When Should I Tell My Date How My Mind Works?

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Dear Sara,

I have mild Asperger’s Syndrome. Online it isn’t perceivable, but in person people tend to notice that something is slightly odd about me and how I interact socially. I don’t want to scare people off; I also don’t want them dismissing me because they think I’m weird and fail to realize it’s just a processing difference. When do you think would be a good time to tell my dates about it?

I’d recommend putting it directly in your dating profile. If you put yourself out there from the beginning, you know if he contacts you anyway it doesn’t bother him. That said, I certainly don’t think you should see it as a fault, or package it that way in your profile. Our quirks, documentable and certifiable or not, make us interesting and can enhance a profile description (no one picks a profile that reads like a template). I myself have never learned to drive, and I’m cheeky enough to see that as a feature, not a fault. If a guy lives 20 miles away, it means he’s got to come to me…but I slot it directly in my dating profile so that men know I possess what I see as a humanistic philosophy toward transportation. This seems to annoy certain guys, and I’m quite happy to filter those out from the beginning. Move along, boys. Move along.

Dear Sara,

Dating sites want me to give out a lot of personal information like what my sexual preferences are and how I feel about charged political issues. I think those things are better discussed in person. Will people still communicate with me if I omit those elements? The matching software sometimes says it doesn’t have enough information to match me if I don’t reveal very personal stuff, but I’m not comfortable with strangers reading those details–and forming opinions. And is it okay to be on lots of different dating sites? Will people Google my username and find me on seven different sites and think that I’m completely desperate?

In terms of people forming opinions about you, they do that anyway, dear; they do that no matter how little or how much information you give them. The difference is, the more information you provide, the less you need to blame yourself. Don’t let yourself consciously worry about what people think. Everybody catches themselves doing it, but telling yourself it’s not worth your frontal lobes’ time is half the battle. As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” 

Be on as many different sites as you like!

Fill out everything you have the time for, and watch the math behind those percentages do magic (though they aren’t always right). However, on dating sites, less is never more. An empty profile certainly isn’t representing who you are. I can tell you that I don’t respond to men who haven’t filled out political questions, because the worldview of a prospective mate is very important to me, therefore I don’t want to waste my time on someone who doesn’t share those views. Sites like OKcupid allow people to explain their answers, so if you feel like something is a gray issue, saying so, and explaining why, proves you’ve thought about the topic–and that’s much better anyway than simply checking off a party affiliation. The more information you leave (that isn’t your name and address) the better your results.

Good luck!



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