Keara Farnan

@kearafarnan | contributor
I would like to share some of my experiences and hear other's perspective as well.
Keara Farnan

My Struggle to Accept Myself as an Autistic Woman

I have always been very honest and open about my autism diagnosis. I’ve never wanted to hide who I am despite the amount of discrimination I’ve faced. But, there’s never a day where I don’t worry about how another person perceives me or how other people are going to react if I disclose my disability to them. As a 26-year-old woman with autism, I constantly struggle to accept myself and to decide whether it’s appropriate to tell someone I’m on the autism spectrum. Prior to my autism diagnosis, I knew there was something different about me. I didn’t take an interest in playing with other girls my age and resorted to spending time by myself, and this didn’t bother me. But, as I grew older, kids started to exclude me, and I began to feel inferior. I began to feel like there was something wrong with me. I didn’t learn at the same rate as the other kids my age and I didn’t have very many friends. Most individuals rejected me when I tried to befriend them or they would just roll their eyes and tell me to go away. These weren’t the kind of people I wanted to be associated with. Beyond the depression and the suffering, I knew that there was a voice waiting to be heard and acknowledged. But, I felt silenced and unwanted. I have never been able to read body language or facial expressions. It’s hard to even try and decipher what another person means and what their true intentions are. Amongst a large crowd of non-autistic individuals, I feel I am one, but one less and never the same as them. I have grown to accept that I am different from neurotypical individuals and that they will probably never understand me the way I would like to be understood. I don’t want someone to say they feel sorry for me if I tell them I’m going through something difficult or that I’m being bullied. I just want people to show their support and that they care about me. It can be challenging to separate myself from the here and now and not hang onto memories from the past. But, these memories are somehow still a part of me and the things I have experienced in life. I often wish that other people could step into my shoes to fully understand some of the experiences I have been through. The hardships I continue to face may have helped me become a stronger person, but they have also brought forth a lot of depression. Almost every individual I know with autism struggles with anxiety and depression. It is a very challenging obstacle to have to deal with, especially when you feel as though you are on your own. I feel it is my choice to be happy and I constantly try to be a happier and healthier human being. Unfortunately, we live in a society that can be very ableist towards those with disabilities and other learning differences, and I’m trying to be OK with the fact that some individuals are never going to want to understand me. I never chose to be autistic, but I would rather embrace my disability than hide from the challenges I face. Writing has really helped me let go of the anxiety I have felt throughout these past 26 years. When I write, I focus on what’s happening in the moment, and not what’s been bothering me lately. It’s as if my mind has been transported to another universe and I am able to use my creativity and imagination to create stories that other people could find entertaining. I like to describe myself as someone who is not great with people or reading body language, but is an excellent writer. I have never been good at telling others how I feel by communicating verbally. It’s not something I’m great at and I would much rather write someone a letter than vocalize what I would like to say. I spend a lot of time by myself wondering why some individuals have not been accepting of me. The truth is I have not always accepted myself and wanted to acknowledge the fact I am autistic. I have tried to camouflage my disability so that other people won’t notice that I am different, and cannot form judgments. But, no matter what, everyone always forms their own opinion about me. Growing up, most of my peers excluded me even prior to my autism diagnosis, and at first, I didn’t understand why. I feel as though my peers were not mature enough to understand the things I was experiencing as a young individual with autism. I was hurting inside and going through so many changes. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. When I asked other people to hang out after school, most of the time, the answer was no. No one really wanted to hang out with me, and that’s what hurt most of all. I had a few friends, which I hung out with once in a while growing up, but I wanted more. I wanted to feel as if I was liked and accepted. I thought it would help take away some of the pain and suffering. But, it did not. Going to counseling helped to some extent, but somehow the anxiety always stayed with me. I knew I needed to change my attitude and switch to positive thinking. I didn’t want to stay stuck in this negative cycle anymore. It wasn’t healthy for me or those around me. My life has never been perfect and I have to encounter so many more obstacles than a non-autistic individual. Sometimes people call me “stupid” if I misunderstand a question or they laugh at me because I say the wrong thing. I used to react when others treated me this way. However, I’ve come to realize that individuals who behave this way are not worth my time and that I should ignore them and walk away. I feel as though the past 26 years of my life have helped shape me into the individual I am today. I am constantly learning to come to terms with my autism. I know that not everyone is going to understand me and accept me. But, that isn’t important to me because I have friends and family who love and support me. Autism doesn’t define me. It makes me unique and I’m so glad I’ve finally come to this realization.

Keara Farnan

Feels Like People Don't Understand My Depression as an Autistic Person

I always feel so frustrated inside when I’m trying to tell other people or medical professionals about how severe my depression is. I used to think that it was autism that defined me and made me feel alone and sad. However, it’s really my depression that causes me the most stress and anxiety . I go through periods of feeling super happy and upbeat, and then all of a sudden feeling very low and mentally burnt out, and I am not sure why. I have tried to seek help for my depression . Yet, I’ve come to realize that the only person who can save me from my mental state is myself and not someone else. But, whenever I do need someone to talk to or vent to, it feels like no one listens. I feel the loneliness consuming me entirely most of the time and then the depression just builds up inside of me. I always thought that if I was myself, then people would like me and want to be around me. Yet, when I am acting like myself and trying to blend in with non-autistic individuals, I still have trouble socializing and making friends. It feels like no one really understands how hard it is to redeem myself and muster up the courage to put myself out there again after I get rejected. It’s a never-ending cycle of trying to make friends and almost always being turned away. Not only does this take a heavy toll on my mental health , but it always causes me to believe that other people do not have good intentions, and do not care about me or my feelings. I feel like I am living a life that wasn’t made for me most of the time because I have to try so much harder to fit in and make friends. For the most part, people don’t even acknowledge me, let alone want to include me. I feel like I’ve been given a script and asked to play the part of a non-autistic woman. Yet, I do not know how to be that person when I am anything but so-called “normal” and will never be the individual other people wish I was. What I want in life is not to be free of my depression , but to be able to manage it better and to be treated with more respect when someone doesn’t want to be my friend or chooses not to get to know me. There are so many things I wish people knew about me and my depression and I wanted to share some of them in a list below. Here are five things I would like other people to know about my depression as someone on the autism spectrum . 1. Sometimes, I need space from other people. It’s hard for me to want to be around other people when I get super stressed out and anxious. I definitely don’t want other people to see me in despair because I think I am going to scare them off, and that they will see a side of my personality which they will not like or accept. I often spend time by myself, so I am used to being on my own and doing things independently. It’s challenging to socialize and want to make friends when I’m not the most outgoing and social individual. 2. I want to get better. I have been in and out of counseling for years and seen medical professionals, as I really do want to get better and be able to cope with my situation in a more mature way. However, it is not fun when I feel like other people are judging me and not being supportive. It’s hard to break my cycle of negative thinking and be more positive, especially when my autism prevents me from being able to socialize the same as other individuals. Getting better doesn’t happen overnight. It is something that will take time and I don’t expect many people to understand how difficult it is going to be. 3. I struggle with anxiety, too. It isn’t just depression that hinders me, it’s also anxiety . So really, I have a lot on my plate to deal with daily. I constantly worry about how other people perceive me and whether or not they accept me for who I am. 4. I hope other people don’t think I’m “high maintenance” or too difficult to be around. I know I’m not easy to deal with when I’m upset and in a bad state of mind, but I don’t mean to be a bummer. It’s not fun to go through anxiety and depression , especially when you have a disability, and it’s something I wish other people were more understanding of. But, there are just some individuals who are always going to consider me too challenging to be around. It’s something I am going to have to learn to cope with, no matter how painful and brutal it may seem. Not everyone has the patience to deal with those struggling with mental health problems and it’s something I wish I realized in my younger years. 5. I will never 100% be cured of my mental health issues and will always be dealing with something. I wish other people knew that as someone on the autism spectrum who also deals with anxiety and depression , I will always be going through changes and experiencing some sort of discrimination, whether or not I am consciously aware of it. Life isn’t meant to be easy, so I don’t expect people to all of a sudden understand what I am going through and to start being kind and more respectful. Words can be hurtful when people purposely try to upset you and it’s something that I wish other people were more cognizant of. I am a person outside of my depression and my voice will not be silenced. I wish people would listen to me more and try to be more supportive. I won’t let other individuals silence me or tell me that I cannot do something because of my depression . I am a strong and independent woman who doesn’t need another person’s approval to find validation or acceptance. I’m so glad that I’ve finally come to realize this.

