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efreysson
12-21-2013, 02:49 AM
Okay, I'm a 31 year old dude with Asperger Syndrome and the correspondingly limited social life. I do have a few friends but my dating life has been . . . shall we say uneventful.

Now I've met a nice lady my age online, we've chatted for a bit and she suggested we meet tomorrow evening at a coffee shop. I'm already kind of a nervous wreck about it. We seem to be at about the same wavelength lifestyle-wise, neither of us is the night clubbing type and we're both looking for a relationship rather than a one-night-stand.

But without going into a lengthy discussion about my struggles with Asperger, I've learned most social behavior through experience and observation and so can manage in most social settings. Dating however, I haven't learned. I don't know those unspoken rules, or how the steps progress. I DO know that obvious nervousness and stuttering are not considered attractive.

This could end up being the best thing that has happened to me in a long time; the break I've been wishing for. And I don't want to blow it.

Advice?

Brightdreamer
12-21-2013, 03:24 AM
My entry for the Least Helpful Advice Ever:

Relax. Don't think "date," think "just meeting up with that nice person I've talked with online before." Go into this as someone meeting a friend, because she is a friend. If you put too much pressure on this meeting or yourself, things might self-destruct. If things go well... well, there's always another coffee shop meeting to explore that.

(And, remember, girls get nervous, too. If you show up relaxed, she'll likely relax, as well.)

slhuang
12-21-2013, 03:45 AM
I'm one of those people who will occasionally pre-game stressful social situations. I'll brainstorm a bunch of ideas beforehand for things to say or to ask to keep the conversation going. :D

If your new lady friend is chatty, the very best thing you can probably do is ask her questions and then listen while she talks. Listening is a highly underrated skill, and it's one that, as an introvert, I personally find much easier! Try to show interest in what she's saying through body language (eye contact, not getting distracted by other things), and ask her questions about the things she seems enthusiastic about. If you're talking and you see her having diminished interest (lack of eye contact, lack of follow-up questions or other engagement), then change the subject and ask her something else about herself.

If I were you, I'd treat a first date like a social setting you're already familiar with. Most first dates are low-stress (or should be) from a physical/romantic standpoint -- she is probably not expecting you to go for anything physical, and in fact, a lot of women explicitly do not WANT anything physical on a first date. The venue of coffee reinforces this. She's probably looking to chat and see if you guys click in real life on a person-to-person level, not "make a move" so to speak. So I would recommend just talking to her like a person. :) (And you have to see whether you click with her as well, obviously! :))

<<-- has not been on nearly enough dates to be qualified to be giving dating advice, so take with salt, but I'm pretty sure this is all okay advice

Pushingfordream
12-21-2013, 03:49 AM
I think it might help to talk a little bit about your struggle with Asperger Syndrome. Might help you feel more comfortable.

Putputt
12-21-2013, 03:54 AM
I'm one of those people who will occasionally pre-game stressful social situations. I'll brainstorm a bunch of ideas beforehand for things to say or to ask to keep the conversation going. :D

If your new lady friend is chatty, the very best thing you can probably do is ask her questions and then listen while she talks. Listening is a highly underrated skill, and it's one that, as an introvert, I personally find much easier! Try to show interest in what she's saying through body language (eye contact, not getting distracted by other things), and ask her questions about the things she seems enthusiastic about. If you're talking and you see her having diminished interest (lack of eye contact, lack of follow-up questions or other engagement), then change the subject and ask her something else about herself.

If I were you, I'd treat a first date like a social setting you're already familiar with. Most first dates are low-stress (or should be) from a physical/romantic standpoint -- she is probably not expecting you to go for anything physical, and in fact, a lot of women explicitly do not WANT anything physical on a first date. The venue of coffee reinforces this. She's probably looking to chat and see if you guys click in real life on a person-to-person level, not "make a move" so to speak. So I would recommend just talking to her like a person. :) (And you have to see whether you click with her as well, obviously! :))

<<-- has not been on nearly enough dates to be qualified to be giving dating advice, so take with salt, but I'm pretty sure this is all okay advice

This is super great advice. :)

The best dates are where both people are interested in what the other person has to say, so ask her stuff about herself and go from there. For example, what are her hobbies...let's say she says cooking--> what does she like to cook --> Italian/Chinese/French etc --> has she ever traveled to those places, and then she'd probably ask you if you've been to those places...you can talk about your travels and share funny stories about how you accidentally said, "I am made out of potato chicken" in Paris because your French sucks...and then ask her if she has any funny/embarrassing moments like that and...so on. :D

(Why yes, I micro-plan my dates. One time, I even sat down and made a friggin flow chart. Hur.)

Ken
12-21-2013, 05:06 AM
... "What ? You're going to see a woman ? Be sure to bring a whip !"

Nietzsche's advice. (Just a humorous aside ;-)

G'luck !

T Robinson
12-21-2013, 06:12 AM
Well, lets see. I got married three years before you were born and have been with the same woman all this time. I do have six sisters, so I have some knowledge. The most important advice is this. Be yourself. Be yourself. Be yourself. Seriously, long term or short term, if you try to put on a front, it will be revealed eventually.

