People with Aspergers are never a woman’s first choice. We often come across as socially awkward and inappropriate. We may not pick up on cues as to when to change conversations, or when to end one. We have a hard time making eye contact, which is an extremely important quality in a potential mate. But from our point of view, neurotypical people often have their values messed up when it comes to dating. For example, males will often choose women based on physical qualities that make them look young, an innate pedophilic tendency. Additionally, they place too much emphasis on boobs, which are essentially just fat, and ass which I am not sure how anyone can objectify and sexualize. Gross! Often placing a higher value on personality traits than on physical traits, Aspies don’t discriminate by age. What we find really sexy is a woman who is tolerant, warm, patient, compassionate and funny, which is, granted, much harder to find among Neurotypicals than a pretty face and a tiny waist.
Unlike Neurotypical males who can find females attractive purely on physical qualities, Neurotypical women judge mates differently. They are more likely to judge guys by the way they are dressed, whether they are well groomed or whether their clothes suggest they have money which in turn suggests that they would make a “good mate”. No matter how much of a feminist they are, Neurotypical women in my experience have generally been taken in more by outer signs of success than by inner qualities. They generally want a guy who will make lots of money, and will overlook the guy who will treat them with kindness every day that they are together. Sad but true. Women with Asperger’s are more likely to look for more important qualities such as whether someone treats them with respect. Though what do I know, I have been unable to connect romantically with any of the women with Aspergers I’ve met.
Women are also more likely to find a man doing certain activities such as fixing a car, showing off athletic prowess or doing a bunch of other sexy activities, like getting a really great tax return. These activities that make a man sexier to women are areas that I will never excel at because of my Aspergers. That doesn’t mean that people with Aspergers don’t have their own good qualities. We are extremely loyal, kind and caring. I am the first person to make sure that everyone engaging in an activity gets to participate if they want to. I would go through hell and back for my friends. We are also very close with our families and value them more because we know that they have got us through many difficult times.
These qualities generally, however, won’t get us picked over a guy who is charismatic, good looking, or wealthy or a combination of these characteristics. Do not get me wrong. Neurotypical men also have their values messed up when it comes to the other gender, which I have already mentioned such as placing too high of value on butts and boobs.
Therefore, I was amazed when Alizza agreed to go out with me. It had only taken 28 years to find a woman who was willing to give me a chance. I just hoped that it wouldn’t take another 28 years before I finally convinced a girl to kiss me. I met Alizza and her friend Karen at an open mic at a local bar. I hadn’t had high hopes going into the show as it is generally not the best-run open mic in the city and I pretty much used it as a venue to test out jokes. That way, if the joke fell flat on its face I would not lose as much face, in terms of my reputation as a solid comedian.
I first noticed Karen after my set as they were only sitting two rows behind me. Three comedians later, it was Alizza’s turn to perform. I am not one of those people who argue that women are not funny. I know that there are many funny women out there, like Jen Grant, Elivira Kurt, Chantal Marostica and Tina Fey. I have noticed, however, that some women stand-up comics, when they first start out feel the need to show that they can be just as vulgar as any of the men who perform. Therefore, while Alizza was kind of funny, her set had more vulgarity than I would have normally preferred.
Therefore, after my set, as a way of striking up a conversation with the two of them, I went back to congratulate Alizza on her set. As soon as I started talking, however, Alizza told me how much she really enjoyed my set and offered me a hug. The physical contact made me feel all warm and gooey inside. Aspies appreciate the small things. After talking with her and her friend awhile, I went home and Facebooked Alizza, to ask her to go to Rumor’s Comedy Club, which is Winnipeg’s premiere, and admittedly only, comedy club in the city. I figured that I had nothing to lose. After all, what was the worst thing that could happen? That she said no? Who cares, after all, she didn’t mean anything to me at that point, she was just a pretty girl. I definitely did not think she was going to accept because I am very insecure when it comes to women. Therefore, it was a huge surprise to me when Alizza did accept. We had a pretty good night together, starting with me picking her up from her rehearsal for the musical theatre show that she was doing at the time. When we started talking and I found out her life story, I was amazed to find out that not only was she older than me, much older, but she had been previously divorced. It made me look at divorced women in a whole new way.
I realize that I am not most women’s first choice, simply because they don’t have their priorities straight. Therefore, I figured the best thing a woman can do to give me the best chance of success is to be previously married. See, if a woman marries her ideal mate who is charismatic and charming and finds out that he is also in fact, quite flawed, then she may look for other characteristics in a man. Especially if her ex’s flaw is that he is a cheater or a narcissist as some Neurotypicals are. After all, not everything that glitters is gold. Substance over style. Neurotypical people have a million and one metaphors about looking past charisma and looks, because, quite frankly, they often don’t.
Do not get me wrong, as I have been stressing, there are some good neurotypical men and women out there; they are just a tiny minority and are as hard to find as a needle in a haystack. A bad divorce also means that a woman may move more slowly before jumping into the next relationship, and may take her time with the next guy before she’s ready to develop romantic feelings. This lines up nicely with the interests of people with Aspergers, because we don’t always make the most favourable first impression. But I am pretty confident that, given enough time, we can find room in any woman’s heart through our positive characteristics. Still, I had the same challenges reading her as with any woman.