Keara Farnan

My Struggle Through the Pandemic as an Autistic Woman

I remember March 2020 as if it were yesterday. I can recall the COVID-19 outbreak and being laid off from my part-time job at a clothing store. All the businesses, restaurants, and stores within my neighborhood abruptly closed, and some even went bankrupt. I mostly stayed at home during the first few weeks of the pandemic because there was nothing else to do besides stare at the walls of my apartment and hang out with my cat. It was very isolating and lonely. I wanted to see my friends and ask how they were doing, but everyone felt so distant, and talking to people online didn’t feel the same as speaking to them in person. I missed the face-to-face interactions which I had been longing for and I wanted to be able to hang out with my friends and family, instead of having to stay inside. Every day felt like a repeat of the previous day. I would wake up, get dressed, and ride my exercise bike, not knowing exactly what I should be doing each day. I always have a hard time knowing the right things to say to people, especially in challenging times. Living on my own just made me feel even more alone and isolated from those around me who attempted to reach out and ask how I was doing. When I finally received my letter inviting me to get my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it was April 2021. It felt like I had already been waiting too long, considering that the pandemic has been going on for over a year now. As someone on the autism spectrum, I am OK with needles, and certain people touching me, but I was very nervous to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for some reason. I had heard from other people that they had a bad reaction after getting the vaccine. I had never had a severe reaction to vaccines in the past or been severely sick after taking a certain medication. Yet, the possibility of that happening to me was very scary, but also something to take into consideration. I waited a few weeks to book my vaccine appointment because I wanted to make sure someone was able to drive me home afterward. On the day of my vaccine appointment, I was very uneasy, as I was thinking about everything that could go wrong. But, as soon as I arrived, got the shot, and sat down for 15 minutes to rest afterward, I was fine. However, I felt extremely tired and sleepy. I didn’t feel like eating anything and I had a headache. When I arrived back home, I immediately went to bed and took a long nap since my arm was also very sore. The next few days were better, but my arm did throb a bit and I did feel a tad sick. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. I just wanted to stay at home and sleep. Getting up and going to the gym for a workout felt like too much of a task for me and going to work didn’t sound very desirable. I didn’t expect myself to react this way after getting the vaccine. However, my reaction could have been much worse, so I am glad that all I experienced was a bit of a headache, sleepiness and a sore arm. By the fourth or fifth day, I really began to feel like myself again. I felt very energetic and went on daily walks on the weekends like I normally did. I now had one dose of the vaccine and was going to get a second dose in a few months. Things were looking better in terms of the cases going down, but I was unsure if we would be able to overcome this hurdle. I wondered when things would go back to normal and when I would be able to see my friends and family again. As the months continue to pass and the wait time for the second dose of the vaccine has changed to eight weeks in my country, I am more hopeful that we are going to be able to recover from this global pandemic. I look forward to not having to wear a mask 24/7. Each day I hope for a brighter future without COVID and I wonder when things will go back to normal. But there are still no answers to my question, and no one knows exactly what caused the virus to enter humans, or when this global pandemic will end. I look forward to the day where I can visit friends at their house, celebrate Christmas with my extended family, hang out with my group of friends, and go out for dinner without having to worry about being infected with COVID. I would like to be able to do all of the things I used to do prior to the pandemic. I want to live the life I used to live. I have battled depression and anxiety throughout the pandemic. I feel like my mental health problems often get the best of me. It’s challenging to always put aside my own personal issues and focus on taking care of myself during the pandemic. But, I know I’m not the only one who deals with anxiety and depression. I’m happy that I can speak openly about my feelings and voice my opinion. I don’t know what the future holds after I get my next dose of the vaccine, but I hope it will provide me with some protection against the virus. I don’t want to get infected and I am more prone to infections because I work in a dental office currently and serve the public daily. I am not exactly certain of what the future may hold for everyone, but I am hopeful that the coronavirus will be put to rest. I wish those who are struggling the best of luck and hope they too will find a way to recover from the pandemic and resume their everyday lives.

Keara Farnan

How Racism Has Affected Me as an Autistic Woman

As an autistic Chinese Canadian female, unfortunately I have faced a lot of racism throughout my life. When people see my last name Farnan written down, they usually assume I’m Caucasian, and are totally thrown off guard when they meet me in person — and find out I’m Asian. I’m used to being judged; it’s nothing new to me! I wish people would take the time to acknowledge who I am, instead of asking questions about my personal life. It should not matter to someone what ethnicity I am. It’s not something anyone can control. You’re born the same race as your biological parents, whether you like it or not! I understand why people have made mean comments about me throughout my life, but I wish they would invest their time in something far more crucial — learning how to treat others respectfully and kindly. Every individual in society should have the ability to decipher between right and wrong, and I don’t feel as though many young people use their common sense. And I do not condone others going around and saying racist and hurtful things to each other. Instead of people judging me when they find out I’m adopted by a Caucasian family, I wish they would accept me as I am and not ask questions such as, “Do you know your biological parents?” and “Do you want to meet them someday?” I’m happy with the family I have and try to embrace my uniqueness. But that is hard to do when others say unkind and disrespectful things. I think it’s becoming more common for families to adopt children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! The world is already overpopulated as it is; why not help kids who are already in this world and need a family? Two wrongs don’t make a right, so I really wish we could all bury the hatchet and move on with our lives. In my opinion, racist people discriminate against others because they are insecure about their own ethnicity. Regardless, I still don’t think it’s right! I wish they’d seek counseling, but it seems some will never be capable of learning from their mistakes and apologizing. It’s really sad to learn that not everyone in this world is genuine and caring. I see people for who they are rather than the color of their skin, and I think that is how all individuals should be perceived. I’ve been called a “stupid Asian” before and my feelings were very hurt. Although that’s not the worst thing that someone can say, it still upsets me and it’s extremely offensive. I’ve experienced a lot of bullying throughout my life after being diagnosed with autism. I was first racially bullied at age 5 and cyberbullied at age 14. Both of these events significantly impacted my life. While they may be in the past, there’s never a day where I don’t worry about someone saying something racist or teasing me. Once someone is bullied and targeted, the fear inside them begins to build up and sometimes that feeling never fades away. It’s sad that so many people in society aren’t able to get along and put bullying and racist comments to rest. Who wants to be known as a racist jerk or a bully? We all have the right to speak up and voice our concerns if another person is bothering us. Someone once asked me: “is the reason you don’t drive because you’re Asian?” My feelings were incredibly hurt — and then they wondered why I was upset. I replied to this individual by stating I was hurt and had hoped they would listen: “What do you expect me to feel? You just insulted me and that’s not OK!” I’m not very pleased with responses like, “I’m sorry. I have a dark sense of humor!” While that may be the case, it still doesn’t give you the right to be nasty. Although they may not have malicious intentions, it’s really upsetting that not everyone my age understands how racism can affect someone such as myself. If you have something to say about another person’s ethnicity, it’s better to keep it to yourself or talk about your concerns when they aren’t around. How would you feel if someone were to target you and say racist things? Bullies and tormentors fail to put things into perspective and imagine how the victim will feel when they receive racist criticism. I think people are racist towards me because I’m an easy target and they know that they can irritate me. If you say something hurtful towards me just once, don’t expect me to give you a gold star. What irritates me the most is that people often expect me to instantly forgive them after they do something wrong. That’s not how life works and certainly not something I condone. If you immediately forgive someone after they hurt you, I think it just encourages the behavior. You must earn my respect and I must earn yours as well. Instead of excluding certain races from society, we need to treat others equally and with the respect they deserve. I don’t understand why people are disrespectful to one another; there’s no point in being that way. It damages your public image and reputation, and slowly you will notice people pull away from you and your friendship group beginning to deteriorate. Having power and authority over someone or a group of people only benefits the bully. We all have the right to be whoever we choose, and don’t have to change to please someone. I would like people to take a good look at themselves before judging me and labeling me a “stupid Asian.” Think about how these words might affect me. They may just be words to a bully, but they can be permanent to me. If someone isn’t treating you with the respect you deserve, you can control how much or how little they are involved in your life. It’s fine to be scared to trust people and put faith in them because strangers are unpredictable and are not always who they claim to be. I have come across a lot of insincere people who are extremely abrasive and dismissive with me, but super kind and accepting in the company of a crowd or another person. I would prefer if someone were consistent with how they act and behave, because interpreting different emotions is hard for me. I’m slowly realizing not all individuals I come across will accept me for who I am, and it’s their loss! I cannot do anything to change how they perceive me. I feel you need to look past appearances and figure out if someone is worth spending time with, or if you should leave them out of your friendship circle. I wish it weren’t so difficult for individuals such as myself to find acceptance in a world full of racism. I do think that eventually many people can learn not to be racist, but it may be too late to prove yourself worthy of someone’s respect after insulting them. I will never be ashamed of my ethnicity, even though it has caused me a great deal of prejudice and judgment. But I get to choose whether or not racism and bullying will continue to impact me throughout my life. I know how to discern between right and wrong, and racism will never be OK with me. Deep down most people know racism isn’t polite and should not be tolerated. Yet, we still pick on individuals of color due to racist stereotypes that have been passed down from older generations, our upbringing and our group of friends. My personal experiences with bullying and racism have helped shape the young woman I am today. I’m an astute woman who is learning how to survive in a society that constantly criticizes those of color. Instead of referring to myself as a victim of racism, I would much rather call myself an advocate. I’m waiting for other people to see my point of view and realize that racism is wrong. There is absolutely no reason why Chinese Canadians who are adopted should not be treated the same as any other individual. I’m Keara Farnan and I’m learning to embrace my Chinese Canadian heritage. I don’t need anyone else’s permission to be who I am because I’m my own person. I’m not going to change who I am to get a guy to like me or to make friends. If those individuals aren’t able to accept me for who I am, they aren’t the people I should be associating with. If you could see things from my perspective, you may eventually realize where I am coming from and just how racism constantly affects me. The next time you make fun of someone or call them a racist name, I’d like you to stop and think about how you would feel if those words were directed at you. I hope you’ll eventually understand and see me for all I’m worth. Please don’t judge me because of my ethnicity and say unkind things, and I will gladly do the same. It’s time to end racism and treat each other with the utmost respect. I hope you’re on my side this time!

