Dating men with aspergers
Therein lies the greatness of “Aspie Seeks Love.” Most people don’t have Asperger’s syndrome, but few are capable of leading happy lives without love, and Matthews’ most serious mental health issues stem not from being autistic, but from feeling alone.The stigma and sexual frustration caused by being involuntarily single are certainly painful enough, but the existential anguish of loneliness is perhaps the greatest scourge of the human condition.As I explained in an earlier on my personal experiences with AS, "If life in a society is a game (and make no mistake about it, it is), having Asperger's forces you to play while learning two-thirds of the rules as you go along, even as everyone else knows them instinctively ...and assumes you do too."Of course, one of the twists of having AS is that you tend to develop an outsider’s perspective on social rules in general, and the world of dating is no exception.Asperger’s Syndrome may have been the specific impediment in Matthews’ search for love, but there are millions of other lonely people in the world held back for a wide variety of other reasons — physical unattractiveness, an inability to have the social status necessary to be considered desirable as a mate, the emotional scars of past abuse and rejection.Regardless of its origins, loneliness is usually a far more terrible affliction than any of the variables — internal or external to its victim — that may cause it.For better or worse, there is a music to dating, and while people with AS can understand the verses (and often have a distinctly straightforward way of expressing ourselves that can be refreshing), we struggle with the pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, and texture. There is a great quote by Bertrand Russell that helps illustrate what I mean:"Love is something far more than desire for sexual intercourse; it is the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives."Thankfully having AS certainly doesn't inhibit one’s ability to desire or enjoy sexual intercourse, but the same cannot be said of cultivating the kinds of connections necessary to escape from the "existential loneliness" described by Russell.
Similarly, many of the practices that are generally regarded as "obvious" parts of dating feel like intimidatingly strange concepts to us, such as "flirting" and "bantering," creating an intangible "chemistry," or spacing out how often you call, text, e-mail, and/or suggest hanging out with a dating prospect.
I remember feeling disgust and then curiosity the first time someone explained the concept of “dating leagues” to me, or being stunned to learn that a girl who invites you to a hotel room to "just chill for a night" might actually mean the opposite of that, or that one who keeps postponing seeing you again is blowing you off.
Others with AS have told me about similar stories, all linked by a common theme: We experience dating, as we do all other social rituals, as non-native bumblers, struggling to comprehend a culture of Byzantine complexity (in our eyes) and lacking the unassailable logic of being entirely direct, straightforward, verbalized, and emotionless (which is clearly reasonable… We also notice that …I recently had a conversation with a friend who commented that people with AS should "just use common sense" when navigating the dating scene.
At its heart, “Aspie Seeks Love” is a parable about loneliness — a condition which afflicts everyone at some point in their lives and for far too many proves incurable. Matthews, the titular Aspie, spends the bulk of the film trying to avoid.
A Pennsylvania writer and artist who wasn’t diagnosed with AS until he was 41, Matthews possesses all of the tell-tale signs of high-functioning autism — remarkable intelligence, social awkwardness, a wealth of personality tics and other idiosyncrasies.While the merely awkward are at least subconsciously aware of these variables when they’re engaged in an interaction, someone with AS is wired to assume that (a) if someone finds us attractive, they will directly and immediately state it from the get-go and (b) they would want us to do likewise.The idea that people communicate interest other than through what they actually say, or that even what someone says is fraught with layers and nuances — none of this occurs to us, since our instinct (which we assume the rest of the world shares) is to just say what we think and feel at length without any filters.Aspergers Dating Site is an Online Dating Community for Singles with Asperger's Syndrome.