant other who feels very comfortable with you and loves you for who you are, or you'll end up with a pretty good friend. Both of these results are positive, if you ask me. So remember, always start in the Friend Zone! 

Read next: Strangers
Angel Mann
Angel Mann

I am an alien. I’ve been diagnosed with autism and ADHD, which explain some but not all aspects of my life. Maybe I really am from a different planet. Until that planet is discovered, I have to learn to survive here on Earth.

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The Autistic Dude's Guide to Getting a Girlfriend or Boyfriend (Pt. 3)
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