Keara Farnan

Dating as an Autistic Woman

When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I often get offended. Guys don’t exactly fall all over me once we meet. In fact, their immediate reaction tends to be “I’m not interested,” which is very hurtful and dismissive. It’s as if the one thing I would like most in life seems too far-fetched. Although I don’t hate being single entirely, some days I wish a had a partner to spend time with. My friends and family are a lot of fun to be around, but I yearn for a romantic connection with another human being. My lack of success makes me question my self-worth and if I’m truly ready to find someone. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I’m getting tired of waiting for the right guy to walk into my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most gorgeous, attractive and alluring woman in the world. I know I’m not ugly, but sometimes I don’t feel pretty. Wearing glasses almost my entire life has made me feel insecure. Beyond my appearance and the fact I have autism, I’m worth someone’s time. I’m just trying to navigate through the dating world in the most concise way possible. When men tell me that they want to go out on a date, only later to ghost me or bail, my feelings become extremely hurt. What men don’t realize is that the heart is a delicate organ and that it can be damaged very easily. I don’t treat guys disrespectfully or patronize them, so I don’t know why I’m coming across so many jerks who enjoy deceiving me. Sometimes how you treat other people in life has no impact on how they’re going to behave towards you. If a man wants to be rude to me, I usually just walk away. There’s no sense in engaging in conversation if I’m not going to be treated fairly. I think that in a relationship, men often seem to act as though women are their possession and they must be obeyed. But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Women are human beings, not some trophy to be won or chosen. Treat us the way we deserve to be treated and we will gladly do the same. I think people say mean stuff all the time without realizing they’re being rude. At the end of the day, others return to their personal lives and the hurtful things they’ve said to another person usually don’t cross their mind. I feel like sometimes it’s the anger inside speaking and not the actual person. Men seem to have no clue that each time they reject me, I lose a little more hope that I’ll ever have a normal dating life, much like a non-autistic woman. When I let guys know I’m autistic, they aren’t very understanding. I’m usually dismissed immediately – or they let me know they aren’t looking for a girlfriend. How am I supposed to respond to such treatment? I understand why men are apprehensive to date autistic women, but if you don’t give me a chance, I can’t prove myself worthy of your time. I may be more difficult to understand and relate to than non-autistic women, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of learning. Being a female on the autism spectrum comes with many cons in the dating world. I actually take notice of the rude stuff people say to me, or behind my back,  though some autistic women may not be able to understand that they’re being targeted and judged. I don’t think it’s ever OK for a guy to be rude to a girl if he’s not interested in her. Just simply letting someone you don’t want to get to know them is a better way than ghosting a girl or asking someone else to be your personal messenger. I believe I act very respectfully towards men I go on dates with. Yet, I probably could ease up on the fact I scold them for being late. What I need guys to realize though is that I have a busy schedule too, and waiting around for someone is not fun. If you’re one of those guys who says: “I’m not going to lead you on. I promise I’ll show up,” and then fail to commit, you’re basically lying. It bothers me most when men think it’s OK to use their charm and good looks to vindicate their obnoxious behavior. I want sincerity and more than one opportunity to get to know someone. Sometimes it feels as though a guy thinks more than one date is a life-long commitment when really it is not. It’s just two individuals hanging out and seeing if there is a romantic connection. If it doesn’t work out between us, we can go our separate ways and I promise I won’t hunt you down and harass you. I would expect guys to do the same. If it’s not meant to be now, it may not work in the future. There are so many men out there looking for the perfect woman when she may be standing right in front of them. If you friend zone me instantly after finding out I’m single, I’m not going to take that lightly. That’s pretty much you saying: “Hi, nice to meet you. Bye!” I think that’s quite dismissive and again you aren’t even giving me the chance to show you who I am. I’m tired of everyone telling me: “Keara, you’ll find a guy when the time is right!” I’m not getting any younger and each second, month, week and year that goes by, I’m left still wondering if indeed there is a man out there in this world for me. There are thousands of suitors I could pursue, but even so, it’s hard to meet single men. People don’t usually go around advertising that they’re single. You could meet someone through an online dating app, friend, family member or at school, for example, but none of those resources have worked for me. What’s difficult for me is seeing other people fall in love and not knowing when I will find my happiness. Of course, I’m thrilled for friends and family who find their soulmate, but I really wish one day that would be me. People always brag about how good it feels to be in love. I have no clue what that’s like because I’ve never experienced true love. Most of the time, my guard is up and I’m hesitant to trust people. Guys don’t have a good way of letting me down easily when they aren’t interested. This usually ends in me getting my feelings hurt and them eliminating me from their lives. The person who does the rejecting often does not care as much as the person they let go. Some guys seem to think women are disposable and they can dump a girl one week, and then pursue another the next. I don’t think that’s how dating should work. Once you get more than one party involved, things become even more complicated and jealousy starts to kick in. There’s always the option of an open relationship, one-night stand, or friends with benefits, but that’s personally not for me. I want to know my future partner is committed to me and no one else. It would be hard to compete with a bunch of other girls. After all, everyone is trying to one-up themselves all the time. Why don’t we take a break from that and leave the drama behind? There’s more to me than being autistic and having anxiety and depression. Inside, I’m much like any other woman on the brink of giving up on love. But I feel pain very physically when a guy breaks my heart, even if it’s unintentional. It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings, but harder to admit you’ve made a mistake. I see flaws in a large majority of men and it’s sad to see that guys pass up on opportunities to get to know truly wonderful women such as myself. If a guy rejects me, I’m not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I’ll go find someone else. Even if I get rejected once again, at least I’m trying to put myself out there. By writing this story, I’m not asking others to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is sympathy and reassurance that dating will get easier for me. I believe human connection is difficult for individuals because it requires so much effort and mutual understanding. It takes two individuals to make a relationship work and two to cause it to fail. If you’re an unfaithful liar and cheater, a long-term relationship probably isn’t for you. I feel as though more women want a romantic relationship than guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it depicts how men and women often act in the dating world. I truly believe guys have the ability to invest in a romantic relationship if they put their heart and soul into it. I think what they’re most concerned about is being disappointed or having their heart broken. I would love to see more men invest in relationships, rather than hookups or one-night stands. Maybe then, this would break the myth that guys in their 20s just want intimacy and don’t care about having a girlfriend. Make a connection that matters — not one that is forced because you want to have fun. There’s no sense in leading someone on, only to let them know later you aren’t interested in a relationship. If you want a hookup, say that and if you want something more permanent, tell them. When it comes to determining whether or not someone is the right person for you, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “could I see myself being committed to this individual entirely or does my heart belong to someone else?” If you aren’t sure, ask someone who knows you well. I think love can be deceitful because sometimes you think you’ve found the right person, and then the relationship takes a turn for the worse and everything falls apart. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a web of lies someone tells you only to mess with your mind. I believe finding love is always going to be difficult for autistic women in general – whether it’s a gay or straight relationship. Just because someone knows you have a disability doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to adapt and be supportive. I don’t think many men know how to react when I disclose my disability. It’s definitely shocking for them to hear, as I am mostly just seen as socially awkward. However, some people are able to detect I’m autistic right away. I have to accept the fact that I’m not going to have men begging for my time and affection, and it will always be challenging to date. I’m a complicated woman who knows what she wants in a boyfriend. I’m not afraid to break a few hearts if it means I’ll eventually find my Prince Charming. I care more about my dating life than I will admit to my friends and family. I feel I should have an honest say in who I date. Don’t we all feel this way? Ultimately, I think I’ll be OK if I never find the love of my life, but waiting for him to finally present himself is going to be hard. Each year I age, I realize it’s one less year I have on this earth, so I’m hoping to speed up the process a little. Most people in their 20s have had several relationships and I’m inexperienced, which is both embarrassing and upsetting. Some of us end up losers and I’m afraid I’m one of them most of the time. I want single men out there to man up and give an autistic girl such as myself a chance. I deserve to find someone as much as anyone else does, so why not take a risk with me? Maybe the next man I go on a date with will be my knight in shining armour and my forever. That’s for us to decide and I really wish that there was someone willing to join me on this journey. Will fate ever lead me to the man of my dreams or is it just a myth? Until that happens, I’ll continue hoping and wondering.