Anyone, male or female appreciates honesty. I met my wife, knew she was the one and got married three weeks later. To this day, she is the only person I have ever met who reads almost as much as I do. You will have differences, but if you start with being straight up, your chances of long-term happiness are improved. She is probably every bit as nervous as you are, if not more. If you wind up being friends only, that is still a big positive. I guarantee you she has asked her friends for advice and what they think. Good luck.

Ona Mission
12-21-2013, 06:44 AM
... "What ? You're going to see a woman ? Be sure to bring a whip !"


*ahem* Can't hurt. Well, it can, but...

Anyhoo...

Cheat sheets. If you're nervous upfront, you'll likely be really nervous face-to-face. Same with her. Be prepared. Let her talk, but don't let her monopolize the evening. She'll likely expect some effort on your part. So, have a few topics in mind...and keep those handy for when you forget, get nervous, or when the conversation stalls.

Trust me. It may sound weird, but I've been on dates where the guy brought cheat sheets and the extra effort got my attention and secured future dates.

Assuming you've discussed your condition with her, you should have a great date if you just relax and prep a little in advance.

Siri Kirpal
12-21-2013, 07:43 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

What the others have said (except for the whip). Go to date thinking you're going to meet a friend. Be grateful. Be yourself.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Belle_91
12-21-2013, 08:15 AM
Breathe in and breathe out. Trust me when I say she's nervous too. Remember to smile and look nice. You don't have to wear a tux or anything, but a nice shirt and jeans. Again, remember to smile and just relax. If you relax, she'll be more relaxed. Don't think of this as a date, think of this as meeting up with a friend. Maybe get a decaf coffee that won't give you any extra jitters? And if you're nervous maybe don't order anything with expresso (sorry I know I misspelled). Have confidence in yourself. She liked you this much to want to meet you in person. That's a very good sign. :) Just smile and relax. I'm sure you'll do fine. Reading also helps relax me. So maybe take a book with you to read while you wait for her. Just nothing creepy like 50 Shades or anything lol. That could also give you all something to talk about.

Also, please let us know how it goes. :D I have faith in you.

Xelebes
12-21-2013, 11:56 AM
... "What ? You're going to see a woman ? Be sure to bring a whip !"

Nietzsche's advice. (Just a humorous aside ;-)

G'luck !

Nothing livens a date more than abiding by or impressing Nietzschean philosophy in one's conduct.

Fruitbat
12-21-2013, 12:24 PM
Don't know if this helps but I would try to keep it light.

I even get scared off by potential platonic friends who seem to take it too seriously. I worry that it would be a mess to get out of if I started a friendship with them and didn't want to continue it for any reason, like just not feeling enough in common to keep up the effort. I don't want heavy responsibility for someone's life that I barely know, if you see what I mean.

I'd try just consider it a fun evening, not your "big chance." Confidence with dating builds the more you do it, imo. So, even if this one doesn't go anywhere, it still probably increases your chance of success with the other women out there. Good luck!

Also, maybe you'd consider a dating coach. It sounds like they function as an older, experienced buddy giving you pointers. Just a thought.

Ken
12-21-2013, 05:27 PM
*ahem* Can't hurt. Well, it can, but...



... you really do seem pretty cool. General attitude; unconventionality, etc.

Shame that --

;-)


(except for the whip)

Don't knock it till you try it.
Bonjour. (Literally "Hello." -- a French greeting. Kiss included ;-)


Nothing livens a date more than abiding by or impressing Nietzschean philosophy in one's conduct.

LOL. Thus spake Xelebes :-)

ps On a serious note, what Ona said about having some topics to discuss in the ready is a good idea. I do that myself with all sorts of encounters. Heck. You could even discuss your writing !

efreysson
12-21-2013, 09:35 PM
Also, please let us know how it goes. :D I have faith in you.

Well thanks.

And thanks everyone, for the advice.

mirandashell
12-21-2013, 09:52 PM
So can you tell us how it went?

I know, I know, I'm nosey!

Perks
12-21-2013, 11:12 PM
I hope you had a good time!

Kylabelle
12-21-2013, 11:14 PM
*he probably feels like a kid with about 15 nosy aunts looking over his shoulder wondering if the girl was nice to him*

:D:D:D

Srsly I do hope you had a delightful time. If you don't feel like telling about it, don't! :)

mirandashell
12-21-2013, 11:52 PM
True! LOL!

But you know, you care when it's one of your own!

Belle_91
12-22-2013, 12:51 AM
So....how did it go...?;)

Rotes
12-22-2013, 10:36 AM
My friend gave me some great dating advise earlier this evening and I am way to excited to share it.
"perhaps judging people on their murderability is a bad way to make relationship decisions"- Eric Freda
That aside, stuttering is not so bad. You'll be fine. :3

efreysson
12-22-2013, 12:59 PM
Well, it went pretty well. We're going to meet again at any rate.

Thanks everyone.

Pushingfordream
12-22-2013, 01:08 PM
Well, it went pretty well. We're going to meet again at any rate.

Thanks everyone.

Awesome!

mirandashell
12-22-2013, 04:13 PM
Oh brilliant! Well done!

slhuang
12-22-2013, 07:17 PM
Oh, excellent! Good to hear!

Putputt
12-22-2013, 09:04 PM
Yay! Super excited and happy to hear that! ...in a non-creepy way. :D

Siri Kirpal
12-22-2013, 11:09 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Wonderful!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal