When dating is highlighted in today's media and entertainment, the dating lives of neurotypical individuals is often the only thing that's discussed. But since more than 5.4 million (or 1 in 45) adults are living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the U.S., according to a 2020 Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, it's imperative for these industries to include and give the mic to people with autism so they can share their everyday experiences and stories, especially when it comes to love and relationships.
Because when autistic people aren't included or given the opportunity to voice their experiences in various mediums, their stories aren't often considered or may even be depicted in stereotypical or inauthentic ways.
So, people with autism, when it comes to dating and relationships, what do you want neurotypical people to know (and what do they often get wrong)?
Is there a particular thing about dating that you wish people who aren't living with autism would better understand or educate themselves on? For instance, do you wish they had a better grasp on masking and dating? Or what it's like to date online?
Maybe you wish they better understood what it's like to date in the LGBTQIA+ community as someone who has autism? Or what it means to you to have a fulfilling relationship? Or maybe you want them to know how dating and burnout impacts you?
However, on the other side of things, are there certain things you often find neurotypical people get wrong or assume about what it's like to date with autism, such as any stereotypes or stigmas?
(For example, maybe they often assume people with autism lack empathy or are asexual, when that's not the case at all. )
Or maybe, if you feel comfortable sharing, is there something about sex that neurotypical people often get wrong about or assume?
While it is no one's job to educate the mass population (because it's important to do the work), sharing these stories and perspectives can bring awareness and break stigmas that are completely incorrect.
In the comments below, tell us what you want neurotypical people to know about your dating life (and what they often get wrong). However, if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use this Google Form.
Responses may be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post.