Keara Farnan

Dating as an Autistic Woman

When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I often get offended. Guys don’t exactly fall all over me once we meet. In fact, their immediate reaction tends to be “I’m not interested,” which is very hurtful and dismissive. It’s as if the one thing I would like most in life seems too far-fetched. Although I don’t hate being single entirely, some days I wish a had a partner to spend time with. My friends and family are a lot of fun to be around, but I yearn for a romantic connection with another human being. My lack of success makes me question my self-worth and if I’m truly ready to find someone. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I’m getting tired of waiting for the right guy to walk into my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most gorgeous, attractive and alluring woman in the world. I know I’m not ugly, but sometimes I don’t feel pretty. Wearing glasses almost my entire life has made me feel insecure. Beyond my appearance and the fact I have autism, I’m worth someone’s time. I’m just trying to navigate through the dating world in the most concise way possible. When men tell me that they want to go out on a date, only later to ghost me or bail, my feelings become extremely hurt. What men don’t realize is that the heart is a delicate organ and that it can be damaged very easily. I don’t treat guys disrespectfully or patronize them, so I don’t know why I’m coming across so many jerks who enjoy deceiving me. Sometimes how you treat other people in life has no impact on how they’re going to behave towards you. If a man wants to be rude to me, I usually just walk away. There’s no sense in engaging in conversation if I’m not going to be treated fairly. I think that in a relationship, men often seem to act as though women are their possession and they must be obeyed. But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Women are human beings, not some trophy to be won or chosen. Treat us the way we deserve to be treated and we will gladly do the same. I think people say mean stuff all the time without realizing they’re being rude. At the end of the day, others return to their personal lives and the hurtful things they’ve said to another person usually don’t cross their mind. I feel like sometimes it’s the anger inside speaking and not the actual person. Men seem to have no clue that each time they reject me, I lose a little more hope that I’ll ever have a normal dating life, much like a non-autistic woman. When I let guys know I’m autistic, they aren’t very understanding. I’m usually dismissed immediately – or they let me know they aren’t looking for a girlfriend. How am I supposed to respond to such treatment? I understand why men are apprehensive to date autistic women, but if you don’t give me a chance, I can’t prove myself worthy of your time. I may be more difficult to understand and relate to than non-autistic women, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of learning. Being a female on the autism spectrum comes with many cons in the dating world. I actually take notice of the rude stuff people say to me, or behind my back,  though some autistic women may not be able to understand that they’re being targeted and judged. I don’t think it’s ever OK for a guy to be rude to a girl if he’s not interested in her. Just simply letting someone you don’t want to get to know them is a better way than ghosting a girl or asking someone else to be your personal messenger. I believe I act very respectfully towards men I go on dates with. Yet, I probably could ease up on the fact I scold them for being late. What I need guys to realize though is that I have a busy schedule too, and waiting around for someone is not fun. If you’re one of those guys who says: “I’m not going to lead you on. I promise I’ll show up,” and then fail to commit, you’re basically lying. It bothers me most when men think it’s OK to use their charm and good looks to vindicate their obnoxious behavior. I want sincerity and more than one opportunity to get to know someone. Sometimes it feels as though a guy thinks more than one date is a life-long commitment when really it is not. It’s just two individuals hanging out and seeing if there is a romantic connection. If it doesn’t work out between us, we can go our separate ways and I promise I won’t hunt you down and harass you. I would expect guys to do the same. If it’s not meant to be now, it may not work in the future. There are so many men out there looking for the perfect woman when she may be standing right in front of them. If you friend zone me instantly after finding out I’m single, I’m not going to take that lightly. That’s pretty much you saying: “Hi, nice to meet you. Bye!” I think that’s quite dismissive and again you aren’t even giving me the chance to show you who I am. I’m tired of everyone telling me: “Keara, you’ll find a guy when the time is right!” I’m not getting any younger and each second, month, week and year that goes by, I’m left still wondering if indeed there is a man out there in this world for me. There are thousands of suitors I could pursue, but even so, it’s hard to meet single men. People don’t usually go around advertising that they’re single. You could meet someone through an online dating app, friend, family member or at school, for example, but none of those resources have worked for me. What’s difficult for me is seeing other people fall in love and not knowing when I will find my happiness. Of course, I’m thrilled for friends and family who find their soulmate, but I really wish one day that would be me. People always brag about how good it feels to be in love. I have no clue what that’s like because I’ve never experienced true love. Most of the time, my guard is up and I’m hesitant to trust people. Guys don’t have a good way of letting me down easily when they aren’t interested. This usually ends in me getting my feelings hurt and them eliminating me from their lives. The person who does the rejecting often does not care as much as the person they let go. Some guys seem to think women are disposable and they can dump a girl one week, and then pursue another the next. I don’t think that’s how dating should work. Once you get more than one party involved, things become even more complicated and jealousy starts to kick in. There’s always the option of an open relationship, one-night stand, or friends with benefits, but that’s personally not for me. I want to know my future partner is committed to me and no one else. It would be hard to compete with a bunch of other girls. After all, everyone is trying to one-up themselves all the time. Why don’t we take a break from that and leave the drama behind? There’s more to me than being autistic and having anxiety and depression. Inside, I’m much like any other woman on the brink of giving up on love. But I feel pain very physically when a guy breaks my heart, even if it’s unintentional. It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings, but harder to admit you’ve made a mistake. I see flaws in a large majority of men and it’s sad to see that guys pass up on opportunities to get to know truly wonderful women such as myself. If a guy rejects me, I’m not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I’ll go find someone else. Even if I get rejected once again, at least I’m trying to put myself out there. By writing this story, I’m not asking others to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is sympathy and reassurance that dating will get easier for me. I believe human connection is difficult for individuals because it requires so much effort and mutual understanding. It takes two individuals to make a relationship work and two to cause it to fail. If you’re an unfaithful liar and cheater, a long-term relationship probably isn’t for you. I feel as though more women want a romantic relationship than guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it depicts how men and women often act in the dating world. I truly believe guys have the ability to invest in a romantic relationship if they put their heart and soul into it. I think what they’re most concerned about is being disappointed or having their heart broken. I would love to see more men invest in relationships, rather than hookups or one-night stands. Maybe then, this would break the myth that guys in their 20s just want intimacy and don’t care about having a girlfriend. Make a connection that matters — not one that is forced because you want to have fun. There’s no sense in leading someone on, only to let them know later you aren’t interested in a relationship. If you want a hookup, say that and if you want something more permanent, tell them. When it comes to determining whether or not someone is the right person for you, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “could I see myself being committed to this individual entirely or does my heart belong to someone else?” If you aren’t sure, ask someone who knows you well. I think love can be deceitful because sometimes you think you’ve found the right person, and then the relationship takes a turn for the worse and everything falls apart. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a web of lies someone tells you only to mess with your mind. I believe finding love is always going to be difficult for autistic women in general – whether it’s a gay or straight relationship. Just because someone knows you have a disability doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to adapt and be supportive. I don’t think many men know how to react when I disclose my disability. It’s definitely shocking for them to hear, as I am mostly just seen as socially awkward. However, some people are able to detect I’m autistic right away. I have to accept the fact that I’m not going to have men begging for my time and affection, and it will always be challenging to date. I’m a complicated woman who knows what she wants in a boyfriend. I’m not afraid to break a few hearts if it means I’ll eventually find my Prince Charming. I care more about my dating life than I will admit to my friends and family. I feel I should have an honest say in who I date. Don’t we all feel this way? Ultimately, I think I’ll be OK if I never find the love of my life, but waiting for him to finally present himself is going to be hard. Each year I age, I realize it’s one less year I have on this earth, so I’m hoping to speed up the process a little. Most people in their 20s have had several relationships and I’m inexperienced, which is both embarrassing and upsetting. Some of us end up losers and I’m afraid I’m one of them most of the time. I want single men out there to man up and give an autistic girl such as myself a chance. I deserve to find someone as much as anyone else does, so why not take a risk with me? Maybe the next man I go on a date with will be my knight in shining armour and my forever. That’s for us to decide and I really wish that there was someone willing to join me on this journey. Will fate ever lead me to the man of my dreams or is it just a myth? Until that happens, I’ll continue hoping and wondering.