Nevertheless, I thought that I had done enough to warrant a second date with Alizza and that we had as much of a real connection as I have ever had with another person. But that second date never happened. She told me that she didn’t date other performers. But then she began seeing another guy, a younger comedian, and that was beginning to blossom into a romantic relationship. At the time I felt absolutely devastated. I also felt that Alizza had led me on, by letting me buy the tickets and think it was a date. She assured me it was a date and she had been genuinely interested, just not as interested as she was with the other guy, Kevin, who was probably rich, charismatic, or good looking.
I eventually recovered and became friends with her, even though nothing romantic or physical ever happened. I thought that we had a real connection. That led me to postulate that I had a lot to be excited about as I got older, and that I would have more success with divorced women than with women who had never been married and had traumatic experiences. I am not saying that all divorces are traumatic; I am saying that the more traumatic and horrible the ex-husband was, the better chance I have with these ladies. Also, that many neurotypical men are awful.
I don’t think anyone can really cherish compassion in another person until they have known what it is like to be with someone who only thinks about themselves. In my opinion, this is the only way that many males with Aspergers stand a chance when it comes to dating. Therefore, it is not unusual for them to begin having relationships later in life. Having them when we’re young adults is another societal landmark that we will miss completely. In fact that expectation is completely inappropriate when it comes to us.
This can be annoying as there are lots of messages suggesting one should be finding your soul mate while you are still quite young. After all, all of the Disney Princesses married at the height of their beauty and youth. Many movie characters marry their high school sweethearts or meet in university. In The Other Woman, Cameron Diaz says that by the early thirties, there are no longer any great eligible bachelors to date and dating goes downhill after that. Ironically, Cameron Diaz was in her early forties when she filmed that line, an age in Hollywood most women are considered repulsive, unless you are Judy Dench, Meryl Streep or Julianne Moore. What Diaz says is true, only if you define a great eligible bachelor as charismatic and dreamy and are unable to have the maturity to realize the number of great guys who are now in front of you.
In addition, some people, scratch that, most people, don’t learn their lesson and will continue to go for the jerks just because they are charismatic, good looking and rich, or a combination of the three. There is no guarantee they will change. I know one girl who went out for several years with this guy who cheated on her, when she was out of town. She was heartbroken; nevertheless, the guy was such a charmer that even though he had had unprotected sex with another woman, and had possibly given her an STI when she got back into town, she eventually got back together with him. Their mutual friends, however, were not even loyal enough to tell her anything until she had already slept with the guy and he had already broken up with her. This guy being as self-centered as he was, after getting a second chance, then proceeded to waste his money on a drug habit. Not only that, but he was also extremely selfish when it came to the bedroom, something no Aspie has ever been accused of, partly because none of us has ever made it that far. I am not judging him or her as I don’t know what was going on in their lives that made them go down the paths that they did. What I am saying, however, is that she had her values out of whack and if, instead of going for the charismatic guy, she had dated a guy with Aspergers, she would have been much better off, because we are more loyal to anyone who shows us kindness. Guess what? She would still rather date another guy who was more like her ex, who had treated her so badly, than give a guy with Aspergers a chance. Because some people never change. No matter how many times they get burnt they will still be drawn to the hot flame. There really is no helping these people, which is just a sad fact of life after all she had many great qualities going for her other than her taste in men, since she was smart and funny and had a great laugh.
The fact that we have to wait until a girl gets her heart ripped out of her chest and stomped on before she will consider giving us a chance can be very hard on the ego of someone with Aspergers. I mean it is hard to stay positive, and do everything that you need to do to take care of yourself, to be able to take advantage of opportunities, if and when they present themselves to you later in life. It is very hard to see all of your friends in relationships or hooking up with sexy girls, and to continue smiling and believing that you too will one day find love.
It is very easy to try to compensate for these hurt feelings by turning to food and trying to eat away the pain. After all, these feelings are saying to you, “if no one is going to want to love you one way or another why prevent yourself from eating another chocolate, when food and your taste buds never chose your friend over you?” You never pursue chocolate actively, only to find out that there was information that you didn’t pick up on because of your Aspergers, that led you on to believe you had a chance, only to reject you in the end because of your flaws. If you listen to this voice, however, you end up losing because you are not able to take advantage of romantic opportunities as they present themselves. There is no reason why you can’t have the same joy you see your friends having with someone they really connect with, if you’re patient enough and let the divorce process and bitter breakups do the work for you. You can still have the romantic picnics in the park or hold hands with a girl in the movie theatre, you’ll just do it at age 33 (or in Cameron Diaz’s version in your early 40s) instead of 15, like other people around you will do. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that this has to be the process for all men with Aspergers. I can only speak to my own experience which has been especially soul crushing. I still have not yet found the right girl.
I know one guy, Steven, Moshe’s uncle, who doesn’t have Aspergers, but who only settled down and got married in his forties. If he had given up on himself it is unlikely that he would ever have been able to stay positive and make this relationship work. He is now super happy with his new wife. Even though society said that Steven should have settled down earlier and married long ago, and that if it hadn’t already happened by the time he was twenty-five he might as well resign himself to being a bachelor forever, his story had a happy outcome. He did not follow the norm when it came to relationships the way they’re portrayed in romantic movies. But there is no reason we need to believe that they represent the only kind of happy relationships possible, or that we need to follow their rules, or we won’t find someone with the right values when it comes to romantic relationships. So, now I wait for Cameron Diaz.