Why do people want to hook up?
Or dive in?
This behaviour may be something I’ll never understand. But here are some theories of mine:
It’ll ‘work out in the end’ mentality sets in,
We Aspies are not an alien species, however often it may feel that way when we’re trying to communicate with a neurotypical. We get excited too – but we may also see the consequences more clearly than someone solely focused on the thrill, which can dampen the excitement and introduce caution.
We would like things to ‘work out in the end’ but we also like to check the evidence first – so that we may avoid living in denial. Cue caution’s re entry.
It may not be easy – we might have echoes of previous social mishaps running through our minds with every hazardous new conversation. Caution may as well get comfortable ‘cos we certainly won’t be.
Then, of course, there are those who don’t feel the excitement, don’t think about it working out in the end – because they’re not thinking about a romantic relationship at all in that moment, and for whom it’s easy to not be concerned about swiping anything because their interest hasn’t been aroused, let alone desire! I am referring to, of course, demisexuals and/ or sapiosexuals.
However, perhaps most Aspies interested in dating are not all that different from our neurotypical friends. Certain dating behaviours manifest in both populations: the awkward hellos, the fumble to find common ground (except for perhaps those lucky ones who share passions), the sense of an online connection (or the potential of one) not quite living up to a particular expectation, whether yours or the other person’s – whether really even either person’s expectation as opposed to society’s or culture’s.
So, what’s the answer?
The common ground between people of all stripes seems to be that we want to feel an authentic connection. This desire can present as a rush to say hello without considering if we’ll have anything to say beyond that ‘Hey, give me your attention!’ initial greeting. Or it can be a denial of the obvious signs that something isn’t clicking. Or maybe it’s the tendency to feel personally rejected if someone says “Thanks, but no thanks.” Of course it’s personal, you might say, they didn’t want me! That may be true, but they probably don’t want about 7.5 billion others either, does that mean your rejection is significant? I bet it is to you personally, sure… but I’ll also bet that you won’t care about any of those rejections when you meet someone worth having gone through them all for, someone who feels you’re worth what they’ve gone through too, someone for you.
Perhaps the perspective should not be whether a failed attempt at connection is significant in some way. Perhaps the approach should be: if I really want an authentic connection, how do I start off not with the ‘right impression’ as seen or heard about elsewhere, but with the true one? How about “Hey, this is me” – although, remember, not all at once, and not too soon – if you’re looking for something good and something real, it’s got to be worth your time. Now, how you say “This is me” is the interesting part… and unique to you.
So, dive in if you want, but remember to be real too. And if you’d rather take your time then, hey – this is me too.