Keara Farnan

Dating as an Autistic Woman

When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I often get offended. Guys don’t exactly fall all over me once we meet. In fact, their immediate reaction tends to be “I’m not interested,” which is very hurtful and dismissive. It’s as if the one thing I would like most in life seems too far-fetched. Although I don’t hate being single entirely, some days I wish a had a partner to spend time with. My friends and family are a lot of fun to be around, but I yearn for a romantic connection with another human being. My lack of success makes me question my self-worth and if I’m truly ready to find someone. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I’m getting tired of waiting for the right guy to walk into my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most gorgeous, attractive and alluring woman in the world. I know I’m not ugly, but sometimes I don’t feel pretty. Wearing glasses almost my entire life has made me feel insecure. Beyond my appearance and the fact I have autism, I’m worth someone’s time. I’m just trying to navigate through the dating world in the most concise way possible. When men tell me that they want to go out on a date, only later to ghost me or bail, my feelings become extremely hurt. What men don’t realize is that the heart is a delicate organ and that it can be damaged very easily. I don’t treat guys disrespectfully or patronize them, so I don’t know why I’m coming across so many jerks who enjoy deceiving me. Sometimes how you treat other people in life has no impact on how they’re going to behave towards you. If a man wants to be rude to me, I usually just walk away. There’s no sense in engaging in conversation if I’m not going to be treated fairly. I think that in a relationship, men often seem to act as though women are their possession and they must be obeyed. But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Women are human beings, not some trophy to be won or chosen. Treat us the way we deserve to be treated and we will gladly do the same. I think people say mean stuff all the time without realizing they’re being rude. At the end of the day, others return to their personal lives and the hurtful things they’ve said to another person usually don’t cross their mind. I feel like sometimes it’s the anger inside speaking and not the actual person. Men seem to have no clue that each time they reject me, I lose a little more hope that I’ll ever have a normal dating life, much like a non-autistic woman. When I let guys know I’m autistic, they aren’t very understanding. I’m usually dismissed immediately – or they let me know they aren’t looking for a girlfriend. How am I supposed to respond to such treatment? I understand why men are apprehensive to date autistic women, but if you don’t give me a chance, I can’t prove myself worthy of your time. I may be more difficult to understand and relate to than non-autistic women, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of learning. Being a female on the autism spectrum comes with many cons in the dating world. I actually take notice of the rude stuff people say to me, or behind my back,  though some autistic women may not be able to understand that they’re being targeted and judged. I don’t think it’s ever OK for a guy to be rude to a girl if he’s not interested in her. Just simply letting someone you don’t want to get to know them is a better way than ghosting a girl or asking someone else to be your personal messenger. I believe I act very respectfully towards men I go on dates with. Yet, I probably could ease up on the fact I scold them for being late. What I need guys to realize though is that I have a busy schedule too, and waiting around for someone is not fun. If you’re one of those guys who says: “I’m not going to lead you on. I promise I’ll show up,” and then fail to commit, you’re basically lying. It bothers me most when men think it’s OK to use their charm and good looks to vindicate their obnoxious behavior. I want sincerity and more than one opportunity to get to know someone. Sometimes it feels as though a guy thinks more than one date is a life-long commitment when really it is not. It’s just two individuals hanging out and seeing if there is a romantic connection. If it doesn’t work out between us, we can go our separate ways and I promise I won’t hunt you down and harass you. I would expect guys to do the same. If it’s not meant to be now, it may not work in the future. There are so many men out there looking for the perfect woman when she may be standing right in front of them. If you friend zone me instantly after finding out I’m single, I’m not going to take that lightly. That’s pretty much you saying: “Hi, nice to meet you. Bye!” I think that’s quite dismissive and again you aren’t even giving me the chance to show you who I am. I’m tired of everyone telling me: “Keara, you’ll find a guy when the time is right!” I’m not getting any younger and each second, month, week and year that goes by, I’m left still wondering if indeed there is a man out there in this world for me. There are thousands of suitors I could pursue, but even so, it’s hard to meet single men. People don’t usually go around advertising that they’re single. You could meet someone through an online dating app, friend, family member or at school, for example, but none of those resources have worked for me. What’s difficult for me is seeing other people fall in love and not knowing when I will find my happiness. Of course, I’m thrilled for friends and family who find their soulmate, but I really wish one day that would be me. People always brag about how good it feels to be in love. I have no clue what that’s like because I’ve never experienced true love. Most of the time, my guard is up and I’m hesitant to trust people. Guys don’t have a good way of letting me down easily when they aren’t interested. This usually ends in me getting my feelings hurt and them eliminating me from their lives. The person who does the rejecting often does not care as much as the person they let go. Some guys seem to think women are disposable and they can dump a girl one week, and then pursue another the next. I don’t think that’s how dating should work. Once you get more than one party involved, things become even more complicated and jealousy starts to kick in. There’s always the option of an open relationship, one-night stand, or friends with benefits, but that’s personally not for me. I want to know my future partner is committed to me and no one else. It would be hard to compete with a bunch of other girls. After all, everyone is trying to one-up themselves all the time. Why don’t we take a break from that and leave the drama behind? There’s more to me than being autistic and having anxiety and depression. Inside, I’m much like any other woman on the brink of giving up on love. But I feel pain very physically when a guy breaks my heart, even if it’s unintentional. It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings, but harder to admit you’ve made a mistake. I see flaws in a large majority of men and it’s sad to see that guys pass up on opportunities to get to know truly wonderful women such as myself. If a guy rejects me, I’m not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I’ll go find someone else. Even if I get rejected once again, at least I’m trying to put myself out there. By writing this story, I’m not asking others to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is sympathy and reassurance that dating will get easier for me. I believe human connection is difficult for individuals because it requires so much effort and mutual understanding. It takes two individuals to make a relationship work and two to cause it to fail. If you’re an unfaithful liar and cheater, a long-term relationship probably isn’t for you. I feel as though more women want a romantic relationship than guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it depicts how men and women often act in the dating world. I truly believe guys have the ability to invest in a romantic relationship if they put their heart and soul into it. I think what they’re most concerned about is being disappointed or having their heart broken. I would love to see more men invest in relationships, rather than hookups or one-night stands. Maybe then, this would break the myth that guys in their 20s just want intimacy and don’t care about having a girlfriend. Make a connection that matters — not one that is forced because you want to have fun. There’s no sense in leading someone on, only to let them know later you aren’t interested in a relationship. If you want a hookup, say that and if you want something more permanent, tell them. When it comes to determining whether or not someone is the right person for you, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “could I see myself being committed to this individual entirely or does my heart belong to someone else?” If you aren’t sure, ask someone who knows you well. I think love can be deceitful because sometimes you think you’ve found the right person, and then the relationship takes a turn for the worse and everything falls apart. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a web of lies someone tells you only to mess with your mind. I believe finding love is always going to be difficult for autistic women in general – whether it’s a gay or straight relationship. Just because someone knows you have a disability doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to adapt and be supportive. I don’t think many men know how to react when I disclose my disability. It’s definitely shocking for them to hear, as I am mostly just seen as socially awkward. However, some people are able to detect I’m autistic right away. I have to accept the fact that I’m not going to have men begging for my time and affection, and it will always be challenging to date. I’m a complicated woman who knows what she wants in a boyfriend. I’m not afraid to break a few hearts if it means I’ll eventually find my Prince Charming. I care more about my dating life than I will admit to my friends and family. I feel I should have an honest say in who I date. Don’t we all feel this way? Ultimately, I think I’ll be OK if I never find the love of my life, but waiting for him to finally present himself is going to be hard. Each year I age, I realize it’s one less year I have on this earth, so I’m hoping to speed up the process a little. Most people in their 20s have had several relationships and I’m inexperienced, which is both embarrassing and upsetting. Some of us end up losers and I’m afraid I’m one of them most of the time. I want single men out there to man up and give an autistic girl such as myself a chance. I deserve to find someone as much as anyone else does, so why not take a risk with me? Maybe the next man I go on a date with will be my knight in shining armour and my forever. That’s for us to decide and I really wish that there was someone willing to join me on this journey. Will fate ever lead me to the man of my dreams or is it just a myth? Until that happens, I’ll continue hoping and wondering.

