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17th September 2014
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For general discussions about dating and relationships, we hope the Living on the spectrum area will be helpful for now. If a relationships area was a really popular section then we'd be able to create it.
However, just to let you know, if what you'd like is an area to actually meet people or find people to date - that's just not the kind of service we're going to be able to create, at least not for quite a long time. There are a lot of risks and legal issues around services that provide direct contact, especially for dating, so it's something that we wouldn't be able to do right now.
it is impractical for NAS to set up such a site and, frankly it is MUCH better left to the experts.
there are some specialist dating and relationship web sites that are for disabled people, populated mostly by physically impaired people, but there is a statistically proportionate number of pyschologicaly impaired members. some even have a section for 'learning disabilities etc.'
interestingly, some 'aspirational' sites that offer profiling will actually reject your application for membership if their program decides your personality profile will reduce their success rate statistics (yes, really).
so the way forward is for us (the members of this forum who are interested) to say "hey - lets choose one of these sites, and if we all use the same one, then we maximise our chances of meeting somebody compatible"
i would suggest that there are certain aspects we can use to select a suitable site
- it should be based in the UK. this will offer protection to members because it will have to abide by UK laws. it also helps because UK websites are better protected from 'undesirable' content.
- it should be FREE for users. (well, the basic servises anyway) nothing is actually free, but disabled people cannot afford to pay for services, especially when there is no guarrantee of success so the site would probably be funded by advertising. members that pay are usually more 'serious' about the whole thing, so this could be changed if that's what we prefer overall.
a quick search and select brings up a few candidates. i checked them out and rejeceted any that were low quality, overtly 'adult', un-maintained or had broken links etc.
maybe we could have a poll to see which one we like best and then go with that?
maybe we could have a poll to see which one we like best and then go with that? YES Please
looks like it's just you and I sausage.
So hard to meet people and "read" what they are thinking about you etc.
Gets so frustrating, any tips?
hmmm....Its not only that but also the fact that you are expected to take them out.... for example a typical date is to a restaurant, then the movies then a bar - bearing many opportunities to show your discomforts along the way. For example in restaurants I worry about whether the food is cooked properly / hygiene / sitting too close to others who can hear what you are saying, I don't really like the movies because most movies I am bored with after 2 minutes or can't get into, I dislike going to a pub at night because of crowds and having to go to the bar standing there felling like an idiot wondering where to look while waiting to get served when others seem to just walk up and get served immediately, other people who try to talk to you sometimes, and drunk people and dirty toilets and loud or the wrong type of music. Then on top of this discomfort after the date if she doesn't get back in touch or doesn't reply to a text/phone call like a few days later then I inevitably feel like a fool and feel used.
When you think about it the whole online dating thing is silly- meet a complete stranger and try to impress them (usually while bearing all the costs if you are a man). I am 40 now so have been on dozens of first dates and obviously as someone with ASD and many quirks, most of them were disastrous (but also met a couple of nice girls). I think the problem with dating and having ASD is that from my experience in most cases there is a point during the date (usually from the moment I first try to speak) when the girl decides she is not interested but still agrees to continue with the date, I know this because of being told many times soon after the date that they thought I was really weird straight away - that annoys me, because if they already made their mind up so quickly then why not just tell me instead of letting me waste my time, effort and money. I'm not complaining about the money - it's the process and the deceit, judging by many girls response a few days after the date its pretty obvious they must have thought something like ...oh god hes a right weirdo but I might as well get a free dinner and drinks out of him. So after this happens a few times then obviously when I am sitting though another date I am wondering whats she is really thinking. Even one time I mentioned it..something like... "are you sure you want to be on this date or are you just using me to buy your dinner"... that went down well as you could imagine. Another time the girl offered to pay and I said ok, the look on her face as she tried to hide her disappointment, another time a girl ordered loads of expensive food and wine and I was sure she had already judged me as a weirdo, while I was trying to talk she was just replying with nods and grunts and was more interested in the menu and texting people, so I just went to the toilet and didn't come back ! Anyway my advice is that online dating is full of more challenges for those with an ASD especially if you are a man, despite all the sex equality stuff the women still expect the men to pay so when they tell you a few days laters you were a weirdo then you can't help but feel cheated and that for the whole of that evening you were being taken for a ride. I did meet someone in the end though and stayed with her for over 5 years but agree with you Centre Stage, its hard to know what they are thinking on the first date,
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