Features | Finding love with Asperger's Syndrome
Like many single people around the world, I am overjoyed the moment that Valentine’s Day is over. I have Asperger Syndrome (AS) and social communication is difficult enough, let alone the pressure of dating and searching for a potential partner.
Although there are accounts of people with AS being in a relationship, and advice on how to deal with an ‘aspie’ partner, I myself have yet to transgress into that domain; it seems very alien to me yet I desperately want to find ‘that special person’ as all the world around me seems to have done so, making me feel increasingly emotionally isolated. I have on many occasions tried to form conversations with members of the opposite sex but it has largely been in vain. I have a ‘set menu’ of topics of conversation and when this is exhausted, I don’t know how to proceed and, thus, the dialogue usually crumbles.
Even if they mention their current, or past partners, I still feel the urge to continue on. My intrinsic drive suggests I may still be in with a chance but I often end up feeling like ‘what’s the point approaching anyone anymore? I might as well jump off a bridge and have it done with!’ Even my attempts at online dating have yielded nothing, yet I hear of other people’s accounts of receiving hundreds of views and messages; I have often sat in front of my laptop plucking up the courage to send a message but get no reply. I often question, ‘is it them or is it me?’ and paranoid thoughts envelop my mind. To these ends, I have even lived in Spain as I thought that people would be more open and understanding there and that I may be able to relate to people more easily.
Everywhere I look, be it on television, in magazines or even riding on a bus, I see people holding hands and expressing their love for each other and I find this emotionally crippling. Even if they are having a bad time or have recently split up, I feel it’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved (or been loved) at all. I feel that time is running out for me and that all those around me are either currently in a relationship or have had at least some experience of one. I have often thought about investing in some physical experience but have met with mixed views when discussing this with various people. However, I feel ‘what do they know? It probably comes free and easy to them’.
I just want somebody, other than family members, to say ‘I love you’. I want somebody to love me in a non-platonic way. I want to feel like I can fit in to this world and have a true sense of being.
Asperger’s Key Facts
•There are over half a million people in the UK with an autism spectrum disorder, or Asperger’s
•1 in 100 people in the UK are diagnosed with it.
•Asperger’s is a form of autism which affects people in many different ways.
•The cause of the disorder is still unknown, yet there some research suggests that it may be down to both genetic and environmental factors.
•Unlike autism, people with Asperger’s syndrome don’t have as much trouble with speaking and have usually average, or above average, intelligence levels.
•Many people with the disability find that they can have trouble understanding facial expressions, gestures and knowing when to start and finish conversations.
• Friendships can sometimes be very difficult for people with Asperger’s to maintain, as they can seem withdrawn, uninterested and aloof when in fact they are just unsure about how to react.
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems in the UK and they can manifest themselves in different ways. Whilst everyone can feel sad or worried from time to time, if your feelings are becoming so strong that they are affecting your life it is important to get help. The Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgemental support 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. You can contact them by phone on: 08457 90 90 90.