Keara Farnan

Dating as an Autistic Woman

When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I often get offended. Guys don’t exactly fall all over me once we meet. In fact, their immediate reaction tends to be “I’m not interested,” which is very hurtful and dismissive. It’s as if the one thing I would like most in life seems too far-fetched. Although I don’t hate being single entirely, some days I wish a had a partner to spend time with. My friends and family are a lot of fun to be around, but I yearn for a romantic connection with another human being. My lack of success makes me question my self-worth and if I’m truly ready to find someone. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I’m getting tired of waiting for the right guy to walk into my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most gorgeous, attractive and alluring woman in the world. I know I’m not ugly, but sometimes I don’t feel pretty. Wearing glasses almost my entire life has made me feel insecure. Beyond my appearance and the fact I have autism, I’m worth someone’s time. I’m just trying to navigate through the dating world in the most concise way possible. When men tell me that they want to go out on a date, only later to ghost me or bail, my feelings become extremely hurt. What men don’t realize is that the heart is a delicate organ and that it can be damaged very easily. I don’t treat guys disrespectfully or patronize them, so I don’t know why I’m coming across so many jerks who enjoy deceiving me. Sometimes how you treat other people in life has no impact on how they’re going to behave towards you. If a man wants to be rude to me, I usually just walk away. There’s no sense in engaging in conversation if I’m not going to be treated fairly. I think that in a relationship, men often seem to act as though women are their possession and they must be obeyed. But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Women are human beings, not some trophy to be won or chosen. Treat us the way we deserve to be treated and we will gladly do the same. I think people say mean stuff all the time without realizing they’re being rude. At the end of the day, others return to their personal lives and the hurtful things they’ve said to another person usually don’t cross their mind. I feel like sometimes it’s the anger inside speaking and not the actual person. Men seem to have no clue that each time they reject me, I lose a little more hope that I’ll ever have a normal dating life, much like a non-autistic woman. When I let guys know I’m autistic, they aren’t very understanding. I’m usually dismissed immediately – or they let me know they aren’t looking for a girlfriend. How am I supposed to respond to such treatment? I understand why men are apprehensive to date autistic women, but if you don’t give me a chance, I can’t prove myself worthy of your time. I may be more difficult to understand and relate to than non-autistic women, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of learning. Being a female on the autism spectrum comes with many cons in the dating world. I actually take notice of the rude stuff people say to me, or behind my back,  though some autistic women may not be able to understand that they’re being targeted and judged. I don’t think it’s ever OK for a guy to be rude to a girl if he’s not interested in her. Just simply letting someone you don’t want to get to know them is a better way than ghosting a girl or asking someone else to be your personal messenger. I believe I act very respectfully towards men I go on dates with. Yet, I probably could ease up on the fact I scold them for being late. What I need guys to realize though is that I have a busy schedule too, and waiting around for someone is not fun. If you’re one of those guys who says: “I’m not going to lead you on. I promise I’ll show up,” and then fail to commit, you’re basically lying. It bothers me most when men think it’s OK to use their charm and good looks to vindicate their obnoxious behavior. I want sincerity and more than one opportunity to get to know someone. Sometimes it feels as though a guy thinks more than one date is a life-long commitment when really it is not. It’s just two individuals hanging out and seeing if there is a romantic connection. If it doesn’t work out between us, we can go our separate ways and I promise I won’t hunt you down and harass you. I would expect guys to do the same. If it’s not meant to be now, it may not work in the future. There are so many men out there looking for the perfect woman when she may be standing right in front of them. If you friend zone me instantly after finding out I’m single, I’m not going to take that lightly. That’s pretty much you saying: “Hi, nice to meet you. Bye!” I think that’s quite dismissive and again you aren’t even giving me the chance to show you who I am. I’m tired of everyone telling me: “Keara, you’ll find a guy when the time is right!” I’m not getting any younger and each second, month, week and year that goes by, I’m left still wondering if indeed there is a man out there in this world for me. There are thousands of suitors I could pursue, but even so, it’s hard to meet single men. People don’t usually go around advertising that they’re single. You could meet someone through an online dating app, friend, family member or at school, for example, but none of those resources have worked for me. What’s difficult for me is seeing other people fall in love and not knowing when I will find my happiness. Of course, I’m thrilled for friends and family who find their soulmate, but I really wish one day that would be me. People always brag about how good it feels to be in love. I have no clue what that’s like because I’ve never experienced true love. Most of the time, my guard is up and I’m hesitant to trust people. Guys don’t have a good way of letting me down easily when they aren’t interested. This usually ends in me getting my feelings hurt and them eliminating me from their lives. The person who does the rejecting often does not care as much as the person they let go. Some guys seem to think women are disposable and they can dump a girl one week, and then pursue another the next. I don’t think that’s how dating should work. Once you get more than one party involved, things become even more complicated and jealousy starts to kick in. There’s always the option of an open relationship, one-night stand, or friends with benefits, but that’s personally not for me. I want to know my future partner is committed to me and no one else. It would be hard to compete with a bunch of other girls. After all, everyone is trying to one-up themselves all the time. Why don’t we take a break from that and leave the drama behind? There’s more to me than being autistic and having anxiety and depression. Inside, I’m much like any other woman on the brink of giving up on love. But I feel pain very physically when a guy breaks my heart, even if it’s unintentional. It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings, but harder to admit you’ve made a mistake. I see flaws in a large majority of men and it’s sad to see that guys pass up on opportunities to get to know truly wonderful women such as myself. If a guy rejects me, I’m not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I’ll go find someone else. Even if I get rejected once again, at least I’m trying to put myself out there. By writing this story, I’m not asking others to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is sympathy and reassurance that dating will get easier for me. I believe human connection is difficult for individuals because it requires so much effort and mutual understanding. It takes two individuals to make a relationship work and two to cause it to fail. If you’re an unfaithful liar and cheater, a long-term relationship probably isn’t for you. I feel as though more women want a romantic relationship than guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it depicts how men and women often act in the dating world. I truly believe guys have the ability to invest in a romantic relationship if they put their heart and soul into it. I think what they’re most concerned about is being disappointed or having their heart broken. I would love to see more men invest in relationships, rather than hookups or one-night stands. Maybe then, this would break the myth that guys in their 20s just want intimacy and don’t care about having a girlfriend. Make a connection that matters — not one that is forced because you want to have fun. There’s no sense in leading someone on, only to let them know later you aren’t interested in a relationship. If you want a hookup, say that and if you want something more permanent, tell them. When it comes to determining whether or not someone is the right person for you, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “could I see myself being committed to this individual entirely or does my heart belong to someone else?” If you aren’t sure, ask someone who knows you well. I think love can be deceitful because sometimes you think you’ve found the right person, and then the relationship takes a turn for the worse and everything falls apart. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a web of lies someone tells you only to mess with your mind. I believe finding love is always going to be difficult for autistic women in general – whether it’s a gay or straight relationship. Just because someone knows you have a disability doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to adapt and be supportive. I don’t think many men know how to react when I disclose my disability. It’s definitely shocking for them to hear, as I am mostly just seen as socially awkward. However, some people are able to detect I’m autistic right away. I have to accept the fact that I’m not going to have men begging for my time and affection, and it will always be challenging to date. I’m a complicated woman who knows what she wants in a boyfriend. I’m not afraid to break a few hearts if it means I’ll eventually find my Prince Charming. I care more about my dating life than I will admit to my friends and family. I feel I should have an honest say in who I date. Don’t we all feel this way? Ultimately, I think I’ll be OK if I never find the love of my life, but waiting for him to finally present himself is going to be hard. Each year I age, I realize it’s one less year I have on this earth, so I’m hoping to speed up the process a little. Most people in their 20s have had several relationships and I’m inexperienced, which is both embarrassing and upsetting. Some of us end up losers and I’m afraid I’m one of them most of the time. I want single men out there to man up and give an autistic girl such as myself a chance. I deserve to find someone as much as anyone else does, so why not take a risk with me? Maybe the next man I go on a date with will be my knight in shining armour and my forever. That’s for us to decide and I really wish that there was someone willing to join me on this journey. Will fate ever lead me to the man of my dreams or is it just a myth? Until that happens, I’ll continue hoping and wondering.

