Another thing people tend to do when you tell them that you are single is that they suddenly feel the need to reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you and that you will one day find someone right for you. Well this is a nice sentiment and I really appreciate their effort at trying to help me feel better about my situation, the big problem with this sentiment is that they are talking about something they know nothing about. For example, in high school when I was lonely and single people told me that when I got into University I would meet a wide range of people and finally find a girl who was interested in me. The problem was that in University and afterwards I meet a number of great people, but, none of them were interested in me romantically and I got my hopes up for nothing. I would have been better served if they had pointed out that romantic love is just one element in life and yes I might be jealous of other people’s experiences and displays of physical intimacy. Experiences that I may or may not ever get to experience myself, at the same time I have been lucky to experience many other things other people do not. For example, I have been to Africa three times, Europe half a dozen times, while many other people have never left North America. I have also had a hit fringe festival play that I have been lucky enough to take to several other cities and achieve success with, and have had a pretty decent amateur stand-up career up till now. Therefore, instead of focusing on what I don’t have I should focus on what I do have. An incredible relationship with my family who all love me to bits, I am a great role model for my nephew about overcoming adversity, I have a good group of friends and a very warm supportive comedy community behind me. Therefore, I may never have a girlfriend, but, that does not mean that I cannot have lived an incredible, rich, happy life.
In addition, my dating experience definitely does not fall into what society says is the proper age for these things. For example, society says that most people are having their first relationship when they are thirteen, are supposed to have their first relationship by age 16 and are supposed to be married in their twenties or early thirties. I on the other hand will probably not have my first relationship until I am at least in my thirties, and have my first serious relationship by thirty-five and who knows if I will even get married. Movies and television while they give insight into other people’s lives are generally based on relationships and dating patterns among Neurotypical people. They also take the perspective that a happy-ever-after ending is always a good thing. While, I believe that divorces and disruption to the status quo is necessary for guys with Aspergers to date. We generally are not people’s first choices and seldom make the best first impressions so we need women to marry what they think is their ideal man only to find out that these good-looking charismatic people can also be extremely flawed for them to give someone with Aspergers a chance. Movies don’t generally show this side of the equation, however, because attractiveness is closely correlated with goodness and the more attractive someone is, the better they are on the inside. Sure there are movies that are contrary to this rule, such as the good looking villain in Frozen, but, in the end the princess still ends up with a very attractive man even if he is not a prince. Movies don’t show this side of the thing because they are an escape and try to convince people that things will work out in the end and that they will eventually find an attractive mate who they will be happy with until the end of time. That is not to say that someone with Aspergers cannot be attractive, but, rather I think that many people will only see past our awkwardness after life has taught them to be more tolerant and patient with other people. When we are young we want everything instantously including romantic connections and we need life to teach us that just because something is shiny doesn’t necessarily make it good, in contrast, just because something is rough along the edges doesn’t mean that it is not ultimately the better choice.
Therefore, when people say things like that people should have settled down by age forty or there is something wrong with them, they have no clue what they are talking about. It does mean that if you have Aspergers you really need to work on the flexibility of your joints as if you have your own biological children, you need to be flexible into your late fifties as you don’t want to be the old dad who can no longer play hoops with your son. In addition, you need to be able to still help them move into their first place when they are twenties and you are in your sixties. Therefore, remember to do lots of calisthenics.