Many neurodivergent clients I work with have shared with me that the idea of dating too them is terrifying. Often there are feelings of nervousness about holding their own in a conversation with someone they’ve just met, and they can find small talk very stressful. In addition, it can be challenging to pick up romantic cues from the other person.
Dating is hard for everyone, but those who are neurodivergent may face extra challenges. Often there have been painful experiences from childhood involving bullying for being different in relationships. Neurodivergent people know the pain of rejection, and often there is an understandable fear of putting yourself “out there” for fear of being rejected again.
Here are some tips to feel more comfortable around different social situations with dating.
Identify Sensory Triggers
Only you can know yourself and understand what exhausts and overwhelms you. What level of stimulation can you handle and enjoy? What might be too much?
The more you know about your triggers, the more you can steer your dating experiences so they can be as successful as possible.
For example, if noise exhausts and overwhelms you, you may say something to a prospective date like, “I can’t do concerts, but how about we take a picnic to the park during the afternoon?”
Take the Time to Process Your Feelings
Most neurodivergent people are extremely sensitive, not only to environmental stimuli but also to emotions. Neurodivergents experience feelings and emotions in their unique way. And it can often be tough to put feelings into words.
For this reason, you must give yourself the space and time to process your emotions. Just be sure to tell the person you are dating that silence may only mean you are trying to communicate more clearly.
Get Dating Support
There is no shame in having someone in your corner who understands you and your unique challenges. I work with many people to live and love to the fullest. I offer my clients a safe space to process their feelings and help them navigate areas that can be tricky.
If you’d like to get more information on what it would be like to work with me, please email me. I am seeing my clients face-to-face from my office in Hove and online globally.