Dating is a nuanced experience for everyone. No two situations are exactly alike. Whether you’re heading out on a first date or you’ve been seeing a special someone for a while, the dating world can be a little stressful for everyone. However, it’s often especially overwhelming for neurodivergent individuals.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t date. In fact, it can be a great way to socialize and step out of your comfort zone while having fun! But, when you’re a neurodivergent person, setting specific boundaries and managing your expectations while dating is essential.
Not sure how to do that? Let’s take a look at some of the challenges you might face while dating on the spectrum and how you can create realistic expectations that will benefit both you and your date(s).
Setting Realistic Expectations
If you’re considering dating or you’re trying to figure out how to improve your dating experience, it’s essential to set realistic expectations. You know yourself and your challenges better than anyone. Maybe you have trouble making eye contact. Perhaps you aren’t good at making small talk. Those are things that might be completely normal for your personality, but they could make your experience and date feel somewhat uncomfortable.
Give yourself the freedom and flexibility for things to go wrong. You can’t expect everything to go perfectly if you don’t share those things with the person you’re seeing. Putting too much pressure on yourself with unrealistic expectations could trigger some of your most common symptoms and cause you to become overwhelmed. The more upfront you are about your neurodivergence, the better your date will be able to understand you.
As a neurodivergent person, understanding certain boundaries can sometimes be challenging. That’s no fault of your own. But, it’s important that whomever you’re dating has a clear understanding of your intentions. For example, if you’re really into someone and you call them too frequently, they might take it the wrong way. In some cases, they might even feel bothered by this. There’s a fine line to walk in the world of dating, and understanding the boundaries of that line will make a big difference.
If you’re worried that you might be crossing some boundaries, consider talking about it. Ask the person you’re dating if you’re crossing any lines, and explain why you might be prone to it. The more they understand your way of thinking, the more likely they are to be open and honest with you.
Staying Safe and Having Fun
Relationships can be difficult for everyone, and getting into the dating scene isn’t always a walk in the park. When you’re neurodivergent, they can have even more challenges, but that doesn’t mean dating can’t be fun. Choose to be yourself, relax, and enjoy each dating experience as much as possible. Tell the truth about yourself, but don’t overshare on a first or second date, and always let someone you trust know where you’ll be.
When you’re overly nervous or anxious about the unknown of a date, it can end up ruining the experience. Try to have a goal in mind, but be flexible if things don’t go according to plan. Learn what you can about your date’s interest before you go out, so you’ll always have something to talk about. The more prepared you are, the smoother your conversations will be!
If you’re still nervous about dating while neurodivergent or you’re not sure how to set clear boundaries, don’t hesitate to contact me. Together, we’ll talk about your expectations, goals, and what you truly want to experience in the world of dating.