I suspect I’ll never have myself completely figured out, but at least, some of the veil has been lifted with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.
Upon doing research about my diagnosis, I wasn’t surprised to learn dating is a challenge for many of those who live on the autism spectrum. I can attest to that. The last time I went on a date was over a decade ago. I don’t recall many dates of having something called “fun”. A date was more uncomfortable than a date with my dentist getting a root canal.
I had enough of a “want to” that I joined a dating service around 20 years ago. All I gained was a collection of dating stories that were a good source of writing material. What I lost was paying $2000.00 for the misery of going on 20-something dates. Most of them I only saw once and never saw the likes of again. I’m not putting any of these gentlemen down. They paid the same amount, too, and probably got the same results as I did.
My first date was painful in more ways than one. We talked on the phone before meeting. He wanted to know what I liked to do and I told him one thing was to take walks in the park. So our first date was at a park in Maryland on the banks of the Potomac River. His idea of taking a walk and my idea of taking one was out of sync! My idea was walking along a path such as a sidewalk or trail. His idea was hiking over rocks and things.
Since I went along with whatever he wanted to do, (the aspie in me) I tried to keep up. It is a wonder I didn’t miss a rock and fall into the river. I’m not so sure he would have rescued me. I say that because he wasn’t inclined to giving me a hand to help me up. Perhaps he was just as awkward at dating as I was.
Once when I leaped from one rock to another, I had a hard landing. When I got home and took off my sock, my ankle expanded to twice its size. It was so depressing since this was my first date after writing a check for $2000.00.
The guy did call me after our first date. He felt bad about the swollen ankle and offered to make amends by taking me to another park that didn’t have rocks and hills. I don’t know what possessed me to give it another whirl, but I did. The result was spending a Sunday morning walking in a park that was, more or less, a swamp. Donald Trump’s campaign slogan was “drain the swamp”. Well, I know of one in nearby Alexandria, VA, he could drain.
At least, there was a boardwalk and I didn’t have to get too personal with the swamp critters. The fella whose passion was photography was snapping pictures of the swamp inhabitants, such as snakes. I told him, “My Grandma would shoot snakes that trespassed her chicken coop. She was of the opinion that the only good snake was a dead one.” When the guy dropped me off, it was the last time I ever laid eyes on him again. I think I said the wrong thing again. HA!
At least, I tried dating. I was willing enough to pay a heap for 20 of them dates. Would I do it all over again? Nope. Not even if they came free of charge.