Going on a Date as a Man With Autism

Relationships and autism. Not an easy thing to combine to work. Not something everyone with autism wants to do. But for the people who do, it could be the toughest topic to deal with in the autism world.

How does it feel when you go on a date having autism? It can feel like a million bucks. But I’m sure you’re nervous when on a date; I was. From what I’ve seen, everyone with autism is on their own timeline in life. I went on my first date in high school, but didn’t have a relationship until I was in college. I was in a couple relationships after. I was always nervous about asking girls out. I always feared rejection. I always thought online dating was my only hope to meet someone. But when I joined Toastmasters to learn public speaking, and learned how to cook, dance, and got my own apartment, I learned I’m more than capable of landing a girlfriend.

Did I need to do that through online dating? I said no based on a comment from a forum I read that totally applies to me. I just needed to put myself out there and have more confidence to ask girls out when meeting them. One night I was participating in a Toastmasters speech contest, and a girl in my club came for support. She pulled into the parking lot and saw me. She complimented my appearance, saying I looked sharp. We walked in together.

I wondered what was going to happen. I never talked to this girl until that night. I never expressed interest in becoming close with her. I didn’t know if it had anything to do with her liking me or not. It definitely had nothing to do with my autism, because she knew that from watching my speeches. When I had a brief conversation with her that night and overheard her say things to other people, she gave me the impression that she needed another friend. So I wrote down my phone number for her, folded it up, and told her to take it as she was leaving. I reached out to her that night. I was thrilled how she responded by saying reach out anytime. She made me feel like I’m worth getting to know.

But the best came the next day. I texted her asking her if she’d like to meet up. It was an unforgettable moment in my life when she said yes. I never thought a girl like this who may be out of my league in a way would want to spend time with me. I was so lucky! We met up for coffee on a weekend, and them hung out again walking around a lake. I felt more lucky and confident. But I was more nervous that time and I expressed it.

This is all new to me. But it tells me that I won’t be single the rest of my life if I keep this up. If I continue to be confident, put myself out there, get to know girls and ask them out, I’ll get a girlfriend. I suggest you all with autism do the same.

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