Have you ever tried to climb down a slide through the slide instead of up through the ladder?
This is what you are trying to date either an Aspie (someone on the autism spectrum) or a neurotypical (someone who is not on the autism spectrum) without knowing the culture.
Here is the definition of culture from Dictionary.Com.
I have borrowed specific shades of the most appropriate meaning of dating:
a) a particular form or stage of civilization
b) Behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic or age group
There are many cultural flavors on the dating list. The world is becoming more and more a tapestry of diversity in terms of people’s culture.
Fortunately, Aspie culture is becoming increasingly recognized and embraced as another beautiful expression of humanity.
If you become a cultural anthropologist, you will succeed in appreciating your girlfriend/boyfriend
If you are a normal person, know about Aspergers. Here are some tips:
- Go to forums, such as WrongPlanet.Net. Read various topics to better understand Aspies’ challenges, joys, despair, and ways of thinking.
- Check out Tony Atwood’s complete guide to Asperger’s Sydneyroom. Dr. Atwood’s book has been heralded as one of the most important resources for Aspies after they discover their diagnosis.
- Consider joining a local autism chapter/group or Asperger’s group/group in your area. You’ll learn a lot from Aspies and their friends and families.
- Don’t assume that all of the traits of Asperger’s are true for your partner. Your partner on the autism spectrum. Spectrum means diverse and different. While some characteristics are common, there may be many that do not apply.
- Know that it takes time. You cannot expect to feel comfortable in Thailand as an American until at least five years of living immersed in the culture. this is a long time. So be patient and enjoy the journey of getting to know the person you are dating.
- Read Dr. Cindy Ariel’s book, Loving Someone With Asperger Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting With Your Partner
If you’re an Aspie, get to know Nypicals
Nypicals are also in cute. What is normal? I don’t think it exists. Your boyfriend/girlfriend has his own wiring: a public brain. He may have other mental health conditions.
- Pay attention to his interests, values, cultural upbringing, and family.
- Remember that you suffer from social blindness and have trouble seeing things from other people’s point of view. This does not mean that you are uncaring or insensitive. But your dating partner can see you that way. I highly recommend checking out Michelle Wiener García’s socialthinking.com (socialthinking.com) to learn more
- Suppose you are a citizen. In other words, learn about Asperger’s Syndrome. You may not be aware of all of your strengths and weaknesses. I recommend that you read John Elder Robinson’s books: Look Me In The Eyes And Be Different.
- We appreciate that Nypcials’ way of seeing the world and doing things is just as different as yours. Not better, not worse. Just different.
Final words: culture shock
According to Wikipedia, culture shock is the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar lifestyle due to immigration or visiting a new province, or moving between social environments.
The person who visits the new culture goes through a honeymoon phase, when everything different is great for him/her. but after that negotiate begins, and takes up to three months. Differences appear between the visitor’s culture and the environment around him, creating anxiety and discomfort, particularly in the field of communication. during the adjustment stage Thereafter (6-12 months), the visitor develops a routine, understanding, and basic level of comfort with the different cultural environment. Finally, during Mastery stage (up to 5 years), the visitor becomes very comfortable with the new culture. This does not mean that the visitor loses their cultural identity. It just means that he is able to navigate comfortably in both his/her cultural environment and that of others.
The adaptation stage is crucial. And I would say the same thing about a dating relationship. According to Wikipedia, these are the possible outcomes during the editing phase:
- Some people find it impossible to accept a foreign culture and integrate. They isolate themselves from the environment of the host country, which they view as hostile, and withdraw into the “ghetto” and see a return to their culture as the only way out. These “refusals” also have the greatest problems with reintegration back home after return.
- Some people assimilate completely and take in all parts of the host culture while losing their original identity. They usually stay in the host country forever. This group is sometimes known as “adoptors.”
- Some people manage to adapt to aspects of the host culture that they see as positive, while retaining some of their own and creating their own unique blend. They have no major problems returning home or moving to another place. This group can be considered somewhat universal.
What outcome would you choose for your relationship? It’s up to you.