Keara Farnan

Dating as an Autistic Woman

When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I often get offended. Guys don’t exactly fall all over me once we meet. In fact, their immediate reaction tends to be “I’m not interested,” which is very hurtful and dismissive. It’s as if the one thing I would like most in life seems too far-fetched. Although I don’t hate being single entirely, some days I wish a had a partner to spend time with. My friends and family are a lot of fun to be around, but I yearn for a romantic connection with another human being. My lack of success makes me question my self-worth and if I’m truly ready to find someone. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I’m getting tired of waiting for the right guy to walk into my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most gorgeous, attractive and alluring woman in the world. I know I’m not ugly, but sometimes I don’t feel pretty. Wearing glasses almost my entire life has made me feel insecure. Beyond my appearance and the fact I have autism, I’m worth someone’s time. I’m just trying to navigate through the dating world in the most concise way possible. When men tell me that they want to go out on a date, only later to ghost me or bail, my feelings become extremely hurt. What men don’t realize is that the heart is a delicate organ and that it can be damaged very easily. I don’t treat guys disrespectfully or patronize them, so I don’t know why I’m coming across so many jerks who enjoy deceiving me. Sometimes how you treat other people in life has no impact on how they’re going to behave towards you. If a man wants to be rude to me, I usually just walk away. There’s no sense in engaging in conversation if I’m not going to be treated fairly. I think that in a relationship, men often seem to act as though women are their possession and they must be obeyed. But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Women are human beings, not some trophy to be won or chosen. Treat us the way we deserve to be treated and we will gladly do the same. I think people say mean stuff all the time without realizing they’re being rude. At the end of the day, others return to their personal lives and the hurtful things they’ve said to another person usually don’t cross their mind. I feel like sometimes it’s the anger inside speaking and not the actual person. Men seem to have no clue that each time they reject me, I lose a little more hope that I’ll ever have a normal dating life, much like a non-autistic woman. When I let guys know I’m autistic, they aren’t very understanding. I’m usually dismissed immediately – or they let me know they aren’t looking for a girlfriend. How am I supposed to respond to such treatment? I understand why men are apprehensive to date autistic women, but if you don’t give me a chance, I can’t prove myself worthy of your time. I may be more difficult to understand and relate to than non-autistic women, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of learning. Being a female on the autism spectrum comes with many cons in the dating world. I actually take notice of the rude stuff people say to me, or behind my back,  though some autistic women may not be able to understand that they’re being targeted and judged. I don’t think it’s ever OK for a guy to be rude to a girl if he’s not interested in her. Just simply letting someone you don’t want to get to know them is a better way than ghosting a girl or asking someone else to be your personal messenger. I believe I act very respectfully towards men I go on dates with. Yet, I probably could ease up on the fact I scold them for being late. What I need guys to realize though is that I have a busy schedule too, and waiting around for someone is not fun. If you’re one of those guys who says: “I’m not going to lead you on. I promise I’ll show up,” and then fail to commit, you’re basically lying. It bothers me most when men think it’s OK to use their charm and good looks to vindicate their obnoxious behavior. I want sincerity and more than one opportunity to get to know someone. Sometimes it feels as though a guy thinks more than one date is a life-long commitment when really it is not. It’s just two individuals hanging out and seeing if there is a romantic connection. If it doesn’t work out between us, we can go our separate ways and I promise I won’t hunt you down and harass you. I would expect guys to do the same. If it’s not meant to be now, it may not work in the future. There are so many men out there looking for the perfect woman when she may be standing right in front of them. If you friend zone me instantly after finding out I’m single, I’m not going to take that lightly. That’s pretty much you saying: “Hi, nice to meet you. Bye!” I think that’s quite dismissive and again you aren’t even giving me the chance to show you who I am. I’m tired of everyone telling me: “Keara, you’ll find a guy when the time is right!” I’m not getting any younger and each second, month, week and year that goes by, I’m left still wondering if indeed there is a man out there in this world for me. There are thousands of suitors I could pursue, but even so, it’s hard to meet single men. People don’t usually go around advertising that they’re single. You could meet someone through an online dating app, friend, family member or at school, for example, but none of those resources have worked for me. What’s difficult for me is seeing other people fall in love and not knowing when I will find my happiness. Of course, I’m thrilled for friends and family who find their soulmate, but I really wish one day that would be me. People always brag about how good it feels to be in love. I have no clue what that’s like because I’ve never experienced true love. Most of the time, my guard is up and I’m hesitant to trust people. Guys don’t have a good way of letting me down easily when they aren’t interested. This usually ends in me getting my feelings hurt and them eliminating me from their lives. The person who does the rejecting often does not care as much as the person they let go. Some guys seem to think women are disposable and they can dump a girl one week, and then pursue another the next. I don’t think that’s how dating should work. Once you get more than one party involved, things become even more complicated and jealousy starts to kick in. There’s always the option of an open relationship, one-night stand, or friends with benefits, but that’s personally not for me. I want to know my future partner is committed to me and no one else. It would be hard to compete with a bunch of other girls. After all, everyone is trying to one-up themselves all the time. Why don’t we take a break from that and leave the drama behind? There’s more to me than being autistic and having anxiety and depression. Inside, I’m much like any other woman on the brink of giving up on love. But I feel pain very physically when a guy breaks my heart, even if it’s unintentional. It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings, but harder to admit you’ve made a mistake. I see flaws in a large majority of men and it’s sad to see that guys pass up on opportunities to get to know truly wonderful women such as myself. If a guy rejects me, I’m not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I’ll go find someone else. Even if I get rejected once again, at least I’m trying to put myself out there. By writing this story, I’m not asking others to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is sympathy and reassurance that dating will get easier for me. I believe human connection is difficult for individuals because it requires so much effort and mutual understanding. It takes two individuals to make a relationship work and two to cause it to fail. If you’re an unfaithful liar and cheater, a long-term relationship probably isn’t for you. I feel as though more women want a romantic relationship than guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it depicts how men and women often act in the dating world. I truly believe guys have the ability to invest in a romantic relationship if they put their heart and soul into it. I think what they’re most concerned about is being disappointed or having their heart broken. I would love to see more men invest in relationships, rather than hookups or one-night stands. Maybe then, this would break the myth that guys in their 20s just want intimacy and don’t care about having a girlfriend. Make a connection that matters — not one that is forced because you want to have fun. There’s no sense in leading someone on, only to let them know later you aren’t interested in a relationship. If you want a hookup, say that and if you want something more permanent, tell them. When it comes to determining whether or not someone is the right person for you, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “could I see myself being committed to this individual entirely or does my heart belong to someone else?” If you aren’t sure, ask someone who knows you well. I think love can be deceitful because sometimes you think you’ve found the right person, and then the relationship takes a turn for the worse and everything falls apart. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a web of lies someone tells you only to mess with your mind. I believe finding love is always going to be difficult for autistic women in general – whether it’s a gay or straight relationship. Just because someone knows you have a disability doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to adapt and be supportive. I don’t think many men know how to react when I disclose my disability. It’s definitely shocking for them to hear, as I am mostly just seen as socially awkward. However, some people are able to detect I’m autistic right away. I have to accept the fact that I’m not going to have men begging for my time and affection, and it will always be challenging to date. I’m a complicated woman who knows what she wants in a boyfriend. I’m not afraid to break a few hearts if it means I’ll eventually find my Prince Charming. I care more about my dating life than I will admit to my friends and family. I feel I should have an honest say in who I date. Don’t we all feel this way? Ultimately, I think I’ll be OK if I never find the love of my life, but waiting for him to finally present himself is going to be hard. Each year I age, I realize it’s one less year I have on this earth, so I’m hoping to speed up the process a little. Most people in their 20s have had several relationships and I’m inexperienced, which is both embarrassing and upsetting. Some of us end up losers and I’m afraid I’m one of them most of the time. I want single men out there to man up and give an autistic girl such as myself a chance. I deserve to find someone as much as anyone else does, so why not take a risk with me? Maybe the next man I go on a date with will be my knight in shining armour and my forever. That’s for us to decide and I really wish that there was someone willing to join me on this journey. Will fate ever lead me to the man of my dreams or is it just a myth? Until that happens, I’ll continue hoping and wondering.

