• Robin Kim


Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Dating and relationship building is difficult for anyone, but has the immense potential to be ever so rewarding with ‘lifelong’ outcomes. The journey for love and relationships was wonderfully captured by Netflix's "Love on the Spectrum", which follows 7 autistic young adults seeking romantic connection. The show highlights the complexities and challenges of dating with ASD, and also teaches us some crucially important lessons to support all of us in the dating world.

So, here we present four main takeaways from "Love on the Spectrum":

1. Find common interests

It seemed like the show emphasized the goal of the first date to be to find common interests between the partners. When we think about it, this makes sense. Finding similar interests (or anything in common really) is the steppingstone to bridging this connection with someone. What is as equally important to finding common interest, is what comes after. Don’t just stop after finding this common interest, try to continue the conversation to take you deeper into uncovering more about this common interest and allow it to strengthen your bond.

2. Practice, but not too much

We all know the old saying, “practice makes perfect,” and this may be true to some extent. The show highlighted some of the benefits of practicing for a first date including being less nervous by having some talking points ready. While it can be great to practice, just don’t overdo it. The excitement of meeting someone new also lies in the mystery and anticipation of what is to come. No amount of practice can ever fully prepare us to account for all conversation topics or situations that might come up, and by forcing ourselves to do so, we just might take away all the excitement of meeting someone new. Which leads to the next point…

3. Have fun!

Something that is easier said than done, but so true! In all honesty, meeting someone for the first time especially as a potential romantic relationship can be nerve wracking. It’s so easy to get carried away on our goals of “finding common interests” and flood our minds with all the practice points, we forget to just have fun! Next time out on a date, try this easy mental exercise to bring conscious awareness to have fun. So how is it done? Let’s just imagine that the date is at a restaurant. Pick one object in the line of sight from where you’re sitting. Throughout the course of the date, every time you look at your object, use it as a visual reminder to tell yourself “I’m here to have fun.” A mental reset to ease the nerves and to just have fun!

4. Be your true self

Last, but definitely not least, be yourself! Many of the participants from the show expressed that it’s sometimes hard to carry a conversation or that they don’t know what to talk about during a date. This can especially be the case when we are focused on being someone we’re not and lose our authentic selves. So, next time when you’re on a date, remember to just be you. If you’re a fan of the Marvel Universe, perhaps you really like to play the banjo, or whether it be that your jam is studying quantum physics, own it, and allow you to be you.

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