Keara Farnan

Dating as an Autistic Woman

When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I often get offended. Guys don’t exactly fall all over me once we meet. In fact, their immediate reaction tends to be “I’m not interested,” which is very hurtful and dismissive. It’s as if the one thing I would like most in life seems too far-fetched. Although I don’t hate being single entirely, some days I wish a had a partner to spend time with. My friends and family are a lot of fun to be around, but I yearn for a romantic connection with another human being. My lack of success makes me question my self-worth and if I’m truly ready to find someone. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I’m getting tired of waiting for the right guy to walk into my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most gorgeous, attractive and alluring woman in the world. I know I’m not ugly, but sometimes I don’t feel pretty. Wearing glasses almost my entire life has made me feel insecure. Beyond my appearance and the fact I have autism, I’m worth someone’s time. I’m just trying to navigate through the dating world in the most concise way possible. When men tell me that they want to go out on a date, only later to ghost me or bail, my feelings become extremely hurt. What men don’t realize is that the heart is a delicate organ and that it can be damaged very easily. I don’t treat guys disrespectfully or patronize them, so I don’t know why I’m coming across so many jerks who enjoy deceiving me. Sometimes how you treat other people in life has no impact on how they’re going to behave towards you. If a man wants to be rude to me, I usually just walk away. There’s no sense in engaging in conversation if I’m not going to be treated fairly. I think that in a relationship, men often seem to act as though women are their possession and they must be obeyed. But I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. Women are human beings, not some trophy to be won or chosen. Treat us the way we deserve to be treated and we will gladly do the same. I think people say mean stuff all the time without realizing they’re being rude. At the end of the day, others return to their personal lives and the hurtful things they’ve said to another person usually don’t cross their mind. I feel like sometimes it’s the anger inside speaking and not the actual person. Men seem to have no clue that each time they reject me, I lose a little more hope that I’ll ever have a normal dating life, much like a non-autistic woman. When I let guys know I’m autistic, they aren’t very understanding. I’m usually dismissed immediately – or they let me know they aren’t looking for a girlfriend. How am I supposed to respond to such treatment? I understand why men are apprehensive to date autistic women, but if you don’t give me a chance, I can’t prove myself worthy of your time. I may be more difficult to understand and relate to than non-autistic women, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of learning. Being a female on the autism spectrum comes with many cons in the dating world. I actually take notice of the rude stuff people say to me, or behind my back,  though some autistic women may not be able to understand that they’re being targeted and judged. I don’t think it’s ever OK for a guy to be rude to a girl if he’s not interested in her. Just simply letting someone you don’t want to get to know them is a better way than ghosting a girl or asking someone else to be your personal messenger. I believe I act very respectfully towards men I go on dates with. Yet, I probably could ease up on the fact I scold them for being late. What I need guys to realize though is that I have a busy schedule too, and waiting around for someone is not fun. If you’re one of those guys who says: “I’m not going to lead you on. I promise I’ll show up,” and then fail to commit, you’re basically lying. It bothers me most when men think it’s OK to use their charm and good looks to vindicate their obnoxious behavior. I want sincerity and more than one opportunity to get to know someone. Sometimes it feels as though a guy thinks more than one date is a life-long commitment when really it is not. It’s just two individuals hanging out and seeing if there is a romantic connection. If it doesn’t work out between us, we can go our separate ways and I promise I won’t hunt you down and harass you. I would expect guys to do the same. If it’s not meant to be now, it may not work in the future. There are so many men out there looking for the perfect woman when she may be standing right in front of them. If you friend zone me instantly after finding out I’m single, I’m not going to take that lightly. That’s pretty much you saying: “Hi, nice to meet you. Bye!” I think that’s quite dismissive and again you aren’t even giving me the chance to show you who I am. I’m tired of everyone telling me: “Keara, you’ll find a guy when the time is right!” I’m not getting any younger and each second, month, week and year that goes by, I’m left still wondering if indeed there is a man out there in this world for me. There are thousands of suitors I could pursue, but even so, it’s hard to meet single men. People don’t usually go around advertising that they’re single. You could meet someone through an online dating app, friend, family member or at school, for example, but none of those resources have worked for me. What’s difficult for me is seeing other people fall in love and not knowing when I will find my happiness. Of course, I’m thrilled for friends and family who find their soulmate, but I really wish one day that would be me. People always brag about how good it feels to be in love. I have no clue what that’s like because I’ve never experienced true love. Most of the time, my guard is up and I’m hesitant to trust people. Guys don’t have a good way of letting me down easily when they aren’t interested. This usually ends in me getting my feelings hurt and them eliminating me from their lives. The person who does the rejecting often does not care as much as the person they let go. Some guys seem to think women are disposable and they can dump a girl one week, and then pursue another the next. I don’t think that’s how dating should work. Once you get more than one party involved, things become even more complicated and jealousy starts to kick in. There’s always the option of an open relationship, one-night stand, or friends with benefits, but that’s personally not for me. I want to know my future partner is committed to me and no one else. It would be hard to compete with a bunch of other girls. After all, everyone is trying to one-up themselves all the time. Why don’t we take a break from that and leave the drama behind? There’s more to me than being autistic and having anxiety and depression. Inside, I’m much like any other woman on the brink of giving up on love. But I feel pain very physically when a guy breaks my heart, even if it’s unintentional. It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings, but harder to admit you’ve made a mistake. I see flaws in a large majority of men and it’s sad to see that guys pass up on opportunities to get to know truly wonderful women such as myself. If a guy rejects me, I’m not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I’ll go find someone else. Even if I get rejected once again, at least I’m trying to put myself out there. By writing this story, I’m not asking others to feel sorry for me, but what I do want is sympathy and reassurance that dating will get easier for me. I believe human connection is difficult for individuals because it requires so much effort and mutual understanding. It takes two individuals to make a relationship work and two to cause it to fail. If you’re an unfaithful liar and cheater, a long-term relationship probably isn’t for you. I feel as though more women want a romantic relationship than guys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it depicts how men and women often act in the dating world. I truly believe guys have the ability to invest in a romantic relationship if they put their heart and soul into it. I think what they’re most concerned about is being disappointed or having their heart broken. I would love to see more men invest in relationships, rather than hookups or one-night stands. Maybe then, this would break the myth that guys in their 20s just want intimacy and don’t care about having a girlfriend. Make a connection that matters — not one that is forced because you want to have fun. There’s no sense in leading someone on, only to let them know later you aren’t interested in a relationship. If you want a hookup, say that and if you want something more permanent, tell them. When it comes to determining whether or not someone is the right person for you, I think it’s important to ask yourself, “could I see myself being committed to this individual entirely or does my heart belong to someone else?” If you aren’t sure, ask someone who knows you well. I think love can be deceitful because sometimes you think you’ve found the right person, and then the relationship takes a turn for the worse and everything falls apart. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a web of lies someone tells you only to mess with your mind. I believe finding love is always going to be difficult for autistic women in general – whether it’s a gay or straight relationship. Just because someone knows you have a disability doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to adapt and be supportive. I don’t think many men know how to react when I disclose my disability. It’s definitely shocking for them to hear, as I am mostly just seen as socially awkward. However, some people are able to detect I’m autistic right away. I have to accept the fact that I’m not going to have men begging for my time and affection, and it will always be challenging to date. I’m a complicated woman who knows what she wants in a boyfriend. I’m not afraid to break a few hearts if it means I’ll eventually find my Prince Charming. I care more about my dating life than I will admit to my friends and family. I feel I should have an honest say in who I date. Don’t we all feel this way? Ultimately, I think I’ll be OK if I never find the love of my life, but waiting for him to finally present himself is going to be hard. Each year I age, I realize it’s one less year I have on this earth, so I’m hoping to speed up the process a little. Most people in their 20s have had several relationships and I’m inexperienced, which is both embarrassing and upsetting. Some of us end up losers and I’m afraid I’m one of them most of the time. I want single men out there to man up and give an autistic girl such as myself a chance. I deserve to find someone as much as anyone else does, so why not take a risk with me? Maybe the next man I go on a date with will be my knight in shining armour and my forever. That’s for us to decide and I really wish that there was someone willing to join me on this journey. Will fate ever lead me to the man of my dreams or is it just a myth? Until that happens, I’ll continue hoping and wondering.